Valerie Jarrett, the White House senior adviser who mentored both the president and first lady at the start of their careers in Chicago, usually stays out of the news. In Washington, that is taken as a sign she is far more influential than she or the White House lets on. So when Jarrett does briefly become the news it’s significant, because it may provide a window into how the Obama White House really works. This week there were several sightings of Jarrett in the media. She popped up as the chief defender of the White House’s sudden decision to delay
Egypt´s generals face their first big test today when supporters of ousted Mohamed Morsi pour on to the streets after Friday prayers to protest against the army-led coup. Social networking sites and mosques are being used to rally support for the democratically elected president who has been put under house arrest. An Islamist coalition led by the Muslim Brotherhood appealed to Egyptians to demonstrate in a "Friday of Rejection" against the coup. Arrest warrants for more than 300 members of the Brotherhood and their close allies were issued by the military yesterday while tanks
Details of the private military funeral to be held for slain soldier Lee Rigby emerged today on what would have been his 26th birthday. A guard of honour will keep vigil over Drummer Rigby´s body the night before the private service set to take place at the parish church in Bury, Manchester, next Friday, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed. The soldier, from Middleton, was stabbed to death in the street in broad daylight as he returned to Woolwich Barracks on May 22. [Snip] Bury has strong links with Drummer Rigby´s regiment, the 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, whose roots
Police in Sanford, Florida have prepared a contingency plan for how to deal with possible riots if George Zimmerman is not convicted in the murder of Trayvon Martin. [Snip] Now they are taking a pre-emptive approach as they have started going door-to-door in the area warning residents about possible riots or uprisings should the former neighborhood watch member be acquitted in the murder trial. According to Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith, who was promoted after the former police chief resigned amid the Martin shooting scandal, they are more concerned about out-of-towners causing
The Obama administration announced this week that some businesses will not need to offer health insurance to their employees next year under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but the rollout of the rest of the health care reform law is moving full-steam ahead. That means hundreds of thousands of residents in South Carolina and millions more across the country still need to buy individual health insurance plans next year or face future fines. But some business owners in the Lowcountry are breathing a sigh of relief because this delay means they are off the hook
There is good news for consumers, but bad for struggling lobstermen: Prices for the delicacy are cheap again this season, and could stay that way. (Snip) Get used to the bargains, the experts say, because climate change, in the form of warmer oceans, and fewer predators are likely to mean a plentiful lobster supply for years to come. On top of that, looser regulations on the crustacean’s predators — cod, halibut, and hake — are creating bigger lobster populations. “You’re seeing this explosion in catches,” said Rick Wahle, a professor at Darling Marine Center at the University of Maine.
This should come as no surprise, but Gallup’s latest poll confirms that American conservatives are significantly more patriotic than American liberals. When asked the question: "How proud are you to be an American--extremely proud, very proud, moderately proud, only a little proud, or not at all proud?", 89 percent of conservative voters say they are “ "extremely proud/very proud." In contrast just 76 percent of liberals share this sentiment. 17 percent of liberals say they are "moderately proud" to be American, and six percent say they are "only a little/not at all proud."
The fashions may have changed but the way Americans celebrate July 4 has not, as this series of photographs from 1900 to the 1960s show. Fireworks, parades and family picnics will be held across the country today as the U.S. celebrates breaking away from the UK in 1776. Celebrations being held to celebrate 237 years since the Declaration of Independence was signed will resemble those from previous decades, as Americans get out their barbecues and flags to mark Independence Day.
The house in the upscale Millsborough community in upper St Andrew which was being occupied by a group of gay men has been demolished. The group of self-proclaimed homosexuals was booted from the abandoned house yesterday by the police. The team of lawmen, wearing dust masks and armed with high-powered weapons, encircled the men in and herded them out into the yard as they attempted to make their escape. The police said the building would be demolished today, after residents complained that the men have been wreaking havoc in the usually quiet neighbourhood.
China, the world’s biggest shipbuilding nation, may see a third of its yards shut down in about five years as they struggle to win orders amid a global vessel glut, an industry group said. The yards in peril of closure have failed to get any orders “for a very long period of time,” Wang Jinlian, secretary general of the China Association of National Shipbuilding Industry, said in an interview yesterday. They may end operations in three to five years if the “gloomy market persists.” The nation has more than 1,600 shipyards. Chinese shipbuilders may face labor unrest after cutting jobs and diversifying into
How do you spell “OORAH” in Arabic? The outcome of what may have been the largest pro-democracy demonstrations in human history has shown President Barack Hussein Obama for what he really is: a Muslim Brotherhood-advocating failure. With Obama’s $250 million March 2013 gift still in his pocket; the 12 F-16s already delivered this year, with the promise of another eight by the end of the year, and 200 (count ‘em) Abrams tanks, Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is under house arrest.The coup d’état that saw millions cheering on the streets in what is allegedly the
WASHINGTON — At age 80, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, leader of the Supreme Court´s liberal wing, says she is in excellent health, even lifting weights despite having cracked a pair of ribs again, and plans to stay several more years on the bench. In a Reuters interview late on Tuesday, she vowed to resist any pressure to retire that might come from liberals who want to ensure that Democratic President Barack Obama can pick her successor before the November 2016 presidential election. Ginsburg said she had fallen in the bathroom of her home in early May, sustaining the same injury
The United States, Germany and probably other nations will soon hold talks on American surveillance tactics that include alleged spying on European allies. Amid reports that the U.S. has bugged various embassies and missions, President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had what sounds like an uncomfortable discussion by phone on Wednesday, the White House reported. "The President assured the Chancellor that the United States takes seriously the concerns of our European allies and partners," said a White House statement on the call. The White House said Obama and Merkel agreed
