Gaza City, Gaza Strip - Israel killed a top leader of an al-Qaida-inspired Gaza group in an airstrike, the military said Sunday, a significant blow in Israel's campaign against the shadowy fighters. Hisham Saidani was killed with his bodyguard in an airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip late Saturday, Israel's military said. He was one of the top ideological guides for the violent, ultra-conservative Islamic movements in Gaza, known as Salafi jihadis.The Israeli military said Saidani, 43, was suspected of carrying out attacks against Egyptian and Israeli targets but provided no further information.
After his lackluster performance at the first presidential debate, President Obama is making some “adjustments” and will be more “aggressive” in his second face-off with Republican nominee Mitt Romney, senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said today. “Nobody’s a harsher critic than the president is of himself and he viewed the [debate] tape,” Axelrod said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think he’s going to make some adjustments on Tuesday.” Axelrod would not detail any strategic changes that the president might be making, but said he’s “going to be aggressive in making the case for his view of where we should
When President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney take the stage at Hofstra University on Tuesday night for the second presidential debate, the pressure to perform will be squarely on the incumbent. Thirteen days will have passed since Obama’s not-a-disaster-but-damn-close performance in the first presidential debate in Denver, a showing that he and his campaign initially tried to shrug off as a draw but came around to admitting looked more like a rout for Romney. (Snip) While Obama’s ability to show some fight — or, at the very least, not look like he wants to get off the stage
ROSWELL, N.M. - Lifted by a massive balloon, extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner ascended high above Earth on Sunday in his bid to complete a death-defying 23-mile free fall that could make him the first skydiver to break the sound barrier.Baumgartner took off in a pressurized capsule carried by a 55-story ultra-thin helium balloon that is expected to ascend high above the New Mexico desert for nearly three hours. If plans go as expected, Baumgartner, in a high-tech suit,
Five Royal Marines have been charged with murder in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said today. They were accused over an incident while 3 Commando Brigade was based in Helmand province last year. They are the first British troops to be charged with murder in the country since deployments began in 2001. The incident in the Nad-e-Ali district has been described by the MoD as 'an engagement with an insurgent', with no civilians involved. (Snip) It reportedly showed members of a Marine patrol standing around a Taliban fighter discussing whether to give him first aid as he lay injured on
Syrian planes have been banned from Turkish air space, the Turkish foreign ministry has announced. The ban follows similar restrictions imposed by Syria, after a Syrian plane alleged to be carrying Russian munitions was intercepted by Turkey. Turkey's ban came in on Saturday night and was communicated to Syria, but was only made public on Sunday. It applies to civilian aircraft, as military aircraft were already de facto banned, a ministry official said. The Syrian move followed Turkey's interception on Wednesday of a Syrian jet, which Turkish warplanes forced to land in Ankara. Turkish officials confiscated what they described
Legendary Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter died in his home Sunday morning from complications of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, according to a statement released by his family. He was 82. Specter, 82, announced in 2005 that he had Hodgkin's disease, for which he underwent chemotherapy. He was treated again in 2008, after the disease returned. He was again hospitalized in August to deal with the disease. Specter’s funeral will be open to the public and held at Har Zion Temple in Penn Valley. Internment will immediately follow at Shalom Memorial Park in Huntingdon Valley. The family asks that contributions be made in lieu
SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. — Authorities say a 62-year-old employee was cooked to death at a Southern California seafood plant for tuna maker Bumble Bee Foods. The Whittier Daily News reports Jose Melena was found Thursday shortly before 7 a.m. at the plant in Santa Fe Springs. California Division of Occupational Safety and Health spokeswoman Erika Monterroza says it’s unclear how the man ended up inside a cooking device called a “steamer machine.” The state department has launched an investigation into the accident. In a written statement, Bumble Bee Foods spokesman Pat Menke expressed condolences to Melena’s family
SAN FRANCISCO • The Cardinals' chartered flight arrived in San Francisco about 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning, after a long journey through the night. Fatigue had never felt so good. Sleep had rarely been this satisfying. Yes, this baseball team really was floating through the clouds. The weary but happy traveling party was still trying to process the magnitude of the Cardinals' shocking 9-7 win over the Washington Nationals in the clinching Game 5 of the NL division series. Staff has split wide headline.
