Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekly Address: Congress Must Act to Create Jobs and Grow the Economy

Friday, September 21, 2012

Clinton: It's All About the Turnout


Fareed Zakaria speaks with former U.S. President Bill Clinton about Barack Obama’s chances of winning the presidential election in November. To watch the full interview, tune into GPS this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET. 

Editor's note: The video may take a few seconds to load.  

Romney Defends Campaign: A '60 Minutes' Preview

Scott Pelley asks GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney how he plans to turn his campaign around following a dip in his poll numbers. Romney says that he doesn't need a turnaround as his campaign is effective. 

This segment, along with an interview with President Barack Obama, will air on September 23.

Romney Paid 14.1 Percent Tax Rate in 2011

West Wing Week: 09/21/12



This week, the President, Vice President and Secretary of State attended the Transfer of Remains Ceremony for the four Americans killed in Libya, while the White House welcomed Olympians and Paralympians, WNBA champions the Minnesota Lynx, new foreign Ambassadors, and the Children's Miracle Network.

The Decision to Move Forward: First Lady Michelle Obama Meets Paralympian Lt. Brad Snyder



Brad Snyder's story is a remarkable one. Just one year ago, Lieutenant Snyder was blinded by an IED while serving in Afghanistan. This summer, he competed in the London Paralympics, bringing home two gold medals and a silver medal in swimming. Watch as Brad shares his story with First Lady Michelle Obama. "Overcoming adversity is a decision that everyone makes," Brad said, "And you can let that beat you or you can make the decision to move forward."

Biden Places Call to Nouri al-Maliki


Vice President and Iraqi Prime Minister Discussed Regional Security and the Americans Killed in Libya

Vice President Biden today called Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to discuss a range of topics, including the recent high-level U.S. delegations to Iraq led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dempsey, Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns and others.  

The Vice President and the Prime Minister addressed issues of regional security, including the need to prevent any state from taking advantage of Iraq’s territory or air space to send weapons to Syria.  

Vice President Biden commended Prime Minister Maliki’s recent leadership, and that of his counterparts in the Kurdistan Regional Government, in seeking compromise to develop Iraq’s energy industry so that all of Iraq’s citizens may share in its benefits. 

The Prime Minister expressed condolences on the recent killing of four Americans in Libya. Both leaders reaffirmed that the long-term, strategic partnership between the U.S. and Iraq is an important source of stability in the region.

Roche Group to Set Up Biotech Facility in New York



$13 Million Private Investment Will Establish the Translational Clinical Research Center 

Roche Group, an international leader in biosciences, will invest $13 million to establish a state-of-the-art Translational Clinical Research Center in New York City, creating 235 new jobs by 2018.

Roche will serve as an anchor tenant to encourage construction of the second tower at the East River Science Park, one of New York City’s premier biotech locations. 

"The progress we are making in our state is resonating around the globe, bringing new industries and businesses to New York and creating more and more jobs." Governor Cuomo said.

"Today’s announcement demonstrates that the New NY is truly working for business, and the cutting-edge clinical research center at the East River Science Park facility that this investment will support will bring hundreds of new R&D jobs as well as help New York maintain its position as a leading hub of high-tech innovation. This is the type of partnership with the private sector is transforming New York’s economy into a world-class job incubator for the 21st century."

"We are very pleased with the selection of the Alexandria Center as this will be a strategically important site for Roche. We looked at several great properties in New York and New Jersey and selected the Alexandria Center for its unique location as well as the dynamic, vibrant and thriving scientific atmosphere it offers,” stated Mike Burgess, M.D., Acting Global Head, Roche Pharma Research and Early Development.

“For Roche research, having the TCRC located in the Alexandria Center will be a critical element in helping us maintain the high caliber of scientific excellence within Roche pRED, carry out our long-term strategic research vision, tap into scientific expertise, and find new and innovative ways to move the drug development process forward."

To support this major expansion in New York’s biosciences industry, Empire State Development (ESD) has agreed to provide Roche with $6.6 million in tax credits from the Excelsior Jobs Program.

