Archive for April, 2014

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad files papers for presidential run

Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had registered to run
for re-election. Although he is one of seven candidates, he is widely expected to win.
The speaker of the Syrian parliament, Mohamed al-Lahham, announced on Monday
that Assad had submitted the necessary paperwork to stand for president.

Lahham then read out a letter, which he said the president had submitted do

“I …Dr. Bashar Hafez al Assad … wish to nominate myself for the post of president of
the republic, hoping that parliament will endorse it,” it said.

Changes made to Syria’s constitution two years ago will make this the first time that
multiple candidates are being allowed to run for president. Previously, Assad and his
predecessor and father, Hafez al-Assad, had had their candidacies for the job
approved in referendums. In the last one, in 2007, Assad was confirmed in office with
97.6 percent of the vote.

Assad is one of seven candidates who have announced their intention to run in the
June 3 election, but none of the others is seen as having a chance of unseating the
president, who has been in office since 2000.

The election will only take place in parts of Syria controlled by government forces,
meaning that voters in large swathes of the country held by rebel fighters will not be
able to take part.

Source: Deutsche Welle


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 29, 2014 at 3:56 am

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N. Korea calls S. Korea’s president a whore, Obama her pimp

Kim Jung-un

Newscast Media SEOUL—The North Korean government of President Kim Jung-un has
lashed out at South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye for hosting Obama on his
diplomatic Asian tour. In its usual colorful language, North Korea did not mince
words about what it felt about Obama’s visit.

The statement in part read: “What Park did before Obama this time reminds one of an
indiscreet girl who earnestly begs a gangster to beat someone or a capricious whore
who asks her fancy man [pimp] to do harm to other person while providing sex to him.

Through her ugly behavior Park answered with a war the question put by the DPRK if
she wants peaceful reunification based on the inter-Korean reconciliation or a war
through the confrontation of the social systems, and fully revealed that her policy of
“confidence- building process” is just the same policy of confrontation as that
pursued by traitor Lee Myung Bak.

She fully met the demands of her master for aggression, keeping mum about the
nukes of the U.S. and desperately finding fault with fellow countrymen in the north
over their nukes. She thus laid bare her despicable true colors as a wicked sycophant
and traitor, a dirty comfort woman for the U.S. and despicable prostitute selling off
the nation.

She visited together with Obama even the “south Korea-U.S. combined forces
command” for the first time as a puppet chief executive and went off confrontation
hysteria, crying out for “deterrence against the north” and “resolutely countering
provocation from it.” She even donned a dress unfit for the atmosphere of the
mourner’s house in the wake of the big tragedy and embarrassedly flattered Obama in
a bid to please him, sparking off uproar.

The anti-DPRK charade staged by Obama and his servant became a laughing stock of
world people as it was nothing but an odd burlesque rare to be found in the world.
She is steeped in sycophancy and treachery and confrontation with compatriots in
the north. Her preoccupation is to realize the dream of confrontation of the social

The verbal assault ended with North Korea suggesting that Park may even be

South Korea’s Unification Ministry criticized the statement, calling the words immoral
and unacceptable.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 28, 2014 at 7:56 pm

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NBA team owner faces blowback for racist remarks against Blacks

Inset: Donald Sterling. This picture also bothered Sterling, of Stiviano (r) with a Black baseball player Matt Kemp (l) who plays for the LA Dodgers. Photo by Instagram.

Newscast Media LOS ANGELES—While owner of LA Clippers Donald Sterling is still
reeling from the blowback he has faced since TMZ released a tape of him on a racist
rant, the National Association of Advancement of Colored People, announced today
that it has withdrawn the Lifetime Achievement Award it planned to give Sterling at
its May 15, banquet.

“He is not receiving a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP,” Lorraine Miller,
NAACP interim vice president, told NBC’s Meet the Press.

The controversy revolves around a tape in which the angry 82-year-old Sterling is
ranting about his young twenty-something girlfriend Stiviano, who is half Mexican,
half Black, associating with Black people.

