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Monday, June 17, 2013

Iran's Rohani Hopes All Will Seize Chance Of Friendly Ties

President-elect Hassan Rohani held out the prospect on Monday of better relations between Iran and the world, including the United States, and progress on resolving the nuclear dispute.

But the moderate cleric who scored a surprise election victory on Friday insisted Washington and the West must recognize what he said was Tehran's right to enrich uranium, not interfere in Iran's internal affairs and end their hostility.

Rohani said his new government, to be formed after his inauguration in August, would "revive ethics and constructive interaction with the world through moderation".


Thanks To All Countries Who Helped U.S. After "Sandy"

Thanks to ALL of the countries who helped the U.S. after hurricane " Sandy ."

I think it is highly appropriate at this time of the year that we send THANKS to all of the countries that have reciprocated for our help with their disasters, misgivings, social turmoil, & poverty by returning the favor, and sending the United States of America monetary and physical help when " Sandy " ravaged our East Coast leaving dead, homelessness, and pure disaster.

Listed below is a list of ALL the countries, and worldwide organizations, that are giving us gracious assistance.

Please assist me in Thanking these entities by passing on this email so people from all over America can join in and THANK (ALL of) ourneighbors, to whom we have given BILLIONS!!!

1. Israel
Yes, the "list" is complete . . .

FBI Hunting For Jimmy Hoffa Again, 38 Years After His Disappearance

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is once again hunting for the body of former International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James "Jimmy" Hoffa, whose mysterious 1975 disappearance remains unsolved.

The government executed a search warrant Monday in a grassy field in Oakland Township, Mich., about 45 miles north of Detroit, Robert Foley III, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit office, told reporters. The search is “based on information that we have involving the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa,” the Associated Press quoted Mr. Foley as saying.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, who spoke along with Foley, said, “It is my fondest hope that we can give … closure not just to the Hoffa family but also to the community,” according to a report from the Detroit Free Press.


Skunk Ape?

Florida resident Mike Falconer was driving through Myakka River State Park with his son, when they saw something strange roaming around in a field. The 45-year-old pulled over and began filming the creature that he says is the elusive "Skunk Ape" - the alleged large, smelly cousin of Bigfoot. In a cell-phone video on Huffington Post, you can see a blurry dark figure standing upright in the field, as well as other park visitors who also stopped to take pictures of the animal. Mr. Falconer's low-resolution video has sparked a heated debate about the existence of the beast, but he says he'll have a better camera on hand for the next time he crosses paths with the Skunk Ape.


The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states cannot require would-be voters to prove they are U.S. citizens before using a federal registration system designed to make signing up easier.

The justices voted 7-2 to throw out Arizona’s voter-approved requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal “Motor Voter” voter registration law.

Federal law “precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself,” Justice Antonia Scalia wrote for the court’s majority.


Background Check Legislation Between Private Parties

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has vetoed legislation that would have required background checks for gun sales between private parties. Despite a recent poll showing 86 percent of Nevada residents support background checks, Governor Sandoval said the bill would "constitute an erosion of Nevadans' Second Amendment rights under the United States Constitution, and may subject otherwise law-abiding citizens to criminal prosecution." State Senator Justin Jones, who sponsored the proposal, said he expected the veto, but pledged to try again in the 2015 Nevada Legislature. Brian Fadie, executive director of the group ProgressNow Nevada, said, "Clearly, Gov. Sandoval is going against the will of the people," and he accused the governor of "standing with extremists who are mostly filled with paranoid fears of the government taking away their guns." The veto angered progressive groups, who have been pushing for background check legislation, but they don't appear ready to give up on gun control.

Director of U.S. Immigration Agency Resigns

The director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said on Monday he will step down at the end of July to go to the private sector after heading the agency for four years.

"I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished together during that time and look with awe on the incredible progress ICE has made as an agency," ICE Director John Morton said in making the announcement in an internal message to employees that was made available to Reuters.

