Dutch court outlaws pedophile association

first_imgHowever, the organization’s website was shut down by its internet provider in 2004.Kuno Soerensen of the Danish chapter of Save the Children said some DanPedo members attempted to create new websites, but that these, too, were later shut down.“Every time we find one of these, we contact the Internet provider to tell them what kind of people are running these sites and they usually shut them down right away,” Soerensen said.Soerensen said a similar site also exists in Norway.____Associated Press writer Jan Olsen in Copenhagen contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Sponsored Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Its chairman, Marthijn Uittenbogaard, called the decision “an attack on the freedom of expression.”“We are not happy and we are considering whether to appeal,” he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.The organization says on its website it was established in 1982 in the traditionally tolerant Netherlands as a “platform for discussion of pedophilia.” It was largely ignored for years, but has been under attack more recently from lawmakers and prosecutors who wanted it banned. Such groups are almost unknown elsewhere in Europe, despite many countries’ history of safeguarding freedom of expression.Martijn’s former chairman, Ad van den Berg, was convicted last year of child pornography possession and sentenced to three years in prison. Van den Berg claimed the images and films were for scientific research.The group said in a statement last month that the court should not honor the public prosecutor’s request for a ban, saying it had never committed a crime.“It is naive to think that banning Martijn will make pedophiles disappear,” the group, which claimed to have 60 Dutch members, said.Prosecutors who sought the ban said they were satisfied with the court’s decision, adding that it helps the Netherlands meet its international commitments to protect children from sexual predators. Associated PressTHE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – A Dutch court outlawed a pedophile association Wednesday, saying its promotion of sexual contact between adults and children breaches the country’s generally accepted moral values.The civil court in Assen ordered the association, called Martijn, to immediately be dissolved.The court said in a statement that Martijn is a threat to public order because it “glorifies sexual contact (between adults and children) and presents it as something that should be normal and acceptable.” Top Stories center_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Martijn also made headlines in 2007 when a member posted on the group’s website photos of the then 3-year-old Princess Amalia, daughter of the heir to the Dutch throne.The royal house went to court and won an injunction barring Martijn from publishing such photos on its site and Crown Prince Willem-Alexander harshly criticized the group for using the pictures.“I have no words for this kind of child abuse,” he said at the time. “Luckily, I didn’t see it, because if I had, I’d have gone crazy and probably would not have been able to react reasonably.”Members of Martijn also were involved in a 2006 move to create a political group called the Party for Brotherly Love, Freedom and Diversity to take part in national elections with a platform that included lowering the age of sexual consent to 12 and legalizing child pornography.The party failed to collect enough signatures from supporters to allow it to nominate candidates under Dutch electoral rules.The group would have needed around 60,000 votes to win a single seat in the 150-member Dutch parliament, and pollsters estimated it would have gotten fewer than 1,000 votes.In 2004, Denmark’s top prosecutor investigated whether a Danish group that openly supported pedophilia could be banned. The investigation concluded that the DanPedo organization, which existed under the constitution’s provision for freedom of speech and association, didn’t break any laws. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 0 Comments   Share   The vital role family plays in society More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementslast_img read more

Island authorities denounce attack on tax police

first_img Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Local authorities on the Greek island of Hydra have denounced an attack by a local crowd on tax police after they detained a restaurant owner who did not provide receipts to clients.The Friday incident happened after the inspectors wanted to transport the restaurant owner to Athens, an hour’s ride away by fast boat. They were set upon by a local crowd, which also attacked the boat’s crew. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Comments   Share   center_img The police, along with the restaurant owner, had to retreat to the island’s police station, which was besieged until riot police arrived Saturday morning. Locals cut off the station’s electricity and water supplies. The owner was transported to Athens by coast guard ship Saturday.Debt-crippled Greece is attempting to crack down on endemic tax evasion, as it tries to put its finances in order.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistlast_img read more

