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NEWS   WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2015   NEWS

Liar, Liar, Hillary’s Pantsuit Is On Fire
She can’t help herself. Hillary Clinton is addicted to deception. The news that she used an iPad as well as BlackBerry demolishes her already-ridiculous claim that she set up a private e-mail server so she would only need to carry one gadget as secretary of state. At a March 10 press conference, Clinton put it this way: “I thought using one device would be simpler, and, obviously, it hasn’t worked out that way. Looking back, it would have been probably . . . smarter to have used two devices.” Those comments, her first public ones on the scandal, are now revealed as a lie. What a way to start a presidential campaign! Oh, wait — it’s the Clinton way. Always was, always will be. NY Post

Backing Indiana Law Will Dog Jeb Bush On Visit To Bay Area
As a growing roster of Bay Area tech firms and CEOs joins the protest against Indiana’s controversial “religious freedom” law, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — who arrives in the Bay Area on Wednesday for fundraisers — is feeling increasing heat for defending the legislation. Bush plans on banking big money for his Right to Rise Super PAC as he prepares for a likely 2016 White House bid. The trip is his second to the Bay Area this year. Bush arrives to criticism for defending Indiana’s GOP Gov. Mike Pence, who set off a firestorm last week by signing a bill giving businesses the right to refuse services on religious grounds. Seattle Times

Egypt President Welcomes Return Of US Military Aid
Egypt's president says the United States' release of military aid previously suspended will help boost Cairo's ability to combat extremists in the region. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who overthrew Egypt's elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013, said in a statement Wednesday that the decision supports the strategic objectives of both countries in combating terrorism and extremism and maintaining security, particularly in Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula. The White House said President Barack Obama notified el-Sissi in a phone call Tuesday that the U.S. would be sending 12 F-16 fighter jets, 20 missiles and up to 125 tank kits, while continuing to request $1.3 billion in military assistance for Egypt. Tampa Tribune

Analysis: 61,000 U.S. Bridges 'Structurally Deficient'
More than 61,000 American bridges are structurally deficient, according to a new analysis by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. While U.S. road infrastructure continues to be in dire straits, the health of the USA's bridges has shown a slight improvement from last year when ARTBA found more than 63,000 of the country's bridges were structurally deficient, according to their review of U.S. Department of Transportation records. The report on the state of American bridges comes with federal highway and transit funding set to expire on May 31, absent congressional action. "State and local governments are doing the best they can to address these significant challenges, given limited resources," said Alison Black, ARTBA's chief economist. She added, "Without additional investment from all levels of government, our infrastructure spending will be a zero-sum game." USA Today

Michelle Spares No Expense, Spends Quarter Million Dollars On Swank Cambodian Hotel Rooms
Hotel accommodations for First Lady Michelle Obama’s two-day trip to Cambodia required 85 rooms and cost taxpayers $242,500, according to a government contract. Mrs. Obama traveled to Siem Reap, Cambodia on March 21 to promote a girls education initiative. A contract was awarded on March 3, citing the “unusual and compelling urgency” of the First Lady’s trip. Mrs. Obama and a delegation of senior high-level U.S. government officials stayed at the Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort, according to a justification and approval document for the visit. Washington Times

Jeb Bush Targets Hillary Clinton Over Foreign Policy
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush suggested targeted Hillary Clinton's record as secretary of state on Monday, offering a preview of the foreign policy battle that could ensue if both Clinton and Bush become the presidential nominees of their respective parties in 2016. "I think she can't do the Heisman on the first four years of the Obama foreign policy. She'll try," said Bush during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. "This is very Clintonian, I think, to figure out a way to get out of a mess," Bush added. "But she was secretary of state of the first administration. And while some of this disruption and then all the stuff playing out right now didn't exist in the first four years, its roots were there. The pullback began then. The reset with Russia, the discussions with Syria, the red line, all these things created the beginnings of what we're now seeing." CBS

