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Articles Posted by Olog-hai

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  • Fire exposes illegal Chinese factories in Italy

    10/20/2014 1:46:17 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 20, 2014 1:55 AM EDT | Erika Kinetz
    The first thing the firefighters saw was the arm sticking out of the barred window on the second floor of the factory. Flames reached through the partially collapsed roof and a high column of smoke darkened the winter sky. This fire had been burning for some time. The fire station is two minutes from the Teresa Moda garment factory, on the edge of the main industrial zone of Prato, a town outside Florence. The zone was developed for Italian textile manufacturers in the 1980s but now is predominantly Chinese. […] Prato is the epicenter of a thriving, illicit Chinese economy...
  • Japan trade, justice ministers quit amid scandals

    10/20/2014 1:40:33 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 20, 2014 4:28 AM EDT | Mari Yamaguchi and Elaine Kurtenbach
    Japan’s trade and justice ministers resigned Monday after accusations they misused campaign funds in the biggest setback so far for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s conservative administration. The two ministers were among five women Abe named to his Cabinet in a reshuffle early last month. Their resignations may help to control the damage to his relatively high popularity ratings, but are a blow to efforts to promote women in politics and business as part of economic revival policies. […] Two other female Cabinet members known as Abe’s close allies on the right have been criticized for suspected ties with racist groups....
  • World Ignores as Hamas Boasts of Continued Tunnel-Digging

    10/19/2014 11:43:26 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    INN ^ | 10/20/2014, 7:25 AM | Hillel Fendel
    The destruction of the widespread Hamas tunnel network was considered a major Israeli achievement of the recent war in Gaza, but the Hamas weekly newspaper Al-Risalah reports that Hamas continues digging tunnels from Gaza into Israel. A reporter for Al-Risalah claims to have visited an “offensive tunnel”—a term referring to an underground conduit planned to be used in an attack against Israel. Hamas has attacked Israel via tunnels of this nature in the past, either by sending armed terrorists into Israel to target Israelis, or—as in the famous case of Gilad Shalit—by capturing a soldier nearby and abducting him into...
  • Shocking: Muslims Daub Swastika on Temple Mount

    10/19/2014 11:50:28 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 28 replies
    INN ^ | 10/19/2014, 12:08 PM | Ari Soffer
    On Sunday morning, Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount—the holiest site in Judaism—were appalled to find that Muslim worshipers had daubed anti-Semitic graffiti equating the Jewish Star of David to the Nazi swastika. Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick first uploaded a photo of the shocking graffiti onto his Facebook account, along with a statement blaming the lack of proper response by authorities to Islamist rioting and provocations, and accusing the government of burying its head in the sand. “When they make light of the torching of a police station on the Temple Mount, when the sole response to daily Muslim...
  • Gay-rights group backs use of HIV-prevention pill

    10/18/2014 9:55:10 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 15 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 18, 2014 12:46 PM EDT | David Crary
    The largest U.S. gay-rights organization Saturday endorsed efforts to promote the use of a once-a-day pill to prevent HIV infection and called on insurers to provide more generous coverage of the drug. Some doctors have been reluctant to prescribe the drug, Truvada, on the premise that it might encourage high-risk, unprotected sexual behavior. However, its preventive use has been endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and many HIV/AIDS advocacy groups.The Human Rights Campaign, which recently has been focusing its gay-rights advocacy on same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination issues, joined those ranks with the release...
  • WHO faulted for Ebola failures as Obama taps czar

    10/18/2014 9:05:59 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 18 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 17, 2014 10:55 PM EDT | Maria Cheng and Adam Geller
    The World Health Organization bungled efforts to halt the spread of Ebola in West Africa, an internal report revealed Friday, as President Barack Obama named a trusted political adviser to take control of America's frenzied response to the epidemic. The stepped-up scrutiny of the international response came as U.S. officials rushed to cut off potential routes of infection from three cases in Texas, reaching a cruise ship in the Caribbean and multiple domestic airline flights. Republican lawmakers and the Obama administration debated the value of restricting travelers from entering the U.S. from countries where the outbreak began, without a resolution....
  • US, China vow to manage rifts ahead of Obama visit

