Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mideast Christians Trapped by Extremists

Mideast Christians Trapped by Extremists

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Under attack and with few options, many are forging alliances with former foes.

Students barricaded inside classrooms, offices after Wayne Co. shooting - WNCN

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Students barricaded inside classrooms, offices after Wayne Co. shooting
WNCN
Kenneth Morgan Stancil III is wanted in the fatal shooting of Ron Lane at Wayne Community College. Wayne Community College shooting and lockdown. ADVERTISEMENT. X. start. share. 1/15. Close X. Embed Slideshow Code: <script type='text/javascript' ...

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Russia opens way to missile deliveries to Iran, starts oil-for-goods swap

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia paved the way on Monday for missile system deliveries to Iran and started an oil-for-goods swap, signaling that Moscow may have a head-start in the race to benefit from an eventual lifting of sanctions on Tehran.
  

Wallet squeeze: Apartment rents projected to rise again

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Living in an apartment? Expect your rent to go up again....

Starting up in Cuba, but not connected 

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HAVANA — Great technology companies are born in garages, of course, and that is where 31-year-old Bernardo Romero has launched his Cuban start-up, Ingenius. And like Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in the 1930s, and Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in the 1970s, Romero doesn’t have Internet access, either.Read full article >>






WorldViews: Map: These are the world’s least religious countries 

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The world's most populous country is also the globe's least religious. According to a new study, 90 percent of all Chinese consider themselves to be atheists or not to be religious.The survey of 65 countries, conducted by Gallup International and the WI Network of Market Research, is based on 63,898 interviews. China tops the list of the world's least religious nations by far; it's followed by countries in Europe — about three fourth of all Swedish and Czech also said that they were either atheists or not religious.Read full article >>






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Map: These are the world's least religious countries - Washington Post (blog)

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Today's Zaman

Map: These are the world's least religious countries
Washington Post (blog)
The world's most populous country is also the globe's least religious. According to a new study, 90 percent of all Chinese consider themselves to be atheists or not to be religious. The survey of 65 countries, conducted by Gallup International and the ...
China the least religious place in the world, survey findsShanghaiist

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Russian Region Mourns As Fire Deaths Reach 23

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Russia's Khakasia region has held a day of mourning as the death toll from fires that swept the province in southern Siberia rose to 23. 

Robot reveals inside Fukushima nuclear reactor – video

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The view inside one of the wrecked nuclear reactors at Fukushima filmed by a robot. The robot collected temperature, radiation data and images before it became stuck and lost connection. Pictures lit by a lamp on the robot showed steam wafting around the chamber and debris that looked like small rocks and metal parts. Three nuclear reactors went into meltdown after an earthquake triggered a tsunami four years ago Continue reading...

Fighting in Eastern Ukraine Rages On Overnight Despite Talks

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(DONETSK, Ukraine) — Fighting raged overnight and in the early hours on Tuesday on the outskirts of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine despite an agreement reached by the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers a day earlier.
The yearlong military conflict between Russian-backed rebels and government forces has claimed more than 6,000 lives and left large parts of Ukraine’s once industrial heartland in ruins.
Fighting in the east had largely subsided following a cease-fire deal signed in February but has rekindled in recent days.
Heavy shelling was heard in Donetsk late Monday evening and in the early hours on Tuesday. In the morning, rebel mouthpiece Donetsk News Agency reported one rebel fighter dead and five wounded in the overnight clashes.
Russia and Ukraine agreed in Berlin on Monday to call for the pullback of smaller-caliber weapons from the front lines of the conflict that has claimed more than 6,000 lives.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who hosted the talks in Berlin, said the new deal calls for the withdrawal of mortars and heavy weapons below 100 mm (3.94 inches) caliber, as well as all types of tanks.
On the ground, however, even the previous agreement that called for a cease-fire and a withdrawal of large-caliber weaponry appeared to be shaky.
Fighting appears to be focused on the now-obliterated Donetsk airport and the village of Shyrokyne by the Azov Sea in the south.
An Associated Press reporter saw a column of at least 10 infantry combat vehicles moving Tuesday morning from the rebel-occupied area by the Azov Sea to Donetsk.

