Look closely at the end-of-the-year lists of 2012’s top news stories. What’s missing? The 11-year-old war in Afghanistan and American-led counterterrorism efforts around the world. The Pew Research Center’s weekly polling on the public’s interest in news stories showed such a low level of interest that the overseas conflicts didn’t make the organization’s list of the year’s top 15 stories. Nor did the Afghan war come up often when The Associated Press conducted its annual poll of editors and news directors in the United States. The only overseas stories voted to be the year’s top news stories
NEW DELHI: The family of a murdered Indian gang-rape victim will not rest until her killers are hanged, her brother said in an interview published on Monday. "The fight has just begun. We want all the accused hanged, and we will fight for that, till the end," the brother told the Indian Express. Six men are facing murder charges after allegedly luring the 23-year-old onto a bus in New Delhi on December 16 and then taking it in turns to rape her before throwing her out of the moving vehicle. She died of her injuries in a Singapore hospital
Washington - President Obama Sunday signed a five-year extension of the law allowing warrant-less electronic surveillance of suspected terrorists, the White House said. The statement from the press secretary´s office simply stated the president had signed the measure, without which the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act would have expired at year´s end. The Senate had given its approval to the re-authorization of the act´s provisions on a 73-23 vote Friday, the Los Angeles Times said. The House had passed it previously. The law has bee criticized by privacy advocates,
Washington - The U.S. Senate on Sunday approved prominent antitrust attorney William Baer to head the Justice Department´s Antitrust Division 10 months after he was tapped by President Barack Obama. The Senate voted 64-26 to approve Baer´s nomination, which ran into problems with some Republicans because of secret information in an FBI background report. (Snip) The Justice Department´s Antitrust Division, along with the FTC, reviews mergers to ensure they comply with antitrust law and prosecutes price-fixing and other antitrust violations. Baer first joined FTC as a young attorney
A major Iranian partner of Huawei Technologies offered to sell at least 1.3 million euros worth of embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran´s largest mobile-phone operator in late 2010, documents show. China´s Huawei, the world´s second largest telecommunications equipment maker, says neither it nor its partner, a private company registered in Hong Kong, ultimately provided the HP products to the telecom, Mobile Telecommunication Co of Iran, known as MCI. Nevertheless, the incident provides new evidence of how Chinese companies have been willing to help Iran evade
Bangalore - U.S. media giant The Tribune Co, owner of the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, said late on Sunday it will emerge from bankruptcy on December 31, ending four years of Chapter 11 reorganization. Chicago-based Tribune said it will emerge from the Chapter 11 process with a portfolio of profitable assets that will include eight major daily newspapers and 23 TV stations. The company will also have a new board of directors. As part of the Chapter 11 exit, the company will close on a new $1.1 billion senior secured term loan and a new $300 million asset-based revolving credit
With hours to go, President Obama and Congress barreled toward the New Year´s Day “fiscal cliff,” trading last-minute offers and narrowing the range of options Sunday, but reaching no deal. “There’s still significant distance between the two sides,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, announced Sunday evening, though he said there was still time to reach agreement by Monday’s midnight deadline. “We intend to continue negotiations.” Talks were so broken at one point Sunday that the top Republican negotiator, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, bypassed Mr. Reid to speak
Vice President Joseph Biden and Sen. Mitch McConnell were locked in urgent talks late Sunday over the “fiscal cliff” after Democrats offered several significant concessions on taxes, including a proposal to raise rates only on earnings over $450,000 a year. With a New Year’s Eve deadline hours away, Democrats abandoned their earlier demand to raise tax rates on household income over $250,000 a year, as President Obama vowed during the recent presidential campaign. They also relented on the politically sensitive issue of the estate tax, promising to stage a vote in the Senate that would guarantee that
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who earlier Sunday said there was an “exceedingly good” chance of getting at least a small fiscal cliff deal done, has apparently changed his mind. Graham is now predicting that cliff will not be averted. “I’m incredibly disappointed we cannot seem to find common ground,” Graham said on his official Twitter feed. “I think we’re going over the cliff.”
To many Americans, what’s going on in Washington looks like a circus show that isn’t the least bit entertaining — the nation’s leaders seemingly unable to come up with a deal that keeps most people from paying higher taxes. But there is a logic to it. For all the posturing of the last few weeks, both sides see a measure of political upside in going over the “fiscal cliff” — or, at the least, an advantage in waiting until the last minute, since they want to avoid drawing the ire of their most loyal
Amid the last-minute wrangling over a “fiscal cliff” deal, it’s important to remember one overlooked fact of the 2012 election: Republicans in the House and Senate have absolutely no political incentive to compromise with President Obama. The numbers are stark. Of the 234 Republicans elected to the House on Nov. 6, just 15 (!) sit in congressional districts that Obama also won that day, according to calculations made by the Cook Political Report’s ace analyst David Wasserman. That’s an infinitesimally small number, particularly when compared
Washington D.C. lawmakers in both chambers left the capitol on early Sunday night after negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff fell apart in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – NV) said there is "still time left to reach an agreement.” In the meantime, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will continue negotiations on the phone tonight with Vice President Joe Biden. McConnell told reporters, “There’s no single issue that remains an impossible sticking point. The sticking point appears to be the willingness and interest or frankly the courage to close the deal.
Washington - The top leaders in both parties on the House and Senate Agriculture committees have agreed to a one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill that expired in October, a move that could head off a possible doubling of milk prices next month. (Snip) In addition to the one-year extension that has the backing of the committees, the House GOP is also considering two other extension bills: a one-month extension and an even smaller bill that would merely extend dairy policy that expires Jan. 1. Expiration of those dairy programs could mean higher prices at the grocery store within a few weeks.
