™ Houston News and Breaking World News Wed, 17 Sep 2014 01:59:02 +0000 en hourly 1 Russian health watchdog: Ebola outbreak kills 144 doctors Wed, 17 Sep 2014 01:59:02 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media MOSCOW—Over 300 doctors have been infected by the Ebola virus,
with 144 losing their lives to the Ebola virus disease, Russia’s public human well-being
agency Rospotrebnadzor informed on its website on Tuesday.

“Cases of infection of medical staff are registered as well – 301 doctors have been
infected, 144 of the cases were fatal,” Rospotrebnadzor wrote in a statement.
According to the agency, Liberia, and especially its capital, Monrovia, has been
hardest hit by the Ebola virus outbreak.

In a separate outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 66 cases of Ebola
infection have been registered, 37 of which had a fatal outcome. These cases are
not connected with the larger outbreak in West Africa, Rospotrebnadzor wrote.
A team of Russian epidemiologists, virologists and bacteriologists is still stationed in
Guinea, the agency stated.

“A Rospotrebnadzor anti-epidemic team continues its work in the capital of Guinea,
where it conducts laboratory diagnoses and participates in anti-epidemic measures
alongside the Guinean Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene.”

The Ebola death toll in West Africa has risen to more than 2,400 since the epidemic
started in March, according to the latest WHO estimates.

Cases have been registered in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal and the
Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood, body fluids or
tissue of infected animals or people. There is no officially approved medication for the
disease, and experts claim prevention is the only cure. Several countries, including
Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan are currently
working on vaccines.

Source: Ria Novosti

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Iran: US and Israel created ISIL–Will defend Syria against US attack Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:54:01 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media TEHRAN—The chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)
doubted the US intention to eradicate ISIL, saying that the US and its allies will
regret any military operation in Syria, Al-Alam Website reported.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s policy is to support Syria and this US action is from a
bullying position and is condemned and if it does so it will regret it,” Major General
Mohammad Ali Jafari said on Tuesday.

The general was reacting to the US government’s decision to form an international
coalition to fight the Takfiri ISIL terrorists fighting in Syria and Iraq.

“The US is disappointed with any influential role to be played by the ISIL and similar
groups and it is calling for this so-called coalition. We doubt if their serious objective
is to annihilate the ISIL,” Jafari said.
He noted that the US is declaring war on the ISIL while it continues to support other
militant groups fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Jafari said the enemies are determined to topple the “current ruling government in

The general said the US and the Israeli regime created this group in order to trigger
war among Muslims in the Middle East regime and serve as an obstacle to resistance
against Israeli regime.

On Monday, France hosted a conference, dubbed the International Conference on
Peace and Security in Iraq, to discuss ways of tackling the ISIL terrorists in Iraq and
Syria amid US efforts to form a so-called international coalition to battle the Takfiri

Despite the international community’s emphasis on the importance of Iran’s role in the
regional developments, Tehran was not invited to the meeting in Paris mainly due to
the US opposition.

The US has also announced that Iran will not be a part of its so-called coalition
against the ISIL. Iran has cast doubt over the sincerity of the coalition and reiterated
that it has no interest in attending the Paris meeting.

Tehran has on several occasions voiced support for the Iraqi government since it
began fighting against the ISIL in June. The ISIL terrorists are in control of some
areas in Syria and have captured large swathes of land in neighboring Iraq.

The Takfiri terrorist groups have committed heinous crimes and threatened all
communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and Izadi Kurds, during their

Source: Al Manar TV News


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Syria distrustful of US anti-ISIS coalition in Middle East Mon, 15 Sep 2014 22:49:43 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad expressed
skepticism about a U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State (IS) militants, saying that
any coalition that excludes Syria and Russia could have “certain” agendas, the state
news agency SANA reported Monday.

Mekdad made the remarks in response to U.S. efforts to form an international
coalition against the IS terror group in Iraq and Syria but excluded Russia and Syria.

Mekdad also denied the presence of any under-the-table contact with Washington
regarding the war on terror in Syria.

“Everything the Syrian administration does is in front of the Syrian people,” he said.

