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Older News Archivescom0116
NEWS   SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2014   NEWS

Michelle Obama Apparently Mixes Up Colorado Senate Candidates At Campaign Event
Michelle Obama made yet another flub on the campaign trail Thursday when she apparently confused Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall with his Republican rival.
Obama spoke in Denver Thursday as part of a campaign event for Udall, who is engaged in a heated battle with his Republican opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner. She touted Udall’s Senate record in her speech, and called him a “fifth-generation Coloradan.” “Mark understands what makes this state special,” she said. The only problem? Udall is not a fifth-generation Coloradan. In fact, he was born in Arizona and his father, former Rep. Mo Udall, served as a congressman from that state for decades. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Not very bright.

White House Ex-Counsel Ruemmler Asks Obama Not To Consider Her For Attorney General
Former White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, facing the possibility of a difficult Senate confirmation battle, has pulled out of consideration for replacing Eric Holder as U.S. attorney general, a White House official said on Friday. Obama, who thinks highly of Ruemmler, had approached the Washington lawyer to see if he could put her on his shortlist for replacing Holder, who has announced he will leave his post when a successor is found. "Kathy took this step this week on her own volition," the White House official said. Ruemmler declined to comment. Some Republican lawmakers have raised questions about an internal White House investigation led by Ruemmler into an April 2012 Secret Service prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia. Reuters

Putin Accuses U.S., West Of 'Unilateral Diktat' Over Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Friday of endangering global security by imposing a "unilateral diktat" on the rest of the world and shifted blame for the Ukraine crisis onto the West. In a 40-minute diatribe against the West that was reminiscent of the Cold War and underlined the depth of the rift between Moscow and the West, Putin also denied trying to rebuild the Soviet empire at the expense of Russia's neighbors. "We did not start this," Putin told an informal group of experts on Russia that includes many Western specialists critical of him, warning that Washington was trying to "remake the whole world" based on its own interests. MSNBC

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Hillary Clinton Shifts To Shed Pro-Wall Street Reputation
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took yet another subtle step toward the White House in 2016 by swiping at the very thing those in the progressive camp of her party accuse her of cozying up to — Wall Street. At a campaign stop in Minnesota for Sen. Al Franken, Mrs. Clinton called for better oversight of banks, The Hill reported. She also roped herself in to the group of leading politicos who have been calling for stricter regulation of Wall Street — an apparent public response to those of Sen. Elizabeth Warren ilk who say the former first lady is just too pro-business to properly represent the Democratic Party in 2016. Washington Times

Dallas Nurse Nina Pham Is Now Ebola-Free
A nurse who caught Ebola while caring for the patient diagnosed in Dallas was released from a hospital Friday, free of the virus. Nurse Nina Pham said she felt "fortunate and blessed to be standing here today," as she left the National Institutes of Health's hospital outside Washington. She thanked her health care team in Dallas and at the NIH and singled out fellow Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, who recovered after becoming infected in Liberia, for his "selfless act of donating plasma" containing Ebola-fighting antibodies as part of her care. CBS

Anti-Israel Restaurant Receives Funding From John Kerry’s Wife’s Foundation
A food cart that hands out anti-Israel propaganda with each of its sandwiches has received funding from a foundation run by Secretary of State John Kerry’s wife. Conflict Kitchen, a pop-up restaurant located at the intersection of Carnegie Mellon University and Pittsburgh University, seeks to use food to educate locals and college students about countries that are allegedly in conflict with the United States. It recently began serving Palestinian food wrapped in leaflets that include quotes from Palestinians defending terrorism and opposing the existence of Israel. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Little condemnation from the liberal media, which would played hell if a Republican would have been involved.

Is The U.S. Holding Too Much Oil In Reserve?
Does America have too much oil in its reserves? Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon fired off a letter this week asking the Department of Energy to study the "size and make-up" of the U.S.' Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It comes fresh on the heels of a report on Monday from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office that also called for a similar review. The U.S. has the largest emergency stockpile of oil in the world. And now that the country's oil production is booming, there's questions if America needs to hold so much crude in reserve. The Department of Energy didn't respond to a request for comment. CNN

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Amid Record Youth Unemployment Rates, Leaders Prepare For Surge of Job-Seekers
Amid consensus that youth unemployment is one of the world’s most pressing problems, a gathering of political leaders, philanthropists, advocacy organizations and media convened Friday to do something about it. “The consequences of not addressing youth unemployment are dire and have the potential to leave young people around the world without a future,” said Calvin Sims, president of New York City’s International House, a residence for hundreds of university students, which is hosting event, “Generation Jobless.” More than 300 million millennials globally are NEETs — not employed, enrolled in educational programs nor in professional training, with 1 billion more young people expected to join the labor market by 2030. From India to the Philippines to Brazil to the United States, youth are being squeezed most as the global recession has eased without returning employment rates to pre-recession levels. MSNBC

