Review Category : Top Stories

Former Egyptian Leader Hosni Mubarak Sentenced

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images(CAIRO) — Former Egyptian Rresident Hosni Mubarak was sentenced on Saturday to three years in prison in a retrial on corruption charges.

Mubarak, along with his two sons Alaa and Gamal, were accused of embezzling $14 million. The sons were sentenced to four years each.

The original case, in which the Mubaraks were accused of using the money to renovate personal properties, was overturned in January.

Mubarak had been also convicted of conspiracy to kill for his role in the 2011 revolution, when up to 900 people died. Those charges were later dismissed in another retrial.

The former president is currently at a military hospital outside central Cairo.

Saturday’s conviction and sentencing was the last of many legal proceedings Mubarak has faced, but given his years already spent in prison it’s unclear if Mubarak will serve any more time.

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Severe Weather Takes Aim at Plains States Again

ABC News(DALLAS) — Storms are expected to roll through Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas again on Saturday, with hail reaching tennis-ball size, winds over 70 miles per hour in some areas, and more flash flooding.

Storms on Friday had rainfall rates that exceeded 3 inches an hour in parts of Texas and Oklahoma.

High winds caused damage in Oklahoma, ripping off roofs, downing power lines and shattering windows. About 10,000 customers in Norman, Oklahoma, were left without power.

Damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes are expected to continue on Saturday with the threat pushing eastward on Sunday, with only a few tornadoes expected but continuing threats of damaging winds and large hail.

Flash flood watches stretch from Texas to Kansas and will most likely expand Saturday.

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Jeb Bush: Obama Administration ‘Small-Minded and Intolerant’ on Religious Freedom

Charles Sykes/NBC(LYNCHBURG, Va.) — Jeb Bush on Saturday blasted the Obama administration’s “use of coercive federal power” to limit religious freedom.

“Somebody here is being small-minded and intolerant, and it sure isn’t the nuns, ministers, and laymen and women who ask only to live and practice their faith,” Bush said during a commencement address at Liberty University, the Christian college where Sen. Ted Cruz announced his presidential bid less than two months ago. “Federal authorities are demanding obedience, in complete disregard of religious conscience – and in a free society, the answer is no.”

Bush, who has not yet declared, is nevertheless fighting to win over the GOP’s powerful – and deeply conservative – evangelical wing.

In his speech, the former Florida governor condemned federal judges for “mistaking themselves for elected legislators and imposing restrictions and rights that do not exist in the constitution.”

Referencing the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic charity that fought before the Supreme Court for an exemption to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, he said, “you might even say it’s a choice between the Little Sisters and Big Brother – and I’m going with the Little Sisters.”

“How strange, in our own time, to hear Christianity spoken of as some sort of backward and oppressive force,” said Bush, a Catholic. “It is not only untrue, but it’s also a little ungrateful, to dismiss the Christian faith as some obstacle to enlightened thought.”

In another jab at Obama, whose rocky relationship with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has troubled many conservatives, Bush demanded we defend persecuted Jews as well as Christians.

“Wherever Jews are subjected to the oldest bigotry, we reject those sins against our brothers and sisters – and we defend them,” he said.

“Set the standard with your belief that everyone matters, and that everyone has the right to rise,” he enjoined, subtly invoking the name of his PAC, Right to Rise.

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Kristin Chenoweth Shares Her Letter to Her Mom This Mother’s Day

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Kristin Chenoweth is a mama’s girl and proud of it!

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Chenoweth is among the celebrities who contributed a personal letter to her mom in a new book, A Letter to My Mom, which includes notes and tributes from people across the world celebrating the women who raised them.

“You have given me many gifts, but the most important one is easy: you told me to believe in myself always,” the actress, 46, wrote in the touching letter to her mom, whom she affectionately calls “Junie aka June bug aka Mama.”

“You supported my decision to become an actress and a singer. You supported me with my self-esteem, not be confused with arrogance.”

Chenoweth, the Tony-award winner who stars in the Broadway musical On the Twentieth, thanks her mom for her sacrifices.

“You gave up your own career so you could have ours. You did without so we could have whatever we needed. You drove many miles to ballet class and piano lessons for me. You sacrificed so I could go to college,” she wrote.

She also reveals that it’s her mother who taught her how to be strong.

“Another question I get asked if how can I be so ‘tough’? I have seen you battle cancer several times and come out the winner. I have seen you handle difficult surgeries barely complaining. You have shown me how to handle any difficulty with grace,” Chenoweth wrote.

