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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(SEOUL) — President Obama and four European leaders agreed on a conference call Saturday to impose new sanctions on sectors of the Russian economy, the White House said.

Washington will announce its chosen sanctions and Europe, which has significant commercial relations with Moscow, will prepare its own distinct sanctions, which could begin as early as Monday when global banks open for business.

In a joint statement, leaders of the G7 agreed to impose the new penalties to “increase the costs of Russia’s actions” in Ukraine.

“Given the urgency of securing the opportunity for a successful and peaceful democratic vote next month in Ukraine’s presidential elections, we have committed to act urgently to intensify targeted sanctions and measures to increase the costs of Russia’s actions,” the statement said.

The new round of sanctions will be “coordinated and complementary” but not necessarily identical to the first round levied, U.S. senior administration officials said.

While the U.S. has talked for weeks about targeting entire sectors of Russian industry from banking to energy, these sanctions will not be a sledgehammer on the Russian economy. Instead, the U.S. will slap restrictions on more people and businesses around President Vladimir Putin.

President Obama said Friday that sanctions might not change Putin’s behavior, but he said the allies should not make it easy for him to encroach even more on Ukraine.

“The violations of sovereignty and territorial integrity in Ukraine is a principle that the U.S. has to stand up to,” Obama said.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Afghanistan’s recent presidential election is expected to go to a second round after no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote.

The Afghan Independent Election Commission announced on Saturday that the preliminary results were in, and the leading candidate — Abdullah Abdullah –received 44.9 percent of the vote. Ashraf Ghani received 31.5 percent of the vote, enough to require a runoff election.

As much as Afghans want to learn who will replace Hamid Karzai, who has spent ten years in office, Washington is anxious for his replacement to step in so that the Bilateral Security Agreement can be signed.

Karzai has refused to agree to the post-war pact, which would keep a residual force of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan past 2015 to serve in training and advisory capacities. Billions in foreign aid is also contingent on the new president getting around to signing the BSA.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Afghanistan’s recent presidential election is expected to go to a second round after no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote.

The Afghan Independent Election Commission announced on Saturday that the preliminary results were in, and the leading candidate — Abdullah Abdullah –received 44.9 percent of the vote. Ashraf Ghani received 31.5 percent of the vote, enough to require a runoff election.

As much as Afghans want to learn who will replace Hamid Karzai, who has spent ten years in office, Washington is anxious for his replacement to step in so that the Bilateral Security Agreement can be signed.

Karzai has refused to agree to the post-war pact, which would keep a residual force of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan past 2015 to serve in training and advisory capacities. Billions in foreign aid is also contingent on the new president getting around to signing the BSA.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Netflix(ANNAPOLIS, Md.) — The hit Netflix show House of Cards will film its third season in Maryland, Gov. Martin O’Malley said on Friday.

The show had received $26 million in tax credits during the show’s first two seasons, a figure that was set to go down due to expiring tax credits. Instead, O’Malley and Media Rights Capital — the maker of the hit drama — agreed to keep filming in the state. O’Malley said that the agreement will “keep the 3,700 jobs and more than $100 million of economic activity and investment that House of Cards generates right here in Maryland.”

Media Rights Capital will receive $11.5 million in 2014, combined between the annual Film Production Tax Credit program and $7.5 million in grants from the state’s fiscal year 2015 budget. That figure, a release from the Governor’s Office says, is “less than the production qualified for, but enough to keep the hit franchise in Maryland.”

House of Cards is the gift that keeps on giving, having injected hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy, while also helping to provide thousands of jobs to our Maryland community,” Asif Satchu, co-CEO of Media Rights Capital said.

Producers hope to begin production on the third season of House of Cards within the next few months.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Five International Security Assistance Force service members were killed when a British helicopter crashed on Saturday morning in southern Afghanistan.

The crash occurred in the Daman district of the Kandahar province, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence confirmed, a short distance from the Kanadahar Airfield. Officials believe that the crash was caused by mechanical failure, as no insurgents were found in the area. All five people on board the helicopter were killed in the crash.

The nationality of those killed was not immediately confirmed.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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(NEW YORK) — If your iPhone 5 is having problems with its on/off button, Apple will fix it free of charge.