"ICE has truly come of age and become an innovative, leading force in federal law enforcement."


Only In New York

Thousands of municipal workers took to the streets of New York in a huge demonstration protesting years of not receiving pay raises. Teachers, firefighters, off-duty police officers, and sanitation workers shut down three lanes of traffic outside City Hall, carrying signs that read "Fair Contract Now." Labor leaders say that the city's unionized workforce has gone years without new contracts, and that members are owed more than $7 billion dollars in back pay. They are calling on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to provide relief to struggling workers, however he says that New York City can't afford to meet protester's demands. Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, argues that New York City's $2 billion dollar budget surplus shows that the city has the money to give workers a raise. Protesters are asking Mayor Bloomberg to "have a heart," and saying "We need a fair contract. We need respect, and we need dignity."

Tom Carper Signs On As 51st ENDA Cosponsor

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act now has majority support in the Senate.

On Monday, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) signed on as the bill's 51st cosponsor. The legislation would outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

"Senator Carper believes it is important for federal law to explicitly prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation -- in the same way that current law addresses race, sex or religion -- in order to ensure that all Americans are protected equally under the law," said Carper spokesman Ian Sams.

When asked why Carper decided to sign on now, Sams added, "There's nothing significant about the timing of his cosponsorship since he's cosponsored the bill before, but he's pleased to be the 51st senator to sign on in this Congress, as it means a majority of senators stand ready to pass this important legislation."


Get Ready For Another War

The White House released a statement confirming the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. The Central Intelligence Agency has obtained "blood, urine and hair samples from two Syrian rebels" that provide evidence of the Assad regime's use of sarin gas. According to the White House statement, the intelligence community "estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from detected chemical weapons attacks." Previously, President Obama called the use of chemical weapons a "red line", that would be met with a response from the U.S. Now that the information has been confirmed, the President has decided to provide more support to the Syrian rebels. It's not clear exactly what additional support the Administration will provide, or how they will determine which rebels to assist. This is a story to watch. Stay tuned.

'House of Cards' Comes To Maryland State House

State officials say the Maryland State House will be providing the set for the Netflix show "House of Cards" this week.

According to officials, the building will be closed to the public Monday, as actor Kevin Spacey and other actors filled the House of Delegates for filming.

The building is also scheduled to be closed to the public on Tuesday, officials say. While the building is closed to the public, Maryland state government staff members are still working inside. 



Senator Elizabeth Warren is fighting hard for government transparency, and it has nothing to do with the NSA. On Thursday, Senator Warren sent a letter to President Obama's U.S. trade negotiations nominee, calling on the Administration to publicly release documents about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. For several years, the Obama Administration has been negotiating the TPP, which could grant corporations the ability to reject various regulations in several countries, which is a power usually reserved only for other sovereign nations. Despite the international impact the TPP could have, only Congress and members of the so-called "Trade Advisory Committee" - which is stacked with corporate officials - have been able to review the deal. In her letter, Senator Warren wrote, "I appreciate the willingness of the [U.S. Trade Office] to make various documents available for review by members of Congress, but I do not believe that is a substitute for more robust public transparency." And, as if to hint that the public would not approve of the plan if details were released, she said, "If transparency would lead to widespread public opposition to a trade agreement, then that trade agreement should not be the policy of the United States." The TPP could have a profound impact on our lives. Trade agreements affect everything from the food we eat, to the price of medicine, to the availability of the jobs. Americans do not want these agreements negotiated in secret, where only corporate interests are represented. Senator Elizabeth Warren has proven once again, she's not only tough when it comes to bank regulation. She will fight to protect consumers wherever and however it matters.

You Have No Right To Sing “Happy Birthday” — At Least, Not On Film

The next time you get the bright idea to film your family party singing “Happy Birthday” and use it in a movie, be prepared to pay up. Because although you might think it’s the sort of thing that’s in the public domain, someone actually owns it. Unless, that is, a movie company gets its way and wins the right to make it free for you and me.

