With a looming dockworkers´ strike that would force it to shutter its two container terminals, the Port of Houston Authority says it is working with Customs and Border Protection to arrange extended work hours in the days leading up to Dec. 30 so businesses can clear out cargo. That day is when dockworkers represented by the International Longshoreman´s Association could stop moving cargo carried in containers if union leadership and management do not reach an agreement on a master contract covering 14,500 dock workers at 14 East and Gulf Coast ports from Texas up to Maine.
Vatican City - Pope Benedict made a surprise pre-Christmas visit to the jail holding his former butler on Saturday and pardoned him for stealing and leaking documents that alleged corruption in the Vatican. The pope and Paolo Gabriele spent about 15 minutes together before Gabriele was freed and allowed to return to his wife and children in their Vatican apartment, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. (Snip) Lombardi called the pope´s action "a paternal gesture towards a person with whom the pope shared his daily life for several years ... this is a happy ending in this Christmas season
A young boy and girl died in a fire this morning after they and two other children were left home alone in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side, officials say. The girl, 2, and the boy, 3, were found in a back bedroom after firefighters cut through burglar bars on the brick and stone two-flat in the 6400 block of South Paulina Street. (Snip) A hot plate being used for heat sparked the fire while the four children, alone in the apartment, slept in two bedrooms, according to fire officials. Police said the children´s mother and aunt
The governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), Farouq El-Oqda, has resigned his position, the Egyptian state television announced on Saturday. Hisham Ramez, a former deputy for El-Oqda, and currently the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Commercial International Bank (CIB), is reported to be the CBE´s new governor. On 17 December news about the long-serving governor´s resignation surfaced, but was quickly denied by CBE officials. El-Oqda, who has been at the helm of the CBE for the last nine years, had been nominated earlier this year for the position of prime minster,
Washington - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warmly welcomed the long anticipated appointment of Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry as the next US secretary of state, referring to the veteran politician as his friend. “Kerry has considerable experience and is a known supporter of the security of the State of Israel. John Kerry and I have been friends for many years,” Netanyahu said on Saturday. “I very much appreciated the fact that six months ago, after my father passed away, he came to visit me during the week of mourning. I look forward to working together with him,” Netanyahu said.
A vote last month that makes Californians among the highest-taxed residents in the country is sparking debate about whether the Democrat-back initiative will backfire, by forcing high-earners to join a long exodus from the cash-strapped state. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown successfully pushed the tax increase by suggesting that high-earners must shoulder the largest burden in bailing out the state, particularly its debt-ridden public school system. However, high unemployment and government debt have already sent residents fleeing in large numbers – an estimated 225,000 annually for the past 10 years.
New York - Federal agents raided an eastern Connecticut gun shop on Thursday, the same gun shop that sold one of the weapons used by the Newtown elementary school shooter. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, assisted by police, moved in on Riverview Sales at 4 Prospect Hill Road in East Windsor at around 5:15 p.m., reported Len Besthoff of CBS 2 sister station WFSB in Hartford. Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six adults with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle in Newtown last Friday, the second-worst mass shooting in United States history.
FORT SUMTER NATIONAL MONUMENT, S.C.— They are there just where they landed in Fort Sumter a century and a half ago — three Union shells from rifled Parrot guns embedded in the masonry wall of the garrison where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Because removing the shells would damage the fragile walls of the aging fort in Charleston Harbor, they have been preserved in place by scientists from the nearby Clemson University Restoration Institute. The project not only helps preserve the shells and the wall, but allows visitors to better imagine what it might have
President Barack Obama used the funeral for Hawaii senator Daniel Inouye to talk about himself. In the short 1,600 word speech, Obama used the word "my" 21 times, "me" 12 times, and "I" 30 times. Obama´s speech discussed how Inouye had gotten him interested in politics. "Danny was elected to the U.S. Senate when I was two years old," he said. Speaking to the audience at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., Obama talked about his family and their vacations. "Now, even though my mother and grandparents took great pride that they had voted for him,
ST. LOUIS - From sunken steamboats to a millennium-old map engraved in rock, the drought-drained rivers of the nation´s midsection are offering a rare and fleeting glimpse into years gone by. Lack of rain has left many rivers at low levels unseen for decades, creating problems for river commerce and recreation and raising concerns about water supplies and hydropower if the drought persists into next year, as many fear. But for the curious, the receding water is offering an occasional treasure trove of history. An old steamboat is now visible on the Missouri River near St. Charles
WASHINGTON — With apologies to Jay-Z, President Obama has 99 problems, but John Kerry ain’t one. With a trip over the fiscal cliff all but inevitable, growing opposition to other rumored Obama appointment choices and a potentially bruising gun control battle on the president’s plate — at least Obama can take the gloves off when it comes to Kerry’s road to confirmation. First, Kerry will go before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which he currently chairs. Then, he’ll face the full Senate — full of folks with whom Kerry has worked for decades. Republicans call Kerry “Mr. Secretary.”
