Russia and the U.S. continue pointing fingers at each other

Lavrov

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—NATO should stop its belligerent rhetoric over the
crisis in Ukraine and return to normal cooperation with Russia, Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov said in an article published by The Guardian.
Below is part of the text of the article, obtained from The Guardian:

“The profound, pervasive crisis in Ukraine is a matter of grave concern for
Russia. We understand perfectly well the position of a country which became
independent just over 20 years ago and still faces complex tasks to construct a
sovereign state. Among them is the search for a balance of interests among its
various regions, the peoples of which have different historical and cultural
roots, speak different languages and have different perspectives on their past,
present and their country’s future place in the world…”

Meanwhile, the US has deployed a warship to the Black Sea as tensions between
the countries Russia, the US and Ukraine continue to rise.

Now that Crimea is not part of Ukraine, Russian President Vladmir Putin is making sure
that criminal elements from the former regime are dealt with harshly. Putin called on
the Federal Security Service (FSB) to prevent radicals or individuals with a criminal
past from working in the Crimean government.

“I ask that you pay special attention to the formation of the FSB’s subdivisions in
Crimea and Sevastopol,” Putin said during a meeting with FSB officials.

“They have the task of not allowing individuals with a criminal past or those with
radical and extremist tendencies, as well as those attempting to disrupt the normal
development of Crimea and Sevastopol, into government agencies,” the Russian
president added.

Source: Ria Novosti

http://newscastmedia.com/pointing-fingers.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 8, 2014 at 5:18 am

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States are rejecting the controversial painkiller Zohydro

painkiller

Newscast Media BOSTON—Health regulators in Massachusetts have sent a letter to
doctors outlining their reason for banning the dispensing and prescription of the
controversial painkiller Zohydro.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the drugs, but concerns have been raised
about patients overdosing on the drug due to the narcotic it contains.

“Zohydro is a dangerously addictive pharmaceutical painkiller, approved by the FDA
recently over the objection of their scientific advisory council and is not available in
an abuse-deterrent form,” Gov. Patrick said. “Unless it is available in an
abuse-deterrent form, or better, until the secretary of [Health and Human
Services], or the Congress has acted on the requests to overturn the FDA, Zohydro
will not be available in Massachusetts,” Gov. Deval Patrick wrote as he issued the
ban.
The Associated Press also reported that Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin announced
an emergency order that would make it harder for doctors to prescribe Zohydro.

http://newscastmedia.com/zohydro.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 4, 2014 at 11:28 pm

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How the US created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest in Cuba

Internet

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The AP news agency has reported that the US tried
to undermine Cuba’s government with a social media website called ZunZuneo. Expert
William LeoGrande says that US credibility in the region has now been damaged.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) clandestinely developed
ZunZuneo, which was similar to Twitter, in order to incite flash mobs at sensitive
political moments in an effort to force democratic change in Havana.

At its height, ZunZuneo had 40,000 users in Cuba, who were unaware of the US
government’s involvement. Realizing that the US role would eventually be discovered,
those involved in the operation sought to find independent financing for ZunZuneo.
Unable to secure a private sector sponsor, they shut the social media site down in
2012 when government financing dried up.

According to The Guardian, White House press secretary denied any involvement of
the White House with the program.

“It was a development-assistance program,” Carney said, adding: “I am not aware of
individuals here in the White House who were involved.” He also said the program was
subject to congressional oversight.

Carney denied suggestions the program was “under the table” or had “roped in”
unsuspecting Cubans.

The president of Venezuela has already pointed to this incident as proof that the
unrest in his country is being fomented by the United States. This operation in Cuba
gives other governments the perfect excuse to blame internal problems on USAID and
the United States government.

Source: Deutsche Welle

http://newscastmedia.com/zunzuneo.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 8:35 pm

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Russia: Moscow may deny NATO-Afghan transit in retaliation

Soldiers

Newscast Media MOSCOW—Moscow has a right to deny NATO transit to and from
Afghanistan in response to the alliance’s decision to suspend cooperation with Russia,
a senior Russian legislator said Friday.

“If our cooperation comes to a halt, we’ll have the right to suspend (NATO’s) transit,
and the alliance will have to find other routes,” Viktor Ozerov, head of the Defense
and Security Committee of the Federation Council, or upper house of parliament, told
Interfax news agency.

As NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) withdrawal from
Afghanistan in the end of 2014 approaches, the alliance will have to find routes
bypassing the Russian territory, Ozerov said.

Russia will lose nothing from the halt of cooperation, he said, noting that NATO has
always been working for its egoistic purposes.

