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OND is a community feature  on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary.  Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00AM Eastern Time.

OND Editors  OND is a community feature  on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary.  Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00AM Eastern Time.

OND Editors consist of founder Magnifico, regular editors jlms qkw, maggiejean, wader, Oke, rfall, and JML9999, alumni editors palantir, BentLiberal and ScottyUrb, guest editor annetteboardman, and current editor-in-chief Neon Vincent.   We invited our readers to comment & share other news.

 

BBC:Syria crisis: Refugee total now more than 1.5m - UNHCR


Syria crisis: Refugee total now more than 1.5m - UNHCR

The UN's refugee agency has said that more than 1.5 million people have fled the conflict in Syria.

Most have fled to Jordan and Lebanon, but not have all been registered yet, meaning the true total is likely to be far higher, according to the UNHCR.

The situation inside Syria has deteriorated dramatically over the past four months, according to the agency.

The UN estimates that 80,000 people have died in the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


BBC:Argentina ex-military leader Jorge Rafael Videla dies

Argentina ex-military leader Jorge Rafael Videla dies

Former Argentine military leader Jorge Rafael Videla has died aged 87 while serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity.

He is reported to have died from natural causes in prison.

The general was jailed in 2010 for the deaths of 31 dissidents during the 1976-83 military dictatorship, of which he was overall leader until 1981.

Up to 30,000 people were tortured and killed during this period, in a campaign known as the "Dirty War".


BBC:Costa Rica's president in scandal over 'drugs' jet

Costa Rica's president in scandal over 'drugs' jet

Revelations that Costa Rica's president used the jet of a Colombian with alleged links to drugs trafficking have led to three high-profile resignations.

The head of intelligence and security, Mauricio Boraschi, and presidential aide Irene Pacheco stepped down on Thursday. Communications Minister Francisco Chacon resigned on Wednesday.

President Laura Chinchilla travelled twice on Gabriel Morales Fallon's jet.

She said "a few key people" had failed in their duties to protect her.


BBC:Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria air raids target militants

Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria air raids target militants

The Nigerian military has launched air raids on militant training camps in the north-east of the country, officials say.

An army spokesman said jets and helicopter gunships had been used to attack several camps.

He told the BBC that a plane had been hit by anti-aircraft fire but had managed to return to base.

States of emergency were declared this week in three north-eastern states hit by Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency.  


BBC:Burma's Thein Sein heads to US for first state visit

Burma's Thein Sein heads to US for first state visit

Burma's President Thein Sein is heading to the US and will meet President Obama on Monday - in the first state visit by a Burmese leader since 1966.

More than 20 political prisoners have been pardoned in advance of his trip.

Mr Sein hopes to discuss US assistance in developing "security [and] rule of law" at the meeting, a spokesman said.

The US has hailed recent reforms from the formerly military-ruled state, including the release of political dissidents and relaxed censorship.


BBC:Syria crisis: Russia 'sends sophisticated weapons'

Syria crisis: Russia 'sends sophisticated weapons'

Russia has sent sophisticated anti-ship missiles to Syria, US media report.

The New York Times quotes unnamed US officials as saying the missiles could be used to counter any potential future foreign military intervention in Syria.

Without confirming details, Russia's foreign minister said Russian supplies did not break any international rules.

It comes amid growing alarm that chemical weapons may be being used in Syria, something US President Barack Obama has said would be "a red line".


Reuters:SAC Capital won't fully cooperate with government: letter

SAC Capital won't fully cooperate with government: letter

(Reuters) - Steven A. Cohen's hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors told investors on Friday it would no longer cooperate "unconditionally" with the U.S. government's insider trading investigation.

In a brief letter to investors, the $15 billion hedge fund did not elaborate but said it believes the next few months will be critical in the investigation.

The firm said that "over the coming months there will be more clarity about the outcome of these matters."

The letter, which an investor in the fund who did not want to be identified read to Reuters over the telephone, also said while SAC believes in transparency, it may not be able to give frequent updates to investors.


