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WHERE AMERICA SPEAKS OUT

     This web site has some very useful features, such as news, weather and other informational sources. There is full daily news featured below this introduction. Robert Namer gives his views on the news under the title "VOA VIEW" below most news stories. Yes, Robert Namer is the Voice of America. You should visit the "News Archives" section above for the daily news going as far back as February, 2000. Namer’s thoughts and position on issues are outlined in the above "Commentary" section for daily commentaries going as far back as July, 1998.

Older News Archivescom0116
NEWS     MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2014     NEWS

EARLY EDITION

Feinstein: Obama Maybe ‘Too Cautious’ On Islamic State
The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Sunday that President Obama is notably cautious — “maybe, in this instance, too cautious” — but insisted the U.S. and its allies will coalesce behind a plan to beat back the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria before their well-funded sources take Baghdad. Mr. Obama raised eyebrows last week when he admitted that the U.S. does not have a strategy yet to defeat the movement. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Cautious is not the right word - weak is more suitable.

Obama’s Inertia On Syria-Islamic State Part Of Foreign Policy Plan Empowering Rivals
Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Sunday that President Obama’s inertia on whether to launch airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria is part of an overall foreign policy failure that is empowering China, North Korea, Russia and other rival nations. “It’s all related,” Rogers, R-Mich., told “Fox News Sunday." “The world sees the United States as withdrawn.” Rogers said the president’s apparent disengagement or slow response is the reason China has engaged U.S. pilots and Russian President Vladimir Putin has moved into eastern Ukraine without fear of consequence. Fox News

From NY To Texas, KKK Recruits With Candies And Fliers
Carlos Enrique Londoño laughs at the Ku Klux Klan recruitment flier recently left on the driveway of his suburban New York home. It's unlikely the group would accept him. "I'm Colombian and dark-skinned," said Londoño, a painter and construction worker who has lived in Hampton Bays on Long Island for 30 years. The flier was tucked into a plastic bag along with a membership application, the address for the KKK national office in North Carolina, a list of beliefs and three Jolly Rancher candies. CNN

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US Trained Alaskans As Secret 'Stay-Behind Agents'
Fearing a Russian invasion and occupation of Alaska, the U.S. government in the early Cold War years recruited and trained fishermen, bush pilots, trappers and other private citizens across Alaska for a covert network to feed wartime intelligence to the military, newly declassified Air Force and FBI documents show. Invasion of Alaska? Yes. It seemed like a real possibility in 1950. "The military believes that it would be an airborne invasion involving bombing and the dropping of paratroopers," one FBI memo said. The most likely targets were thought to be Nome, Fairbanks, Anchorage and Seward. Fox News

Exercise And Nutrition Needs For People With Schizophrenia
If you’re a caregiver for someone with schizophrenia, you do all you can to help your loved one manage the illness. Perhaps you regularly talk with doctors and therapists, spend time driving to appointments, and carefully watch for symptoms. These steps are vital to the well-being of your loved one. But don’t forget to focus on his or her overall health, too. It’s important to help your loved one live a healthy lifestyle. Why? People with schizophrenia have a much shorter life expectancy than others. But that’s not mainly due to schizophrenia itself. The majority of people with schizophrenia develop life-threatening health concerns, like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, that can be prevented. People who have severe medical illnesses are known to have a reduced quality of life. CNN

U.S., Foreign Fighters In Syria Pose 'Very Serious Threat' To U.S.
Hundreds of U.S., British and Canadian citizens who have trained with Islamic State fighters trying to carve out their own state in Iraq and Syria pose a "very serious threat" to the United States, a top Republican lawmaker said Sunday. Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, urged the Obama administration to aggressively prosecute U.S. citizens who had trained overseas as it weighed options for how to respond to escalating violence by Islamic State militants in Iraq. He said an attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels in May had shown a new push by extremist groups to carry out attacks on Western targets, and growing efforts to recruit backers on social media. Reuters

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Lawmakers, Advocates Scramble As Obama Slows Immigration Timeline
Across the nation, lawmakers and activists were bracing for the White House to announce unilateral action on immigration enforcement by the end of the the summer. But a recent suggestion by President Obama that the timing might have been pushed back is forcing a last-minute scramble to rethink strategy -- just two months before the midterm elections. Democrats who were either cheering the moves or bracing for campaign blowback must rethink re-election strategy. And Republicans who had hinted at a budget brawl tied to immigration must take a look at their legislative strategy ahead of the midterms. CBS

Richard Clarke Calls Obama ‘Wrong’ On World’s Dangers
President Obama is “wrong” to downplay the dangers facing the United States, longtime counterterrorism official and ABC News contributor Richard Clarke said in response to the president’s attempts to calm concern over the escalating threat from ISIS and turmoil in the Middle East. Obama told an audience at a Democratic fundraiser in New York Friday that the “world has always been messy” but added, “I promise you things are much less dangerous now than they were 20 years ago, 25 years ago or 30 years ago.” Clarke, appearing this morning on “This Week,” said simply, “I think he’s wrong.” ABC
VOA VIEW: In an attempt to bolster his standing, Obama bolstered his ignorance.

Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On IPhone Wallet
Apple Inc. (AAPL) plans to turn its next iPhone into a mobile wallet through a partnership with major payment networks, banks and retailers, according a person familiar with the situation. The agreement includes Visa Inc. (V), MasterCard Inc. (MA) and American Express Co. (AXP) and will be unveiled on Sept. 9 along with the next iPhone, said the person who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The new iPhone will make mobile payment easier by including a near-field communication chip for the first time, the person said. That advancement along with Touch ID, a fingerprint recognition reader that debuted on the most-recent iPhone, will enable consumers to securely pay for items in a store with the touch of a finger. Bloomberg

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America's National Parks: Popular, Scenic And Sometimes Deadly
“As the economy has gotten more robust, we’re seeing an increase in visitation,” said Ken Phillips, branch chief of search and rescue for the National Park Service. “Any time visitation goes up, we see emergency situations go up.” National parks received 273.6 million total visits in 2013, down 3 percent over the previous year largely due to the government shutdown, which forced national parks to close for the first 16 days of October. But many parks have seen a record number of visitors in recent years, including Yellowstone National Park, which hit an all-time high of 3.6 million visitors in 2010, and Glacier National Park, which saw a monthly record of nearly 700,000 visitors in July. MSNBC

White House Responds To Tahmooressi Petition
The White House has responded to a popular petition that demands the release of U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi from a Mexican prison, explaining that the Obama administration respects the rule of law and will continue to monitor the situation to make sure the soldier is treated fairly. More than 134,000 people signed a petition on the White House’s “We the People” website asking the president to demand the release of Sgt. Tahmooressi, who was imprisoned nearly five months ago for illegally crossing from California into Mexico with three firearms in his truck. Washington Times

Spending Your Vacation Days Is Good For America
Happy Labor Day! In tribute to the tireless American workers whom this day honors, I hope you're working hard at doing nothing. And I don't mean that ironically: Taking a holiday makes us better at our jobs. It gives us a chance to unplug and reboot (and other technological metaphors that didn't exist when Labor Day was made a national holiday 120 years ago). However, the average American worker leaves four vacation days unused, according to Expedia. In the past year, collectively, Americans chose not to take more than 500 million available days off from work. CBS

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Aftershock Hits California's Napa Valley
California's Napa Valley, the site of a strong and damaging earthquake a week ago, was shaken by a small aftershock early on Sunday. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, measuring magnitude 3.2, occurred five miles southwest of Napa. There were no immediate reports of damage. It was one of many aftershocks that have occurred since Aug. 24 when a magnitude 6.0 quake struck, the biggest to hit California's Bay Area in 25 years, injuring more than 200 people and damaging dozens of buildings. Grape-harvesting season is getting under way in Napa County, where thousands of people are employed in wine production. Reuters

The People And Politics Behind Sen. Harry Reid’s Clean Energy Summit 7.0
As a young man, Harry Reid discovered a desert oasis not far from his Searchlight home, across the border in Fort Piute, Calif. Water poured out of craggy, volcanic rock. Lily pads and cattails grew. “It was a freak of nature,” Reid said. The site looked markedly different when Reid returned from college to visit. Humans had trashed it. “That’s where I became an environmentalist,” he said. Reid will put his environmentalism — and power — on display Thursday when he welcomes energy and political elites to Las Vegas for the Clean Energy Summit 7.0 at Mandalay Bay. Las Vegas Sun

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Who's Getting A Raise? Minimum Wage Hikes Gain Steam In States, Cities
As Americans take a break this Labor Day, workers in many U.S. states and cities are looking forward to getting more money in their paychecks. Even as Congressional proposals to raise the federal hourly minimum wage to $10.10 stalled earlier this year, the push to boost pay for the nation's lowest-paid workers continues to gain steam across the country. A growing number of state and local governments are responding to pressure from workers to raise the wage floor. So far, 13 states and 10 county and city governments have increased their minimum wages during 2013 and 2014. In June, Seattle raised its minimum wage to reach $15 an hour by 2018, the highest in the country, more than twice the current $7.25 federal minimum. Of the 10 states that raised their minimum wage this year, Connecticut, Maryland, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Vermont set the floor at $10.10 an hour or more. MSNBC

Iraqi Forces Free Besieged Shiite Town After U.S. Strikes
Iraqi forces entered the town of Amirli, breaking a siege imposed by Islamic State militants that lasted for more than two months, a senior Shiite-Muslim cleric said.
“People are celebrating the arrival of the forces by firing in the air,” Sheikh Jaafar Jasim, representative of Iraq’s top Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani, said by phone from Amirli, 182 kilometers (114 miles) north of Baghdad. Seven Iraqi government troops and two members of the Kurdish forces known as the peshmerga were killed in the attack, according to the health office in the northern city of Kirkuk. The offensive to free the town was preceded by U.S. airstrikes at Islamic State positions. U.S., U.K., Australian and as well Iraqi forces also dropped aid to the residents of the Shiite-dominated town. Bloomberg