Eric Holder’s Wife Wins ‘Executive Privilege’ For ‘Fast And Furious’
Documents obtained from a government watchdog on the “Fast and Furious” debacle reveal the feds have gone to such lengths to maintain privacy on the gun-running program that even Attorney General Eric Holder’s wife has been granted executive privilege status. Judicial Watch found that email correspondence between Mr. Holder and his wife, Sharon, and between Mr. Holder and his mother, are being withheld “under an extraordinary claim of executive privilege as well as a dubious claim of deliberative process privilege under the Freedom of Information Act,” Newsmax reported. Washington Times

Why Low Oil Prices Don't Translate Into Lower Air Fares
Southwest Airlines (LUV) yesterday became the latest airline to report record profits, joining American Airlines (AAL) and United Continental (UAL) thanks in part to record low oil prices. Unfortunately, that's not going to translate into lower air fares anytime soon. In fact, the website FairCompare notes that carriers raised fares five times this year and attempted to do so 20 times. Experts are divided as to the reasons for this phenomenon. According to aviation consultant Mike Boyd, the 25 percent drop in crude prices since June is no bargain for the airlines. CBS

Fed’s $4 Trillion Holdings To Boost Growth Beyond End Of QE
Quantitative easing may turn out to be a gift that keeps on giving for the U.S. economy. As the Federal Reserve prepares to end its third round of bond buying next week, the central bank plans to hang on to the record $4.48 trillion balance sheet it has accumulated since announcing the first round of purchases in November 2008. That will continue to keep a lid on borrowing costs, helping the Fed lift inflation closer to its target and providing support to a five-year expansion facing headwinds abroad, from war in the Mideast to slowing growth in Europe and China. Bloomberg

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U.S. House Panel To Meet With Safety Regulators About Takata Air Bags Next Week
The U.S. House committee looking into the defective air bags made by Japanese supplier Takata Corp (7312.T) will hold an initial briefing with U.S. safety regulators next week to learn the details of the regional recalls affecting 10 automakers, a committee aide said on Friday. The date of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's briefing was not disclosed. It is not a hearing and will not be open to the public, the aide said. The committee has not requested any documents on Takata at this point, the aide said. Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration were not immediately available. Reuters
 

Stocks Rise With S&P 500 Capping Best Week Since 2013
New home sales in the United States were little changed in September after a 7.5 percent revision to August data. Bloomberg’s Mia Saini and Michael McKee break down the numbers. They speak on “Market Makers.” U.S. stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index capping its best week since 2013, as companies from Procter & Gamble Co. to Microsoft Corp. climbed after reporting earnings. P&G added 2.3 percent after saying it would exit its Duracell battery business. Microsoft gained 2.5 percent as quarterly sales topped estimates on cloud-computing growth. SodaStream International Ltd. (SODA) surged 15 percent after a report that it is testing PepsiCo Inc. brands. Amazon.com Inc. slid 8.3 percent after posting the biggest quarterly net loss since at least 2003. Bloomberg

Israel Defense Chief Denied Meetings
U.S. officials say the Obama administration this week refused requests from Israel's defense minister to meet top national security aides, aiming to show displeasure with negative comments he made about Secretary of State John Kerry's Mideast peace efforts. While Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (ya-ah-LON') did see Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, the officials said Friday that the White House and State Department rejected Israeli proposals for meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, national security adviser Susan Rice and Kerry. The officials said the administration also sought to stop Ya'alon from seeing Power but the objections were made too late to cancel the meeting. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the matter publicly. Las Vegas Sun

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New York Ebola Case No Cause For Alarm
A Doctors Without Borders physician who is the first diagnosed Ebola case in New York City jogged along the Hudson River, rode the subway, took a cab, went bowling, visited a coffee stand at a Manhattan park and ate at a meatball shop since returning home from Guinea a week ago, authorities said Friday. But the physician, Craig Spencer, 33, wasn't symptomatic until Thursday when he had a 100.3-degree fever between 10 and 11 a.m., Dr. Mary Bassett, New York's health commissioner, told reporters Friday, providing the clearest timeline of Spencer's whereabouts before he became the fourth diagnosed Ebola case in the United States. The physician began to feel fatigued Tuesday, though without a fever. CNN

EPA Chief Insists: 'People Overwhelmingly Consider Climate Change A Problem'
Recent polls put climate change low on the list of Americans' pressing concerns, but that's not how EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy sees it: "From all the recent public opinion work out there on climate change, what stands out to me is this: First, people overwhelmingly consider climate change a problem, and they want action. And second, what’s even more impressive, is the overwhelming support specifically for EPA action to curb carbon pollution from power plants." McCarthy spoke Friday at a Conference on Energy and the Environment at Georgetown University. CNS News
VOA VIEW: EPA deceptive rhetoric.

