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Older News Archivescom0116
NEWS   THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2014   NEWS

Georgia Dems Face Backlash Over Flier Urging Vote To ‘Prevent Another Ferguson’
A new mailer being circulated in Georgia by the state’s Democratic Party is drawing criticism for linking the shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., to the upcoming elections. The mailer, which uses images of black children holding signs that say, “Don’t shoot,” reads: “If you want to prevent another Ferguson in their future … Vote.” That message isn’t sitting well with some who say Democrats in the state have gone too far. “It’s extremely insulting and deceptive,” Leo Smith, state director of minority engagement for the Georgia GOP, told FoxNews.com Wednesday. “What the Democratic Party of Georgia has done is almost unfathomable.” Fox
VOA VIEW: This is bltatant open anti white black racism.

2 Dead In Shooting Attack At Canada's Parliament
A Canadian soldier standing guard at a war memorial in the country's capital was shot to death Wednesday, and gunfire then erupted inside Parliament, authorities said. One gunman was killed, and police said they were searching for as many as two others. People fled Parliament by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations, while others took cover inside as police with rifles and body armor took up positions outside and blocked the normally bustling streets around the building. Witnesses said the soldier was gunned down by a man dressed all in black with a scarf over his face. They said the gunman then entered Parliament, where dozens of shots rang out. CNS

Detroit Can Survive After Bankruptcy But Large Risks Loom
Detroit's relatively fast move through municipal bankruptcy has resulted in costly creditor settlements and too little emphasis on fixing the city's broken operations, a restructuring expert testified in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday. Still, Martha Kopacz, who was appointed by Judge Steven Rhodes to assess the viability of Detroit’s plan to restructure $18 billion of debt and obligations, concluded the plan is feasible and that its underlying revenue and other assumptions are reasonable.
"It’s likely that the city of Detroit after confirmation of the plan of adjustment is able to sustainably provide basic services to the city without a significant probability of default,” she testified. Reuters

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Bank Of America Apologizes For Double Charging On Apple Pay
A number of Bank of America customers took to Twitter to complain they were charged twice for purchases they made using Apple's new mobile payments system. A Bank of America spokeswoman acknowledged the issue, but she declined release details about how many users had complained about the glitch. "We apologize for this inconvenience and are correcting this issue immediately. All duplicates will be refunded," spokeswoman Tara Burke said. Apple declined to comment. One user tweeted "Problems with #ApplePay - it looks like my@bankofamerica account was double charged by @Walgreens." Bank of America and Walgreens responded to the tweet and the user later said the claim was resolved. MasterCard, which handles the Bank of America's Apple Pay transactions, said it was unaware of any issues involving its processing system or Apple Pay customers. MSNBC

Voters Back Religious Leaders Who Defend Faith Against Government
A poll conducted in the wake of Houston’s move to subpoena sermons shows that voters overwhelmingly agree religious leaders should be able to stand up for their beliefs without government prosecution. A Rasmussen Reports survey released Tuesday found 77 percent of likely U.S. voters don’t believe “the government should be allowed to prosecute religious leaders for comments that criticize government and social policies that violate the basic beliefs of their religion.” Washington Times

Inflation Short Of Goal Means Fed Can Keep Rates Low
U.S. consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in September, holding inflation in check as fuel prices plunged. Bloomberg’s Scarlet Fu breaks down the data on “In The Loop.”
The cost of living in the U.S. barely rose in September, restrained by decelerating prices for a broad array of goods and services that signal the Federal Reserve can keep interest rates low well into 2015. The consumer-price index climbed 0.1 percent after decreasing 0.2 percent in August, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. Over the past year, costs increased 1.7 percent, the same as in the 12 months through August. While plunging fuel costs are one reason for the restraint in pricing, clothing retailers, medical-care providers and airlines are also among those keeping a lid on charges. With inflation falling short of the Fed’s goal, policy makers need not rush to raise rates even as the world’s largest economy shows no sign of succumbing to a slowdown in global growth. Bloomberg

US To Track Everyone Coming From Ebola Nations
Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the U.S. from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. That includes returning American aid workers, federal health employees and journalists, as well as West African travelers. The program will start Monday in six states that represent 70 percent of people arriving from Liberia, Sierra Leone and New Guinea, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Director Tom Frieden said monitoring would extend to other states in coming days and reach "every person coming back to the country for the 21 days they are at risk for Ebola," and would continue until the outbreak in West Africa is controlled. Las Vegas Sun

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Obama, Pelosi Star In GOP Ads
President Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi are steering clear of competitive House districts but Republicans are still making sure their presence is felt. The president and House Democratic leader are star players in television commercials the GOP is pumping into these districts in the final stretch before the midterm elections. It's not surprising that the GOP is tying the president, whose approval ratings are at records lows, to vulnerable House and Senate Democrats. But Pelosi's image pops up even more than the president's in the latest round of Republican campaign ads targeting Democratic incumbents and challengers. One senior House GOP strategist tells CNN that while Obama is unpopular, their internal polls show that Pelosi remains even more "toxic." CNN