Terri Schiavo: 10 Years After Her Death 'End Of Life' Debate Rages On
Many of the issues stirred up by the Schiavo case still resonate today, said Arthur Caplan, director of the division of medical ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center.
“Schiavo was huge landmark in maintaining the rights of spouses to stop any and all medical interventions,” Caplan said. “But it raised all sorts of uncomfortable questions about when it becomes acceptable to remove someone from life support, even when the law makes it clear.” The line then is the line now, Caplan said. When someone is diagnosed as permanently unconscious, life- saving measures may cease. But all the legal and ethical battles have not made the personal decisions any easier, Caplan said. “And now we even more technology and experimental drugs to decide about,” he said. ABC

U.S. Stocks Trim Quarterly Gain As Health-Care, Industrials Fall
U.S. stocks declined amid a retreat among health-care and industrial companies, trimming a ninth straight quarterly advance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index slipped 2.2 percent, paring its best quarterly gain since 2013. Caterpillar Inc. and Boeing Co. fell at least 1.6 percent. Charter Communications Inc. climbed 5.3 percent after agreeing to buy a majority stake in Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion. The S&P 500 lost 0.9 percent to 2,067.89 at 4 p.m. in New York, while marking its longest quarterly winning streak since 1998. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 200.19 points, or 1.1 percent, to 17,776.12. The Nasdaq Composite Index, down 0.9 percent Tuesday, posted its longest quarterly winning streak ever. Bloomberg

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Obama Commutes Sentences For 22 Convicted Of Federal Drug Crimes
President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 22 drug offenders serving time in federal prison, accelerating the administration’s efforts to reduce penalties for many of those convicted of such crimes. Obama’s decision, announced on Tuesday, more than doubles the number of commutations he has issued, and is the latest sign that the White House is taking aim at a drug war the president has characterized as counterproductive. Many of those freed by the commutations, including eight inmates who received life sentences, would have already served their time under today’s drug laws and sentencing policies, according to White House counsel Neil Eggleston. Bloomberg

Foreign Adoptions By Americans Reach Lowest Mark Since 1982
The number of foreign children adopted by U.S. parents dropped by 9 percent last year to the lowest level since 1982, according to new State Department figures. The department's report for the 2014 fiscal year shows 6,441 adoptions from abroad, down from 7,094 in 2013 and about 74 percent below the high of 22,884 in 2004. The number has fallen every year since then — a trend that has dismayed many adoption advocates in the U.S. Trish Maskew, chief of the State Department's Adoption Division, said it was difficult to predict when the number of foreign adoptions might start to rise again. Las Vegas Sun

Obama Urges Kabila To Hold Credible Elections In Congo
President Barack Obama is urging Congo's president to hold "timely, credible and peaceful" elections that respect the country's constitution. Obama's call to President Joseph Kabila comes amid rising tensions in Congo, where some fear the president is attempting to prolong his time in power after his term ends next year. The White House says Obama noted that Kabila's legacy as a leader who brought his country out of war and set it on a path toward democratic progress would be bolstered by free and fair elections. Obama said the U.S. would remain engaged with Congo throughout the electoral process. The White House says the two leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to ending the threat of armed groups in Congo's region. Las Vegas Sun

Reclining Hillary Clinton Approval A Likely Boost For Pat Toomey
Pat Toomey isn't named in the latest Quinnipiac Poll, but Pennsylvania's Republican senator probably likes it anyway. The poll, out Tuesday, showed Hillary Rodham Clinton's numbers sinking in Pennsylvania - a trend that could affect Toomey's 2016 reelection bid. The poll showed a sharp drop in Pennsylvanians' approval of Clinton, the Democrats' presidential front-runner in waiting. Her favorability stood at 48-47, according to the poll, down from 55-38 on Feb. 3. And her lead in the commonwealth has narrowed in head-to-head matchups against Republican hopefuls like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie. Clinton even trails Rand Paul, 45-44. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Even the liberal media can't hide all of Hillary's dirty laundry.

