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Older News Archivescom0116
NEWS     SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2014     NEWS

Angry With Washington, 1 In 4 Americans Open To Secession
The failed Scottish vote to pull out from the United Kingdom stirred secessionist hopes for some in the United States, where almost a quarter of people are open to their states leaving the union, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found. Some 23.9 percent of Americans polled from Aug. 23 through Sept. 16 said they strongly supported or tended to support the idea of their state breaking away, while 53.3 percent of the 8,952 respondents strongly opposed or tended to oppose the notion. The urge to sever ties with Washington cuts across party lines and regions, though Republicans and residents of rural Western states are generally warmer to the idea than Democrats and Northeasterners, according to the poll. Reuters
VOA VIEW: United we stand.

Democrats' Big Guns Court Women Voters
With little more 40 days until voters head to the polls, the 2014 midterm election cycle marks the first in modern history in which Democrats find themselves scrambling to reclaim the lion’s share of the female vote in such elections. Women tilted Republican in 2010, an unprecedented development since exit polling for congressional races began in 1992, and both parties recognize the critical role women will play in determining whether the GOP regains control of the Senate. With such concerns in mind, the Democratic Party’s biggest guns – President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the party’s putative frontrunner if she runs in 2016, as many expect – descended on Washington’s Marriott Marquis Hotel, site of the 21sr annual conference of the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum. Fox News

GM Recalls 205,000 Cadillacs, Impalas
Add 205,309 more cars to General Motors' recall tally. On Saturday, the automaker announced it was recalling Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impalas because of a problem with the electronic parking brake arm in some vehicles. GM (GM) said it was not aware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities because of the issue. The affected cars are model year 2013-2014 Cadillac XTS and 2014-2015 Chevrolet Impala sedans. (An additional 16,249 vehicles are being recalled worldwide.) CNN

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Meet The Pentagon's Combat Climatologists
Skateboarders and street musicians don’t typically surround the walls of a major military headquarters. But that’s the case at the Veach-Baley Federal Building here, where — steps from a juice bar and a well-known drum circle — a team of Air Force analysts is monitoring the apocalypse. “Is climate change accelerating? Absolutely,” said Ray Keiss, the lead scientist of the 14th Weather Squadron. “The extremes in this era are significantly being changed year in, year out.” The 14th is the Pentagon’s oldest office of climatology, a go-to for all manner of atmospheric readings. It collects more than a million weather observations a day, the bulk of the planet's most-downloaded set of surface data. MSNBC

Iran’s Quds Force Aiding Iraqi Shiites With Obama Administration’s Blessing
Iran’s secretive Quds Force is becoming more active in Iraq alongside Iraqi soldiers and militias battling the Islamic State terrorist group, as the Obama administration sends signals welcoming Tehran to the fight. A source close to the U.S. special operations community said some elite Quds forces were on the ground last month when Iraqis recaptured the strategic Mosul Dam from Islamic State invaders. The Iraqis were aided overhead U.S. strike aircraft providing close-air support. Washington Times

Lack Of Trust Keeps Iran, US Away From Coalition
Iran and the United States share a common enemy in the Islamic State militant group, but a deep-seated lack of trust has so far kept the longtime foes from publicly joining hands in a coalition to defeat the extremists. Their inability to work together complicates efforts to beat back the extremists that both Washington and Tehran see as a threat, and has left Iraq's new government — which considers both countries allies — scratching its head as it tries to tackle the most serious threat to its stability since American troops left in 2011. ABC

Global Finance Chiefs Said To Warn Of Mounting Economic Risks
Group of 20 finance chiefs will warn that risks to the global economy have increased in recent months, an official said, citing the latest draft of a communique due to be released today. Finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Cairns, Australia, will acknowledge in the statement that the outlook has become more negative, amid a weak global economy burdened by uneven growth among countries, the official from a G-20 nation said yesterday, asking not to be identified because the document hasn’t been made public. Bloomberg

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Potential Push For Obama To Expand Military Effort
President Barack Obama's military campaign against the Islamic State group already has extended beyond the limits he first outlined. But military experts inside and outside the administration argue that an even greater expansion may be needed for the mission to succeed, including positioning U.S. ground troops with front-line Iraqi security forces. Doing that could put Obama close to violating his pledge to keep Americans out of combat. For Obama, re-engaging in combat in Iraq would mean going back on promises about the current mission and undercutting a pillar of his presidency — ending long wars and avoid new ones. ABC