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will invest $13 million for the renovation and equipping of the commercial space to accommodate the development of the Translational Clinical Research Center facility and employ 235 new employees by June 2018.

This is in addition to the investment by Alexandria Real Estate to build the West Tower which will ultimately house other science companies.

"Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, internationally-recognized companies are coming to New York to create jobs and grow their business,” added Kenneth Adams, Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner.

“This significant expansion and investment in our bioscience industry will generate jobs and economic opportunity for years to come. We look forward to supporting this partnership and building on New York’s reputation for entrepreneurial innovation."

As the potential anchor tenant in this building phase at East River Science Park facility, the construction would begin to make available much needed life science space enabling further opportunities for business attraction and job creation.

Prior to Roche choosing New York for its new location, New Jersey competed heavily for this project.

About Roche:

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics.

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS.

Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management.

Roche’s personalized healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients.

In 2011, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs ($9 billion US) in R&D.

The Group posted sales of 42.5 billion Swiss francs ($47.8 billion US). Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group.

Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information visit the following: www.roche.com.

About the East River Science Park:

The Alexandria Center for Life Science®–NYC (formerly known as the East River Science Park), is recognized as one of the world's leading centers for life science and technology commercialization in New York City.

Located along Manhattan's East Side Medical Corridor, the Center provides a 1.1 million square foot campus of first-class office/laboratory space designed to foster cross-institutional collaboration by intersecting unique networking environments, innovative laboratories, and premier office spaces with spectacular East River views.

Construction Phase I was completed in the Fall of 2010.

Image courtesy of http://www.biomelbourne.org.

Craig Unger on the Continuing Power of Karl Rove


Moyers and Company - Air Date: September 14, 2012
Author Craig Unger describes the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that may enable Karl Rove to to once again affect a presidential election.

2012 Elections and Social Issues


Tony Perkins talked about social freedom issues and the 2012 election. He said "value" voters would play a significant role in the elections and that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would appeal to them because of their stance against same-sex marriage. He also commented on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that killed the American ambassador and three other staffers. 

The National Press Club interview was conducted on September 12. 

Death Toll Rises in Pakistan Video Protests


At least 17 reported killed as demonstrators clash with police, while nation holds "Love the Prophet Day" marches.

Today in History: September 21st



Highlights of this day in history: President Bill Clinton's grand jury testimony in the Monica Lewinsky scandal aired on TV; Authors H.G. Wells and Stephen King born; 'Monday Night Football' premieres; Actor-comedian Bill Murray born. (Sept. 21)

Empty Chair 'Lynching' Protests Spark Controversy


Sources:WRC-TVWTSPBurnt Orange Report 

By Logan Tittle

Anchor: Logan Tittle

Video courtesy of Newsy.com

Immigration: Obama Pushed on 'Biggest Failure' on Univision


Sources:UnivisionPoliticoCBSABC
America's VoiceBarackObama.com 

By Zach Toombs

Anchor: Zach Toombs

Video courtesy of Newsy.com

What Happened in Benghazi? U.S. Answers Are Inconsistent


Sources:Wikimedia CommonsNBC NewsForeign Policy
Fox NewsCNNHuman EventsCBS 

By Nichole Cartmell

Anchor: Megan Murphy

Video courtesy of Newsy.com

Drone Secrecy Put to Test in Court


A U.S. appeals court is looking into whether the Obama administration can withold documents relating to its drone programme. The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, is trying to get more information on the secretive operations. A lower court had originally ruled that the CIA programme was classified and therefore exempted from making its records public, but an appeals court seems unlikely to stand by classified designation. Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane reports from Washington.

Hate Crime Charges in Amish Attacks


A U.S. jury has convicted 16 members of the Amish faith for attacking fellow members of their community over religious differences. The government charged the defendants with committing a hate crime, despite arguments that it should not intervene in a dispute within the reclusive settlement. Lawyers for the 16 convicted men and women said their community of just 25 families would be destroyed by sending them to prison. Al Jazeera's Tom Ackerman reports.

Displaced Syrians Take Refuge in Caves


More than a million Syrians are estimated to have been displaced by the violence. Many have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. But for those unable to leave, they have found shelter wherever they can, some in caves. Al Jazeera's Mereana Hond reports.

