Senator Ted Cruz victory party mixer Houston, Texas—Photo by Joseph Earnest
Newscast Media HOUSTON—U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) spoke on the Senate floor in support of Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-UT) resolution to investigate abortion practices in the U.S. and ensure that clinics like Kermit Gosnell’s have no place in our society. He also brought attention to an abortion facility in Houston that has recently come under scrutiny for alleged late-term abortion and infanticide practices, voicing his support of current state and local investigations into the matter.
“The crimes committed by Kermit Gosnell are almost unspeakable. Knowing what we know now about what happened, everyone in this body should be supporting an investigation to make sure there are not other Kermit Gosnell’s across this country. We need to make sure it is not happening to other unsuspecting mothers, that other newborn babies are not being murdered as they were in Dr. Gosnell’s clinic,” Cruz said.
“Everyone who proclaims to be a champion for women and children should enthusiastically support this resolution. Anyone who proclaims himself a champion dedicated to helping the most vulnerable should be supporting this resolution. Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, in 2011 performed 333,964 abortions in the U.S. Almost half of its income comes from the taxpayer, and this body has an obligation to make sure there are not other Gosnell houses of horror practicing today,” he added.
Sen. Lee’s resolution provides that Congress and States should gather information about and correct abusive, unsanitary, and illegal abortion practices and the interstate referral of women and girls to facilities engaged in dangerous or illegal second- and third-trimester procedures.
Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst—Photo by Joseph Earnest
by Melissa Barnhart
Newscast Media HOUSTON—Spurred by pro-life groups and Texas Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office is proceeding with an investigation into allegations that Houston-based abortionist Douglas Karpen, who operates three abortion clinics in the state – two in Houston and one in Dallas – has performed illegal late-term abortions and killed babies born alive, a violation of the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act.
In a video released Wednesday by Life Dynamics, a Denton, Texas-based pro-life organization, three former employees of Karpen’s discuss the details of routine late-term abortions in Karpen’s clinic in which babies were allegedly born alive and
then subsequently killed by the abortion doctor.
Three former employees at the Aaron Women’s Clinic in Houston described seeing babies killed outside of the womb. In an interview with the three women, they were asked: “You would see the babies alive? And he’s killed the babies outside the womb?” The response to both questions was “yes sir,” and they then described the process and method Karpen would allegedly use to kill the babies born alive.
A fourth former employee remains anonymous at this time, but is filing an affidavit about her experiences at one of Karpen’s abortion clinics.
Karpen operates out of the Northpark Medical Groups in Dallas, and the Texas Ambulatory Surgery Center and Aarons Women’s Clinic, both of Houston. According to his clinics’ website, Karpen will perform late-term abortions up to 25 weeks, and states that “choice has no color.”
Color photos released by Operation Rescue show graphic images taken by the former employees’ camera phones allegedly showing the remains of babies, past 24 weeks gestation, that had “their necks cut” by Karpen, similar to the methods used by abortionist Kermit Gosnell who was sentenced Wednesday to serve three life sentences in prison. He was convicted of first-degree murders in the death of three babies born alive in his West Philadelphia abortion clinic, and one count of involuntary manslaughter in the death of one patient.
“In fact, there are numerous similarities between Karpen and the Gosnell case, including the disregarding of complaints by the authorities that allowed both men to continue their illegal operations,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue.
Dewhurst sent out a tweet on Thursday afternoon announcing that Harris County authorities are investigating Karpen. “Great news! I received word that Harris County authorities are actively investigating #TexasGosnell,” he wrote. The announcement followed a statement he released Wednesday demanding that authorities in Harris County investigate the alleged illegal practices at the clinic.
“In a week when serial murderer Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of killing babies, I read with disgust about the allegations of Houston-based abortionist Douglas Karpen performing illegal late-term abortions surrounded by appalling sanitary conditions in his clinic,” Dewhurst said.
The Texas Department of State Health Services will also be joining the DA’s investigation.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Appearing at the East Room of the White House, Barack Obama announced the resignation of IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller, after a report released by the Inspector General (IG) revealed that Conservatives were targeted for audits by the IRS, because of their political beliefs and party affiliations. Obama also said that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, has been directed to make sure the IRS begins implementing the IG’s recommendations right away.