Reuters:Insight: Syria's Nusra Front eclipsed by Iraq-based al Qaeda

Insight: Syria's Nusra Front eclipsed by Iraq-based al Qaeda

(Reuters) - The most feared and effective rebel group battling President Bashar al-Assad, the Islamist Nusra Front, is being eclipsed by a more radical jihadi force whose aims go far beyond overthrowing the Syrian leader.

Al Qaeda's Iraq-based wing, which nurtured Nusra in the early stages of the rebellion against Assad, has moved in and sidelined the organization, Nusra sources and other rebels say.

Al Qaeda in Iraq includes thousands of foreign fighters whose ultimate goal is not toppling Assad but the anti-Western jihad of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri - a shift which could extend Syria's conflict well beyond any political accord between Assad and his foes. The fighting has already cost 90,000 lives.

The break-up of an important part of Syria's opposition, already splintered into hundreds of armed groups, worsens the dilemma faced by the West as it debates whether intervention to support the rebels will result in arms being placed in the hands of hostile Islamist militants. And if the West were to intervene, it may now be under pressure to attack al Qaeda opposition forces rather than Assad.


Reuters:Mexican general sent to quell drug violence in new strategy

Mexican general sent to quell drug violence in new strategy

(Reuters) - A Mexican general took over all police and military operations in a chaotic western state on Thursday in a test run of President Enrique Pena Nieto's new security strategy to tame raging drug violence.

Alberto Reyes assumed control of all federal, state and city police forces, as well as military units in Michoacan, one of the most violent states in the country, after he was named the state's new security minister.

Big swaths of Michoacan have fallen under the sway of criminal gangs who are fighting among themselves and against authorities. Former President Felipe Calderon launched his military-led crackdown on drug cartels there in 2006.

Pena Nieto, who took office in December, has vowed to reduce the violence that has exploded in Mexico in the last decade by battling crime rather than hunting down drug lords.


Reuters:Organ donor cards hard to implement in China, official says

Organ donor cards hard to implement in China, official says

(Reuters) - A system of donor cards indicating consent for organ transplants will not work in China as families will insist on having the final say, and many people see nothing wrong in using organs from executed prisoners, an official said on Friday.

Nearly 1.5 million people in China need transplants every year, but only 10,000 can get organs, according to the Health Ministry.

Many of those organs are taken from executed criminals and rights groups say it is often done without their consent - something the government denies, even as it tries to move away from obtaining organs from death-row inmates.

"China has an obvious family hierarchy," Huang Jiefu, who oversees transplants for the ministry, told a news conference when asked whether China could adopt an organ donor card system as practiced in countries like the United States and Britain.


Reuters:Japan PM sets targets in latest growth strategy tranche

Japan PM sets targets in latest growth strategy tranche

(Reuters) - The latest tranche of Japan's growth strategy will aim to triple infrastructure exports and double farm exports by 2020, as well as boost private investment, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday.

The government will set a target for domestic private-sector investment of 70 trillion yen ($687 billion) annually, Abe said in a speech to business executives and academics, the level before the 2008 financial crisis and up about 10 percent from the current figure.

Measures to promote growth constitute what Abe calls the "third arrow" in his policy quiver as Japan battles to end 15 years of deflation and generate sustainable economic growth. The first two arrows of "Abenomics" are massive monetary easing and a burst of government spending.

Abe has promised that structural reform including deregulation will be a key part of the package of steps, to be fully unveiled in June. But it also includes a significant role for government in generating investment and innovation in key sectors, a stance some critics see as outdated and ill-advised.


Reuters:U.N. Security Council mulls Syria cross-border aid push

U.N. Security Council mulls Syria cross-border aid push

(Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council is considering a plea from senior U.N. aid officials to demand aid access in war-torn Syria, a move that could lead to a showdown between Russia and Western states over humanitarian cross-border deliveries, U.N. diplomats say.

As neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq struggle to cope with the influx of Syrian refugees that the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday has surpassed 1.5 million, U.N. officials have told the Security Council there are millions more people in need of aid inside Syria.

