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NEWS   THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2016   NEWS

Paul Ryan: GOP Nominee Will Be Chosen 'Fairly And Transparently'
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday the Republican Party's presidential nominee will be chosen in accordance with the convention rules "fairly and transparently." "It's going to be done fairly and transparently by the rules and that's really all I can say because I just don't know where this will go," Ryan, who as House speaker will serve as the party's convention chairman, told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day." Ryan's emphasis on transparency and fairness is likely response to concerns raised by Republican front-runner Donald Trump that the nomination process is "rigged." "We are a country based upon a very important principle -- the rule of law. And that means, we don't bend the rules based on the wins of the day," Ryan said. CNN
VOA VIEW: The Republican Party would self-destruct if they cheat Trump out of the nomination.

Obama To Visit Flint To Discuss Water Crisis
President Barack Obama next week will make his first trip to Flint, Michigan, since the city was found to have lead-tainted drinking water, a trip aimed at reassuring residents their plight hasn't been forgotten and pressuring Congress to approve economic aid, the White House said Wednesday. Obama is due to receive a briefing on the federal effort to assist in the cleanup and to hear directly from Flint residents about the toll the contamination has had on their health and their lives. Obama said he plans to "use my voice to call for change" in Flint. The city's water system became tainted in 2014 when it removed itself from the Detroit water system and began drawing water from the Flint River to save money. Regulators failed to ensure the water was properly treated and lead from old pipes leached into the water supply. CNS News

Trump Calls For US Foreign Policy Shake-Up, No More 'Nation-Building'
Donald Trump, in a highly anticipated speech on the heels of his primary-contest sweep across the Northeast, called Wednesday for a drastic shake-up in America’s foreign policy – including “getting out of the nation-building business” and demanding NATO allies pay their “fair share” or be left to “defend themselves.” “It’s time to shake the rust off America’s foreign policy,” the Republican presidential front-runner said. In what was billed as a major policy speech, Trump called for an “America first” approach. To that theme, Trump voiced skepticism toward international deals like NAFTA and said a Trump administration would not allow the U.S. to enter agreements that reduce America’s ability to control its own affairs. He panned what he described as the “false song of globalism.” Fox News
VOA VIEW: America first is long time coming.

Labor Agency Files Complaint Against VW On Row With UAW In Tennessee
The U.S. National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday filed an unfair labor practices complaint against Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) for not bargaining with a portion of plant workers at its Tennessee plant represented by the United Auto Workers union. Under board procedure, employers must formally refuse to recognise a union certified by the NLRB in order to bring the case to U.S. appeals courts. As the board earlier this month said Volkswagen workers could join the UAW, the agency will likely soon rule against Volkswagen, allowing the company to appeal. On Monday, Volkswagen said it planned to take the matter, eventually, to a U.S. appeals court. Reuters

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Vets Hit VA With Federal Lawsuit Over Camp Lejeune Water Poisoning
The quest for answers for thousands of veterans sickened -- in some cases terminally -- by contaminated water at Camp Lejuene has been stymied by a federal agency that refuses to hand over key documents, attorneys from Yale Law School charged Wednesday. The Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in federal court Wednesday against the Department of Veterans Affairs for allegedly withholding information on a group of "experts" denying claims for scores of veterans exposed to cancer-causing chemicals at the North Carolina base. Fox News

Sanders Laying Off Hundreds Of Campaign Staffers
Bernie Sanders' campaign is laying off more than 200 workers, campaign manager Jeff Weaver said Wednesday. The campaign is downsizing from its current 550-member team to between 325 to 350 workers, said Weaver, who added that at one point the Sanders' staff numbered more than 1,000. The decision follows a bad night for Sanders, in which he lost four out of five East Coast states that voted on Tuesday. "The calendar is coming closer to the end and there are not that many states going forward ... it's the natural evolution of every campaign," Weaver told CNN. Sanders announced the layoffs in an interview with The New York Times. CNN

Ted Cruz Names Carly Fiorina As Running Mate
Ted Cruz announced Wednesday he will tap Carly Fiorina to be his running mate if he is the Republican Party's presidential nominee, praising her as a fierce competitor "not intimidated by bullies" who has "shattered glass ceilings" in both business and politics. "It is unusual to make the announcement as early as we are doing so now," Cruz said at a rally to announce his pick in Indianapolis. "Well I think all would acknowledge that this race, if anything, is unusual." Fiorina, a former HP CEO who highlighted her business background during her own 2016 run, dropped her unsuccessful White House bid in February. She endorsed Cruz one month later and has been a frequent surrogate for him on the campaign trail. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Fiorina is a loser.

