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.
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Millions of Afghans vote in crunch run-off poll
Afghans are to vote in run-off polls that will determine who will succeed President Hamid Karzai.
Voters will choose between former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and ex-World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani.
It should be the first time that power in Afghanistan has been democratically transferred.
But the Taliban has threatened to target polling stations and there are concerns that voting fraud could produce a disputed result.
BBC:Liberals win majority in Ontario
Liberals win majority in Ontario
The Ontario Liberal Party has won a majority in the provincial legislature in a surprising result.
The party gained 59 seats out of a total of 107 during Thursday's elections after polls suggested a minority win for the Liberals.
Premier Kathleen Wynne, who took over last year after her predecessor resigned, was elected in her own right.
"You have put your trust in us and we will not let you down," Ms Wynne told her jubilant supporters.
BBC:Ukraine crisis: EU invites Moscow to talks on Kiev pact
Ukraine crisis: EU invites Moscow to talks on Kiev pact
The EU has said it is willing to include Russia in discussions with Kiev about a planned trade agreement that sparked the crisis in Ukraine.
European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso made the offer in a telephone call with President Putin on Friday.
EU officials said the move was "significant" and reflected a "new climate" in the negotiations.
Meanwhile, the US says it is confident that tanks being used by separatists in eastern Ukraine came from Russia.
BBC:Jamaica government announces major changes to drug laws
Jamaica government announces major changes to drug laws
The Jamaican government has announced plans to radically reform the country's drug laws.
The Justice Minister Mark Golding said the cabinet was supporting a proposal to allow possession of up to two ounces (57 grams) of marijuana, known locally as "ganja.".
Mr Golding also said marijuana would be decriminalised for religious, medicinal and scientific purposes.
It is expected parliament will approve the changes by September.
BBC:Brazil's Dilma Rousseff shrugs off World Cup abuse
Brazil's Dilma Rousseff shrugs off World Cup abuse
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has said that she will not be intimidated by "verbal aggression" shouted by crowds during the World Cup.
On Thursday she was the target of crude chants sung by part of the crowd who attended Brazil's victory over Croatia in Sao Paulo.
She said the chants were nothing to compare to what she had to endure in jail during military rule.
She is running for re-election in October.
BBC:Burmese vote to retain Suu Kyi Burma presidential ban
Burmese vote to retain Suu Kyi Burma presidential ban
A parliamentary committee in Burma has voted to retain a constitutional clause barring opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from standing for president.
The clause bans those with non-Burmese partners or children from running. Ms Suu Kyi's late husband and two children are British citizens.
Parliament must still vote on the ruling before it is final.
Ms Suu Kyi has spent most of the last two decades under house arrest but was released in 2010.
Reuters:China says will never send military to oil rig spat with Vietnam
China says will never send military to oil rig spat with Vietnam
(Reuters) - A Chinese official said on Friday that China will never send military forces to the scene of an increasingly ugly spat with Vietnam over an oil rig in the South China Sea and accused Hanoi of trying to force an international lawsuit.
A senior U.S. official in Washington dismissed the Chinese statement as "patently ridiculous" and said Beijing had been using air force and navy as well as coastguard assets "to intimidate others."
Scores of Vietnamese and Chinese ships, including coastguard vessels, have squared off around the rig despite a series of collisions after the Chinese platform was towed into disputed waters in early May.
Vietnam has accused China of sending six warships, but Yi Xianliang, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, said that Beijing had never sent military forces.
Reuters:Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric issues call to fight jihadist rebels
Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric issues call to fight jihadist rebels
(Reuters) - Iraq's most senior Shi'ite Muslim cleric urged followers to take up arms against a full-blown Sunni militant insurgency to topple Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a conflict that threatens civil war and a possible break-up of the country.
In Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama said he was reviewing military options, short of sending combat troops, to help Iraq fight the insurgency but warned any U.S. action must be accompanied by an Iraqi effort to bridge political divisions. (Full Story)
In a rare intervention at Friday prayers in the holy city of Kerbala, a message from Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who is the highest religious authority for Shi'ites in Iraq, said people should unite to fight back against a lightning advance by militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Fighters under the black flag of ISIL are sweeping south towards the capital Baghdad in a campaign to recreate a mediaeval caliphate carved out of fragmenting Iraq and Syria that has turned into a widespread rebellion against Maliki.
Reuters:Japan's Abe unveils plan to cut corporate tax rate to spur growth
Japan's Abe unveils plan to cut corporate tax rate to spur growth
(Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled a plan on Friday to cut the corporate tax rate below 30 percent in stages to help pull the economy out of two decades of sluggish growth and deflation.