Obama indignantly described the IRS’ misconduct as inexcusable given the power and reach it has in our lives.
“I’ve reviewed the Treasury Department’s misconduct report, and the misconduct that it uncovered is inexcusable. It is inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior, in any agency, but especially in the IRS, given the power that it has, and the reach that it has, in all of our lives. And, as I said earlier, it should not matter what political stripe you are from, the fact of the matter is that, the IRS has to operate with absolute integrity. The government generally has to conduct itself in a way that is true to the public trust, that is especially true for the IRS,” Obama said.
Obama then offered three solutions to fixing the problem:
“So here’s what we’re gonna do. First, we’re gonna hold the responsible parties accountable. Yesterday I directed Secretary Lew to follow up on the IG audit, to see how this happened, and to see who is responsible and to make sure that we understand all of the facts. Today Secretary Lew took the first step, by requesting and accepting the resignation of the acting commissioner of the IRS. Because given the controversy surrounding this audit, it is important to institute new leadership, that can help us restore confidence going forward.
“Second, we’re gonna put into place safeguards to make sure this kind of behavior cannot happen again, and I directed Secretary Lew to ensure the IRS begins implementing the IG’s recommendations right away. Third, we will work with Congress as it performs its oversight role, and our administration has to make sure that we are working hand-in-hand with to get this thing fixed,” the president said.
Other Conservatives like Franklin Graham, president of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse said his family’s organizations were targeted last September for an IRS audit.
“I do not believe that the IRS audit of our two organizations last year is a coincidence or justifiable,” Graham said. The preacher believes it was an effort by the Obama administration to intimidate them for their beliefs.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Congressman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) introduced the Taxpayer Nondiscrimination & Protection Act of 2013 on Tuesday that would amend Title 18 of the U.S. Code, making it a crime for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to discriminate against anyone (individual or group) based on their constitutionally protected rights of political speech and expression. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will introduce a similar legislation on Wednesday.
“Americans of all political beliefs have been rightly outraged by the revelation of the IRS’ efforts to target certain political organizations,” said Turner in a statement. “The fact that this could occur with little to no corrective action against those who seek to silence their fellow citizens is unacceptable. That’s why I’m taking immediate action and introducing this bill.”
IRS employees are already prohibited from discriminating against individuals and groups based on protected speech, but this bill would increase the penalty IRS employees could receive. If signed into law, employees, would face a fine of up to $5,000, five years in prison, or both.
This legislation is a swift response to facts reported on by the Associated Press that IRS officials were targeting conservative groups as early as June 2011 – at least nine months prior to when the IRS told lawmakers that no such targeting was occurring. An IRS official recently acknowledged that the agency had in fact flagged 75 conservative groups for scrutinized review because their names included “tea party” or “patriot.”
“A government organization like the IRS discriminating against political organizations is an outrageous abuse of power, and the American people have every right to demand answers and accountability,” Rubio said in a statement.
“Those responsible individuals should face all appropriate punishment available under current law, and all organizations and individuals who engage in political speech and expression should be protected against this kind of discriminatory behavior in the future. I commend Congressman Turner for championing this legislation in the House and hope our colleagues will join us in providing protections to deter this kind of governmental abuse from happening again.”
Rubio also sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew demanding the resignation of the current IRS Commissioner. “The American people deserve answers about how such seemingly unconstitutional and potentially criminal behavior could occur, and who else was aware of it throughout the Administration,” Rubio wrote. “If investigations reveal that bureaucrats or political appointees engaged in unconstitutional or criminal targeting of conservative taxpayers, they must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—A foreign-backed militant who was seen eating an organ of a dead Syrian soldier in a recent video has confirmed the authenticity of the 27-second clip.
In an interview with Time magazine conducted via Skype on Tuesday, Khalid al Hamad, known by his nom de guerre Abu Sakkar, confirmed that the video is real and that he did indeed take a bite of the soldier’s lung.
The video shows him cutting out some of the soldier’s organs and biting into one. At the time of the filming, al Hamad believed that he was eating the man’s liver, but a surgeon who saw the video said the organ in question was actually a lung.
Other Syrian militants condemned the “horrific and inhumane” action and said he should be arrested or killed for committing the atrocity.
