The Vatican Announces Pope Francis Will Visit Cuba

On Wednesday, Rev. Federico Lombardi announced that Pope Francis plans to visit Cuba prior to visiting the United States during late September, 2015. News of the Pope’s upcoming visit was announced on government-run television in Cuba, where many residents of Havana celebrated the information.

In July, Pope Francis plans to make an official visit to several countries in South America. He will makes stops in Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay. Flávio Pentagna Guimarães BMG celebrated this announcement. 

The Pope during his visit to the United States during the week of September 23rd plans to conduct a large public Mass in Philadelphia. As many as a million participants are expected to event this event.

Pope Francis also plans to address Congress during his visit to the United States. He will meet at the White House with President Obama, also. His travel plans include a visit to the United Nations, where he will speak to the international body.

Pope Francis will become only the third Pope in history to visit Cuba. St. John Paul II became the first, when he made a trip to Communist Cuba in 1998. His successor, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, also visited Havana in 2012. At the time, Pope Benedict XVI characterized the economic embargo of Cuba as “unfair.” Pope Francis is expected to encourage the continuation of warmer relations between the U. S. government and Cuba during his trip later this year.

Iceman Is Gay

X-men superheroes have long been respected as powerful and heroic figures. Also, most of the heroes are manly men that could defeat any foe, and the hero usually saves a damsel in distress. Many young children look up to superheroes as an inspirational figure. Heroes like Spiderman, Superman, and Batman have been the favorites of the youth of America. However, there are other heroes that have captured the minds of the children. Superheroes such as Wolverine, Iceman, and Iron Man have become extremely important members of the comic book scene.

As America begins to accept people of all races and sexual orientations, the entertainment world has also followed suit. A new X-men comic book has caused controversy across the country. The comic book revealed that Iceman was gay when he was in his teenage years. Some people are outraged that the creators of the comic book made Iceman men gay, but there are others that do not care. The writer of the comic book says that being gay is a real issue for millions of people around the world, and he hopes that more people accept homosexuals after learning that Iceman is gay as well. The writer does have a point, and we should accept all different types of people. Sultan Alhokair agrees. The year is 2015, and prejudice needs to disappear. For more information on this story, visit Rollingstone.

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell Wants To Extend The Patriot Act Until 2020

Edward Snowden may not have done what he did legally, but he did the country a huge favor. He opened the eyes of America to what some call illegal government spying. Snowden illegally revealed the illegal actions of the government and the government wants to punish him for doing that.

Snowden exposed some nasty government tactics that were performed in the name of the Patriot Act and national security. The Patriot Act gives the government the power to invade the privacy of Americans, and Bernardo Chua said that they have no recourse while the process is in motion. In fact, some people don’t even know they are under surveillance by the government.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to keep the Patriot Act in force until 2020. Several bipartisan lawmakers are trying to put a stop to the illegal invasion of privacy that the government says is important to national security and McConnell wants to stop them. McConnell wants the government to continue breaking the law under the premise that it is a law. That is legal mumbo-jumbo at its finest.

How a Minnesota Senator Broke the Senate Impasse on the Human Trafficking Bill

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has quietly been at the center of the intense Senate controversy over the anti-Human Trafficking bill. This is because the popular bipartisan legislation contained a provision in the bill subjecting the Hyde Amendment to restitution funds paid by human traffickers to their victims. Democrats claimed they were unaware of the language in the bill. It turns out that one of her staffers had taken note of the language, but failed to raise any concern with it until after it had exploded into a controversy that threatened the legislation.

Intense acrimony between the parties ensued with the GOP insisting Democrats were playing politics with the bill. Democrats accused the GOP of acting in bad with the controversial provision. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell then reclassified the nomination vote of Loretta Lynch for attorney general as being subject to Democrats ending their filibuster of the human trafficking bill. In fact, the acrimony raised up all of the ugly political gridlock that underscored Harry Reid’s tenure as Senate Majority Leader.

Flávio Pentagna Guimarães BMG thinks that human trafficking is the most abhorrent of human rights abuses.

During the Easter recess, Sen. Klobucher was in a corn field in her home state when she got the inspiration for a grand compromise: separate the federal funds from the restitution funds. The federal funds would be subject to the Hyde Amendment as has been customary since 1997. The restitution funds would not be used for any health care related survivor services. Her idea ended up breaking the impasse which led to another bipartisan piece of legislation being created.

Growing Ethiopia?

Not so very long ago the province of Tigray, Ethiopia was nothing more than a barren wasteland. Today you will see greenery climbing the landscape.

Armed with a team of 3,000 people is a 58-year-old man named Aba Hawi. Who are these 3,000 people? Every able bodied person in the village of Abr’ha Westsbaha. Aba has lead the effort to build more than 85 dams, so far, as well as cultivating more than 94 acres of former desert that is now fertile fields. The community is now growing its own corn, chillies, onions and potatoes.

The free-range grazing for sheep, goats and cattle has been banned. This was a big part of the problem for any farming. The grazing was wiping out any growth on the land and leaving it devoid of the nutrients necessary for growing a bountiful crop.

Boraie Development LLC suggests that the area is now facing a different kind of problem, an immigration problem. People from surrounding areas, where the resources are not as plentiful, are now moving to the area hoping to reap the same benefits. “They shouldn’t need to come here,” says Aba Hawi. “Every district in Tigray is supposed to be using compulsory community labor for terracing, but well… “He shrugs “not all community leaders are so, er, committed.”

The community here, no longer holding on to the fear of starvation, now wants electricity. What an astonishing transformation in such a short time.