For the second time in as many years, Egypt finds itself at a pivotal crossroads. (Snip) Transitioning to democracy takes time. The day after Hosni Mubarak stepped down, I warned that the Muslim Brotherhood and other extremists would exploit and hijack these events to gain power. Many have been putting too much faith in the “Morsi was elected democratically” mantra. Democracy is far more than holding elections. In a post-Morsi era, it is important that the next government governs in a democratic manner that encompasses respecting the rights of others, separation of powers, and a free and
Cairo - Egyptian prosecutors escalated what appeared to be a widespread roundup of top Muslim Brotherhood members on Thursday, acting hours after the military deposed Mohamed Morsi, the Islamist who became the country’s first democratically elected president just a year ago. The roundup, which placed some Brotherhood members in the same prison holding Hosni Mubarak, the autocratic leader toppled in the 2011 revolution, came as a senior jurist was sworn in as the acting head of state and an alliance of Islamists called on supporters to stage peaceful demonstrations nationwide on
Paris — A leading French newspaper says France´s intelligence services have put in place a giant electronic information gathering network. Citing no sources, the Le Monde daily says France´s Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure, the country´s foreign intelligence agency, systematically collects information about all electronic data sent by computers and telephones in France, as well as communications between France and abroad. According to Le Monde, data on “all emails, SMSs, telephone calls, Facebook and Twitter posts” are collected and stored in a massive three-floor underground bunker
The consumer watchdog has called a forum into the safety of lithium batteries after the death of a four-year-old girl at the weekend. A funeral will be held this morning for the girl, from Queensland´s Sunshine Coast, who died on Sunday after swallowing a coin-sized battery. (Snip) "[It´s] not just choking," she said. "When you swallow these, the saliva combined with the battery can burn through the child´s oesophagus into their internal organs," she said. Ms Rickard says the forum will look into issues such as battery design, packaging, warnings and displays. "[We will be] looking at what we can do to
Doug Engelbart, who has died aged 88, will be remembered as the man who in 1963 invented the computer mouse, but that was incidental to his vision of computers augmenting the human intellect and increasing our "collective IQ". While he became a much-loved and oft-lauded Silicon Valley celebrity, his most visionary ideas were neglected and went unfunded. Nonetheless, Engelbart had a massive impact on the world of computing via what became known as "the mother of all demos", which he gave at a computer conference in San Francisco in 1968. The computer scientist Alan Kay,
LOS ANGELES – Mexican and Central American consulates in the United States are registering an increase in requests for official documents and, according to the Central American Resource Center, they must increase their available resources to be prepared if immigration reform is passed. “We know that right now, before the passage of immigration reform, the consulates are very full,” the executive director of CARECEN, Martha Arevalo, told Efe on Wednesday. She said the missions of the Latin American governments with large numbers of immigrants in the United States
MEXICO CITY – State police officers in Jalisco, a state in western Mexico, found seven human heads and other body parts in trash bags by a road in the city of Zacoalco, media reports said. The body parts were discovered Tuesday night in a field and taken to the coroner’s office in Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco, where state prosecutors are analyzing them. The Jalisco Attorney General’s Office did not comment on the case. The remains were found after state police launched an operation that led to the arrests of three suspects in the killings of two people in Zapopan, a city in the Guadalajara
If you have one of those kids who always has a nose buried in a book, here’s a reason to be happy: Scientists say activities at any age that stimulate the brain may help preserve brain power into old age. The scientists assessed 294 people from the Chicago area who were ages 55 and older, using annual tests to measure thinking and memory and questionnaires about past reading, writing and other mentally stimulating activities. At death, which occurred at an average age of just over 89, they looked at their brains for signs of dementia. The study results were published this week in the journal Neurology.
Cairo - Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Prize-winning diplomat and Egypt’s most prominent liberal, said Thursday that he had worked hard to convince Western powers of what he called the necessity of forcibly ousting President Mohamed Morsi, contending that Mr. Morsi had bungled the country’s transition to an inclusive democracy. In an interview, Mr. ElBaradei also defended the widening arrests of Mr. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood allies and the shutdown of Islamist television networks that followed the removal of Mr. Morsi on Wednesday by Egypt’s generals.
CAIRO – A banner screaming "Wake Up America" hung Thursday in Tahrir Square, the heart of the 2011 revolution and center of much of the latest unrest that has erupted across the capital this week. "Obama supports terrorism," says another massive sign -- again underscoring widespread anger and blame directed at the U.S. president as Egypt staggers through a troubled change of leadership.(Snip)The widespread perception rumbling through anti-Morsi crowds is that President Obama has been in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood, said Shadi Hamid, director of research for the Brookings Doha
JOHANNESBURG — Nelson Mandela is being kept alive by a breathing machine and faces "impending death," court documents show, as his family gravesite was restored Thursday. Mandela´s health is "perilous" and he is being kept alive by life support, according to documents filed in the court case that resulted in the remains of the former president´s three deceased children being reburied Thursday in their original graves. "The anticipation of his impending death is based on real and substantial grounds," the court filing said. "He's basically gone," said Charlene Smith, an authorized biographer of
British police said today they had begun their own investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, who vanished in Portugal six years ago at age three, saying they had new leads and had identified 38 potential suspects. Ms McCann went missing from her room at the Praia da Luz holiday resort in the Algarve on May 2007 while her parents were dining with friends at a nearby restaurant, leading to a global search that gripped the world’s media. “We continue to believe that there is a possibility that Madeleine is alive,” said Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood.