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NEWS   SATURDAY, APRIL 18, 2015   NEWS

Hillary Hypocrisy? Why Her Fundraising Reform Pitch Is Drawing Flak
The hypocrisy police are jumping all over Hillary Clinton now that she is vowing to drive “unaccountable money” out of politics. Her critics scoff at the notion that this wealthy one-percenter, who will probably obliterate the record for presidential fundraising in the 2016 cycle, is positioning herself as a champion of campaign finance reform. But is that fair? Well, it’s hard to argue against the dark shadow of unregulated money when your family’s foundation is taking in all kinds of cash from foreign governments and other outfits that want to cozy up to a potential president and first spouse. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Money from foreign governments is clear bribery.

Fla. Gov. Suing Administration For Trying To 'Force Our State Further Into Obamacare'
“It is appalling that President Obama would cut off federal healthcare dollars to Florida in an effort to force our state further into Obamacare," a furious Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said Thursday as he announced that he plans to sue the Obama administration. "It's outrageous," Scott told Fox News Thursday night."The federal government started a program in our state in 2006. It's called the Low Income Pool. It's (health care) for low income families," Scott explained. "Now, what they are saying is they are not going to keep that program going unless the state expands Obamacare (Medicaid). So this, first off, is horrible." CNS News

Obama Says Bill On Iran Will Not Derail Negotiations, Will Sign It
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday he does not see proposed legislation in Congress derailing negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program, calling the bill allowing Congress to review any deal a "reasonable compromise" that he planned to sign. In a news conference at the White House, Obama said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator Bob Corker and the panel's top Democrat, Ben Cardin, have offered assurances that they would protect the bill from "poison pill" amendments that would be tilted toward trying to kill any deal with Iran. Reuters

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Freeze! Discover Rolls Out Credit Card With On/Off Switch
When your credit card is lost or stolen you want to shut it down right away to prevent fraudulent transactions. But what about all those times when you simply misplaced the card? Maybe you left it at the restaurant and don't want to head back there right away, or you're sure it's somewhere around the house - if only you could find it. In situations like this, it would be nice to turn off the card temporarily, rather than cancel it and deal with all the hassles that involves. That's what "Freeze It," the new security feature rolled out by Discover this week, enables its cardholders to do. MSNBC

Hillary’s Email Scandal Will ‘Haunt Her’
House Speaker John A. Boehner says former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton “ignored the law” in setting up a private email system and server as the nation’s top diplomat and that questions on the matter are “going to continue to haunt her until she comes clean.” “What’s she going to do for America? That’s the real question,” Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, told Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo when asked about Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 presidential candidacy. “It’s not about personalities. Washington Times

Google Search Shake-Up Favors Mobile-Friendly Sites
Google is about to change the way its influential search engine recommends websites on smartphones and tablets in a shift that's expected to sway where millions of people shop, eat and find information. The revised formula, scheduled to be released Tuesday, will favor websites that Google defines as "mobile-friendly." Websites that don't fit the description will be demoted in Google's search results on smartphones and tablets while those meeting the criteria will be more likely to appear at the top of the rankings - a prized position that can translate into more visitors and money. CBS

USDA Confirms Bird Flu At 5th South Dakota Turkey Farm
Five commercial turkey farms in South Dakota have now been infected with a bird flu strain that's led to the deaths of more than 250,000 turkeys in the state and over 2.4 million birds in the Midwest. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed the H5N2 strain of avian influenza in a flock of 66,000 birds in a Roberts County farm in the far northeastern corner of the state, which is South Dakota's largest outbreak to date. The approximately 6-mile quarantine zone that officials set up around the impacted farm also stretches into parts of North Dakota and Minnesota. Dr. Dustin Oedekoven, the South Dakota state veterinarian, said Thursday that crews were beginning to euthanize the farm's surviving birds to prevent the disease from spreading. ABC

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TSA Chief: We'll Work To Regain Trust After Denver Gropes
The director of the Transportation Security Administration expressed his disgust Thursday over an alleged plot by a male screener to grope attractive men at Denver's airport, and said the "egregiously inappropriate behavior" has damaged the reputation of the agency. In a blog post, acting administrator Melvin J. Carraway encouraged workers to blow the whistle on bad behavior, as was the case with the incident at Denver International Airport which was reported in November and resulted in the firing of two TSA employees. "The lone bright spot in this dark and disturbing behavior is that another employee saw what was going on and did not allow it to continue," Carraway said. He called the alleged acts a "blatant violation of public trust." MSNBC

