™ Houston News and Breaking World News 2014-10-02T00:21:59Z WordPress Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Syrain army continues to flush out and mop up terrorists from their dens]]> 2014-10-02T00:21:59Z 2014-10-02T00:21:08Z Syrian Army

Newscast Media ALEPPO, Syria—Determined to rid the Levant of terrorists, the Syrian
army has continued its quest to flush out terrorists from their dens and hideouts and
mop them up.

The Syrian army on Wednesday established full control of al-Masasneh village
southwest of Mourek in the countryside of the central province of Hama, leaving
numbers of terrorists dead and wounded, in addition to destroying their vehicles,
according to SANA.

The Syrian army also regained the villages of Ein al-Jawzeh and Ruweiset al-Ja’oureh
in the northern countryside of Latakia after killing large numbers of terrorists, some of
them non-Syrian.

The Syrian army continued on Wednesday to launch military operations against the
terrorist organizations across the country, inflicting heavy losses upon them in
personnel and equipment, SANA reported. Army units targeted gatherings of terrorists
in Bosra al-Sham, Atman, al-Hrak and al-Yadouda, while other units destroyed a
bulldozer in al-Nu’eima town in the countryside of Daraa, killing of a number of

Meanwhile, an army unit killed many terrorists and injured others in Mas’hara and
al-Samadaniyeh al-Gharbiyeh in the countryside of Quneitra.

Syrian Army units also targeted gatherings of terrorists in Kadin, Salma, Dourin,
al-Mugheiriyeh and Tirtyah areas in the northern countryside of the coastal province
of Latakia, killing a big number of them and destroying many of their cars which were
equipped with heavy machine guns.

The Syrian army destroyed several boats belonging to terrorists in al-Rastan Lake, killing all
terrorists aboard, in addition to eliminating scores of terrorists in al-Waer, al-Sam’alil
and Deir Salam in al-Houla and in al-Hilaliya farm in Um Sharshouh in the countryside
of the central province of Homs.

In Deir Ezzor, a unit of the Syrian armed forces destroyed two dens of ISIL terrorists
in Nazlet al-Rdeisat the city, killing and injuring several of them.

Source: Al Manar TV News


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[SEC charges Bank of America with securities laws violations]]> 2014-10-01T03:23:26Z 2014-10-01T03:23:26Z

Bankk of America

Newscast Media NEW YORK—The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged
Bank of America Corporation with violating internal controls and recordkeeping
provisions of the federal securities laws after it assumed a large portfolio of
structured notes and other financial instruments as part of its acquisition of Merrill

Bank of America agreed to pay a $7.65 million penalty to settle the charges stemming
from regulatory capital overstatements that it made due to its internal accounting
control deficiencies and books and records failures. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Bill Gates once again tops Forbes magazine richest American list]]> 2014-10-01T01:37:31Z 2014-10-01T01:37:31Z

Forbes richest

Newscast Media NEW YORK—According to Forbes magazine rankings, Bill Gates
retained the top rank as America’s richest man, with an estimated $81 billion in
wealth. Gates has seen his wealth increase by $9 billion since last year, and was
followed by Warren Buffet, founder of Berkshire Hathaway with $67 billion. Oracle’s
Larry Ellison was third with $50 billion.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg saw his wealth grow to $34 billion and came in at number
11 on the list, while the the Walton family dominated the top ten spots.

Koch brothers, Charles and David Koch, both have wealth valued at $42 billion each,
and were tied as the fourth richest men in America.

The complete list can be viewed here, it has a combined wealth of 400 Americans totaling over $2.2 trillion.


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[U.S. and Afghanistan sign long-awaited bilateral security deal]]> 2014-09-30T22:32:27Z 2014-09-30T22:32:27Z Newscast Media KABUL—Afghanistan has signed a long-awaited deal with the US and
NATO to extend a non-combat military presence. The pact is aimed at strengthening
Afghan security forces while they work to stave off the Taliban.

Afghanistan’s national security advisor, Hanif Atmar, and US Ambassador James
Cunningham closed a long-awaited deal on Tuesday, guaranteeing the Asian country
the backing of US military force after 2014. The Afghan official also signed a parallel
deal with NATO’s senior civilian representative, Maurits Jochems.

The signing of the bilateral security agreement (BSA) took place in the presidential
palace in Kabul, where just one day before, the country’s new president, Ashraf
Ghani, was sworn in. During his presidential campaign, Ghani had promised to end
disagreements with the US over the terms of the security pact, long fueled by his
predecessor, Hamid Karzai. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[U.S. Airmen Deliver Ebola Treatment Facility in West Africa]]> 2014-09-29T22:00:58Z 2014-09-29T22:00:58Z Newscast Media LANGLEY AFB, Virginia—Airmen from the U.S. Air Force’s 633rd
Medical Group partnered with representatives from the U.S. Public Health Service on
September 26 to deliver a modular medical treatment center to Ebola-stricken West

Airmen accompanied the Expeditionary Medical Support System, or EMEDS, to Africa.
While they will not be involved in treatment of patients exposed to the virus, they will
set up the facility and train international health care workers, officials said.


