US Secretary Rice responds to European enquiries on alleged CIA prisons

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US Secretary Rice responds to European enquiries on alleged CIA prisons
by YuA7sh8g ~ August 25th, 2019

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

The United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has begun to address concerns raised by the EU, the Council of Europe, and several member countries about the CIA’s detention practices upon her arrival in Germany for a European tour that began Tuesday.

“As a matter of US policy, the United States’ obligations under the U.N. Convention Against Torture, which prohibits, of course, cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment, those obligations extend to US personnel wherever they are, whether they are in the United States or outside the United States,” said Rice, speaking from the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on Wednesday.

Media reports and Human Rights groups have alleged that the CIA transported renditioned prisoners through European countries, which could violate European laws and the sovereignty of countries involved. Secretary Rice claimed that the United States has respected the sovereignty of other countries, and that it has not transported detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture, and has not transported anyone to a country when we believe he will be tortured.

“We consider the captured members of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates to be unlawful combatants who may be held, in accordance with the law of war, to keep them from killing innocents. We must treat them in accordance with our laws, which reflect the values of the American people. We must question them to gather potentially significant, life-saving, intelligence. We must bring terrorists to justice wherever possible,” Rice told reporters before she left from Andrews Air Force base on Monday.

Rice said that European nations should realize that interrogations of terrorist suspects have produced information that has saved European lives. However, Secretary Rice provided no specific cases.

“Secretary Rice made extra-legal rendition sound like just another form of extradition. In fact, it’s a form of kidnapping and ‘disappearing’ someone entirely outside the law,” said Tom Malinowski, a Human Rights Watch official in Washington.

The CIA practice known as “extraordinary rendition” is used to interrogate terrorist suspects outside the U.S., where they are not subject to American legal protection.

“Kidnapping a foreign national for the purpose of detaining and interrogating him outside the law is contrary to American values,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on the Khalid El-Masri case. “Our government has acted as if it is above the law. We go to court today to reaffirm that the rule of law is central to our identity as a nation.”

The ACLU feels the government has to be held to account over “extraordinary rendition”.

Man charged with attempted murder in £40 million London jewel heist

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Man charged with attempted murder in £40 million London jewel heist
by YuA7sh8g ~ August 24th, 2019

Sunday, September 6, 2009

24-year-old Aman Kassaye, of no fixed abode, is to face a charge of attempted murder for his alleged role in an armed robbery that netted £40 million ($65 million) worth of jewelry from a London store.

Kassaye is the seventh man to be charged, and is also facing prosecution for conspiracy to rob the Graff store in New Bond Street, false imprisonment, and using a handgun to resist arrest. He will appear at Wimbledon magistrates court on Monday.

The other six men have already been remanded in custody until October 23, when they will appear at Kingston Crown Court. All are facing charges of conspiracy to rob, and two of them are also charged with a firearms offense.

43 diamond rings, watches, and bracelets were taken from the store. The theft occurred when two armed and suited men walked in and took an employee hostage. It has been reported they used prosthetic masks made from liquid latex but police have not confirmed this. Amateur footage also shows a shot was fired. No-one was injured.

The robbery is one of the biggest the United Kingdom has seen. After the crime a string of getaway vehicles was used, with police believing several more offenders assisted with this stage of the plan. Although The Telegraph claims no stolen property has yet been recovered, this is also unconfirmed by police.

US bank Goldman Sachs accused of fraud

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US bank Goldman Sachs accused of fraud
by YuA7sh8g ~ August 24th, 2019

Saturday, April 17, 2010

US bank Goldman Sachs has been accused of fraud by the American regulator Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Goldman Sachs arranged a transaction at Paulson’s request in which Paulson heavily influenced the selection of the portfolio to suit its economic interests

According to the SEC, Goldman Sachs failed to inform investors of a conflict of interest in the banks’ marketing of sub-prime mortgage investments, which were being sold at a time of uncertainty in the US housing market. The SEC says that a Goldman subsidiary, Paulson & Co, had been involved in the selection of securities included in the mortgage investments. It had not been disclosed to investors that Paulson had bet that the value of the investments would fall, benefiting Paulson but not those who bought the investments.