Events in the life of Myanmars Aung San Suu Kyi

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix (AP) – Aung San Suu Kyi’s life has been marked by family tragedy, world travel and a political mission that prompted her to choose Myanmar’s democracy struggle over her children, whom she left behind in England.Here are the key events in Suu Kyi’s life that aides and biographers say shaped the stoic, pragmatic, eloquent woman whose sacrifices and struggles have earned her a Nobel prize and international acclaim. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project _ Sept. 24, 1977: Second son Kim is born. The family keeps Oxford as a base but relocates regularly for work and academic research, spending time in Bhutan, Japan, India and back to England._ POLITICAL LIFE_ April 1988: Suu Kyi returns home to attend to her ailing mother just as pro-democracy protests erupt against the military junta. Her mother dies later that year._ September 1988: Suu Kyi helps found opposition party, the National League for Democracy._ July 1989: Suu Kyi, an increasingly outspoken critic of the junta, is put under house arrest, which continues on-and-off for 15 of the next 22 years. The junta says she can leave the country anytime but she refuses, fearing she won’t be allowed to return, and chooses to live apart from her husband and sons. Aris is allowed to visit her five times, the last visit during Christmas 1995._ October 1991: Suu Kyi is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her peaceful struggle against the regime. Son Alexander, then 18, gives Oslo acceptance speech on her behalf._ March 1999: Aris dies of cancer in England at age 53. The junta repeatedly denied him visas to see his wife during the three years leading up to his death._May 30, 2003: Suu Kyi’s motorcade comes under attack by pro-government thugs in northern Myanmar, killing a number of her supporters and bringing to an end a brief calming in tensions between her party and the junta. Suu Kyi spends four months in Yangon’s Insein Prison before being returned to house arrest. Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   _ FAMILY LIFE_ June 19, 1945: Born in Yangon, then called Rangoon. She is the third child and only daughter of national independence hero Gen. Aung San and Daw Khin Kyi, also a prominent public figure._ July 1947: Aung San and six members of his interim government are assassinated by rivals. Suu Kyi is 2._ 1952: Suu Kyi’s favorite brother, Aung San Lin, drowns in a pond inside the family’s compound._ 1960: After finishing high school, Suu Kyi leaves for further study in New Delhi, where her mother is Burma’s ambassador._ 1964-1967. Suu Kyi studies philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University’s St. Hugh’s College, where she meets future husband and Himalayan scholar Michael Aris._ 1969-1971: Suu Kyi moves to New York for postgraduate studies at New York University but postpones academic career when a family friend helps get her a job at the United Nations._ 1970: Aris visits Suu Kyi in New York, after three years of exchanging letters, and they get engaged._ 1972: Suu Kyi and Michael Aris are married in London and move to Bhutan, where Aris is doing academic research._ April 12, 1973: Son Alexander born in London. Family soon moves to Nepal for a year for Aris’ work. Top Stories center_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home _ Nov. 7, 2010: Myanmar’s first elections in 20 years. Pro-junta party wins landslide victory in polls critics say were rigged and rampant with fraud._ Nov. 13, 2010: The last of various periods in Suu Kyi’s detention expires, and she is freed._ Nov. 23, 2010: Suu Kyi is reunited with son Kim Aris, now 33, for first time in 10 years. He was repeatedly denied visas since his last visit in December 2000._ April 1, 2012: Suu Kyi wins seat in Parliament, marking her first elected office after two decades as a symbolic opposition leader._ May 29-June 3, 2012. Suu Kyi makes her first trip abroad since she returned to Myanmar from London in April 1988 to nurse her dying mother. She visits neighboring Thailand, Myanmar’s second largest trade partner after China._ June 13-29, 2012: Suu Kyi takes first trip to Europe in 24 years, with stops in Switzerland, Norway, Ireland, England and France._ Sept. 17, 2012: Suu Kyi begins landmark visit to the U.S., taking in Washington D.C., and Fort Wayne, Ind., where thousands of Burmese refugees have settled since the ’88 uprising.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The vital role family plays in society 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

