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- Obama unloads on Republicans, sees 'cynical genius'
Obama, raising money for Democratic candidates as Republicans aim to take over the Senate in the fall, on Friday blamed some Republicans for a calculated effort to undermine faith in government by opposing policy compromises. "There has been a certain cynical genius to what some of these folks have done," Obama said at the second of three fundraisers he attended. "What they’ve realized is, if we don’t get anything done, then people are going to get cynical about government and its possibilities of doing good for everybody," he said in Purchase, New York. "And since they don’t believe in government, that’s a pretty good thing." Many polls show Republicans regaining control of the Senate in November's elections. In Purchase, Obama spoke to approximately 250 supporters at the home of Robert and Carol Wolf.
- California passes plastic bag ban, would be first such law in U.S By Aaron Mendelson SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - The California state legislature enacted a ban on plastic grocery bags on Friday near the end of its two-year session, a measure that if signed into law would become the first of its kind in America. The California Senate voted 22-15 for the bill, which must be signed into law by Sept. 30 by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, who has not signaled a position on the measure. "Single-use plastic bags not only litter our beaches, but also our mountains, our deserts, and our rivers, streams and lakes," said state Senator Alex Padilla, who sponsored the bill. The measure would ban grocery stores from handing out single-use grocery bags with customers' purchases, and provide money to local plastic bag companies to retool to make heavier, multiple-use bags that customers could buy.
- Oil train regulation passes in California By Jennifer Chaussee SANFRANCISO (Reuters) - California lawmakers on Friday passed legislation requiring railroad companies to tell emergency officials when crude oil trains will chug through the state. The bill would require railroads to notify the state's Office of Emergency Services when trains carrying crude oil from Canada and North Dakota are headed to refineries in the most populous U.S. It passed its final vote in the Assembly 61-1, with strong bipartisan support in the state legislature in Sacramento. “We have a spotlight on this issue because of the seriousness of the risk to public safety that it presents,” said the bill's author, Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, whose district encompasses parts of Sacramento along the trains’ route.
- Bill to regulate California groundwater passes in state legislature By Joaquin Palomino SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - A package of bills aimed at regulating drought-parched California's stressed groundwater supplies were passed on Friday despite efforts by some agricultural interests to block bills in the waning days of the state legislative session. The trio of bills, which would allow the state to take over management of underground aquifers and water accessed via wells, aim to tighten oversight of water at a time when groundwater levels are shrinking in the third year of a catastrophic drought. The final two measures passed by identical 24-10 votes in the Senate on Friday night, and now go to Governor Jerry Brown for review. “An increasing number of groundwater basins are in extreme overdraft and others are approaching that status,” said Democratic Senator Fran Pavley of Agoura Hills, who authored one of the bills in the package.
- Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy expresses ‘extreme degree of skepticism’ about expanding strikes on ISIL to Syria
Sen. Chris Murphy says he would be “very unlikely” to support expanding America’s military campaign against the brutal ISIL militia from Iraq into neighboring Syria. But the Connecticut Democrat says President Obama must seek explicit authorization from Congress if he decides to widen the conflict.
- Obama on ISIL: ‘We don’t have a strategy yet’
- Obama’s Anti-Doctrine Doctrine Terrorists in Syria and Iraq have been overrunning the countryside, pausing to savagely murder an American journalist. Pakistan is reeling from political crisis. The Russians just made an incursion into Ukraine, the Israelis have been blowing up every other building in Gaza, and Ebola's rampaging through West Africa. All of which has led to some of the most blistering criticism of Barack Obama's presidency.
- Former Iowa Republican official admits to taking payment for support of Ron Paul’s presidential bid
An Iowa state senator who abandoned then-presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to endorse Ron Paul a week before the 2012 Iowa caucuses has pleaded guilty to “concealing payments” from Paul’s campaign in exchange for his support.
- On Ukraine's 'other side' to the west, fears of familiar crisis brew in tiny Moldova The world may not be ready for another crisis on Ukraine’s borders, but one may be brewing — this time on the west, in the obscure Moldovan province of Transnistria, occupying about 1,600 square miles between the Dniester River and the Ukrainian frontier.