U.S. Airstrikes Succeeding In Cutting Oil Financing For Islamic State
President Barack Obama in early September announced coalition airstrikes would "degrade and ultimately destroy" the group calling itself the Islamic State. With no boots on the ground, the Pentagon said striking oil installations controlled by the Sunni-led terrorist group would help cut off its revenue stream and thwart its ability to make territorial gains by destroying a critical fuel source. In its latest assessment, the International Energy Agency said the military campaign may be working in degrading IS finances.  Destruction, however, may require other efforts. UPI

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Issa: CDC Chief 'Made Statements That Simply Aren't True'
From the time Ebola arrived on U.S. shores, Dr. Tom Frieden, chairman of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has "made statements that simply aren't true," Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told Congress on Friday. "We have the head of CDC, supposed to be the expert, and he's made statements that simply aren't true," Issa told a hearing of the House Oversight Committee, which he chairs. "Doctor, you can get Ebola sitting next to someone on a bus if they in fact throw up on you, can't you? That's reasonable," Issa asked. CNS News
VOA VIEW: The entire Obama administration is deceptive.

Kerry Says No Apology To NKorea To Free Americans
Secretary of State John Kerry is ruling out a U.S. apology to North Korea to secure the release of two detained Americans. Kerry said on Friday North Korea should free Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae (bay) because they are being held "inappropriately." North Korea on Tuesday released another American, Jeffrey Fowle, who had been held for six months after his arrest for leaving a Bible in a nightclub. Kerry said the U.S. is delighted that Fowle is back in Ohio, and hopes North Korea will recognize that it could build goodwill and "open up a diplomatic track" in tense relations between Washington and Pyongyang by releasing the other two. Kerry was speaking at after a joint meeting of the top diplomats and defense officials of close U.S. ally South Korea. Las Vegas Sun

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Canadian Consulate In Istanbul, Turkey, Evacuated
The Canadian Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, was evacuated Friday after a package of unidentified yellow powder was delivered. A statement from Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said a letter containing a "yellow substance was examined in line with regular procedures," adding one person at the Consulate had direct exposure to the package and six others had indirect exposure. An AFAD decontamination crew was sent to the Consulate. The Belgian and German Consulates in Istanbul also received similar packages and were evacuated. Decontamination crews arrive at those buildings as well. UPI News

IDF Closely Monitoring Hamas Attempts To Rearm
Two months after the end of the 50-day conflict with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the IDF continues to closely monitor attempts by Gazan terrorists organizations to stock up on rockets and rebuild a network of offensive tunnels. A security source told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that it would be safe to assume that Hamas embarked on a force buildup and weapons program the moment after a ceasefire went into effect on August 26. The source made it clear that on the Israeli side too, military preparations are under way for the event of a renewed clash. Jerusalem Post

Resolution To Be Put To Security Council Calling For Palestinian State By 2017
The Palestinians' chief peace negotiator has laid out in the clearest terms yet plans to establish an independent Palestinian state within three years, even if it means ignoring pleas from the United States not to push ahead. Expressing deep frustration and a degree of resignation that years of efforts to forge a two-state solution with the Israelis have made next to no progress, Saeb Erekat said there was no option other than to make a unilateral push for statehood. He said a resolution would be put to the United Nations Security Council next month calling for a November 2017 deadline for the establishment of two states based on the boundaries that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza and seized east Jerusalem - the areas the Palestinians want for an independent state. Jerusalem Post

US To Investigate Claims IS Used 'Chemical Weapons' In Iraq
The United States is to investigate whether militant group Islamic State (IS) used chemical weapons in Iraq, Secretary of State John Kerry has said. Mr Kerry said he was looking into "extremely serious" allegations that IS attacked Iraqi police officers with chlorine gas last month. Speaking on a visit to South Korea, Mr Kerry said the claims were unconfirmed. In September, France, Germany and the UK said it was "probable" IS had chlorine gas. Mr Kerry said "the use of any chemical weapon is an abhorrent act; it is against international law". BBC