Puerto Rico abandons plan to build gas pipeline

first_img 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The vital role family plays in society Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – The government of Puerto Rico has formally withdrawn plans to build a natural gas pipeline after investing more than $50 million in a project that provoked strong opposition from islanders and environmentalists.Nancy Sticht, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said Friday that the agency received a letter requesting the project be abandoned.The decision comes four months after a government-appointed committee rejected plans for the pipeline that would have bisected the island, and offered three alternatives. Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Gov. Luis Fortuno originally backed the project as a way to reduce dependence on oil. He said the 92-mile (148-kilometer) pipeline would have saved $1 billion a year and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 64 percent.The pipeline would have originated in southern Puerto Rico and traversed 235 rivers and wetlands, bisecting the island as it veered east toward the capital of San Juan. Critics said it would have damaged fragile ecosystems and archaeological sites and exposed people to deadly explosions.Government officials said they will consider other natural gas alternatives and expect to choose a new project by mid-2013.Puerto Rico relies on petroleum to generate nearly 70 percent of its power, and electric bills are at least twice as expensive as those on the U.S. mainland. The government has thus made it a priority to attract more privately funded renewable energy projects to the U.S. territory.AES Solar, a Virginia-based company, this month began operating the Caribbean’s largest solar energy project. It features more than 101,000 solar panels in Puerto Rico’s southern region that is providing energy to more than 6,000 homes daily.Puerto Rico also expects to soon inaugurate what will be the Caribbean’s largest wind farm, a project that would feature 44 turbines on the island’s southern coast.last_img read more

Govt Building felled by NZ quake poorly built

first_img 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Associated PressSYDNEY (AP) – A six-story office building that collapsed and killed 115 people in New Zealand’s devastating earthquake last year was poorly designed by an inexperienced engineer, inadequately constructed and should never have been issued a building permit, a government report said Monday.The Canterbury Television (CTV) building crumbled to the ground during the 6.1-magnitude earthquake that rocked Christchurch on Feb. 22, 2011. The building’s collapse was responsible for nearly two-thirds of the 185 deaths from the quake. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Sponsored Stories The report said the structural design was completed by engineer David Harding, who had no experience designing multistory buildings like the CTV and was “working beyond his competence.” Yet Harding never sought assistance from his boss, Alan Reay. The report blamed Reay for leaving Harding to work unsupervised, despite knowing that Harding lacked experience.The report also found that Reay pressured city officials to approve the building despite them having some reservations about it.Harding’s lawyer, Michael Kirkland, said neither he nor his client had read through the report so they couldn’t comment. Reay also declined to comment.Mary-Anne Jackson, who fled the building seconds before it collapsed with a deafening boom, said she and other CTV workers had long felt unsafe in the building. She said it shook when trucks drove by and there were cracks in the walls. Jackson hopes Reay and others involved in the building’s design and construction will face criminal charges.“I want justice and accountability,” Jackson told The Associated Press. “It’s just devastating and it just never goes away. It’s always there and I’ll take it to the grave with me.” Monday’s report was the final release from the New Zealand government-ordered commission that spent months investigating the buildings damaged in the quake. Findings the commission released in February concluded that the CTV building was made of weak columns and concrete and did not meet standards when it was built in 1986. The building’s designer contested those findings.New Zealand’s prime minister, John Key, said building failures were responsible for 175 of the 185 deaths from the quake.“We owed it to them, their loved ones left behind, and those people badly injured in the earthquake, to find answers as to why some buildings failed so severely,” Key said in a statement.The report found several deficiencies in the CTV building’s engineering design and said the city council should never have issued the building a permit because the design did not comply with the standards at the time. The commission also concluded that there were problems with the building’s construction.The commission blamed the engineers from Alan Reay Consultants Ltd. for developing an inadequate and noncompliant design and city officials for not noticing the problems. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement “Now we know that there were many design deficiencies in the CTV building and we know who was responsible for these design deficiencies and why,” Alkaisi told the AP. “I don’t want to see this happening again, so we have to make sure that the recommendation made by the royal commission is adopted, that much better building standard is adopted and much better engineering practice is also adopted.”Brian Kennedy, whose wife Faye died when the building fell, said the report had brought him a measure of closure and that he was not interested in punishing the engineers or construction team involved.“I think (I’m) trying to look forward a little more positively now,” Kennedy told the AP. “Time heals a wee bit _ not everything, but it makes it a little easier.”___Associated Press writer Nick Perry in Bangkok contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   The commission noted that the building had been issued a “green sticker” following a magnitude-7.0 earthquake in September 2010, signaling authorities had given it the thumbs-up for people to continue using it.An investigation by the AP last year found that inspection checks routinely used across the world to verify the safety of buildings following earthquakes fail to account for how well those buildings will withstand future quakes. The AP found that building occupants and public officials in Christchurch did not understand that a “green sticker” doesn’t mean the building has undergone a thorough analysis of its structural health, nor that it will stay intact during future quakes.The commission’s report found that the CTV building was given a green sticker after being inspected by just three building officials, none of whom was an engineer. The commission recommended that in the future, only trained building safety evaluators be authorized to inspect buildings after earthquakes, and that government agencies should research how to account for aftershocks.Maan Alkaisi, whose wife Maysoon Abbas died in the building’s collapse, praised the commission for its thorough investigation. Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

