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NEWS   MARCH 27, FEBRUARY 27, 2015   NEWS

ATF Pushes Bullet Ban, Threatens Top-Selling AR-15 Rifle
It’s starting. As promised, President Obama is using executive actions to impose gun control on the nation, targeting the top-selling rifle in the country, the AR-15 style semi-automatic, with a ban on one of the most-used AR bullets by sportsmen and target shooters. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this month revealed that it is proposing to put the ban on 5.56mm ammo on a fast track, immediately driving up the price of the bullets and prompting retailers, including the huge outdoors company Cabela’s, to urge sportsmen to urge Congress to stop the president. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Obama is totally out of control with his unilateral executive actions.

United Airlines Warns Pilots After Review Shows Mistakes In Cockpit
United Airlines has issued a stern warning to its pilots after mistakes in the cockpit put passenger planes in potential danger. A review of United flight operations data, which details safety incidents involving United pilots and aircraft, prompted the warning, according to an airline official. The safety memo was sent to United Airlines pilots on Jan. 9th, and was first report by The Wall Street Journal. "The language was strong, stronger than usual," said United Airlines spokesman Charlie Hobart. The tone of the memo was used to "get pilots' attention," Hobart added. CNN

Boehner: 'I Think There's A Role For Congress To Play In Defending The Constitution'
Although a federal court has temporarily blocked President Obama's executive action on immigration, House Speaker John Boehner said that doesn't let Congress off the hook: "I think there's a role for Congress to play in defending the Constitution and upholding the rule of law. And we intend to do that," he told a news conference on Thursday. But Boehner repeatedly refused to say if the House will take up a "clean" DHS funding bill (one without the immigration rider) if that's what the Senate sends over. CNS News
VOA VIEW: Republicans cannot allow Obama to prevail - voters voted against Obama in November.

Pelosi To Republicans: ‘Grow Up And Pass This Bill’
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told Republicans to “grow up and pass this bill” to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), accusing them of having less legislative knowledge than an eighth grader. “Now we’ve had this comedy of errors going on, this major amateur hour in non-legislation, that is standing in the way of our honoring our oath of office,” Pelosi claimed Thursday during a Democratic leadership news conference. “I have a grandson in the eighth grade, and his knowledge about how to pass a bill is superior to what we see among the Republicans there,” she added later in the discussion. “It’s about time for them to grow up and pass this bill,” Pelosi declared. CNS News
VOA VIEW: No, no, no.

U.S. Internet Providers Hit With Tougher Rules, Plan Challenges
U.S. regulators on Thursday approved the strictest-ever rules on Internet providers, who in turn pledged to battle the new restrictions in the courts and Congress, saying they would discourage investment and stifle innovation. The rules, which will go into effect in coming weeks, are expected to face legal challenges from multiple parties such as wireless, cable and other broadband companies and trade groups that represent them. Experts expect the industry to seek a stay of the rules, first at the FCC and then in courts, though the chances for success of such an appeal is unclear. Reuters

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Iran Blasts Mock U.S. Carrier In War Games
Iran blasted its mock-up of a U.S. aircraft carrier during naval drills on Wednesday, swarming the target with 100 speedboats armed with rockets, shoulder-launched missiles and mortars as well as striking it with cruise missiles, according to reports from Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency. Iran said the aircraft carrier target was a full-size replica of the USS Nimitz. "Iranian naval forces displayed their skills in targeting enemy vessels and destroyed a mock U.S. aircraft carrier during the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy's massive Payambar-e Azam 9 (The Great Prophet 9) wargames in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz," read a video caption on Fars' website. CNN

Boehner Defends Netanyahu's Upcoming Speech To Congress
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Thursday challenged an assertion by the Obama administration that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming speech to Congress about nuclear negotiations with Iran would be destructive to U.S.-Israeli relations. "The president's national security advisor says it's destructive for the prime minister of Israel to address the United States Congress. I couldn't disagree more," Boehner said at his weekly news conference. "The American people and both parties in Congress have always stood with Israel and nothing, and no one, could get in the way," the Republican leader said. Boehner broke precedent by inviting the Israeli leader to address Congress without consulting the White House or Democratic lawmakers. President Barack Obama and other Democrats have accused Netanyahu and Republicans of injecting partisan politics into the U.S.-Israel relationship. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Americans and both majorities in Congress support Israel.

