LONDON — New testimony that emerged Thursday deepened the intrigue surrounding the death of the former K.G.B. officer Alexander V. Litvinenko, offering prima facie evidence of Russian state involvement and indicating that he had been a paid agent of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, lawyers at a preliminary inquest hearing said. (Snip) Mr. Litvinenko died after ingesting a rare and highly toxic radioactive isotope, polonium 210, which British investigators later traced to a pot of tea served to him at an upscale hotel in Grosvenor Square, opposite the American Embassy in central London. British prosecutors have charged
The troubled rollout of the new health-care law and recent government shutdown have exacted a major toll on President Barack Obama´s standing, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has found. Obama´s job approval rating has tumbled by 5 percentage points in less than three weeks, the survey showed. In the weakest showing of his five-year tenure, just 42 percent of Americans approve of the president´s job performance, while 51 disapprove. The poll underscores the fact that Obama and his GOP adversaries have been hit by what NBC/WSJ pollster Bill McInturff called a public opinion "shock wave" this fall.
Poor, mostly black neighborhoods face double jeopardy when it comes to supermarket access, according to a study recently published by the journal Preventive Medicine. That may not sound like news at all: Scholars and activists have long fretted that poor, minority neighborhoods have worse access to supermarkets, which is tied to less healthy diets. But researchers from Johns Hopkins University wanted to see how different neighborhood traits -- poverty and racial makeup -- were related to the problem. For instance, what did it mean to be in a poorer white neighborhood, versus a wealthier black neighborhood? Researchers compared access to supermarkets,
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was shouted down by protesters at Brown University, forcing administrators at the Ivy League school to call off his lecture on "Proactive Policing in America´s Biggest City." More than 100 students and social justice activists turned out Tuesday to protest the NYPD´s stop-and-frisk policy and its surveillance of Muslims. Many of them began shouting and chanting inside the lecture hall as the event began. Brown officials asked protesters to allow Kelly to speak and reserve their comments until a question-and-answer session. When the shouting continued, the hall was cleared.
Obamacare´s critics are going to town on the cancellation letters millions of Americans are receiving from their health insurers, informing them that their health plans won´t conform to the new federal standards for health coverage as of Jan. 1. We´re supposed to be scandalized by this, since President Obama himself assured everyone that if they liked their insurance they´d be able to keep it. And people just love plans that in some cases cost just $50 a month. At that price, what´s not to love? Back in March, Consumer Reports published a study of many of these plans and placed
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spent about three hours testifying before Congress this morning. From all of that, there is one sentence that was arguably the most important things she said. It was about health insurance plans, which are still not receiving accurate data from Healthcare.gov. (Snip) There´s a reason that this item is getting such high priority: Without a fix, insurance plans won´t know who actually signed up for their health plans. That means they can´t send out membership cards or start paying claims for doctor visits. There are significant problems with the front-end of Healthcare.gov; during
An agitated President Obama has expressed frustration to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the faulty ObamaCare enrollment website. A visibly annoyed Obama behind closed doors has made clear to Sebelius that it’s her responsibility to fix what has become an unwanted second-term blunder, according to senior administration officials. White House officials say the strong words from Obama don’t mean Sebelius is necessarily in the doghouse but that she’s responsible for fixing the problem. In the words of one senior administration official, “She’s in a tough spot. She’s on the hook.” Sebelius is scheduled to appear before the
House Speaker John Boehner and GOP leaders today accused the Obama administration of misleading the public on the effects of the Affordable Care Act, which they claim has forced hundreds of thousands of Americans off their preferred health insurance plans. (Snip) President Obama also repeatedly promised in his campaign to enact the health insurance overhaul that, “If you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you.” Today, House Republicans trained their fire directly at Obama, claiming he deliberately misled Americans with his statements. “The president knew that these letters
DENVER — Colorado´s state-run health exchange has been largely free of the headaches seen on the federally run shopping portal. But some exchange overseers say enrollments should be picking up at a faster pace. State health insurance exchange officials said Monday they have 3,164 enrollments through Connect For Health Colorado. Exchange officials have insisted they´re on pace to meet the goal of enrolling 136,000 people by the end of 2014. (Snip) State Medicaid officials, who also serve on the board, are happier with their 25,000 approved applicants who will be enrolled Jan. 1 under expanded Medicaid eligibility, another key feature
Before the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010, President Obama promised Americans they could keep their healthcare plan if they liked it. But already hundreds of thousands of citizens are receiving notification that their plans are being cancelled because they don´t comply with the new law, and, according to NBC News, the Obama administration has known for at least three years the cancellations were coming. (Snip) According to NBC News, approximately 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million Americans who buy their health insurance individually should expect to receive a cancellation letter over the next year "because their
Amid a furious global controversy over the National Security Agency´s spying on U.S. allies, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey said on Monday he will order all new FBI agents to visit the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial to reflect on past “abuse and overreach” by the agency. Comey noted that former FBI Director Louis Freeh had ordered all new agent classes to visit the Holocaust Museum “so they could see and feel and hear in a palpable way the consequences of abuse of power on a massive, almost unimaginable scale.” That will continue, Comey said. But “I´m
New York City - Democratic Party candidate Bill de Blasio is on track to win a historic victory as mayor of New York next week, according to a new poll published Monday.(Snip) He promises to increase taxes on New Yorkers earning more than $500,000 to expand after-school programs for middle school students and to create universal pre-kindergarten programs from the age of four. He has also campaigned hard against stop-and-frisk -- a police tactic loathed by minority communities who see themselves as unfairly targeted. His African-American wife, Chirlane, an outspoken former lesbian, has featured prominently in his campaign. So have
