30 Mar

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective



 The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov (L), and members of his delegation during Iran nuclear talks.

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov (L), and members of his delegation during Iran nuclear talks. Photograph: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty

Russian foreign minister to leave Iran nuclear talks early

Officials say negotiations over Iran’s nuclear plans have stalled on the issue of lifting UN security council sanctions

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, will leave international negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme on Monday afternoon, officials said, as talks in Switzerland stumbled over a pair of particularly difficult problems.

Russian foreign ministry officials said that Lavrov had to conduct bilateral talks with unnamed neighbouring countries but added he would return to the talks venue at Lausanne as soon as Tuesday, if needed. Foreign ministers from Iran, the US, UK, France, Germany and China all indicated they would continue to negotiate in the runup to Tuesday night’s deadline for agreeing the political framework for a deal.

The central outstanding problems are the extent to which Iran would be allowed to carry out research and development on new centrifuge models in the last years of a deal, and – the stickiest problem by far – the lifting of UN security council sanctions.

“There are still some quite important gaps,” said a western diplomat at the talks. “The core difference is on the UN security council sanctions. The UN security council resolutions have special meaning for [the Iranians].”…………………….


arizona state capitol

The Republican-controlled state legislature has already passed the bill but the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police has sent a letter to the governor urging him to veto the bill.

Arizona governor to rule on whether to delay disclosure of officers’ names in police shootings

The controversial bill mandates that departments not reveal the identity of an officer for 60 days after a person has been killed by the ‘use of deadly force’

The governor of Arizona is poised to rule on a bill that would mandate keeping police officers’ names secret for a prolonged period after shootings in which someone is killed. The sensitive piece of legislation is being seen as a test case for other states.

Doug Ducey, a Republican who has been in office for less than three months, has until the end of Monday to sign or veto a controversial bill that has passed the Republican-controlled state legislature…………………………..


Climate change

Other News & Analysis

Republicans see Obama as bigger threat than Putin and Assad, says poll

Barack Obama recovers after near fall down steps of Air Force One – video

Martin O’Malley on Clinton and Bush: White House is not a family affair

Ex-HP chief Carly Fiorina sets sights on Clinton as she nears presidential run 

California drought goes from bad to worse as state grapples with heat wave

Indiana governor Pence says religious objection law won’t be changed

Indiana activists protest law amid concern over anti-gay discrimination



Indiana Governor Mike Pence has signed into law a religious objections bill that allows discrimination against gay people. Photograph: Michael Conroy/AP

Indiana is not protecting religious freedom but outright zealotry

Governor Mike Pence signed a bill into law that would allow business owners to refuse service to customers they disapprove of. Like the LGBT community

Religious freedom in the United States is protected by the Constitution. It’s strange to have to state the obvious, but the Indiana legislature and Governor Mike Pence seem to need a refresher on basic civics. On 26 March, Pence signed SB 101 into law, a bill which supposedly protects religious freedom, though in this instance, that freedom largely applies to business owners who want the right to refuse service to customers they disapprove of. As with the Supreme Court decision on Hobby Lobby, the state of Indiana is giving businesses the same rights as people. Mitt Romney would be so proud of what he hath wrought.

The first amendment makes it clear that we are free to practice religion without government interference. The Constitution also establishes the separation of church and state so that the laws we live by our never guided by religious zeal. It was quite a sight, then, to see a picture of Governor Pence signing SB 101 while surrounded by various religious figures. His flagrant disregard for the separation of church and state was proudly posted to Twitter and why not? He is nothing, if not committed to this course of action.

Of course, Indiana is not alone in drafting such legislation. There are 19 other states with similar laws on the books. The ongoing fight for marriage equality and feminism are probably to blame. There are pesky people all across the country simply wanting the freedom to live their lives; they clearly must be stopped.



30 Mar

United States Wars, News and Casualties


White House exempts Syria airstrikes from tight standards on civilian deaths

Afghan girl

War  News

03/30/15 Iraq News



03/30/15 WaPo: Iraqi army weighs cost of U.S.-led strikes in Tikrit as militiamen leave

03/30/15 Rudaw: Top Kurdish ISIS leader killed in Mosul

03/30/15 AP: Twin Car Bombings in Baghdad Kill At Least 11: Iraq

03/29/15 AFP: Three killed in suicide attack on Afghan MP

03/29/15 AP: Suicide Blast Kills 1 Civilian in Eastern Afghanistan

03/29/15 KP: Civilians killed in military operation in Ghazni

03/29/15 KP: Two persons killed in armed attack in Kabul

03/29/15 KP: 220, 000 people killed in “War on Terror” in Afghanistan

Coalition Deaths


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29 Mar

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective



John Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner says Iran has ‘no intention’ of adhering to a nuclear deal. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP

Boehner: Iran has ‘no intention’ of keeping its word on nuclear deal

  • Speaker slams Obama, says Iran has ‘never kept their word about anything’

  • Promises new sanctions will ‘come quickly’ if no agreement reached

Iran has “no intention” of keeping its word on an agreement being negotiated in Switzerland over its nuclear programme, House speaker John Boehner said on Sunday.

The top Republican’s comments came as negotiations in Lausanne approached the 31 March deadline for the drafting of a framework for a deal, under intense criticism from Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.

Speaking on CNN, Boehner said he had serious doubts about the talks.

“We’ve got a regime that’s never quite kept their word about anything,” he said. “I just don’t understand why we would sign an agreement with a group of people who have no intention of keeping their word.”

If there was no agreement, Boehner said he would move “very” quickly to impose new sanctions on Iran.

“The sanctions are going to come and they are going to come quickly,” he said.

Boehner deepened a rift with President Barack Obama when he invited………………


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28 Mar

Weekend Enjoyment

Baby reading game 16 months

From the father: This is a new game we play with Torin. He is 16 1/2 months old now (3-13-2010) and he learned all the words in the Your Baby Can Read program a few months ago. I have made him new cards to continue his language development and everyday he learns 1-5 new words.




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