Friday, June 28, 2013

Ban on same-sex marriages in California lifted

Brazil Protests Prompts a Media Shift

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Brazil's recent protests has allowed independent media to gain some traction in a landscape long dominated by a few mainstream giants.

Air Goes Out of Emerging Stocks

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Long a popular destination for investors lured by strong economic growth, emerging markets are losing their attraction.

Brazilian president's plan to import doctors faces resistance

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) - President Dilma Rousseff's plan to import foreign doctors to work in rural and poor parts of Brazil, part of a move to quell massive street protests over poor public services, has run into stiff opposition from the powerful medical lobby.

Chilean Police Dismantle Student Protests

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Police have evicted protesting students from the public schools that will be used as polling stations for Sunday's primary elections in Chile, making at least 150 arrests.

Mexican ex-governor gets 11 years in U.S. for money laundering

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former Mexican state governor was sentenced to 11 years in prison in the United States on Friday after pleading guilty to conspiring to launder millions of dollars in bribes from a notorious drug cartel.

Drug-Related Killings Drop in Mexico

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The trend is welcome in a nation exhaused by years of violence associated with organized crime, even if the reasons behind it are hard to pin down.
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Page 2

Prop 8: Gay marriages can resume in California, court rules - Los Angeles Times

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Prop 8: Gay marriages can resume in California, court rules
Los Angeles Times
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday cleared the way for gay marriages to resume in California. The court lifted its stay on an injunction which ordered state officials to stop enforcing Proposition 8. With the court's action, counties can now begin ...

and more »

Ban on same-sex marriages in California lifted

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San Francisco city officials prepare to let couples marry immediately as US appeals court dissolves stay
An appeals court has cleared the way for California to immediately resume issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples for the first time since 2008, and the couple whose case led to a historic supreme court decision this week were already waiting in line.
"On my way to SF City Hall. Let the wedding bells ring," the state's attorney general, Kamala Harris, tweeted after the 9th US circuit court of appeals issued its order. Harris, the state's top lawyer, was set to officiate at the wedding of the two lead plaintiffs in the case that returned same-sex marriage to the country's most populous state.
The appeals court issued a brief order on Friday saying it had dissolved a stay it imposed on same-sex marriages while the lawsuit challenging the state's voter-approved ban on such unions worked its way through the courts.
The supreme court ruled on Wednesday that the sponsors of California's voter-approved gay marriage ban lacked authority to defend it in court once Harris and Governor Jerry Brown refused to do so. That lets stand a trial judge's declaration that the ban violates the civil rights of gay Californians.
San Francisco city officials were preparing to let couples marry right away, said Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for city attorney Dennis Herrera.
Just minutes after the appeals court issued its order, the two lead plaintiffs in the case were standing in line at San Francisco City Hall to get a marriage licence. They planned to wed at 4.15pm, according to the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which brought the lawsuit.
Under supreme court rules, the losing side in a legal dispute has 25 days to ask the high court to rehear the case. The court said earlier this week that it would not finalise its ruling in the dispute until after that time had elapsed.
It was not immediately clear whether the appeals court's action would be halted by the high court. © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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The Middle-Class Revolution

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All over the world, argues Francis Fukuyama, today's political turmoil has a common theme: the failure of governments to meet the rising expectations of the newly prosperous and educated.

Same-Sex Marriage Ban Lifted in California

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An appeals court in California has lifted the state's ban on same-sex marriage -- just days after the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for such a move. The order lifting the ban was issued Friday by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The order came in response to an opinion released Wednesday by the U.S. Supreme Court that effectively killed a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages in the state.

Georgia Sets Lobbying Blitz in U.S.

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Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's government blitzed Capitol Hill this week with memos detailing Tbilisi's commitment to squeezing Iran and stressing his desire to maintain his country's pro-Western stance.

[ v e r a x ] : Edward Snowden / 斯諾登 - Short Film - YouTube

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[ v e r a x ] : Edward Snowden / 斯諾登 - Short Film

JShotVideo JShotVideo·1 video

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Published on Jun 25, 2013
This is a short film based on the events of Edward Joseph Snowden/斯諾登, a former CIA and NSA employee who leaked a top secret mass surveillance programme from the US and UK.

We have never met or been in contact with Edward Joseph Snowden.