“No progress was made on the key issue—missile defense. NATO continued to expand
and set up bases ignoring Russia’s position,” Ozerov noted.
Nevertheless, he said he believes NATO will revise its decision “very soon” and return
to dialogue and partnership.

“We are destined to cooperate because we live in the same space. Military activity of
one side may directly influence security of the other side. We can’t help but view
military unions of East European and Baltic states and military activity on their
territories as a threat to our strategic security,” Ozerov said.

This is not the first time that NATO has suspended cooperation with Russia. In 2008,
the bloc suspended cooperation with Moscow after a brief Russia-Georgia armed
conflict. Cooperation was resumed in 2009 at NATO’s initiative.

Russia joined the Partnership for Peace program with NATO in the early 1990s. The
two sides agreed that no excessive military presence was allowed on the territory of
Eastern European countries.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow expected
NATO to explain how the bloc’s recent military build-up in Eastern Europe
corresponded with existing bilateral agreements.

Source: Xinhua

http://newscastmedia.com/afghan-nato.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 7:36 pm

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Attorney sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for defrauding clients

Justice

Newscast Media MIAMI—In an elaborate scheme that was hatched to defraud clients
who had trusted him, the once-famous Florida attorney, Anthony Livoti Jr. was
sentenced to 10 years in a federal prison for his misconduct, and was ordered to pay
restitution of $826 million to his victims.

In his khaki jail scrubs, the shackled Livoti made a plea to the court for leniency.
“I had a life that was always filled with joy, now I have a life filled with sadness,” the
attorney told the court. “Judge, I am a life worth saving,” he implored the judge.

Investors were also among his victims, in a scheme that defrauded senior citizens and
patients suffering from terminal illnesses. Investors were told they would reap a
profit once the patients and seniors died, and their policies sold.

Once the attorney received the money, his clients were never disbursed the funds
they were promised.

“I lost my way and I wish I could go back and change it,” Livoti said, apologizing to
the victims for what he called the “terrible wrong” he committed.

Cases where greedy attorneys defraud or over-bill their clients thousands of dollars
are not unusual, and the FBI is among one of the several federal agencies that
aggressively pursues attorneys engaged in client fraud. (pop-up)

“When a lawyer, an officer of the court, defrauds clients, it’s a serious crime—and a
heinous breach of trust,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Hanko. “The FBI
is committed to investigating financial schemes at every level and working with our
partners to hold white-collar crooks accountable,” he added, referring to another
FBI-investigated case where lawyers defrauded eight of their clients. (pop-up)

During Livoti’s sentencing, federal prosecutors said Livoti abused his position as an
attorney and violated the public trust.

http://newscastmedia.com/attorney-fraud.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 1:10 am

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Fmr President Musharraf’s indictment polarizes Pakistanis

Gen. Musharraf

Update: Former Pakistan President Musharraf has just cheated life by escaping a
bombing that targeted his convoy, the Los Angels Times reports.
=========================================================
Newscast Media ISLAMABAD—After Pakistani court indicted former military dictator
Pervez Musharraf three days ago for treason relating to his imposition of emergency
rule in 2007, experts say the ruling is likely to further polarize Pakistan.

For the first time in Pakistan’s history, a military general has been nationally indicted
for treason. The three-member special tribunal’s Monday ruling – which charged
former President Pervez Musharraf on five counts relating to imposition of emergency
rule in 2007 – did not come as a surprise. The supreme court also ordered Musharraf’s
arrest if he did not appear at Monday’s hearing.

In November last year, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s center-right government
submitted a petition in the Supreme Court seeking trial of the former president and his
subordinate generals for declaring a state of emergency and suspending the
constitution at the end of his eight-year authoritarian rule from 1999 to 2008.

The ex-general’s legal team has also repeatedly requested the court to exempt their
client from court appearances due to security risks. The Taliban and al Qaeda have
openly vowed to kill Musharraf, who in 2001 forged an alliance with the United States
in the “war on terror.”

“I honor this court and prosecution. I strongly believe in law and don’t have ego
problems. I have appeared in court 16 times in a year in Karachi, Islamabad and
Rawalpindi,” the 70-year-old told the court in a 30-minute-long defense of his time in
office.

“I am being called a traitor. I was army chief for nine years and served the military for
45 years, during which I also fought two wars. Is that treason?” said an emotional
general.

If convicted, Musharraf could face the death penalty, but observers doubt the trial
would ever get that far.

