Joko Widodo sworn in as Indonesian president

BBC, October 20 Joko Widodo, the charismatic outsider who won Indonesia’s presidency, made a call for national reconciliation and unity as he was sworn in.

Popularly known as Jokowi, the 53-year-old took the oath of office at a ceremony held at parliament in Jakarta.

He was then cheered through the streets as he made his [...]

Nigeria declared Ebola-free after containing virus

Reuters, October 20

Abuja – The World Health Organisation declared Nigeria Ebola free on Monday after a 42 day period with no new cases, in a success story with lessons for countries still struggling to contain the deadly virus.

“Nigeria is now free of Ebola,” WHO representative Rui Gama Vaz told a news conference in [...]

Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

The Voice of America, By Carolyn Presutti, October 18

Miami – Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion.

According to the organization whyIslam.org, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino.

And according to Latino American Dawah Organization (LADO), a group that promotes Latino conversions, a little more than [...]

Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The Voice of America, By Scott Bobb, October 19

Suruc, Turkey -The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed.

Morning in Suruc, southeastern Turkey. Rojava [...]

U.S. airstrikes in Syria are now dwarfing those in Iraq, thanks to the fight for one town

Washington Post, By Dan Lamothe, October 19

The Syrian border town of Kobane is still in danger of falling to the Islamic State, more than a week after the U.S. military began launching airstrikes on militants there regularly. Hundreds of fighters have been killed, the Pentagon’s press secretary said Wednesday, but even more are swarming [...]

Arizona and Wyoming gay marriage bans struck down

Los Angeles Times, By Julie Westfall & James Queally, October 17

Same-sex couples in Arizona, Wyoming and Alaska will all be free to obtain marriage licenses by next week after federal judges struck down bans in two of those states Friday and the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request for a further stay in Alaska.

[...]

Fukushima radiation nearing West Coast

The (Mid-Willamette Valley of Oregon’s) Statesman Journal, By Tracy Loew, October 17

Radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster is approaching the West Coast, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is reporting.

A sample taken Aug. 2 about 1,200 kilometers west of Vancouver, B.C. tested positive for Cesium 134, the Fukushima “fingerprint” of Fukushima.

It also showed [...]

Senior NSA official moonlighting for private cybersecurity firm

Patrick Dowd recruited by former NSA director Keith Alexander – Unusual for US official to work for private, for-profit company

The Guardian, By Spencer Ackerman, October 17

The former director of the National Security Agency has enlisted the US surveillance giant’s current chief technology officer for his lucrative cybersecurity business venture, an unusual arrangement undercutting [...]

Senate’s inquiry into CIA torture sidesteps blaming Bush, aides

McClatchy, By Jonathan S. Landay, Ali Watkins and Marisa Taylor, October 16

A soon-to-be released Senate report on the CIA doesn’t assess the responsibility of former President George W. Bush or his top aides for any of the abuses of the agency’s detention and interrogation program, avoiding a full public accounting of one of the [...]

It’s official: U.S. will build new Syrian rebel force to battle Islamic State

McClatchy, By Hannah Allam, October 15

Washington — John Allen, the retired Marine general in charge of coordinating the U.S.-led coalition’s response to the Islamic State, confirmed Wednesday what Syrian rebel commanders have complained about for months – that the United States is ditching the old Free Syrian Army and building its own local ground [...]

Fed Chairwoman Yellen Inquires About How the Unemployed Find Jobs

The Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics Blog, By Pedro Nicolaci da Costa, October 16

Chelsea, MA —Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Thursday visited a nonprofit group here that helps unemployed people find work, and posed a question at the heart of the central bank’s debate over when to start raising interest rates.

“I’d [...]

Joe Biden’s son Hunter thrown out of navy over cocaine

Vice-president’s son issues statement of regret after failed drug test leads to discharge from US navy reserve.

The Guardian, October 17

The US vice-president’s son Hunter Biden has been discharged from the US navy reserve after testing positive for cocaine.

Biden failed a drug test administered in June 2013, sources said. The son of Joe [...]

White House says expired War Powers timetable irrelevant to Isis campaign

Resolution holds that presidents have 60-day window to conduct hostilities without an act of Congress blessing the conflict

The Guardian, By Spencer Ackerman, October 16

New York – The White House on Wednesday said a timetable that expired over a week ago limiting its ability to continue a war unauthorized by Congress does not apply [...]

Lockheed says makes breakthrough on fusion energy project

Reuters, By Andrea Shalal, October 15

Washington – Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready for use in a decade.

Tom McGuire, who heads [...]

Nurses at Texas hospital: ‘There were no protocols’ about Ebola

CNN, By Catherine E. Shoichet, October 15

A union made troubling allegations Tuesday about the Texas hospital where a nurse contracted Ebola, claiming “guidelines were constantly changing” and “there were no protocols” about how to deal with the deadly virus.”

“The protocols that should have been in place in Dallas were not in place, and [...]

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