Osama Bin Laden Confidant Convicted In NYC Of Conspiracy In 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings
A man prosecutors portrayed as one of al-Qaida's early leaders and a close confidant of Osama bin Laden was convicted in New York Thursday of conspiracy in the deadly bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa following a trial that showcased the terror group's early days. An anonymous jury returned a verdict in Khaled al-Fawwaz's case after 2 1/2 days of deliberating. The month-long trial unfolded in a heavily fortified courthouse where federal guards stood outside with machine guns and spectators had to pass through a special metal detector outside the courtroom. MSNBC

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Chris Christie: Some People Need To Be Told To "Sit Down And Shut Up"
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defended his combative political style during an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday, saying some of his critics "need to be told to sit down and shut up." During a question-and-answer session with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, Christie was asked to respond to those who have called him a bully due to his bombastic method of engaging critics. "The word they miss is 'passionate,'" Christie said. CBS

Carly Fiorina Criticizes Hillary Clinton And Clinton's Foundation At CPAC
Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard CEO, is positioning herself as the anti-Hillary Clinton candidate, going after the likely Democratic presidential candidate in her speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference today, hitting her for accepting donations from foreign countries to her foundation. In her address, Fiorina called on Clinton to "please explain why we should accept that the millions and millions of dollars that have flowed into the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments doesn’t represent a conflict of interest." The Washington Post reported last week that the Clinton Foundation began taking foreign donations after Clinton finished her time as Secretary of State, but it reported Wednesday that the group also accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during her tenure as head of the State Department. ABC

Free Pins, Liberty Purses, And Government Waste Robots: The CPAC Exhibit Floor
If you’re willing to pay just under $400, you can buy a leather purse with the Constitution written in the lining on the exhibition floor of the Conservative Political Action Committee conference. “Every handbag we sell has a pocket Constitution included with it, because we believe that our constitutionally protected liberties are the foundation of every good thing that we enjoy as Americans,” Sylvia Noster, the designer of the bags said in front of her stall, a few feet away from a poster featuring a topless model with the Constitution tattooed on her back. (Noster, who was inspired by a sense the “Constitution’s being shredded, right before our very eyes,” has three different collections of bags: love, liberty, and faith.) The CPAC exhibition floor is about marketing, and advertising to conservatives is the same as marketing to anyone else: everything has to be unique, free, or superhero-themed. Bloomberg

Iran Behind Cyber-Attack On Adelson’s Sands Corp.
The top U.S. intelligence official confirmed for the first time that Iran was behind a cyber attack against the Las Vegas Sands Corp. last year. Identifying Iran as the perpetrator came more than a year after the Feb. 10, 2014, attack against the world’s largest gambling company, which crippled many of the computer systems that help run the $14 billion operation. Sands’ chairman and chief executive officer and top shareholder is billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a leading U.S. supporter of Israel and of Republican political candidates. Las Vegas Sun

7 In 10 Republicans In A Poll Say Obama Doesn’t Love America. That’s Not Really Surprising.
Republicans tend to assume the worst about President Obama's six years in office. That's not news. But what about an extreme attitude like whether Obama loves America? This almost comically blunt question was posed by Internet pollster YouGov in coordination with the Huffington Post, who aimed to gauge the breadth of agreement with Rudy Giuliani’s recent barbs. And sure enough, Republicans respondents in the web-panel survey obliged, with roughly 7 in 10 (69 percent) saying Obama does not love America (cue cheers, guffaws, outrage, page views). The National Review's John Fund was surprised by this finding and the overall result that less than half of respondents said Obama loves the nation he leads.  Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Obama is anti America - no individual in history has caused the nation more damage.