But such a battle over a new resolution in the 15-member council, which has long been deadlocked over how to act on Syria's two-year civil war, will likely be left until after a planned Syria peace conference in Geneva next month, U.N. diplomats said.

Russia, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and China have used their veto power three times to prevent Security Council against Assad that was backed by the remaining three veto powers - the United States, Britain and France.


USA Today:Injuries reported as Conn. commuter trains collide

Injuries reported as Conn. commuter trains collide

FAIRFIELD, Connecticut (AP) — Two commuter trains collided outside New York City during the evening rush hour Friday, injuring 20 or more people, authorities said. There were no reports of fatalities.

The Metro-North Railroad, a commuter line serving the northern suburbs, referred in a news release to a "major derailment" near Fairfield, in southern Connecticut. It said emergency workers were at the scene of the accident, which came shortly after 6 p.m.

Twenty to 25 people were injured, Police Officer Matt Panilaitis told the Associated Press. He said there were no fatalities.

Photos taken at the scene showed a train car askew on the rails, with its end smashed up and brushing against another train

 
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Comment Preferences

  •  Restricted Cold War Areas In 1955 (12+ / 0-)

    From Slate: 1955 Map Shows No-Go Zones for Soviet Travelers in the U.S.

    This map shows where Soviet citizens, who were required to have a detailed itinerary approved before obtaining a visa, could and could not go during their time in the United States. Most ports, coastlines, and weapons facilities were off-limits, as were industrial centers and several cities in the Jim Crow South.

    These restrictions mirrored Soviet constraints on American travel to the USSR. Both the United States and the Soviet Union had closely controlled the movement of all foreign visitors since World War II. A 1952 law in the U.S. barred the admission of all Communists, and therefore of Soviet citizens. (An exception was made for government officials.)  

    The Soviets’ decision to relax their controls after Joseph Stalin’s death in March 1953 left the U.S. open to charges that it, not the USSR, was operating behind an Iron Curtain. President Eisenhower and his foreign policy advisers decided to mimic Soviet policy as closely as possible: As of early 1955, citizens of either nation could enter approximately 70 percent of the other’s territory, including 70 percent of cities with populations greater than 100,000.

    Travel restrictions on Soviet private citizens stayed in place, enforced by the Departments of State and Justice, until the Kennedy administration unilaterally lifted them in 1962 as a symbol of the openness of American society.

    Some of the restricted areas on the map can be explained as being possible strategic targets. However, there are a few areas where it's puzzling as to why they were restricted.
    • Those swaths of North & South Dakota that are restricted on the map are the location of some of our ICBM fields that could have been in the planning stages in 1955.
    • The restricted areas in Nevada & Arizona are probably because Nevada was where we were doing above-ground nuke testing & that portion of Arizona was downwind. There's also Nellis Air Force Base and Area 51 in that area.
    • The restricted portion of New Mexcio can probably be explained by both the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. While the area of Colorado that's restricted is where we built the Cheyenne Mountain installation for North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
    • The entire swath that goes from Oklahoma through Kansas to Nebraska is also the location of some missile silos. Strategic Air Command (SAC) was headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska.
    • However, I have no idea why that portion of North Texas is restricted.
    • Also, there are more than a few cities in open areas of Appalachia that are restricted. I haven't a clue why Ashland, Kentucky and Huntington & Charleston, West Virginia are off-limits.
  •  Giant Outbursts (11+ / 0-)

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/...

    May 16, 2013 — An international team of astronomers have reported the first scientific results from the Karoo Array Telescope (KAT-7) in South Africa, the pathfinder radio telescope for the $3 billion global Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project.

    The results appear in the latest issue of the international astronomical journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS).
    Using the seven-dish KAT-7 telescope and the 26 m radio telescope at the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO), astronomers have observed a neutron star system known as Circinus X-1 as it fires energetic matter from its core into the surrounding system in extensive, compact `jets' that flare brightly, details of which are visible only in radio waves.

