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This beautifully composed space footage will 100% give you chills


Ron Paul still in the race with millions in funding and zero debt

First Rick Santorum slipped out of the race for the GOP nomination, and next Newt Gingrich said he would support Romney but would still run. But what about Ron Paul’s quest for the White House?

According to the latest bulletin from the campaign headquarters of the Texas congressman, Ron Paul is still in the race and rolling in the bucks.

Republican Party presidential hopeful Ron Paul is still polling strong among many demographics and shows no sign of slowing down. At least if his bank records have anything to do with it. The candidate’s camp announced on Friday that so far in 2012 his campaign has managed to bring in almost $10.4 million in contributions from donors determined to keep the congressman in the GOP race.

Those funds won’t be funneled to pay off earlier spending, either. His officials say that in addition to the big bucks that came in for the first quarter, the Ron Paul campaign has zero debt at this point in the race. Compare that to Republican Party rival and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who was reportedly in the hole to the tune of $4.5 million last week, according to an article published by Slate.

As Ron Paul and Gingrich are now left as the only viable Republican alternative to Mitt Romney, Gingrich’s chances might soon run dry as his pocketbook does the same. Will Paul have a chance to pull through against the frontrunner, though?


Ugandan troops play jungle cat and mouse with Kony

RIVER CHINKO, Central African Republic, Apr. 20, 2012 (Reuters) — A Ugandan "hunting squad" pushes through the thick jungle of central Africa in search of the fugitive warlord Joseph Kony.

It is tough terrain that favors the hunted.

At times the Ugandan soldiers cover as little as three kilometers a day, laboring through hanging vines and dense foliage that cut visibility to a few meters and wading chest-deep through crocodile-infested rivers.

The 58-man special operations group, codenamed 77-kilo, is at the forefront of a reinvigorated international drive to close the net on the sadistic Kony and the remnants of his depleted Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group.

The deployment of some 100 U.S. military advisers to the region late last year to support the hunt raised hopes Kony's decades-long campaign, notorious for the rebels' practices of hacking off limbs and abducting children, was doomed.

However, in the steamy forests straddling the borders of Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo, the LRA's favored hideouts since it fled its native Uganda, Kony remains a master of the hostile environment.

"We're hungry to hunt these guys down and take them back home, but it's a tough task," said Private James Mukundane, a sturdy warrior with a broad smile.

Ugandan commanders believe Kony and his two most senior lieutenants, who all face war crimes charges, are in a band of territory several hundred kilometers wide, feeding on wild yams and stolen cattle and drinking from rivers.

Uganda's military estimates the LRA has been reduced to no more than 200 fighters in CAR. Pockets of LRA fighters also remain in Congo. Moving in small groups and avoiding the use of satellite phones and radios, they are hard to intercept.


States Could Be in a Hurry if Obamacare Upheld

What if the Supreme Court upholds Obamacare?

With many Republican state leaders declaring they won’t move forward on implementing the law until the nation’s highest court issues its opinion, there could be a last-minute crunch, reports CQ’s Jane Norman.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said she’s preparing for the law to be upheld.

“What we are anticipating when the court finds the law constitutional is that we may have a rush of people who say, ‘How fast can we get ready?’” Sebelius said following an appearance at a health care forum. “That’s part of the planning going on; what we can do to get states ready to go by 2014.” Under the law, states must have their exchanges up and running by then.

If states have not set up their own exchanges, the federal government is supposed to step in — an outcome many Republican leaders would prefer to avoid.


New Zealand woman's Coca-Cola habit cited in death

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Experts say a New Zealand woman's 2-gallon-a-day Coca-Cola habit probably contributed to her death, a conclusion that led the soft-drink giant to note that even water can be deadly in excessive amounts.

Natasha Harris, a 30-year-old, stay-at-home mother of eight from Invercargill, died of a heart attack in February 2010. Fairfax Media reported that a pathologist, Dr. Dan Mornin, testified at an inquest Thursday that she probably suffered from hypokalemia, or low potassium, which he thinks was caused by her excessive consumption of Coke and overall poor nutrition.

Symptoms of hypokalemia can include abnormal heart rhythms, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Mornin said that toxic levels of caffeine, a stimulant found in Coke, also may have contributed to her death, according to Fairfax.
Harris' partner, Chris Hodgkinson, testified that Harris drank between 8 and 10 liters (2.1 and 2.6 gallons) of regular Coke every day.

"The first thing she would do in the morning was to have a drink of Coke beside her bed and the last thing she would do at night was have a drink of Coke," Hodgkinson said in a deposition. "She was addicted to Coke."

Hodgkinson also said Harris ate little and smoked about 30 cigarettes a day. In the months before her death, he said, Harris experienced blood pressure problems and lacked energy.

He said that on the morning of her death, Harris helped get her children ready for school before slumping against a wall. He called emergency services and tried mouth-to-mouth resuscitation but couldn't revive her.

Another pathologist, Dr. Martin Sage, said in a deposition that "it is certainly well demonstrated that excessive long or short term cola ingestion can be dramatically symptomatic, and there are strong hypothetical grounds for this becoming fatal in individual cases."


Phone hacking: News International faces nearly 50 new claims

Source: Guardian

The number of new civil claims for damages over alleged News of the World phone hacking faced by Rupert Murdoch's News International has reached nearly 50, including Sir John Major's former daughter-in-law Emma Noble, the high court has heard.