Strikes Threaten Schools in South Africa


Industrial action is spreading in South Africa, with nationwide protests and labor strikes showing no sign of ending soon. Production in the mining sector has already been affected as a result of the widespread protests, and demonstrations have also spread to include construction workers and teachers. In the Northern Cape province, some school children have missed about five months of classes because many teachers are on strike, and those who are not stay away out of fear and intimidation. Julius Malema , the expelled leader of the ruling African National Congress' Youth League (ANCYL), has also been accused of inciting the poor and working class to protest. Many South Africans say the ANC has not done enough for the poor since the end of white minority rule in 1994. Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports from Kathu in the Northern Cape.

AU Forces Close in on al-Shabab Stronghold


The town of Marka in southern somalia is known as a rebel stronghold that was solidly under the control of al-Shabab. But two weeks ago, the group fled, abandoning the town almost without a fight. Still, the risk of ambush remains high. The African Union, which has a heavy troop presence in the area, says al-Shabab might have pulled back but they have not gone away. Al Jazeera's Peter Greste reports from Marka.

Marikana Strike Takes Toll on Miners


South Africa's president has called in the military to help combat labor unrest in the country's mining sector. On Thursday miners at Lonmin's Marikana mine went back to work after accepting pay increases. But, the six week strike has taken its toll on workers. Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports from Marikana.

U.S. Buys Ads in Pakistan to Counter Anti-Islam Video


The U.S. government has spent $70,000 to buy airtime on the Pakistani airwaves in hopes of countering fervor around an anti-Islam video created by a California producer. The ad features Barack Obama, the US president, and Hillary Clinton, secretary of state, saying the government of the United States had absolutely nothing to do with the video. Running on seven networks, the department of state hopes the TV messages can reach up to 90 million Urdu-speaking viewers. Al Jazeera's Imran Khan reports.

Concern Over UK Deportation Decision


A group of Sri Lankans deported from Britain have arrived in Colombo. The group include 13 Tamils, a minority group. Human-rights campaigners say failed Tamil asylum seekers are at risk of persecution on their return. The Sri Lankan government has dismissed the claim. Al Jazeera's Minelle Fernandez reports from Colombo.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal: One Year Later


Statement by President Obama

A year ago today, we upheld the fundamental American values of fairness and equality by finally and formally repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ Gay and lesbian Americans now no longer need to hide who they love in order to serve the country they love. It is a testament to the professionalism of our men and women in uniform that this change was implemented in an orderly manner, preserving unit cohesion, recruitment, retention and military effectiveness. As Commander in Chief, I’ve seen that our national security has been strengthened because we are no longer denied the skills and talents of those patriotic Americans who happen to be gay or lesbian. The ability of service members to be open and honest about their families and the people they love honors the integrity of the individuals who serve, strengthens the institutions they serve, and is one of the many reasons why our military remains the finest in the world.

The Power of the Pen: New Bills Signed Into Law



Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 6336

On Thursday, September 20, 2012, the President signed into law:

H.R. 6336, which directs the congressional Joint Committee on the Library to accept a statue of Frederick Douglass from the District of Columbia for placement in Emancipation Hall in the United States Capitol Visitor Center.

Romney Presidential Campaign


James Hohmann was interviewed by phone about efforts by Mitt Romney and Republican Party leaders to offset the damage done by Mr. Romney's comments to attendees at a campaign fundraiser. He was captured in a hidden camera video saying that "47 percent of the people" are "dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them."

President Obama Meets with Aung San Suu Kyi


Praises Noble Laureate for Her Courage and Determination

On September 19, President Obama met with Burmese Nobel Laureate Aung San Suun Kyi   and expressed his admiration for her courage, determination and personal sacrifice in championing democracy and human rights over the years. 

The President welcomed Burma’s democratic transition and the recent progress made by Aung San Suu Kyi, as leader of the National League for Democracy Party, working together with President Thein Sein. 

President Obama reaffirmed the determination of the United States to support their sustained efforts to promote political and economic reforms and to ensure full protection of the fundamental rights of the Burmese people. 