    Living the austerity dream.

    by jwinIL14 on Fri May 17, 2013 at 09:06:00 PM PDT

  •  State Legislator Says He’ll Resign (7+ / 0-)
    State Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, the once-powerful Brooklyn Democratic leader who has been accused of sexual harassment by several women, said on Friday that he would resign. But his offer only inflamed an uproar over his behavior because, a few words later, he said the resignation would not take effect for five weeks, and then he would run for a seat on the New York City Council.

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    •  Assembly Speaker Silver is preparing an expulsion (5+ / 0-)

      vote for next week.

      There's no such thing as a free market!

      by Albanius on Fri May 17, 2013 at 09:48:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  NYT editorial calls for replacement of Silver (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JML9999, maggiejean, Eric Nelson
        What is truly infuriating is that Mr. Silver certainly knew of Mr. Lopez’s abuse of women when the settlement was paid and should have demanded his resignation at that time. It was not until the second wave of complaints last July that Mr. Silver’s staff did the right thing and forwarded them to the Assembly’s ethics committee. Mr. Lopez was eventually censured and stripped of his committee chairmanship, perks and staff.

        Given the latest report, that is not good enough. Mr. Lopez should be expelled from the Assembly now. And Mr. Silver — whose colleagues made last-minute efforts to redact critical details from the report — should be replaced as speaker. Enough.

        http://www.nytimes.com/...

        •  Silver has been Speaker too long... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JML9999

          it is time for him to go.  But on a wide range of issues the control of the NYS Senate by the GOP minority, with the support of a group of turncoat "independent democrats" and the apparent hidden hand of fiscal conservative, though social liberal  Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a greater problem for the people of NY.

          The indictments and reported corruption of several NYC Democratic Senators complicates the issue, but their petty graft is dwarfed by the legal bribery of the pay-to-play campaign finance system, which costs the 99% literally BILLION$ in programs starved by tax giveaways to the plutocrats.

          Politics is complicated. Cuomo is publicly calling for Fair Elections public financing of campaigns as part of a reform package in response to the scandals.  Whether he will put his muscle where his mouth is remains to be seen.  

          But politics is NOT a spectator sport.  It is ALL HANDS ON DECK  to demand public financing of campaigns this session, the only reform that can remedy the systematic corruption of politics by concentrated wealth.

          There's no such thing as a free market!

          by Albanius on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:53:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks JML9999 ... (7+ / 0-)

    as always, good finds. I wonder when the Republicans will accuse President Obama of using drug lords' jets to go golfing (or something).

    From the OND

    Costa Rica's president in scandal over 'drugs' jet

    The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.― Neil deGrasse Tyson

    by maggiejean on Fri May 17, 2013 at 09:15:59 PM PDT

  •  Absolut (7+ / 0-)

    absolut-corruption-2politicaljunkies

    I`m already against the next war.

    by Knucklehead on Fri May 17, 2013 at 09:30:22 PM PDT

  •  space history (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maggiejean, Magnifico, Trix, JML9999, basquebob

    Space: A historically peaceful arena

    Weapons have largely been kept out of space, but that’s not for a lack of consideration. As early as 1949, a study led by James Lipp, the head of RAND’s missile division, examined the potential of satellites to serve as exo-atmospheric bombing platforms. In light of the technology available at the time, Lipp determined that dropping bombs from an orbiting satellite or station was an impractical offensive measure. He put satellites into a different class than weapons. While satellites may aid military activity, he concluded, they could not be weapons themselves.

    While dated, Lipp’s opinion of satellites as inherently non-threatening was an attitude adopted by the Eisenhower administration as the space age began in earnest with Sputnik’s launch in 1957. Eisenhower recognized the political benefits of advocating for the peaceful use of space, so he created a civilian space agency—NASA—to firmly separate space exploration from any military activity. The Kennedy and Johnson administrations furthered Eisenhower’s approach. The Space Race developed as an extension of the Cold War. And while it became a battlefield with CIA spy satellites, space remained unweaponized.

    The peaceful nature of space activities was solidified with the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. This document, signed by both the United States and the Soviet Union, banned the placement and installation of nuclear weapons in Earth's orbit and on the Moon. It also banned the use of space or any celestial body for military purposes. Both superpowers went on to sign the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 1972, which limited each nation to two anti-missile launch sites: one positioned to defend the capital city and one to defend a single base from which ICBMs were launched.

