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Michelle Obama releases
new White House portrait
Star - Ledger (Newark, NJ), by Tom Wright-Piersanti    Original Article
Posted By: Scottyboy- 2/20/2013 5:02:37 PM     Post Reply
Michelle Obama released her official White House portrait today, and it´s hard to miss the photo´s most prominent feature: her bangs. The 49-year-old fashion-forward first lady debuted the bangs in January, sending the Internet into a frenzy. She recently told TV host Rachael Ray that the bangs were her version of a "mid-life crisis." The new portrait, taken in the Green Room of the White House on Feb. 12, shows

Oscar Pistorius case police
admit investigative blunders
Guardian [UK], by Davis Smith    Original Article
Posted By: SoCalGal- 2/20/2013 4:44:27 PM     Post Reply
The prosecution case against the Olympics and Paralympics star Oscar Pistorius suffered a blow on Wednesday as South African police admitted a series of blunders in their murder investigation. Hilton Botha, the detective leading the investigation, crumbled under defence cross-examination after he wrongly claimed to have found boxes of "testosterone" in Pistorius´s bedroom and admitted that police had no evidence contradicting the athlete´s version of events.(Snip)The state prosecutor´s office later said there was an error in the detective´s testimony when he identified the substance as testosterone.

Hagel Stonewalls, Refuses to
Grant Access to Archive
Weekly Standard, by Daniel Halper    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/20/2013 4:25:16 PM     Post Reply
Omaha, Nebraska- Chuck Hagel’s archive is housed here at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. But despite his nomination for secretary of defense, reporters, as well as the public writ large, are being denied access to the thousands of papers, speeches, audio and video files, and artifacts in the archive. THE WEEKLY STANDARD is told that Hagel supports the university’s decision to keep the archives sealed. “Chuck Hagel´s record in the Senate is well documented in the public domain,” says Hagel spokesman Marie Harf in an emailed statement. “Given his extraordinary disclosures to date, which surpass the threshold applied to nominees,

  


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Pentagon issues furlough
notice as ‘sequester’
budget cuts loom
Washington Post, by Ernesto Londoño & Anne Gearan    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/20/2013 4:20:28 PM     Post Reply
The Defense Department officially notified its 800,000 civilian employees on Wednesday that they are likely to be placed on periods of unpaid leave, as the Obama administration scrambled to deal with congressionally mandated budget cuts set to kick in next week. “There is no mistaking that the rigid nature of the cuts forced upon this department, and their scale, will result in a serious erosion of readiness across the force,” Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta said to employees in a memo issued Wednesday.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco
Rubio calls Jerusalem Israel’s capital
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: horacer- 2/20/2013 4:01:57 PM     Post Reply
JERUSALEM — An influential Republican senator has called Jerusalem the capital of Israel, taking a stand on an explosive issue between Israel and the Palestinians. The fate of Jerusalem is one of the most intractable issues in the Mideast conflict with both Israelis and Palestinians claiming rights to the city. In his first official visit to the country, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told Israel’s president on Wednesday that Jerusalem is “of course the capital of your country.” He reiterated America’s bipartisan support for Israel.

New York Times Co. Said to
Put Boston Globe Up for Sale
Bloomberg News, by Edmund Lee & Jeffrey McCracken    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 2/20/2013 3:58:02 PM     Post Reply
New York Times Co. is formally exploring a sale of the Boston Globe, its only remaining business outside the core New York Times media brand, two people familiar with the matter said. The publisher is working with Evercore Partners Inc. as an adviser for a possible sale, said the people, who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The Times Co., controlled by the Ochs-Sulzberger family, is coping with a difficult advertising market as spending on national campaigns continues to shrink industrywide.

Daily News Reporter Admits: Breitbart
´Friends of Hamas´ Story ´Accurate´
Brietbart Big Journalism, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 2/20/2013 3:46:36 PM     Post Reply
The mainstream media have ignored the fact that at least one prominent supporter of Hamas has donated money to an organization associated with former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE)--namely, the Atlantic Council, which receives support from the Hariri family of Lebanon, whose most prominent member, former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri, publicly backs Hamas. Instead, they have attacked a story by Ben Shapiro citing Senate sources who said they had been told Hagel had received funds from a group "purportedly" calling itself "Friends of Hamas."

  


  

Snapshots of planet Earth:
From the ghost towns of
Spain to life and laughter
on an African rubbish dump,
entries pour in for
environmental photography competition
Daily Mail (UK), by Daniel Miller    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/20/2013 3:14:47 PM     Post Reply
As diverse as they are beautiful, these stunning entries for the Environmental Photographer of the Year Competition capture the ever-changing and often precarious relationship between human beings and the natural world. From the children playing with an old television set by a west African rubbish dump to a crumbling colonial-era building in Bangladesh still serving the needs of some of the country´s poorest people, daily life in all corners of the planet is brought sharply into focus. Plastic greenhouses transform the landscape in central Spain into a geometric grid of agriculture, while in another part of the country,

Hillary Clinton to charge
´$200,000 a speech´... which
is more than her whole
YEAR´S salary as Secretary
of State and the same
fee that Bill charges
Daily Mail (UK), by Meghan Keneally    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/20/2013 3:06:06 PM     Post Reply
Hillary Clinton has wasted no time cashing in on the lecture circuit as it was revealed today that she will be charging $200,000 per speech. The massive fee means that she will be making more from a two-hour lecture than she did in a year as Secretary of State. The announcement that Mrs Clinton has hired a top talent agency to represent her as she begins to give paid speeches following her departure from the State Department came earlier this week, but her $200,000 asking price was only reported on Wednesday.