‘Free Range’ Parents’ Rights Slam Up Against Child Abandonment Laws
Maryland parents who left their two children unsupervised in park have pushed the issue of parental rights into the national spotlight and sparked a firestorm of a debate over the degree to which the government should intervene in child-rearing practices. Practitioners of the “free range” philosophy of parenting, which emphasizes teaching children independence, Alexander and Danielle Meitiv felt they were well within their rights to allow their 6- and 10-year-old children to play alone in a neighborhood park on Sunday not far from their Silver Spring home. Police picked up the children and turned them over to Child Protective Services for a short time. Washington Times

Greek "Day Of Reckoning" Shakes Stock Markets
Renewed fears over Greece's potential exit from the eurozone, along with downbeat economic data out of China, sent equities to one of their biggest one-day losses of the year, down more than 300 points in afternoon trading. By day's end, the Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 280 points, or 1.5 percent, to close at 17,826. The Standard & Poor's 500 lost 24 points, or 1.1 percent, ending at 2,081. The Nasdaq fell 76 points, or 1.5 percent, to finish at 4,932. All 10 industry groups in the Standard & Poor's 500 fell. Friday's losses brought the Dow down by 1.3 percent for the week, while the S&P 500 lost 1 percent and the Nasdaq dropped 1.3 percent. CBS

Wal-Mart Said To Cut Management Layer To Streamline Stores
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is eliminating a layer of in-store management, part of efforts to simplify operations at the world’s largest retailer, people familiar with the decision said. The company will cut the role of zone manager and transfer the duties to other managers, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the move isn’t yet public. The change is meant to reduce bureaucracy and put more power in the hands of people running Wal-Mart’s 4,500 U.S. stores. Until now, employees in zone-manager positions -- generally about six workers per store -- had responsibility over several departments. One of them, for instance, might oversee the pharmacy, health and beauty-product sections. In recent years, Wal-Mart has had zone managers in addition to individual department managers. That’s now changing, the people said. Bloomberg

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Democrats Square Off Over Trade Negotiating Bill
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday a new trade agreement with Asia that is being negotiated would benefit not just America's businesses but also its workers, anticipating Democratic concerns the deal would cost U.S. jobs. Obama said during a news conference that some Democrats and labor unions would oppose the pact, while others "believe that we cannot stop a global economy at our shores." But he said previous trade agreements reached during his presidency did not divide the party. Congressional Democrats drew battle lines on Friday over a new bill that would give the White House "fast track" authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with 11 other Pacific Rim countries, with some vowing to block the massive trade pact. Reuters

Most Americans Think College Is Out Of Reach
Most Americans believe people who want to go to college can get in somewhere—they just don’t think they’d be able to afford it, according to a new Gallup-Lumina Foundation poll. While 61 percent of adults believe education beyond high school is available to anyone who needs it, only 21 percent agree that it’s affordable, according to the poll results, released on Thursday. Some racial groups were much more optimistic than others. Fifty-one percent of Hispanic adults said higher education is still affordable, Gallup found. Just 19 percent of black adults and 17 percent of white adults agreed. The results, based on a survey of 1,533 adults who were contacted from November through December 2014, show there’s a sizable gap between the share of Americans who believe people can merely access college and those who believe people can still afford it. Bloomberg

Federal Appeals Court To Take Up Obama’s Immigration Action
As demonstrators gathered Friday outside a New Orleans federal courthouse, appellate judges were preparing to consider whether to lift a temporary hold imposed by a federal judge in Texas on President Barack Obama's executive action seeking to shield millions of immigrants from deportation. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in a closely watched case that is holding up Obama's immigration action. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville granted a preliminary injunction on Feb. 16 at the request of 26 states that oppose Obama's action. Hanen's rulings have temporarily blocked the Obama administration from implementing the policies that would allow as many as 5 million people in the U.S. illegally to remain. Las Vegas Sun

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Explosion Outside US Consulate In Northern Iraq As Blasts Around Baghdad Kill 40
A car bomb exploded outside the U.S. Consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil Friday, and a series of bombings ravaged several areas around Baghdad, killing at least 40 people. A blast and gunfire was heard in central Irbil, a Reuters witness said, which is unusual in the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. “There was an explosion within the perimeter of the U.S. Consulate today, our protocol was activated and all personnel have been accounted for. There were no injuries to local guards or personnel,” State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said Friday. “Local authorities responded and are securing the area. We will work with the authorities to investigate the facts of the explosion,” Harf  told reporters at a briefing in Washington. Fox News

