Washington DC Events – Top Things to Do this Weekend

See a guide to the top events going on this weekend in the Washington, DC area, including Maryland and Northern Virginia. Wow! What a lineup. There is an amazing amount of festivals going on this month.

  • National Book Festival – Sept. 22-23, 2012. National Mall, Washington, DC. The event features more than 100 award-winning authors, illustrators and poets who will talk about and sign their books.
  • Latino Festival – Fiesta DC – Sept. 23, 2012, 11 a.m. -7 p.m. Washington DC. Celebrate the Latino culture and enjoy international cuisine and live entertainment.
  • Oktoberfests – Through October, 2012. Find German fall festivals around the region and enjoy beer, food, music and dancing.
  • Pumpkin Patches in Maryland and Virginia – Through October. Find a variety of fall festivals at farms in the Washington DC suburbs. Many events kick off in September featuring family-friendly activities.
  • Capital Home Show – Sept. 21-23, 2012. Dulles Expo Center. 4368 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, VA. Meet home building and remodeling experts and shop, compare and save on all of your home improvement projects.
  • Hyattsville Arts Festival – Sept. 22, 2012. Hyattsville, Maryland. The event includes visual arts and live performances by musicians, dancers, and street performers.
  • DC Fashion Week – Sept. 17-23, 2012. The event includes fashion industry networking parties, an outdoor festival showcasing local designers, designer trunk shows, and an educational seminar.
  • Big Apple Circus – LEGENDARIUM – Sept. 20-Oct. 8, 2012. Dulles Town Center, Dulles, Virginia. New York’s original one-ring circus presents world-class circus artistry where no seat is more than 50 feet from the ring.
  • Mount Vernon’s 18th-Century Craft Fair – Sept. 22-23, 2012, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The fair is a re-creation of an early American marketplace with artist demonstrations, family entertainment and 18th-century amusements.
  • National Hispanic Heritage Month – Sept. 15-Oct. 15, 2012. Celebrate the culture and traditions of Spanish speaking residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
  • Great Frederick Fair – Sept. 14-22, 2012. Frederick Fairgrounds. Musical entertainment, tractor pulls, equine expo and showcase, agricultural events, food.
  • Kaleidoscope Arts Festival – Through October. Alexandria, Virginia. The festival features more than 100 exhibitions and programs in visual art, theater, music and dance.
  • Maryland Renaissance Festival – Through October 21, 2012. Crownsville, Maryland. The annual event creates a 16th century English village with crafts, food, live performances, games and lots more.
  • 17th Street Festival – Sept. 22, 2012, 12-6pm. Washington DC. The free community event celebrates the 17th Street Corridor from Riggs Place to P Street and will include musical performances, artist vendors, a pet zone, and kids activities.
  • Barracks Row Fall Festival – Sept. 22, 2012, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. 8th Street, SE, below Pennsylvania Ave. The event includes live entertainment, a petting zoo featuring live animals and the DC State Fair highlighting home-grown talent contests such as Tastiest Tomato, Funkiest-Looking Vegetable, Best Homemade Pie, and Best Homemade Jam.
  • DC VegFest – Sept. 22, 2012, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Yards Park, 10 Water St., SE Washington, DC. The FREE outdoor festival celebrates the best of everything vegetarian in and around the nation’s capital. With dozens of food, commercial, and non-profit exhibitors, as well as several dynamic speakers and cooking demos, a kids’ area, and more.

More Upcoming Washington, DC Events

  • September Festivals and Events in the DC Area
  • Top Fall Festivals in the Washington DC Area
  • Charity Walks in the DC Area
  • Source: http://dc.about.com/b/2012/09/21/washington-dc-events-top-things-to-do-this-weekend-2.htm

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    Maroon 5 To Headline Grammy Nominations Concert

    LL Cool J will be back to host the December special, airing live from Nashville.
    By Jocelyn Vena

    Adam Levine
    Photo: Clasos/ Getty Images

    Source: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1694070/maroon-5-grammy-nominations-concert.jhtml

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    French ruling expected on topless royal photo

    Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, smile as they watch a shark ceremony as they arrive at Marapa Island, Solomon Islands, Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, Pool)

    Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, smile as they watch a shark ceremony as they arrive at Marapa Island, Solomon Islands, Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, Pool)