It also angered Sterling that Stiviano took pictures with Magic Johnson and posted
them on Instagram. Stiviano said she saw someone she admired and took a picture
with him and posted it on Instagram, even though her boyfriend forbade her of
associating with Black men. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 3:19 am

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Lavrov responds to Russia wanting to start World War III

Sergei Lavrov

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday
accused Washington of seeking to “seize” Ukraine, as Kiev said Moscow wants to
start a third World War.

Lavrov warned “the might of US propaganda” was aimed “at smearing Russia, smearing
those who protest against the illegal actions of the (Kiev) authorities who are trying
to ban Russian and trying to call all Russians and Russian speakers enemies who
should be killed.”

“If truth be told, the West—that’s how it all started—wants to seize Ukraine so to
speak, being solely motivated by its own geopolitical ambitions and not the interests
of the Ukrainian people.”

Earlier on Thursday, Kerry warned that Moscow’s refusal to end the Ukraine crisis
would be costly, saying the window of opportunity for Russia to change tack was

For his part, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk accused Russian of wanting
to start “a third world war” over the current crisis in the country, as he called for
international help against “Russian aggression”.

“The aggressive efforts of the Russian military on Ukraine’s soil will lead to a conflict
on European soil,” he said in a televised cabinet meeting.

“The world hasn’t forgotten the Second World War and Russia wants to start a third
world war,” he said.

“Russia’s support for the terrorists in Ukraine constitutes an international crime and
we call on the international community to unite against the Russian aggression.”
Earlier on Thursday Kiev’s Western-backed government went ahead with its offensive
against separatists in the country’s east, killing five pro-Kremlin activists.

Also on Thursday, Russia announced it has launched new military exercises on the
border with Ukraine in response to Kiev’s operation.

Source: Al Manar


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 26, 2014 at 12:16 am

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CDC and global partners make progress in curbing malaria


Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) and its global partners have made enormous progress in reaching more people
than ever with lifesaving malaria interventions and in reducing malaria deaths by
nearly half in Africa, where malaria burden is highest.

Malaria has long been a major cause of illness and death worldwide, but that is
changing, CDC said on April 25, World Malaria Day.

CDC and the global community have worked together to reach millions with lifesaving
prevention and treatment interventions. This massive scale-up of malaria
interventions has saved 3.3 million lives since 2000, CDC said, and has led to sharp
decreases in deaths due to malaria. Globally, deaths have fallen by 42 percent and in
sub-Saharan Africa by 49 percent. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 25, 2014 at 9:03 pm

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Barack Obama: Palestinian unity deal with Hamas unhelpful


Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The United States scrambled to salvage the already
dying Israeli-Palestinian peace talks after Israel torpedoed the negotiations over its
refusal to deal with a unified Palestinian political entity.

President Barack Obama, whose administration dragged the two sides back to the
negotiating table in July after a three-year hiatus, said on Friday that the recent
Palestinian unity deal between former opponents Fatah and Hamas was “unhelpful” to
the talks.

Speaking in Seoul, Obama acknowledged the need for a “pause” in the talks but
vowed he would not give up on Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace push despite
the latest setbacks. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 8:12 pm

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Russia: Kiev must take initiative to de-escalate tension

Newscast Media KIEV—Moscow believes that Kiev should take the first steps to
de-escalate the situation in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said

“We have no doubt that the first steps should be taken by Kiev’s authorities. This is
absolutely undeniable,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov added that the coup-imposed Kiev authorities should acknowledge their
responsibility in a February 21 reconciliation deal and last week’s international
agreement reached in Geneva.

On February 21, Ukrainian authorities and opposition leaders signed an agreement
backed by the European Union on settling the crisis, including the establishment of a
national unity government within 10 days.

The next day, Ukraine underwent a regime change resembling a military coup. The
country’s parliament ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, changed the constitution
and scheduled an early presidential election for May 25.

Moscow has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of these actions and has called on
the sides to abide by the February 21 agreement. Eastern and southeastern cities of
Ukraine refused to accept the legitimacy of Kiev authorities and have been staging
protests since March.

In a bid to de-escalate the ongoing conflict, top diplomats from Russia, Ukraine, the
United States and the European Union approved a statement on April 17 calling on
the sides in Ukraine to refrain from violence, extremism and provocations, disarm
militants and launch a national dialogue on constitutional reform.

