Amid the grief, some mourners at South African model Reeva Steenkamp´s funeral on Tuesday demanded punishment for her boyfriend, Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius, who has been charged with her murder. A hearse took Steenkamp´s body to the Victoria Park Crematorium in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth for a private funeral attended by more than 100 relatives and friends.
"We need to buy a movie studio." Amid the conferences, panels, meetings and informal conversations in the wake of the presidential election, this idea has been a near constant among conservatives who feel like the country is slipping through their fingers. Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee combined raised just more than $1 billion, and all we got are these lousy T-shirts. Since conservatives are losing the culture, goes the argument, which in turn leads to losing at politics, maybe that money could be better spent on producing some cultural ammo of our own? It´s a bad idea.
Thousands of people came out in support of the Duchess of Cambridge after Hilary Mantel launched a scathing attack about her. The double Booker Prize winner, whose latest books are set in the Tudor court, dismissed Kate as a ‘machine-made’ princess, ‘designed by committee’. But where the author described her as ´plastic´ and as a personality-free ‘shop window mannequin’ with a ‘plastic smile’, many have come out to say that the Duchess is a warm, intelligent woman. Mantel, 60, compared Kate unfavourably to both Anne Boleyn--one of her historical heroines--and to Princess Diana, insisting both had more personality.
BRUSSELS — Eight masked gunmen made a hole in a security fence at Brussels’ international airport, drove onto the tarmac and snatched some $50 million worth of diamonds from the hold of a Swiss-bound plane without firing a shot, authorities said Tuesday. The gang used two black cars in their daring raid late Monday, grabbed the cache of stones and sped off into the darkness, said Anja Bijnens, spokeswoman for the Brussels prosecutor’s office.
Too little serious conservative analysis of the 2012 presidential campaign has yet appeared. This is understandable. The results of the election were disheartening to the point of shock. The campaign defied all historical precedent, all commonsense interpretation. The Romney ticket should not have lost and did not deserve to lose. The Democrats, fielding the least worthy ticket in the past century -- and that´s saying something -- did not deserve to win. The reasons they did are myriad and complex. But before we get too far down the road, there is one lesson that has to be grasped:
Recently, Republicans have exhibited a fascination with the “flavor of the month” in presidential politics. Flavors have included Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Herman Cain, and now Dr. Benjamin Carson. The tendency towards such infatuation is understandable, especially given the Party’s tendency to nominate stale candidates like Robert Dole, John McCain, and (many would say) Mitt Romney. Unfortunately, though, a few speeches and appearances on conservative talk shows provide a dramatically insufficient basis for judging a person’s suitability for the presidency. We need to see a potential presidential candidate circle the track at least once before making such judgments.
MOBILE, Ala. — The despair grows. It metastasizes. It eats away at the sinews of the conservative movement. It leaves gaping holes in our confidence, our energy, and our trust in the salability of our principles. It robs us of creativity, of strategic sense, and of tactical flexibility. And it makes us look and sound less like winners — which, in turn, makes us less attractive in the public eye and thus less likely to actually become winners in the battles we undertake. Look, this isn’t a lament about the state of affairs in the national consultant kingdom.
