Rockets fired by Hamas from Gaza exploded today in the Jewish settlement bloc of Gush Etzion, an area south of Jerusalem. The ramifications of this sharp escalation of the conflict will play out over the next 24 hours. First, we seem to have proof that despite the much-criticised blockade, Hamas has successfully smuggled more sophisticated and longer-range weapons into the Gaza Strip since 2009. It was probably an Iranian-supplied Fajr 5 rocket that exploded today. It is also thought Hamas may have smuggled some sophisticated weaponry from Libya in the fog of that country’s civil war. The Israeli drone strikes
If National Security adviser Tom Donilon wants to be the next secretary of State, he´s not saying. After delivering a speech previewing President Obama´s upcoming trip to east Asia and detailing the administration´s "Asia pivot" on Thursday, Donilon was asked during a short question-and-answer session about his interest in the job. (Snip) When pressed on his interest in the State job, Donilon only smiled and moved on the next question.
Former CIA director David Petraeus quietly left the Capitol through the delivery entrance, avoiding reporters seeking details on his affair with author Paula Broadwell. He slipped out after testifying in a closed-door briefing with lawmakers on the attacks in Benghazi, Libya. It was a stark contrast from how the former four-star general had left from meetings with Congress in recent years, when he was accompanied by full military retinues and often paused for photo ops. A throng of reporters gathered in the basement of the Senate side of the Capitol on Friday morning in hopes of catching Petraeus
Poor Greenpeace. I owe them a huge debt of gratitude for having got me on the front page of the paper edition of the Guardian (and how many more of those will there be???), for having boosted sales of my splendid book Watermelons: How Environmentalists Are Killing The Planet, Destroying The Economy And Stealing Your Children´s Future, and for having given me an excuse to get yet another article on the evils of wind farms in the print issue of the Telegraph.[Snip] The landowner will be paid £401,000 pa, index-linked, for the next 25 years. The developer will get
The Israeli prime minister’s speech before the United Nations in September is a must-read for anyone who cares about the defence of freedom in the Middle East, and the wider war against Islamist terrorism. Netanyahu laid out in stark terms what he views as an epic “battle being waged between the modern and the medieval,” between the forces of freedom and “the medieval forces of radical Islam.”[Snip]The forces of modernity seek a bright future in which the rights of all are protected, in which an ever-expanding digital library is available in the palm of every child, in which every life
With every decision Gov. Bobby Jindal makes, the message becomes clearer to hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents who are uninsured: The state has no interest in helping you. Bruce Greenstein, secretary of Louisiana´s Department of Health and Hospitals, sent a letter Wednesday to federal health officials refusing to take part in the creation of a health care exchange where uninsured residents will be able to buy affordable policies from private insurers. The state´s decision won´t stop the creation of the exchange, which is part of President Barack Obama´s health care reform plan, but will leave it to the federal
Police are investigating a report of possible shots fired at a building in downtown Minneapolis that houses Target corporate employees. The shots were reported to have been fired late Friday morning at the Retek Building at Nicollet Mall and 10th St. S. Officers are on the scene, including the SWAT team, said Minneapolis Sgt. Stephen McCarty. They have been checking inside the building, but haven´t found anything yet
Gov. Terry Branstad today informed federal officials that Iowa will continue working to create a state-based health insurance exchange, but he said many questions are unanswered for state officials to make an informed decision (SNIP) “... I cannot provide you with a set of timelines or complete details about the exchange until our state receives clear, binding rules from your department. Forcing an exchange decision on states based on an arbitrary timetable, would be like forcing a consumer to buy a car without knowing the vehicle’s price tag or fuel economy." Headline split by staff. Note to poster:Snips should be noted by ( ) not //
There was real-life drama at Paul Rudd’s Broadway play “Grace” when an audience member who appeared drunk threw up over a mezzanine railing onto theatergoers below. “A drunk guy vomited over the railing onto about a dozen audience members seated in the orchestra, right in the middle of one of Rudd’s big monologues on Wednesday,” said one disgusted witness, adding, “There was mass chaos for several minutes, but the cast played right on through, ignoring the disruption.” Spies added of the nauseous fellow, “It was very apparent that alcohol was to blame” for the incident.
WEST COTE BLANCHE, La.— Two people are reported dead and two others missing after Coast Guard officials say an oil rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana Friday. Four workers have been hospitalized. Kirk Trascher, a spokesman for Black Elk Energy, confirmed the fatalities, injuries and missing people to KHOU-TV. Coast Guard spokesman Drake Foret said four people were taken to West Jefferson Medical Center near New Orleans. Coast Guard aircraft and boats are searching for two missing people.
Murfreesboro, TN - Rutherford County school leaders took steps to tighten loopholes in the district´s suspension policy Thursday. The move came two weeks after a student at Barfield Elementary School handed out several toy guns to his classmates. The toys were inside some gift bags the fourth grader gave out to celebrate Eid al-Adha, an Islamic holiday. While the school´s handbook seems to prohibit toy guns, Rutherford County´s policy does not, so the child was not suspended.(Snip) Some parents were outraged that students were allowed to celebrate the holiday in the classroom, while others were angry the child wasn´t suspended.
Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. - An Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter jet crashed near a Florida Panhandle highway Thursday, but the pilot was able to eject safely and there were no injuries on the ground, the military said. The single-seat stealth fighter, part of a program that has been plagued with problems, went down Thursday afternoon near Tyndall Air Force Base, just south of Panama City on The Gulf of Mexico. The pilot received medical treatment and a section of Highway 98 that runs through the base was closed as rescuers responded.
