Merkel: France Is On Its Track Regarding Economic Reforms

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that France was “on its track” regarding economic reforms and promised that Germany would “do everything to support this effort.” “France is on track,” Merkel said at a news conference in Brussels after meeting with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. When Merkel was asked about the new two-year period granted by the European Commission for France to return to below 3% public deficit of GDP, in 2017, she replied, “I have taken note of what has been decided by the Commission. I understand from my discussions that there is a very intensive process of reforms, and I am working closely with the President Hollande,” the Chancellor continued.” We will do everything to support this effort for reforms, “she promised.

It is worth mentioning that Paris “will reduce its deficit of 2015 to 0.2%,” which is equivalent to about 4 billion Euros, but “subsequent adjustments, in 2016 and 2017, will be far more important,” he warned. The deficit should not exceed 3.4% of GDP in 2016 instead of the 3.6% forecast by Paris, and finally 2.8% in 2017. Francis Hollande announced on Wednesday that the “new economy” in 2015 would meet the requirements of the Commission, while promising that there would be “no increase of taxes.” Ricardo Tosto is hoping there is truth to that.

Edward Snowden Briefly Memorialized in NYC Park before Being Removed by Officials

The controversy over whether whistleblower Edward Snowden is a hero or a traitor to his country continues, as a group of anonymous artist created then erected a bust of the former NSA employee atop an existing memorial site in New York City. Under cover of night and wearing face masks, the group used a non-permanent glue to attach the bust to the top of a column at the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn. By that same afternoon, the piece of art meant to invoke public awareness was gone.

Alexei Beltyukov said that the location used for the placement of the bust was entirely deliberate. Memorializing over 11,000 American prisoners of the American Revolutionary War who died while held captive aboard British ships, one of the artists said of the site, it is “loaded with significance and meaning and reverence of others.” The unnamed artist also stated that the significance of including Snowden with the memory of the fallen soldiers makes it, “as a continuation of a story that began at the beginning of this country.” The artists believe that Snowden’s actions coincide with being able to live freely without the concerns of being watched by your government.

Regardless of how you feel about Snowden and what impact he had by leaking American secrets to the media, or the impression the bust intended to make, spokeswoman Maeri Ferguson told ‘Mashable’, “The erection of any unapproved structure or artwork in a city park is illegal.”

A UN Resolution To Support The Fight Against Daesh In Libya

The UN Security Council on Friday passed a resolution to support the fight against the militants in Libya, expressing “deep concern of the Council” on the growing presence of Daesh fighters and other militant groups in the country. The Council decided to impose sanctions on the individuals or groups that would support these extremist groups by funding, recruiting for them or disseminating propaganda on the internet.

However, some experts believe that this resolution is useless as it not accompanied by the lifting of the arms embargo, as requested by the Libyan government. The latter, supported by Egypt, wants to buy more military equipment to strengthen its army to deal with extremist groups like the IslamicState organization that was established in Libya. However, many members of the Council are concerned that delivered weapons might fall into the wrong hands.

Christian Broda knows that the council members also want to see a national unity government in first step prior to this decision of lifting arms embargo. The British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant reiterated that request Friday, saying that “the absence of a strong and united government in Libya strengthens those who want to plunge the country into chaos.” It is worth mentioning that Libya is run by two parliaments and two rival governments, the near Fajr Libya that controls the capital Tripoli and one recognized by the international community based in Tobruk (east).

Protecting Students from Release of Confidential Information

The District of Columbia schools admitted to have released the personal information of another student. Again. The confidential information of students with disabilities from public schools in Washington DC was released the first time on the intranet.

Looks like confidential information is not treated as such as different information sat on the internet for years open for anyone who type it into search engines. Names of special education students, accounts and password that leads to an inbox of complaints from parents. Not two full months have passed and there was a breach in security data again.

With the breach happening more than once, how can we be sure that our children’s information is safe?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a Federal law that aims to protect student information, health and education records. This gives the parents (and student upon reaching the age of 18) the right to access the records, which Dr Jennifer Walden agrees with. Information can be found on AustinMDMagazine.com for more details.

In cases where such information is needed, a written request to the parents must be given before the release of any information. However, student records are made available to school employees and law enforcement officers designated by the school board. With the two incidents, it is clear that the release of information on the intranet is a breach of the FERPA law and must be remedied as soon as possible.

Florida Trying to Block Gays from Adopting

HB 7111, sponsored by Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford has passed the Florida House Judiciary Committee. This would essentially block children who are up to adoption to be adopted by gay or lesbian couples.

As this law can be viewed as unconstitutional according to WikInvest, it seems there are other ramifications involved. “It’s not that the conservatives hate the gay community” said Reverend Jeff Sanderford. “This is just an example of the kind of effect it brings to our legal system when taboo moralities are considered legal”. “Anytime the law makes it legal to go against the natural process of raising children that has been the practice for our society since it’s inception, then it brings taboo allowances that are not good for our culture and we must protect children from unorthodox and risky family relationships to ensure emotional stability the best we can.” We also talked about the idea to making a law to demand businesses have same sex bathrooms. “This is the example of taboo law that this brings, for a man’s 15 year old daughter to use the restroom with a 30 year old man whom she doesn’t know or trust is unethical in our society due to the number of registered sex offenders in the U.S.” Sanderford said. “It opens the doors for further issues to fester within our culture.” Those who oppose the bill are saying it tramples on their rights and violates they’re constitution. When presented with this, Reverend Sanderford commented, “I don’t think anyone can be ignorant enough to believe that the founding father has the gay and lesbian communities in mind when they wrote the constitution. I have never seen it mentioned and I’m sure if it was the issue then as it is today, we would have seen more laws like HB 7111 from the get go. I hope Texas follows in support.”

