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Friday
Sep172010

Friday World Testing with Image 1pm

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Testing with image. 

Thursday
Sep162010

World Testing (image attached) 10:49am

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testing with image attached.

Wednesday
Sep152010

Cuba's Brave New Economic World

(HAVANA, Cuba) -- A brave new world is slowly dawning in Cuba as the cash strapped government of President Raul Castro cuts gratuities and subsidies, designs wage systems based on performance, sheds state jobs, revamps the feeble tax system and liberalizes agriculture in search of socialist sustainability.

The government announced plans Monday to lay off 500,000 state employees over six months and spur development of non-state jobs in their place, the biggest shift to private enterprise since the 1960s after Fidel Castro moved his revolution into the Soviet camp.

Cuba is a poor, developing country, embargoed by the United States, caught in an antiquated system and racked by hurricanes. But the basics, from jobs to food rations, health care and education were always guaranteed. Except for health care and education, that is no longer the case.

The austerity measure is certainly painful, but perhaps not as painful as one might think.
Many Cubans working for the state in jobs from driving taxis and repairing appliances to waiting on tables and making furniture will move to leasing their activity or working as cooperatives.
At the same time state employees, most of whom already do something on the side to make ends meet, will now strike out on their own.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep152010

Congress Will Explore Charges Of Unqualified Translators In Afghanistan

(Washington, DC) -- The chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee that investigates the military told ABC News he is deeply concerned by recent allegations that Army units have been saddled with unskilled foreign language translators in Afghanistan.

"This issue of language skills is a very, very significant one," said Rep. Victor F. Snyder, an Arkansas Democrat who chairs the subcommittee on oversight and investigations. "The Army is taking it seriously. Our committee is taking it seriously. We're going to follow up on this."

The most serious allegations surfaced in a lawsuit filed against Mission Essential Personnel, the chief supplier of interpreters into the Afghan war zone. The suit, filed by a former employee, alleges that the company was giving passing grades on language exams to applicants who failed meet the Army's proficiency standards. As a result, the suit says, the company shipped unqualified linguists overseas to be embedded with American troops.

"I determined that someone -- and I didn't know [who] at that time -- was changing the grades from blanks or zeros to passing grades," said Paul Funk, who used to oversee the screening of Afghan linguists for the Columbus, Ohio-based contractor. "Many who failed were marked as being passed."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio ccc



Wednesday
Sep152010

Iran Frees American Hiker Shourd 

(Tehran, Iran) -- SARAH SHOURD is a free woman after spending 13-and-a-half months in captivity in Iran.

After the usual amount of vacillating by Iranian officials over several days, the 32-year-old was finally released Tuesday and flew to Oman, where she met her mother.  Before her departure from Tehran, Shourd said that she was “grateful and I'm very humbled by this moment."

The Iranians agreed to free Shourd, who is suffering from a variety of ailments, after a $500,000 bail was paid by an unspecified party. State Department spokesman P.J. CROWLEY told reporters in Washington that the U.S. government did not make the payment.

Shourd was hiking in northern Iraq with two male companions on July 31st, 2009 when they allegedly stumbled into Iranian territory and were taken prisoner by soldiers. The government then charged all three with espionage and said they would go trial, which has not yet happened.

There’s no word about what plans Iran might have for SHANE BAUER, who is Shourd’s fiancé, and mutual friend JOSH FATTAL. All three are University of California-Berkeley graduates.

Reports surfaced earlier this year that Shourd was suffering from a serious gynecological conditions as well as bouts of depression. A spokesperson for Shourd’s family has also confirmed that a lump found in the 32-year-old woman’s breast is precancerous.

In August, the mothers made a plea to the Iranian government for Shourd’s release, calling to their attention her deteriorating medical condition. All three were allowed to briefly visit their children in Tehran last May.

At the White House, PRESIDENT OBAMA thanked Switzerland, which acts on behalf of the U.S. since it has no diplomatic ties with Iran, and Oman for their role in helping to secure Shourd’s departure from Iran. He also called on Iran to immediately free Shourd and Fattal.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep142010

WORLD NEWS TEST 1

(Detroit, MI) -- A judge in Detroit ruled Monday that UMAR FAROUK ABDULMUTALLAB can defend himself when he's put on trial for allegedly trying to bring down a U.S. commercial jet last Christmas Day.

U.S. District Judge NANCY G. EDMUND told the 24-year-old Nigerian that “you would be far better defended by a trained lawyer than by yourself.” However, Abdulmutallab responded that his court-appointed attorneys had not been working in his best interest.

There has been speculation that Abdulmutallab will plead guilty to at least some of the charges in his alleged attempt to detonate a bomb hidden in his underwear while on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253 during its approach to Detroit from Amsterdam on December 25th, 2009.

Law enforcement officials say that Abdulmutallab was subdued by passengers and taken into custody once the plane landed. Since then, government prosecutors have alleged that the plot to bomb the plane was hatched by al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen, who used the willing Abdulmutallab to carry out the scheme.

Abdulmutallab suspect faces six charges, including the attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.  The latter charge could put him in prison for life if convicted.


Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep082010

North Korean Delegates Gather to Anoint Kim Jong-Un His Father's Heir

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(Pyongyang, North Korea) -- Regional party delegates from all corners of North Korea have completed their travel to Pyongyang and are standing by for a landmark political convention. The nation’s largest meeting in 30 years is scheduled to take place in early September, where analysts expect North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's son to appear for the first time.  Little is known to the outside world about the leader’s son; state media has never mentioned his name or age, nor shown his photo. Kim Jong Il’s former private chef wrote in his tell-all book that at 11-years-old, Kim Jong Il’s son and rumored successor was active, competitive, and possessed leadership qualities.

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