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NEWS – Distillation 3 May 2011 (TCP)CHICAG

Today's Headlines - (TCP)CHICAGO

 

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(TCP)CHICAGO – Dateline Chicago –

Syria – Syria’s government has turned its focus on the city of Baniyas, a coastal region. Government security forces have surrounded the city and blocked access roads into it. Protesters are regarded as criminals by this government. The interior ministry has set a deadline of 15 May 2011 for protestors who had committed “unlawful acts” to give themselves up. The citizen protests are reported as being in their sixth week.

Iran – The Seattle PI reports that, Iran’s Foreign minister “demands” Syrian government look into case of missing Al Jazeera English journalist Dorothy Parvaz. Iran’s foreign minister wants the Syrian government to look into the case of an Al Jazeera English journalist who has been missing. Dorothy Parvaz, a former reporter and columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, is missing in Syria. Al Jazeera, for whom Parvaz works, reports that she arrived in Damascus on Friday and that the network has had no contact with her since. Speaking Monday morning, the reporter’s father, Fred Parvaz of North Vancouver, British Columbia, said his daughter had recently returned from covering the earthquake that ravaged Japan when she headed for Syria.

Turkey – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has openly called for Gaddafi to step down and cede his power and to leave the country entirely. Gaddafi has pledged to die a martyr, rather than leave. This, two days after his son was killed in a bomb raid on his compound.

Libya – Italian NATO naval operations commander, Vice Admiral Rinaldo Veri has issued a statement saying that the operations will continue until Gaddafi’s security forces return to their barracks and stops threatening Libya’s civilian population. Youth leaders against the Gaddafi regime have stated that: “Under Gaddafi there was no way of starting a newspaper without security clearance, and every newspaper had to have Gaddafi’s Green Book slogans at the top of the front page.”

Libya –  NATO forces continue to launch air strikes and bomb raids in the city of Misrata on Tuesday, reports say. This, amid reports that say Gaddafi’s forces are using heavy force against the opposition force trying to maintain control of the city. Human rights groups are accusing Gaddafi’s security forces of perpetrating mass rape on the female population of their country. Meanwhile, in Geneva, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s alleged assets have been identified by the Swiss government, and are ready to be frozen. The assets are reported to be over 1 billion USD.

Israel – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the impending reconciliation deal between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction is something he wants Abbas to reconsider. Reports quote Netanyahu as saying that it would deal “a hard blow to the peace process.” This, after reports of the deal being scheduled to be signed and ratified by the two Palestinian factions very soon. Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, while the Fatah Faction controls Palestine’s mainland along Israel’s West Bank.

Bahrain – The BBC reports that, Bahrain has arrested two former members of parliament from the main Shia opposition party, al-Wefaq, members of the group say. The arrest of Matar Matar and Jawad Fairuz is the latest step in Bahrain’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

LondonThe Guardian reports that, counter-terrorism officers have begun questioning five men from east London alleged to have been filming near the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria. Meanwhile, police in London staged the first of a series of raids on addresses linked to those detained. The Metropolitan police said four houses in east London had been searched.

Romania – The United States and Romania have agreed on a site to install missile interceptors as part of a planned US shield over Europe. US Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher and Romanian President Traian Basescu were announcing the decision last night in Bucharest to build the interceptor site at Daveselu air base near the Bulgarian border. Romania already had agreed to host the interceptors, but the location had not been announced.

Portugal – Portugal is set to run out of money next month. Delegates are nearing the end of a round of negotiations that would have the EU to loan approximately 118 billion USD. No date has yet been announced as to when the deal would be consummated.

Uganda – Reports say that the country’s young government is getting ready for another round of protests there. The opposition leader at the center of the protests was defeated by his old ally Museveni for the third straight time.

Cambodia – Thailand -The VOA reports that, the International Court of Justice is likely to hold a hearing on the Preah Vihear temple issue in a matter of weeks, an official there told VOA Khmer Tuesday. Cambodia has petitioned the court to re-interpret a 1962 decision that gave Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia but left both Thailand and Cambodia claiming adjacent land.

CanadaThe Globe and Mail reports that, Stephen Harper has won his majority government; now he will press ahead with a host of targeted tax breaks in his proposed budget, the last leg of corporate tax cuts, and a plan to eliminate the deficit by 2014. Early reaction from the business community was largely positive, given that his policies are viewed as business-friendly and the result not only removes the political uncertainty linked to minority governments but also all but ends the sovereigntist Bloc Québécois’ presence in the House of Commons. Mr. Harper’s budget tabled in March is now likely to pass with little changes, other than the faster timeline for balancing Ottawa’s books that he pledged during the campaign.

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Chicago – Media news feeds coming over the radio in Chicago continue to imbue into their reports that the “war on terror” is not over by a long shot and that citizens should be wary of possible reprisals by  terrorist networks for the raid and subsequent execution of the late Al Qaeda leader. (TCP) Opinion – FEAR is still be used by the networks to try and control the mind of America’s collective conscience.

Chicago – Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn will oppose any legislation that would allow the citizens of Illinois to carry and conceal weapons for their own protection. There is pending legislation on the rolls for debate in Springfield, the Illinois capitol. Governor Quinn says he will veto any such legislation passed on the floor of the Illinois General Assembly.

Washington DC – Congressional leaders are getting ready to start questioning Pakistan’s government about their involvement in what they suspect is Pakistan’s complicity in aiding bin Laden to avoid his eventual capture by U.S. Navy Seal forces the other day.

Washington DC – President Obama’s administration is mulling the release of pictures which depict the capture, execution and eventual burial at sea over the side of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, of Osama bin Laden to the public. Meanwhile, family members of victims from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack are stepping up pressure to demand the release of the photo’s for their edification and confirmation that the former Al Qaeda leader is dead. Reports on the radio say the administration is worried about public reaction to the “gruesome” photo’s.

Washington DC – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has stated in a letter to Congress recently that: Largely as a result of stronger than expected tax receipts, we now estimate that these extraordinary measures would allow the Treasury to extend borrowing authority until about August 2, 2011, approximately three weeks later than was forecast last month. This is a projection and is subject to change based on government receipts and other factors during the next three months (an excerpt).  The U.S. is still scheduled to hit the debt limit on May 16th.

Washington DC – Seized computers from the compound of bin Laden in Pakistan are being scrutinized for any actionable intelligence that may be derived for use in the continued “war on terror.”

TallahasseeThe Miami Herald reports that, the Florida Senate has approved its version of a House bill overhauling medical malpractice suits in the state.

New York City – The WSJ reports that, U.S. authorities sued Deutsche Bank AG and a mortgage subsidiary, alleging that they repeatedly lied about the quality of mortgages to be included in a government insurance program, so that they could profit from the resale of those mortgages. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, alleges that Deutsche Bank and its MortgageIT unit “recklessly” selected mortgages that violated the rules of the Federal Housing Administration’s mortgage-insurance program “in blatant disregard of whether borrowers could make mortgage payments.” Those government-insured mortgages were then resold, according to the lawsuit.

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