The President also expressed his conviction that the ongoing process of reconciliation and reform offers the people of that nation the opportunity to take charge of their destiny and to shape a more peaceful, free, and prosperous future.

Aung San Suun Kyi was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal at the White House on the same day. You can view the complete ceremony here.

Author: Htoo Tay Zar

Politics in Action: H.R. 3409


STATEMENT OF
 ADMINISTRATION POLICY

H.R. 3409 - Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Act
(Rep. Johnson, R-OH, and 19 co-sponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3409, which packages together a number of harmful measures that would undermine landmark environmental laws and adversely affect public health, the economy, and the environment.  The bill would roll back safeguards that protect public health, undercut fuel economy standards that will save Americans money at the pump while decreasing our dependence on oil, and roll back key provisions underpinning Clean Water Act protections.

H.R. 3409, for example, would block landmark Clean Air Act public health regulations, such as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, which would reduce harmful air pollution that threatens public health, especially the health of children and seniors.  The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that emissions reductions resulting from meeting these standards will prevent as many as 11,000 avoidable premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks annually.  The annual value of the health benefits from these rules alone is estimated to be as much as $90 billion.  H.R. 3409 also would block the recently-finalized National Program of fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for Model Year 2017-2025 cars and light trucks.  Further, the legislation could create uncertainty around the requirements currently in effect for the Model Year 2012-2016 vehicle standards.  The historic National Program for vehicles will deliver dramatic savings for Americans at the pump, significantly cut U.S. oil consumption, and reduce harmful pollution.  In addition, the bill would roll back the provisions of the Clean Water Act that have underpinned 40 years of progress in making the Nation's waters fishable, swimmable, and drinkable.

To be clear, the Administration believes that coal is and will remain an important part of our energy mix for decades to come.  For that reason, since 2009, the Administration has committed nearly $6 billion in advanced coal research, development, and deployment and continues to work with industry on important efforts to demonstrate advanced coal technologies.

As has been noted in previous statements on related legislative proposals contained within H.R. 3409, the Administration strongly rejects the notion that economic growth and protecting the health of our communities and families are mutually exclusive. 

If the President is presented with this legislation, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

CWA, IBEW and Verizon Reach Contract Agreement



Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo

The statement was provided to "From The G-Man" on September 19. 

"Today, leadership of the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers reached a tentative contract agreement with Verizon. This agreement preserves service for millions of customers, the job security and benefits of more than 45,000 working men and women, and takes reasonable measures to ensure Verizon, a New York company, can manage the costs of labor in these difficult economic times. I want to thank the leadership of CWA, IBEW, and Verizon for their commitment to working together and reaching this agreement."

Details concerning the agreement are available here.

Today in History: September 20th



Highlights of this day in history: Magellan begins globe-trotting voyage; Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal dies; Actress Sophia Loren born; Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in 'Battle of the Sexes'; Singer Jim Croce dies in plane crash. (Sept. 20)

How Jimmy Carter's Grandson Tracked Down Romney Video


Sources:WOAIYouTubeNew York Magazine
NBCPoynter Online 

By Christina Hartman and Zach Toombs

(with contributions from Shanley Reynolds)

Video courtesy of Newsy.com


Visit Newsy for more breaking news and archived videos. 

Taped Obama 'Redistribution' Remark From 1998 Surfaces


Sources:Mother JonesYouTubeDrudge Report
Fox NewsCNNThe White HouseMSNBC
The Washington Post 

By Zach Toombs

(with contributions from Elizabeth Hagedorn)

Anchor: Zach Toombs

Video courtesy of Newsy.com

Down in Polls, Romney Steps Up Campaign


He's hoping to recover after hidden video recently emerged and damaged his message. Al Jazeera's John Hendren reports from Miami, Florida.

U.S. Officials Implicated in Mexico Gun-Running


An independent investigation has cleared the US Attorney General Eric Holder of covering-up a botched anti-gun running operation. But the report by the Justice Department's internal watchdog cited 14 officials for allowing thousands of guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug gangs. Al Jazeera's Tom Ackerman reports from Washington.