Ukrainian lawmakers suspend military cooperation with Russia

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The five cooperation agreements scrapped by the Verkhovna Rada include one giving the Russian military transit rights to reach Moldova, whose territory is partly controlled by a Moscow-supported separatist government.Relations between Russia and Ukraine plummeted after the overthrow in February 2014 of Moscow-friendly Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Russia subsequently annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. Kiev also accuses Moscow of arming and staffing separatist insurgencies in eastern Ukraine.Russia staunchly denies it is involved with the armed separatist insurgency in Ukraine.In turning away from Russia, Ukraine has increasingly reached out for assistance to NATO, an organization the current government hopes the country will eventually join.Russia has about 1,500 troops stationed in Trans-Dniester, a landlocked separatist strip of Moldova that borders Ukraine. Rescinding the transit rights for those troops creates a logistical problem for Russia and no solution was immediately apparent.“As it now stands, we have to think about it, find a way. We shouldn’t toss away Trans-Dniester and Moldova,” said Vladimir Komoedov, chairman of the defense committee of the lower house of the Russian parliament, according to the Interfax news agency. Parents, stop beating yourself up Comments   Share   Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.center_img But he said Russia wouldn’t consider retaliatory measures for the time being.Also Thursday, Ukraine unveiled what it said was new evidence showing that Russian foreign intelligence services have played a decisive role in provoking unrest in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.Two Russian citizens captured there over the past week were active officers with Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate, Ukrainian Security Service counterintelligence chief Vitaliy Naida said at a press conference.The service published the names and pictures of 12 other people it said served in the same unit as the captured men.Naida said the unit ran sabotage operations, planned ambushes for Ukrainian troops, set mines and laid bombs targeting the civilian population.Russia has confirmed the two paraded on television by Ukrainian authorities are Russian citizens and that they were formerly in the military, but says they are no longer in active service and went to Ukraine as volunteers.In video statements posted by the Ukrainian Security Service, the men say they were taking part in a reconnaissance operation in the Luhansk region Saturday when they were fired on, wounded and captured. Both say they were members of an army brigade based in the Russian city of Togliatti and had been deployed in Ukraine for more than a month. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday voted to suspend military cooperation with Russia in a long-anticipated move signaling a further break in relations between the once-close partners.Kiev also produced what it claimed was fresh confirmation of involvement by Russian intelligence in sowing unrest in breakaway eastern regions, saying it is evidence of continued Russian plans to destabilize Ukraine, Quick workouts for men Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