    10/18/2014 8:58:52 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 10 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 18, 2014 10:44 AM EDT | Matthew Lee
    The U.S. and China pledged Saturday to overcome mistrust, manage their differences and cooperate on key issues like combating terrorism and the spread of the Ebola virus as President Barack Obama prepares to travel to the Chinese capital next month. Meeting in Boston, Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi said the relationship between the two countries is mature enough to discuss disagreements while building on areas of shared interest. …
  • Castro: Cuba would cooperate with US against Ebola

    10/18/2014 8:55:50 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 26 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 18, 2014 11:46 AM EDT
    Cuba stands ready to cooperate with the United States in the battle against Ebola, former leader Fidel Castro said in an article published Saturday. Cuba is sending about 460 doctors and nurses to West Africa to help fight Ebola, an effort that was praised on Friday by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. […] “With pleasure we will cooperate with U.S. personnel in that task,” the 88-year-old ex-leader wrote in the Communist Party daily Granma. He said it would not be to seek peace between two countries long at odds, but “for the peace of the world.” Castro did not...
  • Rome mayor defiantly registers 16 gay marriages (Italy)

    10/18/2014 7:24:27 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 18, 2014 8:31 AM EDT | Nicole Winfield
    The gay marriage debate arrived within walking distance of the Vatican on Saturday as Rome’s mayor registered 16 gay marriages celebrated abroad in open defiance of Italy’s government. Gay marriage is illegal in Italy. […] Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino received thunderous applause as he arrived in the city hall reception room where the couples, their friends and family gathered to make their marriages official in Rome’s city ledger. One by one, the couples—gay and lesbian, some with children—were called up to witness Marino transcribe the date and locations of their weddings, including in Spain, Portugal and the U.S. …
  • German judge sparks outrage, says anti-Semitism was only limited to Nazi period

    10/18/2014 1:29:15 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    Jerusalem Post ^ | 10/17/2014 04:28 | Benjamin Weinthal
    A regional judge in Munich is embroiled in a highly charged dispute over her statement in a civil case that German anti-Semitism was limited to the Nazi period of 1933-1945, suggesting that post-Holocaust anti-Semitism is not a factor in Jew-hatred. The Munich regional judge, Petra Grönke-Müller, sparked outrage on October 8 with her courtroom assertion during a civil case that “a fiery anti-Semite is someone in Germany who talks, with conviction, in an anti-Semitic way and, with conviction, does not condemn the Third Reich and cannot view the period 1933-1945 as separate from the background of history.” […] Speaking to...
  • Palestinians want Israel pullout vote this year

    10/18/2014 12:13:34 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 17, 2014 10:34 PM EDT | Edith M. Lederer
    The Palestinian U.N. ambassador said Friday his government wants the U.N. Security Council to vote on a resolution before the end of the year that would set November 2016 as the deadline for Israeli troops to withdraw from all Palestinian territories. Riyad Mansour said Friday that if the resolution is defeated—which is almost certain because of opposition from Israel’s closest ally the United States and others—the Palestinians have other options. …
  • Report: Ferguson officer says he feared for life

    10/18/2014 12:10:08 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 23 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 18, 2014 1:29 AM EDT
    The police officer who fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old in a St. Louis suburb last summer has told investigators that he was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life as they struggled over his gun, The New York Times reported. […] The Times reported that the account of Wilson's version of events came from government officials briefed on the federal civil rights investigation into the Aug. 9 shooting that sparked racial unrest and weeks of protests, some of which turned violent. Wilson is white and Brown black. …
  • Abbas suggest banning Jews from holy site (i.e. Temple Mount)

    10/17/2014 9:49:29 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    Yedioth Ahronoth ^ | 10.17.14, 21:34 | News Agencies (AP, AFP, Reuters)
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas suggested Jews should be banned from a holy site revered by both Jews and Muslims after hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza participated in a Hamas-organized rally Friday over Jerusalem’s flashpoint al-Aqsa mosque, the scene of recurring clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians in recent days. […] Abbas said Jews should be prevented from entering the site “by any means,” adding that “this is our Noble Sanctuary… they have no right to enter and desecrate it.” Palestinians also say Israel is unfairly restricting access at the site. Israel limited male Muslim worshippers this past week to...
  • Britain is ‘lighting a fire’ under the European Union, says Philip Hammond