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Netanyahu: Iran’s nuke program must be fully dismantled]]> 2014-09-29T21:12:22Z 2014-09-29T21:12:22Z Newscast Media NEW YORK—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told the
UN General Assembly in New York Iran’s nuclear capabilities “must be fully dismantled.”

Speaking on September 29, Netanyahu called Iran “the world’s most dangerous regime
in the world’s most dangerous region,” saying Tehran cannot be allowed to develop
“the world’s most dangerous weapons.”

Netanyahu said Islamic State militants pose a threat that “must be defeated.”
But he said to defeat the Islamic State militants “and leave Iran as a threshold
nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war.”

Iran denies it trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability—saying its nuclear
program is only for peaceful civilian purposes.

Speaking about the recent Gaza conflict, Netanyahu blamed Hamas militants for the
deaths of Palestinian civilians from Israeli ordnance—saying Hamas intentionally used
children and other civilians as human shields to try to protect their weapons.

Source: Raio Free Europe


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[FBI Uses Fake Defendant To Snare Corrupt Judge]]> 2014-09-29T19:33:53Z 2014-09-29T19:33:53Z Newscast Media PHILADELPHIA—The courts are corrupt. Judges are easily bribed.
Some are promised perks in exchange for favorable rulings. Others just falsely believe
they are above the law. The FBI understands this reality. To set an example as to
what could happen to corrupt judicial officers, the FBI created a fake arrest, a fake
defendant, fake evidence, fake witnesses and fake court documents.

The undertaking they would embark on targeted a corrupt judge on Philly by the name
of Joseph Waters.

Joseph C. Waters, Jr., 61, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty today to using his judicial
position to influence the outcome of two cases in the Philadelphia Municipal Court.


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[SEC announces largest-ever whistleblower award]]> 2014-09-25T23:07:51Z 2014-09-25T23:07:51Z Newscast Media WASHINGTON— The Securities and Exchange Commission today
announced an expected award of more than $30 million to a whistleblower who
provided key original information that led to a successful SEC enforcement action.
The award will be the largest made by the SEC’s whistleblower program to date and
the fourth award to a whistleblower living in a foreign country, demonstrating the
program’s international reach.

“This whistleblower came to us with information about an ongoing fraud that would
have been very difficult to detect,” said Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s
Division of Enforcement. “This record-breaking award sends a strong message about
our commitment to whistleblowers and the value they bring to law enforcement.”

Sean McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, added, “This award of
more than $30 million shows the international breadth of our whistleblower program as
we effectively utilize valuable tips from anyone, anywhere to bring wrongdoers to
justice. Whistleblowers from all over the world should feel similarly incentivized to
come forward with credible information about potential violations of the U.S.
securities laws.”

The SEC’s whistleblower program rewards high-quality, original information that
results in an SEC enforcement action with sanctions exceeding $1 million.

Whistleblower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money
collected in a case. The money paid to whistleblowers comes from an investor
protection fund established by Congress at no cost to taxpayers or harmed
investors. The fund is financed through monetary sanctions paid by securities law
violators to the SEC. Money is not taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay
whistleblower awards.

By law, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose
information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity. The
previous high for an SEC award to a whistleblower was $14 million, which was
announced in October 2013.

The SEC awarded its first whistleblower under the program following its inception in
fiscal year 2012. The program awarded four more whistleblowers in FY 2013, and has
awarded nine whistleblowers in FY 2014.

“We’re pleased with the consistent yearly growth in the number of award recipients
since the program’s inception,” Mr. McKessy said.


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Iraqi PM: Islamic State plotting to attack U.S., Paris subways]]> 2014-09-25T20:04:34Z 2014-09-25T20:04:34Z


Newscast Media BAGHDAD—The Iraqi prime minister says he has received “credible”
reports that Islamic State militants planned to launch attacks on subway systems in
Paris and the United States.

Speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Prime Minister
Haidar al-Abadi said he was told of the plot by Baghdad on September 25.

Abadi told a small group of U.S. reporters, “Today, while I am here, I am receiving
accurate reports from Baghdad where there was [the] arrest of [a] few elements and
there are networks planning from inside Iraq to have attacks.”

The information could not immediately be verified with French and U.S. authorities.
The White House said, “We have not confirmed such a plot.”

The announcement comes amid a U.S.-led international aerial campaign against the
Islamic State extremist group in Iraq and Syria.