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Islamic State Siege Of Amerli, Iraq, Broken
After a two-month siege by Islamic State militants, the town of Amerli, Iraq, received some relief as the Iraqi military entered the town and the United States carried out airstrikes nearby. IS fighters had surrounded the town of about 17,000 ethnic Turkmen Shiites, leaving the residents without power, food, water and other supplies. The Sunni militants, also known as ISIS or ISIL, had taken control of strategic locations throughout Iraq and Syria, including several villages surrounding Amerli. UPI

Israel Shoots Down Drone From Syria
he Israeli air force shot down an unmanned drone that crossed into Israeli airspace over the northern border with Syria on Sunday, Israeli military officials said.
Israel Defense Forces used a Patriot surface-to-air missile to shoot down the drone, which came across the border from the Quneitra region in Syria. "The IDF will not tolerate a breach of the state of Israel's sovereignty," the army said. UPI News

IDF Expands State Land In West Bank By 4,000 Dunams
The IDF on Sunday conferred the status of state land on 4,000 dunams in the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank, thereby ending the civil administration’s investigation into the possibility that parcels were private Palestinian property. The new designation for an area known as Gevaot, opens the door for settlers to advance plans to build a fifth city in the West Bank on those dunams. There is a 45-period for objections to be raised. The land had previously been listed as survey land, a designation that prevented settlers and the army from moving building plans through the planning system. Jerusalem Post

Netanyahu Hints He Will Agree To Convene Regional Peace Conference
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu indicated that he will accept a request to hold a regional diplomatic conference of Israel and moderate Arab states in an effort to bring about Middle East peace, Finance Minister Yair Lapid said Sunday at a press conference in English organized by the Government Press Office. Netanyahu was part of the Israeli delegation to a similar conference in Madrid in 1991 when he was deputy foreign minister. “I discussed it with the prime minister and brought it up at the cabinet meeting and there was a general feeling that this is a good idea,” Lapid said, answering a question from The Jerusalem Post. “The prime minister was positive about the conference and I am optimistic about advancing the idea.” Jerusalem Post

UK Businesses 'Want New EU Deal', Says Lobby Group
Most British businesses want the UK to renegotiate its relationship with the EU, according to a British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) survey. The lobby group said 60% of the 3,200 firms polled believed bringing some powers home would help the UK economy. However, most wanted to stay in the EU - with a majority saying leaving would damage UK business prospects. The European Council's new president has pledged to reach a deal with the UK on EU reform. BBC

Vladimir Putin Calls On Kiev To Enter 'Statehood' Talks For South-East Ukraine
Vladimir Putin has called on Kiev to enter discussions on "statehood" for the south-east regions of Ukraine a day after the EU gave Russia a week to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine or face further sanctions. In excerpts of an interview with state television due to be broadcast on Sunday evening, the Russian president said talks between Ukrainian authorities and separatist leaders in the east should begin immediately and be about "not just technical issues but on the political organisation of society and statehood in south-eastern Ukraine". Guardain
VOA VIEW: Like Hitler, Putin is taking over territory.

Israel Estimates Cost Of Gaza Conflict At £1.5bn
Israel has been presented with a hefty bill for 50 days of war in Gaza, as the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, moved to slash government spending by 2% this year to offset the $2.52 bn (£1.51bn) cost of the conflict. With only the Israeli military and domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet exempt from the sharp spending reductions, the area to be hit hardest emerged as the Israeli education system, with critics – including members of Netanyahu's cabinet – predicting that the poorest Israelis will feel the brunt of the cuts. Among those protesting was the welfare minister, Meir Cohen, who insisted there was no more fat in his budget to trim. Guardian

Protesters Mobilise For Confrontation As China Rules Out Full Democracy For Hong Kong
Pro-democracy campaigners have vowed to blockade Hong Kong’s financial district and launch a major campaign of civil disobedience after Beijing rejected calls for an open election for the former colony’s next leader. Hundreds of protestors gathered outside government headquarters on Sunday evening after China unveiled its long-awaited framework for plans to introduce universal suffrage for the 2017 election of Hong Kong’s chief executive. Under that framework – which opponents immediately rejected as “fake” democracy – each candidate would need approval from more than fifty percent of a “broadly representative” nominating committee before their names were put on a ballot. Telegraph

Robert Mugabe Says He Prefers Chinese Aid Because Beijing Does Not Force Him To Accept Homosexuality
Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe told a Chinese TV interviewer that he resents Western international aid because it always depends on conditions such as accepting homosexuality. Ahead of his return to Harare from a visit to China, Mr Mugabe – who is not known for his liberal attitudes towards Africa's gay and lesbian community – praised Beijing for being "very constructive" in its assistance towards Zimbabwe. "Whereas Europe and America, when they give little funding assistance to countries they always attach conditions," he said. "And that is our objection." Telegraph

SAMOA:  Tsunami-Hit Community Honours Ban With 'Chief' Title
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was on Sunday given the title of 'Tupua' or 'chief' in south-eastern Samoa by villagers whose homes had been struck by a tsunami nearly five years ago. Wearing traditional 'siapo lavalava' around his waist and a beaded 'palefuiono' with feathers on his head, the Secretary-General sat across from Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi in a roofed social centre in Siupapa, a sub-village of Saleapaga. UN News

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