News

Homeland Security: Arriving passengers from Ebola countries must enter at 1 of 5 airports

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 17:36
by  Associated Press Homeland Security orders new screening for Ebola by ALICIA A. CALDWELL, Associated Press - 21 October 2014 12:36-04:00

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Homeland Security Department is requiring that anyone coming to the United States from one of three West African countries reporting an Ebola outbreak must enter the country through one of five airports screening passengers for the deadly disease.

Customs and Border Protection officers earlier this month started screening passengers from West Africa who arrived at New York's Kennedy, Newark Liberty, Washington's Dulles, Chicago's O'Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airports. There are no direct flights from West Africa to the United States and about 94 percent of the estimated 150 daily passengers from the region pass through those five airports.

The new requirement means that people traveling from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea who were not originally passing through one of those five airports will have to rebook their flights.

News Topics: Business, General news, Health, Travel, Lifestyle, Ebola virus, National security, Airport security, Hemorrhagic fever, Infectious diseases, Diseases and conditions, Military and defense, Government and politics, Aviation safety and security, Transportation safety, Transportation

People, Places and Companies: Africa, West Africa, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, United States, North America

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Dominoes with his staff or dining with the rich, Oscar de la Renta crossed worlds

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 17:34
by  Associated Press Oscar de la Renta remembered for fun, romance by LEANNE ITALIE, Associated Press - 21 October 2014 12:34-04:00

NEW YORK (AP) — Fun, sunny, romantic. Oscar de la Renta approached fashion and life on those terms, but there was more, so much more, those who loved and admired the designer say.

The "more," Vogue's Anna Wintour wrote Tuesday on the magazine's website, was "democratic."

By that, she meant de la Renta possessed the sensibility, the ease, to dine with the rich and famous but happily play dominoes with his staff.

The "more," to others, was his desire to make women feel feminine and pretty, and not just a coterie of first ladies and socialites.

Laura Bush favored de la Renta, and so did her daughter, Jenna, who was emotional on a Tuesday "Today" show appearance in describing the close friendship that developed when he created her wedding gown.

"It was the first dress he showed me. I put it on and he said, 'And now to the most important accessory,' and he handed me his arm and he said, 'The man.' And so I put my arm in his arm and I got to walk through his showroom with Oscar de la Renta."

De la Renta, at 82, died Monday at home in Kent, Connecticut, surrounded by family, friends and his beloved dogs after four decades in the fashion industry. A handwritten statement signed by his stepdaughter Eliza Reed Bolen and her husband, Alex Bolen, did not specify a cause of death, but de la Renta had spoken in the past of having cancer.

Wintour wrote that his strength, his courage, "must have been with him in the hospital last week when he made the decision to turn off treatment; it was not the quality of life he wanted."

Eveningwear was de la Renta's specialty, though he also was known for chic daytime suits worn by ladies who lunch. His signature looks were voluminous skirts, exquisite embroideries and rich colors.

Earlier this month, first lady Michelle Obama notably wore a de la Renta dress for the first time. De la Renta had criticized her several years earlier for not wearing an American designer label to a state dinner in 2011.

"Oscar de la Renta truly was the ultimate diplomat for American fashion, a pillar who supported an idea of this country's style beyond that of jeans and work clothes. Much like his designs, from simply elegant daywear to ravishingly gorgeous evening dresses that seduced virtually every first lady during his lifetime, Oscar himself projected an image of elegance," recalled Eric Wilson, the fashion news director for InStyle magazine.

Ruthie Friedlander, deputy editor for Elle.com, understands the "more" that set de la Renta apart. It was about women and his ability to understand their beauty.

"That is something you rarely see in a designer," she said of the generations he crossed. "You could picture yourself wearing his clothes, even if you didn't have an occasion for them. It might have been aspirational, but he had a piece for you in there somewhere."

The designer's path to New York's Seventh Avenue took an unlikely route: He left his native Dominican Republic at 18 to study painting in Spain, but soon became sidetracked by fashion, launching his own label in 1965.

He told The Associated Press in 2004 that his Hispanic roots had worked their way into his designs.

"I like light, color, luminosity. I like things full of color and vibrant," he said.

While de la Renta made Manhattan his primary home, he often visited the Dominican Republic and kept a home there. Wintour, Vogue's editor in chief, was a frequent visitor and she has said traveling with him was like traveling with the president.

