The White House confirmed but sought to downplay a report by a conservative website on Sunday that it had been the victim of a cyberattack, volunteering to Politico that no harm had been done. The Washington Free Beacon reported that Chinese hackers had attacked a computer system in the White House Military Office. A White House official speaking on background late Sunday confirmed there was an attempted hack but said that it affected an unclassified network, was “isolated” and that there was no evidence that any data had been stolen.
Lima, Peru - Bolivia’s fraught relationship with the United States has nosedived again after Washington’s apparent refusal to extradite former President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada back to the South American country. Sanchez de Lozada is wanted in his homeland over the slaying in October 2003 — 15 months into his second presidential term — of dozens of protesters against his plans to export Bolivia’s oil and gas reserves. (Snip) Morales, an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, said he had received a letter from the US government justifying the decision on the grounds that “civil society cannot be held responsible
TEMPLE — Flooded with political survey and endorsement calls, Nancy Cowan almost ignored the phone last Friday when an out-of-state number popped up on Caller ID. She changed her mind and answered it — and the call changed her life. The call came from Rob McGann of Billerica, Mass., asking for Nancy’s husband James. McGann claimed to have something that belonged to him, an item missing for 43 years, that he was looking to return to its rightful owner, one former Marine to another — Jim’s Marine NCO sword, lost during a move in North Carolina 43 years ago.
It’s been over 20 days since the attack in Libya, and while the Obama administration has finally acknowledged that it was an act of terrorism, it’s still being handled as a law enforcement issue. Reports indicate that the FBI still hasn’t been able to get into Benghazi to investigate, due to security concerns — concerns that are apparently very new, since the consulate was not heavily secured before the attack. Sen. Bob Corker sent a letter to the administration yesterday, demanding to know when and why the security situation became so perilous in Benghazi
New York - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird delivered a scathing rebuke Monday to the United Nations, taking to the podium at the General Assembly to scold the UN for its failures and inefficiencies. The UN’s shortcomings are particularly evident in its inability to stop the bloodshed in Syria, said Baird, who spoke to a largely empty and seemingly disinterested chamber. “The crisis in Syria is a test of this organization’s ability to achieve results,” Baird said. (Snip) The UN spends too much time in self-examination, he continued, and needs instead to focus on the problems around the world that
Washington - The U.S. Supreme Court will confront social issues that have divided the nation for decades in a new term that may produce its first ruling on gay marriage and a rollback of protections for racial minorities. (Snip) The affirmative action case, to be argued Oct. 10, gives the court’s Republican-appointed majority a chance to cut back racial preferences. Abigail Fisher, a white woman rejected by the University of Texas, says the school violated her constitutional rights by considering race as an admissions factor to boost black and Hispanic enrollment. Fisher’s appeal takes aim at the court’s 2003 Grutter
Stockholm - Ikea is being criticized for deleting images of women from the Saudi version of its furniture catalogue, a move the company says it regrets. Comparing the Swedish and Saudi versions of the catalogue, Stockholm’s Metro newspaper on Monday showed that women had been airbrushed out of otherwise identical pictures showcasing the company’s home furnishings. The report raised questions in Sweden about Ikea’s commitment to gender equality, and the company released a statement expressing “regret” over the issue.
LAS VEGAS — President Barack Obama’s most dangerous opponent in the trio of upcoming presidential debates isn’t Mitt Romney. It’s himself. (Snip)“This is not a guy who can hide his contempt, and the only thing that can really hurt is if he’s smug and thinks he’s got this in the bag,” said a Democrat close to the Obama campaign, echoing the sentiments of several other aides and advisers heading into Wednesday’s inaugural debate against Romney at the University of Denver. “The other danger for us is expectations. … People expect him to kill Romney.
