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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  Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, current leader Neon Vincent, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, wader, Man Oh Man, rfall, and JML9999. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, ek hornbeck, ScottyUrb, Interceptor7, BentLiberal, Oke and jlms qkw. The guest editors are Doctor RJ and annetteboardman.

Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.

BBC:Canada Supreme Court rejects Harper Senate reform plan


Canada Supreme Court rejects Harper Senate reform plan

The Canadian Supreme Court has rejected the Harper government's plan to reform or abolish the Canadian Senate.

In a unanimous decision, the high court said most major changes suggested must be approved by seven provinces and half of Canada's population.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was disappointed in the decision and said reform was now "off the table".

Senators are appointed on the advice of the prime minister and can serve until 75 years old.  


BBC:Explosions at Iraq election rally in Baghdad 'kill 31'

Explosions at Iraq election rally in Baghdad 'kill 31'

At least 31 people have been killed in Iraq as a series of blasts targeted a Shia election rally in Baghdad.

Several people were seriously injured in the attack, which took place at a rally for the Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq party.

The attack - claimed by al-Qaeda-linked militants - comes less than a week before Iraqis are due to head to the polls in parliamentary elections.

Iraq has been enduring the worst unrest since it pulled back from the brink of civil war in 2008.


BBC:Obama: US will persist with Middle East peace effort

Obama: US will persist with Middle East peace effort

The US will not abandon its peace efforts with Israel and the Palestinians, despite the breakdown of current talks, Barack Obama has said.

President Obama lamented that "neither side had political will to make tough decisions" and that there may need to be a pause in the process.

Mr Obama said Washington would continue to offer "constructive approaches".

It comes after Israel suspended talks, demanding the annulment of a unity deal between rival Palestinian factions.


BBC:North Korea 'detains US tourist' at immigration

North Korea 'detains US tourist' at immigration

North Korea has detained a 24-year-old US tourist, reportedly for "rash behaviour" at immigration, the state news agency says.

KCNA news agency said the American, named "Miller Matthew Todd", 24, had been taken into custody on 10 April.

This was due to "his rash behaviour in the course of going through formalities for entry" into North Korea, it added.

The news was released as US President Barack Obama held talks with his South Korean counterpart on his Asia tour.


BBC:Pentagon staff 'to leave Ecuador' after Correa order

Pentagon staff 'to leave Ecuador' after Correa order

The United States says about 20 of its military personnel will leave Ecuador by the end of April, to comply with an order from the government.

Earlier this month, President Rafael Correa told the US Department of Defense to leave amid concerns of meddling in Ecuador's internal affairs.

The order does not affect the US military attache in Ecuador.

A US spokesman in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, said the US regretted Mr Correa's decision.


BBC:Ukraine crisis: Pentagon says Russian jets violated airspace

Ukraine crisis: Pentagon says Russian jets violated airspace

The US says Russian military aircraft have entered Ukrainian airspace several times in the past 24 hours, amid rising tension in the east of the country.

A Pentagon spokesman told the BBC late on Friday that the incidents had happened mainly near the border with Russia, but gave no further details.

Earlier pro-Russian separatists seized a bus carrying international military observers, Ukrainian officials said.

Talks were under way to secure their release near the town of Sloviansk.


Reuters:U.S. expanding corporate foreign bribery probes to include hiring

U.S. expanding corporate foreign bribery probes to include hiring

(Reuters) - U.S. government agencies that have been probing banks' hiring of children of powerful Chinese officials are expanding existing investigations in other industries across Asia to include hiring practices, four people familiar with the matter said.

The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have been asking global companies in a range of industries including oil and gas, telecommunications and consumer products for information about their hiring practices to determine if they could amount to bribery, these people said.

On Wednesday, mobile chipmaker Qualcomm Inc said it could face a civil action from U.S. authorities over alleged bribery of officials associated with state-owned companies in China. It also said it found instances in which "special hiring consideration" was given to people associated with state-owned companies or agencies in China.

Qualcomm declined to comment on Friday. The Justice Department and SEC declined to comment on whether they have expanded their probes.


Reuters:Freddie Mac CEO sees market stability risk in housing bill

Freddie Mac CEO sees market stability risk in housing bill

(Reuters) - A U.S. Senate bill on housing finance reform could undermine the stability of the mortgage market if it became law in its current form, the head of government-run mortgage financier Freddie Mac warned the company's regulator.

Donald Layton, chief executive of Freddie Mac, said in an April 16 letter to the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency that lawmakers should take steps to make sure the company can fulfill its role supporting the mortgage market during any transition period to its eventual closure.