    10/17/2014 9:33:10 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 8:00PM BST 17 Oct 2014 | Matthew Holehouse
    Britain is “lighting a fire under the European Union” by holding an in-out referendum on membership, Philip Hammond said today, as the Bill to give the public a vote cleared its first crucial hurdle in the House of Commons. The Foreign Secretary said setting in law a referendum on EU membership would force Brussels to grant Britain “meaty and substantial” reforms. The Private Members Bill, sponsored by Bob Neill, a former minister and vice-chairman of the Conservative Party, yesterday sailed through its second reading of the Commons by 293 to 0, and will now face further scrutiny. […] David Cameron...
  • [Germany] Diverse Berlin could get first mayor ‘with accent’ (a ‘Palestinian’ candidate)

    10/17/2014 12:34:06 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 11 replies
    Deutsche Welle ^ | 17.10.2014 | Jefferson Chase
    For more than a decade, Berlin has been governed by an openly homosexual mayor. But is the city, renowned for its tolerance, ready for a leader from a Palestinian background? It may have to be. […] … Berlin SPD parliamentary leader Raed Saleh only needs to open his mouth to stand out from the crowd. Saleh came to Berlin at the age of five with his Palestinian parents, and although his German is beyond reproach, he speaks the language with a distinct Arabic twang. “Berlin is a city of diversity; a city of 100 different accents,” Saleh told DW. “People...
  • Boko Haram agrees to ceasefire, release of school girls

    10/17/2014 12:22:57 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 25 replies
    Deutsche Welle ^ | 17.10.2014 | slk/shs (AP, AFP, Reuters)
    The Islamist militant group Boko Haram has agreed to a ceasefire and the release of more than 200 kidnapped school girls, according to Nigerian officials. The girls were abducted six months ago from a school in Chibok. […] “Boko Haram issued the ceasefire as a result of the discussions we have been having with them,” said Hassan Tukur, who represented the Nigerian government at talks with the militant organization in neighboring Chad. “They have agreed to release the Chibok girls,” he continued. The girls have been missing for the past six months, despite international efforts mobilized by the Twitter hashtag...
  • Bundeswehr drones can’t handle Ukraine winter

    10/17/2014 12:13:39 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 17 Oct 2014 12:32 GMT+02:00 | (AFP/The Local)
    “Luna” drones promised by Germany to monitor the Russian-Ukrainian border may not be sent after all—they can’t handle the bitter cold expected in the Ukrainian winter. “It’s a technical problem of the Luna system that it can't be controlled reliably at temperatures below −19°C [−2°F],” German MP Gernot Erler told public broadcaster Deutsche Rundfunk. Winter temperatures in the region would often plunge far lower at the drones’ operational heights of 3,000 meters and above, Bild reported, citing a military source. German drones were supposed to join unmanned planes provided by France and Austria in the Organization for Security and Cooperation...
  • Houston to pastors: Forget your sermons, now we want your speeches

    10/17/2014 11:33:52 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 72 replies
    Fox News ^ | October 17, 2014 | Todd Starnes
    Five Christian pastors will no longer have to turn their sermons over to attorneys for the city of Houston. Instead, they will be forced to turn over their speeches related to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). I don’t mean to point out the obvious here—but what do those attorneys think a sermon is? It’s a speech. According to an amended motion filed Friday in Harris County, Texas court, the city’s attorneys will no longer demand sermons related to homosexuals, gender identity, or Mayor Annise Parker—Houston’s first openly lesbian mayor. The amended subpoenas do require the pastors to turn over...
  • UK Student Union Boycotts Israel—But Won’t Condemn ISIS (or support Kurds against them)

