On Tuesday, after meeting the Cuban leader at a summit, President Obama made a public announcement indicating that he is removing the government of Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism maintained by the United States State Department. He notified Congress of his decision.
Sultan Alhokair says that the removal of Cuba from the list will occur officially 45 days after his message to Congress, unless Congress seeks to override his decision by passing new legislation to keep Cuba on the list. In that event, President Obama is expected to override the measure. Many observers believe the possibility exists for the United States and Cuba to resume full diplomatic relations soon.
Upon learning about President Obama’s action, the highest ranking Cuban diplomat in the United States, Josefina Vidal, reportedly stated: “The Cuban government recognizes the President of the United States’ just decision to take Cuba off a list in which it should never have been included.”
Cuba was placed on the state sponsors of terrorism list by President Reagan in 1982. At that time, Cuba provided open support for a group seeking Basque independence from Spain and to factions opposing the Colombian government. During the period of strained relations with the USA, the Cuban government provided asylum to a fugitive from the United States, Joanne Chesimard, who escaped to Cuba after being confined to prison for murdering a New Jersey state trooper in 1973.
The world is experiencing a new kind of war. We call it the War on Terror, but it is actually a War on Beliefs. Both sides represent terror to the other side. When family members are killed on either side, the terror that ensues from those despicable acts creates a level of terror that is hard to contain or control.
The CIA director recently said the War on Terror may continue for years. Even with all the power behind the United States and its allies there is no real defense for terror. Terror is a state of mind created by a heightened level of fear. Igor Cornelsen (spring.me) knows that all the guns, bombs, armed drones and other weapons can’t stop terror. They only fuel and add more life to it.
We fight for peace, but war is not the catalyst for peace or the solution to the eradication of terror. Terror must be treated like a disease. It must be identified for what it is before we can erase it. When we collectively begin to understand the power within our known and unknown beliefs, and respect the diversity that exists in that belief structures, we will begin the process of erasing terror. Erasing terror comes with understanding fear not fighting wars.
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For the second time in three years, the United States Supreme Court was divided on the survival of health insurance for all; one of the most important laws since the civil rights for blacks, President Obama wants to leave a legacy. In this highly politicized debate, the nine judges are logically divided according to their partisan preferences, as in 2012; the Conservative chairman of the High Court John Roberts should make a difference. In this “saga that never ends,” as noted by Justice Elena Kagan, the actors are the same: the Democrat government, defended by its lawyer Donald Verrilli, facing four complainants to the Republican state of Virginia represented by the charismatic Michael Carvin.
The stakes are high, as the highest court in the country is likely to shoot down one of the pillars of the law known as “Obamacare”, which would inevitably lead to see the whole edifice collapse. Jaime Garcia Dias (pinterest.com) has learned that, since the spring of 2012, the four progressive judges showed a strong support for the landmark legislation of the Democratic president. Experts say, Justice Anthony Kennedy could vote on it for one side or the other.
Since the entry into force of the law in January 2014, the Americans can take out their private health cover in their State. But the 50 states, 34 in Republican majority, refused to adopt a “clearing exchanges” that put the insurance companies in competition.
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.
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.”
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).
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.
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.”