U.S. Health Care Prices Are All Over the Map
Why does a knee replacement cost $29,000 in Kansas but $40,000 in next-door Colorado? Health care prices are all over the map in the U.S., a new study finds. It digs deeply into the crazy pattern of health costs across the U.S. and shows there is very little consistency. Image: A map shows the average cost of a doctor's visit based on a new study by the Health Care Cost Institute. A map shows the average cost of a doctor's visit based on a new study by the Health Care Cost Institute. The report from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) finds prices for the same procedures vary by sometimes huge amounts — even within the same state. MSNBC

‘Deal Me In:’ Clinton Welcomes Trump’s ‘Woman Card’ Attack
Fresh off big wins in Pennsylvania, Maryland and elsewhere Tuesday, Hillary Clinton responded to Donald Trump’s claim that she’s using the “woman card” as a central part of her campaign strategy, welcoming the label and saying it underscores her strong positions on women’s rights. In a video posted to her campaign Twitter feed late Tuesday night, Mrs. Clinton didn’t shy away from the Republican front-runner’s attacks and fully embraced the “woman card” claim. Washington Times

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Kerry On Terrorism’s Appeal: ‘Regular Meals, Companionship’ – Not Necessarily Religion
Religion does not necessarily play a role in radicalization of Muslims, Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday night, citing political repression and denial of rights as relevant factors, along with the lure of “regular meals [and] companionship.” In a speech at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston, Kerry acknowledged that “you don’t have to be poor or repressed or receive special training” to become a recruit of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL/Daesh).
“You don’t even have to be religious,” he added, citing as an example a reported case of two young British men who went to join ISIS in Syria in 2014, but took with them the books Islam for Dummies and The Koran for Dummies. CNS News

U.S. Congress Passes Legislation To Protect Firms' Trade Secrets
The U.S. Congress on Wednesday passed and sent to President Barack Obama legislation strengthening legal protection for companies' trade secrets, including manufacturing processes and computer methods. The House of Representatives voted 410-2 to approve the "Defend Trade Secrets Act" on the heels of it being unanimously passed by the Senate earlier this month. The legislation, which is backed by the White House, would open the door for companies to sue in federal court for damages related to theft of trade secrets. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said the measure "will help American innovators protect their intellectual property from criminal theft by foreign agents and those engaging in economic espionage." Reuters
VOA VIEW: Needed!

Team Obama Raising Tobacco Prices At U.S. Military Bases To Curb Smoking
The Pentagon is looking to raise the price of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco sold on U.S. military installations worldwide, in an attempt to ween U.S. service members from tobacco use. Defense Secretary Ash Carter codified the policy in an April 8th department-wide memorandum, which also expanded smoke-free areas on American military bases, according to Reuters. The new tobacco policy would increase prices on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco sold at U.S. military commissaries and post exchanges to match the price of tobacco products sold off base, which are subject to state and local taxes. Currently, tobacco products sold on U.S. bases are tax-free. Washington Times

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Emotionally Stable Kids, Teens Got Lots Of Love In The Preschool Years
Preschoolers given higher levels of emotional support from moms, dads or other caregivers tend to have better emotional health during their childhood and teen years, a new study suggests. The researchers saw increased growth in a brain region known as the hippocampus in children who were highly supported at preschool age. The hippocampus is involved in emotion, learning and memory formation. Reductions in hippocampus volume have been linked with worse emotional health and unhealthy coping, the study authors said. CBS

Chelsea Clinton Heads To Kentucky To Open Campaign Office
The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has plans to visit Kentucky this week. The Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/1NB8idy ) reports Chelsea Clinton will visit Lexington to help open the Hillary for Kentucky Lexington office in her mother's Democratic presidential campaign. The event is to start at 10:15 a.m. Friday at 1301 Winchester Road. She is attending a private fundraiser later Friday at the Frankfort home of former Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen and her husband, Lynn Luallen. Kentucky's primary election is May 17. Tampa Tribune