We are a band of independent and amateur filmmakers in Hong Kong who were both excited and puzzled as to why Snowden chose to come to Hong Kong. While nearly every media outlet wanted to get their hands on him, we decided to produce a short fictional video to depict his experience in HK, and how it would have affected certain parties: Namely, the CIA contingent based in HK who would be tasked to find Snowden. The Hong Kong Police who would be stuck in between the US and China. And the journalists who want to get the scoop. It was also important for us not to 'twist' Snowden's character. We really knew little about him. Although he is a central character, he is not the most prominent. It is more about the maelstrom of events surrounding him.

The idea was hatched two days after he revealed his identity, and principal filming began on June 20th. We were also filming on the same day (23rd) when we learned Snowden had left the city. Therefore we ramped up production efforts and published our short film 'Verax' on the 25th. 'Verax' was the alias Snowden used when contacting journalists via encrypted chat services. We loved the idea of having Snowden here and the media frenzy it created. We really wanted to make a film based on such real-life news events, especially as it continued to develop. This project really tested our mettle especially when most of us had day jobs.

To reiterate, we made this for fun and for the love of filmmaking. We had no commercial or political motives.

Directed and produced by
Jeff Floro (Junk Shot: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>)
Edwin Lee (Fallout Media: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>)
Shawn Tse (Junk Shot)
Marcus Tsui (Immortal Peach: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>)

Associate producer
Cassandra Chan (Slate Takes: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>)

Written by
Edwin Lee
Marcus Tsui

Directors of Photography
Edwin Lee
Jeff Floro

Edited by
Edwin Lee

Andrew Cromeek as Edward Snowden
Guo Aibing as Wu Xingwei
Edwin Chin as Security Wing officer Tsang Tak-long
Thomas Easterling as HK CIA Station Chief Carl Hamilton
Justin Lau as Security Wing officer Vincent Lee
Shi Yi Ng as Lecia Lau
Gabe Ostley as CIA Analyst Owen Fielding
Robert Hinson as HK CIA Operations Manager
Cindy Wong as Security Wing officer Vanessa Wu
Simon Zeng Hao as Ministry of State Security attaché

Music composed by
Gareth Coker (audiojungle)
Thomas Vo (audiojungle)

Special thanks
Christine Jagolino
Diane To

Geek talk:
Canon 5D Mark II and III
Zeiss 18mm, 28mm, 50mm, 85mm
Edelkrone rigs
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Ecuador cools on Edward Snowden asylum as Assange frustration grows | World news

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Ecuador's president Rafael Correa
President Correa declared that the safe conduct pass issued by Ecuador's London consul – in collaboration with Assange – was unauthorised. Photograph: EPA
The plan to spirit the surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden to sanctuary in Latin America appeared to be unravelling on Friday, amid tension between Ecuador's government and Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.
President Rafael Correa halted an effort to help Snowden leave Russia amid concern Assange was usurping the role of the Ecuadoran government, according to leaked diplomatic correspondence published on Friday.
Amid signs Quito was cooling with Snowden and irritated with Assange, Correa declared invalid a temporary travel document which could have helped extract Snowden from his reported location in Moscow.
Correa declared that the safe conduct pass issued by Ecuador's London consul – in collaboration with Assange – was unauthorised, after other Ecuadorean diplomats privately said the WikiLeaks founder could be perceived as "running the show".
According to the correspondence, which was obtained by the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision and shared with the Wall Street Journal, divisions over Assange have roiled Ecuador's government.
Ecuador's ambassador to the US, Nathalie Cely, told presidential spokesman Fernando Alvarado that Quito's role in the drama was being overshadowed by the WikiLeaks founder, who has sheltered in Ecuador's London embassy for the past year to avoid extradition.
"I suggest talking to Assange to better control the communications. From outside, [Assange] appears to be running the show."
Earlier this week a senior foreign diplomat in Quito told the Guardian that some – though not all – factions in the government were annoyed with what they saw as Assange grandstanding.
In a message attributed to Assange sent to Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, and other top officials, the WikiLeaks founder apologised "if we have unwittingly [caused] Ecuador discomfort in the Snowden matter." The note continued: "There is a fog of war due to the rapid nature of events. If similar events arise you can be assured that they do not originate in any lack of respect or concern for Ecuador or its government."
Assange appears to have had a strong role in obtaining the travel document for Snowden, dated 22 June which bore the printed name, but not signature, of the London consul, Fidel Narvaez, a confidante. By mid-week Narvaez was reportedly in Moscow.
The document could have helped Snowden, whose US passport has been revoked, leave the transit lounge of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport where he has reportedly holed up since fleeing Hong Konglast weekend.
On Thursday, Correa, who previously has hailed Snowden for exposing US spying, and has earned kudos for defying Washington pressure over the affair, reduced Snowden's chances of making it to Quito.
At a press conference the president declared the travel document invalid and said Ecuador would not consider an asylum request unless Snowden reached Ecuadorean territory, an increasingly remote prospect.
"The situation of Mr Snowden is a complex situation and we don't know how he will solve it."
Correa did however ramp up defiance of the US by waiving preferential trade rights to thwart what officials called Washington "blackmail". Analysts said Correa, an economist who specialised in game theory, had so far skilfully extracted political capital from the saga without drawing US retaliation.
In a TV interview on Friday, Snowden's father said said he was worried about the involvement of WikiLeaks. "I don't want to put him in peril, but I am concerned about those who surround him," Lonnie Snowden told NBC.
"I think WikiLeaks, if you've looked at past history … their focus isn't necessarily the constitution of the United States. It's simply to release as much information as possible."
Snowden said he did not believe his son had betrayed his country. "At this point, I don't feel that he's committed treason. He has broken US law, in a sense that he has released classified information. And if folks want to classify him as a traitor, in fact he has betrayed his government. But I don't believe that he's betrayed the people of the United States."
Snowden said he had told US attorney general Eric Holder through his lawyer that his son might return home if he would not be detained before trial, could choose the location for his trial and would not be subjected to a gag order. It was not clear that Lonnie Snowden was communicating his son's views, as he also said they had not spoken since April.
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Obama: US will not engage in 'wheeling and dealing' over Edward Snowden | World news

