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Today We Are Gathered …
To Hear More About Me
Slate, by Emily Yoffe    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 12/22/2012 10:49:00 PM     Post Reply
Someone needs to tell Barack Obama—it must get particularly confusing this time of year—that his own birth is not Year One, the date around which all other events are understood. His much-noted, self-referential tic was on cringe-worthy display Friday when the president gave his eulogy for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, who served in Congress for half a century representing Obama’s birth state of Hawaii. Inouye was a Japanese-American war hero (he lost an arm in World War II, destroying his dream of becoming a surgeon), and as a senator he served on the Watergate committee,

History of gun control is
cautionary tale for those
seeking regulations after
Conn. shooting
Washington Post, by Scott Higham*    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/22/2012 10:48:12 PM     Post Reply
At 3 a.m. on July 2, 1993, Steve Sposato sat down in his darkened living room to write, by hand, a letter to the president of the United States. His life had just been shattered. Hours earlier, in the afternoon, a deranged man armed with semiautomatic weapons had gone on a rampage, slaughtering eight people at an office building in downtown San Francisco. The gunman’s motive would remain forever a mystery. Among the slain: Steve’s wife, 30-year-old Jody Jones Sposato, the mother of his 10-month-old daughter, Meghan.

Potential for work
stoppage at ports looming
Savannah Morning News [GA], by Mary Carr Mayle    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/22/2012 10:43:31 PM     Post Reply
Dockworkers along the East and Gulf Coast ports — including Savannah’s — are preparing to walk off the job next weekend in a move that would have a ripple effect on an already fragile economy and disrupt the delivery of everything from retail goods and food items to parts critical to U.S. manufacturers. Contract negotiations broke down Tuesday between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance, which represents shipping interests and management at 14 deepwater ports from Boston to Houston. There are no plans to meet again before Saturday,



In France, Gerard Depardieu
at center of tax debate
Washington Post, by Edward Cody    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/22/2012 10:41:49 PM     Post Reply
PARIS — Gerard Depardieu, one of France’s most beloved movie actors, has played memorable roles enshrining him as a monument of French culture: Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables,” Cyrano de Bergerac in Edmond Rostand’s kitsch classic and Obelix in a cartoonish spoof of wily Gauls resisting the Romans. In real life, however, Depardieu has suddenly taken on a new role: filthy-rich tax-dodger, dissolute ingrate and traitor to his country in a time of need. It is a role he did not seek, but it has made him an unlikely political star at a time when France is bitterly

Grotesque Obama eulogy for Sen. Inouye
American Thinker, by Thomas Lifson    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/22/2012 10:39:37 PM     Post Reply
Signs are accumulating that re-election has aggravated an already serious ego problem for Barack Obama. His eulogy for Senator Daniel Inouye yesterday shocked even some people favorably inclined toward the president, for its focus not on the departed, but on Barack Obama himself. Emily Yoffe of Slate - far from a conservative outlet -- wrote with disgust: Someone needs to tell Barack Obama-it must get particularly confusing this time of year-that his own birth is not Year One, the date around which all other events are understood. His much-noted, self-referential tic was on cringe-worthy display

NY Jets will look to trade -
or release - Tim Tebow after
the season, says team source
New York Daily News, by Manish Mehta & Seth Walder    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/22/2012 10:26:42 PM     Post Reply
Tebow Time is over. Actually, it never really started. The Daily News has learned the Jets and Tebow — whether it’s via trade or a release — will have a mutual parting of some kind. On Tuesday, The News reported that Tebow would request to be traded or released if Greg McElroy starts the team’s final two games. The News also first reported Wednesday that the team is planning on putting Mark Sanchez on the trading block. While many predicted the Tebow experiment would be a disaster for the Jets, the former Heisman winner never got a chance.

