Gun carry rights expanded in Ga. under new law

 

ELLIJAY, Ga. — Under a law just signed by Georgia’s governor, people with a license can carry a gun into bars, some government buildings and places of worship if religious leaders say it’s OK.

A few hundred gun rights advocates gathered to watch Wednesday’s bill signing by Gov. Nathan Deal with top officials including House Speaker David Ralston and bill sponsor Rep. Rick Jasperse.

Also under the law passed this session, school districts would now be able, if they choose, to allow some employees to carry a firearm under certain conditions.

Dutch scramble jets after Russian bombers approach

Posted: Apr 23, 2014 10:53 AM MST Updated: Apr 23, 2014 10:59 AM MST

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Dutch defense department says several NATO member countries scrambled jets Wednesday afternoon after a pair of Russian bomber planes approached their airspace over the North Sea.

The Dutch ministry identified the planes as two Russian TU-95 Bears, and said it had launched two F-16s from Volkel air force base to intercept them. The Russian jets were escorted by aircraft from the Netherlands, Britain and Denmark until they departed.

Maj. Wilko Ter Horst said “that’s why we scrambled, that’s why the Danish scrambled and the English scrambled, to ensure to insure they fly out of our air space.”

The ministry statement said such incidents have occurred before, citing one from March 21 and another on Sept. 10 last year.

Obama Arrives in Japan on 8-Day Asia Tour

U.S. President Barack Obama has arrived in Japan for the start of a four-nation tour of Asia, where he will try to convince allies that Washington is committed to its “rebalancing” in the Pacific.

Security concerns over China’s territorial claims and North Korea’s nuclear program will be a major focus of Mr. Obama’s trip, which include stops in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

The eight-day tour began in Tokyo with a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Japan is embroiled in a growing dispute with Beijing over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

Ahead of his visit, Mr. Obama told Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper the United States opposes “any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands.” He also stressed the islands fall under a treaty that requires the U.S. to defend Japan if attacked.

Mr. Obama will also try to make progress with Japan on the long-delayed Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal. But many say Japan’s reluctance to drop tariffs on agricultural products makes chances of a breakthrough slim.

From Tokyo, President Obama will head to Seoul, where he will talk with South Korean President Park Geun-hye about how to deal with North Korea, which some believe is preparing to conduct another nuclear test.

The South said Tuesday it detected increased activity at North Korea’s nuclear test site. Pyongyang warned last month it was preparing for a “new form” of nuclear test.

In Malaysia, Mr. Obama will hold talks and attend a state dinner with Prime Minister Najib Razak. He will be the first sitting U.S. president to visit Malaysia since Lyndon Johnson traveled there in 1966.

Mr. Obama’s last stop will be the Philippines, which is also involved in a territorial standoff with China and has deepened its military cooperation with Washington as a result.

This is Mr. Obama’s fifth visit to Asia since assuming office in 2009. He has promised to make the Pacific region a greater economic, diplomatic, and military priority for the United States.

Delinquent IRS employees paid bonuses by the agency

  @KatieLobosco April 22, 2014: 8:40 PM ET

irs sign building jcNo one likes the tax man, but paying some badly behaved IRS employees a bonus isn’t helping.

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

The IRS was in damage control mode Tuesday after an audit revealed that it paid bonuses to employees who were in trouble over tax issues themselves.

More than $2.8 million, plus thousands of hours of paid time-off, were doled out over two years to employees who had recently been disciplined for various types of misconduct, according to an audit report. About $1 million of that money was given as bonuses to 1,100 employees who were in trouble over tax related issues.

The tax problems include willful understatement of tax liabilities, late payments and under-reporting of income, according to the report issued by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

The report says that providing awards to employees who fail to pay taxes “appears to create a conflict with the IRS’s charge of ensuring the integrity of the system of tax administration.”

Related: Three very different tax bills

Although federal regulations do not require the IRS to consider tax compliance of employees when issuing bonuses, the agency says it will change the policy, as per the audit’s suggestion.

“We strive to protect the integrity of the tax system, and we recognize the need for proper personnel policies,” the agency said in a statement.

Biggest tax changes you’ll see in 2014

Over the past four years, the IRS says it has not issued awards to any executives who were subject to disciplinary action. It is now considering extending that policy to all employees.

The audit report found that the IRS did reduce overall spending on bonuses, fully complying with new federal guidance issued in fiscal year 2011. To top of page

Racist Sharpton planning attacks on everyone!

Sharpton on SCOTUS Upholding Affirmative Action Ban: ‘We Must Mobilize Immediately

“…devastating blow to the civil rights community.”