Sarah Palin’s Inaccurate Claim About Suicides Of Veterans Of The ‘War On Terror’
Palin took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference to a standing ovation and delivered an impassioned speech about taking care of veterans. She described the challenges veterans have in getting access to quality health care, obtaining jobs after returning from deployment and other issues — including this statistic about veteran suicide rates. Palin used a figure that 23 veterans commit suicide a day — 92, over the course of CPAC. It is a derivative of a claim that we have previously fact-checked, and found to be based on a partially completed study with unreliable methods. And since Palin cited it again in front of thousands at what is billed “the nation’s largest gathering of conservatives” — we will revisit it, especially because she included it in a long section related to the veterans of the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. Washington Post

In Message To US, Iran Test Fires New Weapon In Naval Drill
With an eye on U.S.-led nuclear talks, Iran's Revolutionary Guard on Friday announced it had test fired a "new strategic weapon" in the final day of a large-scale naval and air defense drill, saying the system would play a key role in any future battle against the "Great Satan." The claim was a new show of force by Iran just weeks ahead of a deadline for reaching a deal over its nuclear program with the U.S. and other global powers. Iran announced the test on the final day of military drills it is calling "Great Prophet 9." The exercises are being held near the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway through which about a fifth of the world's oil passes. Iran often holds live-fire war games and frequently boasts of advances in its weaponry that cannot be independently verified. The latest drill, which included a simulated attack on an American aircraft carrier, appeared to be aimed at sending a message that Iran has no intention of backing down to the U.S. in the nuclear talks. Houston Chronicle

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Secret Service Plans To Fly Drones Over Washington
The U.S. Secret Service says it will fly drones over the Washington area in the near future, just weeks after a White House drone incident highlighted the security risks posed by the technology. The agency isn't disclosing exactly where the exercises will take place other than that they'll involve areas where flights are typically restricted. Airspace above the White House, the U.S. Capitol and other sensitive sites in Washington is heavily restricted. The Secret Service says the exercises have been carefully planned and coordinated with other government agencies, and will be "tightly controlled." The reason for the exercises isn't clear. But they come amid heightened concern about drones. Last month, a government employee who was flying a quadcopter drone recreationally crashed it into the White House grounds accidentally. Fox News

NATO Eyes Air Defenses Over Fears Putin Will Target Baltics
NATO's newest members are nervous. Troops are being trained up and reinforced. A new "spearhead force" is in the works. Fighter jets are scrambling. Military maneuvering is ramping up amid mounting concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin will broaden his gaze beyond Crimea and Ukraine to the Baltic nations.
Valdis Dombrovskis, vice president of the European Commission, warned that Russia was redrawing the map of Europe by force. Britain's Defense Secretary Michael Fallon last week said there was a "real and present danger" Russia's president would seek to destabilize Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — all small NATO members with enough legitimate issues of disenfranchisement among their Russian minorities to make them prime potential targets for any Putin push. MSNBC

Sharpton Heads To White House For Civil Cights Leaders Powwow
Another day, another Al Sharpton visit to the White House. Sharpton met with President Obama, along with a group of some 20 other civil-rights and faith leaders, Thursday for what was described as an update on administration priorities. He was joined by the heads of the NAACP, the National Urban League and other groups. “The meeting was also an opportunity to have a dialogue with the leaders about the issues facing their communities, including criminal justice, education, health care and economic development,” according to the White House. NY Post
VOA VIEW: More like an anit white powwow.

Taxpayers Duck ObamacareTax, Snubbing IRS
Taxpayers are already telling their accountants they plan to stiff the IRS on the Obamacare tax, saying they figure the chances the agency comes after them for a few hundred bucks are pretty slim, and it makes sense to take the risk. Still other taxpayers are recoiling when they find out they owe far more than the $95 minimum penalty for not having insurance in 2014, said Christopher Wittich, an accountant in Minnesota. “And that’s a big problem for them,” he said. “They don’t have 200 bucks.” Washington Times

Democrats Instigate Climate Funding Probe, Get Pushback
Several members of Congress have begun sending letters to universities, energy companies and trade associations, seeking information about funding to scientists who have been critical of climate change. Critics have been quick to label the effort a "witch hunt," but those responsible say the outreach is a logical response to revelations that one of the country's leading climate skeptics had been receiving funding from major players in the energy industry. Over the weekend, activist group Greenpeace published documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request that showed ExxonMobil, Southern Company and others had funneled more than $1 million to Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, for research papers and congressional testimony described as "deliverables." UPI

Ukraine Government Forces, Rebels Withdraw Heavy Weapons
Ukrainian and Russian-backed separatist forces drew back some heavy weapons from the front line in the east Friday in compliance with a cease-fire deal, although officials in Kiev accused rebels of falling short of requirements. Separatist fighters moved rocket launchers to a location 70 kilometers (43 miles) back from the line of contact with Ukrainian forces as required by the peace agreement. Associated Press journalists in the morning followed four trucks carrying Grad launchers from the rebel stronghold of Donetsk to a cement factory in the village of Novoamvrosiivske, near the Russian border. AP reporters also saw Ukrainian troops pulling back 100 mm anti-tank guns from the front line near the town of Artemivsk. The required withdrawal distance for weapons varies depending on their power and range. Atlanta Journal