- Britain Raises Terror Threat Level to ‘Severe’
- American Terror Pipeline: Nearly a Dozen From Twin Cities Gone to Fight in Syria
- President Obama Says 'We Don't Have a Strategy Yet' to Fight ISIS
- AP NewsAlert MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine defense chief says Syrian rebels attacked Filipino peacekeepers in Golan Heights.
- Obama seeking allies for fight against extremists
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's acknowledgement the U.S. still lacks a strategy for defeating the growing extremist threat emanating from Syria reflects a still unformed international coalition.
- Westerners linked to extremist groups in Syria As many as 12,000 foreigners have gone to Syria to fight the government of Bashar Assad. Many have joined extremist groups, including the al-Nusra front, an al-Qaida affiliate, and the Islamic State group, which now controls a territory straddling Syria and Iraq. The State Department lists these foreigners fighting the Assad government in Syria:
- Intelligence nightmare: Extremists returning home
- Obama's delay on immigration creates uncertainty
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's possible delay in taking action on immigration has thrown advocates and lawmakers from both parties a curveball, barely two months before the midterm elections.
- Enforcement of gun laws hinges on local sheriffs' interpretation of Second Amendment Rural sheriffs across the country are by protesting gun control laws
- How big telecom smothers city-run broadband Municipal broadband boosts business, but often stops at city limits thanks to lobbying muscle of telecom giants
- Fearing for the Second Amendment, militia groups grow in number Fear of interference with Second Amendment rights and suspicion of elected officials have provoked a rise in self-described patriot militias
- African troops in fresh offensive against Islamists in Somalia
Somali and African Union forces have launched a fresh offensive to roust Shebab Islamist fighters from key ports, army and government officials said Saturday, in an effort to cut off a main revenue source for the extremists. "Operation Indian Ocean started late last night.... The enemy is fleeing and the forces are making successful advances so far," said Abdukadir Mohamed Nur, the governor of southern Somalia's Lower Shabelle region. The Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab are still a powerful and dangerous force but have lost a string of towns to the 22,000-strong AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Deployed in Somalia in 2007, AMISOM has made a series of advances in the past three years, but the launch Saturday of a new offensive targets the Shebab’s lucrative charcoal trade.
- Saudi king warns West will be jihadists' next target
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has warned that the West will be the next target of the jihadists sweeping through Syria and Iraq, unless there is "rapid" action. "Terrorism knows no border and its danger could affect several countries outside the Middle East," said the king who was speaking at a welcoming ceremony on Friday for new ambassadors, including a new envoy from Saudi ally the United States. The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group has prompted widespread concern as it advances in both Syria and Iraq, killing hundreds of people, including in gruesome beheadings and mass executions. President Barack Obama has yet to decide whether the United States should launch raids against positions held by the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria to follow US air strikes on IS activities in Iraq.
- Filipino UN peacekeepers in Golan clash with Syrian rebels: govt
Philippine UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights clashed with Syrian rebels Saturday, Defence Minister Voltaire Gazmin said in Manila. He said in an SMS statement to reporters that the Filipino troops had been "extricated" from one of their two positions but added that another group of Filipino soldiers "is now under attack". He was referring to two positions on the Golan Heights where more than 70 Filipino troops had previously been surrounded by Syrian rebels.
- Lesotho military seize police HQ in 'coup' attempt
Lesotho's military seized control of police headquarters in the tiny African kingdom in the early hours of Saturday, a government minister told AFP, describing the events as a coup attempt. "The armed forces, the special forces of Lesotho, have taken the headquarters of the police," sports minister and leader of the Basotho National Party Thesele Maseribane said. "The [military] commander said he was looking for me, the prime minister and the deputy prime minister to take us to the king.
- EU leaders seek riposte to Russia
European Union leaders gather in Brussels Saturday to thrash out a response to Russia's deeper involvement in war-torn Ukraine and to bring new faces to key EU posts. The 28 heads of state and government sit down for talks as accusations rain down on the Kremlin that Russian combat troops are fighting inside Ukraine, with fears growing that Europe may soon face a full-scale war on its eastern borders. It has only been five weeks since EU states toughened their sanctions against Russia, but with the West's almost unanimous belief that Moscow is now a direct and hostile force inside Ukraine, the EU is under pressure to once again up the stakes. "Such behaviour cannot remain without consequences," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday amid the reports by NATO that "well over" a thousand Russian soldiers were waging war in Ukraine.