Joe Biden did his job Thursday. But in the end, winning the election is up to the presidential candidate, not the vice presidential candidate. The next presidential debate is Tuesday, and the advice President Obama is getting is largely stylistic. Attack more. Look less sleepy. Stop writing in your diary while Mitt Romney is talking. That Obama lost the first debate because he didn’t seem sufficiently psyched to be there is probably partially true, but it’s also a form of flattery. It says, in effect, that Obama’s only problem was the superficiality of the format
After David Axelrod’s repeated assurances this morning on Fox News Sunday that “there isn’t anybody on this planet” who feels a greater sense of responsibility for our diplomats than this President, Chris Wallace asked how soon after the Benghazi attacks the President actually met with his national security team. Wallace followed up on Axelrod’s non-answer by asking whether the President managed to squeeze in a meeting with the National Security Council before jetting off to Las Vegas for a campaign rally. Given Axelrod’s inability to produce a straightforward answer to the questions, it’s pretty clear the answer
David Axelrod, senior adviser to President Obama, had a tense interview on Fox News Sunday, wherein host Chris Wallace pressed him on the White House response to the recent attacks in Libya. Defending the administration’s response, Axelrod further added that Mitt Romney is “working hard to exploit” the issue. Asked whether Obama takes “personal responsibility” for the situation, Axelrod replied, “At the top-line level, the president of the United States takes responsibility for everything that happens on his watch.”
SANFORD, Fla.—Seventeen-year-old Contessa Skelton learned that her mother had lost her job—for the second time in two years—as they stood in the parking lot outside her dentist’s office. Her mom told her the bad news. Together, they cried a little. “I was shocked,” Tessa says, about one year later. “I didn’t know what to think at first.” Her mother assured her that everything would be OK. Still, it was hard for Tessa to believe that after her mother’s employer, Remington Colleges, had given her all of one hour to clean out her desk—along with just a week of severance pay.
Sean Smith was a foreign service information management officer who was killed along with Ambassador Stevens and two other Americans during the 9/11 assault on our consulate in Benghazi. John’s post with the State Department account of the assault contains an excruciating account that appears to detail how he died during the attack. Last week Sean Smith’s mother, Pat Smith, appeared on Anderson Cooper’s CNN show to complain that she was tired of being lied to and stonewalled by the Obama administration regarding her son’s death. At the Weekly Standard site, Daniel Halper has
CHICAGO — Obama for America announced Friday that President Barack Obama will travel to Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire and New York next week, following the second presidential debate. On Wednesday, Oct. 17, the president will campaign in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and in Athens, Ohio, and in Manchester, N.H., on Thursday, Oct. 18. Also on Thursday, Obama will deliver remarks at the 67th Annual Alfred. E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York City. Details on the president's events in Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire and New York City are forthcoming.