$4.10 Per Pound: Ground Beef Price Climbs To Another Record High
The average price for a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high--$4.096 per pound--in the United States in September, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In August, according to BLS, the average price for a pound of all types of ground beef topped $4 for the first time--hitting $4.013.  In September, the average price jumped .083 cents, an increase of 2.1 percent in one month. A year ago, in September 2013, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.502 per pound. Since then, it has climbed 59.4 cents--or about 17 percent in one year. CNS

Head Of Municipal Securities Office At U.S. SEC To Leave Agency
The director of the office of municipal securities at the Securities and Exchange Commission, John Cross, will leave his post in November to return to the U.S. Treasury Office of Tax Policy, the agency said on Tuesday. Cross was named head of the newly formed office barely two years ago after becoming a leading figure in the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market through his role as associate tax legislative counsel in the Treasury's tax policy arm. "As the Office of Municipal Securities’ first director, John provided valuable leadership and expertise in the oversight of the municipal securities market that is so vital to financing our public infrastructure," said SEC Chair Mary Jo White, in a statement. Reuters

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White House Denies Covert Plan To Issue Millions Of Green Cards
President Obama’s spokesman laughed off as “crazy” Wednesday reports that the Homeland Security Department is preparing for an increase in the number of immigrants living illegally in the country by ordering enough paper to print as many as 5 million “green” cards annually. “There are decisions that are made by lots of agencies, including the ordering of specific colored sheets of paper,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. “Those sorts of decisions are not micromanaged by the White House.” Washington Times

Another Death Knell For The Middle Class
It may be time to play a dirge for the American middle class. While many American families enjoyed rising prosperity in the decades following World War II, those wealth gains have eroded, leaving the middle-class poorer than anytime since the 1940s, according to new research from economists Emmanuel Saez of University of California, Berkeley and Gabriel Zucman of the London School of Economics. At the same time, the richest Americans have become richer, putting their share of wealth at the dizzying heights only seen during the era of "The Great Gatsby" and the Gilded Age of the robber barons, the researchers note. CBS
VOA VIEW: Liberal Democrats are bankrupting the middle class.

Plane Passengers Hospitalized Due To Ebola Concerns
An airline passenger was being evaluated at a hospital in Newark, New Jersey Tuesday due to Ebola concerns, reports CBS New York. Two others were hospitalized after getting off planes into Chicago. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesperson Carol Crawford said the Newark passenger was "identified as reporting symptoms or having a potential exposure to Ebola" during the enhanced screening process for those arriving in the U.S. from the West African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. "(The) CDC or state/local public health officials will contact other passengers on the aircraft should it be determined that there was any risk to the other passengers of exposure to communicable disease," Crawford continued. CBS

What You Need To Know About Health Care Open Enrollment
The stakes are higher for picking your health care insurance this year, whether choosing employer-sponsored plans or health exchange coverage. An individual must have some kind of coverage or pay the individual mandate penalty. For 2015, this will be $325 per adult in a family and half that much for each child under 18, up to $975 per household. "Everyone should get some kind of coverage," said Timothy Jost, a professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law. ABC

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‘Embarrassing’: White House Botches Dem Senate Candidate’s Identity -- Again
The White House botched the identity of a prominent Senate Democratic candidate for a second time this month – in the latest misstep that has party allies griping about the president’s political operation. One senior Senate Democratic aide was quoted telling the National Journal that “the ineptitude of the White House political operation has sunk from annoying to embarrassing.” The latest incident surrounds a rally for Iowa Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley, who is in a tight Senate race against Republican Joni Ernst. Earlier this month, first lady Michelle Obama botched his name – repeatedly calling him “Bruce Bailey” at a campaign event. At her second campaign stop for him on Tuesday, she got it right. But the White House transcript … got it wrong. Fox News

Social Security Benefits Will Increase By 1.7% In 2015
Social Security checks will rise by 1.7% -- which translates into $22 more each month for the average retired worker. In 2015, the average worker will receive $1,328 a month, or $15,936 a year, according to the Social Security Administration. More than 58 million recipients will see the bump in their checks starting in January. Next year's annual cost of living increase is up from 1.5% this year, but still less than 2012's increase of 3.6%. Seniors received no increases to their benefits for two years prior as prices fell due to the recession. CNN

