by Tyler O’Neil
Newscast Media AUSTIN—Texas’ “Merry Christmas Bill,” which is intended to defend free speech on the issue of “traditional holidays,” reached Governor Rick Perry’s desk on Wednesday, and he is expected to sign it despite critics saying that the bill violates the separation between church and state.
Russell Glasser, co-host of the Austin public-access TV show “The Atheist Experience,” in an interview with www.rawstory.com, contends the bill is an offensive tactic by Christians. “They use this as an excuse all the time to pass laws that basically codify Christianity and make sure that everybody hears about it as often as possible,” he said.
“It’s not about freedom of expression,” he argued, “because kids can go around and wish each other ‘Merry Christmas’ all they want.” Instead, this issue centers on “the separation of church and state,” he asserts.
But State Representative Dwayne Bohac of Houston (R, 138), the bill’s original sponsor, told The Christian Post regarding Glassner’s statement, “I think that’s a very stilted overreaction.”
“The bill received the full support of every Democrat and every Republican in the Senate,” and a very large majority in the house.
“It’s freedom of speech,” he explained, “and it’s a religious liberty issue as well.”
The “Merry Christmas Bill,” complete with its own website, www.merrychristmasbill.com, passed the Texas State House of Representatives on May 8 and the State Senate last Friday. The bill is intended “to protect school districts from frivolous lawsuits and teachers and administrators from punishment for calling a Christmas tree a Christmas tree,” Bohac explained.
“This politically correct culture is absurd and it’s absurd that we need this bill.” Nevertheless, he admitted that “it is much needed in order to bring common sense.”
Dave Muscato, public relations director at American Atheists, defined what his group believes are acceptable and unacceptable expressions of religion. “If the school is officially promoting it, that’s unacceptable,” he told CP. “If a student or teacher wants to promote it privately there’s no problem.”
Nevertheless, Muscato feared that the passage of this bill would be seen as a public victory for religion over what he calls equality. “In practice this will probably play out as Christian administrators putting up Christmas trees and nativity scenes at taxpayer expense in public schools with the result of pressuring children into viewing Christianity as an officially sponsored and endorsed practice,” he said.
Seeing no “legitimate secular purpose for this” bill, he opposed it because it might imply “government endorsement and unnecessarily entangles government and religion.”
Despite the atheists’ concerns, Rep. Bohac defended the “Merry Christmas Bill,” saying “it’s permissive – it doesn’t mandate anything.”
Texas Governor Rick Perry told The Christian Post through his spokesperson Josh Havens, “Texas children should not be shielded from religious expression, nor be exposed solely to secularism in our schools.”
“This is a bill that affirms the constitutional notion of freedom of religion – not freedom from religion – and I am happy to support this bill with my signature”.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The quickest way to enslave a people or a nation is to keep them in debt. World Bank has pledged $1 billion to the Great Lakes region of Africa, but it is obvious the money will come with strings attached. Something’s got to give. The countries that accept these monies will have to give up something, at some point–be it natural resources, land or reduced prices on agricultural exports.
Libya’s Gaddafi was removed from power because his country was debt-free and he would not accept any money from the IMF or World Bank. Hosni Mubarak has been critical of Egypt’s Mohammed Morsi for accepting a loan from the IMF/World bank.
It is not known, how much this kind of money actually gets to the people who really need it, as opposed to benefiting a handful of the ruling elite at the top of the food chain.
World Bank Group President Dr. Jim Yong Kim, who is traveling with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, on a three-day trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda, said that a secure and developed Great Lakes region was vital to Africa’s efforts to dramatically reduce extreme poverty and create prosperity for millions who have had little economic opportunity.
“We made extraordinary efforts to secure an additional $1 billion in funding because we believe this can be a major contributor to a lasting peace in the Great Lakes region,” Kim said. “This funding will help revitalize economic development, create jobs, and improve the lives of people who have suffered for far too long. Now the leaders of the Great Lakes region, by restarting economic activity and improving livelihoods in border areas, can boost confidence, build economies, and give new opportunities for millions of people.”
The World Bank’s proposed additional funding includes roughly $100 million for supporting agriculture and rural livelihoods for internally displaced people and refugees in the region; $340 million to support the 80 megawatt Rusumo Falls hydroelectric project for Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania; $150 million for the rehabilitation of the Ruzizi I and II hydroelectric projects and financing for Ruzizi III, supplying electricity for Rwanda, Burundi, and DRC; $165 million toward building roads in DRC’s North and South Kivu and Province Orientale; $180 million for improving infrastructure and border management along the Rwanda-DRC border; and additional millions of dollars for public health laboratories, fisheries, and trade facilitation programs among others.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and a leading wireless technology provider are expanding their collaboration to use technology to improve economic and social development in emerging markets.
Building on several successful projects in Latin America and Asia, USAID and Qualcomm Inc. signed an agreement that aims to help close the mobile phone gender gap, expand access to broadband, enhance education outcomes, mitigate the negative impacts of climate change, improve information access for front-line health workers, connect small-scale farmers and producers to market data, and enable entrepreneurs to grow their companies by leveraging digital literacy skills.
“USAID is proud to work with Qualcomm. As a global technology leader, they are innovative, nimble and strategic. We share a vision of how to address the challenges in the developing world. Qualcomm has helped us design solutions that make our joint efforts go further,” USAID Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg said at a ceremony held at USAID.