In violation of the Geneva deal, a group of unknown gunmen, allegedly members of
the Right Sector far-right group, killed at least three people in an attack on a
checkpoint near Slaviansk this weekend. The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the
attack as “provocation” that pointed to Kiev’s reluctance to disarm nationalists and

Source: Ria Novosti

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 24, 2014 at 2:47 pm

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UN: Thousands of people flee fighting in South Sudan

Newscast Media KHARTOUM—Thousands of people have fled renewed fighting in
Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, adding to hundreds of thousands
uprooted by conflict in the Darfur region this year, the UN said Thursday.

Clashes between government forces and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation
Movement-North (SPLM-N)in South Kordofan’s Rashad district displaced about 6,700
civilians, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its
weekly bulletin.

It cited data from Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commission.

“Many displaced people have sought shelter in Rashad town,” OCHA said.

The UN has also received reports that an estimated 4,300 people fled their homes in
Blue Nile state because of combat between SPLM-N and government forces, OCHA
said. Almost three years of fighting in South Kordofan and Blue Nile had already
displaced or severely affected more than one million people.

Like the 11-year-old insurgency in western Sudan’s Darfur region, the Kordofan-Blue
Nile war has been fuelled by complaints among non-Arab groups of neglect and
discrimination by the Arab-dominated regime.

Khartoum and the SPLM-N on Tuesday began their latest round of African
Union-mediated talks aimed at reaching a peace deal.

The UN says a rising number of people in Sudan, 6.1 million, need humanitarian aid but
the percentage of funding obtained to help them has fallen in each of the past three

More than 300,000 people have been uprooted by fighting in parts of Darfur since
February, OCHA said. The region has experienced its worst violence in a decade this

Source: Al Manar TV News


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 2:19 pm

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Canadian diplomat expelled from Russia in retaliation

Canadian Embassy in Moscow

Newscast Media OTTAWA—Russia has expelled a Canadian diplomat in retaliation for
Canada’s expulsion of an aide to Russia’s defense attache in Ottawa earlier this

Moscow announced on April 22 that Canadian Embassy First Secretary Margarita
Atanasov had been given two weeks to leave the country.

Canada also recently expelled nine Russian military officers after suspending joint
military training as part of Ottawa’s sanctions over Russia’s annexation of the
Ukrainian region of Crimea.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has described Russia’s actions in Ukraine as
“aggressive, militaristic, and imperialistic.”

Source: Radio Free Europe


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 23, 2014 at 5:28 pm

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Lavrov: Russia will respond to attack on Russian interests

Sergei Lavrov

Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russia will be forced to respond correspondingly to any
actions undermining the interests of Russian citizens, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov said Wednesday.

“If we are attacked, we would certainly respond,” Lavrov said in an English-language
interview with the RT news channel.

“If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been
attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I don’t see any other
way but to respond in full accordance with international law. Russian citizens being
attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation,” the foreign minister said,
adding that Russia is not engaged in any military activity that does not fall under
international law. CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 4:53 pm

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Russia puts ban on import of GMO foods due to their toxicity

GMO fruits

Written by William Engdahl

Newscast Media MOSCOW—The Russian government recently announced it would ban
import and commercialization of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in the Russian
Federation. New evidence suggests that the health and safety dangers of the GMO
assault on our food quality involve the paired agrichemicals that are used in almost all
GMO seeds today, namely Monsanto Roundup and other glysophate-based weed

In December 2013, Professor Irina Ermakova, vice president of Russia’s National
Association for Genetic Safety, together with a group of Russian scientists, called on
the government to impose a 10-year ban or moratorium in order that the influence of
GMOs and their chemical herbicides can be thoroughly studied for their influence on
human health. Ermakova some years before conducted GMO rat-feeding tests that
showed alarming results, including extreme mortality rates. CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLES>>


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 22, 2014 at 8:38 pm

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Vatican rejects false accusations against Pope John Paul II

Inside The Vatican -- Photo by Joseph Earnest

Newscast Media ROME—Less than a week before former Pope John Paul II is to be
declared a saint, critics want answers about an abuse scandal involving an order of
priests he had championed for years. The Vatican has refuted the claims.