Mekdad stressed that the battles Syria has been fighting over the past three years
are related to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s and the Syrian people’s rejection of
any foreign intervention in Syria and any violation to its sovereignty.

The Syrian government welcomes the international consensus on fighting terrorism
but has stressed that any uncoordinated action inside Syria without the consent of
the Syrian government would be deemed as an aggression.

Syria’s presidential political adviser, Buthaina Shaaban, said in recent remarks that
Syria would defend itself against any U.S. strikes on Syrian soil unless the U.S.
administration coordinates with the Syrian government.

U.S. officials said they will not ask for Damascus’s permission when they strike IS
positions inside Syria.

The new U.S. policy has stirred fears that the West is probably seeking a pretext to
strike Syria and that the IS is the bogeyman which would open the doors to foreign
intervention in Syria.

Source: Xinhua


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Pope: War is madness and irrational–a lust for power Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:29:15 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis over the weekend celebrated Mass at
the Italian Military Memorial of Redipuglia. The visit to the area, which was the scene
of fighting between Italy and the forces of the Central Powers during World War I,
was to mark the centenary of the beginning of the war. The Mass was said for the
fallen and victims of all wars.

“Here lie many victims. Today, we remember them,” said Pope Francis, during his
homily. “There are tears, there is sadness. From this place we remember all the
victims of every war.”

During his remarks, Pope Francis called war “madness” and “irrational”, and said its
only plan was to bring destruction.

“Greed, intolerance, the lust for power…These motives underlie the decision to go to
war, and they are too often justified by an ideology; but first there is a distorted
passion or impulse,” said the Pope.

“In all honesty, the front page of newspapers ought to carry the headline, ‘What does
it matter to me?’ Cain would say, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”"

The Pope concluded by saying, “With the heart of a son, a brother, a father, I ask
each of you, indeed for all of us, to have a conversion of heart: to move on from
‘What does it matter to me?’, to tears: for each one of the fallen of this senseless
massacre, for all the victims of the mindless wars, in every age. Humanity needs to
weep, and this is the time to weep.”

Source: Vatican Radio


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Britain’s Cameron accused of scaremongering tactics Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:50:03 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media LONDON—British Prime Minister David Cameron is using
“scaremongering” tactics against Scotland’s independence from the UK, Scottish first
minister and leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) says.

“I think people in Scotland will know the Prime Minister’s fingerprints are all over the
scaremongering campaign and the Treasury’s fingerprints are all over the bank
campaign,” Alex Salmond said in a meeting with Scottish business leaders at
Edinburgh Airport on Monday.

The top Scottish official also accused the Treasury of leaking details of a plan by the
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to move its headquarters to London in case of a
possible Scottish breakaway from the UK.

He further hit out at Cameron, saying the British premier had “undoubtedly” pressed
businesses to issue warnings about the impact of the Scottish independence.
This comes as Salmond, who is leading the Yes campaign, has downplayed reports
warning of capital flight from an independent Scotland.

The British prime minister is due to visit Scotland later on Monday to boost support
for the No campaign ahead of Thursday’s referendum on Scotland’s independence.
Scotland will have an independence day on March 24, 2016, if Scottish people vote
to break away from the UK in a referendum, which is slated for September 18, 2014.

The Westminster has repeatedly warned against Scotland’s independence, saying it
will jeopardize the UK’s stability and damage its international standing.

Scottish authorities, however, argue that independence from the UK would free
Scotland from London’s austerity policies and unnecessary military spending.

Source: Press TV


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What would Scottish independence mean for Europe Thu, 11 Sep 2014 22:21:45 +0000 Joseph Earnest

Union Jack

Newscast Media LONDON—A 300-year union could come to an end when Scotland
votes on independence on September 18. The debate has many facets, and they’re
not all about the country’s political status.

The referendum on September 18 is a vote on whether Scotland chooses to be
independent. But if the “yes” camp wins, the country isn’t immediately independent.
According to present plans, March 24, 2016 would be the key date. Various political
and economic questions would have to be solved by then.