Investors have been scrutinising whether Japan can substantially lower the corporate tax rate - among the highest in the world - to spur growth in the world's third-largest economy. Abe also needs to strike a delicate balance between stimulating growth and reining in snowballing public debt, twice the size of its $5 trillion economy.
The corporate tax cut is a major issue to be included in the government's key fiscal and economic policy outline, which will be finalised around June 27 along with a detailed "growth strategy" of structural reforms.
"Japan's corporate tax rate will change into one that promotes growth," Abe told reporters, adding that he hoped the lower burden on companies would lead to job creation and an improvement also for private citizens.
Reuters:Japan PM moves closer to winning support for looser limits on military
Japan PM moves closer to winning support for looser limits on military
(Reuters) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe moved closer to easing constitutional curbs that have kept Japan's military from fighting abroad since World War Two after the ruling party's dovish coalition partner agreed to consider a compromise proposal.
An agreement would be a big step toward achieving Abe's goal of loosening the limits of the post-war, pacifist constitution.
The New Komeito, the junior party in Abe's ruling bloc, is wary of a dropping a ban on sending Japan's military to aid a friendly nation under attack, but on Friday party officials agreed to consider a proposal that would allow the change while theoretically limiting cases in which it could be implemented.
"I want to discuss this thoroughly within the party," New Komeito deputy chief Kazuo Kitagawa told reporters after the latest round of talks, at which his ruling Liberal Democratic Party counterpart Masahiko Komura submitted the new proposal.
Reuters:Japan denies brush with Chinese planes, demands China withdraws footage
Japan denies brush with Chinese planes, demands China withdraws footage
(Reuters) - Japan on Friday denied Beijing's claims that its Self-Defence Force planes came "dangerously close" to Chinese aircraft in an incident over the East China Sea on Wednesday, demanding China takes down the footage allegedly showing the incident.
The tit-for-tat accusations and denials are part of a long-running territorial dispute between Asia's largest economies. They follow a similar incident on May 24, when Japan said Chinese aircraft came within a few dozen metres of its warplanes. China, where bitter memories of Japan's wartime militarism run deep, lays claim to Japanese-administered islets in the East China Sea, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. China declared its air defence zone covering most of the East China Sea last year despite protests by Japan and the United States.
On Thursday, China said two Japanese F-15 planes followed a Chinese Tu-154 aircraft and came as close as 30 metres, "seriously affecting China's flight safety". It posted a video allegedly showing that incident on the defence ministry website.
"We believe there is no truth in China's assertions that Japanese fighter planes came within 30 meters of a Chinese plane and severely affected the flight's safety," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.
Reuters:U.S. to sue Citigroup over faulty mortgage bonds: sources
U.S. to sue Citigroup over faulty mortgage bonds: sources
(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to sue Citigroup Inc (C.N) on charges that the bank defrauded investors on billions of dollars worth of mortgage securities in the run-up to the financial crisis, after talks to resolve the probe broke down, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
A lawsuit could be filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn as early as next week, the people said, as the bank and civil prosecutors stood far apart in reaching an agreement on the size of any deal.
The settlement negotiations had involved penalty numbers of $10 billion or more, another person familiar with the talks said.
Bloomberg News reported earlier on Friday that the Justice Department had asked the bank to pay more than $10 billion, and that the bank had offered less than $4 billion.
LA Times:F.C.C. Begins Investigation Into Quality of Internet Download Speeds
F.C.C. Begins Investigation Into Quality of Internet Download Speeds
WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission has opened an investigation into recent deals where entertainment companies like Netflix have agreed to pay Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon for faster video delivery, a practice that critics contend will divide Internet service into fast and slow lanes.
Tom Wheeler, the F.C.C. chairman, said on Friday that the purpose of the investigation was to see whether consumers were getting the speed and quality of service that Internet service providers had promised. The inquiry resulted in part from more than 19,000 public comments submitted to the F.C.C. in recent weeks urging it to protect Internet freedom, he said.
“Consumers pay their I.S.P. and they pay content providers like Hulu, Netflix or Amazon,” Mr. Wheeler said. “Then when they don’t get good service, they wonder what is going on. I have experienced these problems myself and know how exasperating it can be.”
He added: “To be clear, what we are doing right now is collecting information, not regulating. We are looking under the hood. Consumers want transparency. They want answers. So do I.”