GOP assemblyman indicted on fraud,
theft charges totaling millions
The Record [Hackensack, NJ], by Melissa Hayes & Chris Harris    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 12/22/2012 9:58:50 PM     Post Reply
Embattled Republican Assemblyman Robert Schroeder has been indicted on charges he stole more than $1.8 million from individuals who loaned him money and that he wrote more than $3.4 million in bad checks to creditors, the state attorney general said on Friday. “We allege that as the financial house of cards he built collapsed, Schroeder lied and stole in an attempt to prop it up, defrauding creditors of in excess of $5 million, between his theft of loan funds and passing of bad checks,” Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said in a statement. “This indictment, which would carry a substantial prison



When it comes to Syria,
Russia sends missiles, mixed signals
Fox News, by Paul Alster    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/22/2012 9:55:17 PM     Post Reply
Haifa, Israel – Russia continues to send mixed signals over its stance in support of the Syrian regime, with President Vladimir Putin hinting that President Bashar al-Assad´s downfall is likely even as unconfirmed reports indicate Russia is shipping high-tech missiles to the embattled strongman. (Snip) Reports that the Iskander missiles – also known as SS26-Stone missiles –might have been dispatched from Russia to Syria first surfaced on Dec. 9. Sources believe the weapons passed through the port of Tartus on Syria’s Mediterranean coast and have deployed at dual points:

Chavez condition is stabilizing,
Venezuela government says
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/22/2012 9:35:08 PM     Post Reply
Caracas, Venezuela - Venezuela´s government announced Saturday that President Hugo Chavez´s condition is becoming increasingly stable as the socialist leader recovers from a cancer-related operation in Cuba. Vice President Nicolas Maduro said ruling party member Cilia Flores gave him the update on Chavez´s recovery upon her return from the communist-led island. "Each day that passes, his recovery is more stable and he´s receiving the best treatment,"Maduro told to a crowd of government supporters in Yaracuy state. Chavez underwent surgery Dec. 11, about two months

Bashir Bilour assassinated
The News [Pakistan], by Javed Aziz Khan    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/22/2012 9:23:07 PM     Post Reply
Peshawar: In an incident that shocked the country, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour was assassinated in a suicide attack in the Dhaki Naalbandi locality in the historic Qissa Khwani Bazaar here on Saturday. Eight other people, including Station House Officer (SHO) of the Khan Raziq Police Station, Abdul Sattar Khattak, and Noor Muhammad, personal assistant of Bashir Bilour, were also killed in the suicide bombing. The banned Tahrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), meanwhile, accepted the responsibility for the attack. Bashir Bilour, a leader of the ruling

Pope Benedict denounces gay marriage
during his annual Christmas message
New York Daily News, by Carol Kuruvilla    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/22/2012 9:06:30 PM     Post Reply
Pope Benedict used his annual Christmas message to denounce gay marriage, saying that it destroyed the “essence of the human creature.” In one of his most important speeches of the year, the Pope stressed that a person’s gender identity is God-given and unchangeable. As a result, he sees gay marriage as a “manipulation of nature.” "People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being," he said at the Vatican on Friday. "They deny their nature and decide that it is not something



Boehner faces a political cliff
over budget fracas in Washington
Washington Post, by Rosalind S. Helderman    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/22/2012 8:54:40 PM     Post Reply
House Speaker John A. Boehner spent much of Thursday confidently predicting that he could pass a plan to avert the year-end “fiscal cliff.” “Sure did,” Boehner acknowledged with a wry smile Friday, the day after he was forced to cancel the vote due to lack of support. The stunning rebuke by his fellow Republicans was the most critical test of Boehner’s leadership since he assumed control of the new Republican majority two years ago and called into question Boehner’s ability to lead his GOP majority. Boehner said he is not worried about his speakership, but his reputation

North Korea says it has
detained a US citizen
Associated Press, by Jean H. Lee    Original Article
Posted By: PLPointer67- 12/22/2012 7:38:04 PM     Post Reply
PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea said Friday that a US citizen has been detained after confessing to unspecified crimes, confirming news reports about his arrest at a time when Pyongyang is facing criticism from Washington for launching a long-range rocket last week. The man was identified as Pae Jun Ho in a brief dispatch issued by the state-run Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang. News reports in the United States and South Korea said Pae is known in his home state of Washington as Kenneth Bae, a 44-year-old tour operator of Korean descent.