Source: Radio Free Europe

Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Obama: ISIL betrays Islam by killing innocent men, women and children]]> 2014-09-24T21:25:40Z 2014-09-24T21:25:40Z Newscast Media NEW YORK—Speaking at the U.N. Security Council Summit in New
York, President Barack Obama said there was an the unprecedented flow of fighters in
recent years to and from conflict zones, including Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa,
Yemen, Libya, and most recently, Syria and Iraq.

“Our intelligence agencies estimate that more than 15,000 foreign fighters from more
than 80 nations have traveled to Syria in recent years,” he said. “Many have joined
terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda’s affiliate, the Nusrah Front, and ISIL, which
now threatens people across Syria and Iraq. And I want to acknowledge and thank
Prime Minister Abadi of Iraq for being here today,” he added. FULL STORY>>


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[USAID: Illegal ivory trade has now reached its highest level]]> 2014-09-24T18:46:16Z 2014-09-24T18:46:16Z


Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Illegal rhino horn trade has reached the highest levels
since the early 1990s, and illegal trade in ivory increased by nearly 300 percent from
1998 to 2011, according to a new report by U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID) partner TRAFFIC.

“This report provides critical insights into often violent and complex trade networks
that will help countries target their law enforcement efforts. Wildlife trafficking not
only endangers rhinos, elephants and many other wildlife species, but also threatens
national and international security as well as local livelihoods,” said Eric Postel,
assistant administrator at USAID. FULL STORY>>


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Assad: Syria supports any international counterrorism effort]]> 2014-09-24T16:54:10Z 2014-09-24T16:54:10Z

Bashar Assad

Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Syrian President Bashar Assad has asserted that Syria
supports any international counterterrorism effort, SANA reported. President Assad
met Faleh Fayyad, the Iraqi National Security Advisor and the envoy of Russian Prime
Minister Haider al-Abadi to tackle counterterrorism efforts.

Faleh briefed President Assad on the latest steps taken in this regard, as well as
discussing upcoming steps and possible measures to ensure the success of these
efforts and eliminate terrorists organizations in all their forms.

President Assad affirmed to Fayyad that Syria is proceeding resolutely in its war
against all forms of takfiri terrorism which it has been waging for years, asserting that
Syria supports any international counterterrorism effort.

The President stressed that the success of such efforts isn’t just linked to military
action which is important, as it’s also linked to states committing themselves to
relevant international resolutions and what they entail in terms of stopping all forms
of support for terrorist organizations.

The two sides affirmed the need to continue cooperation and coordination between
the two countries’ leadership in combating terrorism, particularly since this
cooperation produced positive results for the people of Syria, Iraq, and the region.

Source: Islam Times


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Medvedev: Russia will survive unfavorable international markets]]> 2014-09-22T20:07:45Z 2014-09-22T20:07:45Z


Newscast Media MOSCOW—Though the international market conditions create a
difficult situation for Russia, the country will withstand, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry
Medvedev said over the weekend.

“The situation of the international financial market for our banks is unfavorable,
almost all positions are barred from obtaining foreign liquidity, i.e. foreign funding,”
Medvedev said in an interview with Russian television channel Russia 24.

The prime minister stressed that “it was a judgment call by our European partners,”
adding, “We believe that it is pointless and just ugly in relation to Russia and we can
live without this.”

The new restrictions introduced on September 12 target Russia’s largest banks, oil
and defense companies, as well as certain individuals. The companies were denied
access to the European capital markets, while a number of individuals were subject to
entry bans and asset freezes.

Moscow has responded to previous rounds of Western sanctions with a one-year food
ban that targets a range of products from the countries that implemented sanctions
against Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed the country would retaliate
with countermeasures but details have not yet been revealed.

Source: Ria Novosti

Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Deputy Prime Minister: Russian Ebola vaccine being approved]]> 2014-09-19T18:09:16Z 2014-09-19T18:09:16Z Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russian specialists have been taking positive steps
toward developing a vaccine for the Ebola virus, Russian Deputy Prime Minister for
social affairs Olga Golodets said Friday.

“We have no registered cases of Ebola. But our doctors are working successfully in
the Ebola epicenter. We have had positive developments in the development of a
vaccine and currently Ebola is not a threat to the Russian population,” Golodets told
journalists on Friday at the International Investment Forum in Sochi adding that the
vaccine is now being systematically tested.

The Ebola virus is currently spreading across West Africa with cases registered in
Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to figures, released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday,
there have been 5,335 registered cases of the disease in West Africa. The death toll
from the deadly virus stands at 2,622.

Ebola 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.

Source: Ria Novosti


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[ISIL abandons bases in Syria to dodge possible US airstrikes]]> 2014-09-18T22:47:56Z 2014-09-18T22:47:56Z

Syrian rebels

Newscast Media DAMASCUS—ISIL in a Syrian stronghold near Iraq have abandoned
some bases and redeployed their forces and armor from other positions, with the US
military poised to strike, activists said Wednesday.

