Fears of the worst possible scenario in Syria have been confirmed in a video released by rebels that shows victims of chemical warfare. (Snip) The Obama administration is bound to be tested this week on its treat to intervene militarily if signs continue to show that chemical weapons are already being used in Syria. If President Barack Obama thought that his warning would be enough to stop Assad, he apparently is mistaken. Assad knows that if he does not defeat the opposition, his fate is death, and probably in a way no more humane than his brutal suppression of the uprising if not in a way similar to
Italian authorities have thwarted a weapons smuggling attempt involving rocket launchers in the Port of Naples, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Saturday. One Egyptian citizen was arrested. According to the report, Israeli authorities provided Italian security forces with information on the containers that carried the weapons which were destined for Egypt.
Is a third intifada unavoidable? The recent Palestinian success in the UN, the deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the achievements noted by Hamas during Operation Pillar of Defense have prompted greater agitation in the West Bank, and the IDF is concerned that the area is on the verge of a boiling point. According to Shin Bet data, the unrest in the area is ripe for the development of the infrastructure that could potentially support a third intifada – prolonged and violent unrest the likes of which Israel has had to deal with in 1987 and 2000.
Olympia, Washington - A judge on Friday rejected a request by a medical marijuana user to block Washington state from enforcing tougher "stoned driving" rules after it became one of the first U.S. states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. (Snip) The new rules, which for most marijuana smokers would put them over the legal driving limit for a couple hours after taking two or three hits from a joint, took effect on Thursday. The legal challenge came from Arthur West, an Olympia-based lawyer and medical marijuana patient who said the ballot initiative´s title wrongly left out
Guatemala City - Software guru John McAfee, fighting deportation from Guatemala to Belize to face questions about the slaying of a neighbor, said on Saturday he wants to return to the United States. "My goal is to get back to America as soon as possible," McAfee, 67, said in a phone call to Reuters from the immigration facility where he is being held for illegally crossing the border to Guatemala with his 20-year-old girlfriend. "I wish I could just pack my bags and go to Miami," McAfee said. "I don´t think I fully understood the political situation. I'm an embarrassment to the Guatemalan government
U.S. Representative Charles Boustany defeated fellow Republican Representative Jeff Landry on Saturday in a runoff for a U.S. congressional seat in Louisiana. Boustany won a fifth term, capturing 61 percent of the vote in the southwest Louisiana district, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State´s office. Landry lost his seat after only one term. "Thank you! We couldn´t have done it without you!" read a note on Boustany´s campaign website late on Saturday. The two lawmakers were forced to vie for a single House of Representatives seat after Louisiana's seven
Caracas, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that his cancer has returned and that he will undergo another surgery in Cuba. Chavez, who won re-election on Oct. 7, also said on Saturday night for the first time that if his health were to worsen, his successor would be Vice President Nicolas Maduro. "We should guarantee the advance of the Bolivarian Revolution," Chavez said on television, seated at the presidential palace with Maduro and other aides. The president said that tests had shown a return of "some malignant cells" in the same area where tumors were previously
Cairo - In a political reversal to calm weeks of unrest, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi early Sunday rescinded much of last month’s decree that expanded his powers and exposed a dangerous divide between the nation’s Islamists and the mainly secular opposition. The announcement reverses most of the declaration the Islamist president issued Nov. 22, including putting his office beyond judicial oversight. The peeling away of that power was a major demand of protesters. But Morsi continued to defy the opposition by refusing to cancel a Dec. 15 referendum on a proposed constitution
