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 consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors maggiejean, wader, Man Oh Man, side pocket, rfall, and JML9999, alumni editors palantir, Bentliberal, Oke, jlms qkw, Interceptor7, and ScottyUrb, guest editor annetteboardman, and current editor-in-chief Neon Vincent, along with anyone else who reads and comments, informs and entertains you.
Lebanese Shia pilgrims held hostages in Syria 'freed'
Nine Lebanese Shia pilgrims held hostage in Syria have been freed, Lebanon's interior minster has said.
The pilgrims have crossed over into southern Turkey, and will arrive back in Lebanon soon, according to Interior Minister Marwan Charbel.
The nine were part of a group of 11 who were seized while making their way back to Lebanon in May 2012 after a tour of holy sites in Iran.
Two of the group were subsequently released.
BBC:'No notification' of Saudi Arabia snub - UN chief Ban
'No notification' of Saudi Arabia snub - UN chief Ban
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he has received no notification from Saudi Arabia that it will turn down a seat on the UN Security Council.
Earlier the Saudi foreign ministry said it had turned down the non-permanent seat, accusing the world body of "double standards".
The ministry said the UN needs to be reformed first.
It said the Security Council had failed in its duties towards Syria as well as in other world conflicts.
BBC:RBS chief urges staff to focus on recovery as break-up talk grows
RBS chief urges staff to focus on recovery as break-up talk grows
Royal Bank of Scotland's new chief executive has told staff not to be distracted by speculation that the company may be broken up.
In a memo Ross McEwan urged staff to focus on rebuilding the bank and doing the best possible job for customers.
The government, which owns 81% of RBS, is reviewing whether the bank should be split into "good" and "bad" arms.
In his memo, Mr McEwan said that "at some point soon we'll reach the end of the review".
BBC:Fire in Brazilian port of Santos burns tonnes of raw sugar
Fire in Brazilian port of Santos burns tonnes of raw sugar
A fire in Brazil's largest port has burnt some 180,000 tonnes of raw sugar, damaging six warehouses and pushing international prices to a one-year high.
The authorities in the port of Santos said it took six hours to bring the fire under control.
The cause of the blaze is still being investigated.
Brazil is the world's main sugar exporter, accounting for nearly half of international sales.
BBC:Kenya attack: Westgate mall bodies 'probably gunmen'
Kenya attack: Westgate mall bodies 'probably gunmen'
Two charred bodies pulled from Kenya's Westgate shopping centre on Thursday are "highly likely" to be two of the attackers, an MP has told the BBC.
Ndung'u Gethenji, chairman of the committee investigating the attack, said AK47 rifles used by the militants were found next to the bodies.
The authorities will now conduct forensic tests on the bodies.
At least 67 people died when suspected al-Shabab militants stormed the Nairobi shopping centre on 21 September.
BBC:Asiana Flight 214: No charges in death of survivor
Asiana Flight 214: No charges in death of survivor
A firefighter responding to a San Francisco plane crash who ran over and killed a survivor covered in flame-retardant foam will not be charged.
The death of Ye Mengyuan, 16, "was a tragic accident", not a crime, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said in a statement.
Ye, a Chinese student, was alive on the airport tarmac after Asiana flight 214 crashed on 6 July.
All but three of the 307 people on board survived
Reuters:Exclusive: NSA delayed anti-leak software at base where Snowden worked -officials
Exclusive: NSA delayed anti-leak software at base where Snowden worked -officials
(Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency failed to install the most up-to-date anti-leak software at a site in Hawaii before contractor Edward Snowden went to work there and downloaded tens of thousands of highly classified documents, current and former U.S. officials told Reuters.
Well before Snowden joined Booz Allen Hamilton last spring and was assigned to the NSA site as a systems administrator, other U.S. government facilities had begun to install software designed to spot attempts by unauthorized people to access or download data.
The purpose of the software, which in the NSA's case is made by a division of Raytheon Co, is to block so-called "insider threats" - a response to an order by President Barack Obama to tighten up access controls for classified information in the wake of the leak of hundreds of thousands of Pentagon and State Department documents by an Army private to WikiLeaks website in 2010.
The main reason the software had not been installed at the NSA's Hawaii facility by the time Snowden took up his assignment there was that it had insufficient bandwidth to comfortably install it and ensure its effective operation, according to one of the officials.
Reuters:Pakistan tells U.N. at least 400 civilians killed by drone strikes
Pakistan tells U.N. at least 400 civilians killed by drone strikes
(Reuters) - Pakistan has confirmed that of some 2,200 people killed by drone strikes in the past decade, at least 400 were civilians and an additional 200 victims were deemed "probable non-combatants," a U.N. human rights investigator said on Friday.