The Vatican dismissed critics’ concerns over Pope John Paul’s legacy on Tuesday, just
days ahead of a highly-anticipated ceremony that will see the beloved pontiff
declared saint. The case in question surrounds Legion of Christ founder Marcial
Maciel, who was found to have sexually abused both seminarians and children. The
order had received strong support from the late pope and his closest advisors, which
prompted critics to question whether John Paul II had covered up the scandal during
his time at the head of the Catholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005.

“There is no personal implication of the Holy Father (John Paul II) in this affair,”
Vatican spokesperson Federico Lombardi told reporters, citing evidence collected
while John Paul was being considered for sainthood.

Monsignor Slawomir Oder, the Polish priest who has spearheaded John Paul II’s
fast-track to sainthood, also rejected the accusations.
“There is no sign of personal involvement of the Holy Father in this case,” Oder said
on Tuesday.

The process of canonizing saints includes a lengthy investigation into all aspects of a
candidate’s life before declaring the individual saint. Not only must investigators
gather concrete evidence linking miracles to the person in question, but they must
also conclude that he or she lived a holy life in line with Church teachings. This is
done by conducting a thorough analysis of his or her writings, recorded statements
and known actions.

Source: Deutsche Welle


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 5:53 pm

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SEC halts pyramid scheme targeting Brazilian and Dominican US immigrants

SEC logo

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The Securities and Exchange Commission today
announced that it has filed charges against the Massachusetts-based operators of a
large pyramid scheme that mainly targeted Dominican and Brazilian immigrants in the
U.S. The charges were filed under seal, in connection with the Commission’s request
for an immediate asset freeze.

That asset freeze, which the U.S. District Court in Boston ordered, secured millions of
dollars of funds and prevented the potential dissipation of investor assets. After the
SEC staff implemented the asset freeze, at the SEC’s request the court lifted the seal
today, permitting public announcement of the SEC’s charges. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 12:37 am

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Kerry and foreign dignitaries reach diplomatic accord on Ukraine

Secretary of State John Kerry—Photo by Joseph Earnest

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Noting that diplomacy requires willing partners,
Secretary of State John Kerry said the four-nation talks in Geneva April 17 reached
an accord to end the spiraling tensions and escalating violence in Ukraine.

“We worked hard and we worked in good faith in order to try to narrow what are real
differences — some of them significant — and to find a way forward for the people of
Ukraine that helps them in achieving their aspiration to live in a stable, peaceful and
unified democracy,” Kerry told journalists at a press conference with European Union
High Representative Catherine Ashton.

Kerry met for seven hours with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia, Russian
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the EU’s Ashton before announcing the four-party


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 17, 2014 at 11:58 pm

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U.S. releasing $450 million of Iranian frozen funds


Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The United States says it is taking steps to release a
$450 million installment of frozen Iranian funds in response to Tehran meeting its
commitment under the interim deal reached with world powers in November.

State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf said April 17 the move comes after a
report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that says Iran is living up to
its part of the interim nuclear deal.

“Based on this confirmation and consistent with commitments that the United States
made under the Joint Plan of Action, the Department of Treasury took the necessary
steps pursuant to the JPOA to facilitate the release of a $450 million installment of
Iran’s frozen funds,” Harf told reporters.

Under the agreement, Iran halted some of its nuclear activities in exchange for a
limited easing of some international sanctions.

Source: Radio Free Europe


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 8:33 pm

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Putin: Talk of Russian interference in Ukraine is nonsense


Newscast Media MOSCOW—President Vladimir Putin has called claims Russia is behind
eastern Ukraine’s unrest “nonsense.” He has accused the government in Kyiv of
raising tensions in the region, while expressing hope for crisis talks.

During the beginning of a televised call with the nation on Thursday, Putin said
Ukraine’s decision to send armed forces to the country’s restive east rather than
establishing a dialogue was a “grave crime.” He also dismissed Western accusations
that Russian special forces were present in the region, saying the people there have
risen up against a government that has ignored their rights and legitimate demands.