Caracas, Venezuela - Hugo Chavez has suffered "new complications" following his cancer surgery in Cuba, his vice president said Sunday, describing the Venezuelan leader´s condition as delicate. Vice President Nicolas Maduro spoke with a solemn expression in a televised address from Havana, saying he had spoken with Chavez and that the president sent greetings to his homeland. Maduro did not give details about the complications, which he said came amid a respiratory infection. "Several minutes ago we were with President Chavez. We greeted each other and he himself referred to these
The results of the 2010 elections raised the question of what the president’s role would be in the legislative process in a period when the two houses of Congress were run by two different parties. It could have turned out that such a situation would give the president more power—making the Democratic senate irrelevant and creating a dynamic of direct engagement between the Republican House and the chief executive. Or it could have turned out that such a situation would give the president less power—making it so difficult to get legislation through congress
With its heavy concentration of military facilities and defense companies, San Diego could be one of the hardest hit regions in the country by the fiscal cliff. The process called sequestration calls for automatic spending cuts of $1.2 trillion over 10 years, split equally between military and domestic programs. The effect of sequestration on the Defense Department wouldn’t be immediate, however, giving the military time to avert a worst-case scenario. Funding for active-duty military personnel will be exempt from the cuts. Longer term, if no deal is reached, the impact on the local economy would be
In an attempt to seize total control over national security and bypass congress, a frightening new step by the Obama Administration is coming into play. As noted in Friday’s Wall Street Journal in an op-ed by John Bolton and John Woo, a State Department advisory group that is run by former Secretary of Defense William Perry is advising that the U.S. and Russia both reduce nuclear weapons without a treaty, as a treaty would require ratification by Congress. This would allow Obama and his executive branch to unilaterally cut our nuclear weaponry and ignore the treaty clause of the
The editorial staff of the Washington Post surely meant well. They wanted readers to think that Sen. John Kerry´s vast experience in foreign policy over four decades equips him to serve as Secretary of State in the second Obama administration. (Snip) As to his qualifications for that role, we´re reminded of Frederick the Great´s response when he was urged to make a less than stellar general a field marshal. Reminded the only-occasionally victorious general had been in every battle for years, Frederick pointed to his mount: "So has my mule. Must I make him a field marshal, too?"
Time magazine’s Joe Klein can’t get his basic biographic facts straight, but he’s sure the “fiscal cliff” impasse should be blamed on Grover Norquist on Rush Limbaugh for leading a conservative culture “removed from reality” and “extreme in the most egregious way.” On CBS’s Face the Nation, after Peggy Noonan regretted how President Barack Obama allows “dreadful enervating dramas” while Ronald Reagan was big enough to make deals with Speaker Tip O’Neill, Klein sputtered: “When Ronald Reagan was President, Grover Norquist was in diapers and Rush Limbaugh was a disc jockey,
Anaheim, CA - THE doctor was dumbfounded: a drug that used to cost $50 was now selling for $28,000 for a 5-milliliter vial. (Snip) How the price of this drug rose so far, so fast is a story for these troubled times in American health care — a tale of aggressive marketing, questionable medicine and, not least, out-of-control costs. At the center of it is Questcor, which turned the once-obscure Acthar into a hugely profitable wonder drug and itself into one of Wall Street’s highest fliers. At least until recently, that is. Now some doctors, insurance companies and investors are beginning to have doubts about
Washington - President Obama, in his most detailed comments on an independent inquiry’s report on the attack against the American diplomatic compound in Libya that killed four Americans on Sept. 11, said Sunday that the security and management flaws identified were “huge problems” that reflected “sloppiness” in how the State Department safeguards its missions abroad. (Snip) “My message to the State Department has been very simple, and that is we’re going to solve this,” Mr. Obama said. “We’re not going to be defensive about it; we’re not going to pretend that this was not a problem —
Tehran, Iran - A small American commercial plane left Iran Sunday after it was repaired following an emergency landing at an Iranian airport this month, state TV reported. The plane was forced to land 16 days ago at the airport of the southern city of Ahvaz due to technical failure, Mahmoud Rasoulinejad, head of the state-owned Iran Airports Company, told the TV station. Rasoulinejad said three passengers left Iran for Arab countries in the Gulf, but the plane remained under repair in the airport. He said the plane took off from Iran Sunday upon arrival of needed spare parts and completion of
Up to 60,000 patients die on the Liverpool Care Pathway each year without giving their consent, shocking figures revealed yesterday. A third of families are also kept in the dark when doctors withdraw lifesaving treatment from loved ones. Despite the revelations, Jeremy Hunt last night claimed the pathway was a ‘fantastic step forward’. In comments that appeared to prejudge an official inquiry into the LCP, the Health Secretary said ‘one or two’ mistakes should not be allowed to discredit the entire end-of-life system. But Elspeth Chowdharay-Best of Alert, an anti-euthanasia group, said: ‘The Pathway is
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been admitted to a hospital in New York with blood clot stemming from a concussion she sustained several weeks ago. Assistant Deputy Secretary of State Philippe Reines said in a statement that during a follow-up exam, Clinton´s doctors discovered a blood clot had formed. She is being treated with anti-coagulants and is at New York-Presbyterian Hospital so that they can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours. Doctors will continue to monitor Clinton´s condition to determine if further action is necessary.