Some In GOP Say DHS Funding Lapse Not A Big Deal
Republican leaders eager to avert a partial government shutdown are getting heat from conservative colleagues who ask what the fuss is all about. Numerous House Republicans say it’s preferable to let the Homeland Security Department go unfunded for a few days, at least, if that’s the cost of undoing a White House immigration policy they consider unlawful. These lawmakers say the impact on national security would be minimal, as would the political risks. “Shutting down” the agency known as DHS “is a set of words that don’t really have the meaning that people attribute to it,” said Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama. “There was hardly any effect whatsoever on the Department of Homeland Security from the last shutdown, and I would anticipate a similar effect this time.” Charlotte Obsverver
VOA VIEW: Republicans should stand tall against Obama.

San Diego's Crime Rate Fell By 13.5%
The overall crime rate in San Diego decreased 13.5 percent last year, continuing a general downward trend for the past 25 years, according to police. Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said the city hasn’t seen such low numbers, in some cases, since the 1950s and 1960s. “A lot of this is very good news,” Councilman Todd Gloria said as Zimmerman presented the figures to a City Council committee. Seven major crimes are counted each year: Murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and vehicle theft. Property crime was down by 15.5 percent from 2013 to 2014. Violent crime dipped by 1.7 percent, offset in part by a 17.4 percent increase in rapes. San Diego Union

Cambodians Angered Over Nude Photo Incidents At Temples
Cambodia’s most popular tourist attraction – the complex of ancient temples that includes Angkor Wat – is suffering from a form of overexposure: At least five foreign visitors have been arrested and deported this year for taking nude photos at the sacred sites.  Authorities have no tolerance for people stripping down at Angkor Archeological Park, a sprawling, centuries-old UNESCO World Heritage Site that drew 2 million visitors last year. The incidents are also upsetting to ordinary Cambodians, for whom the Khmer-era complex holds enormous spiritual and historical significance. Miami Herald

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Gilead Avoids Billions In U.S. Tax On Its $1,000-A-Pill Drug
Gilead Sciences Inc., whose $1,000-a-pill hepatitis C treatment is one of the world’s most expensive drugs, is avoiding billions of dollars in U.S. taxes by booking profits overseas. The company reported foreign income before taxes of $8.2 billion for 2014, earning more in non-U.S. profits than it recorded in non-U.S. sales. The data released in a securities filing Wednesday suggest that Gilead is shifting valuable intellectual property to low-tax countries and paying about 5 percent in taxes on its foreign income, said Robert Willens, an independent tax consultant based in New York. Bloomberg

Bill To Keep Guns From Abusers Criticized For Other Alements
A wide-ranging Nevada bill discussed Wednesday would bar people from owning a gun after a domestic violence conviction. But it also drew strident criticism for broadening the definition of justifiable homicide and expanding concealed carry laws. The Republican-sponsored measure SB175, which was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee, also prevents people from purchasing a gun if there's a restraining order against them, and it gives immunity from civil lawsuits when a shooting is ruled justified. Republican Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson, the bill's primary sponsor, said the measure gathers a number of gun-related proposals that have a chance at passing both houses of the Legislature when bundled together. Las Vegas Sun

Scientists Spot Black Hole With A Mass Of 12 Billion Suns
Researchers say they've discovered one of the largest black holes of its kind. The mass of 12 billion suns, it the largest to have formed within 1 billion years of the Big Bang -- larger than it should be for its age, scientists say. Astronomers can't see the black hole, of course. But they can calculate its size by studying the bright light of its accompanying quasar. A quasar is the collection of light given off as superheated gas is squeezed as it is pulled into the black hole. The light from the quasar that scientists have observed is 12.8 billion years old, roughly 875 million years after the universe was formed. UPI

Seattle-Area Group Heads To Deep South To Honor Civil-Rights Struggle
The pictures shocked much of the nation — nonviolent marchers attacked by state and local lawmen with tear gas and billy clubs outside Selma, Ala. It was March 7, 1965, a day remembered as “Bloody Sunday.” And the attack on 600 voting-rights marchers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge had the opposite effect of what troopers likely intended. News of the incident sparked outrage, leading to a return march two weeks later under the protection of U.S. Army troops and federal marshals — and the passage in Congress within months of the federal Voting Rights Act, increasing opportunities for African Americans to register to vote. Seattle Times
VOA VIEW: A gathering to cause racial divisiveness.

