Menendez On Expected Corruption Charges: ‘I Have Always Conducted Myself Appropriately’

NEW YORK (CBS News/CBSNewYork/AP) — The Department of Justice is planning to file criminal corruption charges against New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, a law enforcement official told CBS News on Friday.

One of the highest ranking Hispanic members in Congress, Menendez was expected to be accused of using his Senate office to promote the interests of Democratic donor Dr. Salomon Melgen, a South Florida eye doctor and close friend.

In response, Menendez insisted that he has always acted lawfully and has fought for the best policies for the people of New Jersey and the U.S. for all of the 23 years he has been in office.

“Let me be very clear — very clear — I have always conducted myself appropriately and in accordance with the law,” Menendez said at a news conference Friday evening.

He said he has been focused from the beginning on “important things,” such as ensuring that victims of Superstorm Sandy have the tools to rebuild, and that Iran never gets its hand on a nuclear weapon.

“I fight for these issues, and the people of our country every single day.” Menendez said. “That’s who I am, and I’m not going anywhere.”

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder approved prosecutors’ requests to move forward with the charges, CBS News reported. The charges were expected to be filed in the coming weeks.

Menendez characterized Melgen simply as a close personal friend, and said they have spent holidays and exchanged birthday, holiday and wedding presents as friends do.

“Anyone who knows us knows he and his family, and me and my family, have been real friends for more than two decades,” he said.

An earlier statement from a Menendez spokeswoman likewise claimed the senator did nothing wrong.

“As we have said before, we believe all of the senator’s actions have been appropriate and lawful and the facts will ultimately confirm that. Any actions taken by Sen. Menendez or his office have been to appropriately address public policy issues and not for any other reason,” Tricia Enright, Menendez’ communication director, said in a statement.

CBS News: Justice Department Prepping Corruption Charges Against Sen. Robert Menendez

menendez Menendez On Expected Corruption Charges: I Have Always Conducted Myself Appropriately
Peter Haskell reports

“As has been reported, the start of this investigation is suspect. We know many false allegations have been made about this matter, allegations that were ultimately publicly discredited. We also know that the official investigation of this matter is ongoing, and therefore cannot address allegations being made anonymously,” Enright added.

Menendez, the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sponsored legislation with incentives for natural gas vehicle conversions that would benefit Melgen, his biggest political donor to his re-election, an Associated Press investigation found.

According to CBS2’s Marcia Kramer, during the 2013 election cycle Melgen gave more than $700,000 to Menendez and other Senate Democrats.

Menendez also used Melgen’s private jet for two personal trips to the Dominican Republic, the AP reported. However, after word of the trips became public Menendez paid Melgen $58,000, saying it was an oversight, Kramer reported.

Melgen invested in Gaseous Fuel Systems Corp. of Weston, Florida, and joined its board of directors in early 2010, according to the company’s chief executive and a former company consultant. GFS, as the company is known, designs, manufactures and sells products to convert diesel-fuel fleets to natural gas. The amount of Melgen’s investment is confidential under rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, but a 2009 document filed with the SEC showed the company required a minimum individual investment at that time of $51,500.

Menendez was a principal supporter of a natural gas bill from 2009 through 2012 that would boost tax credits and grants to truck and heavy vehicle fleets that converted to alternative fuels. The bill stalled in the Senate Finance Committee, and after it was revived in 2012, the NAT GAS Act failed to win the needed 60 votes to advance.

While the bill was under consideration between 2009 and 2011, the former consultant for GFS spent $220,000 lobbying Menendez’s staff and other congressional and federal officials on the act’s provisions as well as other regulatory issues, according to interviews and Senate records.

There is no evidence that Menendez offered direct help or intervened on behalf of the company or Melgen. Instead, the connection between the two men’s interests in natural gas is the latest example of the close symmetry between the senator and his millionaire backer, the Associated Press reported.

The senator has vehemently denied reports that he hired prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. An anonymous tipster told a conservative blog that Melgen reportedly set up the prostitutes for Menendez. As a result, the FBI raided Melgen’s Florida office.

Menendez accused the Cuban government of being behind the prostitution claims.

“Let’s remember how this all started: nameless, faceless accusations that ultimately proved themselves to be false, and early on their was some indications of the Cuban government’s involvement,” Menendez said back in July 2014.

Menendez is Cuban-American and has been a vocal critic of the Cuban government for decades.

The allegations came from three Dominican women who said they’d been paid to have sex with Menendez at a resort in the Caribbean. But in 2013 year the women recanted their story.

“It should be pretty appalling that a foreign government would be engaged in trying to affect an election and or the position of a United States senator. And if that can happen, there are real consequences to our democracy,” Menendez said.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix Original Series Looking For Actors, Actresses

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Aspiring actors and actresses, here’s your shot!

A Netflix original dramatic series called “The Get Down” is looking for cast members.

The show centers around the arts and music scene in the Bronx during the 1970s, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.

Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Original Series Looking For Actors, Actresses

netflix Baz Luhrmanns Netflix Original Series Looking For Actors, Actresses
Carol D'Auria reports

Renowned filmmaker Baz Luhrmann is at the helm.

“So the idea that this place, which once was the grandest borough in New York, had a moment when it was burning, and we will tell that burning story but out of it will come aspiration. And you know what?  In my opinion, the Bronx is on fire again but in a completely different way,” Luhrmann said.

Luhrmann said he is looking for Latino and African American males and females between 18 and 25 years old who know how to act and move.

Cameras start shooting May 21.


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What Is a Kind Husband?

What Is a Kind Husband?