Secret, Unlimited Donations Could Boost A Jeb Bush Run
Jeb Bush has given his tacit endorsement to a new group that can collect unlimited amounts of money in secret, part of a bold effort by his advisers to create a robust external political operation before he declares his expected White House bid. The nonprofit group, Right to Rise Policy Solutions, was quietly established in Arkansas in February by a friend and former Bush staffer. The group shares the name of two political committees for which Bush has been aggressively raising money — blurring the line that is supposed to separate a campaign from independent groups. While ideological nonprofits have become major players in national politics in recent years, this marks the first time one has been so embedded in the network of a prospective candidate. Washington Post

U.S. To Establish Sanctions Program To Combat Cyberattacks, Cyberspying
President Obama on Wednesday will sign an executive order establishing the first sanctions program to allow the administration to impose penalties on individuals overseas who engage in destructive attacks or commercial espionage in cyberspace. In the works for two years, the order declares “significant malicious cyber-enabled activities” a “national emergency” and enables the treasury secretary to target foreign individuals and entities that take part in the illicit cyberactivity for sanctions that could include freezing their financial assets and barring commercial transactions with them. The move expands the set of legal tools available to the administration to punish and deter activities including the theft of large quantities of credit card data, espionage conducted for commercial gain and cyberattacks aimed at damaging critical computer systems. Washington Post

State Department Found 4 Emails About Drones Sent By Clinton
The State Department says it can find only four emails sent between former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and her staff concerning drone strikes and certain U.S. surveillance programs, and those notes have little to do with either subject. She asks for a phone call in one, a phone number in another. She seeks advice on how best to condemn information leaks, and accidentally replies to one work email with questions apparently about decorations. The messages also reveal Clinton used an iPad to email while secretary of state in addition to her BlackBerry, despite her explanation she set up a private email account and homebrew server while she was the nation's top diplomat so that she could carry a single device. Houston Chronicle

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Clinton Used IPad, Phone For Email Despite Preference For Single Device
Hillary Rodham Clinton emailed her staff on an iPad as well as a BlackBerry while secretary of state, despite her explanation she exclusively used a personal email address on a homebrew server so that she could carry a single device, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The State Department released a total of four emails between Clinton and her top advisers as part of a Freedom of Information Act request filed in 2013 by the AP, which sought Clinton's correspondence with senior advisers over a four-year period relating to drone strikes overseas and U.S. surveillance programs. CBS

Cuba Delegate Reports 'Civilized' Talks On Rights With US
A Cuban delegate to talks with the United States says the two sides have held "a respectful, professional, civilized conversation" on human rights in Washington. Nevertheless, Anaysansi Rodriguez Camejo told Cuban state television that Tuesday's talks "ratified that there are differences." She's Cuba's ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva and a member of the delegation holding a series of talks with the U.S. on restoring diplomatic relations after a 50-year freeze. Neither side gave details of Tuesday's session. The U.S. was expected to press Cuba to allow its citizens greater freedom of speech, assembly and political activity. Cuba has often criticized poverty, insufficient health-care coverage and excessive police force in the United States. ABC

Christie Announces Support Of 20-Week Abortion Ban
Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) endorsed legislation banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Christie, a potential Republican presidential candidate, made his comments Monday to the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion organization which sought opinions on the issue from each potential candidate. With Christie's response, all the major contenders are in agreement that the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" should be enacted. The House bill was pulled from consideration in January after some female Republican legislators said its language allowed exceptions for pregnancy by rape only if the crime is reported to police by the victim. The legislation protects unborn in the first 20 weeks of gestation. UPI

Obama’s Strategy On Climate Change, Part Of Global Deal, Is Revealed
The White House on Tuesday introduced President Obama’s blueprint for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by nearly a third over the next decade.
Mr. Obama’s plan, part of a formal written submission to the United Nations ahead of efforts to forge a global climate change accord in Paris in December, detailed the United States’ part of an ambitious joint pledge made by Mr. Obama and President Xi Jinping of China in November. The United States and China are the world’s two largest greenhouse gas polluters. Mr. Obama said the United States would cut its emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025, while Mr. Xi said that China’s emissions would drop after 2030. Mr. Obama’s new blueprint brings together several domestic initiatives that were already in the works, including freezing construction of new coal-fired power plants, increasing the fuel economy of vehicles and plugging methane leaks from oil and gas production. NY Times