We’re not complaining. We battened down the hatches at Houston´s Severe Weather Station KTRH and were rigorously put through our paces at the KTRH 24 hour Weather Center, prepared to drop everything and return from vacations if necessary should winds shift and a tropical storm enter the Gulf, or should one of those multi-colored spaghetti lines aim toward Galveston/Houston. Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University, two guys who really know this stuff, called for a 2013 Atlantic hurricane season with 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes (cat 3 or greater). The National
From Florida to California, consumers are getting notices their health plans are cancelled. They were promised they could keep their plan if they liked it. That was a lie. They’ve been duped and dropped. The liar is none other than the President of the United States. On June 15, 2009, President Obama told a town hall meeting that “No matter how we reform healthcare, we will keep this promise…. if you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
President Barack Obama’s job approval has dropped to an all-time low, according to a new poll released Wednesday. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey shows that a mere 42 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s job performance, down five points from a poll conducted in early October. The president’s disapproval rating stands at 51 percent, tying an all-time high for Obama. In all, 41 percent of respondents say they have a less favorable opinion of the president since the 16 day government shutdown, compared to 21 percent who say they have a more favorable view since the shutdown. The Affordable Care Act
President Barack Obama is facing fresh attacks for his pledge that Americans who like their current healthcare plans can keep them under Obamacare, as reports pile up of thousands of Americans facing cancellation notices. Accusations that the pledge was misleading are potentially a deeper threat to Obama than the website glitches that have plagued Healthcare.gov since its October 1 launch and allowed only a trickle of people to sign up on new federal insurance exchanges. Obama has downplayed the problems with the website, saying it´s like a cash register not working, and has stressed that the underlying product of the
White House officials have pressured insurance industry executives to keep quiet amid mounting criticism over Obamacare's rollout, insurance industry sources told CNN. Sebelius: 'I apologize, I'm accountable' for Obamacare website flaws - After insurance officials publicly criticized the implementation, White House staffers contacted insurers to express their displeasure, industry insiders said. Multiple sources declined to speak publicly about the push back because they fear retribution. But Bob Laszewski, who heads a consulting firm for big insurance companies, did talk on the record.
Exactly half the nation sees the year-old killings of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya as a serious scandal — one many believe will hurt former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s chance to be the next president, according to a newly-released national poll. Rasmussen Reports revealed that 43 percent of likely voters believe the scandal will damage Clinton. That rises to 47 percent among voters not affiliated with any political party, like independents. Some 41 percent said it wouldn´t ding her chances. The impact is clear, and not just on Clinton. Most — 58 percent — rated the
It was a spasm of violence that stunned residents: some 200 black youths raising hell - what police called a full-blown riot - in Austin, Texas. Angry black youths inexplicably converged by the Highland Mall, near an iconic haunted house attraction, and walked atop parked cars, fought among themselves, and hurled rocks at some 30 arriving police officers.(snip)In their reporting on the riot, Austin´s media outlets followed a widely accepted rule of mainstream journalism today: they failed to mention that the rioters were black. Yet many Austin residents surmised as much -- and their suspicions were confirmed when mug shots were
Ronan Farrow is already in MSNBC mid-season form. Farrow, the son of actress Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, is set to debut his own MSNBC talk show early next year. His latest political comments, though, find him boosting the image of the Clintons in a way that even the far-left network might not embrace. They´re nimble politicians. Also I think that they represent a style of honesty that the public craves right now. And that´s reflected in the numbers. I think people are tired of the old school politicking, and when a politician comes out and says, “Actually, I changed my
Conservatives are expressing shock and outrage that the Obama administration knew that many people in the individual insurance market would not be able to keep their plans once the Affordable Care Act took effect. Such shock is not surprising; overblown outrage is the stock and trade of conservative politics these days. But here´s what conservatives won´t tell you, lest it undermine their theatrics: Many insurance plans are shutting down because they don´t meet the higher bar of quality benefits required under Obamacare, and of those people who lose access to their plans, many will pay less and all will have better
Secretary of State John Kerry expressed his frustration Tuesday with the fact that even in the United States, “a very educated country,” there are those who do not recognize the urgency of combating global warming. Addressing the D.C. Greening Embassies Forum, which encourages the “greening” of foreign mission in Washington, Kerry took aim at those who challenge the notion that the science is settled when it comes to climate change. “I am amazed after all these years that we’re still struggling here in a very educated country to get a lot of people to embrace and understand why this is not a
President Barack Obama will not attend next month´s event marking the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln´s Gettysburg Address in Pennsylvania. Officials at Gettysburg National Military Park said Wednesday that U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will represent the administration the Nov. 19 sesquicentennial. Jewell and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson will share the role of keynote speaker. Other events include a reading of the Gettysburg address by a Lincoln portrayer. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett also plans to attend the ceremony. Lincoln delivered the immortal words of the address at a dedication of the Soldiers´ National Cemetery on Nov. 19, 1863, more than
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) again praised Hillary Clinton on Monday, saying her work as Secretary of State was "outstanding" with the exception of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. "Her work as secretary of state, with the exception of this issue of Benghazi — which isn’t going away — I think has been outstanding," McCain said. "I think she would be viewed by anyone, Republican or Democrat, as a very formidable candidate for 2016.” McCain has previously said that it would be a "tough choice" if the 2016 election were between Clinton and Sen.
Every day, it seems, more people who have been screaming their hatred for those who predicted all we see coming true are admitting what we have known all along. The president is incapable of telling a truth, and what conservatives have been predicting for three years about ObamaCare has been entirely correct. Indeed, we haven´t seen anything close to the worst of what is to come, since the system hasn´t even begun to function in its utmost state of disarray and confusion.(snip)So, can we finally stop pretending that the left has a positive plan for the United States? Can we