Damascus – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told visitors that the Syrian army "regained the initiative on the ground to a very high degree and achieved important results, which will come to light soon." "Externally funded armed groups received several hard blows recently," Assad added. "The US is not ready for a solution in the time being." He believed that Russia will remain his ally. (Snip) His confidence level stands out. Also, there’s the news of the pregnancy of his wife Asmaa, which could not be dealt with as a simple personal matter between a couple.
The former president of California’s largest union local was found guilty by a federal jury in Los Angeles on Monday of stealing from the low-wage workers he represented. Tyrone Freeman, who led Local 6434 of the Service Employees International Union, was convicted on 14 criminal counts, including embezzlement of union funds, violating tax laws and mail fraud. As president of SEIU Local 6434 -- the second-largest SEIU chapter in the nation -- Freeman, 43, represented 160,000 low-wage healthcare workers who cared for the elderly and people with disabilities. He also represented 30,000 workers
Washington - The United States military is preparing to establish a drone base in northwest Africa so that it can increase surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups that American and other Western officials say pose a growing menace to the region. (Snip) If the base is approved, the most likely location for it would be in Niger, a largely desert nation on the eastern border of Mali. The American military’s Africa Command, or Africom, is also discussing options for the base with other countries in the region, including Burkina Faso, officials said.
The Obama administration has developed its own proposals for immigration reform that are more liberal than a separate bipartisan effort in the Senate, including a quicker path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, people with knowledge of the proposals said. President Obama is expected to provide some details of the White House plans during a Tuesday appearance in Las Vegas, where he will call for sweeping changes to the nation’s immigration laws. The speech kicks off a public push by the administration in support of the broadest overhaul of immigration law in nearly three decades.
More than a dozen Israeli citizens are facing immigration charges for overstaying their visas after federal agents arrested them working at kiosks in the Galleria and The Woodlands Mall. Shortly before the two malls closed late Wednesday night, federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations arrested 13 Israeli citizens along with an immigrant from Moldova. They were detained on administrative charges of remaining in the U.S. beyond the expiration date of their tourist and student visas, confirmed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Greg Palmore. The eight women and six men detained
The Treasury Department ignored its own guidelines on executive pay at firms that received taxpayer bailouts and last year approved compensation packages of more than $3 million for the senior ranks at General Motors, Ally Financial and American International Group, according to a watchdog report released Monday. The report from the special inspector general for the Troubled Assets Relief Program said the government’s pay czar signed off on $6.2 million in raises for 18 employees at the three companies. The chief executive of a division of AIG received a $1 million raise, while an executive at GM’s troubled European unit
Mexico City - Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt will stand trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, a Guatemalan judge ruled Monday, in incidents that took place during the height of the Central American nation´s brutal civil war in the early 1980s. (Snip) Some conservative Guatemalans continue to believe that Rios Montt is a national hero whose “hard hand” anti-crime strategies and scorched-earth tactics against Marxist rebels and those suspected of supporting them saved the country from ruin. But liberal groups and human rights advocates have long hoped
DIABALY, Mali — Most of the rebels who took over this central town for five days this month were Malian and spoke the local languages of the north and the south. But their commanders were different, local residents said. They were foreigners who spoke Arabic. Six bodyguards protected the most senior commander with the gray-speckled beard and black turban. The Islamist militant ate Algerian-made spaghetti and Mauritanian-made canned tomato sauce. Malian fighters only served as his translators or brought him intelligence reports.
Of the 2,000-plus words in President Obama’s second inaugural address, surely the most provocative were “collective action.” He presented American history as a “journey,” during which, at every crucial turn, we discovered “together” that “preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.” His examples were efforts led by the federal government: interstate highways, financial regulation, the New Deal-Great Society safety net and victory in war. What would Mancur Olson have made of this? The late University of Maryland economist wrote a book called “The Logic of Collective Action,”
President Obama has grown testy about reporters who have a “default position” that policy debates have two sides. “On almost every issue,” he recently told the New Republic, “it’s, ‘Well, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree’ — as opposed to looking at why is it that they can’t agree. Who exactly is preventing us from agreeing?” His insight is undeniable. If Republicans didn’t have all those pesky convictions and objections, agreement in Washington would come as surely as a river flows to the sea. This is the best description yet of Obama’s second-term governing
President Barack Obama will step forward Tuesday with a more detailed plan of what he wants in an immigration bill, White House officials said Monday. The decision to offer more specifics comes as the White House and Senate jockey for leadership on the issue. The officials said the president’s plan would be more in depth than both the blueprint he released in 2011 and the set of principles announced Monday by a bipartisan group of senators. But he won’t produce a specific bill as long as the Senate
Any immigration reform plan that allows the roughly 11 million individuals now in the United States illegally to stay in the country would bring with it a mix of new revenues and increased costs. And as President Obama and a bipartisan group of senators separately press the issue this week, past studies suggest it is doubtful that the fiscal benefits of such policy changes would outweigh the costs. By legally joining the workforce, the immigrants in question would generate additional and much-needed income tax but also would become eligible for a certain level of government assistance.
The Seattle Police´s gun buyback event yesterday turned into an ad hoc, unregulated flea market for weapons, with a Stinger missile launcher as the headliner. The event, paid for by private donations, drew such a crowd that the buyback line stretched for hours. That made the private gun buyers, hanging out at the edges, a more attractive option for some, including the guy who sold the non-functioning missile launcher to a private collector. That´s not explicitly illegal. Washington state law does not require background checks for private sales, a provision commonly known as the "gun-show loophole."
A former offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders faces charges that he assaulted his boyfriend at a Menlo Park restaurant after an argument involving soy sauce and underpants, San Mateo County prosecutors said Monday. Kwame Harris, 30, became angry with Dimitri Geier, 36, in August 2012 at Su Hong restaurant on Menlo Avenue, according to court documents. The ex-football player lashed out when Geier tried to put soy sauce on Harris´ rice, said Al Serrato, a San Mateo County prosecutor. "Basically they're having dinner together
It was bound to happen sooner or later: After four long years, President Barack Hussein Obama has found a new scapegoat replacement for George W. Bush. Obama’s new George W. is Rush Limbaugh, who goes by the nicknames: el Rushbo, the Maha-Rushie, Doctor of Democracy, Your Guiding Light, and Titular Head of the Remains of the Republican Party, Harmless, lovable little fuzz ball—with talents “on loan from G..o…D”. But Obama doesn’t call Limbaugh any of those nicknames. Up until now he hasn’t openly declared el Rushbo as such, but to Obama and the power-lusting
Big Government: For an industry all puffed up about its supposed environmental virtue, green energy sure is attracting a dirty crowd. Witness its latest entrant, Italy´s Mafia. The mob knows a good fraud when it sees one. Alongside strip joints, drug smuggling, human trafficking, leg-breaking and political shakedowns, Mafia soldiers have moved in on the something-for-nothing world of green energy. The Washington Post, in a page-one story, reported last week that a major sting operation by Italian authorities yielded a swarm of corrupt front groups run not by green hipsters, but by the Cosa Nostra of
State Budgets: Inability or unwillingness to fix the state´s hemorrhaging pension system and curb union power has led a major credit rating service to downgrade the Land of Lincoln´s rating to the lowest in the nation. On Friday, the bond rating agency Standard & Poor´s downgraded the state´s credit level again, to A-, putting Illinois´ on par with California. No, actually below California, for S&P gives California a positive outlook. Illinois´ fragile overall financial status netted it a negative outlook, putting it behind California overall. The ratings came out now because Illinois plans to
Media Bias: CBS´ "60 Minutes" just out-lapdogged its 1992 Bill and Hillary Clinton Gennifer Flowers scandal interview. The "news magazine" on Sunday became a "Hillary in 2016" campaign brochure. What better friend have the Clintons ever had than Steve Kroft? Slick Willie was the lackluster governor of the Deep South´s least populous state, booed off the podium of the 1988 Democratic convention in Atlanta, when Arkansas state employee Gennifer Flowers presented audiotape evidence of a 12-year affair during his 1992 run for his party´s presidential nod, not long after Clinton won less than 3% in the Iowa caucuses.