    10/17/2014 10:50:00 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    INN ^ | 10/16/2014, 11:29 PM | Ari Soffer
    The UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) has rejected a motion condemning the radical Islamic State terrorist group—also known as ISIS or ISIL—on the grounds that it could be considered “Islamophobic,” sparking a row over the dominance of radical-left groups within the student body. The decision by NUS’s National Executive Committee to shoot down the motion is all the more shocking given that the same body adopted an aggressive bill just over two months ago condemning Israel and calling for a boycott of the Jewish state. The anti-Israel motion was adopted despite objections that it risked alienating Jewish students, who...
  • ISIS in Jets for First Time, US Reportedly Trains Rebel Pilots

    10/17/2014 10:40:12 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 38 replies
    INN ^ | 10/17/2014, 1:59 PM | Ari Yashar
    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed on Friday that the brutal Islamic State (ISIS) terror group has begun training pilots on three captured fighter jets, relying on the knowledge of Iraqi pilots who have joined the group. Rami Abdul Rahman, director of the monitoring group, said witnesses in northern Syria have seen the group flying the three MiG 21 or MiG 23 model jets above the al-Jarrah airbase east of Aleppo, in the first instance of ISIS going airborne, reports Reuters. […] ISIS has captured several fighter jets during its conquest of Syria and Iraq. In August it...
  • Barroso defends his EU legacy, criticizes ‘anti-foreigner’ euroskeptics

    10/17/2014 3:13:34 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 15.10.14 @ 10:32 | Honor Mahony
    With two weeks to go until he is formally out of office and, as of yet, with no fixed onward job, Jose Manuel Barroso is a politician concerned with his legacy. […] He argues the EU has emerged stronger from the crisis, equipped with around 40 new pieces of legislation dealing with financial supervision—and a whole lot more power for the European Commission. “We have powers that our predecessors could not even dream of,” he says, highlighting the commission’s new right to “reject” draft national budgets. […] Asked about the roots of euroskepticism—a stronger political phenomenon in recent years—he says...
  • Some in Congress expand their job title on ballot

    10/17/2014 2:05:33 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 16, 2014 10:15 PM EDT | Kevin Freking
    David Valadao is a Republican member of Congress from California, but voters in his agriculture-heavy district won’t necessarily recognize that he’s the incumbent when they cast their vote. Instead, he’ll be listed on the ballot as “farmer/small businessman.” Farther north, Democratic Rep. Ami Bera is highlighting some of his other credentials—as well as congressman. Bera will be listed as “doctor/teacher/congressman.” Running against him in the Sacramento suburbs, Republican Doug Ose, a former three-term congressman, describes himself as “small business owner.” State law does not allow him to cite his former job as a congressman. California is unusual in that it...
  • Iowa’s Braley, Ernst duel over abortion in debate

    10/17/2014 1:58:41 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 16, 2014 10:49 PM EDT | Thomas Beaumont
    Republican candidate Joni Ernst defended her opposition to abortion rights during Thursday’s final debate between her and Iowa Democrat Bruce Braley in their neck-and-neck race for a U.S. Senate seat, but she said for the first time that she might support a legal exception to save the life of the mother. The issue has come to define the final weeks of their campaigns to succeed retiring Democrat Sen. Tom Harkin. Polls show more women support Braley, a congressman from northeast Iowa, and more men back Ernst, a state senator from southwest Iowa. Braley and allied groups are pressing the abortion...
  • (George) Galloway Won’t be Prosecuted Over ‘Israel-Free Zone’ Remarks

    10/17/2014 1:46:31 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 11 replies
    INN ^ | 10/15/2014, 7:17 PM | Elad Benari
    Anti-Israel British MP George Galloway will not be prosecuted over remarks in a speech during which he declared that his constituency, Bradford, was “an Israel-free zone”, reports Jewish News Online. The comments, made by the Bradford West MP in August, caused an outcry on social media and complaints were made to West Yorkshire Police. On Wednesday, the force said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) did not believe there was sufficient evidence to support charges but also said it had logged it as a “hate incident”. …
  • Sinn Féin chief Adams accused of IRA rape cover-up

