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Older News Archivescom0116
NEWS     TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2014     NEWS

EARLY EDITION

Ukraine Warns Of "Full-Scale War"
Ukrainian troops retreated from the airport of the contested city of Luhansk, as rebel forces gained ground in eastern and southern Ukraine. The government's security council said Monday its troops withdrew from Luhansk airport "in an organized manner." Pro-Russian separatists also made advances in nearby Donetsk and further south near the city of Mariupol. The Ukrainian news agency UNIAN, quoting a senior officer, said as many as 680 soldiers had been taken by rebel forces, the majority near the town of Ilovaysk, near Donetsk, where troops were cut off by rebel advances. UPI
VOA VIEW: Putin is repeating history using Hitler's play book, while the world watches and does nothing.

Markets Drift As Wall Street Has Day Off
Ahead of a raft of economic developments this week, financial markets started the week on a lackluster note Monday as Wall Street was closed for the Labor Day holiday. KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed up 0.1 percent at 6,825.31 while Germany's DAX rose the same rate to 9,479.03. The CAC-40 in France ended a tad lower at 4,379.73. Earlier in Asia, China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.8 percent to 2,235.51 points and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 0.3 percent to 15,476.60. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was marginally higher, adding 0.04 percent to 24,752.09. CNS News

Florida Power Utilities Fear Return Of ‘Green Governor' Crist
When Charlie Crist last governed Florida, his green energy and climate policies made him few friends among the state's powerful electricity corporations. Now, as the Republican-turned Democrat bids to return to the governor's mansion, it may be payback time. Florida's three largest utilities have poured money into the re-election campaign of Republican incumbent Governor Rick Scott in an expensive and closely watched political battle for the nation's largest swing state. The election spending is notable in a tight race where the issues of energy and climate change have taken center stage in recent weeks, with both candidates asserting their environmental credentials. Reuters

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Obama Notifies Congress Of Ordering Air Strikes In Iraq
President Barack Obama on Monday formally notified Congress that he had authorized targeted air strikes in Iraq to help deliver a humanitarian aid to the besieged Shi'ite town of Amerli, the White House said in a statement. Iraqi security forces backed by Shi'ite militias on Sunday broke the two-month siege of Amerli by Islamic State militants and entered the northern town, after U.S. military carried out air strikes on IS militant positions near the town and airdropped humanitarian supplies to the trapped residents there. Obama has to notify Congress of the authorization under the the War Powers Resolution. Reuters

Millennials May Be More Likely To Take Credit For Others' Work
Studies have shown that millennials in the workplace are seen as disproportionately entitled, and are willing to sacrifice work friends for a promotion, but new research shows that they are even more willing to lie to get ahead. Millennials — defined as anyone between 19 and 36 years old — say they would take credit for someone else's work to get ahead more than five times as frequently as boomers, according to a new study by marketing firm DDB. The survey also revealed that millennials are more likely to self-identify as "workaholics" than their older colleagues. MSNBC

Deep Racial Divide Remains Under Obama
America’s racial divide not only remains but has deepened in some ways over the last six years, despite hopes President Obama’s election would usher in a “post-racial” America. The shooting of an unarmed black man and resulting rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, is only the latest racial flashpoint in Obama’s tenure, which has featured tense, racially-charged debates over issues like the arrest of a black Harvard professor and Obama friend in front of his house and the resulting “beer summit,” the expansion of voter ID laws, and the killing of Trayvon Martin. MSNBC

Gun Tourism Explodes In Popularity As Visitors Flock To U.S. Ranges
The death of an Arizona firearms instructor by a 9-year-old girl who was firing a fully automatic Uzi displayed a tragic side of what has become a hot industry in the U.S.: gun tourism. With gun laws keeping high-powered weapons out of reach for most people — especially those outside the U.S. — indoor shooting ranges with high-powered weapons have become a popular attraction. Tourists from Japan flock to ranges in Waikiki, Hawaii, and the dozen or so that have cropped up in Las Vegas offer bullet-riddled bachelor parties and literal shotgun weddings, where newly married couples can fire submachine gun rounds and pose with Uzis and ammo belts. Washington Times