Obama to discuss fight against Isis with Iraqi prime minister

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In first US trip since becoming PM, Haider al-Abadi expected to seek billions of dollars worth of drones and other weapons, during White House visit
The Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, and Barack Obama will discuss the fight against Islamic State at a White House meeting likely to be dominated by Iraqi requests for US arms and tension over Iran’s role on the battlefield.
In his first US trip since becoming prime minister, Abadi is expected to seek billions of dollars worth of drones and other US weapons to combat Isis, which seized swaths of northern and central Iraq last year.
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Czechs Sentence Russian Man Over Bomb Threat On Passenger Jet

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A court the Czech capital, Prague, has handed a 30-month prison sentence to a Russian man who forced a passenger plane to make an emergency landing by claiming he was carrying a bomb.
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Iraqi Prime Minister, in Washington, Seeks Billions to Overcome Deficit 

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Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is faced with declining oil revenues and the task of restoring essential services and repairing damage from the fight with the Islamic State.

Our Man in Tehran - Episode 4: Mr. Big Mouth

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Hamid-Reza Ahmadabadi, a strong believer in Iran’s theocracy, confronts what he acknowledges is a losing battle against modernity.

Manhole cover explodes during TV interview - video

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A news crew in Buffalo, New York, is filming an interview when an underground explosion sends a manhole cover soaring up into the air, causing panic as the heavy object fell from sky. The reporter was asking about an electrical fire under a road when the manhole cover explodes in the background. The manhole cover, which could be as heavy as 50kg, comes down to the pavement with a loud crash

Footage courtesy of wgrz.com Continue reading...

Kremlin confirms oil-for-goods swap with Iran under way

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin confirmed on Tuesday that an oil-for-goods barter deal between Russia and Iran was being implemented and said all legal barriers had been removed to Moscow supplying S-300 missile systems to Tehran.






  

Navalny Associate Sentenced On Artwork Theft Conviction

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A court in the city of Vladimir found Georgy Alburov guilty of "premeditated theft" on April 14 and sentenced him the same day.

Internet pornography banned in Russia under 1923 convention

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The crackdown comes after a court in Tartarstan's Apastovksy district ordered the state-controlled internet watchdog to block 136 websites hosting 'pornographic material' within the next two days.

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Islamist Threat: Why Is Russia Scaring Turkmenistan?

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Anyone who is listening to Russian officials, or getting their information from Russian media lately would think that the Central Asian states are on the brink of disaster, that Islamic militants massing in Afghanistan are preparing to swarm over the border and establish a caliphate in the southern tier of the CIS.

Prison time for some Atlanta school educators in cheating scandal - CNN

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CNN

Prison time for some Atlanta school educators in cheating scandal
CNN
(CNN) There was nothing routine about a sentencing hearing Tuesday in Atlanta that wrote the final legal chapter of one of the most massive school cheating scandals in the country. Eleven out of the 12 educators were convicted April 1 of racketeering and ...
Jail for 9 of 10 ex-educators in Atlanta test-cheating caseSTLtoday.com
Ex-Atlanta teachers receive steep prison sentences in cheating scandalThe Week Magazine
Former Atlanta educators sentenced to up to seven years in prisonReuters
The Detroit News -WABE 90.1 FM
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Ukrainian President Poroshenko Dismisses Envoy To U.S.

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Ukraine's president did not explain the dismissal in his April 14 decree relieving Ambassador Oleksandr Motsyk of his post as Ukraine's envoy to the United States,

Paul Simon and Sting review – moments of humbling magic from The Odd Couple 

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Manchester Arena
Simon and Sting’s contrasting voices and banter perfectly complement each other as they dip into each other’s songbooks in a curious but inspired union
At first glance, the Paul Simon and Sting On Stage Together tour is reminiscent of those bizarrely unlikely 1960s package tours where Jimi Hendrix would appear on the same bill as Engelbert Humperdinck. Paul Simon is a Greenwich Village folkie whose towering songbook stretches from Simon and Garfunkel to world-music experiments with Graceland; his Geordie counterpart a former Police-man who has careered from new wave to a lute. Together, the gangly, hipster-bearded Sting and shorter, hat-wearing New Jerseyan could audition for The Odd Couple. And yet, when 73-year-old Simon walks over to 63-year-old Sting during the first number, it’s clear that they have something of a mutual appreciation society, and aren’t as far apart as they seem.
Simon, of course, was using Jamaican grooves long before Sting’s Police played what became dubbed “white reggae”, and the pair’s sublime skank through Simon’s Mother and Child Reunionprovides an early highlight. Their voices – Sting’s husky, Simon’s pointed and poised – complement each other as well as their differing banter. The bass-playing Sting quotes Oscar Wilde on foxhunting despite noting the time one of the creatures visited his chickens and “ate every last fucking one of ’em”. Simon remembers playing a nearby working men’s club and being introduced: “You’ve had the bingo. Now shut up and give the artist a go.”
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Russia Confirms Iran Missile Deal Can Go Ahead

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The Kremlin confirms it will sell the S-300 system to Tehran and is already trading with it under an oil-for-goods agreement.