Emirates, Etihad Planes Involved In Air Traffic Scare
Jetliners from the United Arab Emirates' two main airlines avoided a mid-air collision after they apparently got too close to each other over the Indian Ocean earlier this week. The incident happened Sunday as passenger planes from Dubai-based Emirates and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways were traveling in opposite directions between the Gulf federation and the island nation of Seychelles. Both carriers have recently rerouted flights to the archipelago nation to avoid Yemeni airspace due to fighting there. Emirates, the Middle East's biggest carrier, said flight EK709 was returning to Dubai when what it called "an air traffic control incident" happened in airspace monitored by air traffic controllers in Mumbai, India. Charlotte Observer

Poor Phone Posture May Cause Back And Neck Pain
Patients with back or neck pain and problems as the result of bad posture are something Dr. Vik Udani, a neurosurgeon affiliated with Sharp HealthCare, sees all the time. And for an increasing number of people, the cause of their poor posture and pain may result from spending too much time with heads and necks bent at unhealthy angles over their cell phones. In fact, Udani said one of the first questions he asks patients is what they do for a living. Often times, it involves sitting at a desk or staring at a cell phone for several hours per day. San Diego Union

U.S. Executions Fell In 2014, Amnesty International Reports
Executions and death sentences dropped in the United States last year in another sign that support for the punishment may be on the decline, a new report from Amnesty International says. The United States remained the only country in the Western Hemisphere to carry out executions during 2014, the international human rights group says in a report to be released Wednesday. But the number of executions fell to 35 from 39 the previous year. The number of death sentences handed out also declined, to 77 from 95 in 2013, the group reported. Only seven states conducted executions, down from nine a year earlier. Kansas City Star

Poll Of Cuban-Americans Shows Support For New Cuba Policies Growing
A new national poll of Cuban Americans shows that their support for the White House's new Cuba policy has grown in the three months since the historic announcement, and now 51 percent say they support the effort to begin normalizing relations with Cuba. Forty percent said they disagreed with the new policy and 9 percent didn’t respond or said they didn’t know, according to the poll by Bendixen & Amandi International. Cuban Americans living outside Florida have embraced the new policy much more than those residing in the Sunshine State, according to the poll. Attitudes also diverge between older Cuban Americans born on the island and younger generations. Forty-nine percent of Cuban Americans living in Florida said they disagreed with the effort to normalize relations while 41 percent said they agreed. However, 69 percent of Cuban Americans living outside the exile stronghold of Florida said they agreed with the new policy. Miami Herald

Low-Cost Airline WOW’s New Flights To Europe Start At $99
If the plummeting euro isn’t enough to convince you to book a European vacation, then perhaps Wow Air’s new non-stop transatlantic flights starting at $99 will do the trick. On March 27, the Icelandic airline’s first U.S. flight to Reykjavik departed from Logan Airport (BOS), with service out of Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) to follow on May 8. CBS San Francisco notes, WOW also offers transfer flights out of Reykjavik to cities like Barcelona, Milan and London for an additional $80. The budget carrier has introduced the Airbus 321 for these new routes. Larger than the Airbus 320, the 321 also offers opportunity to upgrade to larger seats with more legroom ($24 to $33). These space upgrades aren’t the only opportunity for price bumps. In addition to the extra legroom, passengers will pay more for their seating location selection and any luggage beyond the included 11-pound max handbag, as well as in-flight entertainment and dining options, of course. SF Gate

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H.S. Student Asks Sec Def About 'History Of Pervasive Misogyny In The Military'
A female high school student on Monday asked Defense Secretary Ashton Carter about the "history of pervasive misogyny in the military," including sexual abuse. Carter told her he's "aware that we put our people in circumstances unique to military life that can...create opportunities for predators." The defense secretary was speaking at Abington High School in Pennsylvania, his alma mater, explaining the changes he wants to make to attract "the best of the best" to the nation's all-volunteer military. He used "diversity" as one of the selling points in his speech: CNS News

