On the Latin American street, the Organization of American States has always borne a reputation, not always deserved, as Washington’s lackey. But the OAS, based in Washington, just tossed the White House a message it would rather not hear: It’s time to seriously discuss legalizing marijuana as one means of reducing the western hemisphere’s harrowing drug violence. …
WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. official says the Pentagon has decided to buy a new computerized health records system that will allow the department to better share and merge its data with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Read more here: Pentagon to seek new vets record system
Read more here: Stocks surge as Bernanke retains dovish tone
MILAN (Reuters) – A board member at Italy's troubled lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena is being investigated over allegations of breaking insider trading rules and has been suspended, a judicial source said on Wednesday. Prosecutors in Siena allege that the board member, Michele Briamonte, leaked to the press the content of a board meeting during which it was decided to seek damages from two former executives as well as investment banks Nomura and Deutsche Bank over losses on financial derivatives contracts, the source said. …
Read more here: Monte Paschi director accused of insider trading-source
Read more here: Cannes: James Franco builds a bookish filmography
JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Following a lengthy Cabinet meeting, South Sudan’s government spokesman said Wednesday that the country will continue to export oil through Sudan and that there had been only a temporary slowdown in production.
Read more here: Amid signs of turmoil, S Sudan says oil will flow
ATLANTA (AP) — The Minnesota Twins placed third baseman Trevor Plouffe on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion Wednesday after he was struck in the head by Dan Uggla's shin while breaking up an attempted double play.
Read more here: Twins' Plouffe has concussion, on 7-day DL
AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must turn over power to a transitional government in order for a U.S. and Russian-backed peace conference to have any chance of success, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Wednesday. “It is perfectly clear that the main aim of this possible conference is to bring in a transitional government for Syria which will have the full executive power,” Fabius said before a meeting of the Friends of Syria alliance in Jordan’s capital. “The position of France is … there has to be a transitional body which will have all the executive power. …
Read more here: France says Syria's Assad must give up power to end war
By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican's new financial watchdog said on Wednesday it had detected six possible attempts to use the Holy See to launder money last year, citing this as proof of its commitment to transparency. The head of the Vatican's Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), presenting its first annual report, also said it would soon have stronger supervisory powers over the Vatican's scandal-plagued bank, the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), dubbed the world's most secretive bank by Forbes magazine. …
Read more here: Vatican financial body investigating possible money laundering
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lois Lerner of the IRS joins a diverse roll call of people who have invoked Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination in refusing to answer questions at congressional hearings over the years.
Read more here: Others who took the 5th: McGwire, Abramoff, North