Missouri National Guard's Term For Ferguson Protesters: 'Enemy Forces'
As the Missouri National Guard prepared to deploy to help quell riots in Ferguson, Missouri, that raged sporadically last year, the guard used highly militarized words such as "enemy forces" and "adversaries" to refer to protesters, according to documents obtained by CNN. The guard came to Ferguson to support law enforcement officers, whom many community leaders and civil rights activists accused of using excessive force and inflaming an already tense situation in protests that flared sporadically from August through the end of the year. The National Guard's language, contained in internal mission briefings obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, is intensifying the concerns of some who objected to the police officers' actions in putting down riots. They broke out after the August 9 shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by city police officer Darren Wilson. A grand jury declined to indict Wilson in the case. CNN
VOA VIEW: The words used were factual and operative.

MIT Study Links Family Income, Test Scores, Brain Anatomy
It goes without saying that poor children aren't born less intelligent. But a long list of studies show children in low-income households consistently rank below their more well-off peers when it comes to standardized testing and other measures of academic achievement. A new study goes a step further, linking poverty to changes in the adolescent brain. When researchers at MIT scanned the brains of some 54 students, they found high-income students (in comparison with lower-income peers) have thicker cortex tissue in areas of the brain linked with visual perception and knowledge acquisition. These differences in brain structure were also linked with a dichotomy in standardized test scores. UPI

Walking Improves Health Outcomes For Prostate Cancer Survivors
Those who best prostate cancer don't come out of the battle unscathed. As is the case for most cancers, the treatment for prostate cancer can be taxing on a patient's health. But according to new research, something as simple as walking three hours per week can make a significant difference. Looking into which types of exercises proved most helpful to prostate cancer survivors, doctors at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine were able to tease out the relationship between walking and improved health outcomes. The data was taken from a massive study which looked at the health and behavior of 51,529 men in the health care industry. The survey was conducted by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and included data on respondents' exercise routines, diets, smoking habits, doctor visits and more. UPI

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Obama To Senate On Lynch Nomination: 'This Is Embarrassing'
President Barack Obama was animated Friday in blasting the Senate for stalling on the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the next attorney general. "There are times where the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far," Obama said during a joint White House press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. "This is an example of it." Lynch would be the first African American woman to lead the Justice Department. Obama nominated her on Nov. 8 and the delay in her confirmation is the longest since Ronald Reagan was in the White House. CNN
VOA VIEW: More embarrassing is the nominee.

Obama Admits That Unborn Babies Have Feet That Kick
In a speech yesterday about working families--while trying to explain why he thinks too many women face "being reprimanded or fired for taking too many bathroom breaks when you're pregnant"--President Obama let it slip that he knows unborn babies have feet that kick. "Too many women face unnecessary difficulties on the job, like the difficulty of being paid less than a man for doing the same work," said Obama. "That’s a difficulty. Or being reprimanded or fired for taking too many bathroom breaks when you’re pregnant. Clearly that’s a man making that decision because they don’t have five pounds of kicks pressing down on their bladder. CNS News

The Globe’s Record Heat Keeps On Broiling Into This Year
There's been no break from the globe's record heat — the first three months of 2015 have set new high temperature marks. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last month's average temperature of 56.4 degrees (13.6 degrees Celsius) was the hottest March on record, averaging 1.5 degrees above the average for the 20th century. It broke a record set in 2010. For the first three months of 2015, the globe was 55.6 degrees (13.1 degrees Celsius), breaking the record set in 2002. Records go back to 1880. NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden said 2015 probably will break 2014's hottest year mark if conditions persist. She blames a combination of El Nino, a blob of record hot water in the Northeast Pacific Ocean and human-caused climate change. Las Vegas Sun

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'No Lifting Of Sanctions Until Iran Abides By Nuclear Deal'
Former secretary of state James Baker called on the Obama administration to hold firm on sanctions against Iran until verifiable mechanisms are in place to ensure the Islamic Republic’s compliance of any nuclear deal. Writing an opinion piece for the Friday edition of The Wall Street Journal, the former top diplomat in the George H.W. Bush administration said that while he commended the current president’s efforts to solve a thorny issue without resorting to military force, he cautioned that Washington must rally its P5+1 allies to demonstrate steadfastness, particularly in light of Iran’s poor track record in adhering to international commitments. Jerusalem Post