Human Rights Watch said it was a war crime.
In April, two Time reporters saw the video and a few weeks later obtained a copy of it. Witnesses to the filming told Time that the video was legitimate, but the magazine’s journalists initially did not release the video, believing it could have been faked for propaganda purposes, then attempted to authenticate it, and only publicized it after al Hamad confirmed that the video was real.
On Sunday, a copy of the video appeared online and sparked a flood of Facebook “shares” and YouTube views.
Human Rights Watch, which validated the video, issued a report on Monday in which it called on the United Nations Security Council to refer the Syria situation to the International Criminal Court to ensure accountability for all war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“It is not enough for Syria’s opposition to condemn such behavior or blame it on violence by the government,” said Nadim Houry, HRW’s Deputy Middle East Director.
“The opposition forces need to act firmly to stop such abuses.”
“I have another video clip that I will send to them. In the clip I am sawing another Shabiha [pro-government militiaman] with a saw. The saw we use to cut trees. I sawed him in small pieces and large ones,” al Hamad told Time.
The Syria crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
Newscast Media LOS ANGELES—The city of Los Angeles yesterday kicked off the “Bike Week L.A.,” an annual event to promote bicycle culture and two-wheel travel. Bicyclists can take Los Angeles area buses for free on select routes Thursday and participate in various bike events this week.
As part of “Bike to Work Day” on Thursday, bicyclists boarding DASH (Downtown Area Short Hop) and Commuter Express buses with a bicycle helmet will ride for free, though Commuter Express buses have limited rack space for bikes and DASH buses have no racks.
Other area bus lines will also offer free rides to cyclists on Thursday, when two-wheel enthusiasts will be stationed along bike routes to hand out drinks, prizes and information.
Those who pledge to use Metro as a link in their ride to work on Thursday will be automatically entered in a contest to win a 700-U.S.-dollar cycling package. In Pasadena, a suburban city in the Los Angeles area, a variety of free activities have been offered for local cyclists.
Activities are designed to teach new and existing riders how to navigate safely in traffic and to encourage motorists and bicyclists alike to safely share the road, the city of Pasadena announced.
The emphasis is on fun, safety, healthy lifestyle and reducing dependence on car transportation, the city said, adding that it is considering making bicycle riding a year-round activity.
Newscast Media MOSCOW—A CIA agent posing as a career diplomat at the American Embassy in Moscow, has been arrested by Russian security services, according to media reports from Moscow.
CBS reports that the Federal Security Service (FSB) announced that it had detained a man identified as Ryan Christopher Fogle on the evening of May 13 or early the next morning for attempting to recruit a Russian agent. The U.S. Embassy would not comment on the reports when contacted Tuesday morning by CBS News.
According to Deutsche Welle, Russia television released photos of the alleged suspect being held face down on the ground as he was placing his hands behind his head. News coverage also broadcast photos of the “special technical equipment” confiscated by the Federal Security Service: wigs, a torch, a compass, a cell phone, and a large sum of money in denominations of 500 euros ($648).
Tuesday’s allegations came just days after a diplomatic visit by Secretary of State John Kerry which he called a “real breakthrough” in talks on Syria.
Moscow opposes international intervention and has reportedly supplied Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime with missiles, which it says were ordered before the war broke out three years ago.
Newscast Media PHILADELPHIA—Abortionist Kermit Gosnell has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of patient Karnamaya Mongar who died at his late-term abortion clinic, and three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of four babies allegedly born alive inside the Women’s Medical Society abortion clinic in West Philadelphia, Pa., that he operated for 40 years.
Mongar, 41, a Nepalese refugee who lived in Virginia with her family, died in 2009 after Gosnell’s untrained and unlicensed staff administered a lethal dose of Demerol, an opioid pain reliever, and then failed to provide emergency care when she stopped breathing during her abortion.
The jury, comprised of seven women and five men, reached a verdict on all 268 charges on the 10th day of deliberations, after having sent a note to Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart at 10 a.m. Monday announcing they were deadlocked on two of the charges. Minehart instructed the jurors to continue their deliberations and attempt to reach a consensus on the last two counts, which the judge is required to do by law.
