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.
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