We find many husbands in the Bible, but not many stand out as ideal.

One of the men who does stand out is Boaz. Throughout the book of Ruth, he stands out as a model of what a husband as a husband should be. He is a godly and considerate employer (Ruth 2:4). His kindness toward Ruth is clear and well-marked before he thinks of himself as a possible husband to her. His character as a godly husband comes out in his kindness in assuming the role of kinsman-redeemer for Ruth. So the next time you read through the book of Ruth, think of the kindness of this husband.

What do unkind husbands do? Among other things, they preach heresy in the living room. Paul tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). This is not given as simply a nice illustration. A husband is the head of his wife the same way Christ is the head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23). This means that husbands are speaking all day every day about what Christ thinks of the Church. And because such speaking is inescapable, they are either telling the truth or they are lying. No husband has the option of silence.

The Lies of Mistreatment

And unfortunately, while all mistreatment is a lie, more than one lie is possible. For example, what lie is being told by bitter husbands? Paul tells husbands not to be bitter against their wives (Colossians 3:19). But some men think that they have been provoked enough that resentment is their only option. What is the lie? The lie is that Christ has a lousy attitude whenever he is provoked, which we would think must be all the time.

Another lie is told by a lustful husband. Some men think that a straying eye is only natural. What is the lie? The lie is that Christ is an adulterer, that he is unfaithful to his bride.

Then there is the lie told by limp husbands. Some men provide no leadership for their wives. What is the lie? The lie is that Christ is a loser and a wimp. That this is fairly common in our day is not surprising, given the doctrine of Christ that is held by many.

Last, proud husbands tell another lie. Some men have contempt for the abilities of women, including their wives and daughters. What is the lie? They are saying that Christ despises his Church, making fun of it whenever he gets the chance.

Five Characteristics of a Kind Husband

So what is a kind husband? As we see the ideal of a husband’s kindness displayed by Boaz, we also should fill out our understanding of that kindness from the teaching of the Bible elsewhere. We are perhaps too accustomed to the phraseology of the Pauline command to love our wives, and so it might help us to think of this central duty in terms of kindness.

First, a kind husband is incomplete. God created man in his image, male and female created he them (Genesis 1:27). A man and his wife become one flesh (Genesis 2:24), which indicates the intimacy of sexual union (2 Corinthians 6:16). Apart from the intervention of God with the gift of celibacy, it is not good that man should be alone (Genesis 2:18). True male confidence therefore operates within the context of mutual kindnesses. “Confidence” that in any way hints, indicates, or says to a wife that “I don’t need you” is not real confidence at all, but mere arrogant bluster. Men who build themselves up by tearing down their wives are following the “wisdom” of hell. A husband is kind to the one who completes him.

Second, a kind husband is a lover. The ideal here is the lover portrayed in the Song of Songs. He is ardent, devoted, strong, and sexually confident. But remember the first point; this confidence is not in himself, but rather in his ability to fulfill his appointed role, which is only half of what must be done. Too often we forget what the Bible commands (Proverbs 5:15–19). A husband is kind to his beloved.

A kind husband is a provider. A man who does not provide for his household is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8). Since his wife is the most important member of his household, he has a profound obligation to provide for her. Specifically, he provides her with food, clothing, and conjugal rights (Exodus 21:10). A husband is kind to the one who is dependent upon him.

Fourth, a kind husband is a nurturer. A Christian husband is called to nourish and cherish (Ephesians 5:29). In this sense, a lack of tenderness, where appropriate, shows a lack of masculinity. A husband is kind to the object of his kindness.

And last, a husband is a kinsman-redeemer. A husband is close to his wife; she is his sister, his bride (Song 5:1). In a very real sense, he models for her the idea of savior and redeemer (Ephesians 5:25–26). What husband is sufficient for such things? Not one, but we live and love by grace. A husband is kind to his sister, the one he brings to himself.

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Review: Phantom 2 Vision+ – the world’s best selling camera drone

The Phantom 2 Vision+, the first true out-of-the-box stabilized camera drone (Photo: Noel ...

DJI’s US$1100 Phantom 2 Vision+ is the best selling camera drone on the market – and with good reason. It’s a relatively affordable, relatively friendly and relatively easy to fly quadcopter that arrives nearly fully assembled and is easy enough for a beginner to operate straight out of the box, even if we recommend you fly something cheaper first to get the hang of things. It has a decent quality, tilt-controllable camera that shoots 1080p HD video footage and 14 megapixel photos, and the camera delivers smooth footage thanks to a multi-axis stabilizing gimbal. But it has a bunch of other tricks up its sleeve. Gizmag spends a few weeks with the latest 2015 version of the #1 consumer camera drone… Continue Reading Review: Phantom 2 Vision+ – the world’s best selling camera drone

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Petrobras graft probe snags top Brazilian politicians

A view is seen of the Petrobras headquarter in Rio de JaneiroBrazil's Supreme Court will investigate the speakers of both houses of Congress and more than two dozen other politicians in connection with a multibillion-dollar kickback scheme at state-controlled oil company Petrobras. The scandal has shaken the political establishment and undermined support for President Dilma Rousseff, who was narrowly re-elected last year and is struggling to stave off an economic recession and a downgrade by credit rating agencies. Heading the list are the president of the Senate, Renan Calheiros, and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha, both of the PMDB, Brazil's largest party and Rousseff's main coalition ally. Two members of Rousseff's cabinet during her first term are under investigation: Senator Gleisi Hoffmann, who was her chief of staff, and former mines and energy minister Edison Lobao.

Letting The Freedom Of Truth Uncover The Value Of Life