Newscast Media MOSCOW—The head of Russia’s state-run energy company Gazprom
said Friday that Ukraine has stopped paying for Russian gas supplies, which could
trigger a repetition of 2009’s so-called “gas war” between the two countries.
According to Alexei Miller, crisis-hit Ukraine owes Russia about $1.89 billion in unpaid
natural gas bills after failing to pay for February supplies.
“This violates our contract and international trade practices. We cannot supply
natural gas for free,” Miller told reporters in Moscow. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Moscow says it will respond if the EU imposes sanctions
on Russia over its occupation of Crimea. The Russian Foreign Ministry said on March 7
that “Russia will not accept the language of sanctions and threats” and that if they
are implemented, “they will not be left without a response.”
The EU has said it will consider asset freezes and travel bans if the Russian
government does not start negotiations with Ukrainian authorities in the “next few
The Kremlin also challenged Washington over talk of sanctions. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Democratic Republic of Congo
Newscast Media KINSHASA—Speaking before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations February 26, Russell Feingold, the U.S. special envoy for the Democratic
Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region, said the region stands at a
crossroads between peace and ongoing conflict.
“The decisions that the Congo, the region and the international community take now
will set the trajectory of the next several years in terms of security, good
governance, and development,” he said. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The democratically-elected Crimean parliament has
cast its vote to become part of Russia, a move that was predicted last week after
the coup in Ukraine occurred.
Now Barack Obama believes that even though the Crimean government, which was
elected democratically has cast a legitimate vote, the referendum to be held within
the next 10 days that will consummate the final act will be illegitimate.
On the other hand, Obama believes the current Ukrainian government that violated
the constitution by the way it seized power, is the legitimate government, even
though Crimeans beg to differ.
“Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate government of
Ukraine,” Obama said.
In the eyes of Crimeans, no legitimate Ukrainian government exists, and they want to
hold their referendum on their future, yet Obama says it is an international crime?
“The proposed referendum on the future of Crimea would violate the Ukrainian
constitution and violate international law,” Obama told reporters at the White House.
Perhaps Obama is forgetting that during the Kosovo war, the U.S backed a plan by
U.N. special envoy and former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, to break away from
Serbia, an action that Russia vehemently opposed.
After Kosovo eventually broke away and declared independence, Russia demanded an
emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to proclaim the declaration
“null and void,” but the meeting produced no resolution.
The breaking away by Crimea from Ukraine to join Mother Russia, is payback time for
Russia, and it’s Putin’s way of saying to the West: “Checkmate.”
Securities and Exchange Commission
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The Securities and Exchange Commission today
announced an emergency enforcement action to stop a fraudulent pyramid scheme by
phony companies masquerading as a legitimate international investment firm.
The SEC has obtained a federal court order to freeze accounts holding money stolen
from U.S. investors by Fleet Mutual Wealth Limited and MWF Financial – collectively
known as Mutual Wealth. The SEC alleges that Mutual Wealth has been exploiting
investors through a website and social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter,
falsely promising extraordinary returns of 2 to 3 percent per week for investors who
open accounts with the firm. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Newscast Media MOSCOW—The upper house of Russia’s parliament is mulling
measures allowing property and assets of European and US companies to be
confiscated in the event of sanctions being adopted against Russia over its
threatened military intervention in Ukraine.
The bill’s author, Federation Council constitutional legislation committee head Andrei
Klishas, said Wednesday that lawyers are currently studying whether the proposed
confiscations would be constitutional.
“But we have no doubts that it clearly corresponds to European standards,” Klishas
told RIA Novosti. “The recent events in Cyprus spring to mind, where the confiscation
of assets was the main demand made by the European Union in return for economic
An adviser to President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that authorities would issue
general advice to dump US government bonds if Russian companies and individuals
were targeted by sanctions over events in Ukraine.
According to US Treasury data from the end of 2013, Russian investments in US
government bonds total around $139 billion out of a total of $5.8 trillion of US debt
held in foreign hands.
Putin has denied any Russian troops have already been deployed in the southern
Ukrainian republic of Crimea, although numerous eyewitnesses have reported seeing
large numbers of well-armed troops without insignia moving around the peninsula in
military vehicles bearing Russian license plates.
Source: Ria Novosti
George P. Bush
Newscast Media AUSTIN—Continuing the legacy of the Bush dynasty as public
servants, George P. Bush easily won the Texas primary securing the Republican
nomination for the position of Texas land commissioner.