If Scotland were to secede from the UK, a new state would emerge in the spring of
2016, following a transitional phase. This new state would have to apply to join the
EU. The same is true for NATO: Presumably, a new Scottish state would no longer be
a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization after the transitional phase, but
would have to apply for membership. All NATO member states must agree to accept a


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Obama delivers gameplan to destroy Frankenstein that escaped the lab Thu, 11 Sep 2014 20:37:57 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama last night delivered a speech
in which he laid out his strategy for countering the Islamic State of Iraq and the
Levant (ISIL).

ISIL could very well be referred to as an indavertent creation of the West, which
armed Islamists to fight the Syrian government. Little did the West know is that
Islamists have no love, and will never sympathize with Westerners—the evidence of
which is the beheading of two Western journalists.

In addition, no one has yet explained what happened to all Gaddafi’s weapons that
were hidden in the Libyan desert. Could these be the ones ISIL is using against the


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Putin: Ukraine crisis provoked by West to revive NATO Wed, 10 Sep 2014 20:28:33 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday blamed
Western countries for provoking the Ukraine crisis, which is used to resuscitate

“A decision has recently been made to increase NATO military presence in Eastern
Europe. The crisis in Ukraine, which was basically provoked and created by some of
our Western partners, is now being used to resuscitate this military bloc,” Putin told a
government meeting.

He said Russia will have to react to new security threats.

“We will take all these things (like NATO’s expansion) into consideration when making
our country’s defense and security plan. We will have to do everything to guarantee
our safety,” Putin was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

Meanwhile, Russia will not sever cooperation with foreign partners, he said, but
“existing risks” must be taken into account.

“Our industry must be ready to produce critically important equipment, components
and materials, to develop sufficient manufacturing capacity, technologies and
technical stocks,” Putin warned.

He also stressed the need to ensure Russian’s security.

“Military and industrial potential is huge as we have well-trained scientific personnel.
Many of the things we had have been updated considerably, ensuring us that we will
be able to protect ourselves with existing resources,” Putin said.

Source: Xinhua


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Mother who gave daughter abortion pills sentenced to prison Tue, 09 Sep 2014 23:59:57 +0000 Joseph Earnest by Sami Martin

Newscast Media PHILADELPHIA—A Pennsylvania mother, Ann Whalen, has been
sentenced to 18 months in prison for giving her 16-year-old daughter pills to cause a

Whalen’s daughter became pregnant in 2012 and decided that she did not want the
baby; Whalen told police that she could not find a local abortion clinic and did not
want to take her daughter out of the state to have the procedure, which would have
been 74 miles away, according to Reuters. Instead, she went online and ordered the
pills from a company abroad.

Unfortunately, after taking the pills, the girl (now 18), experienced extreme abdominal
pain and bleeding and was hospitalized with an “incomplete abortion and a urinary
tract infection,” records state. The hospital informed police of the situation, which led
to Whalen’s arrest. She was charged with giving her daughter pills to induce abortion
– Pennsylvania law requires that a physician be present for the procedure.

Whalen was ordered to serve 18 months in prison, pay a fine of $1,000, and perform
40 hours of community service after being released. Her lawyer, Michael Banks, told
the press that Whalen knows “her decision was poor.”

According to the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate in Pennsylvania decreased
by 9 percent from 2008 to 2011. Abortions in the state accounted for 3.5 percent of
all abortions in the U.S. in 2011.

Her case has been compared to that of John Andrew Welden, who tricked his
girlfriend, Remee Lee, into taking abortion-inducing pills. She lost her baby, and Lee
was sentenced in a Florida courtroom in 2013 after being charged with murder under
the federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act. He could have been sentenced to life
behind bars but instead took a plea deal that put him in prison for at least 13 years.

“Every day is a nightmare for me ever since this began,” Lee told CNN. “Even hearing
the guilty (plea) yesterday, it’s hard to believe it, it’s hard to read it and know that
this actually happened to me. There’s just no words for the horror I wake up with
every day that this is my reality. There’s no escaping it, there’s no turning it off.”