She recalled last weekend, when she and her daughter paid a visit to his country home in the northwestern Connecticut town of Kent, where gardening and dancing were among his favorite diversions from work.

"We laughed about Bee's love life. He gave her advice, and then he said he had a dream to see the allee and pond he had just designed on the grounds," she wrote. "He could no longer move, so we went out and took pictures on his iPad for him to see and ate a chicken sandwich with Annette (his wife) and Janet, his extraordinary nurse. His last words to me were I love you, and I said I love you back."

Dominican President Danilo Medina said Tuesday that the country is in mourning for de la Renta, both as a symbol of national pride and for improving the lives of children through his charitable work.

"In addition to raising the profile of the Dominican Republic thanks to his art and talent, he has been a great defender of the national interests," Medina said via Twitter.

Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, sees the "more" of de la Renta in the expanse of influences he soaked in.

"Oscar was a designer who really combined Spanish, Parisian and American sensibility in fashion," she said. "The time he spent studying with Balenciaga in Spain, the work in Paris and the tremendous success in New York all ended in creating an international style, one that focused very much on the idea of feminine beauty."

A beauty that stemmed from a love of women.

"He never shied away from saying what he did was make pretty dresses," Steele said. "The goal of the pretty dresses was to make women look pretty. He would dress a woman, her daughter and her granddaughter and they would all feel happy."

News Topics: Arts and entertainment, General news, Lifestyle, Celebrity, Fashion, Entertainment, Beauty and fashion, Fashion design

People, Places and Companies: Oscar de la Renta, Anna Wintour, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, Danilo Medina, Dominican Republic, Caribbean, Latin America and Caribbean

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

The glow of new love, plus a hearty helping of self-discipline, fuel Neil Diamond's new album

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 17:33
by  Associated Press Love, discipline fuel Neil Diamond's latest album by SANDY COHEN, Associated Press - 21 October 2014 12:33-04:00

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Neil Diamond wrote and recorded his first studio album of new material in six years floating in the heady glow of new love.

The 73-year-old entertainer, who married for the third time in 2012, says happiness with his new bride fueled his work on "Melody Road," out Tuesday.

"There's no better inspiration or motivation for work than being in love. It's what you dream of as a creative person," Diamond said in a recent interview. "I was able to complete this album — start it, write it and complete it — under the spell of love, and I think it shows somehow."

Not that he allowed his wife, Katie McNeil, in on the making of the songs.

A songwriter since the early 1960s, Diamond has become extremely disciplined about his process. He writes every day, regardless of inspiration or deadlines. He doesn't listen to, or play, any other music while working on his own material, and he doesn't preview his songs for anyone until they've been recorded.

His wife didn't hear the album — even the songs he wrote for her — until it was finished.

"I'm very strict with myself now because I'm the only one who's looking over my shoulder," Diamond said. "Each song is a puzzle, and I've chosen to stay with it until it makes its incremental advance toward completion."

He spent 18 months holed up making "Melody Road," a collection of 12 tracks he says tells the story of his life over the past 20 years. There are songs about heartache, about family, and several about finding love.

Diamond is thoughtful and measured as he discusses his work. He takes it seriously and says he really does suffer for his art.

"It's terrible because you're forgoing real life," he said. "I'm locked in a room and I should be with my grandson or granddaughters and I can't be. I've had that for the last 45 or 50 years. ... I've missed out for the sake of my music and I understand that, but it doesn't make it any easier to do."

And then there's performing, his favorite part of the job. Diamond has five months of concerts scheduled in North America and Europe next year.

"I love performing. There's no discipline involved. It's the only time nobody can reach me on the phone. It's got all kinds of benefits, not the least of which is having an audience that's enthusiastic and that's come from all over to hear what you've got to sing that night. It's an amazing process," he said. "So I adore the performance. I can't say I adore songwriting. That's hard work, and I don't mind hard work, but that's really hard work and it's self-discipline. The only time you enjoy writing a song is when you finish it."

___

Follow Sandy Cohen on Twitter at twitter.com/APSandy .

