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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
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Egytian Politicians: Sabotage Ethiopia's New Dam

CAIRO (AP) -- Politicians meeting with Egypt's president on Monday proposed hostile acts against Ethiopia, including backing rebels and carrying out sabotage, to stop it from building a massive dam on the Nile River upstream.

Some of the politicians appeared unaware the meeting with President Mohammed Morsi was being carried live on TV. Morsi did not directly react to the suggestions, but said in concluding remarks that Egypt respects Ethiopia and its people and will not engage in any aggressive acts against the East African nation.

Morsi called the meeting to review the impact of Ethiopia's $4.2 billion hydroelectric dam, which would be Africa's largest. Egypt in the past has threatened to go to war over its "historic rights" to Nile River water.

Morsi's office later said he had directed his foreign and irrigation ministers to maintain contact with the Ethiopian government to obtain more information on the dam and its likely impact on Egypt's share of the Nile water.



GOP Governors’ Endorsements Of Medicaid Expansion Deepen Rifts Within Party

Republican fissures over the expansion of Medicaid, a critical piece of the 2010 health-care law designed to provide coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, continue to deepen, with battles in Arizona and elsewhere showing just how bitter the divisions have become.

Despite expressing distaste for the new law, some GOP governors have endorsed an expansion of Medicaid, and three — Jan Brewer of Arizona, John Kasich of Ohio and Rick Snyder of Michigan — are trying to persuade their Republican-controlled legislatures to go along. The governors are unwilling to turn down Washington’s offer to spend millions, if not billions, in their states to add people to the state-federal program for the poor. But they face staunch opposition from many GOP legislators who oppose the health-care law and worry that their states will be stuck with the cost of adding Medicaid recipients.

In one of the most explosive of the internal Republican battles, Brewer, a firebrand tea party favorite who once wagged her finger at President Obama, has declared a “moratorium” on all other legislation until her Medicaid plan, which would add 300,000 Arizonans to the program, is approved. She has backed up her threat by vetoing five unrelated bills.

In Ohio and Michigan, the governors are pressing for last-minute compromises before their legislatures adjourn this summer. The Florida legislature, which has adjourned, rejected Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s plan to expand Medicaid.

These conflicts over the health-care law illustrate a larger divide within the Republican Party over an array of issues, including immigration and automatic budget cuts.



Jury: Archdiocese Wrong To Fire Ohio Teacher Who Got Pregnant Via Artificial Insemination

By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, June 3, 7:02 PM

CINCINNATI — A Catholic school teacher who was fired after she became pregnant through artificial insemination won her anti-discrimination lawsuit against an Ohio archdiocese Monday and was awarded more than $170,000.

A federal jury found that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati discriminated against Christa Dias by firing her in October 2010.

Dias, who taught computer classes, declined to comment immediately after the verdict but said later in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that she was “very happy and relieved.”

The jury said the archdiocese should pay $51,000 in back pay, $20,000 in compensatory damages and $100,000 in punitive damages. Dias had sued the archdiocese and two of its schools; the jury didn’t find the schools liable for damages.



Obama Orders New Sanctions On Iran's Currency, Auto Sector, Upping Pressure Over Nuke Program

Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Turning the screw on Iran and its nuclear program, the Obama administration imposed new sanctions Monday on Iran's currency and auto industry, seeking to render Iranian money useless outside the country and to cut off the regime from critical revenue sources.

The executive order from President Barack Obama broadens what is already a concerted and multifaceted sanctions campaign aimed at crippling Iran's economy, forcing it to comply with international demands that it prove its nuclear program is peaceful. The U.S. believes Iran is working to develop nuclear weapons, a charge that Iran denies.

Officials described the move as part of a dual-track effort to offer meaningful negotiations to the Iranian regime while continually upping the economic stakes.

"Even as we intensify our pressure on the Iranian government, we hold the door open to a diplomatic solution that allows Iran to rejoin the community of nations if they meet their obligations. However, Iran must understand that time is not unlimited," said White House press secretary Jay Carney, adding that more sanctions would be levied if the regime doesn't change course.

Read more: http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/c810da7913b049bab5a65f007ca542e6/US--US-Iran-Sanctions/

U.S. Fails to Join Allies in Signing UN Weapons Treaty

Source: Bloomberg

The U.S. didn’t join the U.K., France and other major Western allies at the United Nations today to sign the first international treaty regulating the $85 billion-a-year global arms trade.

The absence of the world’s top arms dealer at a morning ceremony in New York drawing about 60 nations casts a shadow over a decades-long push to stop illegal cross-border shipments of conventional weapons. Some of the world’s most violent nations, from drug-plagued Mexico to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, are among the signatories.

While supporters say the treaty wouldn’t affect U.S. domestic sales or impinge on the constitutional right to bear arms, it would be a political minefield at home. The accord wouldn’t muster enough votes for approval by the U.S. Senate, and the National Rifle Association, which says it has more than 4.5 million members, has lobbied against it.

“I suspect they probably took a decision that, politically, it made sense not to completely alienate people in Congress on something that, in their opinion, doesn’t matter when they sign it as long as they sign it,” said Adotei Akwei, Amnesty International USA’s managing director for government relations, in a May 31 telephone interview.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-03/u-s-fails-to-join-allies-in-signing-un-weapons-treaty.html

Ford-Chrysler Pickup Sales in U.S. Pace Automakers’ Best Year Since 2007

Source: Bloomberg

Ford Motor Co. (F) and Chrysler Group LLC reported U.S. sales gains that exceeded analysts’ estimates as surging demand for F-Series and Ram pickups pace the industry’s best year since 2007.