Currencies Back On Agenda As G-20 Monetary Policies Split
Currencies are back on the G-20 agenda as diverging monetary policies from the U.S. to Japan threaten to increase exchange-rate volatility. Foreign-exchange “coordination” will be reflected in tomorrow’s communique in Cairns, Australia, echoing a pledge by Group-of-20 economies in July 2013 in Moscow, South Korean Finance Minister Choi Kyung Hwan said in an interview today. The U.S. dollar has climbed as the Federal Reserve edges closer to its first interest-rate increase since 2006, while easing by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are weighing on the yen and euro. In Cairns yesterday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew renewed a call for member nations to avoid currency intervention in a bid to gain a competitive edge. Bloomberg

Spain Repatriates Priest With Ebola From Africa
The Spanish government is preparing to repatriate a priest who has been diagnosed with the Ebola virus after working in Sierra Leone. In a statement Saturday, the Ministry of Health says Brother Manuel Garcia Viejo, medical director of the San Juan de Dios Hospital in the city of Lunsar, has tested positive for the deadly virus and has expressed his desire to be transferred back to Spain. Spanish officials were still finalizing the details of his transport. He is the second Spanish missionary to catch Ebola. Father Miguel Pajares, 75, was flown back to Spain from Liberia and treated with the experimental Ebola medicine ZMapp but died on Aug. 12. Las Vegas Sun

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ISIS Terror: Kerry Says 'Role' For Iran In Battling ISIS Militants
Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that Iran has a role to play in an international coalition to fight ISIS — just days after the Iranian president dismissed the U.S.-led coalition against the terror group as "ridiculous." "The coalition required to eliminate ISIL is not only, or even primarily, military in nature," Kerry said at a United Nations Security Council meeting on Iraq, using an alternative name for the radical Sunni militants. "It must be comprehensive and include close collaboration across multiple lines of effort. ... There is a role for nearly every country in the world to play, including Iran." The remarks came after after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in an exclusive interview with NBC News' Ann Curry, lambasted ISIS for its savagery but also appeared to criticize the U.S.-led battle against the militants. "Are Americans afraid of giving casualties on the ground in Iraq?  MSNBC

Former Obama Secretaries Panetta, Gates Criticize President On Islamic State Handling
Two former defense secretaries who served under President Obama are now criticizing his latest strategy to combat Islamic State militants. Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told CBS Evening News on Friday that the terrorist group rose to power because the U.S. pulled out of Iraq too quickly and waited too long to act in Syria.“I really thought that it was important for us to maintain a presence in Iraq,” Mr. Panetta said in an interview set to air on “60 minutes,” CBSreported Friday.
Mr. Panetta said the entire national security team urged Mr. Obama to give more support to rebels fighting in Syria against Bashar al-Assad. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Obama's own are exposing him.

GOP: Energy Independence Would Relieve Ukraine, ISIS Woes
The fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, and the tensions with Russia over Ukraine might be less vexing if America developed more domestic energy resources, Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, suggested in the weekly Republican address Saturday. "Many of our allies are tethered by aggressive regional powers like Russia, which dominates the Eastern European energy market. Energy development here at home and boosting our allies abroad would make America safer - all while creating thousands of sorely needed jobs at home," he said. "Energy independence improves the stability of our families, the safety of our families and provides economic security from the threat of terrorism by organizations that pose imminent threats to our nation like [ISIS] and others." CBS

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Bush Son Rips GOP Ad Claiming Father's Foundation Gave Money To Terror-Linked Groups
It’s not personal. It’s politics. That’s the takeaway after Georgia GOP Senate nominee David Perdue's camp aired ads claiming a foundation once led by his Democratic rival Michelle Nunn -- but also founded by President George H.W. Bush -- gave money to organizations linked to terrorists. The ad has triggered a feud of sorts between the Perdue camp and Bush's son, Neil Bush, who currently is chairman of the Points of Light Foundation, the group besmirched in the ad. The younger Bush called the allegations “ridiculous” in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Fox News