“It’s all nonsense, there are no special units, special forces or instructors there,” the
Russian president said. He added the protests in eastern Ukraine, which have driven
separatist sentiment in recent weeks and resulted in gunmen seizing government
offices and police stations in at least 10 cities, involve only locals.

Ukraine’s new government, which took over following the fall of former president
Viktor Yanukovych earlier this year, is dragging the country towards an “abyss,” Putin
said, slamming the decision to launch a military operation against separatists who
have seized buildings.

“This is one more serious crime by the current Kyiv authorities,” Putin said.
Putin urged that diplomacy was the way to reach a solution to the crisis, saying he
“very much hopes” Russia will not have to send its military to eastern Ukraine.

“Only through dialogue, through democratic procedures and not with the use of armed
forces, tanks and planes, can order be imposed in the country,” he said. “It is very
important today to think about how to get out of this situation and offer people a
genuine dialogue and not just one for show.”

Source: Deutsche Welle


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 7:11 pm

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NATO beefs up presence on eastern border as crisis looms

NATO troops

Newscast Media KIEV—NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the
alliance is strengthening its military presence on its eastern borders in response to
the crisis in Ukraine.

Speaking after a meeting in Brussels of the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s main
political decision-making body, Rasmussen said the alliance will be making new military
deployments by sea, air, and land “within days.”

He said there will be “more planes in the air, more ships on the water, more readiness
on the land.”

Rasmussen didn’t reveal operational details or numbers about the new deployments.

But he said there will be more “air policing” in the Baltic region, and that allied ships
will be deployed in the Baltic Sea, eastern Mediterranean, and elsewhere if required.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 16, 2014 at 9:08 pm

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Russia’s stand on Ukraine is sound and consistent–Moscow

The Soviets

Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russia’s stand on Ukraine is sound and consistent but
runs into the ‘concrete wall’ of Western censorship, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s
press secretary Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.

“Those explanations do not pass, not because they are ungrounded, on the contrary,
Russia’s position is consistent and sound, but they do not pass because they run into
the coarse concrete wall of censorship,” Peskov said.

Moscow has described the uprising in Kiev as an illegitimate fascist coup and a
military seizure of power, which resulted in it taking steps to protect ethnic Russians
in Ukraine, including the reunification of Crimea.

The move was heavily criticized by the US and EU, who imposed targeted sanctions
against several Russian officials and suspended cooperation in certain areas.

On Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen once again urged
Russia to pull back its troops from the border with Ukraine. In earlier statements,
Rasmussen suggested pro-federalization rallies that have been sweeping across
eastern Ukraine were staged by pro-Russian separatists.

Peskov also slammed the West for its reluctance to listen to Russia’s confirmation
that it has no troops in Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded on Monday, saying that Russia was
not meddling with Ukraine’s internal affairs.

Source: Ria Novosti


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 6:31 pm

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White House embarks on $600 million job-training program

White House

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Today, as part of an effort to to create new
opportunities for all hard-working Americans to get ahead, the President and Vice
President are announcing new federal investments using existing funds to support
job-driven training.

Programs like apprenticeships, that will expand partnerships with industry, businesses,
unions, community colleges, and training organizations to train workers in the skills
they need.

Employers, unions, and foundations are joining these efforts with new commitments to
support job-driven training. These steps are part of President Obama’s commitment to
make 2014 a year of action, acting with Congress when possible but also using his
pen and his phone – calling on businesses, philanthropy, non-profits, states, and local
communities to act. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 5:05 pm

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Assad restores tranquility in Homs and Aleppo surroundings

Syria civil war

Newscast Media HOMS, Syria—The Syrian Army continued operations against the
armed terrorist groups in many areas across the country on Tuesday, killing huge
numbers of terrorists and destroying their hideouts, assembly points and weaponry.

In Homs, army units in cooperation with the national defense forces, achieved
significant progress in the old city of Homs and advanced towards the neighborhoods
of Jouret al-Shayah, al-Hamidieyh, Bab Hood and Wadi al-Sayeh, according to
source, SANA news agency reported.

A military source told SANA that a number of terrorists were killed in those areas,
with several of their dens destroyed. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 15, 2014 at 6:30 pm

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