Congress slams Sec. John Kerry over Iran nuclear deal

Top Obama administration leaders strongly defended the nuclear deal recently reached with Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday. Thursday’s hearing is the first public forum to review terms of an agreement struck by the P5+1 nations as well as being unanimously supported by the United Nations Security Council.

Kerry denied criticism from Republicans that the U.S. was “fleeced” and “bamboozled” in crafting the deal. His appearance was part of the Obama administration’s continued lobbying to build congressional support for the deal. Kerry characterized the deal as the best way to help stymie Iran’s nuclear program. Ahead of the hearing, Kerry and Muniz wrote an editorial for the Washington Post further underscoring the need for a nuclear deal with Iran. Senator Marco Rubio had an intense exchange with Secretary Kerry who said there is no alternative that you or anyone else has proposed” to stop a nuclear Iran. Rubio fired back saying he did propose an alternative. Kerry said any congressional effort to undermine the deal would send a message that America can’t be trusted in international negotiations after leading world powers universally signed off on the deal.

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Feds arrest four in connection to JPMorgan Chase data breach

Federal authorities announced on Tuesday that four people in Israel and Florida were arrested in suspicion of being connected to recent computer hacks of JPMorgan Chase and other financial institutions. The suspects in question were not tied to JPMorgan’s data breach in 2014, which compromised millions of personal accounts. Court documents show that some of the suspects are suspects in the hack. Department of Justice officials Tuesday arrested four men across Florida and Israel and charged five through one indictment and two criminal complaints. Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office declined to comment on the arrests. Last summer’s hack was intended to fuel a pump-and-dump stock scheme rather than an attempt to steal financial data from America’s largest bank. None of the five men have been charged with the theft of email addresses and other contact information from the bank or carrying out the hacking. A series of court filings unsealed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan did not mention the attack on JPMorgan’s vast network that went on for several months before it was discovered in late July. Rather, the court filings detailed charges involving a multiyear campaign to drive up the price of worthless penny stocks by pitching them to unsuspecting investors through millions of spam emails.

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Four marines killed in domestic terror attack

Chattanooga police confirm that several Marines were killed at a recruitment center and a Naval Reserves Operations Center. Late Thursday, a gunman drove a Mustang convertible opening fire at multiple military centers in the Chattanooga area. Tennessee governor Bill Haslam reported ‘lives lost’ in the shootings, but did not elaborate. Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke called the attack a very terrible situation.

The gunman wounded three including an officer. Witnesses said a man sprayed bullets at the glass doors of a military recruiting center at a strip mall on Lee Highway, and the U.S. Navy tweeted Thursday that a shooting happened at a separate location — the Navy Reserve center on Amnicola Highway. The two sites are 7½ miles apart. Chattanooga State Community College asked people on its main campus to stay inside because of a “confirmed shooting,” the school said on Twitter.

A White House official said President Barack Obama was being briefed on the shooting. The names of the Marines who were reportedly shot were not immediately released.The gunman fired 25 to 30 rounds at the recruitment center, according to a U.S. military official. Both of Tennessee’s U.S. senators addressed the shooting on the Senate floor and offered their condolences.

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Coalition airstrikes kill ISIS top songwriter

ISIS songwriter killed during coalition airstrikes 

ISIS supporters announced the death of Maher Meshaal. He is the chief singer and songwriter for the terror group. Activists confirmed on Wednesday that Meshaal was killed during airstrikes on Saturday. Meshaal is the author of several jihadi hymns which are regularly played as background music in combat and execution videos released by the islamic militant group.

“Saleel al-Sawarem” celebrates martyrdom by using lyrics such as “The banner has called us, to brighten the path of destiny, to wage war on the enemy, whosoever among us dies, in sacrifice for dfense, will enjoy eternity in paradise.” Reuters confirmed that U.S. lead coalition forces conducted 16 airstrikes targeting ISIS positions in Syria during the weekend.

Saudi news agencies say he previously worked as a chanter in Riyadh before moving to Syria where he met another chanter. His friend escaped after he realized that they were part of a terrorist group. He told the Saudi Gazette: Families are not keeping a close eye on their sons and they do not know what type of friends they have or what kinds of websites they browse.