___

Online:

http://www.neildiamond.com

News Topics: Arts and entertainment, Music, Entertainment

People, Places and Companies: Neil Diamond, Katie McNeil

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Nas, David Bryne to perform at Alicia Keys' Black Ball on Oct. 30; Diddy, Swizz Beatz to host

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 17:31
by  Associated Press Diddy, Nas set for Alicia Keys' Black Ball Associated Press - 21 October 2014 12:31-04:00

NEW YORK (AP) — Diddy will host Alicia Keys' annual charity event that raises awareness about HIV and AIDS.

The piano-playing singer announced Tuesday that her husband, producer-rapper Swizz Beatz, will co-host the 11th annual Black Ball on Oct. 30 at New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom.

Keys, Nas, David Byrne and Angel Haze will perform.

Keep a Child Alive, Keys' charity launched in 2003, assists people affected by HIV and AIDS in Africa and India.

Last year's Black Ball raised $4 million and featured Carole King and Pharrell.

___

Online:

http://www.keepachildalive.org

News Topics: Arts and entertainment, Music, Entertainment, Hip hop and rap, Rhythm and blues, Celebrity

People, Places and Companies: Alicia Keys, Nas, Swizz Beatz, David Byrne, Carole King

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

EU regulators say DuPont, Honeywell may have restricted competition in refrigerants market

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 17:29
by  Associated Press EU antitrust watchdog eyes DuPont, Honeywell by RANDALL CHASE, Associated Press - 21 October 2014 12:29-04:00

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Regulators in Europe say an agreement between DuPont and Honeywell to develop automobile refrigerant may be violating antitrust rules.

The U.S. companies entered into a partnership in 2010 to develop the refrigerant after new standards on vehicle air conditioning were put into place in Europe, but the European Commission said Tuesday that a series of agreements between The DuPont Co. and Honeywell International Inc. may be hindering competition.

The DuPont Co., based in Delaware, says said it has complied with European laws and plans to defend itself vigorously. Honeywell, based in New Jersey, called the EU objections baseless.

The commission said its preliminary view is that the companies may have limited the refrigerant's availability and technical development, in breach of EU antitrust rules.

News Topics: Business, Contracts and orders, Monopoly and antitrust, Corporate news

People, Places and Companies: E I Du Pont De Nemours & Company, Honeywell International Inc, Dover, Europe, Delaware, United States, North America

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

American video journalist says he feels fortunate to be recovering from Ebola

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 17:27
by  Associated Press US journalist feels lucky to recover from Ebola Associated Press - 21 October 2014 12:27-04:00

OMAHA, Nebraska (AP) — An American video journalist with Ebola says he feels lucky to be recovering from the deadly virus, but it's humbling to think about how many people have died from the disease in West Africa.

Ashoka Mukpo made several comments about Ebola on Twitter Monday.

Mukpo has been treated at the Nebraska Medical Center since Oct. 6, and doctors have said he could be released by the end of the week if tests confirm he is free of the virus.

Mukpo, of Providence, Rhode Island, contracted Ebola while working in Liberia as a freelance cameraman for NBC and other media outlets.

He tweeted that he's still not sure exactly how he caught the virus, but that he doesn't regret returning to Liberia in September to "help raise the alarm."

News Topics: General news, Ebola virus, Journalists, Hemorrhagic fever, Infectious diseases, Diseases and conditions, Health, News media, Media

People, Places and Companies: Liberia, Nebraska, West Africa, Africa, United States, North America

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

English third tier club Rochdale uses confiscated marijuana lights to grow turf on its pitch

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 17:25
by  Associated Press Rochdale uses confiscated marijuana lights on turf by JACK BEZANTS, Associated Press - 21 October 2014 12:25-04:00

LONDON (AP) — Powerful lights confiscated by police during marijuana raids are now being used by the groundsman of English third tier soccer club Rochdale to help the turf grow on its field.

Police donated the lights to the club last week to avoid having to pay for their disposal.

Oli Makin bolted together two old goalposts, attached the lights and placed the rig over damaged areas of the field, such as the goalmouth.

Makin says "we wouldn't be able to buy the rigs that Premier League clubs have because of the cost — the small ones cost 30,000 pounds ($48,000)."

News Topics: Sports, Soccer, Men's soccer, Men's sports

People, Places and Companies: United Kingdom, Western Europe, Europe

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Spanish nursing assistant cleared of Ebola virus with final tests, wins 15-day battle for life

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 17:18
by  Associated Press Spanish woman free of Ebola, final tests shows Associated Press - 21 October 2014 12:18-04:00

MADRID (AP) — Conclusive tests show a Spanish nursing assistant infected with Ebola is completely clear of the virus, doctors said Tuesday, signaling a positive outcome in her 15-day battle to survive.