The button on a “small percentage” of iPhone 5 models manufactured through March 2013 may stop working or work only occasionally, the tech company said Friday. The button also controls the sleep/wake function.

“Apple will replace the sleep/wake button mechanism, free of charge, on iPhone 5 models that exhibit this issue and have a qualifying serial number,” the company said on its website alongside a serial number search bar, which can determine if your phone qualifies for the fix.

The phone must also be working to qualify.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(SEOUL) — President Obama on Saturday hailed the U.S.-Korean military alliance as the “linchpin of security and stability” in Asia, crediting the sacrifices of American service members past and present with making it a reality.

“When our veterans come here and see this great and modern country, they can say with pride their effort and sacrifice was worth it,” Obama said during a speech at Garrison Yongsan, a U.S. military base that’s home to the Combined Forces Command (CFC).

“Freedom is not an accident,” Obama continued. “These are things that have to be fought for … you’re part of that legacy. It must be won and attended to constantly. And, here on freedom’s frontier, they are … by every man and woman who has stood sentinel on this divided peninsula.”

More than 1.5 million U.S. troops fought in the Korean War. Currently, more than 28,000 remain stationed here to help protect South Korea and provide training and humanitarian assistance. Some American military assets were also recently deployed in the waters off the coast to assist in search-and-rescue efforts after the Sewol ferry sunk April 16, killing more than 180 people.

“When our friends are in trouble, we help,” Obama said. “Our hearts are broken for our Korean friends.”

Obama also had tough words for North Korea – which he called a pariah state – warning that its nuclear pursuit will only lead to further isolation and asserting that the U.S. will counter any provocations by Kim Jong-un.

“We will not hesitate to use our military might to defend our allies, our friends and our way of life,” he told the crowd of 1,500 troops and their families.

Ahead of the speech, Obama and South Korean President Park received a classified briefing on the security threat posed by North Korea from U.S. Forces Korea Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — In his weekly address, President Obama called on Congress to increase minimum wage while highlighting the efforts of small business owners across America.

The president said it was “good business sense” to raise employees’ wages, and referenced an Executive Order he recently issued requiring workers on new federal contracts to be paid a “fair wage” of at least $10.10. The proposed bill would lift wages for nearly 28 million Americans, he added, and emphasized that the issue is something many citizens can relate to.

“And while not all of us always see eye to eye politically, one thing we overwhelmingly agree on is that nobody who works full-time should ever have to live in poverty. That’s why nearly three in four Americans support raising the minimum wage. The problem is, Republicans in Congress don’t support raising the minimum wage. Some even want to get rid of it entirely. In Oklahoma, for example, the Republican governor just signed a law prohibiting cities from establishing their own minimum wage,” he said.

Read the full transcript of the president’s address:

Hi, everybody. In my State of the Union Address, I talked about pizza. More specifically, I talked about a pizza chain in Minneapolis – Punch Pizza – whose owner, John Soranno, made the business decision to give his employees a raise to ten bucks an hour.

A couple weeks ago, I got a letter from a small business owner who watched that night. Yasmin Ibrahim is an immigrant who owns her own restaurant – Desi Shack – and plans to open another this summer.

Here’s what she wrote. “I was moved by John Soranno’s story. It got me thinking about my … full-time employees and their ability to survive on $8 an hour in New York City.” So a few weeks ago, Yasmin put in place a plan to lift wages for her employees at both her restaurants to at least $10 an hour by the end of this year.

But here’s the thing – Yasmin isn’t just raising her employees’ wages because it’s the right thing to do. She’s doing it for the same reason John Soranno did. It makes good business sense.

Yasmin wrote, “It will allow us to attract and retain better talent – improving customer experience, reducing employee churn and training costs. We believe doing so makes good business sense while at the same time having a positive impact on the community.”

Yasmin’s right. That’s why, two months ago, I issued an Executive Order requiring workers on new federal contracts to be paid a fair wage of at least ten dollars and ten cents an hour.

But in order to make a difference for every American, Congress needs to do something. And America knows it. Right now, there’s a bill that would boost America’s minimum wage to ten dollars and ten cents an hour. That would lift wages for nearly 28 million Americans across the country. 28 million. And we’re not just talking about young people on their first job. The average minimum wage worker is 35 years old. They work hard, often in physically demanding jobs.