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Sec. John Kerry and Arabi discuss ways to neutralize ISIL Mon, 08 Sep 2014 18:07:15 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media CAIRO—Secretary of State John Kerry discussed over the weekend
the threat of the Takfiri group ISIL with the head of the Arab League, ahead of the
group’s next round of discussions.

Kerry and Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi “discussed the need for the Arab League
and its members to take a strong position in the coalition that is developing against
ISIL,” a senior State Department official said.

They also spoke of “the importance of decisive action to stop the flow of foreign
fighters, counter ISIL’s financing and combat its incitement,” the official added.

Both men agreed that Iraq is on the frontline in the struggle against ISIL “and that
Iraq, the United States, the region, and the international community must stand
together to assist Iraq in facing this threat,” the official said.

The Arab League is to hold a ministerial meeting in Cairo on Sunday to address
fast-moving changes in the region.

Source: Al Manar TV News


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The US and UK unite against Islamist ISIL militants Thu, 04 Sep 2014 23:51:15 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media NEWPORT, Wales—President Obama and British Prime Minister David
Cameron say their countries will not be intimidated by “barbaric killers.” Their
comments come after Islamic State militants killed two American journalists.

The leaders co-authored an opinion piece in the Times of London newspaper as NATO
officials take part in a summit in Britain.

Obama has called for international action to counter Islamic State militants who have
taken control of large areas in eastern Syria and northern and western Iraq.

The group has released videos showing the beheading of American journalists James
Foley and Steven Sotloff, saying their killings were retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in
Iraq targeting the Islamic State.

Obama plans to host a U.N. Security Council session later in September to address
the threat posed by foreign fighters like those who have traveled to join terrorist
groups in Iraq and Syria.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said September 3 that more than 100 U.S.
citizens are fighting with the militants in Iraq and Syria, and that the United States
and its coalition partners have to do everything possible to stop the Islamic State
group now.

Hagel said on CNN television that the beheadings of Sotloff and Foley made him sick
to his stomach.

The president said September 3 that those who killed the journalists have failed in
whatever they are trying to achieve because the world is “repulsed by their

U.S. Vice President Biden said the United States will relentlessly follow the killers of
the two Americans “to the gates of hell.”

The militant speaking in the Sotloff video threatened the life of British hostage David
Cawthorne Haines, who has been described as a security officer for aid agencies.


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Russia aims at doubling oil sales to Asia-Pacific countries Thu, 04 Sep 2014 00:14:50 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russia sees the potential for doubling its oil sales to
Asia-Pacific region countries, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said

“At present, we supply approximately 50 million metric tons of oil, but we see the
potential for doubling the supplies. As far as gas is concerned, we supply about 14
billion cubic meters of gas. The de-facto potential is huge, it may reach about
200-300 billion cubic meters,” Novak said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV.
He added that the growth is possible “in the coming years.”

On Monday, the construction of the 3,000-kilometer (1,860-mile) Power of Siberia
pipeline was launched in Yakutia. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the
new gas pipeline will significantly strengthen Russia’s economic cooperation with the
governments of the Asia-Pacific region, particularly with China.

Russia’s Power of Siberia gas transmission system is designed for delivering gas from
the Irkutsk Region and Yakutia gas production centers further eastward to Russia’s
Far East and China.

In May, Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a 30-year
agreement on the annual export of around 38 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to

The project is valued at $400 billion.

Source: Ria Novosti


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Additional troops to Iraq orderd by Barack Obama Wed, 03 Sep 2014 23:25:05 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media WASHINGTON—U.S President Barack Obama has ordered 350 more
military personnel to Iraq in response to the aggression of the Islamist militant group
ISIL against the Iraqi government.

The White House made the announcement in a statement late on September 2,
saying additional troops were being sent to “protect our diplomatic facilities and
personnel in Iraq as we continue to support the government of Iraq in its fight”
against Islamic State militants.

The statement also noted, “These additional forces will not serve in a combat role”
and would be deployed in Baghdad.

The statement said top U.S. officials, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, would soon travel separately to the Middle East
to “build a stronger regional partnership” against the militant group known as Islamic
State (IS).

The announcement comes as the militants claimed they had executed another U.S.
journalist, Steven Sotloff, in Syria.