Connecticut lawmaker mulls
smoking ban in cars with children
New York Daily News, by Clarke Bowling    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/20/2013 3:00:09 PM     Post Reply
One Connecticut lawmaker is pushing to ban smoking in cars with children, citing the health risks of immature immune systems. The law has been a focus of State Representative Henry Genga since 2008, reports WABC-TV. Opened windows wouldn’t give drivers a free ride, however. “The second hand smoke, with the windows cracked, is greater than the smokey bars that we ban today,” Genga told the network. A 2012 study published in the journal Tobacco Control found that drivers smoking in cars raised the interior pollution an average of three times the recommended safe level by the World Health

Homebuilder Confidence in
U.S. Unexpectedly Fell in February
Bloomberg News, by Shobhana Chandra    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 2/20/2013 2:56:03 PM     Post Reply
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders unexpectedly dropped in February from a more than six-year high, a sign the real-estate market will take time to accelerate. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder confidence index fell to 46 from January’s 47 that matched the highest reading since April 2006, a report from the Washington-based group showed today. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 50 economists called for a rise to 48. Readings lower than 50 mean more respondents said conditions were poor. Faster gains in employment and income and easier access to credit

  


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Macy, Penney´s go to
court over Martha Stewart
Associated Press, by Anne D´Innocenzio    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 2/20/2013 2:52:38 PM     Post Reply
NEW YORK — Let the pots and pans fly. Two of the nation´s biggest department store chains — J.C. Penney and Macy´s — are set to duke it out in New York State Supreme Court over the right to sell Martha Stewart merchandise. At the heart of the case, slated to begin Wednesday, is whether Macy´s (M) has the exclusive right to sell certain Martha Stewart products, such as some of its cookware, bedding, and bath items. Company founder Martha Stewart, J.C. Penney´s CEO Ron Johnson and Macy´s CEO Terry J. Lundgren could be called to testify during the trial

Alec Baldwin being investigated
for possible hate crime
Fox News, by Leora Arnowitz    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 2/20/2013 2:51:07 PM     Post Reply
NEW YORK – Alec Baldwin’s latest squabble with the media may have him in some serious hot water. An NYPD rep told FOX 411 the 54-year-old actor is being investigated following an altercation he allegedly got into with a New York Post photographer. “Our hate crimes task force is reviewing the case,” the rep said. The Post reported the incident on Monday, in an article that detailed their staff’s side of the story. The story claims reporter Tara Palmeri and photographer G.N. Miller approached Baldwin outside of his East Village residence

Romney set to reemerge at CPAC
The Hill [Washington DC], by Justin Sink    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/20/2013 2:47:26 PM     Post Reply
Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will appear at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) next month in Washington, D.C., in the former Massachusetts governor´s first political event since his loss last November. The appearance was first reported by National Review and confirmed by The Hill, but organizers of the conference haven´t announced it. Romney has shied from the spotlight since his election loss in November, although he has been spotted around Southern California in the months since his concession speech in Boston. The Romney family was photographed during a trip to Disneyland, and he was spotted

North Korean Video
Shows Obama in Flames
New York Times, by Choe Sang-Hun    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 2/20/2013 2:27:39 PM     Post Reply
North Korea has released a new propaganda video that shows President Obama and United States troops in flames and credits Washington with leading the impoverished country to become a proud nuclear power. Songs, operas and novels that stoke hatred against the United States and belittle South Korea are daily fare for North Koreans living under a leadership that uses propaganda as a critical tool of governing. In the last several years, the country has taken its campaign to the Internet, posting thousands of videos onto YouTube that provide outsiders with rare glimpses into the world of North Korean propaganda.

  


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Kerry comes out swinging
on climate change
The Hill [Washington, DC], by Ben Geman    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 2/20/2013 2:23:47 PM     Post Reply
John Kerry used his first major speech as secretary of State to make that case that failing to confront climate change means missing big economic opportunities — and worse. “If we waste this opportunity, it may be the only thing our generation — generations — are remembered for. We need to find the courage to leave a far different legacy,” Kerry said in a wide-ranging address at the University of Virginia. Kerry again signaled that he hopes to use his role as top diplomat to promote green energy technologies, arguing they can

You May Be Right,
Mr. President, But This Is Crazy
National Journal, by Ron Fournier    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 2/20/2013 2:20:45 PM     Post Reply
Your federal government is almost certain to blow past the March 1 deadline for averting $1.2 trillion in haphazard budget cuts that could cost 700,000 jobs. Don’t worry. We know whom to blame. President Obama makes a credible case that he has reached farther toward compromise than House Republicans. But knowing who’s at fault doesn’t fix the problem. To loosely quote Billy Joel: You may be right, Mr. President, but this is crazy. Is this fiscal standoff (the fifth since Republicans took control of the House in 2011) just about scoring political points, or is it about governing?