And while not all of us always see eye to eye politically, one thing we overwhelmingly agree on is that nobody who works full-time should ever have to live in poverty. That’s why nearly three in four Americans support raising the minimum wage. The problem is, Republicans in Congress don’t support raising the minimum wage. Some even want to get rid of it entirely. In Oklahoma, for example, the Republican governor just signed a law prohibiting cities from establishing their own minimum wage.

That’s why this fight is so important. That’s why people like John and Yasmin are giving their workers a raise. That’s why several states, counties, and cities are going around Congress to raise their workers’ wages. That’s why I’ll keep up this fight. Because we know that our economy works best when it works for all of us – not just a fortunate few. We believe we do better when everyone who works hard has a chance to get ahead. That’s what opportunity is all about.

And if you agree with us, we could use your help. Republicans have voted more than 50 times to undermine or repeal health care for millions of Americans. They should vote at least once to raise the minimum wage for millions of working families. If a Republican in Congress represents you, tell him or her it’s time to give the politics a rest for a while and do something to help working Americans. It’s time for “ten-ten.” It’s time to give America a raise.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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United States House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) — In this week’s Republican address, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio draws attention to the GOP’s jobs plan and accomplishments, highlighting the bills the House has passed that are being held back in the Democratic-run Senate. Still, Boehner says this could be a “year of bipartisan action” as hoped by President Obama, if Democrats take up the jobs bills.

Speaking from the Hartzell Propeller plant in Piqua, Ohio, Boehner says America has had an administration in Washington “that acts as if everything can be done from the top down,” but Republicans “offered a new way forward” with emphasis on citizens’ priorities.

He spotlighted the party’s accomplishments in cutting total federal spending for two years, as well as the passing of three free trade agreements.

Read the full transcript of the Republican address:

Good morning. I’m speaking to you from the Hartzell Propeller plant here in Piqua, Ohio.

This is about 25 miles north of Dayton, Ohio, the birthplace of aviation.

Hartzell has come a long way since working with Orville Wright himself.

They now maintain 75 percent of the world’s market in propellers.

And while they have big plans, Hartzell is like any small business facing an uncertain future.

What I heard here – and what I hear everywhere I go – is that we need to get the federal government out of the way.

Having run a small business myself, I see where these folks are coming from.

I know why Americans are still asking the question ‘where are the jobs?’

For the last five years, we’ve had an administration in Washington that acts as if everything can be done from the top down.

From the ‘stimulus’ to ObamaCare, it’s a record littered with promises that never panned out.

And pain for people trying to get by and meet a payroll.

Republicans, we’ve kept our pledge, we’ve offered a new way forward.

Our majority in the House has made your priorities our priorities.

And every week, we’re focused on passing initiatives that would make it easier to find jobs and create jobs at places just like this.

We’re ready to improve job training programs so workers can acquire the right skills; expand production of American-made energy to lower costs; open new markets for small manufacturers; and repeal and replace ObamaCare.

The president said he wanted this to be a year of bipartisan action. Well, it still can be. We just need to get his party’s leaders in the Senate to take up our jobs bills.

While Republicans may be the minority party in Washington, with your help, we’ve made some headway.

We’ve banned earmarks and, for the first time since the Korean War, we’ve cut total federal spending for two years running.

We’ve protected 99 percent of Americans from permanent tax increases.

We’ve taken the politics out of student loans, making it easier to pay for college.

And we’ve passed three free trade agreements that are already paying big dividends for our economy.

So imagine what we could do if the powers-that-be in Washington changed course.

Imagine if they stopped treating our economy like a second language and started putting jobs first.

Just ask the people here at Hartzell.

Last week, I spotted one of their propellers on a military plane over in Afghanistan.

I can’t tell you how proud I was of every worker here in Miami County.

And how honored I am to be their voice in Washington.

Talking with the people here, I realize we are walking towards a great opportunity.

Instead of slogging on and settling, we can take the path of freedom and prosperity.

It leads to an America where we, the people – not the government – shape our destiny.

An America where honesty and initiative are cherished.

An America of pride and purpose.

I ask you to join us in this pursuit, and I thank you for listening.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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