See, it turns out that Warner/Chappell Music Inc., the publishing arm of Warmer Music Group, owns the rights to the song. The plaintiff in a new lawsuit, Good Morning to You Productions Corp., is suing Warner so it can include the song in its documentary about the ditty, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Making Vodka Is A Family Affair In Maryland

Two Maryland brothers decided they wanted out of "rat race" so eight years they developed a plan to make spirits in the state.

John and Chris Cook several years ago launched Blackwater Distilling in Stevensville.

Chris Cook says their company is the only fully licensed distillery in Maryland. "We can distill anything here in any quantity," says Cook.

The brothers say they were interested in producing a home made product by using their hands. That's how Sloop Betty Vodka started.

The Cooks' say it was important for them to make the vodka locally and to use organic products. But that combination didn't work so well. John Cook says they couldn't get all the ingredients locally in Maryland so they decided it was more efficient if the early processing was done at harvesting. He says 270 gallon totes of wheat and sugar cane are shipped into the warehouse. The Cooks handle blending, filtration and bottling of the vodka at their facility.


Kodak Takes Another Slow, Sad Step Toward The Death Of Film

Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last and continues to fight for relevance. You may be surprised to learn that one of the business lines they’ve kept has been film manufacturing for still photography and movies. Not enough, though, because Kodak is about to lay off the 61 workers who make acetate film base in the company’s Rochester, N.Y. home.
Just because most people in the world take all of their pictures with fancied-up phones, that doesn’t mean that no one buys film anymore. (At least one Consumerist Flickr pool member whose photos you often see on this site shoots photos on film.) Usage has fallen off enough that Kodak claims it has a large stockpile of acetate base. Enough to last for years, in fact.

In Maryland, Republicans Look To Next Year’s Governor’s Race

More than a half-dozen Maryland Republicans are gearing up for next year’s race to succeed Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), banking that voters are fed up with Democrats who have passed a series of tax increases and liberal social policies in recent years.

Harford County Executive David R. Craig (R) and Del. Ronald A. George (R-Anne Arundel), the two candidates who have already kicked off their campaigns, did so promising tax cuts. And several others, including former Republican National Committee chairman Michael S. Steele, could announce bids in coming months.

Part of their message has been that O’Malley has taken the state far outside of the mainstream, particularly on tax and spending issues. An unpopular increase in the gas tax is scheduled to take effect next month, and O’Malley has led several divisive and time-consuming battles over issues such as same-sex marriage, the death penalty and gun control. 


West OC Motel Fire Causes Traffic Backups

WEST OCEAN CITY -- A midday fire at a West Ocean City motel was quickly brought under control on Monday but gridlocked traffic all along the Route 50 corridor and the main access to the resort.
Around 12:40 p.m. on Monday, a fire was reported at the Bed Time Inn on Route 50 in West Ocean City. The Ocean City Fire Department responded, as did the Berlin Fire Company to provide mutual assistance. The fire was brought under control quickly and less than a half an hour later, only smoke could be seen drifting from the roof of one of the older sections that runs perpendicular to Route 50.
Some firefighters were seen on the roof of the building with axes, picks and chainsaws, cutting holes in the structure presumably to ensure the blaze was out completely and to allow the smoke to dissipate. A Berlin firefighter on the scene said the fire started in the attic area of the old section of the motel and the source is believed to have been a faulty washer or dryer. However, the investigation is just underway and no further details are immediately available.
The fire caused the motel’s occupants to be evacuated and many were seen wandering in the parking lot or sitting on the curb watching the firefighters. The fire snarled midday traffic in the West Ocean City area as Route 50 was blocked east of Keyser Point Rd. Police and fire crews were directing beach-bound traffic down the south side of Keyser Point Rd. to Route 707 and then east to Route 611.
As an interesting aside, one family of five in a mini-van with Pennsylvania tags in a pharmacy parking lot asked this reporter how to get to the beach. The driver said the family had driven nearly eight hours to get to Ocean City and got caught in the massive traffic jam with several detours just about a mile from their final destination.

