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Why Michael Sam´s coming out
is not an unnecessary ´distraction´
Los Angeles Times, by Nico Lang    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 2/15/2014 9:51:27 PM     Post Reply
On Sunday, college football star Michael Sam stood on the precipice of making history. The University of Missouri lineman and NFL draft hopeful came out as gay in an interview with the New York Times, potentially making him the first openly gay NFL player. Before his announcement, Sam was projected to be a mid-to-late-round pick in May’s draft. But according to Sports Illustrated, his stock may be falling. There has been some negative reaction from NFL personnel; in the SI article, one source labeled Sam’s sexuality an unnecessary “distraction.” “There are guys in locker rooms that maturity-wise cannot handle it or deal

Gold Races Above $1,300; Set
For Best Week In 6 Months
Reuters, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/15/2014 9:25:27 PM     Post Reply
Gold rose to three-month highs above $1,300 an ounce on Friday and looked set to post its biggest weekly gain in six months as weak U.S. data raised fears about economic growth, hurting the dollar. Spot gold was up 1 percent to $1,315.10 an ounce by 1325 GMT after earlier rising 1.3 percent to its highest since Nov. 8 at $1,319.80. It was up around 4 percent for the week, the largest such gain since mid-August. U.S. gold futures for April delivery also hit a three-month high of $1,319.90 an ounce, up for an eighth straight session in the longest

From Russia with Love! Putin
makes a surprise visit to American
Sochi base wearing a TEAM USA
Valentine´s Day pin
Associated Press*, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/15/2014 9:05:09 PM     Post Reply
In a surprise visit Russian President Vladimir Putin dropped in on U.S. Olympic headquarters Friday to chat about the Winter Games and the upcoming Russia-U.S. hockey showdown. He even wore a red ´Happy Valentine´s Day from Team USA´ pin on his lapel. Putin spent about half an hour at USA House in Sochi´s Olympic Park, sitting on a couch talking with U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst and CEO Scott Blackmun. From there, he made a stop at Canada House next door. ´Putin was very gracious,´ Blackmun told The Associated Press. ´What I would remember is it sends a strong

  


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Ugandan President Says He
Will Sign Tough Antigay Measure
New York Times, by Nicholas Kulish    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 2/15/2014 8:56:37 PM     Post Reply
Nairobi, Kenya - Gay rights in Africa suffered another setback when President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda told members of his party on Friday that he would sign a bill imposing harsh sentences for homosexual acts, including life imprisonment in some cases. The measure would criminalize “the promotion or recognition” of homosexual relations. (Snip) According to Amnesty International, homosexuality is illegal in 38 of 54 African countries. Homosexual acts can be punished by death sentences in Mauritania, southern Somalia, Sudan and northern Nigeria, where justice is carried out according to a version of Shariah law.

Wendy Davis Says Texas
Not a Red State
Breitbart Big Government, by Robert Wilde    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/15/2014 8:51:54 PM     Post Reply
Texas gubernatorial hopeful and Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis asserted on Thursday in an interview with statesman.com, “Texas is not really a red state, it’s just a non-voting state.” Davis, who gained notoriety for her 11-hour filibuster against a bill that would have banned late term abortions, may be engaged in wishful thinking rather than admitting the facts about Texas. Since 1994, Republicans have won all of Texas´s 29 statewide offices, giving the state the longest streak of single-party dominance in the country. (Snip) It bears repeating: not one Democrat has won any of these seats in twenty years.

Cuba shuts down US travel visas
The Hill [Washington, DC], by Pete Kasperowicz    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 2/15/2014 8:39:07 PM     Post Reply
The government of Cuba announced late Friday that it will no longer process visas for U.S. travel to Cuba. Cuba said travel will end until a new U.S. bank can be found to process visa fees that are collected and routed to Cuba. Cuba´s decision means only humanitarian travel will be permitted to the island nation from the United States, and that the "people-to-people" visas and other educational travel will be shut off. Cuba said it would cut off "family visits, academic, cultural, educational, scientific, sports" and other exchanges. The decision is a blow to the goals of the Obama administration, which sought to expand travel opportunities to the