The securities, which were combined into a package called Abacus that was sold to investors, lost over $1 billion during the collapse of the US housing industry. According to the SEC, Goldman, Paulson, and the creator of Abacus, a vice-president of Goldman Sachs named Fabrice Tourre, all knew that the housing market was going to collapse, but continued to sell Abacus despite the risks.

Tourre had been in command of selecting the investments within Abacus, and then was the person responsible for selling it to investors. He had told those who invested in Abacus that its components had been selected by an independent party, ACA Management.

In all, 99% of the investments within Abacus were downgraded, and investors lost upwards of a billion US dollars.

The SEC alleged that “Goldman Sachs arranged a transaction at Paulson’s request in which Paulson heavily influenced the selection of the portfolio to suit its economic interests.” In a short response from Goldman, the bank said that “The SEC’s charges are completely unfounded in law and fact and we will vigorously contest them and defend the firm and its reputation.”

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Dale Ogden, 2010 California gubernatorial candidate, talks with Wikinews

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Dale Ogden, 2010 California gubernatorial candidate, talks with Wikinews
by YuA7sh8g ~ August 24th, 2019

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dale Ogden, a 2010 California gubernatorial candidate, talks with Wikinews reporter Mike Morales about his platform.

Ogden is a member of the United States’ Libertarian Party.

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Tips For Your Next Home Remodel

by YuA7sh8g ~ August 23rd, 2019

byadmin

Are you thinking about remodeling your home? Or maybe you enjoy planning out your home remodeling in Tampa Bay for when the kids leave the nest. Whatever planning stage you’re in, if you’ve never completed a home remodel before it can be overwhelming. If you follow these helpful tips, your dream remodel may become a reality sooner than you think.

Research Contractors

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The first step you should make is to research contractors to be sure you find the right one for your needs. Ask around to see if anyone has recommendations, see if they’re a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and check your local listings for companies. To help you narrow down your choices, ask them for references, if you can visit one of their job sites and for a portfolio of their completed work. A reputable contractor should have no problem providing you this information.

Make Plans

Once you’ve chosen the right contractor for your home remodeling in Tampa Bay, sit down together and talk about the big picture. Give them a list of your wants and needs for the project and draw up a plan. It will be easier if you provide clear, concise communication early on to avoid any costly mistakes later on.

Draw up a Contract

Whenever you hire a company to do work around your home, it’s a good idea to have a written contract for the work. That way, if anything goes wrong or they don’t complete the job as asked, you have written proof of the work you requested so they can make it right.

Maintain Communication

Maintaining communication throughout the process is necessary for a successful home remodel. Keep in touch with the contractors to see how the project is coming and if they have any questions that will help the project move along efficiently.

By following these helpful tips, your home remodeling in Tampa Bay should move smoothly from start to finish.

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Wikinews interviews Jim Babka, chair of Libertarian organization Downsize DC

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Wikinews interviews Jim Babka, chair of Libertarian organization Downsize DC
by YuA7sh8g ~ August 20th, 2019

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A reporter from Wikinews recently interviewed Jim Babka, chair of Libertarian organization Downsize DC. The organization claims to have arranged for 22,158 people to send a message regarding the “American Freedom Agenda Act” proposed by Ron Paul, in addition to supporting many other laws. The full text of the interview can be found below.

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Mortgage Problems And The Myth Of Foreclosure Help

by YuA7sh8g ~ August 18th, 2019

By Charles Essmeier

For a number of reasons, the rate of home foreclosures is rising in the United States. In fact, the rate is up some 70% over a year ago. Part of this is due to rising interest rates that are making payments unaffordable to homeowners who bought their homes three or four years ago with adjustable rate mortgages. Many of these mortgages were set to adjust after three years, and the resulting increases in payments have left the homes unaffordable for their owners. With little recourse, thousands of owners have had to walk away from their homes. This unfortunate situation may be avoidable in some cases, particularly if the owners discuss their troubles with their lenders. Instead, many owners have answered ads posted by companies offering “foreclosure help”, hoping to find a way to keep their houses despite their financial troubles. In many cases, the owners not only fail to get the help they need, but they often end up literally giving their houses away to the companies they thought would help them keep them.