U.S. Marine Presence Stirs Anger in Yemen


Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, is once again on high alert after a French magazine released controversial cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad only days after protests over an anti-Islam video. In an effort to boost security in the city, Washington has sent in dozens of marines to protect the US embassy. In a nation where drone strikes targeting al-Qaeda fighters have killed civilians, the marines' presence has caused a controversy among the political and religious leadership. They say it is a breach of their sovereignty. Al Jazeera's Jane Ferguson reports from Sanaa.

Syria Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi Speaks to Al Jazeera


Lakhdar Brahimi, the special envoy for the UN and Arab League to Syria, heads for New York next week to brief the Security Council on his mission to Damascus. The Algerian diplomat met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Saturday and has been speaking to opposition leaders inside and outside the country to try to stop the worsening violence. Brahimi, in his first television interview since meeting the Syrian leader, spoke with Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf during a stop in Jordan, which has received the biggest influx of Syrian refugees. He warned that the crisis - which he termed a full-fledged civil war - is worsening and said he would consult UN members for support in developing a plan to stop the bloodshed.

South Africa Police Clash with Miners


Police have used tear gas and rubber bullets on striking miners. The workers at the Anglo American Platinum mine near Rustenburg want a pay increase. Fellow miners at the nearby Lonmin plant secured a 22 per cent pay rise on Tuesday. But the settlement does not resolve lingering questions about union rivalry at the heart of the violence, or the underlying class struggle. Al Jazeera's Mike Hanna reports.

China Takes Island Dispute to the UN


China has taken its dispute with Japan over a chain of islands in the East China Sea to the United Nations. But the move runs counter to China's previous position that the UN has no place in domestic affairs. Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas reports from Hong Kong.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

White House Briefs

Veterans Jobs Corps Bill Blocked


Statement by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

No veteran who fought for our nation should have to fight for a job at home, but Republicans in Washington are blocking a common sense plan to create the Veterans Jobs Corps and put tens of thousands of veterans back to work.

Working with Democrats and Republicans in Congress, the Obama Administration has already made real progress to help veterans find jobs. We passed tax credits to encourage employers to hire veterans and released new tools to connect veterans with employers. And thanks to the First Lady and Dr. Biden’s Joining Forces Initiative, more than 2,000 businesses have hired or trained more than 125,000 veterans and military spouses in the past year. But we can do more and Senate Republicans should not block legislation that includes many of their ideas and stand between veterans and good jobs protecting and preserving America.

Details on the blocked legislation are available in this New York Times article.

Oval Office Chat Session: Obama and Karzai


Leaders Agreed to Take Additional Concrete Steps to Implement the Strategic Partnership Agreement

Earlier today, the President held a video
 conference with President Karzai of Afghanistan, as a part of their regular consultations and following on their phone call last week.  

The two Presidents discussed a range of issues, including efforts to stem insider attacks on U.S., coalition, and Afghan forces; the importance of continuing to encourage restraint and non-violence in reaction to inflammatory materials; and continued implementation of the U.S.-Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement.  

The President expressed his condolences and remembrances on the eve of the one-year anniversary of former Afghan President Rabbani’s assassination, and the two leaders agreed to continue our work together in support of an Afghan-led reconciliation process.  

The President reiterated his strong support for Afghan sovereignty, and the two leaders agreed to take additional concrete steps to implement the Strategic Partnership Agreement, including launching the U.S.-Afghan Bilateral Commission in coming weeks and beginning negotiations on a Bilateral Security Agreement.

