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Foundation Addresses Disclosure Of $31M Canadian Donation, Re-Filing IRS
The Clinton Foundation acknowledged Sunday that the nonprofit group “made mistakes” in IRS filings and defended its disclosure of controversial contributions from a Canadian financier, following days of intense public scrutiny about foundation finances. “We made mistakes, as many organizations of our size do, but we are acting quickly to remedy them,” foundation executive Maura Pally wrote on the foundation website. “And [we] have taken steps to ensure they don't happen in the future.” The donations were called into question last week by Peter Schweizer, author of the soon-to-be-released book “Clinton Cash.” Fox News
VOA VIEW: Not mistakes, well designed subterfuge that was uncovered.
Cruz: Democratic Party Home To 'Liberal Fascism' Against Christians
Sen. Ted Cruz argued Saturday that Democrats have become so extreme and "intolerant" of religious views that "there is no room for Christians in today's Democratic Party." "There is a liberal fascism that is dedicated to going after believing Christians who follow the biblical teaching on marriage," the Texas Republican said in his speech before a Christian conservative audience in Waukee, Iowa. Cruz joined eight other presidential candidates and potential contenders on stage at the Iowa Faith and Freedom summit, where speakers railed against what they see as threats to religious liberty. For his part, Cruz alluded to business that faced pushback for declining to cater to same-sex weddings. CNN
Of Violence Stain Peaceful Baltimore Protests Over Freddie Gray Death
The demonstrations set off by the death of Freddie Gray have been mostly peaceful, but some Baltimore residents have seized the opportunity to protest violently. At least 12 people have been arrested. Windows of police cars and stores have been targetted by violent protesters. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake condemned "agitators" who generated the violence, stating she was "profoundly disappointed." Rawlings-Blake spoke alongside Gray's twin sister, Fredericka. Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts commended the efforts of peaceful protesters who tried to defuse the situation. UPI News
VOA VIEW: There will be continued violent protests until the protestors are treated like the terrorists they are.
U.S. Court Appears On Cusp Of Declaring Right To Gay Marriage
The U.S. Supreme Court's arguments on Tuesday over same-sex marriage will cap more than two decades of litigation and a transformation in public attitudes. Based on the court's actions during the past two years, a sense of inevitability is in the air: That a majority is on the verge of declaring gay marriage legal nationwide. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court's pivotal member on gay rights, has been marching in this direction with opinions dating to 1996. In his most recent gay rights decision for the court in 2013, rejecting a legal definition of marriage limited to a man and woman for purposes of federal benefits, Kennedy deplored that U.S. law for making gay marriages "unequal." Reuters
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Responds: "Reporting For Duty" To Protect The White House
Senator John McCain responded in kind on Sunday to President Barack Obama's joke at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner that his 2008 presidential rival that could be the White House's best line of defense against recent security breaches. "I'm reporting for duty on Monday morning in my usual laid back, casual style," McCain, a former Navy pilot, said on CNN's "State of the Union." '"I'm telling you: I'll get that Secret Service squared away." At the correspondents' annual dinner, Obama displayed a photoshopped image of the 78-year-old Arizona Republican holding a broom and the president said he had come up with "a fool proof way to keep people off my lawn." CNN
Guard Called Up To Deliver Water In Minnesota Bird Flu Fight
The Minnesota State Emergency Operations Center has called on the National Guard to deliver water for use in the effort to contain the rapidly spreading avian flu virus, the center said on Sunday. Starting Monday, 30 National Guard soldiers and 15 military water trucks from the Willmar, Minnesota-based 682nd Engineer Battalion and the Brooklyn Park-based A Company, 134th Brigade Support Battalion will be used, the center said in a statement. Large volumes of water are needed for the foam-based systems being used to cull flocks on infected turkey farms in a bid to contain the spread of the H5N2 virus, the statement said. The guard members will work through Wednesday as additional water transport resources are identified. Reuters