Story Courtesy  Shawn J. Soper
News Editor of The Dispatch

The Pulse: Opt Out Is Best Plan For Donors

Godspeed to Sarah Murnaghan and Javier Acosta, both of whom are at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia suffering from the debilitating effects of cystic fibrosis. U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson granted them relief recently by allowing each to join the waiting list for an adult lung. This prompted the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network to create a special appeal and review system to hear cases such as theirs in which children need access to adult organs.

While Javier is still waiting, Sarah received a transplanted lung from an adult donor just days ago. But if we really want to swell the number of available hearts, lungs, livers, and corneas, there is a more obvious and expansive solution.

We need to start assuming that most people wish to be organ donors, while allowing those who object to opt out easily. The current policy in the United States is the opposite: an opt-in system.
Read more

Violence Is Rising Against Park Rangers

Working in a federal park is no picnic. Violence is rising against park rangers, wildlife refuge workers and Park Police. The group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility counted 591 incidents last year, a 38-percent increase over the prior year. Causes aren't clear. The group says the incidents do not reflect changes brought by a 2010 law that lets people carry loaded guns in national parks. Employees at the six land and water agencies say there are more conflicts over land-management policies, illegal meth labs and marijuana farms on federal land.


Obama To Try To Close Guantanamo Bay Again

President Barack Obama has chosen a classic inside-Washington lawyer to make another try at closing down the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It's where the U.S. has held foreign terror suspects ever since the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Clifford Sloan will become the State Department's special envoy. That office was closed down in January. Sloan will try to negotiate between the administration and Congress on a way to shut down the prison. Sloan is a partner at Skadden Arps, where he is listed as specializing in intellectual property, media and entertainment. He's worked in all three branches of government.


There is a two alarm fire at the Best Time Inn Motel near Keiser Point Road and Rt. 50. Rt. 50 East bound is currently shut down. Berlin and Ocean City Fire Departments are on the scene. 

‘Delegate Mike McDermott Is The Recipient Of The 2013 Legislator Of The Year Award’

“We are proud to announce that Delegate Michael A. McDermott has been named our legislator of the year” stated Steven Kroll, Executive Director of the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Association (MSAA).  Delegate Mike McDermott (R-Worcester & Wicomico Counties) has worked closely with MSAA on several key pieces of legislation while sitting on the House Judiciary Committee.

Delegate McDermott also met with MSAA to discuss numerous bills he sponsored this session, such as HB709, the Sheddy-Bennett Act.  HB709, now enrolled into law, will increase the maximum penalty for being an accessory after the fact to murder in the first degree from 5 to 10 years. He also worked with MSAA on many other bills, such as HB727, HB719 and HB765.

“Unanimously the Board of Directors of the Maryland State’s Attorneys Association voted Delegate McDermott 2013 legislator of the year. We enjoyed working with him in the past and look forward to working with him in the future on bills on behalf of victims, witnesses, law enforcement, and prosecutors” concluded Steven Kroll.  

Delegate McDermott has focussed on several key areas of public safety. His efforts have allowed more cops to remain on the streets while insuring that all defendants have access to legal counsel at every stage of the judicial process. This resulted in saving Maryland Taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. The Sheddy-Bennett Act insures that those participating in covering up or concealing a murder will not get away with a light sentence. His non partisan approach at solving legislative problems has garnered equal support from both sides of the aisle.

“I am grateful to be recognized by the MSAA as their Legislator of the Year”, said Delegate McDermott. “Their efforts as an organization in defense of Maryland crime victims and the rule of law have no equal in the General Assembly.”