Romney Stands by Remarks as Obama Pounces

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Today in History: September 19th



Highlights of this day in history: A pivotal battle in the American Revolution; President James Garfield dies; Bruno Hauptmann arrested in the Lindbergh baby case; Unabomber's manifesto published; 'Mary Tyler Moore Show' premieres. (Sept. 19)

NATO Cuts Joint Operations in Afghanistan


Sources:HLNBBCWashington Post
Fox NewsGuardian 

By Steven Sparkman

Anchor: Lauren Gores

Video courtesy of Newsy.com

Star of Romney Ad Received Government Aid


Sources:YouTubeThe O'Reilly Factor
New Hampshire Union-LeaderDaily Kos
Christian Science Monitor 

By Jim Flink

Anchor: Lauren Zima

Video courtesy of Newsy.com

Fast and Furious: Holder Cleared, Management Failures Cited


Sources:Human EventsC-SPANFox News 

By Christina Hartman

Anchor: Neville Miller

Video courtesy of Newsy.com

Chick-Fil-A to End Funding to Anti-Gay Groups


Sources:KDVRJoint CRAPoliticoBoston Herald 

By Austin Alonzo

Anchor: Candice Aviles 

Video courtesy of Newsy.com

Iran Seeks Solution to Syria Conflict


Iran's foreign minister has met embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and called for a solution to the ongoing civil war, as a rights group accused Damascus of waging "relentless, indiscriminate" attacks against its own people. Speaking in Damascus on Wednesday, Ali Akbar Salehi said the solution to the 18-month conflict lies "only in Syria and within the Syrian family". The comments were made amid reports that two bombs had hit a Damascus suburb. Salehi, who called this week for a simultaneous halt to the fighting by both regime and rebel forces, added that ending the conflict should be done in "partnership with international and regional organisations". Following their meeting, Assad said the war engulfing Syria was targeting not only it but the "axis of resistance," a term Syria, Iran and Lebanon's Shia movement Hezbollah use to refer to their common opposition to Israel. Al Jazeera's Sue Turton reports from Antakya, Turkey.

Afghan Children Killed in Suicide Attack


A powerful bomb that blew through one of the most secure areas of Kabul killed four Afghan children from the city's first and only skateboarding school. Al Jazeera met with the survivors and relatives of the victims of the attack. Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith reports from Kabul.

Panetta Holds Talks with China's Xi


The man lined up to be the next President of China has met U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Xi Jingping had been out of the spotlight for two weeks. But on Wednesday he held talks with Panetta focused on US-China military relations. Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas reports from Hong Kong.

China, Japan Dispute Escalates Amid Protests


Anti-Japan protests in China continue as the Chinese mark the anniversary of Japan's invasion in 1931. More Japanese companies say they're suspending their operations in China in response to violent protests earlier in the week over an ongoing territorial dispute. Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas reports from Hong Kong.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Congressional Agenda


Jonathan Allen talked about the congressional agenda as both chambers were to recess at the end of the week until after the November election. He also discussed about the political parties' campaign strategies, Mitt Romney's campaign staff, and House Democrats' chances of retaking the majority. He responded to telephone calls and electronic communications. 

OWS Movement Scrambles to Remain Relevant


A year after the popular movement started, "99 Percenters" are still battling Wall Street. 

South African Mine Workers Accept 22% Pay Increase


Marikana Miners Set to Return to Work on Thursday

Aljazeera reports the following: 

"Striking workers at South Africa's Lonmin platinum mine say they will return to work on Thursday after accepting a pay rise of 22 per cent.

"The planned return to work, announced on Tuesday, will end more than five weeks of crippling and bloody industrial action that left at least 34 miners dead in a police crackdown last month."

The full report can be read here.

White House Briefs

Oval Office Chat Session: Obama and Erdogan


Leaders United in Their Effort to Thwart Terrorism

President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan spoke by phone today to continue their close consultations on regional and global issues.  

The President expressed condolences for today’s deadly attack on a Turkish military convoy and other recent attacks that have killed and wounded Turkish citizens; the Prime Minister expressed his condolences for the recent loss of Ambassador Chris Stevens and his three colleagues in Libya.  

The two leaders agreed on the necessity to work together against all forms of terrorism.  In light of the outrageous attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi and subsequent attacks on American and other nation’s facilities across the region, the President commended Prime Minister Erdogan for his leadership in calling for resistance to provocation and condemning violence.  

On Syria, the two leaders shared their concerns over the regime’s escalating use of violence against civilians, the growing humanitarian crisis, and the urgency of transition.  They took note of the very close and effective cooperation between the governments of the United States and Turkey in the face of the ongoing crisis in Syria, and pledged to advance this important work.