The scam is a common one that takes advantage of people in desperate situations. Mortgage companies that intend to foreclose on delinquent customers file notice with the counties in which the homeowner resides. The county posts those notices and investors make note of the addresses. With a bit of research, they determine the value of the property and the amount owed on the mortgage. The investors seek properties with large amounts of equity. They then approach the owner with an offer to “help” them with their financial troubles. The offers vary, but the deal usually involves an offer to make good on the delinquent amounts while renting the home back to the owner for a set period of time. At the conclusion of that time period, the investors say they will offer the owner-turned-tenant the opportunity to repay and take their home back. For desperate homeowners who want to keep their houses, these offers seem like a Godsend.

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Unfortunately, the deals rarely work out to the benefit of the owner. More often than not the paperwork provided with the offer includes a quitclaim deed, which, once signed by the owner, essentially gives the property to the investor. The investor, now the owner of the property, then demands an unreasonable amount of rent from the owner-turned-tenant. When he or she cannot pay, the investor evicts the tenant and sells the house, pocketing the profits. In some cases, investors have pocketed several hundred thousand dollars from a single property, all for the minimum investment of a few months’ of delinquent mortgage payments. The former owner is left with nothing.

Some states, such as Minnesota, have passed laws that severely restrict this practice, but others, such as Florida, have so far been unable to overcome large opposition from business interests. In the states with few restrictions, flyers offering foreclosure help can be found on telephone poles in just about every city. Unfortunately for homeowners who have financial trouble, the last thing they will receive if they respond to these flyers is help. Homeowners who are in financial trouble should call their lender first. The last thing lenders want to do is foreclose, so buyers would be better off calling their lender rather than trusting their home to a stranger who advertises on telephone poles.

About the Author: Copyright 2006 by Retro Marketing. Charles Essmeier is the owner of Retro Marketing, a firm devoted to informational Websites, including

HomeEquityHelp.net

, a site devoted to information regarding home equity loans, mortgages and lines of credit.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=60157&ca=Finances

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Dog laws strengthened in Virginia county

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Dog laws strengthened in Virginia county
by YuA7sh8g ~ August 18th, 2019

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Amid publicity that arose from deaths and injuries due to dog attacks in the region, the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to impose tougher penalties on dog owners who let their dogs run free. After a public hearing Tuesday evening, the board voted for a new animal control ordinance. Now dog owners who are repeat offenders face a misdemeanor crime of $2,500 or up to a year in jail.

Dogs that repeatedly chase cars and run free, or otherwise trespass on property, could be euthanized if so ordered by a judge. A dog that is “roaming, running or self-hunting off the property or premises of its owner or custodian and not under the immediate control of the owner or custodian or his agent,” meets the county’s legal definition of a dog running at large.

The mauling death of an elderly woman by 3 Pit Bulls in her front yard sparked a public debate on animal control. At the hearing, State Senator Edward Houke said he would raise dog law issues in the January meeting of the Virginia General Assembly. According to The Free Lance Star, Houke said, “It’s pretty obvious to me that the state law needs to be changed, but saying that and it happening, is two completely different phenomena. If there’s one thing you learn quickly it’s that you don’t bring dog bills to the Virginia General Assembly.”

The Sullivan daughters, who lost their mother in the mauling attack, circulated petitions in the county and also attended the hearing. Board chairman Robert Hagan noted the Sullivan family presence and thanked them for their efforts to prevent more tragedies.

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Cambodian lawmaker calls for ASEAN website to be blocked over missing land

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Cambodian lawmaker calls for ASEAN website to be blocked over missing land
by YuA7sh8g ~ August 18th, 2019

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Thirty-five square kilometers, or 13.5135755 square miles, or 3,500 hectares or 8,648.68835 acres.

However you figure it, it’s a sizeable chunk of land.