Michael Dunn guilty on four counts,
including attempted murder;
mistrial declared on first-
degree murder charge
New York Daily News, by Joel Landau & Sasha Goldstein    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/15/2014 8:26:10 PM     Post Reply
A Florida jury found Michael Dunn guilty on three charges of attempted murder and firing a weapon into a vehicle Saturday in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis after a 2012 argument outside a Jacksonville convenience store over loud music. The jury did not reach a verdict on first-degree murder and a mistrial was declared on the charge. Dunn showed little emotion after the verdict came back from the jury of seven women and five men. He was convicted on three charges of attempted murder and firing a weapon into a vehicle. He is facing up to 75 years

  


  

Obama signs increase in U.S. debt ceiling
Reuters, by Steve Holland    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 2/15/2014 8:21:37 PM     Post Reply
Rancho Mirage, Calif. - President Barack Obama signed legislation on Saturday that raises the U.S. debt limit through March 2015, taking the politically volatile issue off the table with congressional elections coming up this November. Without an increase in the statutory debt limit, the U.S. government would have soon defaulted on some of its obligations and would have had to shut down some programs, an historic event that would have caused severe market turmoil. On a long holiday weekend in a desert resort area in southern California, Obama put his signature on the legislation without fanfare, while behind closed doors

What Happened to the Antiwar Movement?
Power Line, by John Hinderaker    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 2/15/2014 8:20:09 PM     Post Reply
Barack Obama owes his presidency largely to the Iraq war. It was Obama’s purity on the war–he opposed it when Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and others were voting for it–that endeared him to the Democratic Party’s base. Indeed, one could say that the contemporary American Left owes its vigor, if not its existence, to the Iraq war. Those who lived through the years from 2003 to 2008 won’t forget it–the online hysteria, the demonstrations, the wild charges, the assassination fantasies, the calls for impeachment. Remember when antiwar demonstrations could bring out enough people to fill the streets? This was Washington,

Getting the Presidential seal of
approval: Barack Obama congratulates
his brother as he weds in an
Oxfordshire register office
Daily Mail (UK), by Lucy Crossley    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/15/2014 8:15:15 PM     Post Reply
The US President´s brother has got married to a care worker in Oxford - and received a personal phone call of congratulation from elder sibling Barack. Although his brother is one of the world´s most powerful men, Ben Obama opted for simple surroundings when he wed care worker Lily Achoch at the Oxford registry office. Shortly before the ceremony, Ben, 42, took the President´s call on his mobile phone from Washington DC. He said: ´It was great hearing him because Barack´s the most important politician in the world and is naturally extremely busy. ´But he took time out for family

Spying by N.S.A. Ally
Entangled U.S. Law Firm
New York Times, by James Risen & Laura Poitras    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 2/15/2014 8:15:11 PM     Post Reply
The list of those caught up in the global surveillance net cast by the National Security Agency and its overseas partners, from social media users to foreign heads of state, now includes another entry: American lawyers. A top-secret document, obtained by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden, shows that an American law firm was monitored while representing a foreign government in trade disputes with the United States. (Snip) Most attorney-client conversations do not get special protections under American law from N.S.A. eavesdropping. Amid growing concerns about surveillance and hacking,

  


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Resurgent Holder pushes agenda
The Hill (Washington DC), by Nieall Stanage    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/15/2014 8:06:12 PM     Post Reply
Conservatives hoping to celebrate the departure of Attorney General Eric Holder might be in for a long wait. The attorney general’s position has looked perilous at various points during his tenure. But these days, he seems resurgent, pushing states to strike down voting restrictions on ex-felons and fighting hard to restore some of the key powers of the Voting Rights Act. It has been an uphill climb. In 2012, Holder became the first attorney general to be held in contempt by the House of Representatives while, the year before, he had to retreat from his earlier insistence that suspects in

Jennifer Jones, unbeaten, clinches
curling semifinal berth
CBC/Radio-Canada, by Isaac Owusu    Original Article
Posted By: Ken M.- 2/15/2014 7:32:20 PM     Post Reply
Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg has carried the Canadian women´s curling team to the semifinals with a 5-3 victory over the host Russians at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. This win keeps Canada undefeated at 7-0, and could just about wrap up first place in the round-robin stage. The Russian women, led by Anna Sidorova, fell to 3-4, fifth in the standings as of the completion of the match. After stealing the deuce in the fifth end to go up 5-2, Jones played a relentless game. She didn´t surrender a single Russian point over the following three ends, which were all blank.