    French lawyer Delphine Pando for Closer magazine leaves the court in Nanterre, on the outskirts of Paris, Monday, Sept, 17, 2012 where lawyers for the British royal family sought an injunction against the Mondadori publishing house, owned by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, which published a 26-page spread of topless photos of Prince William’s wife Kate on Monday, to prevent further dissemination of the images. St. James’s Palace said Sunday that family lawyers would file a criminal complaint against the unidentified photographer or photographers involved. The palace said it would be up to French prosecutors to decide whether to investigate and pursue a criminal case for breach of privacy or trespassing.(AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    Britain’s Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, smiles as she and Prince William prepare to depart Honiara, Solomon Islands, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, after an official visit to the South Pacific Island nation. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

    (AP) ? A French court is deciding Tuesday whether to block further publication of topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, whose lawyer say Prince William and Kate were sharing a private moment that was captured by an intrusive photographer.

    The court in Nanterre, outside Paris, said there would be a ruling at noon on the request to stop Closer from publishing the images any further, including on its website and tablet application. The magazine published 14 images of a partially clad Kate in its pages on Friday.

    On Monday, an Italian magazine, Chi, published a 26-page spread of the photos of Kate. Chi, like Closer, is part of the Italian publishing house Mondadori, owned by former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi. An Irish tabloid published more photos over the weekend.

    The royal couple was sharing a “healthy and profoundly intimate” moment when the photos were taken, their lawyer, Aurelien Hamelle, told the court on Monday. The situation was “deeply personal.”

    Hamelle told the court that he is seeking ?5,000 ($6,550) in damages from Closer and an injunction forcing the magazine to stop publication elsewhere, including on the Internet. He also asked the court to fine Closer ?10,000 ($13,100) a day for each day the injunction is not respected, and ?100,000 ($131,000) if the photos are sold in France or abroad.

    The photos show the Duchess of Cambridge relaxing at a private villa in Provence, in southern France, sometimes without her bathing suit top and, in one case, her suit bottom partially pulled down to apply sun screen.

    William’s St. James’s Palace called the publications of the photos a “grotesque” invasion of the couple’s privacy.

    The case centers in part on just how private the villa was and whether, in effect, Kate was to some extent flaunting herself.

    “It’s not an accessible (view) from the exterior,” Hamelle said of the site ? a point contested by Closer’s lawyer, Delphine Pando, who said the site is visible from a nearby road.

    Pando asked the court to throw out the royal demand, arguing that the rights to the photos belong to an agency ? which sold their use to Closer. She did not give the price or name the photographer.

    That argument echoed the stance of the editor of Chi, the Italian magazine. Alfonso Signorini told The Associated Press over the weekend that he didn’t fear legal action since the photos were already in the public domain following Closer’s publication.

    The case is the first of two legal actions by the royals. In a reflection of just how intent they are on protecting their privacy ? and likely dissuading paparazzi from future ventures ? St. James’s Palace said Sunday the family lawyers would file a criminal complaint.

    The Sipa news agency reported that the Nanterre prosecutor’s office opened a preliminary investigation on Monday for breach of privacy, receiving and complicity. While no one was named, it would appear to cover the photographer or photographers involved in the case and possibly Closer. The palace said it would be up to French prosecutors to decide whether to investigate and pursue a criminal case for breach of privacy or trespassing.

    Christopher Mesnooh, an American lawyer who works in Paris, said France strongly protects privacy but that tabloids have their reasons for publication, even when they might be in violation of the law.

    “Closer magazine has done a very sophisticated cost-benefit analysis,” Mesnooh told the AP. “Whatever the amount of damages that a French court will award, it will be a fraction of the publicity that the magazine will have gained as well as the number of issues of this particular issue of Closer magazine which will be sold.”


    Nicole Winfield in Rome and David Stringer in London contributed to this report.

    Associated Press

    Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/cae69a7523db45408eeb2b3a98c0c9c5/Article_2012-09-18-Royal%20Photos/id-a4f0064956ae46958e1211d7dd24011b

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    Pakistani accused by film protesters of blasphemy

    ISLAMABAD (AP) ? Demonstrators angry over an anti-Islam film accused a local businessman in southern Pakistan of blasphemy, forcing the police to open a case and driving him and his family into hiding, following an argument that broke out when he refused to join their protest, officials said Wednesday.

    The incident demonstrates the potential for abuse of the country’s strict blasphemy laws as well as the intense feelings the film, which denigrates Islam’s Prophet Muhammed, has unleashed in Pakistan.