Ex-Marine Jailed on Gun Charge
in Mexico Released
Associated Press, by Curt Anderson    Original Article
Posted By: PLPointer67- 12/22/2012 7:07:16 PM     Post Reply
MIAMI — A Marine veteran jailed for months in Mexico after trying to carry a family heirloom shotgun across the border has been freed, officials and his lawyer said late Friday. The attorney for Jon Hammar tweeted Friday night his client had been released from a detention center in Matamoros, Mexico. U.S. officials were planning to drive Hammar, 27, across the border at Brownsville, Texas. “He’s out. Going home,” Eddie Varon Levy wrote in a tweet. U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.,

427-Pound Tuna Approved
As World Record
San Diego Union-Tribune, by Ed Zieralski    Original Article
Posted By: PLPointer67- 12/22/2012 6:56:03 PM     Post Reply
It was the Year of the Big Tuna in sportfishing, so it’s appropriate that 2012 end with the International Game Fish Association approving the 427-pound yellowfin caught in September by Dana Point’s Guy Yocom as the new all-tackle world record. The IGFA announced that the giant tuna Yocom caught while fishing on his boat, El Suertudo (The Lucky One), approximately 100 miles off Cabo San Lucas, is the new standard for yellowfin. Yocom’s catch broke the record of 405.2 pounds set in 2010 by Mike Livingston of Sunland aboard Mike Lackey’s boat, the Vagabond, out of Point Loma Sportfishing.



Russia: Syria consolidates
its chemical weapons
CNN, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: horacer- 12/22/2012 6:54:56 PM     Post Reply
Syria has consolidated its chemical weapons into one of two locations from its usual places scattered across the country, Russia´s foreign minister said Saturday. The move comes as unrest in the country extends to nearly two years, with rebels making gains recently. "As of right now... the [Syrian] government is doing all it can to safeguard those weapons," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, according to Russia´s RIA Novosti news agency. "We are following all leads concerning chemical weapons," the foreign minister said,

Court Blocks Calif. Ban
On Gay Therapy
Associated Press, by Lisa Leff    Original Article
Posted By: PLPointer67- 12/22/2012 6:42:32 PM     Post Reply
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court on Friday put the brakes on a first-of-its-kind California law that bans therapy aimed at turning gay minors straight. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an emergency order putting the law on hold until the court can hear full arguments on the measure’s constitutionality. The law was set to take effect Jan. 1. Licensed counselors who practice so-called “reparative therapy” and two families who say their teenage sons have benefited from it sought the injunction

Lakemba Mosque imam
issues ´fatwa against
Christmas´ - report
Daily Telegraph (Sydney, AU), by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Scottyboy- 12/22/2012 6:00:54 PM     Post Reply
AN IMAM at Australia´s biggest mosque has issued a fatwa against Christmas, warning followers it is a ´´sin´´ to even wish people a Merry Christmas. The ruling, which followed a similar lecture during Friday prayers at Lakemba Mosque, was posted on its Facebook site on Saturday, according to media reports. It appears the post is no longer on the page. The head imam at Lakemba, Sheikh Yahya Safi, told the congregation during prayers they should not have anything to do with Christmas. The fatwa reportedly warns: ´´Disbelievers are trying to draw Muslims away from the straight path.´´

Port Authority prepares for
possible dockworker strike
Houston Chronicle, by Kiah Collier    Original Article
Posted By: SoCalGal- 12/22/2012 5:21:59 PM     Post Reply
With a looming dockworkers´ strike that would force it to shutter its two container terminals, the Port of Houston Authority says it is working with Customs and Border Protection to arrange extended work hours in the days leading up to Dec. 30 so businesses can clear out cargo. That day is when dockworkers represented by the International Longshoreman´s Association could stop moving cargo carried in containers if union leadership and management do not reach an agreement on a master contract covering 14,500 dock workers at 14 East and Gulf Coast ports from Texas up to Maine.