    Weapons in orbit

    There was a major oversight in both the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty: neither prohibited the signatories from investigating and researching space-based defense systems. Naturally, both countries exploited this loophole.

    http://arstechnica.com/...
    Soviet leaders came up with an interim plan: adapt a small, one-megawatt carbon dioxide laser and turn it into a Polyus-Skif testbed. It was a piece of hardware that had already been tested as a weapon against missiles while mounted on an Il-76 transport aircraft. In August 1984, the interim spacecraft was approved and designated Skif-D, the "D" standing for the Russian word for "demonstration."

    Synthetic Rem Dreams - Laser Beam Rider: YOUNG TRUMAN: I want to be an explorer, like the Great Magellan. Teacher: [indicating a map of the world] Oh, you're too late! There's nothing left to explore!

    by anyname on Fri May 17, 2013 at 09:55:22 PM PDT

  •  besides the terrorist in idaho (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maggiejean, Trix, JML9999

    and the lds president's wife dying, this happened.
    Unique Punishment for Bullying

    “I thought this is a perfect moment for us to really teach her, this is right, this is wrong, which path are you going to take? And then it’s her choice,” said Ally.

    The fourth grader’s mother went to a local thrift shop and bought about $50 worth of clothing that she knew her daughter would never want to wear. Thursday morning, Kaylee awoke to find an unflattering outfit on the bathroom door with a pair of old sneakers below it. Ally explained to Kaylee that she would be wearing the ensemble to school that day.

    “I died. I did,” said Kaylee, who admitted she cried when she first looked at the clothes.

    In the two days Kaylee had to dress in the outfits her mother selected, she admitted she became the target of unkind words.

    Ted Kennedy: “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die…”

    by jlms qkw on Fri May 17, 2013 at 09:56:57 PM PDT

  •  Two ways to raise rates of organ donation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maggiejean, Trix, JML9999

    1) Switch from opt-in to opt-out.  The indecisive 80% would automatically be included until they made a decision.  This probably would save many lives; possibly feasible in China, but I doubt it would fly in this individualistic culture.

    2) Give preference in receiving organ donations to those willing to donate; put
    non-donors on the end of the line.  Publicize the policy widely, and require people to make a decision as part of applying for a license or other ID. This would also alleviate organ shortages, and could be more feasible politically, as it appeals to what I hope is a widespread sense of fairness.

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Fri May 17, 2013 at 09:58:41 PM PDT

  •  Funny Craislist post (for "Game of Thrones" fans) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, maggiejean

    Seeking Robb Stark Look-alike from GoT - w4m - 25 (New Orleans)

    I am an avid fan of George R. R. Martin's series Game of Thrones (both the books and the show). I have recently purchased a replica of the Iron Throne as seen in the television show, and need a partner to play out an elaborate fanatsy.

    In my fantasy, I am Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, and Rightful Heir to the Iron Throne and the Seven Kingdoms. After crossing the Narrow Sea and defeating the forces of Westeros, it is within my power and right to slay all of those who betrayed my family and denied me my rightful place for so many years. The most vile enemies of house Targaryen, House Stark and House Baratheon must pay the highest price. All of those who fought against the Mother of Dragons are slain - all except one. When I come to Robb Stark, out eyes lock and something moves inside of me. I realize I need to have him, want him, and I can tell he is thinking the same. I order my guards to throw him in the dungeon and later that night, I have him brought to me, in the throne room. There, on the Iron Throne I've so recently won, I make wild and passionate love with him, repeatedly.

    Please only respond to this post if you look like Robb Stark! I would appreciate pictures, but please, no names. In order to stay as true to the fantasy as possible, I ONLY want you to refer to yourself as Robb Stark. You will need to provide your own clothing. Please keep in mind that you will have recently participated in a battle and been thrown in a dungeon, so you will not be wearing your nicest furs.

    I'm looking for a Stark in the streets but a wildling in the sheets.

    Bold added for emphasis.

    :-)

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