The least-plausible sentence in the English language is “We know this works,” when those words are spoken by President Barack Obama. He said them the other day in his State of the Union address about early-childhood education. President Obama called for universal preschool funded by the federal government in cooperation with the states. He cited “study after study” showing that investment in pre-K pays for itself several times over by creating better outcomes for children. He said this about two months after the release of a devastating report on the ineffectiveness of the federal government’s already existing
The sky is falling! At least, that’s what I’m hearing on the news and on social media. A lot of people are scared about asteroid impacts right now, and it’s hard to blame them. When you have a near-miss by an asteroid the size of an office building just hours after a monster meteor rocks Russia which happened just a day before a fireball blazed over California which was just days after reports of a similar event over Cuba…well, it really does seem like the Universe is trying to kill us. Are we under attack? Are all these rocks
Spurred by the Affordable Care Act, hundreds of pilot programs called Accountable Care Organizations have been launched over the past year, affecting tens of millions on Medicare and many who have commercial health insurance. The ACOs are in effect latter-day health-maintenance organizations—doctors, hospitals and other health-care providers grouped together to provide coordinated care. The ACOs assume financial responsibility for the cost and quality of the care they deliver, making them accountable to patients. With President Obama´s re-election making it certain that the Affordable Care Act will begin taking full effect next year, the number of ACOs will continue
The effort to confirm Chuck Hagel as the next secretary of defense never seemed in as much trouble than it did this weekend. The Senate failed to pass a cloture measure last Thursday that would have cut off debate about the nomination. A new revelation about yet another offensive statement by Hagel in which he claimed the U.S. State Department was controlled by the Israeli Foreign Ministry not only forced the former senator to issue another unpersuasive and ambivalent disavowal. It also raised the possibility that many of the national Jewish organizations that had been silent about the nomination
BEIJING — A U.S. security firm has tied more than a hundred cyber attacks on U.S. corporations to China’s military, according to a report released Tuesday. The 60-page study by investigators at the Alexandria-based Mandiant security firm presents one of the most comprehensive and detailed analysis to date tracing corporate cyber espionage to the doorstep of Chinese military facilities. And it calls into question China’s repeated denials that its military is engaged in such activities. The document, first reported by the New York Times, draws on data Mandiant collected from 147 attacks during seven years it traced back
Funding-strapped researchers should be rejoicing at President Obama´s promise to put $3 billion towards mapping the human brain, right? Not according to scientists who say the project lacks clear goals and gobbles up money that could´ve gone to a lot more smaller studies. The front page of Monday´s New York Times carried a story by John Markoff on a research effort called the Brain Activity Map, a huge neuroscience undertaking that the Obama administration plans to invest $300 million in annually for the next decade. A joint project between federal agencies, private research foundations, and leading neuroscientists, the envisioned project
These days, Republican political professionals seem to feel rather like Mikhail Gorbachev did in 1983 when he toured farms in Canada two years before he would become premier of the Soviet Union. Stunned by how productive a certain agribusiness was, Gorbachev asked how many farmhands had brought in the crop. “None,” came the answer; the farm was entirely mechanized. From this one conversation, Gorbachev instantly understood the depths of the Soviet crisis and the desperate need for a new approach. For Republicans, the November 2012 election proved their technical inferiority in exactly the same way —
President Barack Obama is a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House. Not for the reason that conservatives suspect: namely, that a liberal press willingly and eagerly allows itself to get manipulated. Instead, the mastery mostly flows from a White House that has taken old tricks for shaping coverage (staged leaks, friendly interviews) and put them on steroids using new ones (social media, content creation, precision targeting). And it’s an equal opportunity strategy: Media across the ideological spectrum are left scrambling for access. The results are transformational. With more technology, and fewer resources
He had to die. There was no other way for Dan Stevens’s Matthew Crawley to leave Downton Abbey other than in a body bag. As the heir to the grand estate and the title, it would have been impossible for sensible, responsible Matthew to shirk his responsibilities and head to America to start a career on the New York stage, or—to borrow from Monarch of the Glen, a Scottish Highlands–set drama that featured Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes as part of its cast—to go climb a mountain somewhere. No, Matthew Crawley was not only wedded to Lady Mary
Republicans continue to argue about whether the party needs to take steps to prevent the next Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, Todd Akin and Ken Buck, as well as how it might do so. Those inept and seriously flawed candidates lost races that other Republicans would have won easily. Now, American Crossroads, the brainchild of Karl Rove and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, has created a new organization, the Conservative Victory Project, to focus on getting more electable candidates through primaries against uncompromising, tea-party-type conservatives who successfully tap anti-establishment feelings in the GOP grass roots.