The militants released a video purportedly showing the murder of the 31-year-old
journalist, with a militant in the video vowing to next kill David Haines, believed to be
a British aid worker.

The militant gave a warning to other governments not to join an “evil alliance with

The militant in the latest video is believed to be the same person who was in an
earlier video showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley.

That militant, whose face is almost entirely hidden, speaks in English with a British
accent, leading investigators to believe he is a British national who went to Syria to
join militants there fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar

Meanwhile, U.S. air strikes on September 2 targeted IS militants near the Mosul Dam
in northern Iraq. The U.S. Central Command said in a statement the air strikes had
destroyed 16 vehicles near the dam.

Islamic State militants have been accused of committing a wide range of atrocities.
The group has executed thousands of non-Sunni Muslims, members of other religions,
Syrian, and Iraqi government troops and foreigners. IS is also accused of abducting
women and girls and abusing them.

Rights groups say IS is responsible for committing war crimes and genocide in areas of
Syria and Iraq under their control.

Source: Radio Free Europe


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WHO: No link between West African and DRC Ebola strain Wed, 03 Sep 2014 21:27:34 +0000 Joseph Earnest


Newscast Media NEW YORK—The World Health Organization has said in a statement that the outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a distinct and independent event, with no relationship to the outbreak in West Africa.

Based on virus sequencing of samples from the Ebola outbreak in DRC, WHO’s collaborating laboratory in Gabon confirmed the virus is the Zaire strain. The indigenous strain in a lineage most closely related to the outbreak occurred in 1995 in the country.

“The virus in the Boende district is definitely not derived from the virus strain currently circulating in West Africa,” WHO quoted the laboratory report as saying.

According to WHO, the outbreak is located in the remote Boende district, Equateur province in the north-western part of DRC, which marked the country’s seventh Ebola outbreak since 1976.

The UN agency noted these findings are reassuring, as they exclude the possibility that the virus has spread from West to Central Africa.

To date, 53 cases have been identified with the case definition for Ebola virus disease, including 31 deaths. Seven of these deaths were among health care workers. More than 160 contacts are being traced.

The DRC government has rapidly mounted a robust response by reactivating emergency committees at national, provincial, and local levels, setting up isolation centers, and providing community leaders with facts about the disease.

Source: Xinhua


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House of Saud–We no longer want to overthrow Syrian regime Tue, 02 Sep 2014 23:11:36 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media WASHINGTON—It is noticeable that the Russian role in the scene of
the latest events in the Middle East these days is absent, at the time when the
United States strongly returns to Iraq and Syria as the ISIL organization rose and
expanded in those two countries.

According to Russian sources in Paris, this public and interim Russian detachment will
not exceed the end of October this year, the date of the parliamentary elections in
Ukraine. Russia is planning, along with some of the Ukrainian figures, to weaken the
power of the enemies of Moscow in the Ukrainian parliament as a prelude to weaken
the Ukrainian President (Petro Poroshenko).

Its aim is to reach a solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, after the Russian
President stressed to a group of Ukrainian pro-Moscow (oligarchs) that Russia refuses
to annex eastern Ukraine and that it is affected much by the war therein, the same
goes for the Ukrainians who are losing hundreds of millions of dollars due to the war in
the Eastern areas, which are the center of industry in Ukraine. CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>


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US armed forces carry out strike against al-Shabab in Somalia Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:04:07 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media WASHINGTON—US armed forces have launched an air strike against
the Islamist militant group al-Shabab in Somalia. The attack targeted the head of the
group, Ahmed Abdi Godane, but it’s not yet clear if he was hit.

The Pentagon’s initial statement was terse. A spokesman confirmed an “operation”
was carried out against the militia, and that it was “assessing the results.”

Only on Monday afternoon could Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby confirm what Somali
officials had already let slip: the drone missile strike was directed at Ahmed Abdi
Godane, also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>


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Germany finally decides to deliver weapons to Iraq Mon, 01 Sep 2014 22:38:11 +0000 Joseph Earnest

German anti-tank missile

Newscast Media BERLIN—Germany decided on Sunday to provide anti-tank missiles
and machine guns to the Kurds in northern Iraq to support the fight against the
Islamic State (IS), German media reported.