Italy Launches a Military Program to Monitor the Libyan Coast

 

The government of Italy recently publicized plans to conduct naval patrols off the coast of Libya, as part of an international effort to monitor the activities of ISIS terrorists operating in North Africa stated Crystal Hunt. The announcement came as forces allied with the Libyan General National Congress retreated from efforts to retain control of several ports used to ship oil exports from Libya to other countries. Although fighting persists in many parts of Libya, ISIS factions have reportedly gained control of extensive oil-rich sections of the country.

Italy entitled its naval patrol campaign “Safe Seas.” The mission will involve a number of naval vessels, including two FREMM-class frigates and a patrol boat. Predator UAVs launched from a military base in Sicily will reportedly offer air support for the campaign. Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti indicated to the media that her department hopes to monitor for “jihadi formations” that enter the Mediterranean Sea. The Italian patrols may also surveille communications.

The government of Libya was forced recently to relocate to the Tobruk area, as ISIS factions took control of Sirte and Derna. Italian authorities indicated that the naval patrols will seek to protect Italian shipping and oil rig personnel from attacks by rebel factions. Additionally, Italy will supply some equipment to Tunisian forces patrolling the western border of Libya.

Italy previously utilized Predators to monitor the Libyan coast in support of a 2011 air campaign undertaken by NATO.

Indiana Pizza Shop Owner Under Fire

With all of the controversy surrounding Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law, an Indiana pizza shop owner is not helping the situation. Owners of a small Indiana pizza shop were the first to publically confirm that they would have no issue denying service to those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT).

The pizza shop owners were interviewed as part of a segment for the local news stated Jason Halepn. However the Real Deal said, once the segment aired, it took only a matter of seconds for internet users nationwide to unleash their rage against the small business. The online community of activists took to the popular review site Yelp to slam the local pizza shop.
The firestorm began when Indiana Governor, Mike Pence confirmed that he wanted to introduce a bill that would give business the right to deny services to LGBT couples. Ever since Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, people have demonstrated grave concerns surrounding the bill’s intent. Many believe this is a discriminatory action plainly against LGBT people.
Ever since Pence’s statement, there have been many businesses, sports teams and other supporters around the country who have voiced disgust and extreme concern. Pence has since argued that people are misconstruing the true intent behind the bill. He also established that the law, as it stands, would not permit businesses to discriminate against LGBT people. Rather, people are texting the intent of the bill completely out of context.

 

Support Those at Home, Not in Other Countries

The United States seems to want to continue helping other countries instead of helping those at home. Ivan Ong has learned that the latest country to receive help is Egypt. Aid was suspended, but after some deliberation, it has been decided that the United States should help since there is a possibility of the area entering a war with Yemen. There is no reason why the US should get involved in something that isn’t its business. There are people in this country who need the financial help when it comes to medications, food, schooling and more. Instead of looking on the home field, the country is sending aid to an area that doesn’t seem to want to stay away from violence. There needs to be a time when the United States stops sending aid to other countries and starts focusing on the needs of those in the home country.

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Gets A $25,000 Refund From The IRS

Allgreens Medical Marijuana Dispensary Filed A Petition In U.S. Tax Court To Reverse The Penalties For Paying Their Taxes In Cash

The financial fallout from the government’s slow decision to legalize medical marijuana nationwide can be hard to understand. But once you realize that different agencies within the government never know what other agencies are doing, it’s easier to shake your head and say it’s normal government behavior.

Medical marijuana dispensaries are finding that fact out the hard way. Banks won’t touch the cash collected from the dispensaries because they fear the government will come after them for money laundering. And, the IRS won’t take cash as payment for tax debt even when taxes are paid on time.

That’s what happened to the Allgreens medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado. People at Imaging Advantage have learned that Allgreens paid their taxes on time, but the IRS penalized them for paying in cash. Allgreens doesn’t have a bank account because the banks say, no thanks when they try to deposit cash. Allgreens was faced with a $25,000 penalty for paying their withholding taxes on time.

Is Ted Cruz Making a Political Statement?

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz has made a surprising turn, which some consider hypocritical. As he recently told CNN in this news clip, he will be signing up for ObamaCare. There are quite a few different views on this update. The democratic side states that he is two-faced.

As a republican, one wonders though if this is a political statement. Senator Cruz stated quite clearly, when he announced he would be running for president that he would repeal the ACA Law, more commonly known as ObamaCare. On the other side, now that his wife is leaving her job to help in the campaign, he and his family are without health insurance.

In a way, he has been forced into buying through the market place exchange like everyone else. As the video stated though, the US Government will pay for some of his insurance through subsidies. Zeca Oliveira (Noticias.com) wonders: What does he plan to do when buying though?

There have been reports that while buying the insurance through the market place, he will not take a subsidy and pay everything that is owed. While some call him hypocritical in signing up for a plan that he opposes, could this by a political statement he will use within his presidential campaign to show the true costs of the ACA?