Fox News chairman Roger Ailes was surprised to see Karl Rove heatedly questioning the Fox News team’s election call. “I turn on the TV,” Ailes tells TVNewswer’s Chris Ariens, “and the first thing I see is Rove saying something like ‘you called Ohio too early.’ And I thought, ‘What the? What is this?’” And, like any cable news head worth his salt, Ailes’ direction was to keep the camera on Rove. “So I quickly called [EVP of News] Michael Clemente and I said, ‘Michael whatever you do, don’t go to commercial. Don’t leave the screen,’”
Negotiations over the "fiscal cliff" began on a friendly note Friday at the White House, with President Obama congratulating Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on his 63rd birthday. "Tomorrow is Speaker Boehner´s birthday," the president said to the congressional leaders gathered in the Roosevelt Room. "We´re not going to embarrass him with a cake, because we didn´t know how many candles we´d need." The friendly gesture drew a laugh and a firm handshake from the Speaker as leaders began the first negotiating session over the "fiscal cliff," which has become short-hand for the slew of automatic tax increases and
It should come as no great surprise that Lifetime’s Liz & Dick movie starring Lindsay Lohan is spectacularly bad. After all, it’s Lohan, more memorable in the tabloids than she ever was as an actress. No, the mystery here is whether Lifetime actually believed it had a major “television event,” as it says, because this was Lohan’s “highly anticipated comeback movie role,” as the channel’s website notes. Was Lifetime made giddy by the potential, or made blind by it? Most intriguing, did it know that casting Lohan of all people as Elizabeth Taylor
As I wrote last night, yesterday’s testimony to Congress by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell left plenty of work for General Petraeus, who is testifying today. For example, neither Clapper nor Morell could shed any real light on why the official line of the intelligence community apparently moved away from the initial (and correct) view that the Benghazi attack was terrorism. Now, CNN reports (via the Weekly Standard) that Petraeus may not be able to shed much light on this question either. But by not shedding it, he may well deepen the scandal.
Staring at Jill Kelley’s $1.3m mansion from the street, it would be hard not to think that this was a person who had made it in life. The vast 1923 brick house is in one of the most fashionable districts of Tampa, Florida, and is over the bay from one of New York Yankee Derek Jeter´s homes. The lawns are perfectly manicured, it has six bedrooms and four bathrooms for the hundreds of military guests who used to attend parties there. A closer look, however, and you notice that the paint is peeling on the outside and
WASHINGTON -- A dozen female members of the House staunchly defended U.N. ambassador Susan Rice against Republican criticism over her remarks on the deadly Sept. 11 Libya attack, suggesting the GOP lawmakers´ comments were racist and sexist. "It is a shame that anytime something goes wrong, they pick on women and minorities," Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, the next chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told reporters Friday at a Capitol Hill news conference. Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham earlier this week called Rice untrustworthy and unqualified to be the nation´s top diplomat if
Sgt Joshua Michael, a Purple Heart recipient, was killed along with three other people when a train slammed into a parade float they were riding to a veterans´ banquet in Midland, Texas, but not before committing one final act of heroism by pushing his wife off the doomed vehicle. The victim, identified by authorities as Sgt Joshua Michael, 34, was among the 26 people riding on a flatbed truck en route to a ´Show of Support´ dinner in their honor when a Union Pacific freight train suddenly appeared on the tracks and ploughed through the float.
Washington, A conservative group in the US has launched a movement to impeach President Barack Obama, just days after he won a second term in the White House. The Conservative Majority Fund, the group known primarily for its birther conspiracy spreading, has launched a robocall campaign to gain support for Obama´s impeachment."Our only recourse now is to move forward with the full impeachment of President Obama. We suspect that Obama is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors and that there may be grounds for impeachment as is laid out in the constitution,"
The Department of Defense has launched more green energy initiatives than any other federal agency and many are duplicative and wasteful, according to a report released Thursday by Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.). The Coburn report details nearly $68 billion in defense spending that appears to have little to do with national defense and instead focuses on issues ranging from beef jerky to studies of flying dinosaurs. Included in the report is $700 million in green energy initiatives. “The Department of Defense launched more than 100 renewable energy-related initiatives in 2010, more than any other federal agency including the
HOUSTON -- The U.S. Coast Guard in New Orleans confirms an oil rig caught fire off the coast of Louisiana early Friday. An early report indicated two people were killed, two are missing, and four were sent to the hospital, said a company spokesman. There was no report on if any oil spilled into the Gulf. Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts says the platform in question is a shallow water platform located in West Delta Block 32 in the Gulf of Mexico. A spokesman says the Coast Guard just activated a "command center" to investigate the incident.
Republican Congressman Peter King just exited the closed-door hearing with David Petraeus to update the media, and his description of the ex-CIA Chief´s testimony contained more than one bombshell. For starters, King said Petraeus told them that the CIA talking points meant for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice´s Sept. 16 round robin of five Sunday network news shows, originally contained the information that there was evidence al-Qaeda elements were involved in the attack. These talking points were then altered through "an inter-agency process."
Today, as Hamas continued to fire rockets on Israeli civilians while ensconced among Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi ordered Prime Minister Hesham Kandil to travel to Gaza in a show of solidarity with Hamas. Kandil will be accompanied by Egyptian security officials, including Maj. Gen. Mohammed Raafat Shehata, Egypt’s head of intelligence, and the health minister. The State Department has already stated that the Obama administration is trying to prevent Egypt from getting involved. So far, it isn’t helping.
Richard “Buzzy” Dressel — a prominent and influential North Jersey labor leader who served on the boards of the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation and Bergen Community College — was arrested Thursday on charges of conspiring to steer more than $350,000 in union funds to his wife. Dressel, 63, of Montvale, the business manager and principal officer of Local 164 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, was arrested along with John M. DeBouter, 55, of Oakland, the local’s president, after a two-year investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor. An eight-count indictment charged the two officials with conspiring to embezzle