Obama Vetoes Republican Bid To Block Union Election Rules
U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday vetoed a measure by Republicans in Congress that would have blocked a government labor agency's rules designed to speed up the time it takes to unionize workers. The rules would shorten the period between a union filing a petition to represent workers and an election, from the current median of 38 days to as little as 14 days. Employers would be required to share workers' names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses with unions. The National Labor Relations Board adopted the rules last year and they are set to take effect April 14. Reuters

Indiana Governor Vows To 'Fix' Law Assailed For Curbing Gay Rights
Indiana's Republican Governor Mike Pence, responding to national outrage over the state's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, said on Tuesday he will "fix" it to make clear businesses cannot use the law to deny services to same-sex couples. Pence, in a news conference, said the law he signed last week had been unfairly "smeared" but he called on the state's Republican-controlled General Assembly to come up with clarifications this week. "I believe it would be appropriate to make it clear that this law does not give businesses the right to deny services to anyone," he told reporters at a testy, nationally televised news conference in the state capital, Indianapolis. Reuters

'Enough Progress': Iran Nuclear Talks Extended Into Wednesday
With several sticking points still to be worked out, negotiations on a nuclear deal with Iran will continue past Tuesday night's deadline into Wednesday, the State Department said. Diplomats from Iran and the so-called P5+1 — the U.S., China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain — resumed meeting Tuesday night as they scramble to agree on the framework of an agreement that would see Iran limit its nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief. As the midnight (6 p.m. ET) deadline crept closer, Marie Harf, the State Department's spokeswoman, said, "There are several difficult issues still remaining," but she added: "We've made enough progress in the last days to merit staying until Wednesday." MSNBC

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Benghazi Committee Seeks 'Transcribed' Interview With Clinton Over Deleted Records
The congressional committee probing the Benghazi attacks has formally requested that Hillary Clinton appear for an interview on her use of a personal email and server for official business while secretary of state, after learning the server had been wiped "clean." Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., made the request in a letter sent Tuesday to Clinton's lawyer. Gowdy asked that Clinton agree to a "transcribed" interview -- and repeated a March 16 request for her to surrender her server so it can be examined by the State Department’s inspector general. Fox News

Reid Has No Regrets Over Claiming Romney Didn't Pay Taxes
Harry Reid, D-Nev., has no regrets about his 2012 claims that then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney paid no taxes for 10 years. The outgoing Senate Minority Leader even bragged to CNN that the comments, which had been described as McCarthyism, helped keep Romney from winning the election. "They can call it whatever they want. Romney didn't win did he?" Reid said during a wide-ranging interview. So, in Reid's world, it is perfectly acceptable to make a defamatory charge against an opponent to damage his campaign. Fox News

Thousand-Year-Old Anglo-Saxon Potion Kills MRSA Superbug
London (CNN)It might sound like a really old wives' tale, but a thousand-year-old Anglo-Saxon potion for eye infections may hold the key to wiping out the modern-day superbug MRSA, according to new research. The 10th-century "eyesalve" remedy was discovered at the British Library in a leather-bound volume of Bald's Leechbook, widely considered to be one of the earliest known medical textbooks. Christina Lee, an expert on Anglo-Saxon society from the School of English at the University of Nottingham, translated the ancient manuscript despite some ambiguities in the text. "We chose this recipe in Bald's Leechbook because it contains ingredients such as garlic that are currently investigated by other researchers on their potential antibiotic effectiveness," Lee said in a video posted on the university's website. CNN

'New Onions' Engineered To Avoid Tears, Bad Breath
 A Japanese firm announced it has developed tear-free onions that are low in the enzymes responsible for causing watery eyes in onion-cutting cooks. House Foods Group -- which won the tongue-in cheek Ig Nobel Prize in 2013 for identifying the process that causes eyes to water when onions are sliced -- announced it has developed onions that are extremely low in the enzymes that cause tears. The company said "new onions" differ further from the onions of yesteryear by leaving a person's hands and breath stench-free after handling and eating the vegetables. "It not only reduces the tears, but should put more smiles" on the faces of consumers, the company said. UPI