Others seeking damages for alleged invasion of privacy from News Group Newspapers, the News International subsidiary that published the now-closed Sunday tabloid, include former Conservative cabinet minister and chief whip Lord Blencathra and former Fire Brigades Union general secretary Andy Gilchrist.

At a case management conference at the high court in London on Friday, Hugh Tomlinson, QC, representing victims of alleged phone hacking, told Mr Justice Vos that he had 44 new cases filed while two others had submitted their claims via another legal representative.

It is expected that up to 200 new claims will be filed over the coming months, Tomlinson told the court in a previous hearing.

The cases are part of a second wave of civil actions which Vos is managing following the settlement of more than 50 cases earlier this year including claims by Jude Law, Charlotte Church and Lord Prescott.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/apr/20/phone-hacking-news-international-claims

Citigroup CEO and directors sued over executive pay

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - Days after being rebuked by shareholders, Citigroup Inc (C.N) Chief Executive Vikram Pandit and the bank's directors have been sued by a shareholder accusing them of awarding outsized pay to top executives.

The complaint, filed Thursday in Manhattan federal court, said directors breached their fiduciary duties by awarding more than $54 million of compensation in 2011 to the executives, including $15 million to Pandit, though the bank's performance did not necessarily justify it.

At Citigroup's annual meeting on Tuesday, about 55 percent of shareholders participating in an advisory vote rejected Pandit's pay package. That marked the first time that investors had rejected a compensation plan at a major U.S. bank.

That vote "has cast doubt on the board's decision-making process, as well as the accuracy and truthfulness of its public statements," said the complaint, brought by shareholder Stanley Moskal. "Absent this (lawsuit), the majority will of the company's stockholders shall be rendered meaningless."

Citigroup spokeswoman Shannon Bell said the lawsuit is without merit and that the bank will seek its dismissal, "consistent with court rulings in similar cases."

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/20/us-citigroup-pay-lawsuit-idUSBRE83J15720120420

Obama, courting youth vote, to launch student-loan push

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama will use a tour of three election battleground states next week to push Congress to prevent the doubling of interest rates on federal student loans -- an effort aimed at re-energizing his support among younger voters.

Obama will speak at universities in North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa, the White House said on Friday. All three states are considered critical to his re-election chances, and the youth vote is one of his key constituencies.

The two-day trip is part of a campaign by the Obama administration to get Congress to extend low interest rates on college loans to more than 7.4 million students.

If lawmakers fail to act, rates on the loans will double on July 1 to 6.8 percent -- this at a time when other loans boast near-record-low rates, with the average for a 30-year mortgage standing at 3.9 percent this week.

The new push jibes with the White House's strategy of casting the Democratic president as a champion of the middle class, to draw a contrast with congressional Republicans and Mitt Romney, his wealthy Republican presidential challenger.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/20/us-usa-obama-education-idUSBRE83J16J20120420

Audit finds 'significant' errors in oil spill compensation

WASHINGTON - An audit of the US$20 billion (S$25 billion) fund for paying victims of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill found "significant errors" that led to about 7,300 claimants who were underpaid receiving an extra US$64 million, the United States Justice Department said yesterday.

The Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) was set up to compensate fishermen, hotel owners, property owners and others for losses from explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and subsequent oil spill from the BP well.

The independent audit, conducted by BDO Consulting, also found that some claimants were overpaid, but that the GCCF was not seeking to recover that money, according to the Justice Department, which had sought the audit.

Attorney General Eric Holder last summer asked for the independent audit after hearing from some individuals and owners of small businesses in the region who were concerned about claims. The fund has paid out more than US$6.2 billion to more than 220,000 people and businesses.


Are we on the deck of another Titanic?

New York, NY - Are we in a countdown to an economic collapse?

The other day, I was in a restroom papered over with pages of the New York Times from the Great Depression. It was very eerie - some of the stories sounded very contemporary.

Every day we seem to be reading about new waves of layoffs and cutbacks, when we hoped to be reading about new jobs and recovery.

Sony just announced it will "shed" ten thousand jobs worldwide (is that like a sheep shedding wool?). That's six per cent of its staff. Yahoo has also announced thousands of layoffs. Maybe, Facebook will offer us one its pricey new infographics showing where all the jobs are going.

Last week, world stock markets were in the toilet, with European markets leading the descent. Corporate profits are said to be way down.

Not surprisingly, writing in the Financial Times, billionaire moneyman George Soros now sounds like a very worried man:

"Far from abating, the euro crisis has recently taken a turn for the worse. The European Central Bank relieved an incipient credit crunch through its longer-term refinancing operations. The resulting rally in financial markets hid an underlying deterioration; but that is unlikely to last much longer.

"The fundamental problems have not been resolved; indeed, the gap between creditor and debtor countries continues to widen. The crisis has entered what may be a less volatile but more lethal phase."

That's another term to worry about - "lethal".

In the US, the Republicans are about to dump $200 million dollars into partisan TV commercials to blame Obama for the whole crisis, as if one politician can press a button and order the intricate global capitalist system to rise and fall.

At the same time, their failure to pass any legislation that can ameliorate the crisis has been motivated by kamikaze politics driven by the desire to bring Obama down, no matter the cost to the public.

The only new economic initiative they and the Democrats have agreed to is a so-called JOBS act that many experts fear will neutralise financial regulations and lead to a new wave of financial crime.

That doesn't mean that Obama doesn't share responsibility by what he's done, or failed to do.

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