    At least two people have died in protests against the film, which has generated widespread animosity across the Muslim world.

    The incident in the city of Hyderabad began when hundreds of protesters rallied Saturday. Some protesters demanded that businessman Haji Nasrullah Khan shut his roughly 120 shops in solidarity, said police officer Munir Abbasi.

    When Khan refused, one of his tenants said his decision supported the film, the officer said.

    The protesters claimed Khan insulted the Prophet while arguing with them, said city police chief Fareed Jan. But he said there was no evidence to suggest the insults really occurred and that police only opened a blasphemy case because they were pressured by the mob. Opening such a case doesn’t mean the person is necessarily charged with the crime but that police are investigating him or her.

    Protesters ransacked Khan’s house, and surrounded a police station, refusing to go away until officials opened a blasphemy case, Abbasi said.

    The situation became even more inflamed when religious leaders from one of the biggest mosques in the city issued an edict calling for Khan’s death and announced from the mosque’s loudspeakers that he should be killed, Abbasi said.

    The police officer said Khan and his family members had gone into hiding in fear for their lives.

    Under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, anyone found guilty of defiling the holy book, or Quran, or insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad can face life in prison or death.

    Critics say the laws are often abused to harass non-Muslims or to settle personal rivalries. Radical Islamist groups have also been behind some of the blasphemy accusations.

    In this case, Abbasi said, police suspect some of the complaints against Khan by other shopkeepers may have been sparked more by his desire to evict some of them for late payment as opposed to any actual insults.

    Abbasi said a prominent pro-Taliban religious party, Jamiat-e-Ulema Pakistan, and an al-Qaida linked militant group, Sipah-e-Sahaba, had been advocating against the shopkeeper.

    Despite the potential for abuse, efforts to amend or repeal the blasphemy laws have failed in the past.

    Last year, a minister and a governor were assassinated when they spoke out about misuse of the laws and suggested changing them. The governor was shot and killed by his own guard.

    Rights activists and critics of the laws had hoped that the recent case of a 14-year-old girl charged with insulting the Quran would help bring about changes in the laws, or at least help curb abuse.

    The case gained widespread attention and sympathy both in Pakistan and internationally due to her young age and questions about her mental capacity.

    She was granted bail after a religious cleric was accused of planting evidence to incriminate her, and her lawyers have said they will move to throw the case out entirely.

    But a blasphemy accusation, even an unproven one, can be a death sentence in Pakistan.

    A report by the Islamabad-based Center for Research and Security Studies said that since 1990, 52 people have been killed by vigilantes after being implicated in blasphemy cases.

    Earlier this summer a mob in one Pakistani city dragged an accused blasphemer from a police building, beat him to death and burned the body.


    Associated Press Writer Adil Jawad in Karachi contributed to this report.

    Source: http://news.yahoo.com/pakistani-accused-film-protesters-blasphemy-170608982.html

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    Space station crew lands safely after shortened mission

    An American and two Russian astronauts landed safely in Kazakhstan after 123 days aboard the International Space Station. Is the Russian space program back on track?

    By Nastassia Astrasheuskaya,?Reuters / September 17, 2012

    Ground personnel carry International Space Station (ISS) crew member U.S. astronaut Joseph Acaba shortly after landing near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan Sept. 17, 2012. Acaba is one of three astronauts who returned to Earth.

    (AP Photo/Shamil Zhumatov, pool)


    A Russian Soyuz capsule landed on the Kazakh steppe on Monday, delivering a trio of astronauts from a four-month stint on the International Space Station.

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    The capsule, carrying U.S. astronaut Joseph Acaba and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin, parachuted through a blue sky and touched down in a cloud of dust as its soft landing engines ignited at 8:53 local time (0253 GMT).

    “Bull’s eye landing,” a NASA TV commentator said as the capsule lay on its side in the Kazakh steppe circled overhead by approaching search-and-recovery helicopters.

    RECOMMENDED: Are you scientifically literate? Take the quiz

    Veteran mission commander Padalka, who has logged 711 days in orbit to make him the world’s fourth most experienced astronaut, was the first out of the cramped descent capsule.

    “I feel great,” said Padalka, wrapped in a blue blanket, sipping hot tea and smiling, enjoying the balmy steppe air under the early morning sunlight as medical personnel wiped sweat from his brow.
    “This was my fourth flight, and so it is nothing of the extraordinary already,” he said, looking relaxed.

    During his stay at the orbital station, Padalka conducted a six-hour spacewalk on Aug. 20 to relocate a crane, launch a small science satellite and install micrometeoroid shields on the space station’s Zvezda command module.

    He and fellow crew members Acaba and Revin were carried over to autograph the Soyuz, scorched black by re-entry, to be displayed in a Russian provincial museum.

    The crew returned after spending 123 days in orbit aboard the International Space Station, a $100 billion research complex involving 15 countries and orbiting 240 miles (385 km) above Earth.

    The mission was shorter than the usual six months after launch delays in order to ready a new spaceship to replace the initial Soyuz craft, which was cracked during pressure tests.

    Moscow hopes Monday’s smooth landing will help to ease concerns over relying solely on Russia to service the ISS following a string of recent mishaps in its space programme.

    “Everything is to cheer today,” Russian space agency chief Vladimir Popovkin told reporters at Mission Control in Moscow.
    “Padalka, Revin and Acaba are feeling well, and they will all go home today.”

    Three other International Space Station crew members – veteran Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide – remain in orbit.

    They are scheduled to be joined by another trio – Kevin Ford, Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin – due to blast off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan next month.

    That mission was scheduled to launch on October 15 but will be delayed by about a week due to a technical glitch with equipment aboard the Soyuz, Popovkin said.

    “We’ve had a worry over one of the devices. We decided to change it, test it again and so the launch has been put off by one week,” Popovkin said.

    The Soviet Union put the first satellite and the first man in space, but Russia’s space programme has suffered a series of humiliating set-backs in recent months that industry veterans blame on a decade of crimped budgets and a brain drain.

    While none of the mishaps have threatened crews, they have raised worries over Russia’s reliability, cost billions in satellite losses and dashed Moscow’s dreams to end a more than two-decade absence from deep-space exploration.

    Since the retirement of the U.S. space shuttles last year, the United States is dependent on Russia to fly astronauts at a costs to the nation of $60 million per person.

    RECOMMENDED: Are you scientifically literate? Take the quiz

    (Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel and Robin Paxton, Additional reporting by Dmitry Solovyov in Almaty; Editing by Eric Walsh)

    Source: http://rss.csmonitor.com/~r/feeds/science/~3/aWda1VfFqXg/Space-station-crew-lands-safely-after-shortened-mission

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    Fact Sheet – Federation of Families of SC

    WASHINGTON, DC ? Today, President Obama will sign an Executive Order directing key federal departments to expand suicide prevention strategies and take steps to meet the current and future demand for mental health and substance abuse treatment services for veterans, service members, and their families. ?


    Ensuring that all veterans, Active, Guard, and Reserve service members and their families receive the support they deserve is a top priority for the Obama Administration. Since September 11, 2001, more than two million service members have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan with unprecedented duration and frequency. ?Long deployments and intense combat conditions require optimal support for the emotional and mental health needs of our service members and their families. The Obama Administration has consistently expanded efforts to ensure our troops, veterans and their families receive the benefits they have earned and deserve, including providing timely mental health service. The Executive Order signed today builds on these efforts.??

    President Obama?s Executive Order?


    The Executive Order signed by President Obama:


    Strengthens suicide prevention efforts across the Force and in the veteran community:

    • The Executive Order directs the VA to increase the VA veteran crisis line capacity by 50% by the end of the year. ?
    • Under the Executive Order, VA will ensure that any veteran identifying him or herself as being in crisis connects with a mental health professional or trained mental health worker within 24 hours or less.?
    • VA will work with the Department of Defense to develop and implement a national 12 month suicide prevention campaign focused on connecting veterans to mental health services. ?

    Enhances access to mental health care by building partnerships between VA and community providers:

    • In service areas where VA has faced challenges in hiring and placing mental health service providers and continues to have unfilled vacancies or long wait times, the Executive Order Directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to work with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish at least 15 pilot sites. ?In pilot sites, VA will contract with community health centers, community mental health clinics, community substance abuse treatment facilities and other HHS grantees and community resources to help reduce VA mental health waiting lists. ?
    • Under the Executive Order, HHS and VA will develop a plan for a rural mental health recruitment initiative to promote opportunities for VA and rural communities to share mental health providers when demand is insufficient for either to support a full-time provider. ?