Lance Armstrong won´t meet
with USADA, attorney says
CBS News/Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/20/2013 2:10:01 PM     Post Reply
AUSTIN Lance Armstrong´s attorney says the cyclist won´t interview under oath with a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency official who wanted Armstrong to tell them all he knows about doping. The agency has said Armstrong´s cooperation in its cleanup effort is the only path open to Armstrong if his lifetime ban from sports is to be reduced. USADA officials had said Armstrong must speak with them if he hoped to reduce his lifetime ban from sports. Wednesday was the deadline for him to agree to interview. After more than two months of negotiations with USADA,

Climate contradiction:
Less snow, more blizzards
Associated Press, by Seth Borenstein    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 2/20/2013 2:07:23 PM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON — With scant snowfall and barren ski slopes in parts of the Midwest and Northeast the past couple of years, some scientists have pointed to global warming as the culprit. Then, when a whopper of a blizzard smacked the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow in some places earlier this month, some of the same people again blamed global warming. How can that be? It´s been a joke among skeptics, pointing to what seems to be a brazen contradiction. But the answer lies in atmospheric physics. A warmer atmosphere can hold, and dump

More of us who relocate
are moving down, not up
USA Today, by Haya El Nasser    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/20/2013 2:05:29 PM     Post Reply
The Great Recession has upended the American tradition of moving to greener pastures. Instead of moving to a bigger home or for a higher-paying job, more Americans moved because they couldn’t afford to stay where they are. During the 2007-09 recession, 9 percent of Americans — about 4million — moved locally, the highest level in a decade. And a growing number moved to cheaper housing or doubled up with family and friends, according to an analysis out Wednesday of census data through 2010. By contrast, moves across county and state lines declined. People moved the most in

  



Obama renews call for $50B in
new spending on roads, bridges
The Hill [Washington, DC], by Keith Laing    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 2/20/2013 1:51:04 PM     Post Reply
President Obama on Wednesday renewed his call for Congress to spend $50 billion to improve the nation´s roads and infrastructure. The proposal is a repackaging of Obama proposals from his 2011 "American Jobs Act" and he previewed it in last week´s State of the Union address. The White House outlined the plan in a press release Wednesday, saying Obama wants to spend $40 billion on “most urgent upgrades” to highways, bridges, public transportation systems and airports. The remaining $10 billion of the plan would go toward

Renewables constitute all new US
electricity capacity added in January
The Hill [Washington, DC], by Zack Colman    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 2/20/2013 1:46:31 PM     Post Reply
Renewable energy accounted for all new electric capacity added in the United States last month, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In all, 1,231 megawatts of new generating capacity were installed in January. Of that total, wind provided 958 megawatts, solar chipped in 267 megawatts and biomass contributed 6 megawatts. That´s a marked difference from January 2012, when coal led the way with 808 megawatts of the 1,693 megawatts added. Natural gas followed with 445 megawatts, and wind tossed in 276 megawatts to take the pole for renewables. On Wednesday, President Obama sought to expand promotion of

Report: Universal theme park
will quit offering healthcare
to part-time workers
The Hill [Washington, DC], by Sam Baker    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 2/20/2013 1:39:46 PM     Post Reply
A 17,000-employee Florida theme park says it´s dropping healthcare benefits for part-time workers as a result of President Obama´s healthcare law. Universal Orlando will quit offering coverage because its bare-bones plan is about to become illegal, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel. Only about 500 of the park´s thousands of part-time workers are enrolled in the healthcare plan, the Sentinel reported. Universal offers what´s known as a "mini-med" plan. The policies offer low premiums, but also come with tight caps on the benefits they´ll pay out. Universal´s, for example, will only cover $5,000 per year in hospital stays.

Michelle Obama returning to
Chicago next week
Chicago Tribune, by Jenifer Delgado    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/20/2013 1:38:58 PM     Post Reply
First lady Michelle Obama will return to Chicago next week as part of a nationwide tour to promote her children’s health campaign and announce how schools will bring back physical activity, according to a press release. The two-day trip highlights the third anniversary of “Let’s Move,” an initiative that promotes health and physical activity in children. The tour stops in Chicago on Feb. 28 and will showcase the initiative’s progress since 2010, the release states. Obama was in Chicago earlier this month, when she attended the funeral of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton,

Pentagon informs Congress of
plans to furlough 800K civilians
The Hill [Washington, DC], by Jeremy Herb    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 2/20/2013 1:33:27 PM     Post Reply
The Pentagon notified Congress on Wednesday it will be furloughing its civilian workforce of 800,000 employees if sequestration goes into effect March 1. Defense officials have warned lawmakers that sequestration will devastate the military and lead to a hollow force, but the civilian furloughs will be one of the first major impacts felt by the across-the-board cuts. The Pentagon furloughs will affect civilians across the country. Pentagon officials have said that civilians could face up to 22 days of furloughs, one per week, through the end of the fiscal year in September.

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