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PLO official: Palestinians, Israelis must be totally separated

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© Associated PressThe West Bank settlement of Ariel
Commenting on the subject of minority rights in the potential Palestinian state, PLO envoy to the U.S. says past experience shows the two people should be 'totally separated.'

The future independent Palestinian state will not include a Jewish minority, a top Palestinian official told USA Today on Wednesday, adding that it was in the best interest of both peoples to "be separated."

Maen Areikat, PLO Ambassador to the United States, made the comment just as the Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, was preparing to offer up Palestinian statehood to a vote in the United Nations General Assembly later this month.

Answering a question about the legal status of a Jewish minority in the future state, Areikat apprently rejected the issue, saying: "I believe, I still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated," adding "I think we can contemplate these issues in the future."

Binoculars

US: Jacqueline Kennedy's Antiquated Views "Horrified" Grandkids

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© Agence France-Presse/GettyFormer first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis relaxes in a chair in December 1960, a few weeks after John F. Kennedy won the presidential election.
New York: Caroline Kennedy says her daughters were "horrified" listening to taped interviews of grandmother Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' old-fashioned views on the role of women.

In the 1964 interviews with Arthur Schlesinger Jr., the young widow described her marriage as "a rather terribly Victorian or Asiatic relationship" and said she got all her opinions from her husband, President John F. Kennedy.

Caroline Kennedy said Wednesday on ABC's Good Morning America that her two daughters were "absolutely horrified" when they listened to that portion of the tapes.

Arrow Down

US: Huge Surge in Bank of America Foreclosures

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© Getty Images
Bank of America is ramping up its foreclosure processing, sending out far more notices of default to borrowers in August than in previous months, well over 200 percent more month-to-month.

A notice of default is the first stage of the foreclosure process in non-judicial foreclosures states, that is, where foreclosures do not go before a judge.

The notice of default is usually sent when a borrower is 90 days or more overdue in payments, but that timeline has been extended significantly during this housing crisis, due to the so-called "robo-signing" processing scandal and the sheer volume of troubled loans.

Hourglass

US: Obama Declares 'National Emergency' for Action on Jobs Plan

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© AP Photo Close'We've been grappling with a crisis for three years,' Obama told the crowd in North Carolina.
President Barack Obama opened the sixth day of his jobs push Wednesday with a campaign-style rally at North Carolina State University, saying the country is in the midst of a "national emergency" that requires Congress to act swiftly on his $447 billion plan.

Against the backdrop of more negative poll numbers and two special-election losses for Democrats, Obama called on thousands of college students assembled in the steamy Reynolds Coliseum to mobilize behind the plan, a mix of tax cuts and government spending on infrastructure, jobs programs and construction projects.

The 26-minute speech before a crowd of more than 9,000 echoed his remarks in previous days, with a slightly sharper critique of congressional Republicans for suggesting that they don't want to give Obama a political "win" and pass his proposal.

Dollar

US: President Obama's Tax On Soup Kitchens

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© The Hindu
Yesterday, it was announced that an astounding 1 in 6 Americans are living in poverty. President Obama's response? To demand a tax on donations to soup kitchens and other charities that help people desperately in need. The President's proposal will impact approximately 40% of all the tax deductible contributions, and essentially penalize soup kitchens, hospitals, and churches that provide essential services to those who need them most. It's no wonder this tax hike has been rejected on both sides of the aisle.

Stormtrooper

UK: Internet Troll Jailed After Mocking Deaths of Teenagers

Sean Duffy targeted Facebook tribute pages and posted videos on YouTube taunting the dead victims and their families

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© Press AssociationNatasha MacBryde and Jordan Cooper, two of the teenagers whose deaths were mocked by Duffy.
An internet troll who posted videos and messages mocking the deaths of teenagers, including a girl hit by a train, has been jailed.

Sean Duffy, 25, targeted Facebook tribute pages and posted videos on YouTube taunting the dead and their families.

Among his victims was Natasha MacBryde, 15, who died instantly when hit by a passenger train near her home in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

The day after Natasha's death in February, Duffy posted comments including "I fell asleep on the track lolz" on the Facebook tribute page created by her brother James, 17.