President Obama said in his radio address today that going over the so-called financial cliff “would be bad for families, it would be bad for businesses, and it would drag down our entire economy.” “Bad all around,” as Sam Spade would say. Most people understand this. The question is, how far will Obama go to avoid “the cliff.” On this question, Obama said that he will not sign a package that does not include a rate increase on wealthy Americans. “That’s one principle I won’t compromise on,” he reiterated. Everyone understands this too. The question is
Even if President Obama succeeds in getting Republicans to agree to tax hikes on the wealthy as part of a “fiscal cliff” deal, the country’s grim budget realities will still cast a long shadow — limiting his ambitions as he begins plotting a second-term agenda. Any agreement is likely to result in less than the $1.6 trillion in new taxes over the next decade that Obama requested in his initial offer to House Republicans, and White House aides are signaling to allies that any new money from taxes would be used almost entirely for deficit reduction
Detroit — Two people from work hook up. They make a baby. It happens. But in this case they´re not colleagues. She stood in his courtroom as a complaining witness in a child support case against her ex and he was the judge deciding the case. That´s creepy, and it´s probably illegal. You remember Third Circuit Court Judge Wade McCree, the buff barrister we caught back in April texting nude pics of himself to a female bailiff. His performance was so bizarre that the Michigan Supreme Court took the highly unusual step of censuring him for bringing shame to the
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M´s dynamic quarterback, became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. Manziel beat out Notre Dame senior linebacker Manti Te´o and Kansas State senior quarterback Collin Klein during the 78th Heisman Trophy presentation Saturday in New York City. Manziel is the second Heisman winner from Texas A&M, joining RB John David Crow from 1957. In his first season as the starter, "Johnny Football" accounted for 4,600 total yards (3,419 passing) and 43 touchdowns as the Aggies finished 10-2 overall and 6-2 in their inaugural season in the SEC.
Navy´s decade of dominance over Army was 14 yards away from sinking. Then the Black Knights botched a handoff with an overdue victory in sight and the Midshipmen pounced on the fumbled ball. Tight games or blowouts, Navy has made a habit of beating Army. Keenan Reynolds helped Navy top Army for the 11th straight time, scoring the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter in a 17-13 victory in the 113th rivalry game Saturday. The Midshipmen can hook an anchor to the Commander-in-Chief´s Trophy and bring it to Annapolis.
When the Edward Gibbon of the 22nd century comes to write his History of the Decline and Fall of the West, who will feature in his monumental study of the collapse of the most successful economic experiment in human history? In this saga of the mass suicide of the richest nations on earth, there may be particular reference to those national leaders who chose to deny the reality that was, from the vantage point of our future chronicler, so obviously looming. But for us, right here, right now, it matters that Barack Obama and George Osborne are playing small-time strategic
For today´s Friday treat, I offer you a Twitter exchange yesterday between two Apprentice bosses – the original one Donald Trump and his UK spin-off version Lord Sugar (formerly S´r´Alan). (H/T @jeffw12345). It started with this – eminently sensible and true – tweet from @realDonaldTrump. How can George Osborne reduce UK debt while spending billions to subsidize Scotland’s garbage wind turbines that are destroying the country? Lord Sugar--as I suppose you´d expect from a Labour-supporting businessman who probably hasn´t the time to research these matters but just trusts what his Mirror-reading chums tell him--apparently disagreed with this assessment.
The “infamy” of December 7, 1941, is deeper than most Americans have ever imagined. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was almost certainly the result of a Soviet plot—“Operation Snow”—carried out by Harry Dexter White, a figure of enormous influence in the Roosevelt administration and a known Soviet spy. Americans remember Pearl Harbor as the work of a Japanese military machine hell-bent on a war of conquest. The truth is more complicated. (snip) Fortunately for Stalin, his intelligence service had an “agent of influence” in Washington perfectly situated to provoke a U.S.-Japanese war—Harry Dexter White, a high-ranking Treasury official.