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In Fight To Keep Senate Seat, Landrieu Faces Legal Challenge To Louisiana Residency
Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, in a tough re-election bid, is facing mounting legal challenges to her residency status, including a lawsuit filed this weekend by a former Republican challenger. The suit filed by GOP state Rep. Paul Hollis, who exited the Senate race in July, contends that Landrieu, a Democrat, cannot represent Louisiana because she lives full-time in Washington. He argues that federal law says only "an inhabitant" of a state can be elected to the U.S. Senate to represent the state. Fox

Americans Detained In North Korea Call For US Help
North Korea gave foreign media access on Monday to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and -- watched by officials as they spoke -- called for Washington to send a high-ranking representative to negotiate for their freedom. Jeffrey Fowle and Mathew Miller said they expect to face trial within a month. But they said they do not know what punishment they could face or what the specific charges against them are. Kenneth Bae, who already is serving a 15-year term, said his health has deteriorated at the labor camp where he works eight hours a day. Fox News

Train Your Brain To Crave Healthy Food
It may be possible to rewire your brain so that it wants -- craves, even -- healthier foods. How? By following a healthy diet. We know, that wasn't the quick fix to afternoon ice cream binges you were hoping for. But this research could lead to a more sci-fi solution to the obesity epidemic. In a pilot study published Monday in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes, scientists say that changing your eating behavior can actually change how your brain reacts to high-calorie and low-calorie foods. CNN

UK PM: Police Need Power To Seize Passports Of Would-Be Jihad Suspects
British Prime Minister David Cameron called Monday for a new law to give police the temporary power to seize a passport in case a British citizen is suspected of trying to travel to support ISIS. Cameron told lawmakers meeting in the House of Commons on Monday there were two gaps in Britain's fight against the threat of terror at home. The first pertains to suspects traveling abroad, he said. "Passports are not an automatic right," he said. "We will introduce specific and targeted legislation to fill this gap by providing the police with a temporary power to seize a passport at the border, during which time they will be able to investigate the individual concerned. CNN

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O’Hillary: The Ready For Hillary Superpac Journeys To Ireland, Raises $50,000
O’Hillary? Or oh, Hillary? Fundraise for Hillary Clinton in Ireland: faith and begorra, that’s exactly what Ready for Hillary did. The independent grass-roots activist group traveled all the way to Ballsbridge - that’s an exclusive suburb of Dublin - to raise $50,000 for Mrs. Clinton, a potential White House candidate. A hundred fans showed up on Friday night for the event, organized by New York-based attorney Brian O’Dwyer and hosted by local power couple Linda and Brian Farren, who also have raised money for former President Bill Clinton in the past. Washington Times

Obama's Delay On ISIS Strategy Leads To Strange Bedfellows
Politicians and pundits on the right initially rallied around the idea that the U.S. needs to be more aggressive militarily in Iraq and Syria to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is wreaking havoc there. But in the wake of President Obama's remark last week that "we don't have a strategy yet," there's a new twist: some with Republican ties are suggesting his deliberative approach to forming an ISIS strategy may have some validity to it. CBS

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Russia To Move $10 Billion Wealth Fund Out Of Sanctions' Reach
Russia is preparing to transfer the ownership of a $10 billion sovereign wealth fund to the central bank from a sanctioned state-development lender, according to two people with knowledge of the plan. Russian Direct Investment Fund’s co-investors, which include sovereign funds in Europe and Asia, are concerned that sanctions may affect their investments in Russia if the state lender controls the assets, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Bloomberg

Money Markets' Record Low Seen Pricing 50% Chance Of ECB Cut
European money markets that are at record lows are pricing in around a 50 percent probability the European Central Bank will cut its refinancing and deposit rates by 10 basis points this week, BNP Paribas SA said. With the ECB’s Governing Council set to meet in Frankfurt on Sept. 4, investors are adding to bets the central bank will ease policy further to fend off the prospect of deflation in the region. The euro overnight index average, or Eonia, which measures the cost of lending between euro-area banks, fell to a record today after turning negative for the first time last week. Three-month Eonia swaps dropped to minus 0.005 percent. Bloomberg