Four blood tests over the past four days showed Teresa Romero's system had eliminated the virus, Dr. Jose Ramon Arribas, of the Carlos III hospital said.

"World Health Organization criteria for curation have been completed," said Arribas, the hospital's chief for infectious diseases.

He added that she would no longer have to be kept in isolation although he warned she would have to be monitored for after effects of the virus.

Romero, 44, tested positive Oct. 6 and was admitted to the Madrid hospital. She received plasma from a recovered Ebola patient, but health authorities have disclosed no more treatment details.

Doctors said she began to show signs of recovery last week.

Romero was the first known person to contract the disease outside of West Africa in the latest outbreak. Romero had treated two Spanish missionaries who died of Ebola at the hospital after they were flown back from West Africa.

She told doctors she remembered touching a glove to her face after leaving the hospital room of missionary Miguel Pajares, who died Sept. 25.

A spokeswoman for Romero said she is expected to remain at the hospital about two more weeks.

Romero still doesn't know that Spanish health authorities approved the killing of the couple's mixed breed dog named Excalibur on Oct. 8 instead of isolating the pet.

News Topics: General news, Health, Ebola virus, Hemorrhagic fever, Infectious diseases, Diseases and conditions

People, Places and Companies: Madrid, Spain, Western Europe, Europe

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

UN chief urges halt to unilateral Israel-Palestinian initiatives and compromises for peace

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 16:34
by  Associated Press UN: Stop unilateral Israel-Palestinian initiatives Associated Press - 21 October 2014 11:34-04:00

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging Palestinian and Israeli leaders to halt "unilateral initiatives" that fuel mistrust and to make the tough compromises needed to achieve a two-state solution.

The U.N. chief's remarks to the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday were almost certainly aimed at Israel's continued settlement building in territory the Palestinians want for their state and the Palestinians' pursuit of a council resolution that would set November 2016 as the deadline for Israeli troops to withdraw from all Palestinian territory.

Ban challenged both sides to display "courage and vision" and rise to the occasion and negotiate a comprehensive peace agreement.

The secretary-general, who recently visited Gaza, criticized the extent of the destruction unleashed by Israel saying it "has left deep questions about proportionality and the need for accountability."

News Topics: General news, Territorial disputes, Peace process, War and unrest, Diplomacy, International relations, Government and politics

People, Places and Companies: Ban Ki-Moon, Palestinian territories, Israel, Middle East

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Activists, militants: Islamic State group fighters seize weapons airdrop meant for Kurds

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 16:34
by  Associated Press IS fighters seize weapons airdrop meant for Kurds by DIAA HADID, Associated Press - 21 October 2014 11:34-04:00

BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State group fighters seized at least one cache of weapons airdropped by U.S.-led coalition forces that were meant to suppy Kurdish militiamen battling the extremist group in a border town, activists said Tuesday.

The cache of weapons included hand grenades, ammunition and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, according to a video uploaded by a media group loyal to the Islamic State. The video appeared authentic and corresponded to The Associated Press' reporting of the event. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the militants had seized at least once cache, but may have seized more.

The Observatory, which bases its information on a network of activists on the ground, said the caches were airdropped early Monday to Kurds in the embattled Syrian town of Kobani that lies near the Turkish border. The militant group has been trying to seize the town for over a month now, causing the exodus of some 200,000 people from the area into Turkey. While Kurds are battling on the ground, a U.S.-led coalition is also targeting the militants from the air.

On Tuesday, Islamic State loyalists on social media posted sarcastic thank you notes to the United States, including one image that said, "Team USA."

But the badly-aimed weapons drop was more an embarrassment than a great strategic loss. The Islamic State militants already possess millions of dollars-worth of U.S. weaponry that they captured from fleeing Iraqi soldiers when the group seized swaths of Iraq in a sudden sweep in June.

Also Tuesday, Syrian government airstrikes hit a rebel-held town along the country's southern border with Jordan, killing at least eight people on Tuesday.

Activists with the Local Coordination Committees and the Britain-based Observatory said the number of those killed was likely to rise as there are more victims under the rubble.

