PND News

WI: GOP to vote on secession at May state convention

April 15, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"When Republicans in Wisconsin meet for their annual convention next month, one of the topics on the agenda will be whether the party supports seceding from the United States if necessary. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Wisconsin Republican Party’s Resolutions Committee voted earlier this month in favor of a proposal that says the state GOP 'supports legislation that upholds Wisconsin’s right, under extreme circumstances, to secede.' Fringe Republicans managed to defeat more moderate members of the party who were hoping to reject the proposal at the April 5 meeting. The proposal was adopted on a split vote with only a few changes." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l4ochkq  

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IRS poised to keep unclaimed tax refunds

April 15, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"Taxpayers are about to give the federal government a big, fat Easter egg -- more than three-quarters of a billion dollars in tax revenue that the government technically doesn't deserve. At issue is refund money that has been sitting in the federal coffers since the 2010 tax year, but that no one has claimed. In total, $760 million is owed to 918,600 people. By statute -- which gives taxpayers three years to claim that money -- the millions become the property of the federal government at midnight on April 15." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mtlwoza  

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France: Auction house cancels Nazi memorabilia sale

April 15, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Objects that belonged to the Nazi leaders Adolf Hitler and Hermann Goering have been withdrawn from an auction in Paris, after Jewish groups objected to the sale. The memorabilia included Goering's passport and a wooden chest marked with swastikas, which was owned by Hitler. The French Culture Minister had joined Jewish groups in denouncing the sale. The auction house, Vermot de Pas, said it had not intended to stir controversy." (04/14/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27028990  

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Judge: Ohio must recognize other states’ marriages

April 15, 2014
posted by

USA Today    

"A federal judge Monday ordered Ohio authorities to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples performed in other states, the latest court victory for gay-rights supporters. ... Gay marriage is legal in 17 states and Washington, D.C. Federal judges recently have struck down gay marriage bans in Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Virginia, though stays have been issued pending appeals." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o8scyul  

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Reuters wins Pulitzer for reports on persecutions in Myanmar

April 15, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Reuters won a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for international reporting on the violent persecution of a Muslim minority in Myanmar, the Pulitzer Prize Board at Columbia University announced. The board commended Jason Szep and Andrew Marshall of Reuters for their 'courageous reports' on the Rohingya, who in their efforts to flee the Southeast Asian country, often fall victim to predatory human-trafficking networks. Their Special Report (Thailand dumps Myanmar’s Muslim refugees into trafficking rings) ran on FaithWorld on December 5, 2013." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n4uakgl  

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First “cyber” Pulitzer to publishers of NSA leaks

April 15, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service was awarded Monday to The Washington Post and The Guardian US for reporting on the global scope and intricacies of the National Security Agency’s global surveillance programs. A controversial award to be sure, the Pulitzer committee appeared to draw distinctions between the two organizations’ approaches to the task of reporting on the tens of thousands of top secret documents leaked to them by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor now living in asylum in Russia." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k3e5t5g  

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Report: Chances of IRS audit lowest in years

April 14, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"As millions of Americans race to meet Tuesday's tax deadline, their chances of getting audited are lower than they have been in years. Budget cuts and new responsibilities are straining the Internal Revenue Service's ability to police tax returns. This year, the IRS will have fewer agents auditing returns than at any time since at least the 1980s. Taxpayer services are suffering, too, with millions of phone calls to the IRS going unanswered." [editor's note: Again, using the word "services" in this case seems inappropriate - SAT] (04/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ps2zlak  

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Report: Ukraine to launch “anti-terror operation”

April 14, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"Ukraine's acting president said the country will launch a 'large-scale anti-terrorist operation' to resist Russia's aggression. Oleksandr Turchynov said in a live televised address from the parliament that authorities in Kiev will not allow the 'repetition of the Crimean scenario.' Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula last month after local residents voted overwhelming to secede from Ukraine and seek to join Russia in a hastily called referendum." (04/12/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pxqf8pp  

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Pulitzers: Greenwald/Snowden “most appropriate choice”

April 14, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"Hero or traitor? America is still polarized over Edward Snowden and whether the newspapers that exposed the extent of NSA's vast global spying network should be lauded or condemned. Ten months later, the question on journalists' lips is whether America's most prestigious journalism prize, the Pulitzers, will honor them when the annual awards are announced Monday. For most journalists, there is no debate." (04/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pvk95ek  