Clinton Needs To Tell Us Her Vision
Judging by her appearance last weekend in Iowa, it looks as if Hillary Clinton is indeed running for president. Now she has to answer one simple question: Why? “It is true, I am thinking about it,” she said Sunday at the final Harkin Steak Fry, an annual cholesterol-boosting fundraiser that retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin has hosted for the past 37 years. Given the context, this was pretty close to an announcement of the Clinton 2016 campaign. She was in Iowa, whose first-in-the-nation caucuses kick off the presidential primary season. She was accompanied by her husband, Bill, who did his best to play the supporting role of a candidate’s spouse, although second fiddle is an instrument he has not quite mastered. She greeted the crowd by announcing, “Hello Iowa, I’m baaaaaack,” stretching the word for emphasis. Las Vegas Sun

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5 Studies: The Longer You Sleep, The Weirder Your Dreams
Here's a roundup of five medical studies published this week that might give you new insights into your health. Remember, correlation is not causation -- so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other. Dream on and it'll get weird. At the beginning of your sleep cycle, you may be dreaming about grocery shopping or your favorite TV show. But by the end of the night, you more likely will be dreaming about doing that shopping in your underwear with a murderous clown following you. CNN

U.S. Immigration Protesters Drop U.S. Border Blockade Plan
A plan by U.S. protesters against illegal immigration to block traffic at more than a dozen border crossings in the southwest on Saturday was canceled after organizers said they received online threats from Mexican drug cartels. Billed as a "Shut Down All Ports Of Entry" protest against the Obama administration's immigration policies, demonstrators had said they would try to stop incoming and outgoing traffic at 17 locations in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. But lead organizer Stasyi Barth posted a warning on the event's official website saying that a combination of violent threats and "suspicious activity" on the group's Facebook page prompted her to call off the action. "you attend, you are not just putting yourself in danger, but the law enforcement officers, as well," Barth wrote. "Risking anyone's life is not worth it!" Reuters

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Boko Haram, Nigeria Negotiating Release Of Kidnapped Girls
Boko Haram is negotiating the release of more than 200 school girls with the Nigerian government and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Islamist terror group is seeking the release of at least 30 of its members imprisoned by Nigeria in exchange for some of the girls, who were kidnapped in April, a source involved with the negotiations told CNN. There have been four meetings with the three entities in Abuja since mid-August. UPI News

Al Jazeera Countersues Al Gore Over $65 Million
Broadcaster Al Jazeera has gone to court to fight former US vice president Al Gore over $65 million in an escrow account that each claims as part of the sale last year of Current TV to the Qatar-based media company. In a countersuit filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery on Thursday, Al Jazeera is seeking to keep the money that Gore and his former partner Joel Hyatt had sought in a lawsuit filed in August. Al Jazeera bought Current TV for an estimated $500 million in 2013, using the fledgling network to launch a U.S.-based news channel, Al Jazeera America. The deal was a way for Al Jazeera to pick up Current TV's agreements with cable and satellite operators that would give Al Jazeera instant access to American households. Jerusalem Post

Kiev, Rebels Agree To Extra Measures To Ensure Ukraine Cease-Fire
Pro-Russian separatists and representatives from Kiev and Moscow agreed on Saturday on further measures to ensure a cease-fire between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists. Violations of a Sept. 5 cease-fire between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists, whom Kiev says have been reinforced by Russian weapons and soldiers crossing over the two countries' porous border, have kept Ukrainian troops on full alert. Former president Leonid Kuchma, representing Kiev at talks of the "contact group", said the two sides had agreed to move artillery 15 kilometers (9 miles) away from the front line on both sides, to create a 30 kilometer (18 mile) buffer zone. Jerusalem Post

EBay Security Flaw Has Existed For Months
A flaw that has exposed eBay customers to malicious websites has been affecting the site since at least February, the BBC has found. Earlier this week it was revealed how clicking on some listings automatically redirected users to the harmful sites. EBay removed several posts, but said it was an isolated incident. But the BBC has since found multiple listings, from multiple users, exploiting the same vulnerability. Furthermore, several readers contacted the BBC detailing complaints they had made to the site. In a statement, eBay said it had a dedicated team working on security, but that criminals "intentionally adapt their code and tactics to try to stay ahead of the most sophisticated security systems". BBC

66,000 'Flee Islamic State' Into Turkey
Some 66,000 refugees - mainly Syrian Kurds - have crossed into Turkey in 24 hours, officials say, as Islamic State militants advance in northern Syria. Turkey opened its border on Friday to Syrians fleeing the Kurdish town of Kobane in fear of an IS attack. Activists say some 300 Kurdish fighters have crossed into Syria from Turkey to help defend the strategic town. IS controls large areas of Syria and Iraq and has seized dozens of villages around Kobane, also called Ayn al-Arab. BBC

US Will Not Commit To Climate Change Aid For Poor Nations At UN Summit
Barack Obama will not be pledging any cash to a near-empty fund for poor countries at a United Nations summit on climate change next week, the UN special climate change envoy said on Friday. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has challenged the 125 world leaders attending the 23 September summit to make “bold pledges” to the fund, intended to help poor countries cope with climate change. The UN has been pressing rich countries to come up with pledges of between $10bn and $15bn. Guardian

Iran Open To New US Proposals On Tehran's Uranium Programme
With Iran refusing US demands that it gut its uranium enrichment programme, the two sides are discussing a new proposal that would leave much of Tehran’s enriching machines in place but disconnected from feeds of uranium, diplomats told the Associated Press Saturday. The talks have been stalled for months over Iran’s opposition to sharply reducing the size and output of centrifuges that can enrich uranium to levels needed for reactor fuel or weapons-grade material used in the core of nuclear warheads. Iran says its enrichment programme is only for peaceful purposes, but Washington fears it could be used to make a bomb. Guardian

North Korea Says Imprisoned American Tried To Become 'Second Edward Snowden'
An American recently sentenced to six years hard labour by a North Korean court pretended to have secret US information and was deliberately arrested in a bid to become famous and meet US missionary Kenneth Bae in a North Korean prison, state media said on Saturday. Matthew Miller, 25, of Bakersfield, California, had prepared his story in advance and written in a notebook that he was seeking refuge after failing in an attempt to collect information about the US government, state media said. "He perpetrated the above-said acts in the hope of becoming a 'world famous guy' and the 'second Snowden' through intentional hooliganism," KCNA said, referring to former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, wanted by the United States for leaking secrets of its surveillance programmes. Telegraph

Janet Yellen: US Job Market Still Needs To Recover
Record-low interest rates will be around for at least a few more months, the Federal Reserve made clear Wednesday. By mid-2015, economists expect the Fed to abandon a nearly 6-year-old policy of keeping short-term rates at record lows. Those rates have helped support the economy, cheered the stock market and shrunk mortgage rates. A Fed rate increase could potentially reverse those trends. Mortgages could cost more. So could car loans. Investors could get squeezed. With job growth solid, manufacturing and construction growing and unemployment at a near-normal 6.1pc, many analysts had suggested that the Fed was edging closer to a rate increase to prevent a rising economy from igniting inflation. Telegraph

Syria: Ban Urges Immediate End To Violence As Thousands Flee Militant Offensive In Northern Town
Alarmed by reports that thousands of civilians in northern Syria have been forced from their homes by the latest Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) offensive in the area, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has demanded an immediate end to the violence. “The Secretary-General is closely following the continuing offensive by the terrorist group ISIL in the town of Ayn al-Arab in northern Syria,” according to a statement issued in New York by Mr. Ban's spokesperson late last evening. According to reports, thousands of Syrians have crossed into Turkey since yesterday ahead of an advance by ISIL militants who have seized dozens of villages close to the border and are advancing on Ayan al-Arab. UN News

Ban Launches UN Ebola Response Mission; Advance Teams To Arrive In West Africa On Monday
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has officially established the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response and has instructed the advance teams for the first-of-its-kind operation to head to its base in Accra, Ghana, by Monday, 22 September. Following the unanimous adoption yesterday of a key resolution by the 193-Member UN General Assembly, and after Thursday's historic meeting of the Security Council, which declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a threat to peace and security, Mr. Ban announced that he has now established the UN emegerncy response mission, to be known as UNMEER. UN News

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