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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Americans Face Post-foreclosure Hell As Wages Garnished, Assets Seized

Reuters, By Michelle Conlin, Ocotber 14

New York – Many thousands of Americans who lost their homes in the housing bust, but have since begun to rebuild their finances, are suddenly facing a new foreclosure nightmare: debt collectors are chasing them down for the money they still owe by freezing their bank accounts, garnishing their [...]

Bishops say gays have gifts to offer church

Associated Press, By Nicole Winfield, October 13

Vatican City – Catholic bishops are showing unprecedented openness to accepting the real lives of many Catholics today, saying gays have gifts to offer the church and should be accepted and that there are “positive” aspects to a couple living together without being married.

A two-week meeting of [...]

$5.4 billion pledged to rebuild Gaza

Al Jazeera, October 12

A donor conference in Cairo to raise money for Gaza after this year’s war between Hamas and Israel ended with pledges of $5.4 billion, half of which will be “dedicated” to the reconstruction of the coastal enclave, Norway’s foreign minister said Sunday.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende offered the figure at [...]

Quick count: Bolivia’s Morales coasts to 3rd term

Associated Press, By Carlos Valdez, October 12

La Paz – Evo Morales easily won an unprecedented third term as Bolivia’s president Sunday on the strength of the economic and political stability brought by his government, according to an unofficial quick count of the vote.

Morales, a native Aymara from Bolivia’s poor, wind-swept Andean plateau, received [...]

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