Sacramento - Not long ago, I penned a case for staying in California, arguing that there’s nothing wrong here that isn’t fixable. California, blessed by magnificent and varied geography, mild weather and an “anything’s possible” culture, suffers mainly from a political process controlled by union advocates (Snip) The most troubling thing I’ve seen is the delusion embraced by the state’s dominant Democrats, who really believe that California is only one massive tax increase away from being fixed. “Maybe I know too much about this stuff, but we’re in a recovery, a slow recovery, and it’ll keep recovering with any luck,”
Awful week for Romney, declares the conventional wisdom . . . and yet we begin Monday with a new poll result: A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll of likely voters shows President Barack Obama ahead 49 percent to 47 percent, a point closer than a week ago and still within the margin of error. Romney now leads by 4 points among independents, up slightly from a week ago. Well, I’m sure ABC News will confirm the conventional wisdom of a building Obama landslide . . . wait: Registered voters in this survey,
Cheyenne, Wyo. - The U.S. Supreme Court has turned away an appeal challenging a federal rule that bars development on 50 million acres of roadless areas in national forests. The justices ruled Monday they will leave in place a federal appeals court decision that upheld the so-called roadless rule that took effect late in the presidency of Bill Clinton. The state of Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association said closing so much forest land to development has had serious consequences for residents of Western states and the logging, mining and drilling industries.
If astronomers' early predictions hold true, the holidays next year may hold a glowing gift for stargazers—a superbright comet, just discovered streaking near Saturn. Even with powerful telescopes, comet 2012 S1 (ISON) is now just a faint glow in the constellation Cancer. But the ball of ice and rocks might become visible to the naked eye for a few months in late 2013 and early 2014—perhaps outshining the moon, astronomers say. The comet is already remarkably bright, given how far it is from the sun (Snip) Because 2012 S1 appears to be fairly large—possibly approaching two miles (three kilometers) wide—and Author added by staff.
Karl Rove's American Crossroads Super PAC is out with a new web ad today, blasting President Barack Obama over his administration's botched response to the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya. Splicing together images of the attack with clips from the campaign rally Obama held that day, the narrator asks "What did President Obama do the same day of a terror attack on American citizens? He campaigned in Las Vegas." The video later slams Obama for skipping meetings with foreign leaders in New York last week, while taking the time to appear on The View. (Snip) Overall, the effect is pretty damning.
U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is facing new scrutiny over whether she illegally practiced law in Massachusetts without a license. Massachusetts Lawyer Weekly recently polled attorneys in the state about whether Warren should be investigated for "possibly" practicing law without a license from the state. Eighty-seven percent of the 1,134 lawyers polled want the Harvard law professor investigated. (Snip) The new law license headaches will likely come up in tonight's debate with incumbent Republican Senator and heartthrob Scott Brown, who has also demanded she turn over a list of her corporate clients.
Pittsburgh - The Kremlin is watching, European nations are rebelling, and some suspect Moscow is secretly bankrolling a campaign to derail the West's strategic plans. It's not some Cold War movie; it's about the U.S. boom in natural gas drilling, and the political implications are enormous. Like falling dominoes, the drilling process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is shaking up world energy markets from Washington to Moscow to Beijing. Some predict what was once unthinkable: that the U.S. won't need to import natural gas in the near future, and that Russia could be the big loser.
A typical middle-income family making $40,000 to $64,000 a year could see its taxes go up by $2,000 next year if lawmakers fail to renew a lengthy roster of tax cuts set to expire in December, according to a new report Monday. Taxpayers across the income spectrum would be hit with large tax hikes, the Tax Policy Center said in its study, with households in the top 1 percent income range seeing an average tax increase of more than $120,000, while a family making between $110,000 to $140,000 could see a tax hike in the $6,000 range.
U.S. government employees and their families have thus far contributed $396,550 to President Barack Obama's reelection campaign, making them one of the top five sources of cash for the campaign to reelect the president, according to Opensecrets.org. Employees of the U.S. State Department and their families have, by themselves, contributed $213,256 to the Obama reelection campaign. Standing alone, State Department employees and their families are the 17th largest contributors to the Obama campaign, ranking just above the employees and family members of Wells Fargo, who have contributed $202,216 to the Obama campaign.
