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Archive for December 17, 2014

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Beirut – Monitoring Group: Over 120,000 Pro-Assad Fighters Killed In Syria Conflict

December 17, 2014 at 04:00 PM
Beirut - More than 120,000 fighters supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have been killed in the country's civil war since it began in 2011, a group monitoring the war said on Wednesday. Syria's conflict began as a peaceful protest movement calling for reforms in 2011 but descended into civil war after a government crackdown. In total, more than 200,000 people have been killed and...

Washington – Freed From Cuba Alan Gross Says ‘Chag Sameach’ And Thanks Jewish Community

December 17, 2014 at 03:44 PM
Washington - — Alan Gross emerged Wednesday from five years of captivity in Cuba praising the Cuban people and offering a lesson he said he learned: Freedom is not free. Appearing in decent health and walking without support, Gross spoke to reporters at a Washington law office shortly after a U.S. plane flew him from Cuba back to the U.S. He flashed a broad grin with missing teeth — lost...

Washington – Fan Of Cuban Cigars? New Rules Will Allow More Into The U.S

December 17, 2014 at 03:30 PM
Washington - Cuban cigar lovers, rejoice. Under a loosening of travel restrictions between the United States and Cuba announced on Wednesday, American visitors will be able to buy up to $100 worth of the island's most famous product, bring them home and smoke 'em. "Authorized travelers to Cuba will be allowed to return with $400 of general goods and up to $100 of alcohol or tobacco...

New York – US Travel Industry Carefully Eyeing Cuba Tourism

December 17, 2014 at 03:18 PM
New York - Cuba was once a haven for sun-seeking American tourists. Beautiful beaches, lively casinos and late-night dancing made it the perfect getaway, only an hour's flight from Miami. But the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro and the subsequent Cold War embargo of the communist island nation put an end to that. President Barack Obama's announcement Wednesday of plans to re-establish...

Albany, NY – Panel Picks Upstate Casino Sites In Sulliban County, Schenectady, Rules Out Orange County

December 17, 2014 at 02:34 PM
Albany, NY - Three economically distressed communities in upstate New York have been selected as sites for casinos, a panel announced Wednesday, bringing an end to a fierce competition among 16 developers and job-hungry communities. The Gaming Facility Location Board chose sites in Sullivan, Schenectady and Seneca counties and decided not to recommend a fourth license amid an increasingly...

Albany, NY – Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks

December 17, 2014 at 02:32 PM
Albany, NY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration will move to prohibit fracking in the state, citing unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits of the widely used gas-drilling technique. Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said Wednesday that he was recommending a ban, and Cuomo said he would defer to Martens and Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker in making the...

Tallahassee, FL – Jeb Bush, Potential Presidential Contender, Opposes Obama Move On Cuba

December 17, 2014 at 02:09 PM
Tallahassee, FL - Former Florida Governor and potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said on Wednesday he opposes U.S. President Barack Obama's move to normalize relations with Cuba, according to a media report. USA Today reported Bush, who announced his decision to explore a possible run for the U.S. presidency on Tuesday, opposed negotiating with the communist-led island...

Rockland County, NY – Teens Charged With Hate Crime In Attack On Jews In Mall

December 17, 2014 at 01:56 PM
Rockland County, NY - Two Westchester teens have been charged with hate crimes following a group of attacks on Black Friday shoppers at the Palisades Mall last month. Clarkstown Police have charged 17 year old Chris Bujaj of Tuckahoe and 17 year old Ardijan Mehaj of Yonkers with Assault as a Hate Crime, 3rd Degree, and Assault, 3rd Degree in the November 28th incident. According to...

Parana, Argentina – Venezuela President Maduro Calls Obama ‘Courageous’ For Cuba Gesture

December 17, 2014 at 01:13 PM
Parana, Argentina - Venezuela's president, Nicolas Maduro, on Wednesday called a prisoner swap between the United States and Cuba a "courageous" gesture by U.S. President Barack Obama and hailed it a victory for the Caribbean island. "You have to recognize the gesture of Barack Obama, a gesture that is courageous and necessary," Maduro told leaders of the South American trade block Mercosur...

Arlington, VA – Jewish American Released From Cuba Was ‘Trusting Fool’, Says Prayed ‘Shabbos’ In Prison

December 17, 2014 at 01:00 PM
Arlington, VA - Alan Gross has called himself a "trusting fool" for going to Cuba in the first place. Family and friends described him with other words: gregarious and outgoing, with a talent for picking up and playing any musical instrument. Gross, 65, was freed from prison Wednesday as part of an agreement that included the release of three Cubans jailed in the United States, officials...

Havana – Raul Castro Welcomes Renewal Of Relations With US

December 17, 2014 at 12:47 PM
Havana - Cuban President Raul Castro told Cubans Wednesday his nation has agreed to restore relations with the United States, 53 years after diplomatic ties were broken. Castro spoke in a televised address that coincided with a statement by U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, saying that while profound differences remain between the two countries, they must learn to live with them "in a...

Sydney – Sydney Hostage Planned Daring Escape

December 17, 2014 at 12:30 PM
Sydney - The siege at the Sydney cafe had been going on for more than five hours and 82-year-old John O'Brien had become convinced the gunman was insane and they would likely all end up dead. And so he made a decision, one he knew came with a cost: he was going to try to escape. O'Brien — a former professional tennis player who played at Wimbledon — looked at the gunman who was at the...

Washington – Obama: Secret U.S. Prisoner Released By Cuba Was Very Significant Spy For America

December 17, 2014 at 12:22 PM
Washington - President Barack Obama says the U.S. spy Cuba is releasing is one of the most important intelligence agents the U.S. has ever had in Cuba. Obama discussed his administration's move Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. Cuba is releasing the spy as part of that effort. Obama says the man's sacrifice is known only to a few people. But he says the spy provided the...

Washington – Marco Rubio Pledges To Block Efforts To Normalize Cuba Relations

December 17, 2014 at 11:49 AM
Washington - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio said on Wednesday he would "make every effort" to block moves by President Barack Obama toward normalizing relations with the Cuban government. "The president’s decision to reward the Castro regime and begin the path toward the normalization of relations with Cuba is inexplicable," Rubio said in a statement. The Florida Republican senator, who is...

Gaza – Hamas’ Deputy Chief Says It Has Patched Up Ties With Iran

December 17, 2014 at 11:43 AM
Gaza - Hamas and Iran have repaired a close political and military relationship frayed by the Syrian civil war, the Palestinian Islamist group's deputy leader said on Wednesday. Patching up ties with Tehran could ease Hamas's financial and political isolation. Israel is blockading the Gaza Strip, while Egypt, battling Islamist militants in neighboring Sinai, has largely kept its Gaza frontier...
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