The LCC said Syrian government planes dropped crude explosives-laden canisters on the town of Nasib on the Syria-Jordan border.

The airstrikes are part of battles between Syrian government forces and Islamic rebel groups for control of the area.

Syrian government forces have been heavily bombing rebel areas in recent weeks, while the U.S-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against Islamic State militants elsewhere in Syria.

News Topics: General news, Militant groups, War and unrest, Political activism, Political issues, Government and politics

People, Places and Companies: Syria, Middle East, United States, North America

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

While unsettling, last week's big stock slump is no reason to abandon the market, advisers say

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 16:34
by  Associated Press Big slump is no cause to ditch stock market by STEVE ROTHWELL, Associated Press - 21 October 2014 11:34-04:00

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market's big swings have raised concerns about how much longer the five-year bull market can last.

But the volatility is no reason to abandon the market, say professional investors and strategists.

Worries about a slowdown in global growth drove oil prices and global stock indices lower last week. Headlines about the spread of Ebola and the deepening conflict with Islamic State fighters in the Middle East also turned investors cautious.

But investment strategists point out that many of the factors that have supported stocks during their current five-year bull run market remain in place. The U.S. economy is still growing, and so are corporate earnings.

Most strategists say investors should take advantage of the opportunities that come with a stock sell-off.

Last Wednesday, the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index dropped as much as 7.4 percent from a recent record. Investors fled to the relative safety of bonds, pushing up their prices and dropping the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to its lowest level in more than a year.

Erik Davidson, deputy chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank, says that big shifts in financial markets are a good time to change, or rebalance, the proportion of stocks and bonds held by investors.

Since the financial crisis and the Great Recession, many investors have allocated too much of their portfolios to bonds, and shied away from stocks, Davidson says.

That strategy has served them well over the last seven years, as bonds have rallied. The Barclays aggregate, a broad index of bonds, handed investors positive returns every year since the financial crisis, with the exception of 2013 when they gave investors a 2 percent loss.

The time may now have come to put more money into stocks. Bonds could slump if the economy continues to improve and interest rates start to rise from record lows.

"We are suggesting that investors who have been on the sidelines use this as an opportunity to get into the (stock) market," Davidson says.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell as low as 1.89 percent last Wednesday as investors sold stocks heavily and bought bonds. They are now trading at 2.21 percent.

Davidson views the recent stock sell-off as a normal, periodic slump, rather than the precursor to a market crash.

The stock market hasn't had a correction, Wall Street speak for a drop of 10 percent or more, in more than three years, an unusually long stretch. Many analysts consider the current volatility as a natural part of stock investing. Typically, the stock market experiences a slump every 18 months, on average, according to data from S&P Capital IQ.

There are reasons to remain cautious, though. Before jumping back into the stock market, investors should look to at developments in commodities, says Jeff Kleintop, Charles Schwab's chief global investment strategist.

This month's stock sell-off was driven by a fear that deflation, or falling prices, could start in Europe and spread throughout the global economy, says Kleintop. Lower prices might seem like a good thing, but a sustained fall pushes consumers and companies to cut back on their spending and wait for lower prices. It's a difficult cycle to break and can devastate economies.

Oil's plunge this year has stirred fears of deflation. Crude has dropped 26 percent from $106.91 a barrel in June, to as low as $81.10 on Monday The slump reflects concerns about a slowing global economy. For that reason, investors should wait until they see oil stabilizes before buying stocks.

"I don't think we've necessarily seen the bottom yet," says Klientop. "I want to see commodity prices rise, before I believe that the stock market rally is sustainable."

One reason to shift more to stocks, market watchers say, is that the recent sell-off has made them relatively cheaper.

The price-earnings ratio for companies in the S&P 500 index has fallen from a high of 17.2 in June to 14.7. That's about where it was in February. The P/E ratio measures how much investors pay for stocks of companies in relation to next year's earnings.

Investors should view the stock sell-off as a "nuanced opportunity," not an opening to rush into the market, says Russ Koesterich, chief investment strategist at fund manager BlackRock. While valuations are lower, stocks still aren't "particularly cheap."

Koesterich says that buying the stocks of larger U.S. companies is one of the soundest strategies. That's because the U.S. economy will continue to expand, although at a muted pace, and these stocks should offer the best cushion should markets become volatile again.