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Jeb Bush Missed Red Flags In Florida Business Scandal
There were plenty of red flags surrounding the company Jeb Bush was planning to join: lawsuits, bad headlines, even previously convicted drug dealers in top positions. But somehow Bush seemed to miss them all in 2007 as he prepared to join InnoVida as a $15,000-a month-consultant -- a position that would lead to board membership and stock options. Just months out of the Florida governor's mansion, the consulting gig with InnoVida would help Bush replenish his bank account after eight years in public service. It was also a chance for him to lend the credibility that comes with being the son of a former president and the brother of a sitting one to a home state start-up making what promised to be a revolutionary new building material. CNN

Americans Must Work Jan. 1 Through April 24 Just To Pay Taxes
Tax Freedom Day will arrive this year on April 24 - 114 days into the year - according to a report from the Tax Foundation. “Tax Freedom Day is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its federal, state, and local tax bill for the year,” explained the Tax Foundation. “Tax Freedom Day takes all federal, state, and local taxes and divides them by the nation’s income. In 2015, Americans will pay $3.28 trillion in federal taxes and $1.57 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total tax bill of $4.85 trillion, or 31 percent of national income. This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 24, or 114 days into the year. CNS News

Samantha Power: U.S. Seeking Culprit For 'Monstrous Weapon' In Syria
Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, announced $508 million in American aid on Tuesday for Syrians suffering because of the civil war — part of a world commitment of almost $4 billion. In a speech at a humanitarian conference here, Power accused Bashar Assad, the Syrian president of using barrel bombs and perhaps chlorine gas to kill his own citizens. "How else can we see the footage of three tiny children, lying motionless on operating tables, victims of one of multiple chemical attacks reported this month, which all evidence suggests the Assad regime perpetrated?" she said. MSNBC

IRS Ignoring 60 Percent Of Taxpayers’ Calls As Deadline Looms
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Tuesday that service at his agency has gotten so bad that they are ignoring more than 60 percent of taxpayers’ phone calls during this tax season. Speaking at the National Press Club, Mr. Koskinen pleaded with more money, saying a budget boost would help them staff their overwhelmed customer service lines. He also said it would help reverse staffing cuts in their compliance division, where he said the government will lose $2 billion this year in money it would otherwise have been able to collect if it had better staffing. Washington Times

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White House Lifts Hold On Military Aid To Egypt
President Barack Obama on Monday told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that he would lift a hold on US military aid to Cairo, but also said the United States would stop allowing Egypt to buy equipment on credit starting in fiscal year 2018. Obama has been reviewing military aid to Egypt since 2013 when the Egyptian army ousted former president Mohamed Morsi. The decision will allow for the delivery of 12 F-16 aircraft, 20 Harpoon missiles, and up to 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits that had been frozen, the White House said. Jerusalem Post

Netanyahu On Iran Deal: Israel Not ‘Burying Head,’ Will Do What Is Needed To Secure Its Future
“The biggest threat to our security and future was and remains Iran's attempt to arm with nuclear weapons,” he said. “The agreement being put together at Lausanne is paving the way for that result.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted Tuesday that Israel would not be bound by the Iran nuclear accord being negotiated in Lausanne, and “will do everything to defend our security and our future.” Netanyahu, speaking at the ceremonial opening of the 20th Knesset just hours before the self-imposed deadline for reaching a framework deal between the world powers and Iran, said that Israel was “not burying its head in the sand.” “The biggest threat to our security and future was and remains Iran's attempt to arm with nuclear weapons,” he said. Jerusalem Post

Yemen In Verge Of Total Collapse, UN Human Rights Chief Warns
The UN high commissioner for human rights has warned that Yemen is "on the verge of total collapse", as Houthi rebels battle a Saudi-led coalition backing the government. Mr Zeid expressed shock at a coalition air strike on a camp for internally displaced people in northern Yemen on Monday, which left at least 19 dead. He also condemned attacks by rebels and allied army units on three hospitals. The UN says at least 93 civilians have been killed since the 10-nation coalition launched an air campaign five days ago. The coalition says it intends to "protect and defend the legitimate government" of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. BBC