Source: Deutsche Welle

http://newscastmedia.com/musharraf-indictment.htm</strong>

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 3, 2014 at 4:49 pm

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Barack Obama comments on the Fort Hood shooting

Barack Obama

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The Fort Hood shooting that occurred on Wednesday
is a reminder of what happened at the the same place five years ago, when a soldier
opened fire on his brothers in arms.

Yesterday, once again at the same base in Fort Hood, Texas, a suspected shooter
Spc. Ivan Lopez shot and killed three people, and injured 16 others, then turned the
gun on himself and committed suicide.

President Obama commended the military personnel, first responders, and medical
staff who responded swiftly and heroically to the horrific shooting.

“Obviously we’re following it closely. The situation is fluid right now. But my national
security team is in close contact with not just the Defense Department but the FBI.
They are working with folks on the ground to determine exactly what happened to
make sure that everybody is secure,” Obama told reporters.

“We’re heartbroken that something like this might have happened again. And I don’t
want to comment on the facts until I know exactly what has happened, but for now,
I would just hope that everybody across the country is keeping the families and the
community at Fort Hood in our thoughts and in our prayers. The folks there have
sacrificed so much on behalf of our freedom,” he added.

The Department of Defense has the lead on the investigation with support from
federal partners including the FBI, as well as state and local law enforcement
personnel.

http://newscastmedia.com/fort-hood.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 2:41 pm

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US rejects supplying Syrian militants with anti-aircraft missiles

Syrian rebels

Newscast Media PARIS—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said his US
counterpart John Kerry informed him that the USA declines to supply armed groups in
Syria referred to as “opposition” with anti-aircrafts missiles.

At the conclusion of talks held with Kerry in Paris on Sunday Lavrov reportedly said
“We tackled the issue circulated in media outlets on supplying “the opposition” in
Syria with anti-aircrafts missiles during the US President Barrack Obama’s visit to the
Saudi Arabia, and Kerry stressed the US rejection of that.”

Los Angeles Times confirmed leaders of armed groups in south of Syria started to
receive funds and they are waiting for big shipments of weapons, particularly
anti-aircrafts missiles, a sort of weapons the armed groups in the north desire.

Kerry is said to have confirmed to his Russian counterpart that a political solution
to the crisis in Syria is best.

Source: SANA

http://newscastmedia.com/syria-militants.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 2, 2014 at 11:52 pm

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Animals at Yellowstone flee possible impending eruption

Newscast Media CHEYENNE—Bloggers have been posting videos on the Internet that
show animals leaving Yellowstone National Park, which has cause some to speculate
that these animals have sensed seismic activity and are running for the sake of
self-preservation.

On March 31, Yellowstone experience an earthquake of a 4.8 magnitude, which
experts believe is a prelude to something bigger.

The Epoch Times has floated the idea that a possible volcanic eruption is something
that should be considered. Researchers recently discovered that the supervolcano is
far bigger than previously thought, about 2.5 times.

“We’ve been working there for a long time, and we’ve always thought it would be
bigger… but this finding is astounding,” said Bob Smith of the University of Utah.
If a large caldera-forming eruption were to occur at Yellowstone, its effects would be
worldwide, the Epoch Times reports.

Last week, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake hit the Los Angeles area. The region has
since experienced hundreds of aftershocks.

http://newscastmedia.com/yellowstone.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 10:31 pm

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NATO general: Russia could invade Ukraine any day from now

NATO

Newscast Media BRUSSELS—NATO’s top commander General Philip M. Breedlove said
on Wednesday he feels uneasy that Russia has around 40,000 troops at the Ukraine
border, and if given orders, the Russians could strike Ukraine within a matter of hours.

Despite assuring German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday that Russia was
initiating a withdrawal of its troops, the NATO general is not convinced of the troop
withdrawal.

In an interview with the New York Times, General Breedlove said that so far only a
single battalion, a force of 400 to 500 troops, is on the move and that NATO
intelligence could not say whether it was actually being withdrawn.

“What we can say now is that we do see a battalion size unit moving, but what we
can’t confirm is that it is leaving the battlefield,” General Breedlove, of the United
States Air Force, said. “Whether that movement is toward a less belligerent
configuration or returning to barracks, we do not see that.”

Based on the combat readiness of the Russians, Gen. Breedlove said, “We believe
that it can move within 12 hours. Essentially the force is ready to go. We believe it
could accomplish its objective between three to five days.”

Furthermore the general asserted, “I think they have all the opportunities and they
can make whatever decision they want. This is a very large, very well-equipped force
to be called an exercise.”