General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt seemed to underscore that point on Friday after the conglomerate posted strong third-quarter results. Immelt acknowledged the uncertainty in the global economy, but said that nations are still going ahead with large building projects and companies are buying equipment.

GE also said that U.S. industrial activity is at its highest since the financial crisis. And it issued an upbeat forecast for the fourth quarter, a crucial prediction because GE is seen as a proxy for the global economy.

"I wouldn't be selling out of stocks," Koesterich says. "You can trim a bit if you're worried about volatility."

For other investors, the best strategy simply to do nothing and wait out the bumps.

Ron Wiener, CEO of RDM Financial Group, an investment advisory firm that has offices in Westport, Connecticut, and Boca Raton, Florida, says he didn't sell any of his holdings during the recent stock slump.

He invests in mainly U.S. companies. He also holds so called Master Limited Partnerships, MLP's, which own pipelines, holding tanks and other equipment that transport fuel to consumers. They have been popular with investors in recent years because the firms are required by law to "pass through" much of their income to shareholders.

"Looking back in six or nine months, we're all going to wish we stayed exactly where we were," Weiner says.

News Topics: Business, General news, Stock prices, Prices, Economy, Financial crisis, Treasury notes, Stock indices and averages, Deflation, Stock markets, Leading economic indicators, Financial markets, Government bonds, Debt and bond markets

People, Places and Companies: Wells Fargo & Co, Charles Schwab Corp, General Electric Co, Jeff Immelt, United States, North America

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Outgoing leader of UK eavesdropping agency offers impassioned defense of GCHQ's work

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 16:33
by  Associated Press UK eavesdropping agency head defends work Associated Press - 21 October 2014 11:33-04:00

LONDON (AP) — The outgoing leader of Britain's electronic eavesdropping agency has offered a vigorous defense of its work, insisting the organization had delivered security while protecting privacy to the greatest extent possible.

Iain Lobban, who is leaving GCHQ after six years, says that strong cyber capabilities were needed to disrupt threats because "those who would do us harm don't want to be found."

"We have to enter that labyrinth to find them," he told a hand-picked audience in London on Tuesday.

He stressed GCHQ's mission is "the protection of liberty, not the erosion of it."

Civil liberties advocates have criticized GCHQ and its American counterpart, the National Security Agency, amid revelations by Edward Snowden. The former NSA analyst disclosed that the American government collected digital and telephone records on a vast scale.

News Topics: General news

People, Places and Companies: Edward Snowden, United Kingdom, Western Europe, Europe

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Underwater hunt exposes gap in Sweden's anti-submarine capabilities

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 16:20
by  Associated Press Submarine hunt exposes Swedish readiness gap Associated Press - 21 October 2014 11:20-04:00

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The search for a foreign underwater craft in waters off Stockholm has brought back memories of Sweden's submarine hunts during the Cold War — and exposed a key difference.

Back then Sweden actually had a robust anti-submarine force.

Sweden, which is not a NATO member, has downsized its military significantly since the Iron Curtain fell and has scrapped some of the resources it used to hunt for Soviet submarines, including helicopters equipped with sonar and anti-submarine weapons.

The military says the helicopters used in the current search don't have that equipment.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said Tuesday that Sweden's military "needs to improve its capacity." He cited Russia's increasing military activity in the region but added that "we do not regard that as an immediate threat to Sweden."

News Topics: General news, Cold War, Events

People, Places and Companies: Sweden, Western Europe, Europe

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Musicians to rally for fellow NYC subway performer who was arrested for not having permit

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 16:17
by  Associated Press Buskers to rally for arrested NYC subway performer Associated Press - 21 October 2014 11:17-04:00

NEW YORK (AP) — Fellow musicians are rallying around a subway performer whose arrest in a busy New York City subway station was captured on video.

They are planning a demonstration Tuesday afternoon on behalf of Adam Kalleen. He was arrested Friday on a loitering charge in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood.

In the video, a police officer tells the 30-year-old he needs a permit to play the guitar.

Kalleen references Metropolitan Transportation Authority rules that say artistic performances are allowed.

The musician says he will continue playing. He's led away in handcuffs as straphangers yell insults at the officer.

Kalleen was right about the rules. The MTA does not issue permits.

Spokesman Steve Davis says the New York Police Department is looking into the arrest.