Ben Emmerson, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, also urged the United States to release its own data on the number of civilian casualties caused by its drone strikes.
Emmerson said Pakistan's Foreign Ministry told him it had recorded at least 330 drone strikes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan's largely lawless region bordering Afghanistan, since 2004.
Clearing out militant border sanctuaries is seen by Washington as crucial to bringing stability to Afghanistan, particularly as the U.S.-led combat mission ends in 2014. Most, but not all, attacks with unmanned aerial vehicles have been by the United States. Britain and Israel have also used them.
Reuters:GM aids Opel by booking Russian profits at loss-making unit
GM aids Opel by booking Russian profits at loss-making unit
(Reuters) - General Motors (GM.N) has decided to put its Russian operations back under the control of its European wing - a victory for GM Europe's new president and a signal of support for a workforce that has endured massive job cuts in the hunt for profitability.
GM made a turnaround of its European business a top priority after racking up around $18 billion in losses over the past 12 years, and is investing billions more despite calls from Morgan Stanley to sell Opel and its UK sister Vauxhall at virtually any cost.
Russia is Opel's only major growth region - a lucrative geography where margin-eroding discounts are far less common than in a western European market set to plumb lows not seen since 1993.
From January, General Motors International Operations (GMIO), based in Shanghai, China, will hand the business back to GM Europe (GME) after three years.
Reuters:Analysis: China's pioneers to drive recovery in solar equipment demand
Analysis: China's pioneers to drive recovery in solar equipment demand
(Reuters) - As China's solar panel makers venture into uncharted markets, the handful of companies that supply equipment for their plants are dusting off their order books to meet a revival in demand.
GT Advanced Technologies Inc (GTAT.O) and Meyer Burger Technology AG MBTN.S expect a new wave of orders from next year, when worldwide spending by solar companies is forecast to rise for the first time since 2011.
"Demand is coming from many more countries than previously, and the emerging markets are waking up to the potential from solar," said Edward Guinness, co-portfolio manager at Guinness Atkinson Asset Management in London.
China is the world's largest solar panel maker. Its companies, stung by a slowdown in the once-lucrative European market, are moving into Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and southeast Asia, where demand for solar power is rising fast.
Reuters:JPMorgan in $4 billion deal with U.S. housing agency
JPMorgan in $4 billion deal with U.S. housing agency
(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) has reached a tentative $4 billion deal with the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency to settle claims that the bank misled government-sponsored mortgage agencies about the quality of mortgages it sold them during the housing boom, according to a person familiar with the matter.
JPMorgan and the FHFA, which is pursuing claims on behalf of finance agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have agreed on the amount as a tentative part of a potential $11 billion global settlement with government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice.
The $4 billion figure was first reported on Friday by the Wall Street Journal.
A spokesman for JPMorgan declined to comment as did a spokeswoman for the FHFA.
Reuters:As U.S. averts default, Japan and China brace for next dollar drama
As U.S. averts default, Japan and China brace for next dollar drama
(Reuters) - Deal or no deal, the U.S. Congress' dance with default impressed policymakers and investors in China and Japan with just how vulnerable their own economic revival plans are to the next political tantrum on Capitol Hill.
The 11th-hour agreement on Wednesday between Congressional Republicans and Democrats to raise the limit on U.S. government borrowing and end a 16-day government shutdown also averted a default on U.S. Treasury bonds that had threatened the global economy and financial system.
But Congress gets another chance to hold U.S. creditworthiness hostage early next year ahead of a new February 7 deadline to approve a debt ceiling increase.
"We're glad a deal has been struck," said a Japanese policymaker, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "But the uncertainty will remain and it will be the same thing all over again early next year."
He and other Japanese officials say they have already developed contingency plans that include flooding Japan's banking system with cash to keep markets functioning however panicked investors become. And analysts say China, whose Communist leaders are due to hold a key policy meeting next month, may step up a push for global acceptance of its currency, the yuan or renminbi, as an alternative to the U.S. dollar in international trade.
csm:Walmart fires worker for good Samaritan deed, now it wants him back
Walmart fires worker for good Samaritan deed, now it wants him back
Kristopher Oswald said he tried to come to the aid of a woman he saw being attacked. Walmart said he violated the company’s safety policy, but the incident underscores the gray areas in such matters.
By Mark Guarino, Staff writer / October 18, 2013
Retail giant Wal-Mart has done an about-face after getting flak for its handling of an employee who tried to be a good Samaritan.
It all started in the early hours of Sunday morning. According to the Associated Press, Kristopher Oswald, a Wal-Mart worker in Hartland, Mich., was taking a break in his car when he said he saw a man grabbing a woman....