Chenoweth’s tribute is one of many in the collection, including letters from Melissa Rivers, Shania Twain, Kelly Osbourne, will.i.am, and ABC News’ chief meteorologist Ginger Zee.

Zee thanks her mother, Dawn, for her sacrifices.

“My respect for you is so great,” Zee wrote. “And now that I am newly married and wanting to start my own family someday, this reflection on our relationship makes me see all the sacrifices you made more clearly than ever before. I have a ton to live up to if I get the chance to be a mom.”

Watch Chenoweth read her letter below.

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Iraqi Prisoners Escape After Deadly Prison Riot

FranzGustincich/iStock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) — A deadly prison riot in Iraq has allowed dozens of prisoners to escape.

According to Iraqi officials, at least 40 inmates broke out of prison after a riot left at least three dozen people dead on Saturday, including six police officers.

Guards attempted to break up the brawl, but were overpowered by the inmates who took their weapons and escaped, officials said.

Some of the prisoners who escaped had been convicted on terrorism charges.

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GOP Weekly Address: Rep. McClintock Highlights Importance of Trade Agreements, Distrust of Obama

US House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) — Congressman Tom McClintock, R-Calif., gave the GOP weekly address this week, highlighting the importance of the Trade Promotion Authority, which would bind President Obama to the will of Congress.

“Trade means prosperity,” McClintock says, “more markets for American products means more jobs and higher wages for American workers,” and “more products entering our economy means more consumer choices and lower prices.” Still, he noted, while trade agreements are important to avoiding “unfair trade regulations, labor standards, high taxes and foreign subsidies” which “often put American workers at a real disadvantage,” the U.S. has been minimally involved in trade agreements among Asian nations.

The address comes one day after Obama pitched the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that would connect the U.S. to Asia and Australia, at the Nike headquarters in Oregon.

McClintock goes on to talk about the Trade Promotion Authority, which he calls important in limiting presidential overreach. “I don’t trust him,” McClintock says of the President. “That’s why I support this bill. Without it, he can negotiate anything he wants. Trade Promotion Authority binds him to the will of Congress before the agreement is reached.”

As such, the congressman explains, “If — and only if — he meets Congress’ objectives, will Congress then agee — not necessarily to pass the agreement — but only to vote on it after the American people have had their say.”

“I am tired of years of economic stagnation, if watching our country marginalized, and of an administration that often operates in direct defiance of Congress and the American people” McClintock says. “This bill is a giant step to solving these problems.”

Read the full transcript of the Republican address:

Hi, I’m Congressman Tom McClintock from California.

Right now, Congress is considering important legislation to help create more jobs and prosperity for the American people. It’s called ‘Trade Promotion Authority,’ and I’d like to visit with you about it.

Trade means prosperity. More markets for American products means more jobs and higher wages for American workers. More products entering our economy means more consumer choices and lower prices.
But here’s the problem: unfair trade regulations, labor standards, high taxes and foreign subsidies often put American workers at a real disadvantage. To remove these barriers, we have to negotiate trade agreements to put Americans back in the game under fair and equal rules.

We haven’t done that recently because the legal authority to effectively negotiate these agreements expired years ago, and we’re seeing the result. Since 2000, there have been 48 trade agreements among Asian nations, and Americans were part of only two of them. China is writing the rules while we’re left behind.

That’s why Trade Promotion Authority is so important. It’s the key to restarting America’s trade engine.

Here’s how it works. Congress sets 150 objectives that our negotiators have to advance – fair rules that both sides have to follow – everything from food safety and labor standards to rules for trading on the Internet.

If these objectives aren’t met, the deal’s off. End of discussion. If they are met, then the agreement’s published in full for 60 days so the American people can weigh in, and only then will Congress vote to approve it or reject it.

This process gives our negotiating partners the confidence that the concessions that they make won’t be endlessly altered once the agreement gets to Congress. It’ll either be voted up or voted down. That assures our negotiators will bring back to Congress the very best offer from our trading partners without their holding anything back.

We’ve negotiated trade agreements this way generally since the 1930’s, and very much like this since the 1970’s. But now, in some quarters it’s become controversial.

Some on the left oppose it because of pressure from protectionist special interests. Well, they’ve forgotten the painful lessons of history. Protectionism is the fastest way to destroy an economy, as this nation has learned repeatedly, going back as far as Jefferson’s time.

Some on the right oppose it because they don’t trust the president and his history of executive overreach.