The Revolutions We Missed Sometimes societies just plod along, oblivious that the world is being reinvented right under their noses. In 2000, one never saw pedestrians bumping into themselves as they glued their noses to iPhones. Thirteen years later, it is almost rare to see anyone on the street who is not stumbling about, networking or texting. Yet most of us are scarcely aware of the collective effect of that odd habit repeating itself millions of times over each day, of millions of books not read, of “hellos” not offered, of brains wired to screens rather
A father who stabbed a crazed burglar to death in his home was yesterday told by a coroner he was rightly “entitled” to defend his family with violence. Businessman Vincent Cooke, 41, was arrested on suspicion of murder after police found career criminal Raymond Jacob, 37, dead at his four-bed home. During the raid, Jacob and an accomplice held a knife to the throat of a terrified Mr Cooke saying: “We will ******* slit your throat. Get your money, get your jewellery--we will kill you.” [Snip] Grabbing a kitchen knife he stabbed drink and drug-fuelled Jacob in a violent tussle.
President Obama’s decision to golf this past weekend with Tiger Woods, one of the most unpopular athletes in the country, was understandable for a golf fan but was a gamble for a president, one commentator said today. Obama, who is vacationing in Florida, teamed up with Woods Sunday at a posh resort, The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., far away from cameras and reporters who were kept from covering the president’s activities over the weekend. Obama also received private golf lessons Saturday from Woods’ former coach Butch Harmon and his son.
Pictures finally appeared of President Obama on Monday evening as he headed home to Washington after a relaxing golf weekend which was kept heavily under wraps. The President was on the course on Monday for the third and final day of a Florida vacation with departing US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, the president´s Chicago pal Eric Whitaker and White House aide Marvin Nicholson. The President had enjoyed a round of golf with Tiger Woods on Sunday--a fact that only emerged by chance after media were banned from attending the event. The traveling pool of journalists who follow the President´s every
PRETORIA, South Africa -- Sobbing softly with his head in his hands, Olympian Oscar Pistorius was charged Tuesday with the premeditated murder of his girlfriend on Valentine´s Day. The defense lawyer says it was an accidental shooting. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court that Pistorius got up from bed, put on his prosthetic legs and walked seven meters (yards) from the bedroom toward the bathroom and shot 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp several times through the bathroom door, Pretoria. Nel told the court the door was broken open afterward.
Questions are being asked as to why Russia´s powerful missile defence radar systems did not detect the meteorite that exploded over the country on Friday morning.[Snip] In the aftermath of the impact Russian politicians called on the world´s powerful nations to urgently develop technology to spot asteroids and meteorites that threaten our planet. But with Russia having one of the most high tech early warning systems of any nation on Earth, many are wondering why the nuclear superpower was not able to detect the incoming object itself. Experts from the Russian Nuclear Forces Project have attempted to explain how
In the raging cyber war to protect the corporate and government secrets of the United States, a nondescript office building in a rundown Shanghai neighborhood is ground zero.[Snip]The New York Times reveals that Unit 61398--the 2nd Bureau of the People’s Liberation Army’s General Staff Department’s 3rd Department--is definitively linked to stolen technology blueprints, manufacturing processes, clinical trial results, pricing documents, negotiation strategies and other secret data from more than 100 companies. More alarmingly, the Times reports, the Chinese army unit has also made incursions into the computer networks that control oil pipelines, power grids, water plants and other
After a devastating tornado wreaked havoc on much of Joplin, Missouri in May of 2011 the town found a financial savior in an unlikely source: the United Arab Emirates. The tornado, which killed 161 people and destroyed six public schools, had left the community in an almost hopeless situation until the UAE reached out through their embassy in Washington. It´s not the first time the UAE has reached out to the United States for charity, as the nation has embarked upon a campaign to provide assistance to the most dire of areas in the country according to The Washington Post.
When farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman walked into an Indiana courtroom four years ago to face off against biotechnology giant Monsanto Co., he argued in his own defense. Today, standing in the U.S. Supreme Court, Bowman, 75, will have a fleet of attorneys beside him — and the eyes of the business world on his case. The hearings bring the Creve Coeur-based company into the country’s highest court, and could have consequences that go well beyond the company’s interests, and beyond agriculture. In 2007, Monsanto sued Bowman, saying he infringed on its patent when he planted the offspring