    10/16/2014 4:33:56 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 24 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 16, 2014 4:54 PM EDT | Shawn Pogatchnik
    Sinn Féin party leader Gerry Adams denied new accusations Thursday that he concealed child-abuse crimes within his own secretive movement, this time allegedly committed by a Belfast officer of the outlawed Irish Republican Army. Mairia Cahill, a member of one of Belfast’s top IRA families, appeared alongside a former foreign minister outside Ireland’s parliament to accuse Adams of conspiring to suppress her reports of being raped by an IRA commander from Adams’ home district in 1997, when she was 16. …
  • Sen. Cruz criticizes Houston over sermon subpoenas

    10/16/2014 4:20:02 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 15 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 16, 2014 7:05 PM EDT | Michael Graczyk
    U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz told congregants of his home church Thursday that the city of Houston abused power by subpoenaing sermons and other documents from pastors who publicly opposed a local ordinance banning discrimination against gay and transgender residents. Cruz, standing among more than a dozen clergy at First Baptist Church in Houston, described the subpoenas as an “abuse of government power” and another illustration of the “indefensible assault by the government on religious liberties.” …
  • EU parliament’s euro-skeptic bloc collapses

    10/16/2014 7:29:39 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    Deutsche Welle ^ | 16.10.2014 | ipj/es (AFP, Reuters, dpa)
    A Euro-skeptic bloc within the European Parliament has collapsed. A Latvian member has pulled out of the group, breaching an EU rule that at least seven countries must be represented in a parliamentary faction. […] The exit also prompted European Parliament President Martin Schulz to postpone the assembly’s decision over this year’s Sacharov human rights prize until Tuesday next week. Nominees include Ukraine’s pro-EU Maidan protesters. […] There was a celebratory response from the main center-right European People’s Party (EPP) faction in the parliament, which alternates its sittings between Brussels and Strasbourg. “First defeat for euro-skeptics!” the EPP responded in...
  • In a government address, Merkel urges dialogue with Russia

    10/16/2014 7:21:14 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    Deutsche Welle ^ | 16.10.14
    In a 20-minute address to the German parliament on Thursday, covering a range of policy issues, German Chancellor Angela Merkel placed emphasis on the crisis in Ukraine. Merkel’s speech came ahead of direct talks with Russian and Ukrainian leaders at the European-Asian ASEM summit that also opens on Thursday in the Italian city of Milan. “The situation on the ground in Ukraine is dire,” Merkel said in front of Bundestag lawmakers, adding: “I will speak face-to-face with [Russian President Vladimir Putin] and [Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko] about ways to move forward in constructive fashion while in Milan.” […] Merkel’s address...
  • German jihadist in Syria threatens ‘filthy’ Merkel

    10/16/2014 5:59:31 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 16 Oct 2014 10:50 GMT+02:00
    A German Islamist fighting for the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria has released a propaganda video threatening Germans and Chancellor Angela Merkel. […] The German jihadist, who has the name Abu Dauoud al-Almani, first rants against the US and President Barack Obama, before turning his attention to his homeland. “The same to you O Germans and to filthy Merkel who gave gifts to Israel” He then calls for his “brothers” in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to join jihad. …
  • [Palestinian Authority] PA Cited for Anti-Semitic Works at Int’l Book Fair (Frankfurt, Germany)

    10/15/2014 9:46:15 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    INN ^ | Wednesday, October 15, 2014 7:39 AM | Moshe Philips and Benyamin Korn
    International donors this week praised the leaders of the Palestinian Authority as moderate peace-seekers who can be trusted with billions of dollars in aid for Gaza—at the very same time the PA was being named “second worst offender” for distributing anti-Semitic publications at Europe's largest book fair. The European branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, headed by Dr. Shimon Samuels, this week released its list of those who circulated anti-Semitic books and magazines at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest annual gathering of publishers in Europe. Qatar was cited as the “Worst Offender of 2014.” But the Qataris had stiff...
  • Wal-Mart cuts sales outlook amid tough economy