Pacts Worth Billions Reveal Beijing's Ambitions
China might just have a new bestie. The U.S. rival wooed Pakistan with sweet words and hard cash this week, part of a two-way lovefest less about mutual investment than Beijing's deepening ambitions for the region. "My friend's lovely image dwells in the mirror of my heart; I tilt my head slightly, and here it comes into my sight," China's President Xi Jinping proclaimed in an editorial in the Daily Times newspaper at the start of a two-day trip to Pakistan, quoting an Urdu poem. "This will be my first trip to Pakistan, but I feel as if I am going to visit the home of my own brother." Xi's flowery language set the stage for some serious announcements. MSNBC
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Hospitals Swamped As Quake Toll Rises, Aftershocks Rattle
Overwhelmed doctors moved hundreds of patients onto the streets of Nepal's capital on Sunday when aftershocks rattled hospitals and buildings already damaged by an earthquake that killed more than 2,400 people and devastated Kathmandu valley. Sick and wounded people lay on a dusty road outside Kathmandu Medical College while hospital workers carried more patients out of the building on stretchers and sacks. Doctors set up an operating theater inside a tent and rushed in the most critical, following a particularly big tremor that sent people running terrified into the streets. MSNBC
New Nanny: Over A Third Of Babies Now Use Smartphones
The news is startling pediatricians. A new medical study reveals that the tiniest Americans are tapping on smartphones and tablets even before they learn to walk or talk, and by 1 year of age, one in seven toddlers is using devices for at least an hour a day. The research found that even a third of the babies under a year could scroll down the screen, while a fourth managed to actually call someone. “We didn’t expect children were using the devices from the age of 6 months. Some children were on the screen for as long as 30 minutes,” says Dr. Hilda Kabali, lead author of the study, which was conducted among 370 parents and their babies at a pediatrics clinic in the Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. Washington Times
Accuses U.S. Of Aiding Islamic Separatists
In a new documentary, Russian President Vladimir Putin says intercepted calls showed that the U.S. helped separatists in Russia's North Caucasus in the 2000s, underscoring his suspicions of the West. The two-hour documentary, which began airing Sunday afternoon on the state-owned Rossiya-1 TV channel, is dedicated to Putin's 15 years in office. It focused on Putin's achievements as well as challenges to his rule - which the producers and Putin blame on Western interference. Putin was elected Russian president on March 26, 2000, after spending three months as acting president, and was sworn in on May 7, 2000. CBS
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Cruz Facebook Interactions More Than Double Those Of Jeb Bush Nationally
Interactions on the social platform Facebook related to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas more than doubled those of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush during a period measured earlier this month according to data -- which is approximate -- provided to ABC News by Facebook. Facebook, which measured the data from April 17 to April 23, reported 2.2 million interactions related to Cruz and about 1 million interactions related to Bush. Facebook defines "interactions" on the social platform as posts, comments, likes and shares. Bush is exploring a run for the White House while Cruz has officially declared his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race. ABC
Cash' Author Defends Upcoming Book
The author of a forthcoming book on Hillary Clinton and foreign donations made to her family's foundation defended the accuracy of his research, saying in an interview on ABC's "This Week" today that while he found "no direct evidence" she took official action at the State Department to benefit donors to her family's foundation, the "smoking gun is in the pattern of behavior." Peter Schweizer's book, "Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich," highlights instances in which domestic and foreign companies with pending interests before the State Department made large donations to the Clinton's charitable enterprises or, in some cases, helped underwrite the former president's speeches. The Clinton campaign has adamantly denied these reports, saying Schweizer's book is a distraction and does not produce a "shred of evidence" that she took official action on behalf of donors. ABC
VOA VIEW: Only a fool would believe foreign governments paid millions for no direct favor or benefits.