Global Stocks Lackluster Ahead Of Revised US Growth Figures
Global stocks were lackluster Friday after Japan reported mixed economic data and investors waited for revised U.S. growth figures. In early trading, France's CAC-40 was little changed at 4,911.03 and Germany's DAX gained 0.05 percent to 11,332.45. Britain's FTSE 100 was steady at 6,949.04. Wall Street gave no indication of major moves in store. The future for the Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.04 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 futures contract fell 0.1 percent. The previous day, the Dow shed 0.1 percent and the S&P lost 0.3 percent. The Nasdaq gained 0.4 percent. US ECONOMY: The Commerce Department issues its second of three estimates of how fast the U.S. economy grew in the October-December quarter. In its first estimate, the government said gross domestic product expanded at a 2.6 percent annual rate. That was slower than the previous quarter, but a burst in consumer spending bolstered confidence that growth will strengthen this year. Tampa Tribune

German Parliament Approves Greek Bailout Extension
Germany's Parliament has given its overwhelming approval to the four-month extension of Greece's financial bailout, despite unease over the new government in Athens. Lawmakers voted 542-32 on Friday to back the bailout extension. There were 13 abstentions. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said ahead of the vote that "this is not about new billions for Greece, not about changing this program" and stressed that the goal is to complete Greece's existing bailout successfully. Germany, a key creditor nation, has advocated unpopular spending cuts and insisted that aid must come with strings attached. Comments by Greek officials casting doubt on privatization deals and raising the possibility of further debt relief have irked some in Germany. USA Today

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Hillary Clinton’s War On Libya Damaged U.S. Intelligence
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2011 campaign to drive Moammar Gadhafi from power did significant damage to U.S. intelligence, according to a top Libyan aide and U.S. intelligence officials. The Libyan dictator provided regular reports to the CIA that helped capture or kill key al Qaeda figures and thwart terrorist attacks against American targets overseas, those sources said. The Libyan regime, for instance, helped U.S. forces kill a key al Qaeda operative of a suicide attack on a U.S. air field in Afghanistan in 2007 when Vice President Dick Cheney was visiting. Washington Times

North Korea Steps Up Verbal Threats Ahead Of U.S.-South Korea Military Drills
North Korea ramped up its threatening language against the United States on Friday, days before the start of annual joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises that often trigger an angry response from Pyongyang. North Korea regularly protests the annual exercises, which it calls a rehearsal for war, and has recently stepped up its own air, sea and ground military exercises, amid a period of increased tension between the rival Koreas. "The DPRK will wage a merciless sacred war against the U.S. now that the latter has chosen confrontation," the country's official KCNA news agency said, quoting from an article in the ruling Workers' Party newspaper, the Rodong Sinmum. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: North Korea always makes hollow threats.

John Boehner Scolds House Members On Dress Code: "You Know Who You Are"
This House is a mess, and John Boehner has had quite enough of it. Boehner, the Republican House Speaker from Ohio, offered a sharp lesson in decorum to lawmakers on Wednesday, scolding them to stop bustling about the well of the chamber during speeches, stop taking photos during House business, and stop being late to votes, darn it! Boehner also reminded members of the importance of wearing "appropriate business attire during all sittings of the House, however brief their appearance on the floor might be." He didn't name names, but he didn't have to. "You know who you are," he said, sweeping a schoolmarm's glare across the chamber as members chuckled. CBS

Why Ben Carson Thinks It’s Important For A Black Man To Run President
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who has captivated the conservative community and thrown himself into the pool of potential 2016 presidential contenders, told ABC News on Thursday that when it comes to politics, his race and upbringing give him “a great deal of perspective.” “Having grown up in the lowest rungs, economically, of society and being able to rise through every level to the top and seeing what concerns people at all those different levels,” Carson told ABC’s Rick Klein. “The things that concern black people are really the same things that concern white people or brown people or yellow people.” In an interview on the first day of this year’s Conservative Political Action conference being held outside Washington, DC, Carson said it is “extremely important” to have leaders in the Republican Party who can speak to underrepresented communities. ABC