And it’s missing from Cambodia on the website for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, a 10-member regional body of which Cambodia is a member.

The apparent rounding down of Cambodia’s territory, 181,035 square kilometers, on the ASEAN website, has some Cambodian lawmakers up in arms.

Parliamentarian Keo Remy, a member of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, is calling for the ASEAN website to be blocked by Cambodia’s Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications if the number is not corrected.

“We know that Cambodia has border disputes with its neighbors, and Khmer citizens are paying attention on these issues. We cannot accept such incorrect points. The most important thing is that the government should close this web site,” Keo was quoted as saying by the Khmer-language daily newspaper Kampuchea Thmey.

Though Keo acknowledged the error could be an honest, if careless, mistake, he said it could mean something more sinister – that ASEAN is trying to undermine Cambodia’s sovereignty, and that perhaps ASEAN is working for neighboring nations. It could even be treasonous, he said.

“If it was intentional and perpetrated by a Cambodian, this is treason. It is like not knowing your own parents,” Keo was quoted as saying by Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

Other lawmakers also called on the Cambodian government to take action.

“The royal government must react urgently, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,” Monh Saphan, a Funcinpec parliamentarian was quoted as saying by Kampuchea Thmey. “The website [must] be corrected, because it affects the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia.”

And non-governmental organization leaders weighed in.

“The state’s figure is more important and appropriate than figures of other organizations. Therefore, we should urge the government to check this issue,” Seng Theary, executive director of the Center for Social Development, told Kampucha Thmey. “We also wonder where ASEAN got this figure.”

Kek Galabru, president of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, said that incorrect figure is most likely a mistake, but said the government should investigate it. “Otherwise a small problem might turn into a bigger issue,” she said.

Government spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said he would investigate, and called for cooler heads in the meantime.

Border disputes are a hot-button political issue in Cambodia, which has some long-standing unresolved boundary conflicts with neighbors Thailand and Vietnam.

Cambodia joined ASEAN in 1999, the last country to gain admittance to the regional geo-political and economic body for Southeast Asia. It was founded in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Other members are Brunei, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

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Governor of Illinois arrested on suspicion of corruption

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Governor of Illinois arrested on suspicion of corruption
by YuA7sh8g ~ August 11th, 2019

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Democratic governor of Illinois in the United States, Rod Blagojevich, 51, along with his chief of staff John Harris, 46, were arrested Tuesday morning by the FBI on federal corruption charges.

The Chicago Tribune reports that federal agents raided Blagojevich’s home this morning and took him into federal custody. The arrest comes after a three-year investigation into Blagojevich’s “pay-to-play politics.”

Specifically, the Department of Justice alleged that Blagojevich attempted to sell the Senate seat previously held by President-elect Barack Obama. Blagojevich, as governor, has the sole authority to appoint someone to complete Obama’s term. Authorities believe the process to select a new senator was tainted after authorities secretly recorded several of Blagojevich’s conversations. They believe that he was attempting to sell the seat in exchange for financial benefit for himself and his wife.

Documents from the FBI and from U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald identify the people whom Blagojevich was considering as Senate Candidates 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. According to Fitzgerald’s press release, Blagojevich told an advisor that he wanted to “get some (money) up front, maybe.”

In Illinois, a new state ethics law will take effect on January 1, 2009, so Blagojevich was trying to embezzle as much money as he could before that date, said Fitzgerald.

Authorities also believe that Blagojevich was trying to withhold state financial assistance from the owner of the Tribune, the Tribune Company, which recently filed for bankruptcy protection. They allege he was trying to get members of the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune fired by threatening to complicate the sale of Wrigley Field by Tribune Company.

On December 8, Blagojevich responded to the reports that federal authorities had wiretapped his phone conversations, saying that “I should say if anybody wants to tape my conversations, go right ahead, feel free to do it. I can tell you that whatever I say is always lawful and the things I’m interested in are always lawful.”

If convicted, Blagojevich could face up to 30 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.

This is not the first time in Illinois history that a governor has been arrested for corruption charges. In 2006, George Ryan was indicted and is now serving a 6½-year prison term.

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