“We don’t have to change our conservative principles to win, we just need to change
our tactics,” Bush said to attendees at a Mexican restaurant in Fort Worth after his
Bush had the advantage of being a household name, since both his grandfather
George H. W. Bush and uncle George W. Bush are former presidents, while his father
Jeb Bush was a popular governor in Florida.
The younger Bush managed to accumulate over $3.5 million for his campaign, while his
opponent David Watts, an East Texas business man could barely afford
transportation costs for his campaign.
Should he win the general, as land commissioner, the 37-year-old Bush will oversee
state-owned land, natural resources and the school system of Texas, the richest
piece of real estate in the US.
Political operatives have already nicknamed him “47″ because they foresee him
running for the presidency at some future point and becoming the 47th president of
the United States. Bush identifies himself as Hispanic.
Newscast Media NEW YORK—The UN has for the first time accused Syrian rebel
fighters of committing crimes against humanity. The body has also criticized the
government’s use of siege warfare, and blamed the international community for
The United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday said several Syrian Islamist
rebel groups had systematically detained and tortured civilians. The rebels’ crimes
against humanity, it said, were carried out in al-Raqqa province against ethnic Kurds.
CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Newscast Media NEW YORK—UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has recommended
deploying roughly 12,000 peacekeepers to the Central African Republic. This follows
renewed calls from the nation’s leadership to help avert a “humanitarian disaster.”
In a report to the members of the United Nations Security Council, Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon recommended deploying more peacekeeping personnel in order to help
return order to the Central African Republic (CAR). The report proposed sending
10,000 soldiers, plus 1,820 police officers.
The primary task of the UN deployment would be for “the protection of civilians,” in its
initial stages, according to Ban’s report. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Forbes 2014 Billionaires
Newscast Media NEW YORK—The ranks of the world’s billionaires continue to scale
new heights–and stretch to new corners of the world. Forbes global wealth team found
1,645 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of $6.4 trillion, up from $5.4 trillion a
year ago. Forbes unearthed a record 268 new ten-figure fortunes, including 42 new
women billionaires, another record. In total, there are 172 women on the list, more
than ever before and up from 138 last year.
Bill Gates is back on top after a four-year hiatus, reclaiming the title of world’s richest
person from telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico, who ranked No. 1 for the past
four years. Gates, whose fortune rose by $9 billion in the past year, has held the top
spot for 15 of the past 20 years. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Newscast Media BEIJING—Russia says it has enlisted China’s support for its claim that
the overthrow of the government in Ukraine last month was orchestrated by “external
The situation in Ukraine was discussed Monday at consultations in Moscow between
Chinese deputy Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping and his Russian counterpart, Grigory
“The Chinese side expressed understanding of Russia’s analysis of reasons behind the
deep political crisis in Ukraine and the role of external forces that acted to support
Euromaidan,” Russia foreign ministry said, referring to the informal name of the
uprising that culminated with the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych.
More than 90 people were killed – including dozens of protesters and more than a
dozen policemen – during months of largely peaceful demonstrations that sporadically
tipped over into violence.
Moscow has routinely blamed the United States and the European Union of lending
the protest movement their support, while some lawmakers have claimed Western
governments offered funding and training to demonstrators.
The Foreign Ministry said China blames Ukraine’s opposition for failing to comply with
an EU-brokered agreement with Yanukovych on February 21 to end the months-long
political standoff that had gripped the country.
That deal envisioned elections by the end of the year and reforms to the
constitution. A Russian representative who oversaw the agreement refrained from
Opposition forces occupied parliament on February 22, as Yanukovych fled the capital
for destination unknown, until finally surfacing in southern Russia around a week later.
Yanukovych has described his ouster as a coup and insists he remains the country’s
legitimate head of state.
Source: Ria Novosti
Netanyahu and Obama
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama has warned Israel against
“international fallout” if direct talks with the Palestinian Authority fail and Tel Aviv
continues its illegal settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Speaking to Bloomberg View prior to his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu on Monday, Obama said that Washington’s ability to protect its staunch
ally from being isolated in the world would be “limited” if Tel Aviv continues expanding
its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Obama also warned that international condemnation will mean reduced influence for
Washington over issues that are of interest to Israel.
Talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have stalled over Tel Aviv’s illegal
settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
In his interview, which was published on Sunday, Obama said “the window is closing”
for a so-called peace deal with the Palestinian Authority, calling on Netanyahu to
“seize the moment.”
Last month, US Secretary of State John Kerry also warned that Israel would face a
possible international boycott if it failed to reach a peace deal with the Palestinian
“For Israel, the stakes are also enormously high,” Kerry said. “For Israel there’s an
increasing de-legitimization campaign that has been building up. People are very
sensitive to it. There are talk of boycotts and other kinds of things.”