Deliveries of cars and light trucks climbed 14 percent for Ford and 11 percent for Chrysler, according to company statements. Nissan Motor Co. (7201) sales rose 25 percent, also beating analysts’ estimates. General Motors Co. deliveries increased 3.1 percent, Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s gained 2.5 percent and Honda Motor Co. rose 4.5 percent, all less than analysts had estimated.

The full-size pickup market expanded 20 percent this year through April, almost triple the increase for all U.S. light vehicles, according to researcher Autodata Corp. Ford, Chrysler and GM (GM), which dominate domestic truck sales, are marketing more efficient pickups as rebounding housing and energy sectors boost demand.

“All the trucks have gotten a lot of attention for their improvement in fuel economy,” Alan Baum, an automotive analyst at Baum & Associates in West Bloomfield, Michigan, said by telephone. “The new ones from GM are on their way out, Chrysler’s fuel economy is better and the Ford fuel economy has been better. They’ve been able to make the improved operating cost case to the buyer who is doing the arithmetic.”

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/business/bloomberg/article/Ford-to-Chrysler-Pickup-Surge-Paces-U-S-Auto-4571796.php

US Supreme Court Says 6 Texas Death Row Cases Should Be Reviewed For Poor Lawyering In Appeals

Source: Associated Press

HOUSTON - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sent the cases of six Texas death row inmates, including one of the infamous "Texas 7" gang of escapees, back to a lower court for reviews of whether attorneys in earlier stages of appeals let the men down.

The decisions are in line with last week's ruling in another Texas case where the justices, in a 5-4 vote, said a condemned prisoner had deficient legal help early because appeals lawyers didn't raise challenges that his trial lawyers were ineffective.

The high court returned the cases to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for review. None of the six has a pending execution date, although some had come close to being put to death in the past before their punishment was delayed by the courts.

Among the condemned prisoners is Donald Newbury, 51, one of seven inmates who broke out of a South Texas prison in 2000. One fugitive killed himself as Colorado authorities closed in on the gang. The remaining six were convicted of killing a suburban Dallas police officer Aubrey Hawkins during a Christmas Eve robbery in Irving in 2000. Two of the six already have been executed.

Read more: http://www.startribune.com/nation/209943581.html

Old Talk Show Hosts Never Retire, They Just Move To Russian TV - Just Like Larry King

When Larry King announced "it's time to hang up my nightly suspenders" we really shouldn't have believed him. Three years after emotionally leaving CNN he has shocked America by signing up for the Kremlin-backed broadcaster Russia Today (RT).

King stepped down from CNN after the 25th anniversary of Larry King Live and a week in which he interviewed Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Lady Gaga and the basketball star LeBron James. "I can't top this," he said, promising he would spend more time with his kids (the 79-year-old has children of 13 and 14 by his seventh wife).

How desperate must he be to join RT? This is the English-language network that delights in riling Washington by giving a platform to the disparate fringe voices who question the American dream: the angry bloggers, the conspiracy theorists, the dispossessed. It's not what Larry King, or his audience, has been used to.

What a coup for RT! It has landed an American icon, someone who began his landmark CNN show during the Cold War in 1985. The RT version will be called Politics with Larry King, giving the old boy added gravitas.



Dangerous California Wildfire Explodes In Size

Updated 11:18 p.m. ET

LANCASTER, CALIF. A wildfire that destroyed at least six homes, damaged 15 others and threatened hundreds more grew quickly Sunday as it triggered evacuations for nearly 3,000 people and burned dangerously close to communities in the parched mountains north of Los Angeles.

The blaze had burned about 35 square miles of very dry brush in the Angeles National Forest mountains and canyons, some of which hadn't burned since 1929. The fire was growing so fast, and the smoke was so thick, that it was difficult to map the size, U.S. Forest Service Incident Commander Norm Walker said.

"This is extremely old, dry fuel," Walker said at an afternoon news conference.

The fire, which was 20 percent contained, appeared to be the fiercest of several burning in the West, including two in New Mexico, where thick smoke covered several communities and set a blanket of haze over Santa Fe on Saturday. Crews fighting the two uncontained wildfires focused Sunday on building protection lines around them amid anticipation that a forecast of storms could bring moisture to help reduce the intensity of the fires.

The fire raging in Southern California had crews fighting the fire on four fronts, with the flames spreading quickest northward into unoccupied land, authorities said. But populated areas about 50 miles north of downtown LA remained in danger, with more than 2,800 people and 700 homes under evacuation orders in the communities of Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth, sheriff's Lt. David Coleman said.



The Turkish Government Is Massively Underestimating Ongoing Nationwide Protests

On Sunday tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Turkey, clashing with riot police in the fiercest anti-government protests since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan assumed office in 2003.

Erdogan dismissed the protestors, whom he called "looters" and "bums," and The Washington Post reports that "Sunday brought moments of calm in Istanbul and Ankara."

But all signs point to deep civil discontent being stoked by a savage police crackdown.

More than 1,700 people have been arrested (though many have since been released). Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have condemned the excessive force employed by police.

"This park was just the ignition of all that," Yakup Efe Tuncay, a 28-year-old demonstrator in the park told CNN. "The Erdogan government is usually considered as authoritarian. He has a big ego; he has this Napoleon syndrome. He takes himself as a sultan. ... He needs to stop doing that. He's just a prime minister."


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