Pankisi Parents Struggle To Learn How Islamic State Recruited Their Sons

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The parents of two teenagers from Georgia's Pankisi Gorge who ran away to join the Islamic State (IS) militant group are trying to find out who helped their sons travel to Syria, according to Sulkhan Bordzikashvili, a journalist based in Pankisi.

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U.S. Soldiers, Back in Iraq, Find Security Forces in Disrepair

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Returning for the first time since 2011, none of the American troops thought they would be here again, let alone return to find the Iraqi Army they had once trained in such a state.

German anti-Israeli Nobel writer, Günter Grass dies at 87

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Germany’s respected author and Noble Winning novelist, Günter Grass, known for his sharp criticism of Israel and those supporting the Tel Aviv regime, has died at the age of 87.
Germany’s Steidl publishing house announced Monday that Grass died at a hospital in the northern city of Lübeck.
Best known for his 1959 novel The Tin Drum, the German author won many international awards, with the most notable of them the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1999.
Many still continue to relish the novels, poems and stories written by Grass, especially those created in his 80s, but the mustached literary icon took to the headlines by lashing out at Israel over the regime’s continuous spread of hatred and fear in the Middle East and the world.
In his famous poem entitled “What Must Be Said” (“Was gesagt werden muss”), which was published in several prestigious European newspapers in 2012, Grass called the Tel Aviv regime the greatest threat to the peace in the world. He also criticized the hypocrisy of the German government for its open military support of the Israelis, who according to Grass, obtain military hardware like German submarines to launch nuclear warheads against Iran.
Grass said such equipment “could annihilate Iranian people.”
Those comments triggered fierce criticism inside Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling the remarks “shameful.”
Grass regretted that he kept silent for many years on the secret relations between Germany and Israel, just over fears that he may be branded anti-Semite.
In his final years, Grass also criticized some major politicians and heads of state, including the former US President George W. Bush for his use of religion and religious terms as a pretext to justify the so-called “war on terror.”
        
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Six Ukrainian Soldiers Killed In Attacks

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Six soldiers have been killed and 12 injured as fighting has flared in eastern Ukraine in the past 24 hours, despite a cease-fire.

The roots of Iran's revolutionary fighters

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Four members of the Revolutionary Guard recently killed in Syria are from a garden town in Isfahan that also played a decisive role in the Iran-Iraq war
Young Isfahanis know better than to mess with the boys from Najafabad. This city west of Isfahan once famed for apricot and pear orchards, is today known as a fertile recruiting ground for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or the Basij, the part-time militia run by the IRGC.
Four members of the IRGC killed in Syria over the past couple of years, all from Najaf-e Ashraf, the Guards’ 8th armoured division, had their roots here. 
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NYPD: Man hides in bathroom stall at sports bar, rapes woman - Miami Herald

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New York Daily News

NYPD: Man hides in bathroom stall at sports bar, rapes woman
Miami Herald
New York City police say a man hiding inside a bathroom stall in the ladies room of a Manhattan sports bar grabbed a woman by the throat and raped her. Police say it happened Saturday night at the Turnmill Bar in the Kips Bay neighborhood on East 27th ...
NYPD: Woman raped inside restroom of Manhattan sports barNewsday

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Iraqi PM to Seek Billions for ISIS Fight at White House Visit

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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi will make his first official visit to the White House on Tuesday, where he is expected to request billions of dollars in financial and military aid from President Barack Obama for an ongoing campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).
Abadi’s first state visit comes as falling oil prices have opened up a $22 billion budget deficit in Iraq, the New York Times reports. Abadi has argued that the budget shortfall has hampered the new government’s ability to mount military challenges to ISIS strongholds in northern Iraq and restore basic government services to those towns that have been reclaimed by Iraqi-led forces and Shi’ite militias.
While the White House meeting is expected to show Obama’s support for the new Iraqi prime minister, a marked improvement over the strained relations with Iraq’s previous prime minister, analysts have questioned whether he would meet the full range of Abadi’s demands, which could include a request for drones and other advanced weaponry, Reuters reports.
Abadi will also meet with the heads of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank during his first official to the U.S.
[NYT]
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UK and US paratroopers undertake largest multinational exercise in decades 

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UK and US paratroopers undertake largest multinational exercise in decades

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More than 2100 American and British paratroopers have jumped into Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for the start of a joint exercise. Report by Jennifer Cordingley...
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