'US-Saudi Aggression In Yemen Will Fail Just Like Israel Did In Lebanon,' Nasrallah Says
Hassan Nasrallah, the chieftain of the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite movement Hezbollah, addressed a crowd of supporters in southern Beirut on Friday, denouncing “the Saudi-American aggression” in Yemen. The speech, which was given under the banner of “Solidarity with Yemen,” was intended “to voice our condemnation and rejection of the Saudi-American aggression against Yemen and its people and at expressing our support for this noble people,” the secretary-general remarked. His comments were reported by the Lebanese news site Naharnet. Nasrallah said that the outcome of the Saudi campaign will be akin to that of the Second Lebanon War, the month-long conflagration that was triggered after Hezbollah guerillas launched a cross-border raid against IDF troops in the summer of 2006. Jerusalem Post

Saddam Aide Izzat Ibrahim Al-Douri 'Killed' In Iraq
Fugitive Iraqi militant leader Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, who was right-hand man to Iraq's ex-leader Saddam Hussein, has been killed, Iraqi officials say. They say he died in fighting in Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad. His supporters have denied the claim. Douri, 72, led the Naqshbandi Order insurgent group, a key force behind the recent rise of Islamic State (IS). He was deputy to Saddam Hussein, who was ousted when US-led forces invaded Iraq in 2003 and executed in 2006. Douri was regarded as the most high-profile official of Saddam Hussein's Baath party to successfully evade capture after the invasion, and had a large bounty on his head for years. BBC

No Pools, Concerts Or Lingerie On State Aid, Kansas Says
The US state of Kansas has tightened its rules on how welfare recipients can spend their aid, banning the purchase of concert tickets, lingerie and dozens of other leisure items. US Governor Sam Brownback signed the law on Thursday, saying it would encourage people to get back to work. Other states prevent welfare recipients from buying alcohol and cigarettes with government aid. But the revised Kansas list appears to be the most extensive in the US. Senate Minority Leader Democrat Anthony Hensley called it "a punitive and highly judgmental piece of legislation" while national commentators such as The Daily Show's Jon Stewart have ridiculed the law. BBC

New Orleans Court Considers Lifting Hold On Obama Immigration Action
An appeals court on Friday considered the Obama administration’s plea to lift a hold on its executive action on immigration, which was imposed by a federal judge in February. Lawyers argued before a three-judge panel from the US fifth circuit court of appeals in New Leans for more than two hours, with the judges’ questions focusing on the rights of a single state to reject federal immigration policy. The panel has taken the case under advisement and has not ruled. A coalition of 26 states, led by Texas, filed suit against the federal government over the order, which could help up to 5 million undocumented immigrants stay and work in the US. Federal judge Andrew Hanen halted the order in February, as he considered the lawsuit. Last week, he denied the Obama administration’s request for a stay on that decision. Guardian

Cuba's Love For Obama Swells: Bay Of Pigs Veterans Reflect On The 'Inconceivable'
As he has done every April for the past 53 years, Percy Gómez Darna will mark Sunday’s anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion by remembering his fallen comrades and celebrating what is known in Cuba as the first great Latin American victory over “US imperialism”. The retired militiaman, who led a mortar brigade during the three-day conflict from 17 to 19 April 1961, has been fighting the United States ever since – both as a soldier and a fiery critic of Washington’s policy in the region. But when Gómez and his fellow veterans gather for the usual commemorative activities this weekend, there will be an unusual note of optimism – and even amiability – in their speeches and reflections on the current resident of the White House. Guardian

Last Mile Of Ebola Struggle 'May Be Most Difficult,' Ban Says In Washington
While there has been important progress over recent months, the Ebola epidemic remains a pressing challenge, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, stressing that on the road to eradicating the scourge the “last mile” may be the toughest. “Our Marathon effort has been a success,” Mr. Ban told a special high-level event on Ebola convened as part of the World Bank's annual spring meetings in Washington, D.C. However, “too many lives have been lost. Families, communities and nations have been devastated,” he said. “When we reach zero cases, we must maintain our response capacity for at least a year.” UN News

Public, Private Sectors Essential For Progress On Climate Change
United Nations Secretary-General, in his remarks to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting on climate change in Washington D.C., said that collaboration and bold leadership from both the private and public sectors is needed to progress on climate change at this “enormous opportunity to chart a new path.”
“This year's annual Spring meetings come at a critical moment. 2015 is our year to set the world on course to a more sustainable future for generations to come,” Ban Ki-moon said as he commended the leadership of both World Bank and IMF for organizing the conference. “I welcome leaders from the public and corporate sectors,” the UN chief added. UN News

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