The State Department is the latest casualty of the Obama administration’s obfuscation of the events surrounding the Benghazi attack. Tearing a few pages out of the old Clinton playbook, David Axelrod carefully defined the word “we” this morning for Fox News’ Chris Wallace: when the Vice President said in Wednesday’s debate that “we” weren’t aware of the Benghazi consulate’s requests for increased security, “we” included only the President and the Vice President – not the Obama administration at large or the State Department. You got that, right? In response to Wallace’s inquiry about whether the
On March 11, 2004, bombs ripped through Madrid’s commuter train system killing 191 people and wounding an additional 1,800. The terrorist attack took place three days before Spain’s general election and completely turned it upside down. The ruling People’s Party lead by then-Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar chose to cast blame on Spain’s Basque separatist organization ETA, while the Socialist opposition pointed to al-Qaeda as the culprit. By blaming ETA, Anzar’s camp hoped to curry votes by drawing attention to their leader’s tough campaign against the Spanish terror
The Maryland Republican candidate for U.S. Senate demanded on Oct. 11 that Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice resign for their roles in the Benghazi attacks. “I take no comfort in this, but Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice must resign in light of the Benghazi tragedy. It was a tragic failure in leadership,” said Daniel Bongino, a former Secret Service agent and New York City police officer. (Snip) Bongino said he has heard from his own back channels that there is great unrest about the situation in Libya among agents at Secret Service and the Department of State
Earlier today, I conjectured that the Obama campaign may be out of attack lines to use against Mitt Romney. After Obama's disastrous debate on October 3rd, it was remarkable that his campaign didn't try to launch any new attacks or create any new diversions to change the media narrative. I wondered that, perhaps, he was out of bullets. Turns out I was right. Politico is reporting that the Obama campaign is going to go back to the issue of Mitt Romney's tax returns. They have unveiled a new 30-second ad on Mitt's taxes to run in several swing states. Um, Obama campaign, you did this once
It appears that President Obama is going to go after Mitt Romney during Tuesday night’s debate by criticizing his time running Bain Capital, among other attack vectors he will use. That’s the word from a campaign spokesperson who is with the president as he takes 3 days off the campaign trail to prepare for the debate. Fox News: As President Obama began to hunker down at a plush resort here for three full days of debate prep, his campaign team signaled the incumbent may steal a page from Vice President Joe Biden and show a more aggressive tone in Tuesday’s second face-to-face showdown with
WASHINGTON — Illustrating his emerging role among Senate Republicans, Tennessee’s Bob Corker seemed anxious last week to take on the Democratic presidential ticket himself in a foreign policy debate. Before the dust had settled from Thursday night’s nationally televised skirmish between Vice President Joe Biden and GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, Corker pounced on Biden’s remarks about the recent slaying of four American diplomatic personnel in Libya. Not true, Corker charged about Biden’s statement that the Obama administration didn’t know almost
It was one of President Barack Obama’s boldest 2008 campaign promises: Getting the United States off oil from anti-U.S. hot spots within a decade. That didn’t happen. Persian Gulf oil imports are down only 5 percent, while the U.S. remains Venezuela’s biggest oil-trading partner since Obama said changing that relationship was crucial “for the sake of our economy, our security and the future of our planet.” Obama’s campaign now says what he really meant was that the president would cut U.S. oil imports by the same amount as what was coming at the time from the Middle Eastern countries
Everyone loves Hillary Clinton these days.(Snip) But what if the most politically significant foreign-policy failure of Obama's presidency is actually due to a failure of the diplomatic-security strategy at the Clinton-run State Department? That's certainly what all the evidence suggests. Charlene Lamb, deputy assistant secretary for international programs at the State Department's Bureau of Diplomat Security, told a House committee Wednesday that she personally rejected a request for additional diplomatic security in Libya, though what she rejected was not a request for Marines
When a politician is in trouble, he usually falls back on what he knows best -- the world he saw around him when he entered into political awareness as a young adult. That's what seems to have happened to the Democratic ticket after Barack Obama's disastrous performance in the Denver debate Oct. 3. So Obama on the campaign trail and Joe Biden in the vice presidential debate fell back on what they know from their formative political years. At least that's the best explanation I can come up with for the Obama campaign's obsession with Big Bird.
Where is CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus? He seems to be the missing man in the unfolding Benghazi debacle. It is his agency, among others, which is being fingered by the White House for getting the Libya attack wrong. However, we know that within a very short time after the murder of our ambassador (an extraordinary occurrence) and others, our intelligence community did have the story straight: This was an organized al-Qaeda attack.(Snip)1. When, if ever, did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton become aware that there was a request for more security in Benghazi before 9-11-2012? 2. Who participated
Just past the gift shop and through doors that swing open like a saloon entrance, there is a work- room strewn with tools. A small crew of men in their 70s and 80s gathers there to joke, build and paint the things that are slowly bringing Allan Herschell’s old carousel factory back to life as a museum. “This was brand-new when I started,” said Mel Brundage, 76, looking down at his apron, gray with paint splatters. “I look like Leonardo da Vinci.” The splatters are from his 14 years as a volunteer . . .