Ford Profits Drop On New F-150 Truck Costs
Ford has reported a sharp fall in profits, largely due to the cost of developing its new F-150 pickup truck. Net profit for the three months to the end of September was $835m (£520m), down by a third from a year earlier. Revenue was up slightly at $35.8bn. Ford said it invested "heavily" in new products and closed its Dearborn truck plant for five weeks to replace machinery to make the F-150. The new truck is scheduled to go on sale later this year. "During the third quarter, we continued to introduce an unprecedented number of new vehicles and invest heavily in the new products and technologies that will deliver strong profitable growth beginning next year," said the US car giant's boss Mark Fields. BBC

Hispanics, US Citizens And Otherwise, Join Campaigns For Close Midterm Fights
An estimated 11 million people in America are barred from voting in the midterm elections because of their immigration status. Abel Perez is one of them. The 24-year-old was recently knocking on doors in the Colorado town of Longmont with a list of 150 Latino residents who, unlike him, are eligible to cast a ballot.  If no one answered the door, Perez left a leaflet warning the resident about the anti-immigrant policies of the Republican Senate candidate, Cory Gardner. “If I can get them to vote, it is like they are voting for me,” he said. Perez is not alone. He is among a rapidly growing army of young Latino activists who are canvassing or registering voters before the midterms, even though they themselves do not have a vote. Guardian

Arizona Challenged To Abandon Secrecy On Death Penalty Drugs
The secrecy imposed by Arizona on the source and quality of the lethal injection drugs it uses to kill death row inmates has been challenged in a new lawsuit brought by the Guardian and other media organizations. In the lawsuit, filed with a federal court in Phoenix, the Guardian together with the Associated Press and four of Arizona’s largest news outlets argue that the state’s refusal to disclose any information about its lethal injection drugs is a breach of the public’s first amendment right to know about how the death penalty is being carried out in its name. It follows a groundbreaking first amendment case brought by the Guardian and others in Missouri in May. Guardian

MPs 'Encouraged Hamas Terrorism' By Voting For Palestinian State Says Israel
Parliament was guilty of “encouraging terrorist attacks” and “giving up” on peace when MPs cast a “miserable” vote in favour of Palestinian statehood, according to an Israeli cabinet minister. Yuval Steinitz, the intelligence and strategic affairs minister, told the Telegraph that he was “surprised” and “frustrated” by the passage of a resolution through the Commons last Monday urging the Government to “recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel”. This vote came soon after the summer war between Israel and Hamas, the radical Islamist movement, which claimed the lives of 71 Israelis and 2,189 Palestinians. Telegraph

David Cameron: Britain Will Not Pay Extra £1.7bn For EU Budget
David Cameron has said Britain will refuse to pay a “completely unacceptable” bill of £1.7billion to the European Union. The Prime Minister hit out at the bill and spoke of his anger at the “appalling” way Britain has been treated by the European Commission. He said that “it certainly doesn’t help” the chances of Britain remaining in the EU after an in-out referendum due to be held in 2017. A visibly furious Mr Cameron said: “I'm not paying that bill on December 1. It is not going to happen.” The UK was on Thursday ambushed with a demand from the European Commission for the extra money because Britain’s economy has performed better than other economies in Europe since 1995.  Telegraph

Now Everyone Wants To Sell You A Magical Anonymity Router. Choose Wisely
Maintaining your privacy online, like investing in stocks or looking good naked, has become one of those nagging desires that leaves Americans with a surplus of stress and a deficit of facts. So it’s no surprise that a cottage industry of privacy marketers now wants to sell them the solution in a $50 piece of hardware promising internet “anonymity” or “invisibility.” And as with any panacea in a box, the quicker the fix, the more doubt it deserves. Last week saw the fast forward rise and fall of Anonabox, a tiny $45 router that promised to anonymize all of a user’s traffic by routing it over the anonymity network Tor. Wired

Mexico: UN Rights Office Urges Authorities To ‘Step Up’ Efforts To Find Missing Students
The United Nations human rights office has voiced concern about the continued enforced disappearance of students in the Mexican town of Iguala and urged local authorities to step up their efforts in finding them. Speaking to reporters in Geneva earlier today, Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), welcomed the work done by Mexican authorities in tracking the 43 missing students but added that their “mechanisms have not yet been successful” in resolving the disappearance. UN News

Ebola: Industry Leaders Meet To Discuss Vaccine Trials, As UN Aencies Continue Aid Push
The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has convened a meeting with top Government officials from Ebola-affected countries, regulatory agencies, vaccine manufacturers and funding agencies to discuss and agree how best to best fast-track testing and the deployment of vaccines in sufficient numbers to halt the spread of the deadly virus. WHO said today that these vaccines are expected to have a major impact on further evolution of the epidemic, with trials already underway in the United States and soon to begin in Africa, Germany and Switzerland to determine safety, dosing and efficacy. UN News

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