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On the Calendar:  Thursday, 3/5/2015 11:00 AM
~Red Beans & Blues Brunch~: DUE TO WEATHER: This event has been moved back to March 5. Join the Union Arts Council and the Union Parish Library as we host a Red Beans and Blues Brunch with local blues artist Slim Finley. Calendar

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Netanyahu speech exposes bitter divisions

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. In a speech that stirred political intrigue in two countries, Netanyahu told Congress that negotiations underway between Iran and the U.S. would "all but guarantee" that Tehran will get nuclear weapons, a step that the world must avoid at all costs. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)Tthe optics of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus speech on Tuesday were just as important as the speech itself.

Tue, 03 Mar 2015 13:05:43 -0500
GOPs net neutrality point man says fight is not over

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the Senate Republican Conference chairman, center, and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., second from right, join other senators in the rush to the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, for a procedural vote to advance the $585 billion defense bill. With a midnight Thursday deadline to keep the government running, a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill is teetering as many lawmakers find more in the measure to dislike than like. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. is behind Thune. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)The Republican Partys point man in Congress on net neutrality admitted Tuesday that the GOP has been slow to act on the issue but insisted that Congress must be the body setting the rules for how the Internet will be regulated.

Tue, 03 Mar 2015 18:28:30 -0500
Ex-CIA chief admits sharing military secrets with mistress

FILE - In this June 23, 2011, file photo, CIA Director nominee Gen. David Petraeus testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the Senate Intelligence Committee during a hearing on his nomination. The Justice Department said Tuesday, March 3, 2015, that the former top Army general has agreed to plead guilty to mishandling classified materials. A statement from the agency says a plea agreement has been filed in U.S. District Court in Charlotte, N.C., the hometown of Paula Broadwell, the generals biographer and former mistress. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Former CIA Director David Petraeus, whose career was destroyed by an affair with his biographer, has agreed to plead guilty to charges he gave her classified material including information on war strategy and identities of covert operatives while she was working on the book.

Tue, 03 Mar 2015 18:46:08 -0500
Justice Department finds racial bias in Ferguson police practices

A female protester raises her hands while blocking police cars in FergusonBy Julia Edwards WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department has concluded that the Ferguson, Missouri, police department routinely engages in racially biased practices, a law enforcement official familiar with the department's findings said on Tuesday. The investigation into the police department began in August after the shooting of unarmed African-American teen Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson sparked national protests. Analysis of more than 35,000 pages of police records found racist comments from officers as well as statistics that showed African-Americans make up 93 percent of arrests while accounting for only 67 percent of the population in Ferguson, the official said.

Tue, 03 Mar 2015 18:04:04 -0500
Fugitive ex-NSA contractor Snowden seeks to come home: lawyer

File photo of Snowden appearing live via video during a student organized world affairs conference at the Upper Canada College private high school in TorontoA Russian lawyer for Edward Snowden said on Tuesday the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of the government's mass surveillance programs was working with American and German lawyers to return home. In Washington, U.S. officials said they would welcome Snowden's return to the United States but he would have to face criminal charges which have been filed against him. Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, who has links to the Kremlin, was speaking at a news conference to present a book he has written about his client. There is a group of U.S. lawyers, there is also a group of German lawyers and I'm dealing with it on the Russian side." The United States wants Snowden to stand trial for leaking extensive secrets of electronic surveillance programs by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Tue, 03 Mar 2015 16:29:58 -0500
New U.S. defense chief presses lawmakers for boost in funding

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter testifies before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol HillBy David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Ash Carter warned lawmakers on Tuesday that continuing cuts to U.S. defense spending were causing "corrosive damage to our national security" and he urged them to back the president's request for a big boost in military funding in 2016. Testifying for the first time as secretary before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carter said military modernization by rivals such as Russia and China threatened to erode the Pentagon's technological advantage over other forces. He said President Barack Obama's request for a $534 billion Pentagon base budget plus $51 billion for overseas military operations would help the department repair equipment, restore training levels and invest in new weapons for the future, factors put on hold because of budget cuts and ongoing wars.

Tue, 03 Mar 2015 18:08:50 -0500
Thousands evacuated as Chile volcano erupts

The Villarica volcano erupts near Pucon, Chile, early Tuesday, March 3, 2015. The Villarica volcano erupted Tuesday around 3 a.m. local time (0600 GMT), according to the National Emergency Office, which issued a red alert and ordered evacuations. (AP Photo/ Lautaro Salinas) CHILE OUT - NO USAR EN PUBLICACIONES O WEBSITES EN CHILEFiery plumes of lava have forced thousands to flee.

Tue, 03 Mar 2015 14:52:21 -0500
UN moves to slap sanctions on South Sudan

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) walks prior to a meeting on March 3, 2015 in Addis Ababa, as part of the latest round of peace talks to end over 14 months of conflictThe UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution to slap sanctions on South Sudan's warring factions, ratcheting up pressure as a deadline loomed to reach a peace deal. Drafted by the United States, the resolution sets up a sanctions committee which would submit to the council the names of those responsible for blocking peace efforts, and who should be punished with a global travel ban and assets freeze. Regional mediators have given South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar until Thursday to reach a final deal to end 14 months of war that have killed tens of thousands of people.

Tue, 03 Mar 2015 13:34:29 -0500
Jailed Ukrainian pilot 'may be transferred to hospital'

Ukrainian helicopter pilot Nadia Savchenko featured on election posters ahead of last year's poll in October 2014A Ukrainian airforce pilot who has been on hunger strike in a Russian jail for 81 days might be transferred to a civilian hospital if her health deteriorates, the prison service said Tuesday. The statement by Russia's prison service raised the possibility of Nadia Savchenko, who is also a member of the Ukraine parliament, being transferred from the hospital of a Moscow prison where she has been held for nearly nine months. Speaking later in the day, one of her lawyers said she may stop the hunger strike if her health sharply worsens. She denies the charges, saying she was kidnapped and brought to Russia.

Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:58:46 -0500
O'Malley rules out Senate as decision over White House bid looms

Former Maryland Governor and possible Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley said on Tuesday he will not seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski. O'Malley, who left office in January and has said he is considering a run for the White House, told reporters in an email he hoped other candidates would step up to represent the mid-Atlantic state, but "I will not be one of them." The move allows O'Malley, 52, to keep the door open for a potential presidential campaign. Despite winning two terms as governor in the heavily Democratic State, his future is somewhat complicated by his successor's surprise loss to a Republican in the November election. O'Malley is popular among Democrats and spent much of the last year actively campaigning for fellow liberals across the country, especially in New Hampshire and Iowa, the first two states with presidential nominating contests.

Tue, 03 Mar 2015 09:00:36 -0500
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