Lithuania wants NATO battalion as security guarantee

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories If NATO decides to station a battalion in Lithuania, it would be near Russia’s westernmost enclave of Kaliningrad, which is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania and has important military bases.In early December, Russia flexed its muscle by airlifting state-of-the art Iskander missiles, which can be fitted with nuclear or conventional warheads, to Kaliningrad for military drills. They were pulled back afterward, but the deployment clearly served as a demonstration of the Russian military’s readiness to quickly raise the ante in a crisis.Some observers contend that having a NATO battalion anywhere near Kaliningrad would be provocative, but Linkevicius countered with a laugh: “You know the existence of Lithuania is very provocative because it’s very close to Kaliningrad.”There had been some confidence-building measures between the two countries, including verification visits, but Russia cut the channels of communications, the minister said.Linkevicius said Lithuania would like to see confidence-building measures restored, stressing that both sides need to talk more, inform each other more, and explain what they’re doing.He said Lithuania is not intervening in events in any other country but is trying to assist Ukraine. The three Baltic States — Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia — are former Soviet republics that regained independence amid the collapse of the Soviet Union over two decades ago and are now members of NATO and the European Union. They have been alarmed by Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine and the increasing activity of Russian forces in the Baltic Sea.Lithuania has been especially outspoken against Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, and has been equally outspoken in support of the current Ukrainian government’s decision to move toward Europe. Its request earlier this month, along with Latvia and Estonia, for a NATO battalion of 700-800 troops in each country, is also certain to anger Russia if approved.NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said the request would be “assessed carefully.”Linkevicius insisted the request is “not an escalation of tensions” with Russia. Rather, he said, it will implement the decision taken by NATO at its summit in Wales in September to increase the Western military alliance’s footprint in Eastern Europe, particularly the Baltic states.“It’s not because we are preparing for war,” Linkevicius said. “No. We are just trying to guarantee our security.” UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Lithuania’s foreign minister says his government wants a NATO battalion deployed permanently in the country as a “security guarantee” — not a provocation against Russia which has stepped up military action in the Baltic states.Linas Linkevicius said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday that Lithuania’s relations with Russia are “not simple, not easy,” but he expressed hope that the two countries can have “normal relations” in the future. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistcenter_img Comments   Share   “It’s a big European country with a vision to belong to Europe so we have to respect that vision and let’s help them,” Linkevicius said. “We are doing our best, but we are a small country. … Everyone should do their best in order to help them because their success would be the success of us, our values, and their failure would be respectively our failure.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

Not eternal Paris removes love locks from famed bridge

first_img Sponsored Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center PARIS (AP) — Lovers in Paris, beware: City authorities are taking down thousands of padlocks affixed to the famed Pont des Arts bridge.The city says the locks, usually hung by couples to express eternal love, are causing long-term damage to Paris heritage sites. Last summer a chunk of fencing fell off under their weight.Authorities began dismantling the metal grills along the sides of the bridge Monday and plan to remove 45 tons of padlocks in all. Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Some residents had campaigned against the locks, which started appearing about a decade ago and now cover sites across the French capital.The Pont des Arts bridge will soon have padlock-proof plexiglass panels instead, while the city explores other ways for Paris visitors to express their “amour,” including street art on the subject.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   last_img read more