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Link to video: Edward Snowden: Barack Obama not spoken to Russia or China over extradition
After weeks of high-stakes international tension to find and apprehend surveillance whistleblowerEdward Snowden, US president Barack Obama indicated that he would not spend much geopolitical capital to make the former National Security Agency contractor stand trial in the United States.
Obama said on Thursday he would not engage in "wheeling and dealing" to persuade foreign governments – principally Russia – to return Snowden to America, where he has been indicted on espionage charges related to his leak of classified information to the Guardian and Washington Post about broad NSA surveillance operations.
Obama said he had yet to speak with the Russian or Chinese leadership concerning Snowden, emphasizing a desire to place trade and other bilateral issues ahead of the whistleblower.
"I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker," Obama said, according to a tweetfrom the Washington Post's David Nakamura.
Russian president Vladimir Putin confirmed on Tuesday that Snowden is in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, awaiting a potential voyage to Ecuador, where he has requested political asylum. For five days, Snowden's mysterious flight from Hong Kong and future travel plans have captured global attention. "I'm sure there will be a made-for-TV movie," Obama reportedly said.
Putin said that Russia would not extradite Snowden to the United States and asserted that Russia's security services had not been in contact with Snowden, a claim greeted with international skepticism given Snowden's knowledge of some of the most sensitive secrets about the US surveillance apparatus.
Obama's remarks temper down days' worth of heated rhetoric from his administration about Snowden. The Justice Department on Sunday emailed reporters a detailed timeline about its efforts to work with Hong Kong to arrest and extradite the 30-year-old former contractor, pushing back against Hong Kong's public claim that the US did not follow the proper legal procedures to apprehend him. A US National Security Council spokeswoman warned that Snowden's departure might prove "detrimental to US-Hong Kong and US-China bilateral relations".
An anonymous senior administration official went further, insulting Russia and China in the course of attempting to discredit Snowden – all while the Obama administration attempted to work with both countries on the issue, particularly Russia.
"Mr Snowden's claim that he is focused on supporting transparency, freedom of the press and protection of individual rights and democracy is belied by the protectors he has potentially chosen: China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador," the official told reporters in an emailed message early Monday morning.
The main Chinese state newspaper, the People's Daily, shot back on Tuesday by praising Snowden for "tearing off Washington's sanctimonious mask".
It remains to be seen what Obama will do to facilitate Snowden's extradition, or if his remarks indicate that Obama is deprioritizing Snowden after nearly a month of being vexed by his disclosures. On Sunday, Obama's director, General Keith Alexander, said Snowden "has caused irreversible and significant damage to our country and to our allies".
Members of the US Congress have called Snowden a "traitor" and are likely to pressure the Obama administration to intensify its effort at bringing him to the US to stand trial.
"I hope we'll chase him to the ends of the earth, bring him to justice and let the Russians know there will be consequences if they harbor this guy," senator Lindsey Graham said on Sunday.
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