Bungled Air Bag Alerts Leave Car Owners Scrambling For Answers
As if a government warning to get almost 8 million air bags fixed right away wasn’t alarming enough, the nation’s highway safety watchdog bungled the alerts and then compounded the error when problems with a website made it difficult for motorists to check to see if they are on the recall list. Making matters worse, it’s unclear if manufacturers — including major makers such as BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Toyota — have enough replacement parts to handle repairs on a timely basis. One Honda owner said he was told it could take months before the parts arrive and one maker has already advised motorists not to let passengers ride in the front seat of some older models until a fix is made. MSNBC

U.S. Emissions Up After Last Year's Brutal Winter
The amount of carbon dioxide emitted from energy use in the United States increased last year because of the brutal winter, the Energy Department said. The department's Energy Information Administration said energy-related CO2 emissions increased 2.5 percent from 2012 levels. "The 2013 increase was largely the result of colder weather leading to an increase in energy intensity," EIA said in a Tuesday report. PJM Interconnection, a company operating the electric grid for more than a dozen Midwest and mid-Atlantic states, twice broke records for seasonal use early this year during the brutal cold snap brought on by a weather phenomenon known as a polar vortex. UPI

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What You Need To Know About The New Apple iCloud Security Warning
Apple said it is aware of "intermittent" attacks on iCloud users and is urging users to take precautions to make sure their private information stays safe. The new security bulletin comes as reports have emerged that some iCloud users in China have been diverted to unauthorized websites when they attempt to sign into their accounts. A post on Apple's support website does not explicitly refer to China. The iPhone maker also noted that its servers have not been compromised. "We're aware of intermittent organized network attacks using insecure certificates to obtain user information, and we take this very seriously," the bulletin said. The hacking attempts don't impact users who sign in to their iCloud accounts on iOS devices. Macs running the new OS X Yosemite using Safari are also not impacted, Apple said. ABC

U.S. Stocks Retreat As Energy Shares Decline With Oil
U.S. stocks retreated, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose the most in a year yesterday, as energy shares led losses amid a drop in oil prices. The S&P 500 slipped 0.7 percent to 1,927.24 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 152.59 points to 16,462.22. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.8 percent. Crude oil slid 2.4 percent to $80.52 a barrel, the lowest level on a closing basis in more than two years, after a U.S. report showed inventories increased by 7.11 million barrels last week. “The market is driven primarily by trader and investor emotion and sentiment,” Michael James, a Los Angeles-based managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities Inc., said in a phone interview. “All that’s going to remain consistent in the short term is that volatility is going to continue and that you’re going to have significant swings just based on trader sentiment, without any specific data points.” Bloomberg

Republicans Hope For Congressional Sweep In Iowa
The politically savvy state of Iowa prides itself on purple voting, boasting a congressional delegation evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. But this year, with a closely matched Senate race and three competitive House seats, the GOP sees an opportunity to turn the state a vibrant shade of red. Big bucks and big-name politicians are helping. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was in Cedar Falls Wednesday, stumping for Republican businessman Rod Blum, who is running against longtime Democratic state lawmaker Pat Murphy in the 1st Congressional District. The seat is open because Democrat Bruce Braley is running for Senate. Las Vegas Sun

U.S. Weapons Airdrop May Have Fallen Into Islamic State Hands
As the U.S. drops weapons caches to Kurdish fighters combating Islamic State militants in Kobani, Syria, the Pentagon is investigating claims one of those caches landed in the hands of IS. A YouTube video appears to show militants eagerly sift through a U.S.-dropped cache of grenade launchers, grenades and other high powered ammunition. "We just don't know" Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters during a press conference at Central Command headquarters in Tampa, adding the cache certainly resembled the caches dropped, "So it's not out of the realm of the possibility in that regard." "I do want to add, though, that we are very confident that the vast majority of the bundles did end up in the right hands. In fact, we're only aware of one bundle that did not." UPI

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Jerusalem Car 'Attack' Kills Baby At Rail Station
A three-month-old girl was killed and eight other people were injured when a car hit them at a Jerusalem railway station. The driver tried to flee the scene on foot and was shot by a police officer, police told BBC News. Police say they suspect the incident was a "terrorist attack" and said the suspect had previously served time in an Israeli prison "for terrorism". The driver is in a serious condition in hospital, Israeli officials say. Unconfirmed reports suggest the driver was a Palestinian from East Jerusalem. The baby girl and her parents were US citizens, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat told the Associated Press news agency. BBC

Syria Conflict: '200 Air Force Strikes' In 36 Hours
The Syrian military has stepped up air strikes on rebel areas dramatically, carrying out more than 200 in recent days, opposition activists say. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the raids took place mostly in western areas between midnight on Sunday and noon on Tuesday. The UK-based group said there were many casualties, but did not give a figure. The intensified strikes come as US-led forces continue to bomb Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and Iraq. US and Arab jets have been attacking IS positions around the northern Syrian town of Kobane, where Kurdish fighters are under siege. BBC

New Michael Brown Autopsy Supports Account Of Struggle With Police Officer
The government autopsy of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old whose death led to nights of unrest earlier this year in Ferguson, Missouri, discovered a gunshot wound that appears to support accounts of a struggle with the police officer who shot him dead. An accompanying toxicology report also stated that Brown had marijuana in his body when he was killed. The report of the post-mortem by the St Louis County medical examiner said that the largest gunshot wound found on Brown’s body was on his right hand, and that tissue from the wound appeared to contain gunpowder particles. According to the autopsy report, Brown’s hand wound also showed no signs of stippling, a pattern of dots around the entry. Stippling tends to occur when someone is shot from relatively close range rather than in more immediate contact with a weapon. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Trouble makers dodge the truth.

US Jury Convicts Blackwater Guards In 2007 Killing Of Iraqi Civilians
Three security guards working for the private US contractor Blackwater have been found guilty of the manslaughter of a group of unarmed civilians at a crowded Baghdad traffic junction in one of the darkest incidents of the Iraq war. A fourth, Nicholas Slatten, was found guilty of one charge of first-degree murder. All face the likelihood of lengthy prison sentences after unanimous verdicts on separate weapons charges related to the incident. The Nisour Square massacre in 2007 left 17 people dead and 20 seriously injured after the guards working for the US State Department fired heavy machine guns and grenade launchers from their armoured convoy in the mistaken belief they were under attack by insurgents. Guardian

'Arm British Police' Says US Intelligence Chairman
British police should be routinely armed after concerns officers will be targeted by a terror plot, one of the United States' most senior intelligence figures has said. Mike Rogers, who was visiting London in his role as chairman of a US committee overseeing intelligence issues, said it was “concerning” that officers in this country would be unable to defend themselves from armed attackers. In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, the Republican expressed respect for “cultural differences” between Britain and the US on gun control, but said it should be possible to reach a compromise where trained police officers are routinely armed. Telegraph

Hi-Tech Pants "Protect Sperm From Phone Waves"
It may be time for men to take the smart phone out of their pocket - or buy shielded pants to protect sperm from the effects of mobile phones. Protecting the crown jewels from electromagnetic radiation may not be at the top of most men's concerns, but an American company has developed special underpants for the job. Belly Armor, a Manhattan company which already produces protective blankets and maternity tops for pregnant women, is launching its first products for men on Thursday. The pants incorporate a conductive textile made of fibres and metal which the makers say shields wearers from the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation associated with phones and laptops. Telegraph

Gmail’s New App ‘Inbox’ Is Your Personal Email Assistant
Look, email is awful. It’s a mess. It’s overwhelming. It’s a shame spiral of things you should do, replies you should send, meetings you should attend and memos you should read all commingled with flight information, daily deals, newsletters, purchase confirmations, spam, and inspirational messages from an elderly “aunt” whose actual relation escapes you. That’s why today, Google’s Gmail team is releasing a new app to help manage all that. It’s called Inbox, and essentially it sorts your mail for you the same way a personal assistant might. Inbox automatically categorizes your incoming messages into “Bundles,” which are broken out into things like Travel, Purchases, and Social. Wired

Dyson Unveils A Humidifier That Also Kills Bacteria
Dyson introduced its first bladeless fan five years ago. At the time, its “Air Multiplier” technology was a little bit mind-boggling. The fan replaced blades with a smartly-designed air loop that used aerodynamics to turn a thin stream of air into a full-blown breeze. Since then, that same technology has been applied to heaters, hand dryers and a new generation of fans. Now it’s also being used in a humidifier. Dyson announced that it’s now in the humidifier business, applying the same Air Multiplier technology to water particles in order to make your home healthier and more comfortable. “We’ve never tied ourselves down to a single technology,” says Rob Green, a senior design engineer at Dyson. “We’re always looking at where we can use the technology to solve different problems—it’s always been about finding a problem and solving it.” Wired

Despite Gains Against Tuberculosis, Better Research Funding Required – UN Report
The world is fighting a difficult battle against the spread of tuberculosis (TB), the United Nations health agency announced today, as it released its latest report on the disease, revealing a greater number of cases than previously estimated and a shortfall in research funding. The Global Tuberculosis Report 2014, published by the World Health Organization (WHO), has confirmed almost half a million more cases of the disease than previously estimated, noting that some 9 million people developed TB in 2013 while 1.5 million died, including 360,000 people who were HIV positive. UN News

Amid Ongoing Ebola Outbreak, UN Ramps Up Organization-Wide Response
A United Nations health committee has met for the third time in three months to evaluate the Organization’s ongoing response to the global Ebola crisis amid broader agency-wide efforts in confronting the deadly disease, UN officials confirmed today. At a press briefing held at UN Headquarters in New York, UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Ebola had begun consultations in Geneva as part of its mandate. UN News

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