    10/15/2014 9:35:56 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 31 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 15, 2014 7:43 PM EDT | Anne D’Innocenzio
    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. cut its revenue outlook for its current fiscal year as it announced it is scaling back its expansion plans for its supercenters next year and stepping up investments in its online operations. The world’s largest retailer, blaming an overall tough economy, now expects annual sales to be up 2 to 3 percent for its fiscal year ending in January. That is down from its earlier guidance of sales growth at the low end of a 3 to 5 percent range. Wal-Mart’s diminished outlook increases concern about prospects for the critical holiday shopping season that kicks off late...
  • Lawmaker sworn in with bash that busts tradition (Kevin de León, CA Senate)

    10/15/2014 9:07:19 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 15, 2014 11:43 PM EDT
    Democratic Sen. Kevin de León was sworn in as the first Latino to head the California Senate in more than a century with an expensive and out-of-the-ordinary soirée Wednesday night in downtown Los Angeles. The event at Walt Disney Concert Hall with an estimated price tag of $50,000 resembled a presidential inaugural more than the low-key affairs at the state Capitol held by past senate leaders. […] The California Latino Legislative Caucus Foundation, which receives donations from special interests seeking influence in the Legislature, picked up the tab for the event and organizers emphasized no taxpayer money was involved. …
  • News Guide: New Koch super PAC reports donors

    10/15/2014 7:45:43 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 15, 2014 7:43 PM EDT | Philip Elliott
    Some of the most powerful political committees faced a Wednesday deadline to reveal how much cash they raised and spent during July, August and September. It was likely to be one the last times before Nov. 4’s elections that voters could see how millions of dollars were flowing into outside campaign groups. Only groups that report their money in three-month windows were filing Wednesday. …
  • [North Carolina] Gov. to French, Irish: Don’t mess with our tobacco

    10/15/2014 2:56:14 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 15, 2014 4:31 PM EDT | Jonathan Drew
    In a Trans-Atlantic debate over cigarette packaging, North Carolina’s governor poses a rhetorical question to the Irish and French governments: Would Guinness be recognizable labeled simply as “beer?” Or would champagne sell as well in a bottle lacking its distinctive curves? Gov. Pat McCrory has written letters to French and Irish officials decrying plans in those countries to force manufacturers to package their cigarettes in plain containers. McCrory argues farmers and manufacturers in the top U.S. tobacco-producing state would be hurt by the proposals to remove brand logos and colors from cigarette boxes. “Plain packaging laws are a direct assault...
  • ACLU lawyer given Justice Dept. civil rights post

    10/15/2014 2:30:15 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 15, 2014 5:15 PM EDT | Eric Tucker
    An American Civil Liberties Union attorney was named Wednesday to be the acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Vanita Gupta, who has served for the past four years as deputy legal director of the ACLU and director of its Center for Justice, starts at the Justice Department next week. She previously worked as a lawyer at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. A person familiar with the process said President Barack Obama plans to nominate Gupta to serve in the job permanently. The person was not authorized to discuss the selection process by name and spoke on the...
  • New Record: Federal Tax Revenues Top $3T for 1st Time

    10/15/2014 1:29:05 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 10 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | October 15, 2014 - 2:52 PM | Ali Meyer
    Inflation-adjusted federal tax revenues not only hit a record high in fiscal 2014, but marked the first time that tax revenues have ever topped $3 trillion, according to the latest Monthly Treasury Statement. In fiscal year 2014, inflation-adjusted federal tax revenues hit a record $3,020,848,000,000, but the federal government still ran a $483,350,000,000 deficit during that time. Each month, the Treasury publishes the government’s “total receipts,” including all revenue from individual income taxes, corporate income taxes, social insurance and retirement taxes (including Social Security and Medicare taxes), unemployment insurance taxes, excise taxes, estate and gift taxes, customs duties, and “miscellaneous...
  • Small Liberal Group Isn’t Denying Using Automated Software to Target Tweets at Limbaugh Advertisers

    10/15/2014 1:23:41 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | October 15, 2014 - 1:04 PM | Michael W. Chapman
    A small group of liberal activists who want conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh off the air are not denying—as stated in an investigative report posted on Limbaugh’s website—that they have used automated software to generate massive numbers of negative tweets to companies they apparently have never patronized but that advertise on Limbaugh’s show. The automated generation of massive numbers of Tweets may be in violation of Twitter’s own rules. However, Twitter declined to directly comment on the matter—instead pointing CNSNews.com to its user rules. On Sept. 23, the rushlimbaugh.com website posted an extensive investigative report, The Hidden Story Behind Stop...
  • New York factory growth at slowest pace in 6 mos.