Well, I don’t trust him either. That’s why I support this bill. Without it, he can negotiate anything he wants. Trade Promotion Authority binds him to the will of Congress before the agreement is reached. If – and only if – he meets Congress’ objectives, will Congress then agree – not necessarily to pass the agreement – but only to vote on it after the American people have had their say.

I’m particularly concerned about illegal immigration. This bill forbids the president from making any changes to our laws, including our immigration laws.

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of years of economic stagnation, of watching our country marginalized, and of an administration that often operates in direct defiance of Congress and the American people. This bill is a giant step to solving these problems.

The free exchange of goods – whether between people or nations – means that both sides go away with something of greater value to themselves – or the trade wouldn’t take place. Freedom creates prosperity, and the greater the freedom, the greater the prosperity. Trade Promotion Authority is the means by which this freedom is advanced – for ourselves and for our children.

Freedom works. And it’s time that we put it back to work.

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Two Men Arrested, Accused of Breaching Systems at Hosting Website Photobucket

jrwasserman/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Two men accused of breaching the systems of image and video hosting website Photobucket were arrested and indicted on conspiracy and fraud charges, the Department of Justice announced Friday.

Brandon Bourret, 39, and Athanasios Andrianakis, 26, were each arrested on Friday at their homes, the DOJ said, without incident. Between July 2012 and July 2014, the two “knowingly conspired to commit acts and offenses against the United States, namely computer fraud and abuse, access device fraud, identification document fraud and wire fraud,” a DOJ press release says. The two aimed to make money by selling passwords and unauthorized access to private and password-protected information, images and videos.

Bourret and Andrianakis allegedly developed, marketed and sold a software application that allowed users to circumvent privacy settings on the Photobucket website and to access and copy users’ private and password-protected information.

“It is not safe to hide behind your computer, breach corporate servers and line your own pockets by victimizing those who have a right to protected privacy on the Internet,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is keenly focused on prosecuting those people for their theft — and for the wanton harm they do to innocent Internet users.”

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Australian Police Arrest Teen on Terror Charges

Bernhard Richter/iStock/Thinkstock(VICTORIA, Australia) — Police in Australia say they have arrested a teenager on terror charges after halting a plot to detonate three homemade bombs.

A house in Greenvale, Australia, a suburb of Melbourne, was raided on Friday. In the raid, authorities found and detonated three devices. They also arrested a 17-year-old on charges including preparation for a terrorist act and possession of things connected with a terrorist act, according to BBC News.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Saturday that there was evidence that the bomb plot was in a “reasonably advanced state of preparation.”

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Defense Secretary Ash Carter Responds to Jade Helm Controversy

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on Thursday shrugged off concerns that the U.S. would attempt to overtake Texas this summer, as special operations forces are slated to train there under the “Jade Helm 15″ exercise.

Despite some controversy that the training program, which would take place in seven western states, represented an attempt by Washington to place those states under martial law, Carter said that authorities in Texas had been given any information they requested. “We’re very grateful for the support of communities around the United States in all of our training facilities,” Carter said. “We count upon…the support of Americans in our training areas and around our training areas and around our bases.”

Asked whether the exercise represented an attempt at military takeover, Carter said simply “no.”

Asked whether he would specifically refute concerns voiced by some, Carter said only that the Department of Defense is “very responsive to any local officials who want to know about our training.” He also said that the DOD has “tried to be very transparent in this case and answer all questions.”

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria said Thursday that the specific areas chosen for the Jade Helm training were picked because “large, rural area is needed with access to towns, as well, because we have to practice some of the logistics that go along with it.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently issued a directive to the Texas State Guard to observe the training operation, the New York Times reports, telling Maj. Gen. Gerald Betty, commander of the Texas State Guard, that it is “important that Texas knows their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.”

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Blackhawks D Michal Rozsival Out for Remainder of Playoffs

Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival will miss the remainder of the playoffs after fracturing his left ankle in the team’s series-clinching Game 4 victory over the Minnesota Wild Thursday night.

“Michal Rozsival suffered a fractured left ankle during the second period of last night’s game,” Blackhawks head team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement. “He will require surgery to repair it. He is not expected to return to full hockey activity until next season.”

Rozsival was injured when he fell awkwardly on his left ankle in the second period of Thursday’s win. A win which sends the Blackhawks to their third-straight Western Conference Final.

The 36-year-old Rozsival has played in 10 playoff games this postseason averaging 17:26 of ice time per contest.

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