- Somalia sentences Islamist killers of journalist to death
A military court in Somalia has sentenced two Islamist Shebab gunmen to death for killing a journalist, the information minister said Saturday. "Both men freely confessed to the killings, therefore, after the due process of the law, the military court sentenced them to death," Minister of Information Mustafa Duhulow told reporters. The extremists confessed to killing journalist Mohamed Mohamud Timacade, a reporter with London-based Somali-language Universal TV, in October 2013, the minister said, adding the sentence was handed out on Monday. Somalia is one of most dangerous countries for reporters.
- US urges global 'coalition' to fight IS jihadists
US Secretary of State John Kerry has called for a global coalition to combat Islamic State fighters' "genocidal agenda" after President Barack Obama admitted he had no strategy to tackle the group. The number of refugees who have fled Syria, where rebels have been battling the regime as well as jihadists, has now exceeded three million people, the United Nations said. Writing in the New York Times, a week before a NATO summit in Wales, Kerry urged "a united response led by the United States and the broadest possible coalition of nations." He said he and Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel would meet with European counterparts on the sidelines of the summit to enlist assistance, and then travel on to the Middle East to build support "among the countries that are most directly threatened."
- Fiji says captured peacekeepers moved from UN territory
Fiji military officials confirmed Saturday they no longer know the whereabouts of 44 peacekeepers captured by Al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights. The Fijians were captured on Wednesday when armed Syrian rebels linked to the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, stormed a Golan Heights crossing. The soldiers are serving in the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) stationed in a buffer zone to monitor a ceasefire between Syria and Israel since 1974. Earlier in the day UN officials said they had received assurances that 44 peacekeepers detained by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights are safe and in good health.
- Gulf rivals struggle to build anti-jihadist front
Gulf countries, while siding with Washington against Islamic State jihadists, are struggling to build a common front because of differences within their own ranks and with non-Arab Iran. US President Barack Obama is sending his Secretary of State John Kerry to the Middle East to try to build strong regional support against IS, which is rampaging through Iraq and Syria. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal has over the past week been at the centre of diplomatic efforts to stand up to the challenge posed by IS to the status quo. He and his counterparts from Egypt, Qatar and the Emirates held talks on Syria and "the rise of terrorist extremist ideology", according to an official statement.
- Taiwan to spend $2.5 billion on anti-missile systems
Taiwan plans to spend Tw$74.8 billion ($2.5 billion) in the next nine years to acquire anti-missile systems to boost its aerial defences against China, a lawmaker and media said Saturday. The defence ministry aims to purchase the locally-made Tien Kung 3 (Sky Bow 3) surface-to-air missile system between 2015 and 2024 to replace the ageing Hawk missile systems, said lawmaker Lin Yu-fang of the parliament's defence committee. The Tien Kung 3 surface-to-air missile system, developed by Taiwan's Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, is designed to counter tactical ballistic missiles for air defence missions and missile interception, according to Lin. Taiwan unveiled the Tien Kung 3 missile to the public at a national day parade in 2007 and tested it at a major missile drill in 2011.
- Democrats keep Obama at distance ahead of mid-term elections
Washington (AFP) - Barack Obama's Democrats are walking a tightrope 10 weeks before US congressional elections: do they solicit the unpopular president's support or shun him as they try to maintain their Senate majority?
- Brazil falls into recession as election looms
Brasília (AFP) - Brazil, Latin America's largest economy, has slid into recession, further weakening President Dilma Rousseff, who faces an increasingly tough re-election battle on October 5. GDP shrank 0.6 percent in the second quarter, Brazil's national statistics institute said Friday, and revised its formerly positive growth estimate for the first quarter down to -0.2 percent. The contraction comes with Rousseff locked in a tough fight to win another term in office, with latest polls indicating a major surge in support for Marina Silva, challenging her from the left. Silva, a former environment minister under Rousseff's predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, shot to prominence after Socialist candidate Eduardo Campos died in a plane crash on August 13.