The bill, written by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, a Democrat, and Senator Mike Crapo, the panel's top Republican, would replace Freddie Mac and larger rival Fannie Mae with a new government mortgage reinsurer. The panel is scheduled to take up the legislation on Tuesday.

"The risk that Freddie Mac would not be able to carry out its core policy function is extremely high," Layton said. A copy of the letter was obtained by Reuters.


Reuters:As Iraq violence grows, U.S. sends more intelligence officers

As Iraq violence grows, U.S. sends more intelligence officers

(Reuters) - The United States is quietly expanding the number of intelligence officers in Iraq and holding urgent meetings in Washington and Baghdad to find ways to counter growing violence by Islamic militants, U.S. government sources said.

A high-level Pentagon team is now in Iraq to assess possible assistance for Iraqi forces in their fight against radical jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a group reconstituted from an earlier incarnation of al Qaeda, said two current government officials and one former U.S. official familiar with the matter.

The powerful ISIL, which seeks to impose strict sharia law in the Sunni majority populated regions of Iraq, now boasts territorial influence stretching from Iraq's western Anbar province to northern Syria, operating in some areas close to Baghdad, say U.S. officials.

Senior U.S. policy officials, known as the "Deputies Committee," met in Washington this week to discuss possible responses to the deteriorating security outlook in Iraq, said a government source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject matter.


Reuters:Tokyo inflation hits 22-year high, inching toward BOJ goal

Tokyo inflation hits 22-year high, inching toward BOJ goal

(Reuters) - Tokyo's inflation jumped to a 22-year high in April by a key measure, an early sign that companies are making progress in passing on a new tax increase to customers as policy makers seek to pull Japan out of years of deflation.

Friday's data for the capital, a leading indicator of national trends showed much tamer inflation when the impact of the sales-tax hike is excluded. This underscores the daunting challenge for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan in generating a positive cycle of prices, wages and spending.

Tokyo's core consumer prices rose 2.7 percent from a year earlier, the interior ministry data showed in the first official reading of the April 1 tax increase. Stripping out the tax hike, prices were up 1.0 on year, the same pace as in March.

The price increase bolsters the BOJ's view that the world's third-biggest economy appears in the early days to be weathering the rise in the sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent. But given the gradual pace of the pickup, expectations remain that the central bank will have to do more.


Reuters:South Korea calls on Japan to be 'sincere' in relations

South Korea calls on Japan to be 'sincere' in relations

(Reuters) - South Korean President Park Geun-hye called on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to stick to his pledges to improve relations between the two countries at a joint press conference with visiting U.S. President Barack Obama.

Tensions between Japan and South Korea over Tokyo's colonial rule of Korea and the issue of sex slaves have put relations between two of Washington's main allies in Asia in the deep freeze.

"It is important to keep promises with sincerity," Park said.

Abe has been criticized sharply by South Korea and China for his recent visits to the Yakasuni War Shrine, seen as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.


Reuters:Japan's Suga: Not sure if Japan, U.S. can agree on trade

Japan's Suga: Not sure if Japan, U.S. can agree on trade

(Reuters) - Japan's top government spokesman said on Friday that he is not sure whether Japan and the United States can reach an agreement in bilateral trade talks needed to push forward with the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact, unless Japan's position is accepted.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also said at a news conference that there was no change to Japan's aim to reach an agreement on the regional free trade pact.

Japan and the United States made progress in trade talks but failed to reach the deal they had hoped to seal at a bilateral summit during U.S. President Barack Obama's state visit to Japan this week.


DailyTech:Google Considers Wi-Fi For All Cities With Google Fiber Service -

Google Considers Wi-Fi For All Cities With Google Fiber Service

Google wants to send a clear message to U.S. internet users and rivals: the internet war is continuing, and Google wants to be on top.  Cities that are already receiving Google’s gigabit-speed internet service will also be able to benefit from widespread Wi-Fi, according to recent reports.

“We’d love to be able to bring outdoor Wi-Fi access to all of our Fiber cities, although we don’t have any specific plans to announce right now,” Google spokespeople reportedly said.

Google Fiber is currently available in Kansas City and Provo, Utah, with plans on the tablet to bring the service to Austin, Texas.  An additional 34 cities have until May 1 to reply, providing information about city addresses, building types, and to turn over geospatial data files that provide access to city infrastructure.

After receiving the documents, Google will conduct thorough studies to determine how feasible fiber and Wi-Fi support can be introduced. - See more at: http://www.dailytech.com/...

 
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