    Increases the number of VA mental health providers serving our veterans:

    • Under the Executive Order, VA will hire 800 peer-to-peer support counselors to empower veterans to support other veterans and help ensure that their mental health care and overall service needs are met.?
    • VA has launched an effort to hire 1,600 new mental health professionals to serve veterans. The Executive Order directs VA to use its pay-setting authorities, loan repayment and scholarships, partnerships with health care workforce training programs, and collaborative arrangements with community-based providers to recruit, hire, and place 1,600 mental health professionals by June, 2013. Since, 2009, the VA has expanded its mental health programs, hiring more than 3,500 mental health professionals since 2009.

    Promotes mental health research and development of more effective treatment methodologies:

    • The Executive Order directs the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education to develop a National Research Action Plan that will include strategies to improve early diagnosis and treatment effectiveness for TBI and PTSD. ?
    • The Executive Order further directs the Department of Defense and Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a comprehensive mental health study with an emphasis on PTSD, TBI, and related injuries to develop better prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options. ?

    Launch a government-wide collaborative effort to address these issues through a Military and Veterans Mental Health Interagency Task Force:

    • The Executive Order establishes an Interagency Task Force, including the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, the Domestic Policy Council, National Security Staff, the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which will make recommendations to the President on additional strategies to improve mental health and substance abuse treatment services for veterans, service members, and their families. ?

    Supporting our Military, Veterans, and their Families

    The President has taken key steps to protect and strengthen the health of our military, veterans and their families here at home. Many of these initiatives are supported by agencies across the federal government and collaborative partnerships with states and communities.?


    Health Care?

    • For the first time ever, 135 medical schools have committed to exchanging leading research on PTSD and TBI and will also train future physicians to better understand veteran health needs. ?More than 150 state and national nursing organizations and over 650 nursing schools have committed to ensure our nation?s 3 million nurses are prepared to meet the unique health needs of veterans and their families by educating the current and future nurses of America to have a better understanding of PTSD and TBI.
    • President Obama signed the ?caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010?, into law which helps our most seriously injured post-9/11 veterans and their family caregivers with a monthly stipend; access to health insurance; mental health services and counseling; and comprehensive VA caregiver training and respite care.
    • The Department of Labor has proposed new regulations for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to support military families and caregivers. This rule would implement statutory changes to the FMLA, expanding leave to family members caring for veterans who have suffered a serious injury or illness.?
    • In July 2010, the VA published a historic change to its rules, streamlining the process and paperwork needed by combat veterans to pursue a claim for disability pay for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).?
    • The VA expanded its workforce by over 2,600 people to handle applications for disability pay. The VA is also using technology and new approaches to help veterans get their benefits by accepting online applications for initial disability benefits, initiating an innovation competition, launching pilot initiatives, and investing over $128 million in a paperless Veterans Benefits Management System.
    • The administration is utilizing partnerships to reduce the stigma associated with seeking treatment for behavioral health issues. Make the Connection, a campaign launched by the Department of Veterans Affairs, is creating ways for veterans and their family members to connect with the experiences of other veterans and access the information and resources to help these families confront the challenges of transitioning from service to daily civilian life.?

    Licensing and Credentials

    • Nearly 35 percent of military spouses in the labor force require licenses or certification for their profession. Many military spouses hold occupational licenses and routinely move across state lines, causing licensing requirements to disproportionately affect the military spouse population. The First Lady and Dr. Biden encouraged all 50 governors to pass legislation by 2014 to reduce the financial and administrative strains that 100,000 military spouses incur from trying to get their state licenses or certification credentials to transfer from state to state as they move. Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden encouraged governors to take Action in February 2012 when only 11 states had legislation on the books. 26 states now have measures in place to support military spouses and the initiative is on-track to meet the 2014 goal.


    • The Department of Defense has awarded $180 million in grants to support military-connected public school districts. ?These grants support improved academic programs for military children. ?More than 400,000 students from military families across all grade levels are impacted by these grant projects.
    • The Department of Defense has awarded approximately $25 million to military-connected Local Education Agencies (LEAs) this summer to focus on increasing student achievement and easing transitions through research-based academic and support programs. ?
    • The Department of Defense, in collaboration with the Council of State Governments? (CSG) National Center for Interstate Compacts developed the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (the Compact) to address the educational transition issues of children of military families. ?The Compact covers transition issues including class placement, records transfer, immunization requirements, course placement, graduation requirements, exit testing, and extra-curricular opportunities. ?States adopt the Compact through legislation, and as a result, join the Military Interstate Children?s Compact Commission (MIC3). ?To date, 39 states have approved the Compact and these states are home to 89 percent of school age children whose active duty parents are assigned to military installations in the United States. ?We will continue to work with leaders to encourage the 11 remaining states approve the Compact and become members of MIC3.
    • VA eased the Post-9/11 GI Bill application process within the eBenefits portal, including transferability to spouses or children for service members with over six years of service. Servicemembers can now apply on-line to transfer the benefits of their Post-9/11 GI Bill to eligible beneficiaries.?