With President Obama’s team gradually admitting al-Qaida’s role in the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Libya, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan announced that “Al-Qaida has come back.” “Al-Qaida has come back, [and] is a resilient organization,” Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen told 60 Minutes last night, per the Armed Forces Press Service. “But they’re not here in large numbers. But al-Qaida doesn’t have to be anywhere in large numbers.” Allen is leader of the International Security Assistance Force. His remark seems to undercut President Obama’s foreign policy boast from this weekend in Nevada.
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan suggested media bias at a closed-door fundraiser for Romney campaign donors Sunday in Connecticut, telling attendees that he does not expect the "media to tell our story." “We can’t expect the president to play fair; he’s not,” Ryan said, according to CTNewsJunkie. "And we’re not expecting the media to tell our story. They’re not. That means we have to do it ourselves. And that means we have to rely on the generosity of our fellow citizens who want to get this country back on the right track.” Video of the private event was posted
Cuban officials coordinating Venezuelan health program "Misión Barrio Adentro" are worried about the numerous desertions taking place in Venezuela. It is believed that as many as 80 Cuban physicians have left the country on a monthly basis over the last 90 days, ahead of October 7 presidential election. Furthermore, the exodus may exceed the figure recorded in 2011 (500 doctors). "Some 22 physicians, including me, deserted the program in different parts of the country in just one week in May (...) It has been at least 80 people per month," commented Yumar Gómez,
When the Indianapolis Colts take the field against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, they'll be without head coach Chuck Pagano. Pagano will miss the Green Bay game and several more after being diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APML). Pagano is currently undergoing treatment at an Indianapolis-area hospital. In Pagano's absence, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will lead the team. During a news conference Monday morning at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, Colts owner Jim Irsay provided more information about Pagano's condition. According to Irsay, Pagano had been feeling fatigue over the last few weeks and noticed some bruising.
Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) launched a new ad in his bid for Senate in Missouri on Monday that asserts that Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) influenced the federal stimulus bill to benefit herself. "Ever wonder why Claire McCaskill called the stimulus bill 'wildly successful'? The stimulus that didn't create jobs, that cost us billions. Well, now we know: The stimulus made McCaskill rich," a narrator says, pointing to $1 million from the bill that allegedly went to McCaskill's family. It includes an audio clip of McCaskill saying that she and a group of Senators
A hulking Queens gym teacher and former college football player claims a pupil fractured his ankle, injured his knee and forced him to go to a shrink for stress — even though the kid was only 50 pounds and in first grade. Burly, 220-pound PS 330 teacher John Webster, 27, said a 4-foot-2 Rodrigo Carpio, 6, also kicked and pinched the Elmhurst school’s principal, a security officer and another teacher during a rampage in April. “It’s sort of like an angel-devil sort of thing,” said the 5-foot-10 Webster, who recently filed a notice of his intent
This isn't an endorsement President Obama will claim. Hugo Chavez, the socialist president of Venezuela, told state television: "I hope this doesn't harm Obama, but if I was from the United States, I'd vote for Obama." Chavez, who like Obama is seeking re-election, also called the American president "a good guy," reports Reuters. "I think that if Obama was from Barlovento or some Caracas neighborhood, he'd vote for Chavez," said the Venezuela leader. It's quite a contrast to how Chavez described Obama predecessor George W. Bush -- as "the devil."
Jets owner Woody Johnson detailed his priorities today in an interview with Bloomberg. Asked whether he would rather the Jets have a winning season in 2012 or Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate that Johnson has backed, take the White House in November, Johnson replied that he would "put country first" and choose a Romney victory. The Jets, though, clearly remain a priority. During the interview, the team is represented by Johnson's green tie. Johnson apologized to Jets fans for Sunday's 34-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers,
Judging from recent history, any young person who aspires to be president should be aware that certain attributes seem to be critical. You have to be male. You have to have an Ivy League degree. You have to have been a governor or senator. And, don't forget, you have to have smoked marijuana. That is something all the presidents in the past 20 years have in common.(Snip)Logicians will quarrel with my reasoning, arguing that drug use did not propel these men to high office. That's true. But it obviously didn't hinder them.