Losing a composer of jihadi anthems, or nasheeds, could deal a not-insignificant blow to ISIS’s propaganda outfit, which is largely responsible for its great success in recruiting young Muslim men and women born and raised in the West.

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Greece shoots down European Union bailout

Greece on Sunday rejected stringent lending terms from international creditors. The results are potentially jeopardizing the European economic unity. Greece is now headed on a collision course with the area’s key political leaders and forces 11 million Greeks on an uncertain financial course. Greece’s Interior Ministry projected that 61% of voters rejected the terms. Thousands of Greeks celebrated in the streets of Athens after the vote on Sunday. Greece requires cash to reopen its banks that have been closed for months, and for pensions and wages. European leaders said a “no” vote would destroy the basis for talks, because it would show that Greece was unwilling to take the steps needed to put its finances in order and get its economy growing.

German Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande are scheduled to meet Monday evening in Paris to discuss the effects of the referendum. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will also speak before all 19 countries that use the euro hold a summit. “This result is very regrettable for the future of Greece,” said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who as president of the Eurogroup of finance ministers has been at the heart of efforts to resolve the crisis.

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ISIS kills another 25 captives in Palmyra

ISIS militants released a video on Saturday showing the execution of 25 captives in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. The video shows ISIS militants executing soldiers in an ancient amphitheater in Tadmur. SITE Intel Group confirmed the authenticity of the video. ISIS claimed the med were soliders captured during an attack on Homs. The killers’ age appears to be 13 or 14 but it remains unclear when the video was filmed.

The video begins with shots of the Quran followed by images showing what appears to be the aftermath of fighting, with bodies in the street. Then it shows captives, heads down and dressed in dark fatigues, as they are herded single-file onto the stage of an ancient arena. Throughout the video, the camera pans onto men sitting on the stone seats, some who are waving ISISflags, while others appear to be hiding their faces.

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Bernie Sanders raises $15 million during first quarter filings

The Bernie Sanders campaign raised more than $15 million since April 30, spread out between 250,000 donors. The campaign made the announcement Saturday and reported that the Democrat presidential candidate received an average donation of $33 and 99% of donations were under $250. The Clinton campaign announced they hauled in nearly $45 million and that 91% of the donations received were under $100 but did not disclose the number of donors.

The campaign announced they will not release their full Federal Election Commission report on Thursday but said the report will come later this month. Sanders funding was received through online donations and rallies across the country, including one with attracted more than 10,000 people in Madison Wisconsin. The largest crowd for any presidential candidate’s event held so far this year. The Vermont senator openly does not favor fundraising and has appeared at less than a handful of in-person fundraisers. Sanders spoke to CNN, “We have (raised money) very, very differently than other campaigns,” “But I believe we will be able to raise, as will be indicated in this reporting period and in the future, enough money to run a winning campaign.”

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Justice Department investigating airlines over price collusion

Department of Justice officials announced on Wednesday that they are investigating possible collusion among major airlines to limit available seats that keeps airfares high. Department of Justice officials sent subpoenas to several airlines as part of the ongoing investigation. Justice spokeswoman Emily Pierce confirmed the investigation into the possible price fixing scheme. In recent years, the Justice Department allowed two major airline mergers to take place — including United and Continental, as well as American and U.S. Airways. Industry groups have cited the merging of airlines as an example of the business has gotten tougher for consumers. The DOJ has already demanded copies of all communications among the airlines, analysts and shareholders. The Associated Press first reported on the Justice Department investigation.

The civil antitrust investigation by the Justice Department appears to focus on whether airlines illegally signaled to one another how quickly they would add new flights and routes and extra seats. Questions are still swirling around how the airlines have coordinated isn’t immediately clear. American Airlines officials reported they also received a notice from the Justice Department. Because of the multiple mergers since 2008, American Airlines, Delta, Southwest and United now control more than 80% of the seats in the domestic market.