The decision was made after a meeting attended by German Chancellor Angela
Merkel, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Defence Minister Ursula von der

Germany will send 16,000 assault rifles, 40 machine guns, 240 bazookas, 500
anti-tank missiles and 10,000 hand grenades to the Kurds, said a statement by the
German Ministry of Defence.

As German media Spiegel Online reported, due to the humanitarian situation in Iraq,
the German government has “started with delivery of assistance to the amount of 50
million euros so far”.

German government will use the weapons, in a total value of around 70 million euros,
to firstly upgrade a Kurdish fighters association which has approximately 4,000
people, according to Spiegel Online.

Von der Leyen said that the situation in Iraq was “extremely critical”. She also
accused the IS of “merciless brutality”.

In addition to humanitarian aid, the German government has already supplied military
equipments such as bullet-proof vests, helmets and night vision goggles to the fight
against IS militants.

Source: Xinhua


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UN’s Ban Ki-moon alarmed by military coup in Lesotho Mon, 01 Sep 2014 19:54:22 +0000 Joseph Earnest

Ban Ki-moon

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
has expressed deep concern over the military coup in the South African nation of
Lesotho, calling on all parties to resolve their differences.

“He calls for respect for the constitutional order and democratic rule. He urges all
parties to refrain from violence and work together towards a peaceful and lasting
resolution of their differences,” Ban’s Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said in a
statement released on Sunday.

The UN chief also welcomed earlier efforts by the regional bloc known as the
Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Commonwealth and other
partners of Lesotho to support the restoration of trust among the members of the
country’s coalition government, and urged all parties to continue to play an active
role in the promotion of peace in Lesotho.

On Saturday, Lesotho’s Prime Minister Thomas Thabane fled to South Africa in fear
for his safety after the army surrounded his residence and police stations in the
capital Maseru, and gunshots rang out.

Thabane said he suspected his deputy Mothet Joa Metsing was involved.
The army denied trying to drive Thabane out of power, saying it had moved against
police officers suspected of planning to arm a political faction in the small Southern
African country.

Metsing also dismissed allegations of a coup. “I would not still be a deputy prime
minister; the prime minister would not still be the prime minister if a coup [had] taken
place,” he stated.

Thabane’s All Basotho Convention party and Metsing’s Lesotho Congress for
Democracy formed a coalition with a third party, the Basotho National Party, after
elections in May 2012.

Political tensions simmered high since then between Thabane and Metsing and within
the coalition government. Thabane suspended parliament sessions in June amid
feuding in his administration.

Regional power South Africa described the situation in Lesotho as “worrying,” with
government spokesman Clayson Monyela saying his country would not tolerate
“unconstitutional change of government” in the landlocked country.
Lesotho has seen a series of military coups since independence in 1966.

Source: Press TV

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Obama makes Labor Day proclamation as America takes a break Mon, 01 Sep 2014 19:18:20 +0000 Joseph Earnest

President Barack Obama—Photo by Joseph Earnest

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Over the weekend, President Barack Obama made the
customary Labor Day Proclamation as he praised Americans for their hard work and
for making America the largest economy in the world.

Even though Labor Day is officially September 1, celebrations begin the prior
weekend, making it a three-day weekend for working Americans.

In his proclamation Obama said: “On Labor Day, we honor the legacy of our working
women and men who have played a defining role in the American story and all those who
carry forward our Nation’s proud tradition of hard work, responsibility, and sacrifice.
From assembly lines to classrooms, across highways and steel mills, American workers
strengthen the foundation of our country and demonstrate that our economy grows best
from the middle out…”


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Russia says list of Russian military units in Ukraine a ‘hoax’ Fri, 29 Aug 2014 03:33:53 +0000 Joseph Earnest Moscow

Newscast Media MOSCOW—The list of Russian military units allegedly deployed in the
conflict area in east Ukraine was a “hoax,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“We noted the release of this hoax information and we have to disappoint its authors
overseas… The information in this material is absolutely untrue,” ministry spokesman
Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

Earlier in the day, Kiev claimed that Russian troops had entered Ukraine.

