Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen is offering a bounty of gold worth $160,000 to anyone who kills Gerald M. Feierstein, the U.S. ambassador to Yemen. According to the Associated Press, the group announced that it will pay tens of thousands of dollars to anyone who kills the U.S. ambassador in Sanaa or an American soldier in the country. The group offered 3 kilograms of gold, worth about $160,000, for killing Feierstein, and said it will pay 5 million Yemeni riyals ($23,000) for anyone who kills an American soldier. The offer is valid for six months, the AP reported.
Laws are made by men, not gods — but you’d never guess that from the talk coming out of (and about) Washington these days. Democrats behave as though the Clinton tax rates were carved into stone by lightning on Mount Sinai. Republicans want you to believe the same thing about the tax rates enacted just a few years later under President Bush. And the Fiscal Cliff? “Why, that’s a geological formation — an act of God if there ever was one. It’s not our fault if we’re going over it!” Right. And I’m the Pope of Siam.
Watching David Gregory interview Barack Obama on “Meet the Press this morning, I wondered if Obama might have offered to wash Gregory’s feet after the show. Gregory appears to be a disciple of his Lord the President. Gregory seeks to disseminate the Obama gospel. “Is this your Lincoln moment?” Gregory actually asked him. And that may not have been the worst of it. Gregory should have prefaced the broadcast of his taped interview with a warning: Watching this interview may cause motion sickness.
The president never quite sounds like a man who wants a deal. He instead invariably sounds like a pol seeking advantage over opponents, which is peculiar given that he faces no future election but will face a GOP House majority for at least two more years. He wants the other side to lose more than he wants a substantial deal to improve our fiscal situation. The Post reports that Senate discussions on a fiscal cliff-avoiding deal have experienced a “major setback.” Presumably, Democrats won’t include any serious spending cuts to accompany revenue hikes. This predictable result
Washington – A Democratic source familiar with the talks tells CNN they have hit a “major setback” because Republicans are now insisting that any fiscal cliff deal include “chained CPI," which Democrats consider a “poison pill.” The Democratic source says they understand the president offered this in talks with House Speaker John Boehner, but Democrats say that was in the context of a larger deal - in exchange for changes to the way the debt ceiling is approached - which is not in the plan anymore.
Killings skyrocketed, even though no statistical cut-off has been made yet. Based on the numbers managed at the Scientific, Criminal and Forensic Investigation Agency (Cicpc), through Monday, December 17, murders nationwide totaled 18,960. This means that every two hours five Venezuelans were slain, that is, 66 in every 100,000 inhabitants. Last year ended at 18,850 murders. Therefore, while this year has not ended yet, it overtakes the number of 2011, at least by 110. This is true, regardless of the 21st security plan implemented by the Venezuelan government. "All Life in Venezuela" Mission
President Barack Obama appeared on NBC´s "Meet The Press" on Sunday, talking about the "fiscal cliff" negotiations and priorities for his administration in his second term. The president told host David Gregory that he was optimistic something will be worked out to keep tax rates from rising on Tuesday -- but if not, his first piece of legislation for the next Congress will be a bill to reduce tax rates on most Americans. The president also spoke about his second term and what he wants to accomplish. Here are highlights of what he said:
As millions of Americans face smaller paychecks if the government fails to act to avoid the fiscal cliff, President Obama has raised the ire of some conservative critics by quietly handing over pay hikes — estimated to cost more than $1 billion a year — to Congress, high-ranking federal officials, judges and Vice President Joe Biden. “It’s a bad idea because Americans everywhere are hurting due to the fragile economy and the fiscal cliff,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “If the government is asking people to take a hit, surely senior government officials should take the hit, too.”
While politicians have kept the focus on the fiscal cliff and displaced anger toward law-abiding citizens who own guns, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was able to quietly overturn longstanding precedents to give unions some Christmas gifts that will ultimately hand them a windfall. In the steamrolling style that is now the hallmark of the Obama administration and its extensions, the NLRB voted 3-1 to gut the Supreme Court’s 1988 Communication Workers of America v. Beck decision, whereby union workers in non-right-to-work states were able to withhold the portion of their dues that unions spend on political activism.
LOS ANGELES- Los Angeles officials have warned people against firing guns into the air when celebrating the New Year -- anyone caught doing so could face a $10,000 fine. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said firearm misuse is on everyone´s minds going into the holiday, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.(Snip) Villaraigosa said authorities will pursue criminal charges for anyone caught in possession of a weapon in public. Anyone found guilty faces a fine of up to $10,000 and a possible three-year jail sentence.
Newark — The buses were quiet and dark as they rolled home toward Newark´s South Ward. Inside, rows of bruised, muddy football players from Malcolm X Shabazz High School said nothing. The only sounds were sniffles and muffled crying. The 2012 high school football season had just ended without a state championship — the way every season ends at Shabazz. The head coach, Darnell Grant, sat glassy-eyed in the front of the lead bus, heartache building in his chest.(Snip) When he arrived at Shabazz in 2010, Grant found a school choked by chaos. Gangs fought inside and outside the main buildings.
Western character actor Harry Carey, Jr. died on Thursday aged 91. His daughter Melinda confirmed that he passed away from natural causes surrounded by family at a hospice facility in Santa Barbara, California. She said on Friday: ‘He went out as gracefully as he came in.’ Staff has split headline.
