07 Dec 13
IRS Floats Rule Changes to Tip 2014 Elections
The Internal Revenue Service quietly proposed new regulations aimed at 501(c)(4) organizations during the Thanksgiving recess that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, called "a crass political effort by the Administration to get what political advantage they can, when they can."
WTO agrees global trade deal worth $1tn
Ministers from 159 countries have reached a deal intended to boost global trade at a meeting in Bali, Indonesia.
The World Trade Organization's first comprehensive agreement involves an effort to simplify the procedures for doing business across borders.
There will also be improved duty-free access for goods sold by the world's poorest countries.
Syria conflict: Foreign jihadists 'use Turkey safe houses'
Foreign jihadist fighters are using safe houses in southern Turkey to cross into Syria to fight against government forces, the BBC has learnt.
A man running one such house near the border town of Reyhanli said more than 150 people - including up to 20 Britons - had used it in the past three months.
US war veteran Merrill Newman released by North Korea
North Korea has deported a US veteran of the Korean War who had been detained in the country since October.
State news agency KCNA says Merrill Newman was expelled on "humanitarian grounds" after confessing to "crimes" in the 1950-53 war and "apologising".
Mr Newman, 85, had been held on charges of "hostile acts" against the North, while visiting as a tourist.
Egypt's police, ousted Morsi supporters clash
Egyptian security forces fired tear gas Friday during clashes with rock-throwing supporters of the ousted Islamist president demonstrating in several districts across the country, officials said.
Syrian nuns taken by rebels appear in video
A group of Syrian Greek Orthodox nuns reportedly seized by rebels from a convent near Damascus denied in a video broadcast Friday that they had been kidnapped and said they were being held in a safe place.
Israel refuses to compromise on Jordan Valley security
Israel's deputy defence minister ruled out Thursday any compromise on security in the Jordan Valley as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held security talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
"The Americans are proposing joint control over the crossing points (into Jordan)," Danny Danon told Israel's army radio.
Syrian government accused of new poison gas attack
Syria has been accused of using poison gas to attack a rebel-held town, despite agreeing to dismantle its chemical weapons and production facilities earlier this year, reports Reuters. Activists opposing the Assad regime tell Reuters that they found victims in the town Nabak who had swollen limbs and were foaming at the mouth.
Killing Of Hezbollah Commander Leaves Group Without Military Mastermind
The assassination of Hezbollah leader Hassan al-Laqis by a small Sunni group this week has eliminated an effective and high-ranking operative who helped supply some of the most advanced military needs for the Shiite militia.
06 Dec 13
Pope Francis at Mass: Praying is a bit like “annoying” God
Pope Francis spoke on the theme of prayer on Thursday, saying when we pray it’s a bit like annoying God so that he listens to us. His remarks came during his homily at the morning mass in the Santa Marta guesthouse.
White House Throws Staffers Under The Bus To Shield President From Kenyan Uncle Omar Bombshell
On Thursday, The Boston Globe reported that Obama said he did live with his Kenyan uncle, Onyango “Omar” Obama, for three weeks just before young Barack began his career as a Harvard Law student. The White House had told the press in 2011 that the President had never met the man. That was an inadvertent lack of diligence on the part of Obama’s staff, said Press Secretary Jay Carney Thursday. “Back when this arose, [White House staff] looked at the record, including the President’s [autobiographical] book, and there was no evidence that they had met,” Carney said.
Winter Storm Cleon: Snow, Ice from Plains to Northeast
the third named winter storm of the 2013-14 season, has already dumped a swath of locally heavy snow from the Rockies to the Upper Midwest, and a stripe of snow, sleet and freezing rain from the Southern Plains to the Ohio Valley. Now, Cleon is delivering its final wintry punch – a significant swath of snow and ice from the Southern Plains to the Ohio Valley and interior Northeast as we close out the workweek.
‘FSA’ says won’t attend Geneva talks
In an interview with Press TV, Louay al-Mokdad, a spokesman for the so-called Free Syrian Army, said the group will not attend the Geneva talks unless the international community “gives guarantees” that President Bashar al-Assad will step down.
Report: Scientists predict a century of global cooling
Better start investing in some warm clothes because German scientists are predicting that the Earth will cool over the next century. German scientists found that two naturally occurring cycles will combine to lower global temperatures during the 21st century, eventually dropping to levels corresponding with the “little ice age” of 1870.
NSA considered ‘unilateral spying’ on Australia, Canada, NZ citizens
The NSA was prepared to secretly collect data on citizens of Australia, Canada and New Zealand – without the knowledge or consent of their governments, and despite the ‘Five Eyes’ joint spying program with those countries, a Snowden leak reveals.
Sudan Reports Widespread Yellow Fever Outbreak, 14 Dead
A total of 44 suspected cases and 14 deaths have been reported from October 3 to November 24, 2013 in the localities of Lagawa, Kailak, Muglad and Abyei in West Kordofan and Elreef Alshargi, Abu Gibaiha, Ghadir, Habila, Kadugli, Altadamon, Talodi and Aliri in South Kordofan.
