Albright: ‘There’s just nothing going on’ with Romney

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2012-05-2008

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Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said her impression after watching Mitt Romney speak recently was that he lacked depth and that his understanding of foreign policy diminishes U.S. standing abroad.

Youths serving life without parole get second chance in California

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2012-05-2008

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Inmates are escorted by a guard through San Quentin state prisonSACRAMENTO (Reuters) – California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law on Sunday a measure that grants juvenile offenders sentenced to life in prison without parole the chance to petition for their release after serving 25 years. Roughly 300 inmates in California's prison system have been sentenced to a lifetime behind bars for offenses committed as teenagers, according to the bill's sponsor, state Senator Leland Yee, a Democrat from San Francisco. Those inmates will now be eligible for parole after serving at least 25 years in prison. …

Kenya navy shells Somali town after rebels retreat

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2012-05-2008

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Handout photo shows AMISOM Sector Two Commander and head of the Kenyan contingent Brigadier Ngere speaking with senior officers at their sector headquarters in DhobleyMOGADISHU (Reuters) – Kenyan warships shelled the southern Somali port of Kismayu overnight after al Qaeda-linked rebels said they had abandoned the city, residents said on Sunday. Stunned by an assault by sea, air and ground forces late on Friday night, al Shabaab rebels fled the city that had been their key source of revenue, retreating to surrounding forests and towns. However, there were conflicting reports on Sunday evening about how much of Kismayu African Union forces (AMISOM) now controlled. …

Ex-wrestler props up India’s PM, but he may want the job

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2012-05-2008

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Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav waves to his supporters at MainpuriLUCKNOW, India (Reuters) – As a former wrestler, Mulayam Singh Yadav has got India's government where he likes it – in a vice-like grip. The ructions over fresh economic reforms that reduced the ruling coalition to a parliamentary minority last month left Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dependent on this wheeler-dealer from the country's dusty northern plains. In an interview with Reuters, Yadav insisted there were no strings attached to his support for Singh's Congress party, just a desire to keep the opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) out of power. …

Analysis: China slides faster into pensions black hole

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2012-05-2008

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QINGHAI, LEDU COUNTY, China (Reuters) – Eighty-year-old Chinese farmer Guo Shuhe receives a state pension equivalent to just $9 a month, not enough to buy a month worth of groceries, but enough it seems, to risk punching a gaping hole in government finances. Guo, whose palms are thick and rough from a life spent hoeing fields in southwest China, is one of over 150 million people covered by a rapidly expanding rural retirement scheme which is accelerating the nation’s slide into a pension crisis. …

Is Mitt Romney a felon? A Q&A with MoveOn’s lawyer.

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2012-05-2008

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U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to the press following his meetings at 10 Downing Street in London, July 26, 2012. U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's high-profile overseas trip got off to a rocky start on Thursd

MoveOn has sent a letter to the Public Integrity Division of the United State Department of Justice urging it to investigate whether Mitt Romney committed a felony by violating the False Statements Act when he claimed, on his personal financial disclosure form filed in 2011, that he was “not involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way” after February 12, 1999. The letter was accompanied by detailed legal analysis backing up its allegations, and its author, Joseph Sandler, is no slouch, having served as general counsel to the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association, among others. I interviewed Sandler via email on Friday, and he has agreed to answer questions in the Comments. Here’s what we discussed:

Q: What is the False Statements Act?

Sandler: The False Statements Act is a law that makes it a federal criminal offense—a felony—to knowingly make any false statement to any U.S. Government agency. It is applied in a wide variety of situations, including making false statements to federal law enforcement agents; making false statements on any kind of government form (grant, loan or assistance application, etc.); putting false information on reports required to be filed with any U.S. Government agency, etc. Even when a document you submit to a US Government agency doesn’t have to be notarized or under oath, this law still makes it a crime to put any false information on that document—as long as the person who filled out the form knew the information was false, the information was relevant to the agency’s operation and within its jurisdiction.

Q: Romney is accused of making false statements on his Public Financial Disclosure Form. What’s the importance of this form, and what sorts of things was Romney required to disclose?

Sandler: The form Romney was required to fill out is the Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report. The Ethics in Government Act of 1978—one of the reform laws passed after the Watergate scandal—requires this form to be filled out by candidates for President and Vice President; presidential nominees to Executive Branch positions requiring Senate confirmation; the incumbent President and Vice President; most of the White House staff; all federal employees appointed by the President; and most very senior federal officials in the Civil Service and special Government employees, and certain other federal officials. The purpose of the form is to disclose personal financial interests—income received, assets held, debts—so that the public (and for incumbent officials, federal ethics officers) can determine whether there may be a conflict of interest on the part of the federal official.


Son of China’s Bo Xilai defends his father

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2012-05-2008

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File photo shows Bo Xilai and his son Bo Guagua at a mourning hall in BeijingBOSTON (Reuters) – The Harvard-educated son of disgraced Chinese political leader Bo Xilai defended his father against charges of taking bribes and having improper sexual relationships, saying he believed in his father's good character. "Personally, it is hard for me to believe the allegations that were announced against my father, because they contradict everything I have come to know about him throughout my life," Bo Guagua said in a statement posted on the microblog site Tumblr. …

U.S. group urges $2 trillion alternative to fiscal cliff "time bomb"

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2012-05-2008

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The independent watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense will unveil a $2 trillion deficit-reduction proposal in hopes of averting an economic debacle at year’s end known as the fiscal cliff. On Monday, the group plans to detail about 130 specific deficit-reduction steps the U.S. Congress could take to replace across-the-board spending cuts of $1.2 trillion that are scheduled to take effect on January 2. These would occur just as tax increases for all income groups are due to kick in. …

Palestinian authority aims to securitize $200 million of debt

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2012-05-2008

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KUWAIT (Reuters) – Palestinian authorities are aiming to securitize an initial $200 million of some $1.3 billion worth of government debt by the first quarter of 2013 to help reduce state borrowing from local banks, a top banker said on Sunday. “The Ministry of Finance is much more ready for securitizing the old debt rather than creating new debt, because we are not even rated,” Palestinian Monetary Authority Governor Jihad al-Wazir said ahead of a Monday meeting of Arab central bankers in Kuwait. …

Ryan rejects need for breakthrough moment

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2012-05-2008

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President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One before his departure from Andrews Air Force Base, Sunday, Sept., 30, 2012. Obama is traveling to Las Vegas for a campaign rally then will be staying in Nevada to prepare for the first presidential debate with Republican rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)Mitt Romney's running mate shot down the need for a breakthrough in the first presidential debate Wednesday, trying to allay Republican concerns that the race is slipping away with five weeks to go and momentum on President Barack Obama's side.