The video has been viewed nearly a half-million times.

News Topics: General news, Arrests, Law and order, Crime

People, Places and Companies: New York City, New York, United States, North America

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Rights group: LGBT Jamaicans are targets of unchecked violence, discrimination

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 16:16
by  Associated Press Rights group: LGBT Jamaicans targets of violence by DAVID McFADDEN, Associated Press - 21 October 2014 11:16-04:00

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — A leading human rights group says in a new report that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are the targets of unchecked violence and discrimination in Jamaica. It says they are frequently refused housing or employment in the Caribbean country typically described as the region's most hostile to LGBT citizens.

The 86-page report released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch notes that LGBT citizens in Jamaica are often driven from their communities by neighbors and sometimes even family. Some health professionals stigmatize them by casting judgment on their sexuality when they seek care. Police protection against bias and physical attacks is generally poor.

The New York-based rights group is calling on the Jamaican government to strike down the anti-sodomy law that criminalizes anal sex.

News Topics: General news, Gays and lesbians, Gay rights, Sexual orientation discrimination, Human rights and civil liberties, Social issues, Social affairs, Discrimination

People, Places and Companies: Jamaica, Kingston, Caribbean, Latin America and Caribbean

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Poppy cultivation hits record high in Afghanistan in 2013 despite over $7B spent to combat it

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 16:15
by  Associated Press Afghan opium poppy cultivation hits all-time high Associated Press - 21 October 2014 11:15-04:00

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A U.S. report shows that opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan grew to an all-time high in 2013 despite America spending more than $7 billion to fight it over the past decade.

Federal auditors SIGAR report that Afghan farmers grew an unprecedented 209,000 hectares of the poppy in 2013, blowing past the previous peak of 193,000 hectares in 2007.

As of June 30, 2014, they say, the United States had spent approximately $7.6 billion on counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan.

It said one factor for the surge was affordable deep-well technology, which turned 200,000 hectares of desert in southwestern Afghanistan into arable land over the past decade.

Poppy cultivation happens mostly in the south and southwestern parts of Afghanistan where insurgents are highly active and the government has little influence.

News Topics: General news

People, Places and Companies: Afghanistan, Central Asia, Asia

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Latvia: NATO jets intercept Russian fighters twice in 2 days over Baltic Sea

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 16:15
by  Associated Press NATO intercepts Russian jets over Baltic Sea Associated Press - 21 October 2014 11:15-04:00

HELSINKI (AP) — Latvia's military says NATO has sent up jets twice in two days to intercept Russian military aircraft over the Baltic Sea.

The Latvian National Armed Forces tweeted Tuesday that the alliance's F-16 jets on Oct 21 "scrambled to intercept" a Russian Ilyushin-20 surveillance aircraft over the Baltic Sea, adding that a similar incident had occurred a day earlier.

NATO couldn't immediately confirm the events except to say that Russian aircraft have not violated the airspace of its members in the region.

The incidents come as Russian forces have been accused of a series of border violations.

The Swedish Navy is combing the Stockholm archipelago for signs of a foreign submarine that officials suspect entered its territorial waters illegally. It hasn't officially linked Russia to the suspected intrusion, first reported Friday.

News Topics: General news

People, Places and Companies: Russia, Latvia, Baltic Sea, Eastern Europe, Europe

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Board of Deputies of British Jews condemns Farage

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 15:36
by  Andy Carling

Nigel Farage and UKIP are coming under sustained criticism for their new Polish MEP, Robert Iwaszkiewicz.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews issued a statement condemning Farage for the move.

"“The Board is gravely concerned by reports that UKIP may sit in the same parliamentary grouping as a far-right Polish MEP in a bid save its funding," they said. 

"Robert Iwaszkiewicz belongs to an extremist party whose leader has a history of Holocaust denial, racist remarks and misogynistic comments.  He belongs to the far-right Polish JKM, led by Janusz Korwin-Mikke who has reportedly called into question the right of women to have the vote."

They continue, "“Furthermore, we entirely reject UKIP’s justification that ‘All groups in the European Parliament have very odd bedfellows (and) The rules to get speaking time and funding are set by the EP, not UKIP’."

"Extremists and racists should be roundly rejected, not embraced.  Even France's far right Front National rejected the JKM as being too extreme," they add.