One in four Americans ´do not
know the Earth circles the Sun´
Telegraph [UK], by Barney Henderson    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 2/15/2014 6:43:33 PM     Post Reply
One in four Americans are completely unfamiliar with Nicolaus Copernicus´s 1543 theory that the Earth circles the Sun, according to a study by the National Science Foundation. (snip) The question - "Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth" - was answered incorrectly by 26 per cent of respondents. Fewer than half of the respondents - 48 per cent - are aware that humans evolved from earlier species of animals and just 39 percent answered correctly that "the universe began with a huge explosion". A total of 42 per cent of Americans said

Radio DJs spark outrage after
admitting they made up story about
a homophobic RSVP to a party for
´7-year-old daughter´ of two gay men
Daily Mail [UK], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 2/15/2014 6:05:41 PM     Post Reply
Two radio DJs in Long Island who caused an uproar last week by posting the homophobic RSVP to a birthday party for a ´little girl with two gay dads´ admitted on Saturday that the whole thing was a hoax. K-98.3 DJs Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson on Wednesday posted on their show´s Facebook page a heartbreaking note written on an invitation to a ´tie dye party´ for a girl named ´Sophia´s´ seventh birthday. The DJs tricked people into believing that Sophia had two gay dads, and the note - supposedly written by the mother of a friend of Sophia´s, who they

  


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Mob Attacks More Than a
Dozen Gay Men in Nigeria’s Capital
New York Times, by Adam Nossiter    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 2/15/2014 6:02:09 PM     Post Reply
DAKAR, Senegal — A mob attacked gay people in a neighborhood in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, dragging young men from their homes, beating them with nail-studded clubs and whips, and shouting that they were “cleansing the community” of gays, several Nigerian activists and a witness said Saturday. The attack took place late Wednesday night in the Gishiri neighborhood, and one victim was beaten nearly to death, the witness said. Afterward, the mob of about 50 young men dragged four of the victims to a nearby police station, where the police further beat and insulted them, said the witness, who

Celebrating the black bourgeoisie
Austin American-Statesman, by John Butler    Original Article
Posted By: Howard Adams- 2/15/2014 5:21:36 PM     Post Reply
The A.J. Gaston Conference, which starts Monday in Birmingham, Ala., is a celebration of black history month with an emphasis on wealth creation and economic stability. Gaston, a black businessman who supported the end of legal segregation in Birmingham, is a great example of my tribe, the black bourgeoisie. While most of the country is celebrating the civil rights movement, which was defined by marching, forgiving, and nonviolence, this conference celebrates lessons of the black bourgeoisie who created communities, business institutions, organizations and private educational institutions that continue to enrich generations.

Is food insecurity on the rise
among college students?
Fox News, by Julie Tortora    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/15/2014 5:11:12 PM     Post Reply
Gaining the ‘freshman 15’ may no longer be the biggest nutritional issue facing some college students. A study recently published by the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior surveyed 354 students at Western Oregon University and found that 59 percent felt that they did not have enough access to affordable, healthy foods – a condition known as ‘food insecurity.´ As defined within the study, food insecurity is “the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, and limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.”