Israeli officials reacted angrily to Kerry’s comments. They even went as far as
accusing him of endorsing and “amplifying” what they called “anti-Semitic” efforts to
impose sanctions on Israel by issuing the warning.
The US State Department quickly responded to the criticism, saying Kerry was
referring to the actions of others and he has “a proud record of over three decades of
steadfast support for Israel’s security and well-being, including staunch opposition to
Source: Press TV
Russian troops in Crimea
Newscast Media MOSCOW—While the West was obsessed and making noise about
homosexual rights, Russia was creeping into Crimea, and took control of two airports.
Its special forces with unmarked uniforms entered the Crimean parliament as it was
still in session, and overnight, the Russians had infiltrated and occupied Crimea.
Almost 97 percent of Crimeans speak Russian, and have ties to their motherland,
therefore it came as no surprise to see Russian flags flying at the airports and on the
Crimean parliament building. The airports that are under Russian control are
Sevastopol and Simferporol. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Unmarked vehicles with men wearing unmarked uniforms assumed to be Russian operatives after seizing two of Crimea's airports.
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russia has rejected a call by Ukraine to discuss the
worsening political situation in the country’s semi-autonomous Crimea region, saying
the crisis is an internal issue.
In a statement released on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry rejected a call for
consultations on Crimea with new Ukrainian officials.
The statement also added that Moscow has not violated an agreement regarding the
movement of its troops in the region.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the movement of armored vehicles belonging to
Russia’s Black Sea fleet in Crimea is in line with Russian-Ukrainian agreements.
The ministry continued by saying that the movements were needed “to ensure the
security of the places where the Black Sea fleet is stationed on the territory of
This comes as Ukraine’s new Interior Minister Arsen Avakov earlier in the day accused
Russian troops of staging an “invasion” of Crimea’s international airport in Simferopol
and the Belbek airfield near the city of Sevastopol, which is home to Russia’s Black
Ukrainian officials have also accused Moscow of escalating the violence in Crimea.
On Thursday, dozens of gunmen seized the government and parliament buildings in
Crimea and raised Russian flags over them.
However, Moscow denies that its forces have been involved in the events in Crimea.
Unrest erupted in Ukraine in November 2013, when ousted president, Viktor
Yanukovych, refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the EU in favor of
closer ties with Russia.
On February 23, the Ukrainian parliament ousted Yanukovych and named Oleksandr
Turchynov, the legislature’s newly-elected speaker, as interim president.
Source: Press TV
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Viktor Yanukovych says he’s still the legitimate president
of Ukraine, and that the country’s current authorities are “fascist thugs.”
In his first public appearance since he fled Kyiv one week ago Yanukovych spoke at a
news conference in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on February 28.
“The time has come for me to say that I intend to continue the fight for the future of
Ukraine against those who are trying, through terror and fear, to take charge over it,”
Yanukovych told reporters. “And I decided to speak publicly about that.”
Yanukovych denied that he had been removed from power, maintaining that he had
been forced to leave because of direct threats to his safety.
“Nobody has ousted me,” he said. “I was forced to leave Ukraine because of an
immediate threat to my life and the life of my loved ones.”
He added that he would return to Ukraine only after receiving guarantees of his
Yanukovych insisted that Ukraine should remain “united and whole,” including Crimea,
where there is a major Russian influence.
Yanukovych said he would not seek military assistance from anyone to return to the
seat of power in Kyiv.
He also apologized to Ukrainians for not maintaining stability. He denounced Western
powers for failing to implement the February 21 Western-brokered agreement that
Yanukovych signed with the opposition.
Radio Free Europe
by Leonardo Blair
Newscast Media NEW YORK—Black women in New York City aborted more than half of
their pregnancies in 2012, topping the number of abortions recorded by women of
every other racial or ethnic group in the city, according to the New York City
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Statistics provided by the city’s Bureau of Vital Statistics in a report titled, Summary
of Vital Statistics 2012, The City of New York, revealed that not only were black
women leading every other racial or ethnic group of women in abortions, they also had
the highest rate of pregnancies and the most miscarriages as well.
Black women had a chart-leading 115.7 pregnancies for every 1,000 women, but a
total of 31,328 of those pregnancies were aborted in 2012 and an additional 3,446 of
those pregnancies were reported as miscarriages. Only 24,758 black babies were born
alive. CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>
Newscast Media TEL AVIV—Israeli navy officers said Hezbollah has already deployed
the Russian cruise missile, Yakhont, with a range of 300 kilometers and capable of
striking Israel’s entire Mediterranean coast, World Tribune reported.