US Trained Alaskans As Secret ‘Stay-Behind Agents’
Fearing a Russian invasion and occupation of Alaska, the U.S. government in the early Cold War years recruited and trained fishermen, bush pilots, trappers and other private citizens across Alaska for a covert network to feed wartime intelligence to the military, newly declassified Air Force and FBI documents show. Invasion of Alaska? Yes. It seemed like a real possibility in 1950. "The military believes that it would be an airborne invasion involving bombing and the dropping of paratroopers," one FBI memo said. The most likely targets were thought to be Nome, Fairbanks, Anchorage and Seward. Las Vegas Sun

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At Labor Day Event, Obama Pushes GOP To Raise Minimum Wage
President Obama will use a Labor Day event to urge Republicans to raise the minimum wage, his latest push on a campaign-year issue that Democrats hope will boost their support at the polls. Mr. Obama is traveling to Milwaukee, Wisconsin Monday to speak at Laborfest, an event visited in 2008 during his first presidential campaign. Despite a host of foreign crises he has faced all summer, the president's focus will be on domestic news, which is decidedly less gloomy. CBS

Human Trial For Ebola Vaccine To Begin This Week
The first human trial for an investigational Ebola vaccine is set to begin this week. The ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa prompted the National Institutes of Health to expedite safety testing for several vaccines already in the works. Since March, the deadly virus has killed 1,552 people, according to the World Health Organization, which predicted last week that the virus could infect 20,000 people in the next six months. ABC

Iraqi Prime Minister Pledges To Root Out Militants
Iraq's outgoing prime minster pledged Monday to turn his country into "a big grave" for Sunni militants from the Islamic State group and commended security forces who achieved a rare victory over insurgents by ending the siege of a Shiite town. Nouri al-Maliki made the comments during an unannounced visit to the northern community of Amirli, where he was greeted with hugs. A day earlier, Iraqi forces backed by Iran-allied Shiite militias and U.S. airstrikes broke a two-month siege of the town where some 15,000 Shiite Turkmens had been stranded. In footage aired on state TV, al-Maliki was shown sitting at a wooden desk in front of a large poster of Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistsani, ordering promotions and awards for those who fought in the battle. Las Vegas Sun

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Germany To Send Arms To Kurds
Germany announced as substantial delivery of armaments to Kurdish soldiers fighting the Islamic State. "The weapons delivery is enough to supply a brigade of 4,000 soldiers," German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen said Sunday, adding the international community had to "support the persecuted" because IS militants were acting with "merciless brutality." The equipment will be delivered by the end of September and includes anti-tank missiles, assault rifles, pistols and portable anti-tank rocket launchers. The announcement came after German leaders, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, discussed what they termed the "extremely critical" situation in Iraq. UPI

Netanyahu Focuses On Threats, As Kerry And Livni Looking To Re-Start Talks
Even as US Secretary of State John Kerry and Justice Minister Minister Justice Minister Tzipi Livni are pushing for a renewal of Israeli-Palestinian talks, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continues in his public comments to focus on regional threats, rather than possible negotiations. In statements Monday before a meeting with US congressmen Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) and Gregory Meeks (D-New York), Netanyahu stressed the need for US-Israeli cooperation in facing radical Islam. “We are closely following the situation on the Golan Heights, where al-Nusra terrorists kidnapped UN observers,” Netanyahu said. Jerusalem Post

Iran Internet: Hassan Rouhani Tells Clerics Web Is Vital
President Hassan Rouhani has urged Iran's clerics to be more tolerant of the internet and new technologies. In a speech broadcast on Iranian television, Mr Rouhani said it was vital that the younger generation had access to the internet. The president, who was elected in 2013, has vowed to support greater media freedom but has faced opposition. Last week, prominent Iranian cleric Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi said mobile internet was "immoral and unlawful". Conservative clerics oppose introducing mobile broadband services, saying they allow immoral images to be shared freely and more easily. BBC