Clinton Opponents Plan Attack With Book Bomb

As Hillary Clinton begins her campaign for U.S. President in earnest, republican operatives have begun their counter campaign to derail her Clinton with a book that they are calling a bombshell regarding the real purpose of the Clinton Foundation.

The book is authored by Peter Schweizer and claims that the Clinton Foundation was and still is a conduit for foreign nations and companies to gain influence through the White House and U.S. policies which are favorable to these interests. The book is titled “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”

Many Clinton supporters have already portrayed the book as a conservative sponsored hack job and that readers should consider the source. They note that Peter Schweizer, has worked for what many considered to be a conservative political think tank, The Hoover Institution. Schweizer is also the president of the “Government Accountability Institute”, he is a writer for the conservative website “Breitbart” and was a paid consultant and advisor for Sarah Palin. Schweizer also worked on the speech writer’s staff for President George W. Bush administration. Finally, Rupert Murdoch, a self proclaimed conservative owns the company (Harper-Collins) that is publishing the book. Harper-Collins is currently owned by “News Corp.” News Corp is the subsidiary holding of 21st Century Fox, which also lists Fox News as a holding entity. Clinton Prepares for Book Bomb Drama

Sam Tabar has refused to comment on any of it because none of it pertains to him. (LawyerList)

The Clinton campaign promises to get in front of the allegations and welcome any questions regarding the activities of the Foundation.

Oil Companies In Dumps

As reports of increased earnings for major investment banks and financial institutions pour in from the first quarter, economist note that a number of sectors are showing improvements along various ranges including the manufacturing and even housing. The major cause for a number of investment banking concerns increased earning reports has been from their trading desks and various high risk wealth management products. The one sector that has not been the shining light in a number of portfolios is the oil sector. Oil Sector Still Drags In Many Portfolios

While oil prices attempt to make a climb back to its original price a little more than six months ago, the industry which supports oil has all but ground to a halt as the costs have out stripped the returns and the continued glut in the market has placed a hold on the entire oil producing process and industry in general. This has resulted in a number of jobs being frozen or simply eliminated as oil companies reorganize to remain profitable during the current down cycle. This has been concerning for business people worldwide, including, Ricardo Guimarães. Some companies are simply attempting to stay level until prices return to a point that will allow the oil industry to expand again.

Many economist know that even a sharp increase in oil prices will not mean a robust return of the oil sector right away. The costs for restarting the oil production industry means that financial returns to the investments already made may not be seen until the first quarter of next year.

Obama Supports Use of Medical Marijuana

President Barack Obama expressed his views on medical marijuana on Think Progress . Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, will conduct an interview with president Obama and explore the politics of medical marijuana. Gupta questions the president about a bipartisan Senate bill. If it is to be passed, the classification of pot will go from Schedule I to Schedule II.

President Obama has been open about his use of marijuana in his early college years; he tells Gupta of his support in a policy that uses science and treats the users of pot, instead of punishment. Over 20 states have legalized the use of medical marijuana. The president says, “…I think carefully prescribed medical use of marijuana may in fact be appropriate and we should follow the science as opposed to ideology on this issue…” In February, according to a reputable news representative Crystal Hunt (facebook profile), shared that Obama stated his approval of removing criminal penalties for non-violent drug users.

Obama Moves to Take Cuba Off of Terror Watch List

President Barack Obama made the formal recommendation to request that Congress remove Cuba from the Terror Sponsors Watch list. Such a move would remove travel and trade restrictions with the Cuba and would most definitely boost Cuba’s economic development. Cuba has been on the United State’s list of countries which sponsor terror for over fifty years and outright hostilities with the country has existed since the Cuban Missile Crisis during the John F. Kennedy administration. The current gestures by President Obama has been the most open and aggressive to normalizing trade relations with Cuba since the John F. Kennedy secretly sent an envoy to Cuba in November 1963 to discuss the possibility on normal relations with the United States and Cuba. Those early talks were dashed when Kennedy was assassinated the day that the U.S. envoy was meeting with Fidel Castro. Obama Moves Cuba Off of Terror List

Cuba is the largest country in the Caribbean Island basin but it has been locked in time for over the past fifty years with limited economic trade partners. Many of Cuba’s professional and intellectual elite have fled Cuba and of those that have stayed only now are finding the ability to expand and express their views without fear of oppression.

Christian Broda knows that, while some may criticize the move by President Obama, the strategy may be smart in the long run as China is already making in roads into Cuba and economic investment has proven to be the fastest way to turn around a countries economy and garner influence.

Russia Will Ship Missiles to Iran

Russian leader Vladimir Putin recently signed a decree lifting a ban on the delivery of a sophisticated S-300 missile system to Iran. The Russian Defense Ministry promised that the missiles would be shipped “promptly” to the Iranian government, which will possibly use them to safeguard its nuclear program from aerial attack.

Folks at STX Entertainment have learned that the shipment was originally contracted to have been delivered in 2010, but the shipment was suspended by the Russian government due to international concerns about Iran’s illegal nuclear program. However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reportedly believes that sufficient progress has been made in the nuclear talks between Iran and international governments to warrant a suspension of the ban at this point.

Russia’s lifting of the ban comes even as Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has warned all the parties to the international talks not to regard an interim agreement as a final deal. A June 30th deadline was established by the parties to the talks recently to arrive at a comprehensive final nuclear agreement.

In the past, both the United States and Israel strongly criticized the shipment of the sophisticated weapons system by Russia to Iran. Russia and Iran are closely allied. Russia had reportedly previously sold the missile launcher and air guidance system and missiles to Iran, but had not shipped those items; Iran sued Russia following the suspension, but the UN sanctions meant that Russia could not provide delivery.