    10/15/2014 11:50:46 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 11 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 15, 2014 9:11 AM EDT | Christopher S. Rugaber
    New York manufacturers are growing at the slowest pace in six months as new orders shrink and shipments barely rise. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Wednesday that its Empire State Manufacturing index dropped to 6.2 in October, down sharply from a five-year high of 27.5 in September. Any figure above zero indicates growth. October’s reading is the lowest since April. …
  • Obama cancels campaign trip to focus on Ebola

    10/15/2014 10:30:03 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 53 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 15, 2014 1:01 PM EDT | Jim Kuhnhenn and Josh Lederman
    President Barack Obama abruptly canceled a planned campaign trip Wednesday and planned to convene his Cabinet at the White House instead, as U.S. officials grappled with the widening Ebola crisis. The White House said Obama’s trip to New Jersey and Connecticut would be postponed to a later date. Obama was to speak to reporters on Wednesday afternoon after meeting with top officials who are coordinating the government’s response to Ebola. Obama’s decision to nix the trip—just a few hours before Air Force One was scheduled to depart—reflected the urgency facing the administration amid the American public’s escalating concerns about potential...
  • ISIS ‘Declares War on Christians’

    10/14/2014 5:12:46 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 39 replies
    INN ^ | 10/14/2014, 4:00 PM | Dalit Halevy, Tova Dvorin
    Islamic State (ISIS) has published a new edition of the propaganda booklet Dabiq, which is again signaling its primary enemy—Christianity. On the cover page of the booklet is a photo of the Vatican bearing the ISIS flag, along with the terror group’s desires to conquer Rome and “break the cross.” According to some Islamic traditions, the founder of Islam Mohammed predicted that the occupation of the three cities of Istanbul, Jerusalem and Rome pave the way for the appearance of the Mahdi, the Islamic Messiah. The declaration surfaces amid growing concern over the widespread persecution of Christians in the Middle...
  • Pocono property taxes are worst in Pa.

    10/14/2014 5:09:24 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 14 replies
    Pocono Record ^ | Oct 13, 2014 at 12:18 PM | David Pierce
    Pennsylvania property tax relief should be targeted to taxpayers in the few school districts—most particularly in Monroe County—with the highest tax burdens, without completely eliminating school property taxes statewide, says a new report. High property taxes are a problem in only 30 of Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts, according to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center report released last week. Monroe County’s four school districts rank among the top five districts statewide for percentage of taxable household income going to pay property taxes. […] The average total property tax bill in Monroe County is between $3,000 and $4,000. Households in the...
  • Anaheim cuts power, water to shut down pot shops (California)

    10/14/2014 1:14:36 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 42 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 14, 2014 3:24 PM EDT
    Anaheim is literally pulling the plug on pot shops that keep popping up despite a law forbidding the businesses. Officials have used its operation of utilities to cut off water and power to dispensaries in the city that’s home to Disneyland, the Orange County Register reported Tuesday. …
  • Supreme Court won’t touch foie gras ban (California’s ban)

    10/14/2014 12:22:09 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 69 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 14, 2014 9:41 AM EDT
    The Supreme Court is allowing California to continue enforcing a law that bans the sale of foie gras. The justices on Tuesday rejected a challenge to the law from producers of the delicacy in New York and Canada. …
  • British ex-PM Blair may have been terrorism target, court hears

    10/14/2014 10:33:43 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    Reuters ^ | Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:07am EDT | Michael Holden
    A man charged in Britain with terrorism offenses at a trial so sensitive that prosecutors sought to have it heard entirely in secret might have been planning an attack on ex-prime minister Tony Blair, a court heard on Tuesday. Erol Incedal, 26, was arrested in October last year with another man, Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadja, who last week admitted possessing a bomb-making document on a memory card, prosecutor Richard Whittam said. Incedal, who lives in London and is a British citizen, denies charges of preparing for acts of terrorism with unnamed others abroad and possessing information useful to terrorism. …
  • Diplomats: EU weighs steps to curb settlements, including blacklisting convicted settlers