    • On top of the historic settlements completed by the Federal government and 49 state Attorneys General, major mortgage servicers will be providing relief to thousands of service member and veteran households. A review will be conducted of every service member household foreclosed upon since 2006. Those wrongly foreclosed upon will be compensated equal to a minimum of lost equity, plus interest and a refund for money lost because they were wrongfully denied the opportunity to reduce their mortgage payments. Additionally, these organizations will pay $10 million into a VA fund that guarantees loans on favorable terms for veterans.
    • The Administration is working to end veteran homelessness through leveraging broad support at Federal, State, and local levels in both the public and private sectors. Working with over 4,000 community agencies, the VA and HUD have successfully placed more than 37,000 veterans in permanent housing with dedicated case managers and access to high-quality VA health care since 2009. To ensure we reach out to our homeless veterans, the VA created a National Registry for Homeless Veterans and established a National Homeless Hotline. Veteran homelessness was reduced by nearly 12 percent between January 2010 and January 2011.?
    • In 2011, VA helped save 72,391 Veteran and military borrowers with VA-guaranteed loans from foreclosure, a 10% increase from the prior year. ? VA has helped nearly 59,000 borrowers avoid foreclosure so far in 2012. ?The home loan guaranty program helps Veterans and their families purchase homes, often with no down payment required. ?The program expects to guaranty the 20 millionth loan in early November 2012.
    • Using their Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan, also known as the Streamline Refinance, VA refinances existing VA loans into new loans with lower interest rates, or adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) into fixed rate mortgages. ?In 2011, this program saved an average of $202 per month in individual payment reductions and 1.42% in interest rates. ?This equates to saving military and veterans $24 million a month and $293 million per year.

    Financial Readiness

    • The Department of the Treasury?s Office of Financial Education and Financial Access has helped military families identify predatory lending practices. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) established an office of service member affairs to ensure that the CFPB addresses the financial challenges that confront military families and strengthens protections against abusive financial practices.

    Source: http://fedfamsc.org/2012/09/17/fact-sheet-president-obama-signs-executive-order-to-improve-access-to-mental-health-services-for-veterans-service-members-and-military-families/

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    Winklevoss twins invest in social network company: report

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Winklevoss twins, best known for their legal battle against Mark Zuckerberg over the founding of Facebook Inc, have invested in SumZero, a social network company aimed at professional investors, The Wall Street Journal said on Sunday.

    Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have put $1 million into SumZero, which was founded by fellow Harvard University alumni Divya Narendra and Aalap Mahadevia in 2008, the article said. Narendra was an ally to the Winklevoss twins during their lawsuit against Facebook, which won the brothers a cash and stock settlement valued at $65 million at a time when the company was valued at $15 billion.

    Facebook’s market cap is currently valued at $47 billion.

    In June 2011, the twins decided not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a ruling upholding their $65 million settlement.

    The 2008 accord was intended to resolve a feud over whether Zuckerberg stole the idea for what became the world’s most popular social networking website from the Winklevosses, who like him, had attended Harvard. Their battle was dramatized in the 2010 film “The Social Network.”

    After agreeing to the cash-and-stock accord, the Winklevosses sought to undo it, saying it was fraudulent because Facebook hid information from them and that they deserved more money.

    In February, the brothers formed Winklevoss Capital as a vehicle to invest their personal wealth. Their first investment in June was SumZero, which brings together investors to share trading ideas and research, the WSJ reported.

    SumZero.com has 7,500 members and has parallels with the first versions of Facebook, including exclusivity.

    The site also allows investors to become members only if they work on the “buy side.” SumZero defines that group as investment professionals at hedge funds, mutual funds and private-equity firms. Analysts from the “sell side” such as Wall Street banks are not allowed, the report said.

    (Reporting by Nadia Damouni, editing by Gary Crosse)

    Source: http://news.yahoo.com/winklevoss-twins-invest-social-network-company-report-025826502–sector.html

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