Morristown — The Morris County Prosecutor´s Office has filed more charges against a former Boy Scout leader, accusing him now of sexually abusing members of his troop more than a decade ago. Stephen Corcoran, 45, of Morris Plains is accused of sexually assaulting two members of Parsippany-based Boy Scout Troop 173 between 1997 and 1999 on multiple occasions, Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fred Knapp said in a news release Friday. On Sept. 18, the prosecutor´s office began investigating allegations that Corcoran, who was an assistant Scout leader and an adviser to the Eagle Scouts between
´Tis the season to be cranky — especially if you tried to buy a U.S. savings bond for the grandchildren. I heard from several readers who aren´t fond of the new online TreasuryDirect system for buying digital bonds. I had tested the system a few weeks ago and wrote about my touch-and-go experience. This is the first holiday season that paper U.S. savings bonds aren´t being sold at banks. Now you´ve got to go to www.treasurydirect.gov for digital bonds. The Treasury Department says the TreasuryDirect system is a good way to buy savings bonds as gifts regularly for family
Conservative commentator Dana Loesch on Friday sued the parent company of right-wing news website Breitbart.com, where she was once a star writer and editor. The suit, filed in U.S. District court in St. Louis, Mo., and first reported in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, alleges that Loesch’s “poorly managed but well meaning relationship” with the media organization founded by the late Andrew Breitbart went “tragically awry” resulting “in the attempt by one vindictive party to sabotage the reputation and career of another.” (Snip) She says Breitbart LLC refused to allow her to write or blog for anyone
Recall that Barack Obama told voters on the campaign trail not to boo when he mentioned Mitt Romney´s name but "to vote for revenge." He was appealing to the lowest common denominator in people: the desire to blame others for their woes. Instead of inspiring Americans to reach for their higher ideals or to, as President Abraham Lincoln might phrase it, their "better angels," he relied on the views of those people who inspired him - Jeremiah Wright and Saul Alinsky. Wright put the blame for much of what ails the world on "white man´s greed"
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has been named the Human Events Conservative of the Year 2012, succeeding Rep. Paul Ryan, Human Events announced Thursday. The Editors said Walker was chosen because he brought the benefits of conservatism to a financially troubled state, and survived numerous harsh encounters with a relentlessly hostile political environment. He was denounced, protested, and demonized to the point where he shared space with Adolf Hitler and deposed Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak on protest signs. Big Labor unleashed a tidal wave of money and organizational power against him. His adversaries were willing to break every rule
Sometimes, drones rain down bullets or missiles from the skies, sometimes they conduct surveillance, sometimes they host computer servers—and sometimes they deliver burritos. Meet the Burrito Bomber, a fully automated Mexican food delivery system designed by Darwin Aerospace—a research lab run by Yelp engineers—and made to attack hunger from the sky. The Burrito Bomber is just the latest in Mexican food drone delivery technology; its creators said they got the idea from the Taco Copter, a taco-delivery drone idea that went viral on the Internet earlier this year. Both Darwin Aerospace and the team behind Taco Copter
THE PRESIDENT: Hi everybody. This weekend, as you gather with family and friends, Michelle and I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays. THE FIRST LADY: We both love this time of year. And there’s nothing quite like celebrating the holidays at the White House. It’s an incredible experience and one that we try to share with as many folks as possible. This month, more than 90,000 people have come through the White House.
After taking criticism for missing an October deadline, the Obama administration Friday released its list of proposed government-wide regulations that it plans to consider in the next year. The administration put out its notice, called the unified regulatory agenda, online around 3 p.m. on the Friday before Christmas, after most lawmakers had left town. The proposed rules cover everything from power plant pollution to health-care standards to workplace safety. Critics who accuse President Obama of being an overzealous regulator said the timing of the announcement was no accident.
As you know, unless President Obama and Congress take action, tax rates will go up on every American on January 1st. The day after that, a mandatory ‘sequester’ will go into effect that will implement harmful cuts to our national defense. That is currently the law of the land. The House has done its part to avert this entire fiscal cliff.
Today´s perfect woman might closely resemble a Victoria´s Secret model. But 100 years ago, the female physical ideal was very different. A series of articles in 1912 and early 1913 saw Brooklyn-born Cornell student Elsie Scheel, 24, hailed ´the most nearly perfect physical specimen of womanhood´. The 24-year-old, who was selected by university medical examiner Dr Esther Parker from a group of over 400 women, was described by the New York Times as ´a light-haired, blue-eyed girl whose very presence bespeaks perfect health.´
KAILUA, Hawaii- President Barack Obama and his family have arrived in Honolulu to spend Christmas in Hawaii, where the president was born and raised. Air Force One touched down in Honolulu minutes after midnight local time on Saturday. The first family departed the plane and traveled quickly to their vacation house in the beach town of Kailua, a scenic, sleepy beach town on the east side of Oahu. Kailua is roughly 12 miles from downtown Honolulu. Obama´s vacation house sits near a Marine base, on the north end of a five-mile stretch of beach popular among windsurfers and paddle surfers.
Liberal pundits who spent the last week since the Newtown massacre treating the National Rifle Association as a pinata often underestimate the group’s popularity and hold on the loyalty of a large and influential membership. But the NRA’s first public statement since the school shooting shows its leadership is as tone deaf to the mood of the country as its critics are to the thinking of gun-rights supporters.
VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict has pardoned Paolo Gabriele, his former butler who was convicted in October of leaking sensitive documents that alleged corruption in the Holy See, the Vatican said on Saturday.The Vatican said the pope visited Gabriele in the Vatican´s jail on Saturday morning to tell him personally of the pardon. Gabriele was then released and had already returned to his family, the Vatican said.
When Barack Obama nominated John Kerry to be America’s next Secretary of State Friday afternoon, he called Kerry the “perfect choice” to replace Hillary Clinton. Stating that “few individuals … grasp our foreign policies as firmly as John Kerry,” Obama said the Senator will not “need a lot of on-the-job training.” He then praised Mr. Kerry’s combat service in the Vietnam War and his subsequent tenure of service in the Senate, where Kerry has been intimately involved in “every major foreign policy debate for the past 30 years.” Notably, President Obama made no mention of what occurred after Kerry’s
Hours after his fellow Republicans delivered a crushing blow to him, House Speaker John A. Boehner said Friday morning the rebellion wasn’t aimed at him, but rather at federal spending. He also laughed off talk that he may lose his speakership. “While we may have not been able to get the votes last night to avert 99.81 percent of the tax increases, I don’t think — they weren’t taking that out on me,” he said at a press conference.