Libya Militias 'Seize Ministries' As Al-Thinni Reappointed
Libya's militias have captured most government ministries in the capital, Tripoli, the government has said. Armed men had blocked staff from entering offices, it added in a statement. On Sunday, militiamen seized the US embassy, with videos showing cheering men diving from a balcony into a swimming pool. Meanwhile, Abdullah al-Thinni has been reappointed as prime minister after he resigned last week. Libya has been hit by anarchy since Col Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown by the militias, backed by Western countries, in 2011. BBC

Louisiana's Restrictive Abortion Law Blocked By Federal Judge
Abortion providers in Louisiana will be temporarily sheltered from a law requiring them to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals, after a federal judge issued a temporary injunction. Opponents of the law claim it was “specifically designed to shutter abortion clinics across the state”. Louisiana has five abortion clinics, and critics believe it has the potential to shut down three. The law would have taken effect on Labor Day. “Today’s ruling ensures that Louisiana women are safe from an underhand law that seeks to strip them of their health and rights,” said Nancy Northup, the chief executive of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “As the flimsy façade of these laws grows thinner by the day, we continue to look to the courts to uphold the constitution and protect access to safe and legal abortion for all women regardless of where they happen to live.” Guardian

Marijuana Effect On Drivers And Deaths Still Hazy
As states liberalise their marijuana laws, public officials and safety advocates worry that more drivers using the drug will lead to a big increase in traffic deaths. Researchers, though, are divided on the question. Studies of the effects of marijuana effects show that the drug can slow decision-making, decrease peripheral vision and impede multitasking, all of which are critical driving skills. But unlike with alcohol, drivers using marijuana tend to be aware that they are impaired and try to compensate by driving slowly, avoiding risky actions such as passing other cars, and allowing extra room between vehicles. Guardian

North Korea Parades Three US Prisoners For CNN Interview
Three US citizens held in North Korea have pleaded for help to secure their release, urging Washington to send an envoy to the hardline communist country. As government minders looked on, the three, who appeared tense, also said they had been well treated in the autocratic state. "Continue to pray for me," said Kenneth Bae, the longest-held detainee, in a message to family and friends in a highly unusual interview with CNN. Telegraph

Israel Announces Construction Of Biggest Settlement In 30 Years
Israel has announced the construction of its biggest settlement in 30 years, drawing Palestinian condemnation and a US rebuke. Almost 1,000 acres of land in the Etzion Jewish settlement bloc near Bethlehem were declared "state land, on the instructions of the political echelon" by the military-run Civil Administration. "We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision," a State Department official said in Washington, calling the move "counterproductive" to efforts to achieve a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. Telegraph

Out In The Open: Hackers Build A Skype That’s Not Controlled By Microsoft
The web forum 4chan is known mostly as a place to share juvenile and, to put it mildly, politically incorrect images. But it’s also the birthplace of one of the latest attempts to subvert the NSA’s mass surveillance program. When whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that full extent of the NSA’s activities last year, members of the site’s tech forum started talking about the need for a more secure alternative to Skype. Soon, they’d opened a chat room to discuss the project and created an account on the code hosting and collaboration site GitHub and began uploading code. Wired

Grave Crimes Committed On 'Unimaginable Scale' In Iraq, UN Human Rights Council Told
United Nations officials today urged an immediate end to the acts of violence and abuses committed against civilians in Iraq, particularly against children and people from various ethnic and religious communities, as the Human Rights Council met to discuss the ongoing crisis. “The reports we have received reveal acts of inhumanity on an unimaginable scale,” Flavia Pansieri, the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in her opening remarks to the UN Human Rights Council's special session on Iraq. UN News

UN Chief Demands Immediate Release Of Seized Fijian Peacekeepers
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday again called for the release of 44 Fijian peacekeepers seized in the Golan. The peacekeepers are serving with the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), monitoring a ceasefire established in 1974 between Israel and Syria. “I again demand the immediate and unconditional release of these brave blue helmets who deployed to the region to bring stability for the sake of the people,” Mr. Ban told journalists in Apia, Samoa, where he is attending the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States. UN News

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