Bahrain Shiite opposition leader sentenced to 4 years

first_imgMANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — A Bahraini court sentenced the country’s leading Shiite opposition figure to four years in prison on Tuesday amid an ongoing crackdown on dissent in the tiny island kingdom.Sheikh Ali Salman, a key figure in the 2011 uprising against the Sunni monarchy, was convicted of insulting the Interior Ministry, which oversees police, inciting others to break the law and inciting hatred against naturalized Sunni citizens, many of whom are of South Asian descent and serve in the country’s security forces. Sponsored Stories However, the court found Salman not guilty of the most serious charge he faced, which was inciting violence and calling for the overthrow of the monarchy, which carried a potential life sentence. His defense lawyer, Abdullah al-Shamlawi, said Salman can appeal.Salman, 49, is the secretary-general of the al-Wefaq political opposition group and was arrested in late December. The charges against him stem from speeches he made between 2012 and 2014.Al-Wefaq says his words were taken out of context. His group criticized the verdict.“Keeping Ali Salman in jail means delaying any political solution to come and reflects the government’s rejection to a political solution,” al-Wefaq member Khalil Marzooq said.Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, sees near-daily protests backed by the country’s Shiite majority, who demand greater say in the government.Al-Wefaq is among Bahrain’s most vocal and organized opposition groups. The group, which boycotted last year’s parliamentary elections, is demanding greater power-sharing between elected lawmakers and the monarchy, the release of political prisoners and a prime minister chosen by elected officials. Comments   Share   Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Salman’s case has attracted international attention, including criticism from Shiite powerhouse Iran. The European Union warned his arrest could jeopardize the already-difficult security situation in Bahrain. The U.S. has urged that he be tried in a just and transparent way.The government accuses the opposition of repeatedly rejecting offers to hold a national dialogue.___This story has been corrected to show Salman’s age is 49, not 59.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 4 must play golf courses in Arizona New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

Malaysian police probe conspiracy to topple premier

first_img KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian police said Monday they are investigating the leak of confidential documents that allegedly show millions of dollars were funneled to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s account, an explosive disclosure that has shaken the ruling coalition in power since 1957 to the core.National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the leak of the documents, allegedly from a Malaysian government investigation into state investment fund 1MDB, could constitute as “economic sabotage” against the country and be part of a conspiracy to topple Najib. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   Top Stories The documents sent to the attorney general pave the way for possible criminal charges, and have embroiled Najib in the biggest crisis of his political career.If charged, Najib would be the first Malaysian prime minister to face a criminal prosecution.His ruling National Front coalition has been in power since independence from Britain in 1957. However, support for the coalition has eroded in the last two general elections. In 2013, it won the polls but lost the popular vote for the first time.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Police “have not eliminated the possibility of a conspiracy to subvert Malaysia’s democratic process and topple the prime minister,” Khalid said in a statement.Najib has not disputed the existence of the accounts or the receipt of the funds. He has only said that he has never used government funds for personal gains, and called the allegations a political sabotage. Najib has also rejected repeated calls by the opposition and civil society groups to go on leave while the investigation is going on.Many senior members of his United Malays National Organization party have backed him, at least publicly.Khalid said all members of the taskforce investigating 1MDB, including central bank personnel, will be questioned to identify who leaked the documents and whether the documents are genuine or have been doctored.The country’s attorney general confirmed earlier this month that he had received documents from investigators that linked Najib and 1MDB.The existence of the documents, which allegedly show $700 million was wired from entities linked to 1MDB into Najib’s accounts, were first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper said five deposits were made into Najib’s accounts and that the two largest transactions, worth $620 million and $61 million occurred in March 2013 ahead of a general election.center_img File-This file photo of May 25, 2015, shows Malaysian National Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar speaking at press conference in Wang Kelian, Malaysia. Malaysian police say they are investigating the leak of confidential documents that allegedly show millions of dollars were funneled to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s account. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul, File) Mesa family survives lightning strike to home How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