“We assume that advanced Yakhont missiles have also reached the hands of
Hezbollah, and we are preparing for that,” Rear Adm. Eli Sharvit, commander of the
naval base in Haifa, said.
The Israeli officers said Hezbollah deployed Yakhont in 2013 about a year after the
Syrian Navy received the P-800. They said repeated Israeli efforts to block the
delivery of the weapon from Syria to Lebanon were partially successful.
“Hezbollah is a highly functional organization, active in its sector,” Sharvit told a
briefing on Feb. 25. “It continues to arm itself with strategic weapons, and has not
stopped trying to get its hands on weapons that will influence [future warfare].”
The officers said the navy was being trained and equipped to foil the Hezbollah or
Syrian missile threat against Israel. They said Hezbollah could use Yakhont to attack
Israel’s new natural gas facilities in the eastern Mediterranean.
Source: Al Manar TV news
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—U.S. experts in investigations of wildlife trafficking
and enforcement of trafficking laws are about to begin duty in Bangkok and Dar es
Salaam, Tanzania, marking a step forward in implementing the Obama administration’s
recently announced National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Director Dan Ashe told the House Foreign
Affairs Committee February 26 that overseas deployment of enforcement officers
further demonstrates U.S. commitment to help other governments preserve rare
animals. With congressional and State Department support, Ashe said, his service
hopes to have two agents in Asia, two in Africa and one in Latin America by the end
of 2014. CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Hezbollah pledged Wednesday to respond to an Israeli
airstrike earlier this week that targeted a base on the Lebanon-Syria border in the
group’s first official confirmation of the attack.
“This Israeli aggression will not stand without a response from the resistance,”
Hezbollah said in a statement, according to the Daily Star.
“The resistance will choose the right time and place as well as the appropriate
response method,” the group warned.
The statement said there were no casualties in Monday night’s air raid, adding that
the attack had inflicted “some” damage to a Hezbollah base near the Bekaa Valley
border town of Janta.
The statement denied reports that a Hezbollah-bound weapons shipments from Syria
had been the target.
“Reports by some media outlets that artillery or missile bases have been targeted or
that [Hezbollah] fighters [were killed] are baseless,” the group said.
A report published Wednesday in the Israeli daily Haaretz said Israeli defense officials
are preparing for Hezbollah to target senior Israeli figures in retaliation for Monday’s
attack. The report, citing Israeli sources, said Hezbollah was not expected to react
immediately and that Israeli military leaders were preparing accordingly.
Meanwhile, Lebanese President Michel Sleiman asked Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil to
file a complaint with the UN Security Council over Israel’s latest attack.
Source: Tehran Times
Newscast Media PARIS—France’s highest court has ruled against the extradition of
three Rwandans wanted in Kigali for their alleged role in anti-Tutsi genocide in 1994.
The Cour de Cassation declared that the men could not be judged for a crime that
was legally defined after the massacres took place.
The court on Wednesday overturned a November appeals court ruling that Claude
Muhayimana and Innocent Musabyimana could be extradited and upheld a September
decision by a court in Douai, northern France, that Laurent Serubuga could not.
Genocide was made a punishable crime in Rwanda after laws were passed in 1996 and
Muhayimana, who obtained French citizenship in 2010, is accused of taking part in
the mass murder of Tutsis in the western town of Kibuye, while Musabyimana is
accused of genocide in the north-western province of Gisenyi.
Serubuga, who a deputy chief of staff of the Rwandan army at the time, was
detained in France last July because of an arrest warrant issued by a Rwandan court.
The Douai court rejected the extradition call on the grounds that the warrant was
issued 10 years after the alleged crimes.
France has been reluctant to extradite Rwandans and its relations with Kigali have
been tense since President Paul Kagame came to power 20 years ago.
But relations have improved recently and the current trial on genocide charges of
former army captain Pascal Simbikangwa is the first of its kind in France. Muhayimana
could be tried under the same laws and an investigation into his possible involvement
in crimes against humanity was opened last June.
The leader of the Rwandan genocide survivors’ association Ibuka, Jean-Pierre
Dusingizemungu, slammed Wednesday’s decision, saying Rwanda had a “proven”
system in place to try genocide suspects.
“France is not really making any effort,” he said. “Our view is that France is hesitating
because it is involved. Perhaps it wants to protect its old friends.”
Source: Radio France Internationale