Four days later he created a YouTube video called "Tasha the Tank Engine" featuring her face superimposed on to the front of the fictional engine.

Duffy, who is unemployed and did not know any of his victims, pleaded guilty to two counts of sending malicious communications relating to Natasha.

Sheriff

US: Feds Wrongly Raid Home Of CBS Correspondent In Alameda

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© CBSCBS News Correspondent Priya David
Some new parents got an unexpected scare Wednesday morning when they awoke to a team of armed Federal Bureau of Investigation agents attempting to raid their home.

CBS News correspondent Priya David and her husband Alex Clemens were at their home with their newborn child on Lina Avenue when they heard a banging on the door just after 7 a.m.

"Our first thought was the neighborhood is on fire," resident Alex Clemens said. "I see what turns out to be eight uniformed, armored, armed officers - four of which are pointing guns through the window at my face."

Info

Armed pirates off West African coast kidnap 23 sailors

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© Getty ImagesSomalis sail off the harbour of Berbera in Somalia's breakaway Republic of Somaliland on April 30, 2011.
Armed pirates raided a tanker off the West African coast and kidnapped 23 sailors Wednesday, taking off with the vessel in waters that are increasingly at risk of piracy, an international monitoring group said.

The International Maritime Bureau, which tracks piracy worldwide, said pirates boarded the tanker as it idled about 62 nautical miles from Benin's capital of Cotonou. Pirates struck as the Cyprus-flagged vessel tried to transfer its cargo of crude oil to a Norwegian-registered ship, said Cyrus Mody, a manager at the bureau.

The pirates sailed off with the crew to an unknown location, Mody said.

The ship, called the Mattheos I, had a Filipino crew with Spanish, Peruvian and Ukrainian officers, said Serghios Serghiou, the director of Cyprus' Department of Merchant Shipping.

Eagle

Washington, US: Judge Could Order Striking Tacoma Teachers Back to Work

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© Unknown
Tacoma - Leaders of the Washington state's third-largest school district are asking a judge to order hundreds of striking teachers back to work as thousands of students spend a second day out of class. A Superior Court hearing began Wednesday morning on the Tacoma School District's request for an injunction to order nearly 1,900 teachers back to work. The district contends that public employees cannot legally strike under state law. Tacoma Education Association spokesman Rich Wood says union lawyers will be ready with a response. Classes have been canceled for Tacoma's 28,000 students since the strike began Tuesday. Strike issues include teacher pay, class size and the way the district's teachers are transferred and reassigned. Tacoma teachers had been working without a contract since school started Sept. 1.

About 350 teachers were on the picket lines outside of Jason Lee Middle School Wednesday morning.

"As a teacher though I want my students to challenge the status quo, I want them be advocates for themselves and strong members of the community," said Andy Coon, president of the Tacoma teachers union. "There is a time when we want them to stand up to a bully, and that's what we're doing."

"I think the district is totally not negotiating in good faith," said Elizabeth Cruz, teacher. "They put us in this position."

Eye 2

Best of the Web: That was my brother's death you were cheering, you a$$holes

tea party health care debate
© Unknown
To all of those tea-jadist assholes at last night's GOP debate: I don't generally like to use profanity, but I fear that English is above your comprehension level, so in terms you might better understand, may God damn your worthless souls to hell for all eternity.

I had not planned on watching the debate because it conflicted with more important activities, like a new episode of The Closer. But even more importantly, it was being held at a time when I had committed to posting a diary for The Grieving Room. That diary was about the death of my brother from a very painful, uninsured struggle against metastatic cancer.

I had planned to write another separate diary about his journey through what passes for health care in a nation fixated on the profits that that care brings. In a nation where his death was cheered in front of a panel of politicians, none of whom had the decency to object. It is not yet a capital crime in this nation to be uninsured.

Steve worked 14 hours a day building beautiful guitars. Songs will not be sung because he died and will make no more. Thanks to the Republican Party's theft of our national wealth, he barely eked out an existence with financial help from my husband and me. Money for health insurance? Don't be ridiculous.

He was 63. He had to start Social Security early so he could afford to eat. He was too young for Medicare and too male for Medicaid. This nation does not recognize the years he spent working for others and making this economy grow, it only focused on the years he worked for himself, creating instruments of rare beauty.