Millions of Americans are about to be startled by alert messages on their cellphones next time a child is abducted nearby. A new national Amber Alert system has officially rolled out in the US and because the alerts are automatically active on most newer phones, the messages have already taken tens of thousands of people by surprise. The newly-expanded emergency alert system is an effort by FEMA to update the way it reaches people with new technologies, but local officials and others worry that the lack of public education and some initial stumbles may undermine the program´s purpose,
We´ve all had that sinking feeling when a stoic colleague turns up to work coughing and sneezing. [Snip] Scientists at the University of Arizona have discovered when even one person comes to work sick, more than half of the commonly touched surfaces in the office will become infected with the virus by lunchtime. Some of the likeliest germ hotpots include telephones, desktops, tabletops, doorknobs, photocopier and lift buttons and the office fridge. However the study also revealed that simple interventions, such as hand washing and the use of hand sanitiser or wipes, can drastically reduce employees´
Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan is retiring this month after 30 years with the agency. Sullivan is stepping down less than a year after the agency became embroiled in a prostitution scandal, which involved 13 agents and officers in Cartegena, Colombia ahead of a visit by President Obama.[Snip] President Obama said Sullivan ´will be missed.´ ´I want to thank Mark Sullivan for nearly 30 years of service to our nation at the United States Secret Service, a tenure that saw the agency protect five first families including my own,´ he said in a statement. ´The Secret Service
Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan’s resignation was announced Friday. NBC News’ Kristen Welker reported via Twitter Friday afternoon that “Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan will announce his resignation today according to multiple sources.” The Associated Press also confirmed that report through a Secret Service spokesman. Sullivan will retire effective Feb. 23 and his replacement has not been announced. Sullivan has overseen the Secret Service since 2006 and was its director during the agency’s high-profile prostitution scandal last year.
Three suspected Jihadists who were arrested in the liberation of Timbuktu have said they were tortured by Malian soldiers who used a method similar to waterboarding. There are also reports of child soldiers being used by the Malian army. The three suspected militants were being held in an earthen cell in the remains of a military camp in Timbuktu, according to journalists from AP who spoke to the men. Timbuktu was freed last weekend by Malian and French soldiers after 10 months under the rule of radical Islamists, who had imposed Sharia law in the town.
This year´s Budweiser Super Bowl ad isn´t funny or sexy, but you just might shed a tear. For decades, Anheuser-Busch has used its famous Clydesdales in Super Bowl ads for Budweiser. Instead of a herd of majestic hoof-stomping steeds thundering across a valley floor, this year´s 60-second ad centers on the bond an adorable Clydesdale foal shares with his trainer. The latest star is barely two weeks old. A foal born January 16 at Anheuser-Busch´s Warm Springs Ranch near the mid-Missouri town of Boonville is featured in an ad that will appear in Sunday´s game
Last week’s Winter X Games killed more people than 90-plus years of National Football League play. