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The Soldiers Who Saved
Europe´s Art From Hitler
Der Spiegel [Germany], by Yvonne Schymura    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 12/9/2013 4:04:40 AM     Post Reply
The story of a special Allied unit dubbed the "Monuments Men" has inspired a Hollywood film set to premier early next year. But who were these men who saved countless European cultural treasures from being lost or destroyed by Nazi forces? It was May 17, 1945, not long after Nazi forces had surrendered, ending Word War II in Europe, when miners dug through the wall of rubble with picks and shovels in Altaussee, Austria. There was a 12-meter thick layer of debris blocking the entrance to the salt mine, and though no one knew what was inside, they all hoped they

Ex-San Diego Mayor to be
Sentenced for Harrassment
Associated Press, by Elliot Spagat    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 12/9/2013 4:01:28 AM     Post Reply
SAN DIEGO -- Bob Filner has almost vanished from public view since a defiant resignation speech as San Diego mayor amid widespread allegations that he sexually harassed women. He returns to the spotlight at least once more. The former 10-term congressman will be sentenced Monday for one felony and two misdemeanors for placing a woman in a headlock, kissing another woman and grabbing the buttocks of a third. He pleaded guilty in October in an agreement with prosecutors, who will recommend that he get three months of home confinement and three years of probation. Filner, 71, has avoided even close supporters since

Cash-strapped Iranian students
in U.S. hope nuclear deal
will ease tuition woes
Reuters, by Jonathan Kaminsky    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/9/2013 1:54:51 AM     Post Reply
When Mohammad Hamedi Rad arrived in the United States last year, he carried his Iranian passport, a hard-won student visa and a backpack containing $14,000 in hundred dollar bills, because there was no simpler way of getting money into the country. "It was scary," Hamedi Rad, a chemical engineering graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said of his late-night arrival in Chicago, where he declared the funds to airport customs officials. "I´ve never carried that much money before. I was extremely nervous." Hamedi Rad´s experience is by no means unheard of among many of the thousands of



Kennedy Center Honors gala
had rapport, repartee and an
unusual mix of collaborators
Washington Post, by Katherine Boyle    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/9/2013 1:49:00 AM     Post Reply
This spectacle had to have the white-hot spotlight, front page, bold type (whoa-oh!) — to quote one of the evening’s celebrated songwriters — because this Kennedy Center Honors gala was a talker. The night might have begun as the latest parade of cultural icons seated in an opera box with their president, but when a rapper and a Supreme Court justice take the same stage, it isn’t your standard lifetime achievement fete. (Snip) The show — hosted by actress Glenn Close — began with a resounding rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” played by Cuban jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. Should anyone

HIV-positive porn performer
seeks privacy amid investigation
Los Angeles Times, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/8/2013 11:23:52 PM     Post Reply
A porn performer who tested positive for HIV in Los Angeles is asking for privacy as the industry tries to determine the scope of the problem. "The performer deserves privacy and dignity at this difficult time, and we ask that our colleagues and the media respect the performer’s wishes for privacy unless he or she wishes to speak," the Free Speech Coalition, a porn industry trade group, said in a statement. The Free Speech Coalition said it was working to identify anyone who had sex with the infected performer. “We take the health of our performers very seriously and felt

Where Freedom of the Press Is Muffled
New York Times, by David Carr    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/8/2013 10:52:06 PM     Post Reply
In China on Thursday, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. spoke plainly about the role of a free press in a democratic society. “Innovation thrives where people breathe freely, speak freely, are able to challenge orthodoxy, where newspapers can report the truth without fear of consequences,” he said in an address to American businesspeople living and working there. He was speaking against the backdrop of China’s restrictive policies on reporting by foreign news organizations; the Chinese government has so far declined to renew the visas of nearly two dozen reporters from The New York Times and Bloomberg News as a consequence

Budget deal expected this week
amounts to a cease-fire as sides
move to avert a standoff
Washington Post, by Lori Montgomery    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/8/2013 10:49:00 PM     Post Reply
House and Senate negotiators were putting the finishing touches Sunday on what would be the first successful budget accord since 2011, when the battle over a soaring national debt first paralyzed Washington. The deal expected to be sealed this week on Capitol Hill would not significantly reduce the debt, now $17.3 trillion and rising. It would not close corporate tax loopholes or reform expensive health-care and retirement programs. It would not even fully replace sharp spending cuts known as the sequester, the negotiators’ primary target. After more than two years of constant crisis, the emerging agreement amounts to little more



Netanyahu missing Mandela
memorial for cost reasons: Report
Agence France-Presse, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/8/2013 10:40:52 PM     Post Reply
Jerusalem - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided not to attend a memorial service for Nelson Mandela this week because it is too expensive to travel to South Africa, Israeli media reported on Sunday. Netanyahu had notified the South African authorities that he would fly in but cancelled his plans at the last minute due to the costs involved -- around 7.0 million shekels ($2 million) for his transport and security alone, pubic radio and the Haaretz daily reported. "The decision was made in light of the high transportation costs resulting from the short notice of the trip and the security required for the prime minister

New Affordable Care US health
plans will exclude top hospitals
- Thread Closed
Financial Times, by Stephanie Kirchgaessner    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 12/8/2013 10:34:26 PM     Post Reply
High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. Americans who are buying insurance plans over online exchanges, under what is known as Obamacare, will have limited access to some of the nation’s leading hospitals, including two world-renowned cancer centres. Amid a drive by insurers to limit costs, the majority of insurance plans being sold on the new healthcare exchanges in New York, Texas, and California, for example, will not offer patients’ access to Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan or MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston,

Three Senators Try to
Hold Off G.O.P. in South
New York Times, by Campbell Robertson & Jeremy W. Peters    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/8/2013 10:02:45 PM     Post Reply
New Orleans - Things traditionally get started a little late down here, an inclination that runs from mealtimes to political races. But with nearly a year to go before the 2014 election, it is already open season on Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana. (Snip) As Democrats look across the rest of the South, the outlook does not get much better. Ms. Landrieu, along with Senators Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Kay Hagan of North Carolina, is pretty much all that is left of Southern Democrats in the Senate. All three are up for re-election next year. And the outcome of their races could determine whether the Southern Democrat,

Near a Vote, Volcker Rule
Is Weathering New Attacks
New York Times, by Matthew W. Goldstein & Ben Protess*    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/8/2013 9:49:10 PM     Post Reply
Even as five regulatory agencies prepared to vote Tuesday on a regulation that seeks to rein in risk-taking on Wall Street — an effort known as the Volcker Rule — lawyers and lobbyists were gearing up for another round of attacks against it. (Snip) The groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are hinting that they could use litigation to either undercut or clarify the rule, which is intended to bar banks from trading for their own gain and limit their ability to invest in hedge funds. The rule, a cornerstone of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and a barometer for the overall strength of the regulatory overhaul, is aimed at



Afghanistan agrees to pact with
Iran, while resisting US accord
Fox News & Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/8/2013 9:22:43 PM     Post Reply
Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreed on a cooperation pact with Iran, despite continuing to resist signing a security agreement with the U.S., Reuters reported. Karzai made the deal with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran Sunday. (Snip) Rouhani said Sunday his country opposes the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan and the region, saying their presence generates tension, the official IRNA news agency reported. IRNA quoted Rouhani as telling Karzai: "We believe that all foreign forces should leave the region and that the security of Afghanistan should be handed over to people of the country."

Uniformed Romanian police join French
officers on patrol in Paris to tackle rising
crime among Roma street gangs
Daily Mail [UK], by Peter Allen    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/8/2013 8:23:42 PM     Post Reply
Uniformed Romanian police officers have begun patrolling the streets of Paris to help fight a growing tide of criminality among their immigrant countrymen. In scenes which could soon be replicated in Britain, 20 officers have been introduced to help clamp down on Roma street gangs. It follows a 78 percent rise in the number of Romanians arrested in the France city over the past two years. In January, the UK is expected to see an influx of Romanians and Bulgarians arriving when EU labour restrictions are lifted. There have been warnings that they will include criminal gangs that often use

Ukraine crowd topples and beheads
Lenin´s statue: Hundreds of thousands
of demonstrators on streets of Kiev
again to protest against president´s
increasing links with Moscow
Daily Mail [UK], by Sam Webb    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/8/2013 8:16:26 PM     Post Reply
Anti-government protesters toppled a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in Ukraine´s capital and attacked it with hammers on Sunday in a symbolic challenge to President Viktor Yanukovich and his plans for closer ties with Russia. The gesture rejecting Moscow´s historic influence over Ukraine came after opposition leaders told hundreds of thousands of demonstrators on Kiev´s Independence Square to keep up pressure on Yanukovich to sack his government. The protesters are furious that the government decided last month to ditch a landmark pact with the European Union in favour of closer economic cooperation with Moscow, Ukraine´s Soviet-era overlord.

´Schizophrenic´ US foreign policy pushing
Arab states toward Russia, Bahrain warns
Telegraph [UK], by Con Coughlin    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/8/2013 7:53:33 PM     Post Reply
America’s “schizophrenic” approach to the Middle East could result in many key Arab states deciding to align themselves more closely with Russia, the rulers of Bahrain warned on Sunday. In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain, warned that Barack Obama´s administration would lose influence in the region if it persisted with what a “transient and reactive” foreign policy. There has been a sharp rise in tensions between Washington and several major Arab states in the wake of last month’s controversial interim agreement with Iran over its nuclear programme.



Devoted father and Iraq war veteran
shot dead over Christmas shopping:
New dad lured into fatal
robbery after arranging to meet
men to buy iPad listed on Craigslist
Daily Mail [UK], by James Nye    Original Article
Posted By: ScarletPimpernel- 12/8/2013 7:46:40 PM     Post Reply
An Iraq veteran who thought he was buying an iPad as a Christmas present after responding to a Craigslist posting, has been shot dead in an Indianapolis parking lot by the fake sellers. New-dad Jim Vester, 32, was lured to an address on Wednesday in the west side of the city and brothers Tyron Kincade, 19, and Tyshaune Kincade, 18, have been arrested after Vester was shot dead leaving behind his one-year-old son, Gavin and wife, Jamie.

GPs under pressure not to refer
patients to specialists, doctors warn
Telegraph [UK], by Sam Marsden    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/8/2013 7:45:06 PM     Post Reply
Cost-cutting pressure on GPs not to refer patients to hospital lies behind delays in ensuring people with cancer symptoms are seen by specialists, doctors have warned. One GP called for the scrapping of schemes which sometimes pay thousands of pounds in incentives to family doctors who cut the number of patients sent to hospital. An experienced surgeon said it was “unacceptable” for Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, to criticise GP surgeries for not referring people to consultants quickly enough when the situation was the result of the Government’s changes to the structure of the NHS. They were responding to new

Billy Joel, 4 others receive
Kennedy Center Honors
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/8/2013 7:24:33 PM     Post Reply
The "Piano Man" who became one of the world´s best-selling artists of all time with such hits as "Just the Way You Are," "Uptown Girl" and "Allentown" is being awarded the nation´s highest honor Sunday for influencing American culture through the arts. Billy Joel joins Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, opera star Martina Arroyo and actress Shirley MacLaine in receiving the Kennedy Center Honors. All of them have been playing music, dancing or singing since they were children -- and have never stopped. Joel said the honor stands apart from his six Grammys. "This is different. It´s our nation´s capital," he

Don´t have children unless you
are ready to marry, says judge
Telegraph [UK], by John Bingham    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/8/2013 7:17:07 PM     Post Reply
Couples should not have children if their relationship is not stable enough to merit getting married, a senior High Court judge said yesterday. Sir Paul Coleridge said those couples whose relationship was stable enough to cope with the rigours of child rearing should marry. But the judge, who is retiring from the bench next year after decades as a family lawyer and judge, said those who did not feel ready for children should not have them. He said couples had no right to have children, “you only have responsibilities if you have them”. Sir Paul criticised warring parents’ obsessions with

CNN Asks Carney How Mandela
Influenced Obama Even Though
They ‘Only Met One Time’
Mediaite, by Tommy Christopher    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/8/2013 7:07:47 PM     Post Reply
Thursday’s sad passing of world civil rights icon Nelson Mandela was a frequent topic of discussion at Friday’s White House daily briefing, as several reporters asked Press Secretary Jay Carney to elaborate on Mandela’s influence, and on details surrounding his funeral. CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta asked about “this great impact” that Mandela had on the President, while repeatedly stressing that President Obama had only met Mandela once. Acosta began with a personal observation, telling Carney that “it just sort of struck me that the President talked about this great impact that he had on his life, but


Harvey Weinstein’s
‘Philomena’ attack ad
New York Post, by Kyle Smith    Original Article
Posted By: drive- 12/8/2013 6:57:47 PM     Post Reply
I’ve never been flogged in the public square, but now I have a rough idea what it’s like. On Thursday, Harvey Weinstein, the US distributor of the Judi Dench-Steve Coogan film “Philomena,” placed a full-page, color attack ad in The New York Times that screamed my name in blood-red letters. “The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and USA Today ALL PRAISE ‘PHILOMENA’ WITH A 92 % CERTIFIED FRESH SCORE ON Rotten Tomatoes,” read the ad. “BUT THE NEW YORK POST’S KYLE SMITH HAS A DIFFERENT OPINION. ‘ANOTHER HATEFUL ATTACK ON CATHOLICS.’ ” The ad (now brightening the wall over

Server Who Claimed Customers Left
Homophobic Receipt Has Been Fired,
is Refunding Donations
Mediaite, by Evan McMurry    Original Article
Posted By: drive- 12/8/2013 6:30:13 PM     Post Reply
Dayna Morales, the server who claimed last month to have been left a note about her “lifestyle” instead of a tip, was fired from her restaurant Sunday, and is reportedly returning the donations she received in the outpouring of sympathy after her story went viral. Morales, an openly-gay server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, NJ became a cause celebre after she posted a receipt informing her she had not been tipped because of her lifestyle. But her story began to unravel when the couple who left the receipt disputed Morales’ story, and provided bank statements showing they had in fact tipped

Elton John blasts Russia’s anti-gay
laws during Moscow concert
Washington Times, by Jessica Chasmar    Original Article
Posted By: scottyboy- 12/8/2013 5:09:59 PM     Post Reply
Elton John used his sold-out show in Moscow on Friday night as an opportunity to criticize Russia’s controversial laws banning the “propaganda of homosexuality” to minors. “You’ve always embraced me and you have never judged me,” he said in reference to a long line of visits to Moscow, Agence France-Presse reported. “I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the (homosexual) community here in Russia,” he said. “In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating. Harmony is what makes a happy family and a strong society.” Mr. John refrained from criticizing Russian President

Satanists plan statue to stand
alongside Ten Commandments
in Oklahoma
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 12/8/2013 4:40:14 PM     Post Reply
In their zeal to tout their faith in the public square, conservatives in Oklahoma may have unwittingly opened the door to a wide range of religious groups, including Satanists who are seeking to put their own statue next to a Ten Commandments monument outside the statehouse. The Republican-controlled legislature in the state known as the buckle of the Bible Belt authorised the privately funded Ten Commandments monument in 2009. It was placed on the Capitol grounds last year despite criticism from legal experts, who questioned its constitutionality. The Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit

Obama Honors Pearl Harbor
Dead with Picture of Himself
Breitbart´s Big Government, by William Bigelow    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 12/8/2013 4:11:33 PM     Post Reply
President Barack Obama’s Facebook page on Saturday posted a message honoring the dead from Pearl Harbor—accompanied by a picture of Obama descending the stairs next to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. The picture barely fits the name of the Arizona Memorial so it can frame Obama in the foreground. The post´s statement reads: Today, with solemn pride and reverence, let us remember those who fought and died at Pearl Harbor, acknowledge everyone who carried their legacy forward, and reaffirm our commitment to upholding the ideals for which they served. President Obama The Obama Administration´s current shipbuilding plan shrinks the size of

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