US home sales surged in June to fastest pace in 8plus years

first_imgProperties typically sold last month in 34 days, the shortest time since the Realtors began tracking the figure in May 2011. There were fewer all-cash, individual investor and distressed home sales in the market, as more traditional buyers have returned.Sales improved last month in all four regions: Northeast, Midwest, South and West.Still, the limited supplies could prove to be a drag on sales growth in the coming months.Ever rising home values are stretching the budgets of first-time buyers and owners looking to upgrade. As homes become less affordable, demand will likely taper off.Home prices have increased at more than three times the pace of wages. The average hourly wage has risen just 2 percent over the past 12 months to $24.95 an hour, according to the Labor Department.Some would-be buyers are also spurning their limited options on the market. Tony Smith, a real estate broker in Charlotte, North Carolina, said some renters shopping for homes are now choosing instead to re-sign their leases and wait until a broader and better selection of properties comes onto the market.Construction has yet to satisfy rising demand, as builders are increasingly focused on the growing rental market. The vital role family plays in society The median home price has climbed 6.5 percent over the past 12 months to $236,400, the highest level — unadjusted for inflation — reported by the Realtors.Home-buying has recently surged as more buyers have flooded into the real estate market. Robust hiring over the past 21 months and an economic recovery now in its sixth year have enabled more Americans to set aside money for a down payment. But the rising demand has failed to draw more sellers into the market, limiting the availability of homes and sparking higher prices that could cap sales growth in the coming months.“The recent pace can’t be sustained, but it points clearly to upside potential,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.Nationally, a mere five months’ supply of homes was on the market in June, compared with 5.5 months a year ago and an average of six months in a healthy market.Some markets are barely adding any listings. The condominium market in Massachusetts contains just 1.8 months’ supply, according to a Federal Reserve report this month. The majority of real estate agents in the Atlanta Fed region — which ranges from Alabama to Florida — said that inventories were flat or falling over the past year. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Some of the recent sales burst appears to come from the prospect of low mortgage rates beginning to rise as Fed officials consider raising a key interest rate from its near-zero level later this year. Past efforts by the Fed officials to reduce their stimulus efforts have led to higher mortgage rates, creating expectations that homebuyers will face increased borrowing costs later this year.That possibility is prompting some buyers to finalize sales before higher rates make borrowing costs prohibitively expensive, noted Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac, a housing analytics firm.The premiums that the Federal Housing Administration charges borrowers to insure mortgages are also lower this year, further fueling buying activity, Blomquist said.It’s also possible that more homebuyers are aggressively checking the market for listings, enabling them to act fast with offers despite the lack of new inventory.“Buyers can more quickly be alerted of new listings and also more conveniently access real estate data to help them pre-search a potential purchase before they even step foot in the property,” said Blomquist, adding that this could help to explain why sales growth have dramatically outpaced new listings so far this year. Sponsored Stories Approved building permits rose increased 7.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.34 million in June, the highest level since July 2007, the Commerce Department said last week. Almost all the gains came for apartment complexes, while permits for houses last month rose only 0.9 percent.The share of Americans owning homes has fallen this year to a seasonally adjusted 63.8 percent, the lowest level since 1989.Real estate had until recently lagged behind much of the six-year rebound from the recession, hobbled by the wave of foreclosures that came after the housing bubble began to burst roughly eight years ago.But the job market found new traction in early 2014. Employers added 3.1 million jobs last year and are on pace to add 2.5 million jobs this year. As millions more Americans have found work, their new paychecks are increasingly going to housing, both in terms of renting and owning.Low mortgage rates have also helped, although rates are now starting to climb to levels that could slow buying activity.The average 30-year fixed rate was 4.09 percent last week, according to the mortgage giant Freddie Mac. The average has risen from a 52-week low of 3.59 percent.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Comments   Share   center_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans bought homes in June at the fastest rate in over eight years, pushing prices to record highs as buyer demand has eclipsed the availability of houses on the market.The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that sales of existing homes climbed 3.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million, the highest rate since February 2007. Sales have jumped 9.6 percent over the past 12 months, while the number of listings has risen just 0.4 percent. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How men can have a healthy 2019 Top Stories In this photo taken, May 6, 2015, realtor Stephan Marshall, top, walks with potential buyer Sasha Martinez at a home for sale in Pacifica, Calif. The National Association of Realtors releases existing home sales for June on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more