Stocks Lead Mideast Gains After U.S. Record, Oil’s Advance
Dubai stocks climbed, tracking a record close in U.S. equities, after the price of Brent crude rose to the highest since December. Abu Dhabi shares also gained. Dubai’s DFM General Index added 2.1 percent to close at 4,172.14, the highest since Dec. 1. Gulf Navigation Holding, a shipping company specializing in oil and chemicals, was Dubai’s biggest percentage gainer, advancing the most in more than four months. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index strengthened 0.8 percent, the most since April 2. Bloomberg
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Spike In HIV Cases Draws CDC Alert In Indiana
An Indiana county is experiencing nearly daily increases in new HIV infections tied to intravenous drug use, and health officials hope the situation prompts other states to closely track their hepatitis C and HIV rates to identify potential clusters of the diseases. Indiana state health officials said Friday that the number of positive HIV tests so far this year has jumped to 142 in Scott County, which saw just three new HIV cases between 2009 and 2013, and has never seen more than five cases in a year, health officials said. The new number includes 136 confirmed cases and 6 preliminary positives in the county, about 30 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky. CBS
Renews Push To End CIA Control Of Drone Strikes
Senator John McCain renewed an effort to end the CIA’s control over U.S. drone strikes after an attack on an al-Qaeda compound in Pakistan killed two hostages. Now that drones have become “an integral part” of U.S. military operations, it makes sense for such air strikes to be managed by the nation’s armed services rather than by spy agencies, the Arizona Republican said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, acknowledged his bias in seeking to give the Defense Department greater control, adding that the military has “the capabilities and the equipment” that the Central Intelligence Agency lacks to conduct effective drone strikes. Bloomberg
Bratton: Less Tension Between City Officials, Union
New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says there's "much less tension" between the police union and city officials now than there was in the aftermath of the chokehold death of a Staten Island man last year. Bratton spoke Sunday on the CBS program "Face the Nation." New Yorkers protested the death last July of Eric Garner after police placed him in a chokehold on a Staten Island street. The incident was a flashpoint triggering discord between New York City officials and the police union. Bratton says he thinks New York has mostly recovered from that. The police commissioner says there's "much less tension, fortunately, in that regard." Las Vegas Sun
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Wants White House To Stop Threatening US Families Willing To Pay Ransom
A review panel is purportedly set to recommend that the White House drop its threat to prosecute Americans who try to negotiate with foreign kidnappers or pay ransom to them for family members. According to ABC News, which first reported the story, the news comes from one of three “senior officials” familiar with the White House-ordered study by the National Counterterrorism Center, led by Army Lt. Gen. Bennet Sacolick. "There will be absolutely zero chance of any family member of an American held hostage overseas ever facing jail themselves, or even the threat of prosecution, for trying to free their loved ones," the source told ABC. The White House National Security Council told Fox News on Sunday that it has no recommendations to preview. Fox News
Time To Lose: Global Response To Nepal Quake Gears Up
There is still time to save lives — that's why governments and aid agencies Sunday rushed doctors, volunteers and equipment to Nepal without waiting for the dust to settle. U.N. spokeswoman Orla Fagan, who is heading to Nepal, said preventing the spread of disease is one of the most important tasks facing aid workers who are arriving. "There are 14 international medical teams on the way and either 14 or 15 international search-and-rescue teams on the way," she said. "They need to get in as soon as possible. They will use military aircraft to get them into Nepal." Las Vegas Sun
Hackers Obtained Some Of President Obama's Emails
Russian hackers were able to obtain some of President Obama's unclassified emails last year. The emails were obtained during a breach of the White House's unclassified computer system, according to the New York Times. The classified servers and the president's Blackberry were not accessed. The information hackers could have obtained from the unclassified emails might include schedules, diplomatic communications and policy discussions. The content and amount of emails accessed have not been released. The Times claims the White House receives computer threats daily, but this attack was more sophisticated than others. UPI
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Kills 4 Terrorists Who Crossed Into Israel From Syria And Planted Bombs
The Israel Air Force struck and killed four terrorists who crossed into Israel from Syria and planted explosives near an abandoned IDF post on Sunday night said, a senior IDF source. The source declined to say which organization the terror cell belonged to, saying it was too soon for such details. The incident, which occurred at 21:30 in the northern Golan Heights near Majdal Shams, began when Combat Intelligence Collection Units identified four suspects planting the explosives on the eastern side of the border fence, within Israeli territory. The suspects were placed under a top priority observation for several minutes, before action was taken. The IDF confirmed that the terrorists were in fact planting bombs, before ordering an air strike, the source said. "We could see them planting the explosives clearly," he added. Jerusalem Post
Iran Is Currently Seeking To Smuggle Advanced Arms To Hezbollah
Iran is in the midst of an effort to arm Hezbollah and Hamas, and Israel will not tolerate the transfer of advanced weaponry to its enemies, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said on Sunday, a day after a report by Al Jazeera said the Israel Air Force struck Assad regime military bases housing long-range missiles in Syria. Addressing an audience that had gathered to mark Israel's 67th Independence Day at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Ya'alon said that "Iran is continuing to try and arm Hezbollah, including during these current days, and it is aspiring to equip the Lebanese terrorist organization with advanced and precise weapons." Jerusalem Post
Ghana Told To
Stop New Oil Drilling In Disputed Waters
Ghana has been told by an international tribunal not to begin any new offshore drilling for oil in disputed waters with the Ivory Coast. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea did, however, allow Ghana to continue developing current oilfields. These include the so called-Ten fields, part owned by UK firm Tullow Oil.