- Kerry reassures Egypt over Apache delivery
Secretary of State John Kerry told his Egyptian counterpart that the United States intends to make good on its promise to deliver 10 Apache helicopters to help Cairo's counterterrorism efforts. Kerry announced in June that he was "confident" Egypt would receive the helicopter gunships soon, and reiterated that in his phone call to Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, a senior State Department official said. "Secretary Kerry informed Shoukry that the United States intends to move forward on deliveries of Apache helicopters to the Egyptian military, which we believe are a critical tool that will help the Egyptian government in its counterterrorism efforts," the official said.
- UN says detained peacekeepers in Syria are 'safe'
UN officials have received assurances that 44 peacekeepers detained by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights are safe and in good health, a UN spokesman said. Syrian armed fighters, including some linked to the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, stormed a Golan Heights crossing on Wednesday, taking 44 troops from Fiji who were forced to surrender their weapons. The rebels surrounded another group of 72 soldiers from the Philippines serving in the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) that is tasked with monitoring a ceasefire between Syria and Israel since 1974. The United Nations did not say whether the 44 Fijian soldiers had been released, but a statement suggested progress was being made in negotiations to secure their freedom.
- Huge rival protests in Yemen capital amid UN warning
Tens of thousands of supporters of Yemen's Shiite rebels rallied Friday in Sanaa to press for the government to step down, as a large number of its backers held a counter-demonstration. The UN Security Council called on the rebels to end their armed uprising and warned of sanctions. They massed on a road leading to Sanaa airport after the weekly Muslim prayers. At the same time, tens of thousands of government supporters rallied in southern Sanaa, calling for unity and solidarity with the cabinet.
- Turkey unveils new cabinet of Erdogan allies
Ankara (AFP) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday approved a new cabinet stacked with loyal allies just a day after he became head of state, with former Europe minister Mevlut Cavusoglu promoted to foreign minister.
- US arms Lebanon for fight against jihadists
The United States is supplying weaponry to Lebanon's armed forces to help it battle jihadists near the Syrian border, Washington's ambassador to Beirut said on Friday. Lebanese troops this month clashed with gunmen in a mainly Sunni Muslim enclave of the largely Shiite Bekaa Valley, which is hosting tens of thousands of Sunni refugees from Syria. On Friday, Ambassador David Hale said Washington offered its help to Beirut after clashes first flared in early August when extremists attacked Arsal, leaving 19 soldiers, 16 civilians and dozens of jihadists dead.
- Britain raises terror threat level on Iraq, Syria fears
Britain raised its terror threat risk level to "severe" on Friday, meaning an attack is thought to be "highly likely", due to fears over the situation in Iraq and Syria. The move comes after the killing of US journalist James Foley, apparently by a man speaking with an English accent who belonged to the jihadist group Islamic State. While there was no intelligence to suggest that an attack on Britain is imminent, Prime Minister David Cameron said there was "no doubt in my mind" that IS had its sights set on targets in Europe. "What we are facing in Iraq now with ISIL (IS) is a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before," he told a press conference just after the threat level was raised.
- NATO warns Russia over 'blatant violations' in Ukraine conflict
NATO warned Russia on Friday over what it described as a "blatant violation" of Ukraine's sovereignty after the West accused Moscow of direct involvement in the escalating conflict. Fears of a wider confrontation have spiralled after NATO said Russia had sent troops to fight in Ukraine and funnelled huge amounts of heavy weaponry to pro-Kremlin rebels in what Kiev branded an invasion. "This is not an isolated action, but part of a dangerous pattern over many months to destabilise Ukraine as a sovereign nation," NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, describing the massing of Russian troops on the border as a "blatant violation" of Ukrainian sovereignty.
- Gung-ho rebels impose tough rule of newly-taken Ukraine city
Camouflaged rebel Alexander hung a sign on the wall of a busy supermarket Friday laying down the harsh new laws now governing the town of Novoazovsk after fighting drove out Ukrainian forces. "Brothers and sisters, if you know of any act of pillaging, thievery or violence call 0102." Some 12 kilometres from the Russian border, this once quiet seaside town is now firmly under separatist control after fighters flooded across from Russia this week opening up a new front in Ukraine's five-month insurgency. While rebel leaders insist their volunteer forces conducted the offensive, Kiev and the West say the combattants who took Novoazovsk on Wednesday were Russian army troops.
Geändert: 10.12.2010 19:40 Uhr