Syria Donors Pledge Nearly $4bn At UN Crisis Meeting
The pledges came as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon warned that the Syrian people were "victims of the worst humanitarian crisis of our time". Donors have previously been criticised for not making good on similar pledges, but the UN says donors have been better over the past year at delivering. More than 200,000 Syrians have been killed in four years of armed conflict. More than 11 million people have been forced from their homes as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to his rule battle each other, as well as the Islamic State militant group. BBC

US Pledges Emissions Cuts Of Up To 28% Ahead Of Global Climate Treaty
The White House pledged to cut carbon pollution by up to 28% on Tuesday, boosting the prospects for an international agreement on climate change at the end of the year. With the US pledge, the countries accounting for nearly 60% of greenhouse gas emissions from energy have outlined their plans for fighting climate change in the 2020s and beyond, the White House said in a conference call with reporters. “That’s a big deal,” Brian Deese, the White House climate adviser wrote in a blog post announcing the pledge. “The United States’ target is ambitious and achievable, and we have the tools we need to reach it.” Guardian

HSBC's Attempts To Clean Up US Business Practices Are Falling Short, Report Says
HSBC is expected to be told this week that its attempts to clean up the way it does business are falling short of the standards required by the US authorities. A 1,000-page report by a monitor installed by the US Department of Justice to force HSBC to operate to higher standards shows that Britain’s biggest bank is not improving the way it does business fast enough. The monitor was appointed following the bank’s record-breaking $1.9bn (£1.2bn) fine in 2012 for laundering money for Mexican drug cartels, terrorists and pariah states. Guardian

Palestinian Authority To Formally Join ICC - But What Will It Mean For Israel And PA?
The Palestinian move to join the Rome Statute of the ICC and other international treaties has been years in the making, in a bid to launch an investigation of possible war crimes Israel may have committed in the occupied Palestinian territories. In 2009, the Palestinian Authority (PA) asked the ICC to extend its jurisdiction to the Palestinian territories and investigate crimes allegedly committed by Israel during the 2008-2009 ‘Cast Lead’ Gaza war. This request was denied because the PA did not hold the requisite status with the court. Telegraph

Nick Clegg: Pilots With Depression Should Be Allowed To Fly
Pilots who suffer from depression should be allowed to fly, Nick Clegg has said, urging people not to let the actions of Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz to “colour” their view of mental health. The Deputy Prime Minister said it would be wrong to impose a “blanket rule” banning those with depression from working as airline pilots. It has emerged that Lubitz, who crashed his Airbus into the Alps killing all 150 people on board, was treated for suicidal tendencies before he received his pilot’s licence. He is also said to have been afflicted with eyesight difficulty and problems in his private life. Telegraph

Top UN Official In Lebanon Calls For More Support For Palestine Refugee Camp During Visit
On a visit to the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein El-Hilweh in south Lebanon today, the United Nations’ top official in the country said the world body would continue working to assist where possible and would seek critical support from donors. “We hope new support will also be forthcoming at the International Humanitarian Pledging Conference that is taking place today in Kuwait,” said Sigrid Kaag, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon. Ms. Kaag joined the Acting Director of the UN Relief and Works Agency for the Near East (UNRWA), Heli Uusikyla, on the trip, during which they visited an UNRWA-managed health centre and school and a women's centre, and met with camp representatives. UN News

Seniro UN Officials Deeply Concerned Over Civilian Casualties In Wake Of Recent Fighting In Yemen
Senior United Nations officials today expressed their deep concern about the fast deteriorating situation in Yemen, where dozens of civilians have been killed in fighting in recent days. “The situation in Yemen is extremely alarming, with dozens of civilians killed over the past four days,” said Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, echoing a statement issued by UN Secretary-General's Spokesperson. UN News

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