Ivory Coast had asked that all drilling be suspended, but the tribunal ruled this would risk "considerable financial loss" to Ghana. Instead, it told the West African nation to "take all necessary steps to ensure than no new drilling either by Ghana or under its control takes place in the disputed area" and to "refrain from granting any new permit for oil exploration and exploitation in the disputed area". BBC
Profit Hit By Legal Costs
Deutsche Bank has reported a sharp fall in profits after setting aside €1.5bn ($1.6bn; £1.1bn) to cover legal costs and regulatory fines. Net income for the first three months of the year was €559m, down by a half on a year earlier. Revenue rose by almost a quarter to €10.4bn. The bank had already disclosed it had set aside the €1.5bn. The results come just days after the bank was fined €2.3bn for trying to manipulate inter-bank lending rates. The sharp jump in revenue to "near record levels" reflected a "strong performance across businesses and a favourable impact of foreign exchange movements", the bank said in a statement. BBC
Finance Minister Hints At Strained EU Relations
The gulf between Greece and its creditors widened yet further on Sunday with the crisis-hit country’s finance minister brazenly tweeting that he has become a target of hate. Upping the ante in what has increasingly become a war of nerves, Yanis Varoufakis took on his opponents by making use of one of Franklin D Roosevelt’s most memorable lines. “FDR, 1936: ‘they are unanimous in their hate for me; and I welcome their hatred’. A quotation close to my heart (& reality) these days,” he wrote.
The intervention appeared to confirm reports that Varoufakis had received an excoriating dressing-down from exasperated eurozone counterparts in Riga on Friday. One participant felt fit to describe the celebrity finance minister as “a time-waster, a gambler and an amateur”. Guardian
Clinton Plays 'Gender Card' To Win
Clinton was in her element at Tina Brown’s Women of the World Summit in New York, melding the girls-and-women message championed by a former secretary of state with the emerging confidence of an unabashedly female – if not outright feminist – candidate. But she went further. She called out conservatives for “denying women equal pay”. She called sexual assault a “continuing scourge”. Of reproductive rights, she said “religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed”. “The fight we must wage,” Clinton said, is ensuring all children have the same opportunities as her granddaughter – though perhaps without the blanket of American royalty. “We are so close,” she told the crowd. “Closer than we’ve ever been.” Guardian
VOA VIEW: Hillary has become feminist mad.
For David Cameron As 5,000 Small Firms Back Conservatives
The Conservatives have received a major endorsement from British businesses after the leaders of 5,000 small companies signed a letter backing David Cameron and warned that Labour would pose a risk to the economic recovery. The firms, which employ nearly 100,000 people across the country, have signed a letter which states that they “would like to see David Cameron and George Osborne given the chance to finish what they have started”. In a major intervention 10 days before the general election, the businesses praise Conservative economic plans and say that the Tories are “genuinely committed to making sure Britain is open for business”. Telegraph
Thrive In Single Sex Schools Because They Do Not Have To Impress Boys,
Single sex education is better for teenage girls as it takes the pressure off them to try and impress boys in a “sexualised world”, the headmistress of one of Britain's best boarding schools has claimed. Rhiannon Wilkinson, head of Wycombe Abbey in Buckinghamshire, suggested female pupils were allowed to "remain girls for longer" at boarding school so they can focus on their work. She added single boys hold girls back because girls mature faster and it is best for their education to grow in a "boys free" environment. Speaking to the Telegraph, she said: "My wide educational experience in both mixed and girls’ schools has shown me clearly that girls are best served educationally in their teenage years in a boy-free work environment. Telegraph
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