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January 28, 2014
President Obama is expected to announce an executive order that would circumvent Congress to raise the minimum wage of federal employees, from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address. The order will reportedly be part of a larger pledge from President Obama to seek change that doesn’t require help/approval from Congress, Speaker of the House John Boehner says Republicans won’t take action against the pay raise, but warned that any further attempts to encroach on Congress’ turf would be met with legal action. (Photo via State of Maryland) source
13:46 // 1 month ago
January 23, 2014
Massive photo/video collection may prove Golden Dawn to be neo-Nazi organization
- 14k pictures of a “highly incriminating” nature were discovered on the phones and computers of two recently arrested Golden Dawn politicians and a local party branch head, including photographic evidence proving that alleged murderer Giorgos Roupakias was a member of (or affiliated with) the far-right political party. Golden Dawn has denied all affiliations with Roupakias since he told police he was a member of the organization following his arrest last year.
- 900 videos were also discovered on the devices, some of which apparently show members of Golden Dawn receiving armed training at unspecified summer camps. The discovery is unlikely to help three members of the party who currently face charges of running a criminal organization with intent to overthrow Greece’s democratically-elected government. The party continues to deny all charges of wrong-doing, and has announced plans to sue three judicial officials who are overseeing investigations of Golden Dawn’s alleged criminal activities. source
17:48 // 1 month ago
On a cold day in early 2003, two senior CIA officers arrived at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw to pick up a pair of large cardboard boxes. Inside were bundles of cash totaling $15 million that had been flown from Germany via diplomatic pouch.
The men put the boxes in a van and weaved through the Polish capital until coming to the headquarters of Polish intelligence.They were met by Col. Andrzej Derlatka, deputy chief of the intelligence service, and two of his associates.
The Americans and Poles formalized an agreement that over the previous weeks had allowed the CIA the use of a secret prison — a remote villa in the Polish lake district — to interrogate al-Qaeda suspects. The Polish intelligence service had some more funds, and the agency had a solid location for its newest covert operation, according to former CIA officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the interrogation program, including previously unreported details about the creation of the agency’s black sites.
16:57 // 1 month ago
People should not think that the government lacks available resources to put an end to this. It is our constitutional right and obligation to restore order in the country.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov • Warning protesters not to push the government any further, after saying there was no chance of President Viktor Yanukovych’s administration leaving office early, when asked to comment on the deteriorating situation in his country. It’s not clear Azarov believes himself to be speaking to/for though, seeing as protesters have announced a truce amid ongoing talks between boxer-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko, other opposition leaders and government officials. source
15:39 // 1 month ago
January 22, 2014
In the northeast corner of Syria, a pocket of stability is emerging amid the country’s civil war. Here the talk is of building, not bombing.
Local leaders have launched projects to revive normal life and encourage people to stay. They are creating a regional administration, producing cheap fuel, subsidizing seeds for crops and trying to restore electricity to an area that had lost power for nearly 24 hours a day. And so far they are fighting off the forces of both President Bashar al-Assad and the rebels who want to oust him.
The people now in control here are Kurds, an ethnic group that forms the majority of the population in parts of northern Syria, eastern Turkey, northern Iraq and western Iran.
17:48 // 1 month ago
Ukrainian authorities have confirmed that three people were killed during clashes between protesters and police forces today, including two people who died as a result of bullet wounds. They’re the first confirmed fatalities since protests began roughly two months ago, after Ukrainian leaders shirked an opportunity to join the European Union in favor of a bailout from (and closer relations with) the Russian government. To make matters worse, another meeting between President Yanukovych and opposition leaders yielded zero results on Wednesday, leading opposition leaders to say they’d “go on the attack” if progress wasn’t made soon. (Photo courtesy of VK.com, via Gawker)
17:18 // 1 month ago
We’re not the only ones excited about this, right? (Photo via @DumbTo) source
16:44 // 1 month ago
Pentagon pushing for all or nothing on Afghan troop levels
- 10K troops should remain in Afghanistan to help with peace keeping operations, according to a new recommendation from senior Pentagon officials. The recommendation also says that, if the United States isn’t willing to leave at least 10,000 active duty soldiers inside the country, they should bring home every single service member currently stationed in Afghanistan. To station any less would leave those who remain incapable of defending both themselves and the diplomats, military officials, etc that they’d be responsible for. source
14:20 // 1 month ago
January 21, 2014
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and his wife were charged on Tuesday in federal court with illegally accepting large loans, luxury vacations and expensive gifts from a businessman.
A federal grand jury indicted the couple on 14 counts related to their decision to receive thousands of gifts and loans from Jonnie R. Williams Sr., an executive at dietary supplement company Star Scientific.
McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, could face prison sentences that amount to decades and fines of more than $1 million.
18:27 // 1 month ago
Study: Black Airbnb hosts earn less, penalized more than non-black hosts
- 3,500 Airbnb listings were harvested for information by two professors from Harvard Business School, who originally wanted to study the design of online marketplaces, but Benjamin Edelman and Michael Luca quickly discovered what they believe to be evidence of racial discrimination in the corresponding data.
- 12% the amount in higher fees non-black Airbnb hosts can successfully charge, on average, over black hosts, according to the study. Airbnb has refuted the study’s findings, saying that they were “flawed” and that partial, almost two-year-old data from a single city with Airbnb service hardly amounts to proof of regular discrimination by the service’s users. source
16:46 // 1 month ago