Kerry: We are closer to peace than we have been in years
Kerry made his remarks at Ben-Gurion international Airport outside of Tel Aviv before taking off from Israel, after three meetings with Netanyahu and one with Abbas over the last two days.
UPDATE 4-Hurricane-force winds wreak havoc in Britain, head to Europe
Hurricane-force Storm Xaver blasted towards mainland Europe on Thursday after cutting transport and power in northern Britain and killing three people in what meteorologists warned could be the worst storm to hit the continent in years.
British authorities said the Thames Barrier, designed to protect London from flooding during exceptional tides, would shut on Thursday night and warned of "the most serious coastal tidal surge for over 60 years in England". Prime Minister David Cameron called two emergency meetings to discuss strategy.
One of the Worst Ice Storms in Years to Unfold From Texas to Kentucky
An ice storm will affect millions of people into Friday and threaten to cut power for hundreds of thousands from northern Texas to western Kentucky.
Travel by vehicle or foot will be dangerous during and after the storm, due to icy roads and falling trees and power lines.
Colima volcano (Western Mexico) activity update: explosions and lava flows
Activity remains elevated. Strombolian-type explosions and lava flows / glowing lava avalanches on the upper slope continue.
Al-Qaeda claims attack on Yemen defence ministry
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has said it was behind an attack on Yemen's defence ministry on Thursday that left 52 people dead.
The group's media arm, al-Malahim, said the ministry complex in Sanaa had been targeted because US unmanned drones were being operated from there.
The attack saw a suicide bomber ram an explosives-filled car into the main gate before gunmen launched an assault.
Tidal surge hits east UK coastal towns after storm
The tidal surge which hit the east coast of Britain has been described as the "most serious" for 60 years.
Thousands were forced to abandon their homes as tides in parts of the North Sea reached higher levels than the devastating floods of 1953.
Flood waters have receded in many areas but authorities are warning that high tides later on Friday could cause further damage.
France goes to war in Africa to 'save lives'
French President Francois Hollande has announced another military intervention in Africa, but plans to deploy an EU battle group are unlikely to go ahead.
"This operation will be swift, it does not have the vocation to last long," he said on Thursday (5 December) on plans to send soldiers to the Central African Republic (CAR).
Hezbollah threatens to retaliate against Israel for assassination
A Lebanese newspaper reported on Thursday that Hezbollah blames Israel for the assassination of Hassan al-Laqqis and will respond.
Ibrahim al-Amin, editor-in-chief of the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar, which tends to support the “axis of resistance” of Hezbollah, Iran and Syria, stated in an article titled “Hezbollah will respond” that all signs point to Israel for the assassination.
Egypt reportedly to declare Muslim Brotherhood ‘terrorist organization’
Egyptian media reported Thursday that the government is preparing to deem the Muslim Brotherhood “a terrorist organization,” as pro-Morsi organizations sent out a call for protests to be held over the weekend.
The Egyptian El-Watan newspaper ...reported that interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi discussed in a closed meeting with a number of ministers a detailed directive that declares the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
A tale of two Kerrys
The John Kerry that Israelis saw deliver a statement to the press following his meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday was not the John Kerry that they saw a short month ago...
That Kerry...was the Kerry threatening Israel with a third intifada if the talks with the Palestinians collapsed.
05 Dec 13
Feds not required to report security breaches of ObamaCare exchange website
Americans who buy health insurance through the federal Obamacare exchange website could have their personal information stolen by hackers and never even know it.
Palestinians: We Want a Geneva Accord against Israel
The Geneva accord and Washington's failed policies in Egypt and other Muslim countries have taught the Palestinians that it would be better to wait until the U.S. completely loses its influence so that other players such as Russia, China and the EU will step in and impose a solution on Israel. The way the Palestinian Authority sees it, "If it worked with Iran, why shouldn't it work also with Israel?" The Geneva agreement between Iran and the six big powers appears to have had a negative impact on the current US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
'Spooky action' builds a wormhole between 'entangled' quantum particles
Physicists at the University of Washington and Stony Brook University in New York believe the phenomenon might be intrinsically linked with wormholes, hypothetical features of space-time that in popular science fiction can provide a much-faster-than-light shortcut from one part of the universe to another.
Famed Investor’s Dire Warning: ‘This Is Going to End Badly… Be Prepared, Be Worried, and Be Careful’
Rogers, in his inimitable way, sums up the state [of] euphoria that many markets find themselves in thus, “we are all floating around on a sea of artificial liquidity right now. This is not going to last.” “The next correction when it comes, because the debt is so very high — you know, 2008 was worse than 2002 because the debt was so much higher. You wait until 2015 or 2016 when the next crisis hits… debt has gone through the roof, the next one’s gonna be really bad”.