Russia denied the accusations, saying that “there are no Russian convoys” in Ukraine.

The UN Security Council convened for an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss the
situation in Ukraine.

Kiev authorities launched a special military operation in mid-April against
independence supporters in the southeast of Ukraine, who refused to recognize the
legitimacy of the country’s coup-imposed government.


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US announces an additional $5 million to combat Ebola Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:40:57 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The infection rate in West Africa’s Ebola outbreak
has the world health community scrambling to marshal all available resources to help.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing an additional $5
million to combat the outbreak. The August 27 announcement brings USAID’s
commitment for the Ebola response to nearly $19.6 million since the outbreak was
first reported in March.

Jeremy Konyndyk, director of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance,
announced the additional funding in Monrovia, Liberia, during his three-day visit with
Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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Emergency meeting convened as Russian troops enter Ukraine Thu, 28 Aug 2014 20:20:49 +0000 Joseph Earnest

Russian troops

Newscast Media KIEV—Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has convened an
emergency meeting of the National Security and Defense Council after accusing
Russia of sending troops into Ukraine.

Poroshenko canceled a planned trip to Turkey on August 28 and said he will meet with
top officials to discuss the “sharp deterioration” of the situation in the Donetsk region,
including the town of Novoazovsk, which the council says has fallen to Russian

“The president’s place is in Kyiv today,” Poroshenko said.
He said he is also calling for extraordinary sessions of the UN Security Council and the
European Council to discuss the crisis.

Western news agencies quoted a NATO military officer as saying the alliance
believed “more than 1,000 Russian troops” are operating inside Ukraine.

“They are supporting separatists [and] fighting with them,” the officer, who wished to
remain anonymous, told reporters in Mons, Belgium.

He said it is conceivable that Moscow could create a land bridge to the Crimea
Peninsula, which it annexed in March, via the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

Source: Radio Free Europe


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Two more McDonald’s in Moscow to be closed by regulators Wed, 27 Aug 2014 22:07:15 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media MOSCOW—Two more McDonald’s restaurants are closing temporarily
in Moscow on the orders of state food regulators as Russia and the West feud over
Moscow courts on August 27 granted requests by the regulatory agency
Rospotrebnadzor to suspend the operation of a McDonald’s at Manezh Square, just
outside the Kremlin, and one on Prospekt Mira for 90 days.
The new suspensions bring to eight the number of McDonald’s restaurants closed
nationwide in recent weeks.

Regulators have cited “technical violations” of health codes and ordered the
restaurants to correct them before they can re-open.

Russia has responded to Western sanctions over Ukraine by targeting Western food
imports and some U.S. companies.

Moscow slapped a ban on most Western food imports earlier this month after
Washington and Brussels imposed economic sanctions targeting Russian economic
sectors including finance and energy.

Source: Radio Free Europe


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American woman held for $6.6 million ransom by ISIL Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:27:17 +0000 Joseph Earnest Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The ISIL militant group in Syria is reportedly
demanding a $6.6 million ransom for releasing a 26-year-old American woman.

The woman, whose identity is being kept secret at her family’s request for fears of
her safety, was captured in Syria last year while doing humanitarian aid work, the
Associated Press reported.

The terrorist group recently threatened to kill American hostages to avenge the
crushing airstrikes in Iraq against militants advancing on Mount Sinjar and the Kurdish
capital of Irbil.

A representative for the family and U.S. officials asked Tuesday that the woman not
be identified out of fear for her safety. All spoke on condition of anonymity because
they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

More than a week ago, freelance journalist James Foley of Rochester, New Hampshire,
was beheaded by the Islamic State group, which kidnapped him in November 2012.

The Islamic State video of Foley’s beheading also showed another of the missing
American journalists, Steven Sotloff, and warned he would be killed next if U.S.
airstrikes continued.

The ISIL terrorist group had originally demanded the United States to provide a
ransom of $100 million before decapitating Foley, but the US refused to pay,
according to The New York Times.

Source: Al Manar TV


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