During a five-minute meeting, which began at 11:15 a.m., the judge reminded jurors that they “must be unanimous on all counts and asked the group to return to the jury room and discuss the charges further,” according to NBC-10. The local station also noted that the jurors had three options: return to the court with a question, request a re-examination of the evidence, or to notify the judge that they’re unable to reach an agreement on two of the charges.
Jurors spent 10 days deliberating murder charges against Gosnell and his co-defendant, Eileen O’Neill.
Gosnell, 72, now faces the death penalty or life in prison, without parole.
Newscast Media VALENCIENNES—In a press statement released on Sunday, the World Health Organization expressed its concern about recent discoveries of the infection, the novel coronavirus, NCoV, on two separate continents. The virus is a cousin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which broke out a decade ago in eastern Asia and spread to humans from animal hosts, killing some 800 people. The WHO still was not unable to confirm the origin of the virus, nor how widespread the virus had become.
The latest reports of illness came from the health care facility in Saudi Arabia, according to the statement. Saudi Arabian health care officials said seven patients had died as of Sunday after contracting the virus. An additional 22 patients were being treated for NCoV.
“Countries, both inside and outside of the region, [need] to increase their levels of awareness among all people…and to increase their levels of surveillance about this new infection,” the statement warned, adding that heightened awareness in Saudi Arabia had helped officials take swift action.
Following the spike in coronavirus cases, Saudi Arabia’s health ministry launched an investigation with the help of the WHO, according to the press release.
French officials also informed the international health organization of a second case on Sunday, which they believed had been transmitted through “close and prolonged contact” of two patients.
Several days ago in the northern French city of Valenciennes, doctors confirmed that a 50-year-old man had fallen ill after sharing a hospital room with a 65-year old who had contracted the virus following a trip to Dubai. Health officials diagnosed the latter case at the end of April.
Newscast Media TEL AVIV—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit Russia to discuss the supplying of Russian weapons to Syria, a high-ranking source in Jerusalem told RIA Novosti on Saturday.
“Netanyahu plans to visit Russia. The main theme [of discussions] will be the export of weapons to Syria,” the source said on condition of anonymity, since the Israeli authorities have not yet officially announced the visit.
Netanyahu plans to come to Russia for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that the date is being agreed upon. A source in diplomatic circles told RIA Novosti that the Israeli prime minister expects to travel to Sochi at the beginning of next week. “The visit is currently at the active planning stage,” the source said.The two leaders discussed the Syrian crisis by telephone on May 6, after reports emerged that Israel had carried out several air strikes on Syrian territory in the previous days. Reuters reported that the strikes targeted weapons designated for Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, while the Syrian state news agency SANA said that a research center near the capital Damascus had been attacked.
Media reports had previously stated that Israel wants Russia to agree not to supply Syria with S-300 missile batteries.
Russia’s supply of weapons to Syria was also a topic of discussion at Friday’s talks in Sochi between Putin and British Prime Minister David Cameron, where the Russian side repeated its position that it is simply honoring existing contracts, a source from the Russian delegation said.
“It’s quite clear: There is no embargo on deliveries, and we are fulfilling agreements signed previously, i.e. we are carrying out the obligations we took upon ourselves.”
The source added that all the weapons Russia is currently delivering to Syria were of an “exclusively defensive nature.”
On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow had no plans to supply Syria with weapons beyond the current contracts that Moscow is honoring. The announcement came a day after The Wall Street Journal reported that Israel had informed the United States about the suspected sale of Russian S-300 missile batteries to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. According to the
information the Israelis provided, Syria has been making payments on a 2010 agreement with Moscow to buy six launchers and 144 operational missiles for $900 million.
Commenting on the media reports, US Secretary of State John Kerry said “the missiles are potentially destabilizing with respect to the state of Israel.”
The sale of Russian weapons to Assad’s regime has been a source of bilateral tension between Moscow and Washington, with US officials accusing Russia of arming a regime the United States says is killing its own citizens in Syria’s raging civil war.
Russia, however, has insisted that the deliveries are legal under international law and that it is not supplying Syria, the largest importer of Russian arms in the Middle East, with offensive weapons that can be used to kill civilians.
About 70,000 people have died in Syria since the beginning of the uprising against Assad in March 2011, according to UN figures. Russia, along with China, has faced widespread condemnation over its refusal to approve UN sanctions against Assad’s regime.