Pope visits jailed butler to
grant pre-Christmas pardon
Reuters, by Philip Pullella    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/22/2012 5:10:07 PM     Post Reply
Vatican City - Pope Benedict made a surprise pre-Christmas visit to the jail holding his former butler on Saturday and pardoned him for stealing and leaking documents that alleged corruption in the Vatican. The pope and Paolo Gabriele spent about 15 minutes together before Gabriele was freed and allowed to return to his wife and children in their Vatican apartment, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. (Snip) Lombardi called the pope´s action "a paternal gesture towards a person with whom the pope shared his daily life for several years ... this is a happy ending in this Christmas season


2 children die in Englewood
fire, 2 others rescued
Chicago Tribune, by Peter Nickeas    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/22/2012 4:46:33 PM     Post Reply
A young boy and girl died in a fire this morning after they and two other children were left home alone in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side, officials say. The girl, 2, and the boy, 3, were found in a back bedroom after firefighters cut through burglar bars on the brick and stone two-flat in the 6400 block of South Paulina Street. (Snip) A hot plate being used for heat sparked the fire while the four children, alone in the apartment, slept in two bedrooms, according to fire officials. Police said the children´s mother and aunt

Egypt Central Bank
head resigns: Reports
Al-Ahram [Cairo, Egypt], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/22/2012 4:09:37 PM     Post Reply
The governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), Farouq El-Oqda, has resigned his position, the Egyptian state television announced on Saturday. Hisham Ramez, a former deputy for El-Oqda, and currently the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Commercial International Bank (CIB), is reported to be the CBE´s new governor. On 17 December news about the long-serving governor´s resignation surfaced, but was quickly denied by CBE officials. El-Oqda, who has been at the helm of the CBE for the last nine years, had been nominated earlier this year for the position of prime minster,

PM lauds Kerry nomination
for US Secretary of State
Jerusalem Post [Israel], by Hilary Leila Krieger    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/22/2012 4:03:21 PM     Post Reply
Washington - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warmly welcomed the long anticipated appointment of Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry as the next US secretary of state, referring to the veteran politician as his friend. “Kerry has considerable experience and is a known supporter of the security of the State of Israel. John Kerry and I have been friends for many years,” Netanyahu said on Saturday. “I very much appreciated the fact that six months ago, after my father passed away, he came to visit me during the week of mourning. I look forward to working together with him,” Netanyahu said.

New tax increases in California stir
debate about adding to exodus
Fox News, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/22/2012 3:47:35 PM     Post Reply
A vote last month that makes Californians among the highest-taxed residents in the country is sparking debate about whether the Democrat-back initiative will backfire, by forcing high-earners to join a long exodus from the cash-strapped state. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown successfully pushed the tax increase by suggesting that high-earners must shoulder the largest burden in bailing out the state, particularly its debt-ridden public school system. However, high unemployment and government debt have already sent residents fleeing in large numbers – an estimated 225,000 annually for the past 10 years.

Connecticut Shop Where Nancy Lanza
Bought 1 Of Her Guns Raided By Feds
CBS News [New York], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: SourKraut- 12/22/2012 3:12:24 PM     Post Reply
New York - Federal agents raided an eastern Connecticut gun shop on Thursday, the same gun shop that sold one of the weapons used by the Newtown elementary school shooter. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, assisted by police, moved in on Riverview Sales at 4 Prospect Hill Road in East Windsor at around 5:15 p.m., reported Len Besthoff of CBS 2 sister station WFSB in Hartford. Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six adults with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle in Newtown last Friday, the second-worst mass shooting in United States history.

Shells preserved in wall
where they hit Sumter
Associated Press, by Bruce Smith    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/22/2012 3:04:52 PM     Post Reply
FORT SUMTER NATIONAL MONUMENT, S.C.— They are there just where they landed in Fort Sumter a century and a half ago — three Union shells from rifled Parrot guns embedded in the masonry wall of the garrison where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Because removing the shells would damage the fragile walls of the aging fort in Charleston Harbor, they have been preserved in place by scientists from the nearby Clemson University Restoration Institute. The project not only helps preserve the shells and the wall, but allows visitors to better imagine what it might have

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