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Puerto Rico defaults on its $72 Billion Debt

Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Padilla released a statement on Monday saying the governor said the island couldn’t pay its $72 billion in debts. The government of Puerto Rico failed its attempts at slashing expenditures and restructuring its debt. Former World Bank and International Monetary Fund released a report that acknowledged the true extent of the problem. Several massive payments are expected in the coming weeks. Padilla held a media conference for 5 p.m. addressing the situation.

Puerto Rico legislators are debating a $9.8 billion budget that calls for $674 million in cuts and sets aside $1.5 billion to help pay off the debt. The budget has to be approved by Tuesday. Puerto Rico’s bonds were popular with U.S. mutual funds because they were tax-free, but hedge funds and distressed-debt buyers began stepping in to buy up debt as the island’s economy worsened and its credit rating dropped. Economy experts including Jose Villamil, a former UN consultant and CEO of an economic and planning consulting firm believes that Padilla’s comments will not effect Wall Street.

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Sarah Palin must run in 2016

Consider this an endorsement

In 2008, Senator John McCain selected former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as her running mate, becoming the first woman to be nominated as the Republican candidate for Vice President. During that time they ripped her apart for not having any experience and claiming she said “I can see Russia from my house.” That was an outright lie! Democrats have constantly written articles blasting her and mocking her. Many Republicans are even wary of what her nomination would bring, noting that the media and entertainment industry assault on her has currently destroyed her public image. However, her reality shows was a self-inflicted wound. Republicans say she is not electable but political pundits expected McCain and Mitt Romney to claim the White House.

The last Republican was laughable Texas Governor George W. Bush. People discounted him because of his war mindset and his father’s beliefs. Now former Florida Jeb Bush is expected to get the same treatment. Sarah Palin is not afraid. Sarah Palin is not afraid to back down and will not apologize. Like a famous rule in NCIS, never apologize, it’s a sign of weakness. She takes on the old dogs. McCain and Romney treaded lightly while President Obama slammed them into the ground. If Hillary Clinton wind up with the 2016 Democratic nomination, no play nice Republican will defeat her. In 2012, Romney fought back against Obama in the first debate but backed down in the last two debates, in hopes of keeping the lead.

The mainstream media will not dare go after Hillary Clinton for any of her scandals. Both Bill and Hillary Clinton remain the most popular politicians in the country. The Benghazi investigation has not held Obama or Clinton even remotely accountable. She’s received a get out of jail free card. Palin does face the possibility of losing but a plan B candidate would result in an electoral slaughter, leading the Clintons back to the White House.

Americans may consider a Palin candidacy would be dead right out of the door. However the past shows differently. Americans who had never heard him speak disliked Romney. But when people actually saw him for the first time in the first debate, a strange thing happened: they liked him. Yep, he was nothing like what voters thought. His favorable numbers rose dramatically, and they were even above 50% by election day.  He didn’t win, but a lot more people liked him after they actually saw him than when they expressed an opinion based on a caricature of him. The same could be true with Palin. If anything, the caricature of her is so borderline-silly that most people would be shocked to find out she could recite the alphabet. Governor Palin took a beating far worse than any other candidate in history.

In her 2008 Vice President acceptance speech, Palin fought back against Obama. She was highly favored by the Public until the left-wing media launched a character assassination did her numbers plummet. The media set the narrative was that she wasn’t qualified to be vice-president. However, during my lifetime in Alaska, she served as a governor, mayor, and state commissioner, totally dismantling the liberal’s argument.

Palin is already a known figurehead. We’ve seen her at her best and her worst. (And her “worst” is more what others have done to her rather than something she has done to herself.)  She is a conservative with a strong honest streak. She reaches out to people of all walks of life and is an effective speaker. Media attackers have already investigated every fine detail of her life. One thing with Palin is sure: there is nothing left to be vetted except her ideas. Would Palin be a risky move? Well, how did the last two guys work out for us and who among the Republicans would be a better force to at least try to stomp her opponent the way they will stomp back? We all expect her not to run but look at who is confirmed as a candidate. How well do we really know Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Christie, Rubio and the other old dogs.

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