Newscast Media DUNCANVILLE, Texas—A Texas high school student was fed up of a high school teacher handing out sheets of information instead of teaching and engaging students, so he went on a 90-second rant against the teacher in front of the entire class.
Jeff Bliss of Duncanville High School in Texas told the teacher, “If you would just get up and teach them instead of handing them a frickin’ packet, yo. There’s kids in here who don’t learn like that. They need to learn face-to-face. You’re just getting mad because I’m pointing out the obvious.” Watch below:
In a follow-up interview with the local media, Jeff Bliss said he wasn’t aware that his rant was being recorded by a student.
The video has gone viral all over the world, and a meeting has been scheduled between Jeff Bliss and the school administration next week to discuss a resolution to the problem. No disciplinary has been taken against the high school student.
Newscast Media CLEVELAND—By now almost everyone in America has heard of the heroic act of Charles Ramsey, who led to the rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight in Cleveland, Ohio.
The young ladies had disappeared for a decade, but Amanda Berry was able to flag Ramsey, a neighbor, and ask for help. The girls had been held against their will in a basement that was sealed and padlocked to prevent the captives from escaping.
“Bro, I knew something was wrong when a little, pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway. Dead giveaway,” Ramsey told the reporter in a live interview.
Ramsey is now an Internet sensation and his interview has been remixed in the video below, by his admirers.
Charles Ramsey – as authentic as a human can get. No pretentiousness, all genuine.
Syria's Assad (L) meets Iran's FM Ali Akbar Salehi (R) - Courtesy photo Tehran Times
Newscast Media TEHRAN—Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Tuesday and assured the crisis-hit country that the Islamic Republic will continue to support it.
In the meeting, Salehi briefed Assad on Iran’s efforts to restore peace and stability in Syria, saying that the crisis can only be resolved through national dialogue and without foreign interference.
He said that the terrorist actions carried out by extremist groups in Syria should wake other countries up to the realities on the ground in the Arab country and should force them to step up efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the two-year-old conflict.
Assad, for his part, hailed Iran’s stance toward Syria and said that Damascus was determined to continue its support for the line of resistance against Israel.
The efforts of terrorist groups in Syria are doomed to failure, and the future belongs to those who are advocates of the resolution of the crisis through political means, the Syrian president said.
Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Wednesday, Salehi called on Syrian opposition groups to dissociate themselves from terrorist groups in the country.
“We think that genuine opposition groups should immediately dissociate themselves from these mercenaries and enter dialogue with the Syrian government and determine the fate of their country,” Salehi said.
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Al Manar is reporting that behind the scenes 3500 fighters from the Takfiri groups and Syrian opposition militants who are under siege in Qusayr area—Homs sent many urgent messages and envoys to propose their surrender to the Syrian official authorities.
The report also says US officials working on the Syrian crisis line, proposed to their Russian counterparts that they would accept if Moscow nominates a name of its choice to replace Bashar Assad in the Syrian Presidency. The Russians refused categorically and insisted that they have only one name; Bashar Assad.
What triggered the offer to surrender is attributed to the heavy defeats they (the rebels) received in many Syrian areas, causing the opposition groups to become more flexible in their conditions to negotiate with the Syrian government. According to Lebanese sources handling the mediation efforts, the opposition has dropped the condition that Syrian President leaves office to start negotiations.
The Syrian opposition forces are are confronted with three major problems after the recent defeats on the battlefield: the first one has to do with the severe demoralization of the fighters, the second, is the severe siege against them by the government forces, and the third is their inability to attract more fighters or to rally support.
Newscast Media MOSCOW—The United States and Russia reached agreement on Tuesday to encourage opposing sides in the Syria conflict to find a negotiated solution. Visiting Moscow, US Secretary of State John Kerry held more than five hours of talks in total with President Vladimir Putin and then with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in an effort to find common ground on the issue.
The two powers have repeatedly taken opposing sides on the matter, with Russia—a long-standing arms supplier to Syria—maintaining close links with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Moscow claims Washington has worsened the situation by seeking regime change and siding with the rebels. Meanwhile Western nations have accused Russia of failing to use its influence with Damascus and scuppering efforts to take action against him through the UN Security Council.