Meanwhile, Russia continues to squeeze Ukraine in the energy sector, and has raised
the price of natural gas from $264 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas to $385.
Since Crimea became part of Russia, they have begun the transition into the Russian
system including the use of Russian currency, and acquisition of Russian travel
documents.

http://newscastmedia.com/nato-general.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 8:27 pm

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UN memo: Syrian rebels plan chemical attack in Damascus

Mask

Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari has warned the
Security Council of an impending chemical attack that a rebel group is planning to
launch in Damascus.

“The competent Syrian authorities intercepted a wireless communication The
competent Syrian authorities intercepted a wireless communication The competent
Syrian authorities intercepted a wireless communication The competent Syrian
authorities intercepted a wireless,” Jafaari said in his letter.

The ambassador also said that the rebels were planning to attack Jawbar quarter and
blame the chemical attack on the Syria’s Bashar Assad.

Click here to read or download the letter to the UN from Syria.

Last summer, a chemical attack was carried out in northern Syria that Russian
intelligence asserted was from the Syrian rebels. Shortly thereafter, the West
threatened to retaliate, but aborted the plan after Russia intervened.

http://newscastmedia.com/damascus-chemical-attack.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 1, 2014 at 9:19 pm

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Obama declares April National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Barack Obama

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—April has been declared National Child Abuse
Prevention Month by President Barack Obama.

In his proclamation, Obama said we all have a role to play in preventing child abuse
and neglect and in helping young victims recover. From parents and guardians to
educators and community leaders, each can help carve out safe places for young
people to build their confidence and pursue their dreams.

“I also encourage Americans to be aware of warning signs of child abuse and neglect,
including sudden changes in behavior or school performance, untreated physical or
medical issues, lack of adult supervision, and constant alertness, as though preparing
for something bad to happen,” Obama said.

*Click here to read of download entire proclamation by Obama.

Just this very day, a verdict in Delaware was rendered in a child rape case where the
perpetrator walked, while the victim who was raped at the age of three, suffers.

http://newscastmedia.com/child-abuse.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 12:11 am

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Judge spares wealthy DuPont jail for raping his 3-year-old girl

Press conference after DuPont verdict

Newscast Media DOVER—Criminal justice officials are still reeling from a ruling issued
by a Delaware judge, whose decision brings into question whether there are two tiers
of the justice system in America.

What is most revealing about the verdict, is its confirmation that the privileged have
a different justice system from the poor. Robert Richards IV, the great-grandson of family
patriarch Irenee DuPont, was convicted of raping his 3-year-old daughter, but was given
probation because the judge believes the wealthy DuPont cannot handle the tough prison life.

Richards, who is unemployed and supported by a family trust fund, owns a
5,800-square-foot mansion in Greenville he bought for $1.8 million in 2005.
CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - March 31, 2014 at 11:07 pm

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Texas law restricting abortion upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

File photo: Governor Rick Perry in Houston at a meet-and-greet event—Photo by Joseph Earnest

Newscast Media HOUSTON—The law that restricts abortions in Texas that was
passed and signed last year by Texas Governor Rick Perry has been upheld by the 5th
Circuit Court of Appeals, in its most recent ruling. The ruling from the three-panel
Conservative judges prompted an excited Gov. Perry to say it was “victory for life.”

When the law was passed, Planned Parenthood, the organization that advocates
abortion, sued at the district level, arguing the provisions pertaining to the regulation
of surgical abortions and abortion–inducing drugs, were unconstitutional. The district
court ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood, however on appeal, the 5th Circuit
asserted that the ruling of the lower court was erroneous. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - March 30, 2014 at 1:49 am

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Obama meets House of Saud–Careful not to talk about gays

Obama and King Abdullah

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—US President Barack Obama is in Saudi Arabia visiting
King Abdullah bin Adulazziz, and it is interesting that he has steered away from the
topic of homosexuals being put to death publicly if caught in Saudi Arabia.

As the absolute monarch, the king’s word is the law and is final, therefore it cannot
be reversed.

While Obama shakes his fist and makes threatening gestures to countries with lesser
laws that deal with homosexuals, the leader of the free world takes a stance of
submission when dealing with the House of Saud, and will dare not mention that
controversial subject while he is within or without the kingdom. FULL STORY>>

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - March 28, 2014 at 7:20 pm

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New funds to protect wetlands and migratory birds approved

Duck stamp

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission March
26 approved $61.3 million in funding to protect, restore and enhance almost 83,000
hectares of wetlands and associated uplands in the United States, Canada and
Mexico.