“ISIL has started to empty out many of their bases and positions in Deir Ezzor

Security sources reported that ISIL terrorists are heading towards the Iraqi

Source: Al Manar TV News


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Obama: US troops will not participate in Iraq combat mission]]> 2014-09-17T21:35:52Z 2014-09-17T21:35:52Z Newscast Media WASHINGTON—U.S. President Barack Obama says U.S. troops will
have no combat role in Iraq. Obama told troops at the headquarters of U.S. Central
Command in Florida on September 17, “The American forces that have been deployed
to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission.”

Obama also said that more than 40 countries have offered to help an emerging
coalition against the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

Obama’s statement came after his top general, Martin Dempsey, has suggested
suggested some U.S. advisers could join Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State.

Dempsey, who is chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed
Services Committee on September 16 that Obama will evaluate each situation
individually before deciding if U.S. military advisers will be put into combat roles in

Dempsey told the committee that Obama told him to “to come back to him on a
case-by-case basis.”

In reaction to Dempsey’s statement, Iraq’s new prime minister, Haidar al-Abadi, said
on September 17 that foreign ground troops were neither needed nor wanted in his
country’s fight against Islamic State.

Abadi said the fight against the group will be endless unless the militants — who
control a large swath of land spanning both countries — are attacked in Syria as well.

In Washington, FBI Director James Comey told Congress on September 17 that
support for Islamic State increased after U.S. air strikes began in Iraq.

Comey added that the group may take more hostages to try to force concessions
from Washington.

Meanwhile, security sources said Iraqi forces launched an intense military operation
against IS insurgents in Ramadi, Fallujah, and Haditha in the western Anbar Province
on September 17.

Source: Radio Free Europe


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Yemeni native in New York charged with aiding ISIL]]> 2014-09-17T20:16:13Z 2014-09-17T20:16:13Z


Newscast Media NEW YORK—A seven-count indictment charging Mufid A. Elfgeeh, 30,
a Yemen-born naturalized US citizen of Rochester, with three counts of attempting to
provide material support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
(ISIL) was returned by a New York grand jury, Attorney General Eric Holder

“We will remain aggressive in identifying and disrupting those who seek to provide
support to ISIL and other terrorist groups that are bent on inflicting harm upon
Americans,” said Attorney General Holder. “As this case shows, our agents and
prosecutors are using all the investigative tools at our disposal to break up these
plots before individuals can put their plans into action. We are focused on breaking
up these activities on the front end, before supporters of ISIL can make good on
plans to travel to the region or recruit sympathizers to this cause.”


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Iraqi PM: No foreign ground troops needed in Iraq to fight ISIS]]> 2014-09-17T16:28:47Z 2014-09-17T16:28:47Z Newscast Media BAGHDAD—Iraq’s new prime minister says foreign ground troops are
neither needed nor wanted in his country’s fight against the Islamic State (IS) group.

Haidar al-Abadi also urged the international community to expand the campaign
against the Islamic extremists to Syria.

Abadi said the fight against Islamic State will be endless unless the militants — who
control a large swath of land spanning both countries — are attacked in Syria as well.
He added that Iran’s absence from a Paris meeting on fighting Islamic State was

Some 30 countries and organizations on September 15 attended the Paris meeting
and agreed to provide Baghdad with “appropriate military aid” to combat the Islamic
State militants.

Meanwhile, security sources said Iraqi forces launched an intense military operation
against IS insurgents in Ramadi, Fallujah, and Haditha in the western Anbar Province
on September 17.

In Washington, FBI Director James Comey told Congress on September 17 that
support for IS increased after U.S. air strikes began in Iraq.
Comey added that the group might take more hostages to try to force concessions
from Washington.

Source: Radio Free Europe


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Russian health watchdog: Ebola outbreak kills 144 doctors]]> 2014-09-17T01:59:02Z 2014-09-17T01:59:02Z 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

Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Iran: US and Israel created ISIL–Will defend Syria against US attack]]> 2014-09-16T16:54:01Z 2014-09-16T16:54:01Z 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


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Syria distrustful of US anti-ISIS coalition in Middle East]]> 2014-09-15T22:49:43Z 2014-09-15T22:49:43Z 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


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Pope: War is madness and irrational–a lust for power]]> 2014-09-15T19:29:15Z 2014-09-15T19:29:15Z 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


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[Britain’s Cameron accused of scaremongering tactics]]> 2014-09-15T18:50:03Z 2014-09-15T18:50:03Z 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


Joseph Earnest <![CDATA[What would Scottish independence mean for Europe]]> 2014-09-11T22:21:45Z 2014-09-11T22:21:45Z

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