President Obama on Sunday said he would make gun control a priority in his new term, pledging to put his “full weight” behind passing new restrictions on firearms in 2013.“I'm going to be putting forward a package and I'm going to be putting my full weight behind it,” Obama said in an interview aired on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I'm going to be making an argument to the American people about why this is important and why we have to do everything we can to make sure that something like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary does not happen again.” Staff had split headline, added more text to prevent closure.
President Barack Obama on Sunday said congressional Republicans and their insistence on preventing tax increases for the very wealthy are standing in the way of a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. In an exclusive interview on NBC´s "Meet the Press," the president chided House Republicans as the clock continued to run out on a potential agreement. "They say that their biggest priority is making sure that we deal with the deficit in a serious way, but the way they´re behaving is that their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest
It is bigger than FedEx Corp.´s $1 billion-plus local payroll. It is the quiet giant of the local economy. It´s Poverty Inc. From pawn shops and charities to welfare and Medicaid, the poverty industry pumped an estimated $5.39 billion through the city and county in 2010, according to a study by The Commercial Appeal. Poring over reports and records, The Commercial Appeal estimated the scale of the poverty industry related to the 100,000 least well off families in the city. The goal: Determine the reliance on federal dollars, which account for about half the poverty dollars here.
Egypt’s central bank will start foreign-exchange auctions tomorrow in order to preserve foreign reserves after they plunged to “minimum and critical” levels. The North African nation’s central bank said the sales and purchases of U.S. dollars will take place periodically and aim to “preserve foreign-currency reserves and ration their use,” according to an e-mailed statement today.
The world’s biggest bond investor has warned America’s political leaders not to neglect the need to strengthen the recovery as the country struggles to stitch together a last-minute deal to tackle its $16.4trillion (£10trillion) debt pile. The call from asset manager Pimco comes as Congress holds an emergency session to try to prevent the US economy falling over the so-called fiscal cliff on Tuesday. The “cliff” is shorthand for a $600bn wave of spending cuts and tax rises due in the new year that threatens to drive America back into recession. Investors are braced for turbulent trading on global markets
Whatever your stance on gun control, I’m sure we can all agree that the last thing the world needs to know is the opinion of the entire cast of the sitcom Parks and Recreation. “Not so!” says Hollywood, which feels that we not only need to know their views but we also need to see a glossy public service announcement about it. “Lights, camera action! Cue the liberals…!” [Snip] It’s also a wide open goal for conservatives. There have been a couple of parodies of the ad that are far more powerful than the original. My favourite is one
What’s the fastest path out of the ICU? Country music. Former President George H.W. Bush got a pick-me-up Friday when one of his favorite acts, the Oak Ridge Boys, serenaded him by telephone with the hymn Amazing Grace and a little bit of their hit Elvira. [Video] “Hey, thanks,” the president said afterward. He also said the band came through clearly over the phone. “Brenda and I consider President George H.W. Bush, Barbara and their entire family some of our most treasured friends. My partners and I were so honored to help lift spirits by singing yesterday
President Barack Obama on Sunday called security issues that led to the deaths of four Americans in the Benghazi consulate attack "a huge problem," although he continued to defend U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as a victim of political scapegoating by Republicans who have suggested an administration coverup of the situation. "We´re not going to be defensive about it," Obama said of the State Department review of the attacks during an exclusive interview on NBC´s Meet the Press.
Regular readers here know of our fondness for things spatial, as in beyond Earth´s atmosphere. Way beyond. Here´s a newly-released photo from NASA, a combination of readings of NGC 3627, another galaxy like our own Milky Way. NGC 3627 is, indeed, a galaxy far, far away. We publish the picture here today to perhaps help make the nation´s returning holiday travelers feel just a little bit better. Or less burdened.
When it comes to foreign policy, John F. Kerry is no John F. Kennedy. In his 1961 inaugural address, the 35th president of the United States declared that Americans would “pay any price, bear any burden” in their ongoing defense of liberty and human rights “at home and around the world.” Like other presidents before and since — Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush — JFK believed that it was America’s destiny to advance freedom and democratic self-government, and oppose the world’s tyrants. This is the “idealist” approach to US foreign policy. Kerry sees America’s role differently.
It is hard to overstate the cynicism and cruelty of Vladimir Putin. He is willing to use orphans as his pawns in his public-relations battle against the West. That’s no exaggeration, given that he has just signed a law forbidding Americans to adopt Russian children. Approximately 650,000 of them live in orphanages and foster care including a substantial number who are sick or disabled and are unlikely to ever find a permanent home. Russian orphanages have a reputation for terrible conditions and rampant abuse. They are some of the grimmest places to live in the industrialized world.
A caller identified as Lawrence from the Bronx, New York, asked C-SPAN guest Brendan Doherty Saturday whether he believed the constitution could be amended so that President Obama could run for three terms. If that wouldn’t be possible, Lawrence continued, could the Democrats “overwhelmingly” take back the House in 2014? Doherty recently authored, “The Rise Of The President’s Permanent Campaign,” a book that examines whether a President’s time spent campaigning can be separated from time spent governing in recent years. He fielded the caller’s question as best as he could, answering honestly, “The prospect of amending the Constitution