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UN decree: World must end “dirty” fuel use

April 14, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"A long-awaited UN report on how to curb climate change says the world must rapidly move away from carbon-intensive fuels. There must be a 'massive shift' to renewable energy, says the 33-page study released in Berlin. It has been finalized after a week of negotiations between scientists and government officials. Natural gas is seen as a key bridge to move energy production away from oil and coal." (04/12/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27008352  

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KS: White supremacist held in shootings at Jewish center

April 14, 2014
posted by

USA Today    

"A longtime white supremacist from rural Missouri was arrested Sunday and held on a charge of premeditated first-degree murder in connection with a shooting spree in Kansas that killed three people at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement home. Frazier Glenn Cross, 73 --— known in Aurora, Mo., as Frazier Glenn Miller -- was arrested at 1:28 p.m. and was booked into the Johnson County, Kan., jail at 8:48 p.m., according to the booking report. The shootings at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, in Overland Park, Kan., and at Village Shalom, a retirement home nearby, occurred on the eve of Passover, a holiday significant in Judaism." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pdalzzj  

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Shorter prison sentences for US drug offenders recommended

April 13, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Up to 70 percent of all federal drug offenses could carry shorter prison sentences if the recommendation passed on Thursday by an agency that advises U.S. federal judges on sentencing is not opposed by Congress. The U.S. Sentencing Commission's recommendation reflects a policy supported by the Obama administration to bring punishments for low-level drug offenders in line with the severity of their crime. Some Republicans in Congress say more lenient sentences would reverse the drop in crime the United States has seen over recent decades." (04/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/puwoguv  

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Qatar makes room for displaced Syrian students

April 13, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"On the outskirts of Doha in the neighborhood of Al Duhail, a weathered Free Syria flag flaps in the breeze. Inside a high-walled compound, Abdulqader al-Khatib sits with perfect posture behind his wooden desk. He is the principal of a new school in a dusty quarter most Qataris never visit, where 600 Syrian students are trying to restart their lives. While Qatar has embraced the effort to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, it is less keen to take in Syrian refugees. Most of the 2.5 million Syrians fleeing the conflict are in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq. Far fewer have made it to wealthy Gulf states like Qatar, Kuwait, or Saudi Arabia." (04/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qhgkpkw  

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Sebelius resigns as HHS chief

April 11, 2014
posted by

USA Today    

"After a difficult five years shepherding President Obama's signature health care law, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has tendered her resignation, according to two senior administration officials. President Obama accepted the resignation this week and intends to announce that he will nominate his Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to replace Sebelius. He will make the official announcement at 11 a.m. on Friday at the White House, according to officials, who asked to be identified so as not to preempt the president." (04/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mfc2laa  

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CA: Schoolkids compare MLK to Mumia Abu-Jamal

April 11, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"A lesson plan asking students to draw parallels between late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal is an 'absolute disgrace,' the widow of the fallen officer told FoxNews.com. Maureen Faulkner, whose husband Daniel was gunned down in Philadelphia on Dec. 9, 1981, said the latest effort to glorify Abu-Jamal’s past using a lesson plan posted on the Oakland (Calif.) Unified School District’s website is akin to advocating violence to young students." (04/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l6ng2db  

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Report: USAID put political satire into Cuban social media program

April 11, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"Draft messages produced for a Twitter-like service in Cuba that the U.S. government secretly funded were overtly political, documents obtained by the Associated Press show, even though the Obama administration has said the program had a more neutral purpose. The early messages poked fun at the Castro government and were created by a political satirist working for the social media project. Those messages conflict with the U.S. government's earlier assertions that its program didn't promulgate political content." [editor's note: That's funnier than the exploding cigar they gave Castro! - SAT] (04/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n5wqmqm  

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China: The princeling of private equity

April 11, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"The 28-year-old wears black-framed glasses perched on cheeks still round with youth. A discerning eye might notice the resemblance to his grandfather: former Chinese president and Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin. Alvin Jiang has a knack for landing lucrative deals in China, the world's biggest emerging market for private equity. He is a founding partner at Hong Kong-based Boyu Capital, now one of the hottest firms in China. Boyu has attracted high-profile investors such as Asia's richest man, Li Ka-shing, and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, Temasek Holdings Private Limited." (04/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/losvsrt  

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Can Russia’s military fly without Ukraine’s parts?