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Iranian Military Chief Threatens To 'Wipe Tel Aviv Off The Map'
A senior Iranian official on Thursday threatened to “wipe Tel Aviv and Haifa off the map” in the event of an Israeli attack on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear installations. General Mustafa Yazdi, the assistant chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, warned that “Iran will flatten Tel Aviv and Haifa if Israel perpetrates an attack on our country.” The Lebanese television station Al Mayadeen, which is affiliated with the Shi’ite Hezbollah movement, aired footage of the general’s remarks, which came on the heels of “the threats made by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.” This is not the first time that senior Iranian officials have threatened to “erase Tel Aviv.” Earlier this week, Mujtaba A-Nur, an adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said that Iran “will erase Tel Aviv in 10 minutes if Israel dares attack Iran.” BBC
VOA VIEW: Israel will not bend to threats.

Netanyahu 'Not Correct' On Iran Nuclear Talks - Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry has questioned the judgement of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu over his stance on Iran's nuclear programme. Mr Netanyahu has criticised the US and others for "giving up" on trying to stop Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. The Israeli PM "may not be correct", Mr Kerry said after attending the latest Iran nuclear talks in Geneva. Mr Netanyahu will address Congress next week, after an invitation by Republican leaders criticised by the White House. Mr Kerry was reacting to a speech in which Mr Netanyahu had said the US and others were "accepting that Iran will gradually, within a few years, develop capabilities to produce material for many nuclear weapons". BBC

'Gestapo' Tactics At US Police 'Black Site' Ring Alarm From Chicago To Washington
The US Department of Justice and embattled mayor Rahm Emanuel are under mounting pressure to investigate allegations of what one politician called “CIA or Gestapo tactics” at a secretive Chicago police facility exposed by the Guardian. Politicians and civil-rights groups across the US expressed shock upon hearing descriptions of off-the-books interrogation at Homan Square, the Chicago warehouse that multiple lawyers and one shackled-up protester likened to a US counter-terrorist black site in a Guardian investigation published this week. Guardian

Nigerian Election: Muhammadu Buhari Pledges To Defeat Boko Haram
The leading challenger for the Nigerian presidency, Muhammadu Buhari, has vowed to defeat Boko Haram insurgents in the north of the country by providing government forces with better equipment, more training and more accurate intelligence. Buhari, a former military leader, said if the government of President Goodluck Jonathan had deployed the same resources to fighting Boko Haram as it had to political ends, the army would have rescued the more than 270 schoolgirls abducted by the extremist movement in Chibok last April. Guardian

Good News! Kids Aren’t Dying As Much As They Used To
On a blog post at PLOS, the tropical disease expert Peter Hotez and postdoctoral fellow Jennifer Herricks take a run through the data on the biggest killers of children around the world in 2013, part of a new dataset from Global Burden of Disease study published in the January Lancet. The main one is malaria, which killed more than half a million kids in 2013, dwarfing the other causes of death—pneumonia killed about half as many, and whooping cough a tenth. Hotez and Herricks rightly point out that what’s interesting here is how many of these diseases are preventable with vaccinations. The fact that a technology exists, though, doesn’t always translate into it being deployed. Wired

Iraq: UNESCO Outraged Over Terrorist Attack Against Mosul Museum
UNESCO expresses outrage over terrorist attack against Mosul Museum The head of the United Nations agency mandated to protect heritage sites today said that she is “deeply shocked” by the footage depicting the destruction of statues and other artefacts at the Mosul Museum in Iraq. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General, Irina Bokova, condemned the “deliberate attack against Iraq’s millennial history and culture”, calling it an inflammatory incitement to violence and hatred. UN News

Ban Concerned By Reported Loss Of life In Venezuela As Government Forces, Protesters Clash
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced concern over new reports of violence and loss of life in Venezuela amid a Government clampdown of protests in the South American country. In a statement, Mr. Ban's spokesperson said the Secretary-General had taken note of the Government's “stated willingness” to undertake a full investigation into the incident. Media reports suggest that a 14-year old boy was shot by police forces during an anti-Government protest in the western city of San Cristóbal. UN News

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