They conclude, “For UKIP to choose such a figure as Robert Iwaszkiewicz as a bedfellow, apparently for money, is beyond belief. Nigel Farage now has some very serious questions to answer.  He has placed in issue the credibility of UKIP."

Categories: News

Go For the Food: In Kansas City, where barbecue is a fightin' word, Bryant's remains a legend

New Europe News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 15:33
by  Associated Press Go For the Food: Bryant's barbecue in Kansas City by BETH J. HARPAZ, Associated Press - 21 October 2014 10:33-04:00

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — I learned an important lesson from a food blogger in Kansas City: Talking about barbecue in these parts may involve "fightin' words."

Case in point: When I mentioned on Facebook that I was heading to Kansas City, one friend sent me to Arthur Bryant's barbecue restaurant, quoting Calvin Trillin's famous line that Bryant's was possibly "the single best restaurant in the world." But another friend declared Bryant's sauce "gross."

Meanwhile, the blogger, Mary Bloch, along with a local acquaintance, confirmed that Bryant's has earned its kudos across the decades and remains one of the best barbecue places in town. But both felt that its top-dog status has been eclipsed by others, including Oklahoma Joe's, Fiorella's Jack Stack, Danny Edwards and Gates.

But what do I know about barbecue? I'm a tourist from New York, where fightin' words are reserved for bagels, and barbecue is often disappointing. I was with my sister on our first-ever visit to Kansas City — which included classic tourist stops like the Nelson-Atkins Museum and Blue Room jazz club — so we opted for the old-school legend and headed to Bryant's.

To further prove my ignorance about the Kansas City barbecue scene, I even called ahead for reservations. I have great respect for the person who answered and didn't hang up laughing. Instead he paused and said, politely, "We accept walk-ins."

They sure do. As we drove nearer, I wondered if we were lost. There wasn't much nearby and the brick building it's in looks like a forgotten warehouse. We stepped inside and realized why they don't take reservations: It's one room, cafeteria-style, with a line and counter in the back where you order, and a few tables scattered in front.

But I like holes in the wall as much as I like icons. And Bryant's is "both the icon and the hole in the wall," said Bloch, who writes the AroundtheBlockKC.com food blog and the Kansas City Star Restaurant Guide.

Either way, it was obvious that other diners were loving their food, chowing down and licking their chops over plates piled high with meat. We might not have ordered the turkey sandwich, but a tableful of construction workers raved about it. We also ordered a pound of mixed meat — ham, brisket and ribs — plus coleslaw, potato salad and beans. Call us ignorant New Yorkers, but we absolutely loved it — except for the stack of white bread on the side, which we ignored. It was also way too much food, so we saved the leftovers for a next-day picnic. It was even yummy cold.

Bloch later told me that Bryant's is the undisputed "grandfather of all barbecue places in Kansas City." Its founders, Arthur and Charlie Bryant, were African-American brothers who worked for Henry Perry, the man who opened what's considered Kansas City's first barbecue stand in 1908. The Bryant brothers eventually took over the business, which moved in 1958 to its current location. Calvin Trillin, the humorist and food writer who was born in Kansas City in 1935, said Bryant's was also one of the city's few integrated restaurants when he was growing up. And it's a must-stop for politicians, having hosted everyone from Harry Truman to Sarah Palin to Barack Obama.

Bryant's has also long been a favorite among baseball fans. Municipal Stadium, which was home to a Negro Leagues team and later several Major League Baseball teams, was just a few blocks away. Municipal closed in 1972, but the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is close to Bryant's, as is the American Jazz Museum and the famous intersection of 18th and Vine, for decades the center of a thriving African-American neighborhood. Bloch says Bryant's still "gets a line out the door" before every game at Kauffman Stadium, which replaced Municipal, even though it's a 10-minute drive from Bryant's on Interstate 70. With the Kansas City Royals in the World Series this year, business at Bryant's is likely to be robust.

___

If You Go...

ARTHUR BRYANT'S: 1727 Brooklyn Ave., Kansas City, Missouri; http://www.arthurbryantsbbq.com/ or 816-231-1123.

News Topics: Food and drink, Lifestyle, Travel, MLB baseball, Baseball, Professional baseball, Men's sports, Sports

People, Places and Companies: Calvin Trillin, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, Kansas City, Missouri, United States, North America, Kansas

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News