April 10, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"Russia's sleek new military machine, currently poised on Ukraine's eastern borders, has a problem: It runs on components produced in Ukraine, which are still being delivered by Ukrainian companies. And now, Ukraine's beleaguered interim government is warning that it might call a halt to all arms supplies to Russia: 'Manufacturing products for Russia that will later be aimed against us would be complete insanity,' Vitaliy Yarema, Kiev's first deputy prime minister, said." (04/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l6nulrs  

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HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius resigning

April 10, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"US health secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning following the problematic launch of President Barack Obama's healthcare law, US media report. The law (regarded by the president's supporters as one of his main domestic achievements) has been marked by early technical problems and delays. Ms Sebelius has been health secretary since Mr Obama took office in 2009. The reports say Mr Obama will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the current budget director, to replace her." [editor's note: Rat ... ship - SAT] (04/10/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-26981580  

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Fed regulators to banks: Deal with “Heartbleed” risk

April 10, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"U.S. financial regulators on Thursday told banks to upgrade their systems as soon as possible if they are vulnerable to the recently uncovered 'Heartbleed' bug, which exposes data to hackers. The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, an interagency group that includes the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, said banks also should set up temporary patches for any systems using the Web encryption program known as OpenSSL and warn their outside service providers to take action." (04/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mppxm7n  

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Heartbleed Bug: Public urged to reset all passwords — but not yet!

April 10, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Several tech firms are urging people to change all their passwords after the discovery of a major security flaw. The Yahoo blogging platform Tumblr has advised the public to 'change your passwords everywhere -- especially your high-security services like email, file storage and banking.' Security advisers have given similar warnings about the Heartbleed Bug. It follows news that a product used to safeguard data could be compromised to allow eavesdropping." [editor's note: Every technophobe's worst nightmare? - SAT] (04/09/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26954540  

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Diabetes expenses decreasing, but still high

April 10, 2014
posted by

Reuters [UK]    

"Out-of-pocket expenses for diabetes treatment have gone down for many U.S. patients over the past decade, according to a new study. But nearly a quarter of people with diabetes still face high expenses. In particular, '[out-of-pocket] expenses declined in the people with public insurance and in people with low income between 2001 and 2011,' mostly because prescription drug costs went down, Rui Li told Reuters Health. Li led the study at the Division of Diabetes Translation, part of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia." (04/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oj9yyhl  

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Venezuela: Maduro calls on Vatican to mediate crisis

April 10, 2014
posted by

Sydney Morning Herald [Australia]    

"Venezuela's government has invited Vatican No.2, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to mediate talks with the opposition in the hope of stemming violence that has killed dozens in the nation's worst unrest in a decade. In a letter, President Nicolas Maduro's government asked that Cardinal Parolin, a former envoy to Venezuela who is now the Vatican's Secretary of State, be named a 'good faith witness' to a dialogue agreed after two months of protests. A Vatican spokesman confirmed the Roman Catholic Church's willingness to mediate, but gave no details." (04/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qjpdx36  

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Hewlett-Packard to pay $108 million in additional bribes over bribery cases

April 10, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"Hewlett-Packard will pay $108 million in criminal fines and civil penalties for bribing officials in Russia, Poland and Mexico to win technology contracts, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. The company's Russian subsidiary, ZAO Hewlett-Packard, has agreed to plead guilty in federal court in San Jose to felony charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Justice Department said. It said it settled criminal cases against HP's Polish and Mexican subsidiaries for financial penalties without requiring guilty pleas." (04/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qcapode  

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NASA: Lights on Mars not a sign of life

April 9, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"A NASA robot has snapped pictures showing glints of light on the Martian horizon, which some UFO enthusiasts have seized on as a sign of alien life on the Red Planet. Not so, said the US space agency. More likely, the images of bright spots taken on April 2 and April 3 are a product of the sun’s glare or cosmic rays, NASA said in a statement. In fact, similar glints of light are seen all the time in images taken by the Curiosity rover, a multibillion dollar unmanned vehicle equipped with cameras and drilling instruments that is exploring Mars." (04/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p3mosbb  

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