A 6-2 vote on Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s ban on using affirmative action for university admissions and Al Sharpton is none too happy, calling it a “devastating blow to the civil rights community” and sending out the battle cry to “mobilize immediately.”

Here is Sharpton’s released statement via his National Action Network:

The Supreme Court decision upholding the state of Michigan’s ban of using race as a factor in affirmative action is a devastating blow to the civil rights community. The ramifications of this will be far reaching and could tie us up in endless battles. We must mobilize immediately for state referendums to counter this decision to protect the ongoing battle to redress the historic needed repairs to racial discrimination.

The ruling simply upheld the passing of the 2006 ballot initiative of adding an amendment to the Michigan constitution that bans the practice. At that time, Sharpton voiced his opinions loudly, shouting at a rally:

If you do not keep affirmative action in place, you will not have a job at all.

Along with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who read the minority opinion at the Supreme Court ruling, Sharpton defends affirmative action programs on the grounds of fixing racial discrimination. To that same crowd at the 2006 rally, Sharpton proclaimed:

They had laws specifically against us, which is why they have laws for us to repair the damage they did to us.

Pentagon deploying troops to thwart Russia

NATO deploys ships in the Baltic Sea in response to the crisis in Ukraine as U.S. pledges to send 600 troops to region. Video provided by Reuters Newslook

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WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is sending about 600 troops to Eastern Europe in response to Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, Rear Adm. John Kirby announced Tuesday.

A company-sized contingent of U.S. paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade will arrive in Latvia on Thursday, the U.S. embassy there announced Wednesday. A similar number of soldiers, about 150, are scheduled to land in Poland on Wednesday. Estonia and Latvia will also host American soldiers for joint training missions in the coming days.

U.S. troops will continue to rotate into the region “at least through the end of this year,” according to the embassy.

“Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has renewed our resolve to strengthening NATO’s defense plans and capabilities, and to demonstrate our continued commitment to collective defense in reinforcing our NATO allies in Central and Eastern Europe,” Kirby told reporters at the Pentagon.

The move drew measured praise from Rep. Buck McKeon, a California Republican and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

“This as a small step in the right direction,” McKeon said. “By rearranging U.S. forces already deployed in Europe, the president is doing something, however incremental, to reassure our allies. It might have more deterrent value if he included the Ukrainian military in the exercises. It remains to be seen if this move of 600 troops comes in time to make an impression on the tens of thousands of Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders.”

Russia annexed Crimea, taking control of key port facilities on the Black Sea, and has been accused by U.S. officials of sending forces elsewhere into eastern Ukraine to destabilize the country.

The token presence of U.S. troops in Poland, a NATO ally bordering Ukraine, and the Baltic nations, also NATO allies, could not repel a Russian invasion or eject them from Ukraine. Russia has massed about 40,000 troops on Ukraine’s eastern border.

“What would be very helpful is if they removed their forces off that border and took concrete actions to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine,” said Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary.

The presence of U.S. soldiers raises the stakes for Russia in Poland and the other countries if it moves against them militarily. Wounding or killing an American soldier there could risk a major war.

There are about 67,000 U.S. troops in Europe and 12,000 civilians, according to U.S. European Command. The Cold War peak was 400,000 troops, in 1955 and it dropped to about 100,000 several years ago.

Follow @tvandenbrook on Twitter.

Pro-Russian separatists confirm they are holding an American journalist working for Vice News in the city of Slaviansk. Video provided by Reuters Newslook

Russia on the move

CORRECTED-Russia says conducting military drill near Ukraine

Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:30pm GMT
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(Corrects to show Rostov region in south-west, not south-east)

MOSCOW, April 23 (Reuters) – Russia on Wednesday conducted military exercises in its south-western Rostov region, which borders Ukraine, a spokesman for Russia’s southern military district said.

The spokesman declined to give details on the drills. However, Reuters Television footage from the exercises showed columns of military vehicles, including jeeps, armoured personnel carriers, mobile multiple rocket launchers, and mobile surface-to-air missile launchers, driving in formation at a military aerodrome. (Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Writing by Christian Lowe)

RUSSIAN MILITARY CONDUCTS MILITARY EXERCISE IN ROSTOV REGION, BORDERING UKRAINE – DEFENCE MINISTRY OFFICIAL

Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:28pm GM

 

MOSCOW, April 23 (Reuters) – Russia on Wednesday conducted military exercises in its south-eastern Rostov region, which borders Ukraine, a spokesman for Russia’s southern military district said.

The spokesman declined to give details on the drills. However, Reuters Television footage from the exercises showed columns of military vehicles, including jeeps, armoured personnel carriers, mobile multiple rocket launchers, and mobile surface-to-air missile launchers, driving in formation at a military aerodrome. (Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Writing by Christian Lowe)