However, both sides downplayed their differences in a press conference after the talks.
“We agreed that Russia and the United States will encourage both the Syria government and opposition groups to find a political solution,” Lavrov said at a concluding news conference that ended just after midnight.
Lavrov maintained that Russia did not believe the removal of Assad from office should be a precondition for talks, but insisted that Moscow was not propping up the Syrian leader.
“We are not concerned by the fate of any individual. We are concerned by the fate of the Syrian people.”
There was agreement on the need to implement a plan for a transitional government set out in the Geneva accord, agreed by world powers last June, as soon as possible.
“The alternative is that there is even more violence,” said Kerry. The alternative is that Syria heads closer to an abyss, if not over the abyss and into chaos.”
Kerry also said there had been a “very productive, very warm and friendly discussion” with Putin in the earlier meeting, which he added “has contributed significantly to our ability to map a road ahead.” http://newscastmedia.com/syria-talks.htm
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Barack Obama will be unable to finish his second term due to the Benghazi scandal, media personality and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee expects. The prediction came Monday during his radio show, “The Mike Huckabee Show.”
“I believe that before it’s all over, this president will not fill out his full term. I know that puts me on a limb,” he said, according to Politico. “But this is not minor. It wasn’t minor when Richard Nixon lied to the American people and worked with those in his administration to cover-up what really happened in Watergate. But, I remind you – as bad as Watergate was, because it broke the trust between the president and the people, no one died. This is more serious because four Americans did, in fact, die.”
This Wednesday, at least three whistle blowers are set to testify before a Republican-led U.S. House committee. They will present evidence that the Obama administration failed to respond quickly to the September 11, 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya that led to the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. They will also present evidence that the administration purposely misled when it blamed the attack on a YouTube video and said it arose out of a spontaneous demonstration.
One of those testifying will be Greg Hicks, who served under Chris Stevens. Hicks was not in Libya during the attack, but was in contact with Stevens as the attack was taking place.
Hicks’ “story is totally at variance with what some American officials were saying in public on this broadcast five days after the attack,” veteran CBS journalist Bob Schieffer said Sunday on “Face the Nation.” “The administration claimed the attack grew out of a spontaneous demonstration provoked by protests in Egypt. Greg Hicks told investigators that was simply not true.”
Huckabee said that the Benghazi scandal “goes all the way to the heart of the integrity of the United States government.”
“When a president lies to the American people and is part of a cover-up, he cannot continue to govern,” Huckabee added. “And as the facts come out, I think we’re going to see something startling. And before it’s over, I don’t think this president will finish his term unless somehow they can delay it in Congress past the next three and a half years.”
A third part of the scandal has to do with the denial of additional security by the Obama administration for U.S. officials stationed in Libya. Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed in January that she was unaware that requests, by Stevens and other top officials, were denied. Republican investigators, though, found that Clinton had signed off on a plan to reduce the number of security personnel in Libya.
Administration officials counter that many State Department documents bear the secretary’s signature, but she does not see all of them.
Newscast Media VATICAN CITY—The deadly bombing of a new church in northern Tanzania left at least two people dead and a dozen injured while the Vatican nuncio escaped unharmed after the attack.
Archbishop Francisco Padilla, apostolic nuncio to Tanzania, was among those attending the inauguration of a new church in the city of Arusha May 5.
Eyewitnesses reported a bomb was thrown from a motorcycle into the church. Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete called it “a terrorist act.” As of May 6, police had arrested eight people—four Saudis and four Tanzanians — in relation to the attack. Archbishop Padilla told Vatican Radio May 6 that the pre-inauguration ceremony for the new church began with a blessing outside.
“Before going inside, I heard an explosion then I saw bodies of people injured on the ground,” he said.
“I was in shock and the police immediately took me someplace safe,” he said. He said his prayers and thoughts were with all those hurt by the blast. “I feel very badly for them, innocent victims attending a celebration.”
The archbishop said an attack on a church was completely unexpected.
“Similar things have happened in Kenya, but not in Tanzania. It’s the first time a bomb exploded during a liturgical celebration.”
About 30 percent of mainland Tanzanians are Christian, 35 percent are Muslim and 35 percent profess traditional African beliefs.