Why Indiana Is Now The Center Of The Political Universe
For the next week, Indiana's May 3 primary stands alone on the calendar, making it a magnet for presidential candidates. But the importance of Indiana's nominating contest goes well beyond its place on the schedule. It has emerged as a must-win state for Sen. Ted Cruz and Republicans trying to block front-runner Donald Trump from locking up the nomination. And it is one of Democrat Bernie Sanders' dwindling opportunities to stand in the way of secretary of State Hillary Clinton's march toward the nomination. Trump and Clinton enter Indiana with strong momentum and are increasingly prepping for a potential fall campaign against each other after building on their sizable delegate leads in Tuesday night's primaries. Trump scored widely anticipated wins Tuesday in five Northeastern states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island. On the Democratic side, Clinton won four of those states, while Sanders picked up Rhode Island. USA Today

Volkswagen To Spend Up To $8.8B On Diesel Buybacks, Fixes
Volkswagen said Thursday it had set aside $7.8 billion ($8.8 billion) to buy back or fix diesel-powered cars that had been rigged to cheat in emissions tests.
The sum is part of 16.2 billion euros the company deducted from last year's earnings to cover the costs of the emissions scandal, in which its cars were fitted with software that enabled them to pass tests but then turned emissions controls off during everyday driving. The German automaker further broke down the set-aside for 2015 by saying it included 7.0 billion euros for fines and legal costs worldwide. Analysts say the final bill will likely be much higher, when including the impact of lower sales. Volkswagen says it is reporting costs that it knows about at the present time. Houston Chronicle

A Growing Trend: Opiate Abuse During Pregnancy, Suffering Newborns
More newborns are experiencing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, a drug withdrawal syndrome as a result of opiate abuse during pregnancy. In 2000, there were just over 4 million births in the U.S. and 8,000 infants were exposed to opiates and opiate-like drugs (such as heroin, morphine, opium, methadone and) in the womb. Of these, 4,000 needed treatment for NAS. The numbers only go up from there. In 2015, about 50,000 babies were exposed to opiates and at least 23,000 suffered from opiate-based withdrawal. (About 50,000 fewer babies were born in 2015 than in 2000, too.) It’s also not just an urban problem anymore. At rural Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital in New Hampshire, almost 10 percent of mothers are now positive for opiates when they come in to deliver. Philadelphia Inquirer

Donald Trump Could Amass Most Primary Votes In GOP History
Donald Trump will likely wind up winning the most primary votes of any GOP presidential candidate in modern history, the author of the influential Smart Politics blog told The Post on Wednesday. After convincing victories in Tuesday’s primaries in five East Coast states, Trump has roughly 10.1 million votes, about 200,000 more than Mitt Romney got during the entire 2012 primary campaign. And with the primaries ahead — including in populous states such as California, New Jersey and Indiana — the former “Apprentice” ­reality-TV star should easily break the modern record of 10.8 million held by George W. Bush in 2000, according to blogger Eric Ostermeier, a political-science professor at the University of Minnesota. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Depriving Trump the nomination would be anti voters and the will of the people.

Federal Reserve Remains Mysterious About Next Rate Hike
Janet Yellen says June is on the table, but Wall Street doesn’t see a hike anytime soon. The Federal Reserve declined to hike interest rates on Wednesday, but signaled that the central bank could make it more expensive to borrow money at its next meeting if economic conditions continue to improve. The Federal Open Market Committee cited the “moderate” pace of economic growth as a factor keeping rates between 0.25 and 0.5 percent, where they’ve been since December. NY Post

Suspected Midrange North Korean Missile Crashes
A suspected powerful intermediate-range North Korean missile crashed moments after liftoff Thursday, South Korea's Defense Ministry said, in what would be the second such embarrassing failure in recent weeks. The report of the North Korean launch failure is particularly humiliating as it comes ahead of a major North Korean ruling party meeting next week at which leader Kim Jong Un is believed to want to place his stamp more forcefully on a government he inherited after his dictator father's death in late 2011. The launch was likely the second attempted test of a Musudan, a new intermediate-range missile that could one day be capable of reaching far-off U.S. military bases in Asia and the Pacific. Tampa Tribune

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Beware Of Scams Targeting The New Chip Cards
The new microchip-enabled credit and debit cards that millions of Americans are using are designed to make it harder for crooks to steal sensitive data. But, of course, that hasn't stopped them from coming up with sneaky new ways of trying. State officials in New York are warning consumers of a new phishing scam involving so-called EMV chip cards, which were introduced in the U.S. three years ago and are becoming ubiquitous here. Scammers, pretending to be card issuers, are sending emails to individuals who haven't yet received their new chip cards, according to the New York State Department of State's Division of Consumer Protection (DCP). CBS