Venez. president confirms govt seeking
arrest of Venezuelan opposition leader
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 2/15/2014 5:02:21 PM     Post Reply
Caracas, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says a police manhunt is underway for opposition leader Leopold Lopez. Maduro addressed Lopez at a rally in Caracas, saying, "Turn yourself in coward." Maduro also denounced what he said is a "fascist" plot to oust him from power. Maduro didn´t mention Lopez by name, referring to him only by a frequently-used disparaging nickname. The president said security forces acting on a February 12 arrest order are now looking for the leader of Wednesday´s anti-government protests, which resulted in deadly clashes with police and government supporters. Lopez hasn´t been seen

Russian reconnaissance satellite
to hit Earth Sunday
Fox News, by Jeremy Kaplan    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/15/2014 4:56:32 PM     Post Reply
Portions of Russia’s defunct Kosmos-1220 satellite will come crashing back to the planet on Sunday following a fiery, uncontrolled descent through the Earth’s atmosphere, Russian officials said. Fragments of the former reconnaissance satellite are expected to survive the high-speed re-entry and will most likely plunge harmlessly into the Pacific Ocean, Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin told Russian news agency Ria Novosti. “As of February 7, 2014 the fragments are expected to fall on February 16. The exact impact time and location of the fragments from the Kosmos-1220 satellite may change due to external factors,”

  



Mary Landrieu’s campaign web
site seems to be missing something
Hot Air, by Jazz Shaw    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/15/2014 4:49:17 PM     Post Reply
As recently as two months ago, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) was standing strong behind her vote to pass Obamacare, saying she would do it all again. Fair enough, I thought… when you’re a politician, sometimes you have to take a principled stand – no matter how wrong headed – and ride that horse till it drops. You might be wrong, but at least you’re consistent, and your supporters will likely appreciate that. But as Jim Geraghty noted this week, the Senator’s reelection web site is looking a little spartan these days, and has one very notable omission. For one of the Senate’s

The Insiders: The IRS,
the Democrats’ cat’s paw
Washington Post, by Ed Rogers    Original Article
Posted By: Judy W.- 2/15/2014 4:45:07 PM     Post Reply
Encouraged by the lack of a public backlash, an uninquisitive press, cover from the White House and an eager-to-please bureaucracy, the Democrats are boldly counting on the IRS to be their political and policy enforcer.This statement isn’t an overreach by the “vast right-wing conspiracy” or a phony crisis created by hecklers (like me) on the right — it goes back to the early stages of President Obama’s reelection campaign. Remember the case of Romney supporter Frank Vandersloot? Before the 2012 campaign, he was publicly accused of having a “less-than-reputable record” by Team Obama and then found himself the target of

Will cable service improve?
Los Angeles Times, by David Lazarus    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 2/15/2014 4:42:40 PM     Post Reply
If you believe that the problem with cable companies is that they´re just not big enough, today is a really good day. Comcast´s proposed $45.2-billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable will create a behemoth with about 30 million customers and dominance in 19 of the nation´s 20 largest pay-TV markets. Comcast´s chief executive, Brian Roberts, said Thursday that the merger would be "pro-consumer," "pro-competitive" and "in the public´s interest." It´s not yet clear what he means by any of that, since there would be less competition in the cable industry and more market power in a single company´s hands,

British al-Qaeda ´supergrass´
lined up as star video witness
in US terror trials
Telegraph [UK], by Philip Sherwell    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/15/2014 4:21:02 PM     Post Reply
New York - He is a quietly-spoken former British grammar schoolboy who turned from A-Level textbooks to Islamic terrorism and was convicted as a co-conspirator in the "shoe bomber" plots. Now Saajid Badat is about to become the most important terrorist "supergrass" in history by testifying via video link from Britain about the inner-workings of al-Qaeda in two major US terror trials. Badat, 33, has agreed to give evidence as the star witness in the cases in New York against Abu Hamza, the Egyptian-born British cleric renowned for his hate-filled sermons, and Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law Sulaiman Abu Ghaith.

China plans the world´s
longest undersea tunnel
Telegraph [UK], by Malcolm Moore    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/15/2014 4:15:36 PM     Post Reply
Beijing - At more than twice the length of the Channel Tunnel, China´s latest mega project is not short of ambition. A 76-mile-long tunnel will run between the northern city of Dalian with Yantai, on the east coast. "Work could begin as early as 2015 or 2016," said Wang Mengshu, an expert at the Chinese academy of Engineering, to the China Daily. He added that the new tunnel will knock 800 miles off the current route between the two cities. It will also form a vital link in a high-speed rail line from China´s frozen north to the tropical island

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