Sally Roberts fears Neon, seven, may be left with a lower IQ if given the treatment following the removal of a brain tumour. Doctors say it is “clearly” in the boy’s best interests to have radiotherapy and chemotherapy — and say that without it the tumour will recur and kill him. But 37-year-old Ms Roberts says she is taking a “principled” stand because of the potential risks of the treatment. She sparked a hunt this week when she disappeared with Neon. A High Court appeal helped locate the pair. New Zealander Ms Roberts, of Tiverton, Devon, told the court she
Robert F. Kennedy Jr said of Fox News Friday, "It´s divided our country in a way that we haven´t been divided probably since the Civil War." This occurred during an online video interview with the Huffington Post (video follows with transcript and commentary): ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR: There’s two things happening. One is the influence of big money in politics, and the other is the right-wing control of the American media, particularly starting with Fox News. 95 percent of talk radio in our country is right-wing, and you need, according to Pew survey, and you, so a whole section of
Egyptian authorities have detained the alleged ringleader of an Egyptian terrorist network whose members are suspected of participating in the September attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, U.S. officials said. The apprehension of Muhammad Jamal Abu Ahmad removes a man who Western counterterrorism officials consider one of the most menacing operatives to emerge in the region in the wake of the Arab Spring. His capture would blunt what authorities say are his efforts to launch a new wing of Al Qaeda.
Despite receiving a slew of hate mail, All Saints Church in Pasadena is moving forward with a conference hosted by the Muslim Public Affairs Council — the first time the organization has conducted a national convention at a Christian church. (Snip) Salam al-Marayati, president of the Los Angeles-based Muslim council, said his organization is working with the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and local authorities to ensure the Dec. 15 event is safe. The gathering is expected to focus on the state of the American Muslim community. "The hatemongerers have made our convention relevant,
A Dallas Cowboys player was arrested Saturday on charges of intoxication manslaughter after a rollover accident in Irving, Texas, that killed a teammate, police said. Police arrested defensive tackle Josh Brent, 24, after an early-morning accident that killed passenger Jerry Brown, 25, a linebacker on the Cowboys practice squad. Police said Brent was driving his car at a high rate of speed at 2:21 a.m., when he hit the outside curb on Route 114. The car flipped at least once before coming to rest in the middle of a service road. Brown was found unresponsive by emergency workers and was transferred
Washington - Hovering in the background of the "fiscal cliff" debate is the prospect of 2 million people losing their unemployment benefits four days after Christmas. "This is the real cliff," said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. He´s been leading the effort to include another extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed in any deal to avert looming tax increases and massive spending cuts in January. (Snip) Emergency jobless benefits for about 2.1 million people out of work more than six months will cease Dec. 29, and 1 million more will lose them over the next three months if Congress doesn't extend the
The delegitimisation campaign against Israel, comprising the obsessional lies and blood libels promulgated by the media and intelligentsia week in, week out, has produced this result: Jewish students in Britain are being forced to abandon their university courses out of fear. On the Jewish Chronicle blog, Marcus Dysch reports: ‘Attacks have created a “toxic atmosphere” in which Jewish students no longer feel comfortable, a delegation of community representatives told senior Edinburgh University officials. ‘Among those who felt the need to leave was a former Edinburgh Jewish Society chair who dropped
Thirty years ago, I was Secretary of State for Energy in Margaret Thatcher’s government, and one way and another I have been a close observer of the energy scene ever since. In all that time, I have never known a technological revolution as momentous as the breakthrough that has now made it economic to extract gas from shale.[Snip] Until recently, the cost of extracting the gas has been prohibitive. But the combination of two innovative technologies--horizontal drilling and fracking to release the natural resources--has changed all that. The consequences are difficult to exaggerate. Not just in terms of
So Obama has been re-elected. Did the American people get the government they deserve? (Snip) Chávez fits the mold. He tries to create favor with the people and also with Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Ecuador. He is unscrupulous, and, while intellectually challenged, he has managed to mislead, deceive, and betray his people even as he holds them in his grip. He has ruined the state´s main source of revenue, the oil industry. He has alienated and pursued the more intelligent and resistant people of his country and done consistent damage to the economy.
President Barack Obama’s first term taught businesses a clear lesson: CEOs and businesses that support the president will be rewarded with taxpayer-funded corporate welfare and favorable regulations, and those who oppose him will be shut out or crushed. On Friday, the Obama Administration sought to teach the nonprofit world the same lesson during a White House gathering of charitable officials, say Republicans, when charities were bullied into supporting higher taxes on the wealthy to avoid losing vital deductions for charitable contributions.