Carly Fiorina Dismisses Her Past Attacks On Ted Cruz: 'Sometimes Players Foul Each Other'
Ted Cruz’s newly announced running mate, Carly Fiorina, brushed off her past attacks on the Texas senator and presidential candidate today, noting that they were in the “heat of the political campaign.” “We are in the Hoosier State, right?” she told ABC News’ David Wright during an interview in Indiana. “In a heated basketball game sometimes players foul each other.” The interview followed Cruz’s formal announcement of her as his vice presidential pick should he win the Republican presidential nomination. “This is a man I’ve gotten to know,” Fiorina said. “This is also a man I [would] have voted for long before I ever had a conversation with him about endorsing him.” ABC

Presidential Hopeful Donald Trump Flubs Pronunciation Of 'Tanzania'
One of the moments from Donald Trump's foreign policy speech that attracted the most attention wasn't intentional. People watching Trump's speech quickly turned to social media to joke about how the GOP front-runner mispronunced "Tanzania." This isn't the first time that a presidential hopeful has had a slip of the tongue when it comes to pronunciation, as pizza mogul turned 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain infamously said that he didn't know the name of the president of "Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan." The subject matter certainly wasn't light -- Trump brought up the African nation when talking about the 1998 bombing of the American embassy there -- but that didn't stop social media from erupting in laughter. And memes. ABC

Treasuries Rise With Stocks As Fed Stays Patient, Crude Rallies
Treasuries rose for the first time in eight days and U.S. stocks advanced, while the dollar meandered as the Federal Reserve reiterated it will boost interest rates at a “gradual” pace even as signs of improvement in the labor market mount. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index erased declines following the Fed’s post-meeting statement, closing higher for a second day, while the Nasdaq 100 Index sank as Apple Inc. tumbled the most since January. Facebook Inc. surged in after-market trading as the company’s earnings beat estimates. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index edged up 0.1 percent after a two-day slump, while New Zealand’s currency jumped after the central bank kept rates unchanged. Treasuries advanced, pushing 10-year yields to 1.85 percent. Crude oil climbed above $45 a barrel in New York for the first time since November. Bloomberg

Despite Improving Job Market, Federal Reserve Again Decides To Leave Key Interest Rate Alone
After raising key interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade four months ago, the U.S. Federal Reserve opted to leave them alone during the board's meeting Wednesday, despite a continually improving labor market and consumer confidence. The Fed previously said it expected to raise rates twice more before the end of 2016, based on economic conditions, but it apparently didn't see enough risk balance Wednesday to pull the trigger now. "A range of recent indicators, including strong job gains, points to additional strengthening of the labor market. Inflation has continued to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run objective," the board said in its assessment Wednesday. "Against this backdrop, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/4 to 1/2 percent." UPI

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Private Colleges Hold Back Investment Fee Details From U.S.
As Congress extracts information from private university endowments, many schools aren’t providing details on one sensitive topic -- fees to money managers. At least 30 universities, including the eight Ivy League schools, didn’t disclose how much they paid in performance fees to external managers like hedge funds in response to questions from lawmakers about how they manage and spend their endowments. Some schools were forthcoming in divulging lower-cost management fees, with Harvard University saying it paid 1 to 2 percent of assets on average. Bloomberg

More Training Sought For Lawyers About Substance Abuse
The State Bar of Nevada wants to increase the amount of education lawyers receive about substance abuse and mental health problems. The State Bar, which regulates about 11,000 attorneys and provides education and development programs, is petitioning the Nevada Supreme Court to require lawyers to take at least one hour of education in these areas each year. The present requirement is one hour every three years. In its petition, the State Bar said the extra education is needed because of “the higher propensity for alcohol and substance abuse by legal professionals.” Las Vegas Sun

NYPD, Feds Round Up 120 In Gang Takedown
A combined NYPD and federal task force rounded up more than 100 members of two warring Bronx gangs that had terrorized public housing residents for years through drug dealing and murders, including the 2009 death of a 92-year-old woman in her home, officials said Wednesday. The roundup, touted by NYPD Commissioner William Bratton as the largest gang dragnet in modern history, took down a total of 120 members of the two gangs — 2Fly YGz and Big Money Bosses. “I have often said we cannot arrest our way out of some of the larger challenges our society faces, but in this case handcuffs are just what we need,” Bratton said at a joint news conference. Newsday