USPS Settles $17 Million Disability Lawsuit

The Postal Service is paying $17 million to settle a lawsuit brought by disabled employees. The plaintiffs said the agency restricted their work hours because of their disabilities. They also accused the Postal Service of denying them the use of devices like electric scooters. In settling the suit, the Postal Service is not admitting guilt. 

The class-action complaint covers 41,000 current and former Postal workers. Federal Times reports that after attorneys' fees, each plaintiff would receive an average of $300. The EEOC has granted preliminary approval to the settlement.

NFL Bans Purses, Bags at All Games

The National Football League has announced a major rule change that has sparked a controversy, even though football season has yet to begin. That's because the new rule has nothing to do with players or the field. This rule is about the fans, particularly women, and it is not going over well, ABC News has learned.

The NFL's new policy sets limits on the size and type of bags that can be brought into stadiums.

Starting this preseason, women will no longer be allowed to carry standard-size purses into games. A small clutch no larger than a person's hand is OK. A large freezer bag passes, too. But anything else must be made of a clear material, such as plastic, and must not be larger than 12 x 6 x 12.

The NFL is selling its own version of the newly acceptable bag, although the league stresses that the branded version is not a requirement.


A Picture’s Worth 1,000 Words: ASPCA Launches Photo Database Of USDA-Licensed Dog Breeders

We’ve heard it a million times: “Yes, I bought my puppy at a pet store, but he didn’t come from a puppy mill. The store told me that they only get puppies from USDA-licensed breeders.” That line is used frequently by pet store employees to reassure customers—but what does it really mean?

Sadly, it doesn’t mean much. The USDA’s standards of care are so minimal that most of us would not consider them to be humane. Dogs in commercial breeding facilities can legally be kept in cages only six inches longer than the dog in each direction, stacked on top of one another, for their entire lives. It's completely legal to house them in cages with wire flooring, and to breed female dogs at every opportunity. These federal standards leave a lot of room for dogs to be severely mistreated.

But seeing is believing. We wanted to make it easy for the public to truly understand where pet store puppies come from. That’s why today we’re launching a new tool on our No Pet Store Puppies website that lets users view more than 10,000 photos of USDA-licensed commercial dog breeding facilities and links some of them to specific pet stores that have sold their puppies within the past year.


Hosting An Exchange Student

Obama’s Syria Policy Looks A Lot Like Bush’s Iraq Policy

President Obama announced late last week that the US intelligence community had just determined that the Syrian government had used poison gas on a small scale, killing some 100 people in a civil conflict that has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives. Because of this use of gas, the president claimed, Syria had crossed his “red line” and the US must begin to arm the rebels fighting to overthrow the Syrian government.


An Insider’s Look At Maryland v. King

Kannon K. Shanmugam, Alonzo Jay King Jr.’s lawyer, was reviewing the amicus briefs filed to the Supreme Court in support of Maryland’s DNA collection law when he started counting. Forty-nine states had filed briefs.

Shanmugam was encouraged.

“Someone held out!” he recalled to laughter during a panel session at the Maryland State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting. “Then I realized it was Maryland.”

Shanmugam was gracious in defeat Thursday as he provided the lawyers and judges in Ocean City with his perspective on Maryland v. King, which reinstated the state law permitting police to collect DNA samples from people arrested on charges of committing or attempting to commit a violent crime.


Entitlement America And The High Cost Of "Free"

Almost three years ago we first highlighted [16] the real math behind the surging entitlement class that America has become. So why does a large portion of the population choose not to work when there are many jobs available? The answer is simple. If you can receive 2-3 times as much money from unemployment, disability, and/or welfare benefits (subsidized housing, food stamps, free cellphones, etc.) as you can from a temporary or part-time job, and live a life of leisure, why work? This is the ugly reality we illustrated just six months ago [17] and the situation - amid what is apparently called a 'recovery' remains a depressingly real sign of the times. The political allure of free is so strong that an alarming number of people choose to become wards of the entitlement/welfare state rather than captain their own destiny. Indeed, while many are 'proud', 49% of American households now receive one or more government transfer benefits amounting to 18% of all personal income and a burden of $7,400 for every American - seemingly threatening the supposed self-reliance that has long characterized the American national psyche.

Via the Ludwig von Mises Institute,

Why does a large portion of the population choose not to work when there are many jobs available? The answer is simple. If you can receive 2-3 times as much money from unemployment, disability, and/or welfare benefits (subsidized housing, food stamps, free cellphones, etc.) as you can from a temporary or part-time job, and live a life of leisure, why work? In 2011, the U.S. government spent over $800 billion this “welfare,” exceeding expenditures on Social Security or Medicare.

In the Denver arena where Mr. Obama gave his DNC 2008 acceptance speech, a woman in the audience became overwhelmed by the speech and said that she no longer needed to worry if she could make her car or mortgage payments because he would take care of it for her. In Cleveland, a woman claimed that she was going to vote for President Obama again because he gave her a free cellphone (along with a litany of other entitlement giveaways). Before you growl, you should know that the free cellphone program was instated by President Bush in 2008 through the FCC’s Universal Service Fund. Fees for these “free” cellphones are paid by all telecommunications service providers out of the revenue received from their paying customers. Despite the political rhetoric over the past half century, entitlements were actually highest during Republican administrations. The political allure of free is bi-partisan.

Md. Congressman Proposes New Funding System For Roads

A local congressman has a new idea for how to pay for fixing crumbling roads and bridges across the country.

In the past, Congress has always allocated money to states, who then decide which local projects get done. But with money tight at the federal level, Congressman John Delaney, D-Maryland, has another idea.

He wants to set up a $50 billion federal fund, similar to a bank, from which local governments could borrow for local projects.



Ex-Revolutionary Guard intelligence analyst says West has been duped
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, personally selected Hassan Rouhani to win Friday’s presidential election even before he received the majority of the votes cast, according to a former Revolutionary Guard intelligence analyst who has defected from Iran.

Rouhani replaces Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose fraudulent election in 2009 touched off rioting by millions of Iranians. Thousands of the protesters were arrested, with many tortured, raped or executed. Rouhani, who is well-versed in deceiving the West over Iran’s nuclear program, also has blood on his hands from previous regime crackdowns.


Ind. Woman Sentenced To Die At 16 To Be Released

An Indiana woman put on death row at age 16 for killing an elderly Bible school teacher is scheduled to be released Monday after serving a prison term that was shortened after the state Supreme Court intervened.

Paula Cooper's death sentence at such a young age sparked international protests and a plea for clemency from Pope John Paul II. Now 43 years old, Cooper is being given a second chance at her life.

Cooper was 15 when she and three other teenage girls showed up at Ruth Pelke's house on May 14, 1985, with plans of robbing the 78-year-old Bible school teacher. Pelke let Cooper and two of the teen's companions into her Gary home after they told her they were interested in Bible lessons.

As the fourth teen waited outside as a lookout, Cooper stabbed Pelke 33 times with a butcher knife. Then she and the other girls ransacked the house. The four girls fled with Pelke's car and $10.


Two Injured In Skydiving Accident At Laurel Airport

Laurel Airport, 32524 Aero Drive, Laurel, DE

Date of Occurrence:
Sunday, June 16, 2013, at 1:30 p.m.

69-year-old male from Laurel, DE
52-year-old male from Beltsville, MD

Laurel- Two skydivers were injured this afternoon while skydiving at the Laurel Airport, 32524 Aero Drive.

The incident occurred at 1:30 p.m. as a 69-year-old Laurel man and a 52-year-old Beltsville, MD man were skydiving together over the airport. As they descended their parachutes became entangled. This prevented one parachute from fully deploying, causing the parachutists to improperly land together.

The 69-year-old male was transported by Delaware State Police helicopter to Christiana Hospital, where he is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The 52-year-old was transported by ambulance to Peninsula Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for minor injuries and released.