“Conservation of our nation’s wetlands is critical to protecting our wildlife,
watersheds, coastal communities and important economic activities,” said Secretary
of the Interior Sally Jewell, chair of the commission. “Wetlands not only are home to
hundreds of species of migratory birds, but they also provide us with clean water, act
as buffers against storms, support our vibrant coastal fishing industries, and provide
unique opportunities for outdoor recreation.”

The commission approved $54.7 million in grants through the North American
Wetlands Conservation Act to protect, restore and enhance almost 81,000 hectares
of habitat for migratory birds in the United States, Mexico and Canada, leveraging an
additional $92.6 million in matching funds. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>

         

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

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U.S. military denies Afghan reports it will provide Pakistan with equipment

Taliban

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The U.S. military is disputing media reports that it
plans to give Pakistan excess American military equipment that is currently in
Afghanistan.

“Our commitment to the Afghan people and the Afghan National Security Forces is
unwavering,” Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, commander of all U.S. and NATO troops in
Afghanistan, said in a statement Thursday.

The Washington Post first reported in a March 16 web story that the U.S. military
was considering giving the Pakistanis $7 billion worth of equipment amid the
drawdown in Afghanistan. The Pakistani military has expressed interest in getting
Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, which have been proven to be too big and
heavy to operate effectively in Afghanistan, which lacks road infrastructure.

But U.S. Forces-Afghanistan issued a statement on Thursday calling media reports
that it was considering sending military equipment to Pakistan “inaccurate.”
“USFOR-A does not provide or intend to provide any such equipment, including
MRAPs, from Afghanistan to Pakistan,” the statement says.

The story caused more strain on the U.S. military’s relationship with Afghan President
Hamid Karzai, whose spokesman said Afghanistan would oppose any move to give
excess MRAPs to Pakistan.

“Afghan security forces need this type of equipment and as a strategic partner, the
U.S. needs to consult with Afghanistan before making such a decision,” Emal Faizi told
Voice of America for a March 18 story.

Source: U.S. Forces-Afghanistan

http://www.newscastmedia.com/afghan-equipment.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 4:56 pm

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Kenya on high alert to prevent spread of Ebola in the nation

Disinfecting

Newscast Media NAIROBI—Kenya’s health ministry said on Thursday that it has
instituted several measures to ensure that any Ebola cases that come to the country
are quickly detected and necessary actions are taken to curb further spread in the
country.

Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the ministry has also issued an alert to
all the points of entry with a request to screen all people who have visited Guinea
where the hemorrhagic fever was first detected in the last three weeks.
The statement comes as health officials in Guinea are working to contain an outbreak
of Ebola that has killed at least 60 people and sickened dozens more, according to
the World Health Organization (WHO).

The outbreak is spreading through forests in the West African country’s southeast,
and may have crossed borders into Liberia and Sierra Leone, WHO said.
“These people are required to reveal when they travelled to Guinea, areas in which
visited and how long they stayed there,” Macharia said in a statement issued in
Nairobi.

“They are also required to inform the health officials if they have any symptoms that
have been listed. All cases that will be considered as suspected cases will be isolated
and investigated immediate in order to rule out Ebola HF,” he added.

The virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, secretions, other bodily
fluids or organs of infected persons or animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys
and antelopes, and it has an incubation period of two to 21 days.

Sufferers can experience fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a
sore throat, as well as vomiting, diarrhea, rashes and impaired kidney and liver
function. In the most severe cases, the virus leads to both external and internal
bleeding.

http://www.newscastmedia.com/kenya-ebola.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - March 27, 2014 at 11:21 pm

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Bank of America settles $9.5 billion lawsuit with FHFA

court

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Embattled Bank of America has reached a settlement
with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in a lawsuit that was filed against
the bank for its fraudulent mortgage-backed securities that led to the housing crisis.

Under terms of the deal, BofA agreed to make cash payments of about $6.3 billion to
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as to purchase certain Residential
Morgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) at fair market value, or about $3.2 billion.

In return, the FHFA agreed to dismiss pending lawsuits and release BofA and its
affiliates from all securities law and fraud claims. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 9:26 pm

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Chelsea Manning’s attorney files clemency papers for client

Manning

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The attorney for WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning,
said his client did not receive a fair trial during last year’s court-martial, and has
today filed to seek clemency from the United States military.

Attorney David Coombs said in statement that under the current administration, any
unauthorized leak to the media of classified information is viewed as tantamount to
aiding the enemy of the United States. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>

         

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

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