A Pennsylvania woman has appealed to the state Supreme Court in her suit against a home seller and real estate agent who failed to disclose that a murder-suicide had taken place in the home she purchased. When Janet Milliken, 59, moved from California after her husband died, she had hoped to start a new life with her two teenage children in Pennsylvania near her family. She bought a home in Thornton, Pa., for $610,000 in June 2007. She learned a few weeks after she moved in from a next-door neighbor that a murder-suicide had occurred the year before
First, on a personal note: Thank you, thank you and thank you, Mary Elizabeth Williams! What a glorious service you’ve done the pro-life cause. I know, that’s not what you intended. But that’s precisely what you’ve accomplished. Did I say thank you? In her jaw-dropping article, “So what if abortion ends life?” Williams – a mainstream, though uncharacteristically honest pro-abort scribe for Salon.com – has inexplicably broken from the Orwellian left’s ministerial script.
San Diego - Tiger Woods is a winner again at Torrey Pines, and the only question Monday was how long it would take him to finish. Woods stretched his lead to eight shots in the Farmers Insurance Open before losing his focus and his patience during a painfully slow finish by the group ahead. Despite dropping four shots over the last five holes, he still managed an even-par 72 for a four-shot victory on the course where he has won more than any other in his pro career. He won the tournament for the seventh time,
In his inaugural address on January 21, President Obama invoked great ideals of human dignity, equality, and most especially “progress” to justify his second-term agenda, a cornerstone of which will be a crusade to limit humanity’s use of carbon. In fact, nothing could be more antithetical to the goal of advancing the human condition than restricting carbon consumption.
The United States Marine Corps is set to shed more than 20,000 active duty positions in the coming years and have already commenced a process meant to force some senior officers into an early retirement. The Marines are on course to cut around 4,000 positions a year through 2017, decreasing the total number of Marines to 182,100 from its peak last year of 202,100, according to a major scale-down order that was quietly issued last year. The reduction in forces could leave the elite fighting force underprepared to battle multiple regional threats, particularly those in the Middle East,
On the January 25 broadcast of MSNBC’s The Cycle, 9/11 Truther and liberal commentator Touré Neblett “thank[ed] God” that abortion was there to save him from unwanted fatherhood with a girlfriend who was "just not the one." "[I]n some ways that choice saved my life," the MSNBC host insisted in his closing commentary, seemingly remorseless for how that choice cost an innocent human being his or her life. Noting that last Tuesday marked 40 years since the Supreme Court´s ruling in Roe v. Wade, Touré argued that there’s “something undeniably misogynist about
RUSH: Obama said to the New Republic he´d get a lot more done without Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. The rest of the media´s in the tank. Everybody else has fallen in line. There is no opposition other than Fox News and Limbaugh. The way it works, and what this all boils down to, the Republicans, I mean, everybody knows they want to get along with Democrats. Everybody knows they want to socialize. They want their lives to have meaning, but Limbaugh is the one standing in the way ´cause what happens?
The news that Fox News Channel has decided against renewing Sarah Palin’s contract means that the former Alaska governor’s time in the national spotlight is, at least for the moment, over. In truth, Palin had largely disappeared from the political conversation once it became clear she wouldn’t be running for president in 2012. But, now that she is officially gone — without the Fox News platform or an elected office, it’s hard to see how she continues to get attention — it’s worth revisiting (or maybe visiting) what she meant to the political world.