1 In 4 Hospitalized Newborns Gets Heartburn Drugs, Despite Risks
Despite reported risks, nearly one in four infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) are given stomach acid-suppressing drugs, researchers report.
However, they noted that the use of these medications has started to decline some in recent years. A number of studies have linked the use of stomach acid-suppressing drugs in hospitalized high-risk infants with infections, necrotizing enterocolitis (a serious disease where intestinal tissue begins to die off) and increased risk of death, the researchers said. These drugs include histamine-2 receptor antagonists such as ranitidine (Zantac), and proton pump inhibitors such as esomeprazole (Nexium). UPI

Obama Wants $1.9B To Fight Zika
President Barack Obama's $1.9 billion request for emergency money to combat the Zika virus has been sitting before Congress for more than two months, and there's no obvious path forward despite a growing threat in the hot summer months and increasing public anxiety. The administration has already transferred almost $600 million of unused Ebola funds and other money to fight Zika in the near term, but it says more is urgently needed to control the mosquitoes that spread the virus, manufacture vaccines once they are developed, and produce more accurate testing for the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said recently that no local mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases have been reported in the U.S., but there have been 388 travel-associated cases. Houston Chronicle

Veteran Who Survived Attack On USS Arizona At Pearl Harbor Dies
The U.S. has lost another veteran of the attack on Pearl Harbor. USS Arizona survivor Clarendon “Clare” Hetrick died last week in Las Vegas, surrounded by family.
The 92-year-old was one of seven remaining USS Arizona survivors. He was looking forward to reuniting with his shipmates later this year as the nation marks the 75th anniversary of the attack. “I just talked to him the day before and he was so excited about all the things that we had planned in our schedule and what was going on, and he just couldn’t wait to get out there,” Randy Stratton, the son of another Arizona survivor, Don Stratton, told Stars and Stripes. An 18-year-old mess cook, Hetrick was shaving when the attack on Pearl Harbor began. He ran to his battle station in his underwear. When a bomb hit the ship, Hetrick climbed a ladder, managed to help a stuck sailor, and then jumped over the side of the ship. Atlanta Journal

Bernie Sanders: America’s Most Popular Senator
He may never be president. But Bernie Sanders is America’s most popular senator. The least popular? Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader. They top the list of most popular and least popular senators in their home states, measured by Morning Consult, a nonpartisan media and survey technology company. It surveyed 62,288 registered voters across the nation since January. It found potential trouble for vulnerable Republicans this fall. The party now has 54 of the Senate’s 100 seats, but 24 GOP seats are up and at least six are regarded as potential pickups for Democrats. Ten Democratic seats are in play, but only one, Nevada, is seen as a possible GOP gain.  Charlotte Observer

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Intelligence Services Minister: We Can’t Count On US At UN
US President Barack Obama’s administration has not been supportive enough of Israel at the UN and elsewhere, Intelligence Services Minister Israel Katz charged on Tuesday night in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. Katz will be coming to New York next month to address The Jerusalem Post Conference on May 22. While he is in the US, he intends to seek Democratic and Republican support for legislation in Congress backing proactive sanctions on Hezbollah and whoever helps the terrorist group with money or weapons. He said the fact that Arab countries also see Hezbollah as a terrorist organization helps on the issue. “It is very important for Israel to know that the US supports us in international organizations, including with its veto at the United Nations Security Council,” he said. Jerusalem Post

Trump On Foreign Policy: Iran Deal Allowed It To Become A 'Great Power' At Israel's Expense
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump assailed US President Barack Obama's Middle East policy Wednesday during a foreign policy address in which he said Obama spurned Israel while coddling Iran. “President Obama has not been a friend to Israel,” Trump said in a speech at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel where he uncharacteristically read from a prepared text on teleprompter.  “He has treated Iran with tender love and care and made it a great power in the Middle East – all at the expense of Israel, our other allies in the region and, critically, the United States.” Israel was one of only a few countries friendly to the US that Trump mentioned by name in the speech, calling it “our great friend and the one true democracy in the Middle East.” He said that Israel has been “'snubbed and criticized by an Administration that lacks moral clarity.” Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: Obama has betrayed Israel and lifted Iran.

