DRC News Feed
By Missy Ryan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States recently sent a small number of special forces soldiers to Jordan to train with counterparts from Iraq and Jordan, a new step in the Obama administration's effort to help Baghdad stamp out a resurgent al Qaeda threat, a U.S. defence official said on Friday. The U.S. contingent was dispatched to take part in a training exchange with counterterrorism forces from Iraq and Jordan, allowing the administration to provide a modest new measure of support to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — Some of the GOP's most prominent conservatives insisted Friday that Republicans should emphasize hot-button social issues like abortion and gay marriage in this year's midterm elections, exposing an ideological divide within a party trying to capture the Senate and then the White House.
A whistleblower will be paid $63.9 million for providing tips that led to JPMorgan Chase & Co's agreement to pay $614 million and tighten oversight to resolve charges that it defrauded the government into insuring flawed home loans. The payment to the whistleblower, Keith Edwards, was disclosed on Friday in a filing with the U.S. district court in Manhattan that formally ended the case. In the February 4 settlement, JPMorgan admitted that for more than a decade it submitted thousands of mortgages for insurance by the Federal Housing Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs that did not qualify for government guarantees. JPMorgan also admitted that it had failed to tell the agencies that its own internal reviews had turned up problems.
Latin American foreign ministers will meet next week to discuss the unrest in Venezuela that has left at least 20 dead and convulsed the South American OPEC nation, diplomatic sources said on Friday. The officials will gather on Tuesday at a meeting of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) group of Latin American nations in Chile, where the leaders are congregating for the inauguration of President Michelle Bachelet. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said late on Thursday that the bloc's presidents would meet. Diplomatic sources said, however, that foreign ministers would meet instead.
By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York businessman must face criminal fraud charges for trying to claim a billion-dollar stake in social media company Facebook Inc, a federal judge ruled on Friday. Paul Ceglia, 40, is accused of forging a 2003 contract with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that supposedly entitled him to part ownership of the company. After an hour-long hearing in New York, U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter rejected Ceglia's request to throw out the charges, finding he had failed to meet the "high standard" needed to dismiss a grand jury indictment. Ceglia sued Zuckerberg and Facebook in 2010 in a federal court in Buffalo, New York, claiming that he and Zuckerberg had signed a contract while Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard University for Ceglia to invest $1,000 in a planned social networking website.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would give up "some settlements" in occupied Palestinian land to help secure a peace agreement but would limit as much as he could the number of enclaves removed. The settlements are a key issue in peace talks renewed under Washington's tutelage in July after a three-year impasse. Little progress has been reported though U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said he hopes to publish a framework for a deal soon. The settlements built in territory captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War are deemed illegal in international law and condemned by most governments.
By Alexandra Alper and Tomas Sarmiento MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's telecoms regulator on Friday declared two of billionaire Carlos Slim's major financial and industrial companies "dominant" in telecommunications, but has yet to slap the tag on Slim's flagship telecoms company. Slim's telecoms company America Movil is widely expected to be declared it is dominant, or has an outsized share, in its market, though it has yet to be notified. Mexico is seeking to spur competition in the tight-knit phone and TV industries. The newly empowered Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) has deemed Slim's bank Inbursa and conglomerate Grupo Carso , which both have direct or indirect stakes in America Movil, dominant in telecoms given their "economic interests," the companies said on Friday.
By Peter Apps and Jim Finkle LONDON/BOSTON (Reuters) - A sophisticated piece of spyware has been quietly infecting hundreds of government computers across Europe and the United States in one of the most complex cyber espionage programs uncovered to date. Several security researchers and Western intelligence officers say they believe the malware, widely known as Turla, is the work of the Russian government and linked to the same software used to launch a massive breach on the U.S. military uncovered in 2008.
By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers held "substantive and useful" expert-level talks over Tehran's nuclear programme this week, they said on Friday, ahead of a new round of political negotiations later this month. Seeking to build on an interim agreement reached late last year in Geneva, Iran and the major powers aim to hammer out a final settlement of the decade-old dispute over the Islamic Republic's atomic activities by late July. But they also acknowledge that there are still big differences over the future scope of Iran's nuclear programme and that success is far from guaranteed. "The talks are very serious and substantive and useful," the head of the Iranian delegation at the expert-level talks, senior Foreign Ministry official Hamid Baidinejad, told Iran's Fars news agency ahead of Friday's session.
The U.S. State Department said on Friday that Syria is at risk of missing a June 30 deadline for disposing of chemical weapons but that the deadline can still be met. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that after "weeks of inaction" and missed intermediate deadlines, less than one-third of Syria's chemical weapon material had been moved out of the country as part of an agreement with the United States and Russia. Sources at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Syria also will miss another interim deadline next week.