On Tanzania’s predominantly Muslim island of Zanzibar, where some elements are fighting for secession, a priest and a Protestant pastor were killed in separate incidents in February and another priest was injured in a Christmas Day attack; a Muslim cleric also was attacked with acid last November. More than five churches on the island were set alight in arson attacks last year.
Newscast Media PYONGYANG—North Korea said on Sunday it would not use jailed US citizen as a “bargaining chip” with Washington, as it laid out conditions to revive a jointly-run business estate with its neighbor, the South.
“Some media of the U.S. said that the DPRK (North Korea) tried to use Pae’s case as a political bargaining chip. This is a ridiculous and wrong guess,” a foreign ministry spokesman told the official KCNA news agency.
“The DPRK has no plan to invite anyone of the US as regards Pae’s issue.”
The North said Thursday it had sentenced Pae, known in the US as Kenneth Bae, to 15 years of hard labor for hostile acts aimed at toppling the communist regime.
The Korean-American tour operator was arrested as he entered the northeastern port city of Rason. Bae, who was referred to throughout the trial as Pae-Jun-ho, the Korean iteration of his name, was first detained in November and could have been executed for the charge that he conspired to overthrow the government.
Meanwhile, Pyongyang demanded that South Korea drop all “military provocations” if it wants to revive the Kaesong Industrial Complex. The North’s National Defense Commission, its most powerful body, on Sunday again blamed the South for the suspension.
“If the South was truly worried about Kaesong’s future, it should take measures of stopping all the hostile acts and military provocations, the source of the prevailing situation”, said a spokesman for the commission, which is chaired by leader Kim Jong-Un.
The spokesman’s statement, on the Korean-language service of the official KCNA news agency, cited anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent across the border in balloons by conservative activists and defectors. It also cited the South’s preparations for an annual military exercise with its US ally scheduled for August.
“These are parts of confrontational actions and war practice taken by the enemy government when it is rambling that it wants to normalize the Kaesong complex,” the spokesman said.
Pyongyang, accusing Seoul of sparking the military tension, banned entry to the Kaesong complex by South Koreans and pulled out all its 53,000 workers early last month, rejecting repeated calls by the South for talks.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged the gatekeepers of a pair of mutual fund trusts with causing untrue or misleading disclosures about the factors they considered when approving or renewing investment advisory contracts on behalf of shareholders.
The five trustees named in the SEC enforcement action are: Michael Miola of Arizona, Lester M. Bryan of Utah, Anthony J. Hertl of Florida, Gary W. Lanzen of Nevada, and Mark H. Taylor of Ohio.
Some trusts are created as turnkey mutual fund operations that launch numerous funds to be managed by different unaffiliated advisers and overseen by a single board of trustees. The federal securities laws require all mutual fund directors to evaluate and approve a fund’s contract with its investment adviser, and the funds must report back to shareholders about the material factors considered by the directors in making these decisions. The SEC Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit has been fee arrangements in the fund industry.
An SEC investigation that arose from an examination of the Northern Lights Fund Trust and the Northern Lights Variable Trust found that some of the trusts’ shareholder reports either misrepresented material information considered by the trustees or omitted material information about how they evaluated certain factors in reaching their decisions on behalf of the funds and their shareholders. The trustees and the trusts’ chief compliance officer Northern Lights Compliance Services (NLCS) were responsible for causing violations of the SEC’s compliance rule, and the trusts’ fund administrator Gemini Fund Services (GFS) caused violations of the Investment Company Act recordkeeping and reporting provisions.
The firms and the trustees have agreed to settle the SEC’s charges.
“Determining the terms of the investment advisory contract, especially compensation of the adviser, is one of the most critical duties of a mutual fund board,” said George S. Canellos, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “We will aggressively enforce investors’ rights to accurate and complete information about the board’s process and decision-making.”
Newscast Media HOUSTON—The National Rifle Association (NRA) held its annual convention in Houston, Texas at the George R. Brown Convention Center, May 3-5, with over 7 acres of guns, gear and outfitters. Attendees also saw knives, wildlife art, shooting accessories, hunting gear, ATVs, and much more! Guests took their whole families to the exhibit with over 340,000 square feet of space, that had something for
everyone. Here are some of the highlights of the show>>