Dennis Hastert, Ex-US House Speaker, Sentenced To 15 Months In Jail
A federal judge has sentenced Dennis Hastert to 15 months in prison, calling the former House Speaker "a serial child molester" who tried to cover up his abuse with hush money. Using a wheelchair, Hastert, 74, told the court he was "deeply ashamed" that he "mistreated" students while he worked as a school coach in the 1970s.
One of the victims said the abuse left him "devastated" and "betrayed". Hastert served as an Illinois congressman from 1987 to 2007. He was the longest serving Republican House Speaker in US history. As House Speaker, Hastert was second in the line of succession to the presidency. Many of his former Republican colleagues had appealed to the judge for leniency. BBC

Twitter Shares Plunge On Weak Earnings
Shares in Twitter plunged 13.6% after the results were out. Twitter had 310 million monthly users in the first quarter while revenue was $594.5m (£407.89m), which missed analyst expectations. The company has for years struggled to generate profits from its large base of users. Twitter's revenue forecast for the current quarter was given as between $590m and $610m, also short of what investors had been hoping for. BBC

Oklahoma Court: Oral Sex Is Not Rape If Victim Is Unconscious From Drinking
An Oklahoma court has stunned local prosecutors with a declaration that state law doesn’t criminalize oral sex with a victim who is completely unconscious. The ruling, a unanimous decision by the state’s criminal appeals court, is sparking outrage among critics who say the judicial system was engaged in victim-blaming and buying outdated notions about rape. But legal experts and victims’ advocates said they viewed the ruling as a sign of something larger: the troubling gaps that still exist between the nation’s patchwork of laws and evolving ideas about rape and consent. Guardian

Cruz Campaign's Virginia Co-Chair Visits Syria And Pledges To Back Assad
Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign co-chairman in Virginia has traveled to Syria and promised support for the government of President Bashar Assad, whom US officials have repeatedly said has lost the legitimacy to rule the war-torn country. Virginia state senator Dick Black’s trip to a Middle Eastern country in the midst of a civil war and his comments in the face of official US foreign policy are highly unusual for a state lawmaker. Black, an outspoken Republican, is a part-time state senator who has no role in official US foreign policy. Still, he has met with Assad government officials and said he would advocate for better relationships between Assad and the US, according to the official Syrian news agency. Guardian

Vladimir Putin Slams Repeated Russian Space Failures After Delayed Launch
Putin scolded space chiefs after the unmanned launch from the far eastern cosmodrome was halted a minute and a half before lift-off and postponed at least 24 hours - the latest embarrassing glitch for Russia's beleaguered space industry. "Despite all its failings, Russia remains the world leader in the number of space launches," Putin told a televised meeting of space officials. "But the fact that we're encountering a large number of failures is bad. There must be a timely and professional reaction." Telegraph

German Nuclear Plant Suffers Cyber Attack Designed To Give Hackers Remote Access
A nuclear power plant in Germany has been found to be infected with computer viruses, but they appear not to have posed a threat to the facility's operations because it is isolated from the Internet, the station's operator said on Tuesday. The Gundremmingen plant, located about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Munich, is run by the German utility RWE. The viruses, which include "W32.Ramnit" and "Conficker", were discovered at Gundremmingen's B unit in a computer system retrofitted in 2008 with data visualisation software associated with equipment for moving nuclear fuel rods, RWE said. Telegraph

Ban Welcomes ‘Change In Strategy And Mindset’ As UN Adopts Landmark Resolutions On Peacebuilding
Deeply concerned by the high human cost and suffering caused by armed conflicts, and recognizing the significant number of simultaneous security and humanitarian crises that the world currently faces, the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council today concurrently adopted resolutions on the Organization’s peacebuilding architecture, providing renewed momentum for the focus within the UN system on ‘sustaining peace.’ The resolutions expand the notion of peacebuilding to include a definition of ‘sustaining peace,’ which the documents say should be “broadly understood as a goal and a process to building a common vision of a society, ensuring that the needs of all segments of the population are taken into account.” UN News

On Anniversary Of UN-Backed Treaty Banning Buclear Tests, Ban Reiterates Call To Action
Marking the 20th anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that instead of a celebration, the occasion is a call to action on the work that remains to be done to end nuclear testing and continue on an environmentally sustainable path.
Speaking at a panel discussion in Vienna, Mr. Ban commended the CTBTO for its two decades of service as a global leader on ending nuclear testing. “The CTBTO has proven its value again and again,” the UN chief said. “This organization is at the forefront of detecting possible nuclear tests. It has carried out activities far beyond what anyone imagined.” UN News

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