    10/14/2014 10:15:52 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    Reuters via Jerusalem Post ^ | 10/14/2014 17:29 | (Luke Baker)
    European officials are looking at new ways to press Israel to halt its building of settlements on land the Palestinians want for a state, as frustration over the construction program reaches a new high, European diplomats say. The discussions are at an early stage, but officials say the European Union may look at stopping Jewish settlers convicted of crimes from visiting the EU and could examine the fine print of a free-trade agreement, although there is no talk of sanctions. A series of steps by Israel in recent weeks, including the seizure of 1,000 acres of land near the Palestinian...
  • France says will recognize Palestinian state if negotiations fail

    10/14/2014 10:11:16 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    Reuters via Jerusalem Post ^ | 10/14/2014 19:18 | (Reuters: John Irish)
    France’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that Paris should recognize a Palestinian state only if doing so would help achieve peace, not as a symbolic gesture. However, if negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel fail, Paris “would not shirk its responsibilities” but would recognize the Palestinian state, the minister, Laurent Fabius, said in answer to a question in parliament. His remarks came a day after British lawmakers voted to recognize Palestine. Their vote will not alter government policy, but it does carry symbolic value as Palestinians pursue international recognition. “From the moment when we say that there are two states,...
  • Americans face post-foreclosure hell as wages garnished, assets seized

    10/14/2014 10:06:40 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 75 replies
    Reuters ^ | Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:35am EDT | Michelle Conlin
    Many thousands of Americans who lost their homes in the housing bust, but have since begun to rebuild their finances, are suddenly facing a new foreclosure nightmare: debt collectors are chasing them down for the money they still owe by freezing their bank accounts, garnishing their wages and seizing their assets. By now, banks have usually sold the houses. But the proceeds of those sales were often not enough to cover the amount of the loan, plus penalties, legal bills and fees. The two big government-controlled housing finance companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as other mortgage players,...
  • Golders Green MP Resigns Gov’t Role Over UK ‘Palestine’ Vote

    10/14/2014 9:38:08 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    INN ^ | 10/14/2014, 2:18 PM | Tova Dvorin
    The British MP representing two of London’s primary Jewish neighborhoods resigned as a parliamentary private secretary on Monday, in direct protest of the UK’s vote to recognize “Palestine.” Following the resignation—which he announced on Twitter—MP Mike Freer stated he had no regrets. “I had to vote and it was therefore easy to quit,” Freer told the British Jewish News daily on Tuesday. “It would have been easy to hide behind the protocol, but the two-state solution we all want to see should be the end, not start, of the process. The Government had to follow the protocol, but the irony...
  • Divided Bosnia elects nationalists

    10/13/2014 10:50:10 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EurActiv ^ | Published: 13/10/2014 - 10:53 | Updated: 13/10/2014 - 14:52 | (With Reuters)
    Nationalists with little shared vision of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s future were in the lead in an election for the three-person presidency yesterday (12 October), likely portending more dysfunction in a country still haunted by the divisions of a 1992-95 war. Based on a partial vote-count, authorities said Bakir Izetbegović, Dragan Čović and Željka Cvijanović were out in front in the race for the tri-partite state presidency, as the Bosniak, Croat and Serb representatives respectively. […] Izetbegovic campaigned on the need for a strong, unified state, Čović on the creation of a Croat entity within Bosnia, while Cvijanović is part of...
  • Report: In EU, renewable energy is the first recipient of state aid

    10/13/2014 10:46:44 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 13/10/2014 - 17:01
    The European Commission published a study on Monday (13 October) providing the first full dataset on energy costs and subsidies for the 28 member countries across the different power generation technologies, revealing that the largest share of public intervention in the energy sector has been in favor of solar and on-shore wind energy. The results show that in 2012, the total value of public intervention in energy in the member countries has been between €120-140 billion. The report finds that the largest amounts of current public support in 2012 went to renewables, in particular to solar (€14.7 billion) and onshore...