USAID and Qualcomm have worked together on three successful collaborations:
• Brazil: The Fishing with 3G Nets project has provided small-scale fishermen in Bahia with mobile devices and customized applications to help them practice sustainable fishing, connect with buyers, track sales, access technical assistance, and receive weather and navigation updates.
• El Salvador: USAID and Qualcomm collaborated to develop a wireless mobile and web-based crime system that enables law enforcement in five municipalities to track, report and analyze real-time crime data.
• Philippines: The Wireless Access for Health project established an electronic medical record platform in rural and provincial health clinics that has led to more efficient patient care, having reduced the four to five minutes needed to search paper records to just seconds.
“Given the increasing complexity of the local and global social challenges the world faces, public-private partnerships such as this one with USAID become essential to creating both social and business value,” said Nathan Fletcher, senior director of corporate development at Qualcomm.
Source: State Department
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—US Secretary of State John Kerry admitted on Wednesday the Syrian Army had achieved great gains in the northern border city of Qusayr, but said they were not permanent. Ahead of a meeting of the so-called ‘Friends of Syria’ group in Amman, Kerry called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to make “a commitment to find peace in his country.”
In the same context, Kerry threatened if President Assad was unwilling to negotiate on peace terms, U.S. and other countries would discuss increasing support to Syrian opposition, without elaborating what kind of support they would offer.
US Congress committee voted on Wednesday on a bill to arm Syrian Islamists in their fight against the Arab country.
Speaking at a press conference with his Jordanian counterpart, Nasser Judeh, Kerry said a US-Russian proposed conference in Geneva seeks “to end the bloodshed what has cost tens of thousands of lives.”
“We are committed to try to work this evening to find the unity in specific approaches, to find the unity to implement Geneva 1…that will allow the people of Syria to choose the future of Syria,” he said.
That was a reference to an international conference last June in which several steps were laid down for ending the war, which were never implemented. The foreign ministers of Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States are attending the Amman gathering.
The meeting seeks to discuss US-Russian proposal to hold a peace conference dubbed “Geneva 2″ to bring together the opposition and representatives of the Syrian government.
Newscast Media OKLAHOMA CITY—Nearly 250 members of the Oklahoma National Guard are assisting with victim search and security after a massive tornado struck Moore, Okla. First responders continued look for survivors so as to estimate the number of dead after a tornado ripped through southern Oklahoma City and other towns a day earlier.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—According to a statement released by the UN spokesperson Eduardo del Buey, the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO), expressed on Monday the organization’s concerns about clashes in Congo, stressing “the mission is actively pursuing a diplomatic and political solution to contain and end the clashes.”
According to Press TV, the statement also said that heavy weapons and rocket launchers were used in the clashes.
“The Mission reports that initial skirmishes escalated to the use of heavy
caliber weapons, mortars and rocket launchers,” the statement said.
Monday morning, Congolese soldiers clashed with the March 23 Movement (M23) rebels for the first time in nearly six months since the rebels retreated from the city of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.
Fighting began after the M23 rebels attacked government positions around 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of the mineral-rich city, according to army spokesman Olivier Hamuli.
The fighting comes after the UN began deploying an attack force to the east last week to neutralize armed groups in the area. The UN has nearly 20,000 peacekeepers in eastern Congo.
Several armed groups, including the March 23 movement (M23) rebels, are active in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and fighting for the control of the country’s vast mineral resources.
The M23 rebels defected from the Congolese army in April 2012 in protest over alleged mistreatment in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC). They had previously been integrated into the Congolese army under a peace deal signed in 2009.
Since early May 2012, nearly 3 million people have fled their homes in the eastern Congo. About 2.5 million have resettled in Congo, but more than 460,000 have crossed into neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.
Congo has faced numerous problems over the past few decades, such as grinding poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and a war in the east of the country that has dragged on since 1998 and left over 5.5 million people dead.
Source: Press TV
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—In the past decade, the United States has aggressively pursued foreign policies in food and agriculture that benefit the largest seed companies, according to extensive research by Food & Water Watch. The U.S. State Department has launched a concerted strategy to promote agricultural biotechnology, often over the opposition of the public and governments, to the near exclusion of other more sustainable, more appropriate agricultural policy alternatives.
Food & Water Watch closely examined five years of State Department diplomatic cables from 2005 to 2009 to provide the first comprehensive analysis of the strategy, tactics and U.S. foreign policy objectives to foist pro-agricultural biotechnology policies worldwide. READ FULL STORY >>
Newscast Media CAPE CANAVERAL—Just a few days ago, the United States Air Force launched a satellite into orbit via an Atlas V rocket.
There is now a bigger push to move to Mars, mine asteroids, and for commercial flights to the International Space Station to become available. Along with that, there is an increase in rocket launches, making them become common place.
Below is the recent rocket launch at Cape Canaveral, Fla:
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.
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.
by Bethany Blankley
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.”
Categories: News Tags: IRS political targeting, Marco Rubio, Mike Turner, Taxpayer Nondiscrimination & Protection Act of 2013
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.
Source: Tehran Times
by Tang Danlu
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.
by Melissa Barnhart
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.
Source: Radio Deutsche Welle
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.