Bank of America faces $1.3 billion fine for Countrywide’s risky mortgages

A federal judge imposed a $1.3 billion fine against Countrywide Financial, owned by Bank of America, for selling risky mortgages. This is the first time a bank has been found liable for mortgage fraud leading up to the financial crisis.

Related posts:

  1. Bank of America ordered to pay $1.27 billion for ‘Hustle’ fraud
  2. Lloyds Banking Group faces fine of up to £300m over Libor rigging
  3. It’s the end of Argentina as we know it, and the world economy will be just fine
Posted in World news | Comments Off

Moscow fights back after sanctions; battle rages near Ukraine crash site

MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) - Russia fought back on Wednesday over new U.S. and EU sanctions imposed over Ukraine even as G7 leaders warned of further steps, while Ukraine's government accused pro-Russian rebels of placing land mines near the site of a crashed Malaysian airliner to prevent a proper investigation.

Related posts:

  1. Moscow fights back after sanctions; battle rages near Ukraine crash site
  2. Ukraine forces battle for MH17 crash site
  3. Heavy fighting in E. Ukraine prevents experts from visiting MH17 crash site
Posted in topNews, World news | Comments Off

At least 18 killed when landslide sweeps through Indian village

At least 70 homes were buried and another 158 hit by a landslide in Ambegaon, a village in India's Maharashtra state. Rescue workers say at least 18 were killed, and seven injured people have been rescued.

Related posts:

  1. Children killed in rail accident in India
  2. 47 feared killed in TransAsia Airways flight crash in Penghu
  3. Suicide bomber hits Baghdad checkpoint
Posted in World news | Comments Off

White House accidentally leaks post-9/11 CIA torture report findings

Reuters/Larry Downing

The revelation comes from the Senate’s still-unreleased report scrutinizing the United States’ post-9/11 interrogation techniques, and first came to the public’s attention Wednesday when the White House unintentionally emailed a document detailing the findings to an Associated Press reporter.

The report – parts of which could be declassified by the White House in the coming days – also apparently found that some of the ambassadors who were briefed on the CIA’s activity were told not to notify their superiors in the State Department. One congressional official confirmed to the AP that these findings are documented in the Senate’s report, while a former CIA official said then-Secretary of State Colin Powell may not have known about the agency’s techniques when they first started using them.

The White House document noted that the CIA employed slapping, humiliation, sleep-deprivation, exposure to cold temperatures, and waterboarding in its attempts to interrogate suspects. The document does not go as far as saying the methods are legally considered torture, but it does reportedly say the Senate report categorizes the techniques as “torture by a common definition.”

According to the AP, the White House document states that the State Department wishes to stand behind the report’s findings and harshly criticize the CIA.

"This report tells a story of which no American is proud," the document says in a section labeled, "Topline Messages (as proposed by State)."

"But it is also part of another story of which we can be proud. America's democratic system worked just as it was designed to work in bringing an end to actions inconsistent with our democratic values."

The State Department also wants to maintain that the Senate report "leaves no doubt that the methods used to extract information from some terrorist suspects caused profound pain, suffering and humiliation. It also leaves no doubt that the harm caused by the use of these techniques outweighed any potential benefit."

Additionally, the document features multiple questions that, presumably, the White House is preparing to answer if and when the findings of the Senate report becomes public. They include:

"Until now the (U.S. government) has avoided conceding that the techniques used in the RDI program constituted torture. Now that the report is released is the White House prepared to concede that people were tortured?"

"Doesn't the report make clear that at least some who authorized or participated in the [CIA interrogation] program committed crimes? Will the Justice Department revisit its decision not to prosecute anyone?"

"Isn't it clear that the CIA engaged in torture as defined in the Torture Convention?"

According to a Tuesday report from Reuters, the White House may very well declassify the Senate report’s 600-page summary within the next week or so. In addition to its conclusions on the CIA’s methods themselves, the report is believed to state that no significant counter-terror information was gained through the techniques, and that the CIA claimed greater, more beneficial results than the evidence supports.

Related posts:

  1. Colin Powell may not have been told early about CIA torture methods
  2. White House and Senate close to agreement on curbing NSA spying
  3. Muslim Council of Britain rejects findings of Trojan horse report
Posted in World news | Comments Off

A different story of the Gaza crisis

On June 12, 2014, the news agencies of the world reported that three youths, residents of the Israeli town of Gueto, were abducted and possibly killed. Eighteen days later, the government of Israel discovered the bodies of the young people, which according to report, had been shot dead.

Related posts:

  1. A different story of the Gaza crisis
  2. Somalia: Somali Lawmaker Killed in Mogadishu
  3. Gaza crisis: ‘Huge surge’ in displaced people after night of intensified violence live
Posted in World news | Comments Off

LIVE UPDATES: Israeli military calls up 16,000 more reserve soldiers

LIVE UPDATES: Hagel reiterates support for Israel's right to self defense ● U.S. agrees to Israeli request for ammunition, CNN reports ● Israeli delegation returns from Cairo truce talks ● Ministers order military to press on with Gaza op.

Related posts:

  1. LIVE UPDATES: Hagel reiterates support for Israel’s right to defense
  2. LIVE UPDATES: Three IDF soldiers killed overnight; Palestinian death toll passes 1,000
  3. LIVE UPDATES: UN joins Obama in call for immediate cease-fire
Posted in Haaretz Com - News - Diplomacy and Defense, World news | Comments Off

Argentina fails to reach debt agreement, default imminent

BUENOS AIRES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Argentina will default on its debt within hours after talks with holdout creditors broke down on Wednesday.

Related posts:

  1. Argentina debt talks down to the wire as default looms
  2. Argentine default looms as time runs out for debt deal
  3. No meeting scheduled on Monday between Argentina and court mediator
Posted in topNews, World news | Comments Off

Attorney general to decide who is charged under national security plans

Coalition proposes package of national security reforms to head off a homegrown Manning and Snowden

Continue reading...

Related posts:

  1. NC attorney general won’t defend his state’s gay marriage ban
  2. U.S. Says Russia Tested Cruise Missile in Violation of Treaty
  3. Kenya: Cord Unveils Team to Craft Referendum Question
Posted in Australia, Coalition, Espionage, George Brandis, World news | Comments Off

World Briefing: Peace Corps Pulls 340 Volunteers as 2 Are Isolated for Ebola Exposure

The Peace Corps said that it was temporarily withdrawing the volunteers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and that two volunteers had been isolated after being exposed to a person who died of the Ebola virus.

Related posts:

  1. World Briefing: Sierra Leone: Leading Doctor Dies of Ebola
  2. Kenya: U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers Withdrawn
  3. Liberia: top doctor becomes latest Ebola victim
Posted in Africa, Ebola Virus, Epidemics, Guinea, Liberia, Peace Corps, Sierra Leone, United States, Volunteers and Community Service, World news | Comments Off

Pat Roberts confronted by tea party challenger in surprise attack

Senator Pat Roberts was interrupted at a campaign stop by tea party challenger Milton Wolf, who accused the three-term senator of refusing to debate him before the Kansas Republican primary.

Related posts:

  1. 2015 Challenger Hellcat to be auctioned off for charity
  2. Shares in Britain’s RBS soar after surprise profit
  3. Tel Aviv’s young internationals struggle to keep the party going
Posted in World news | Comments Off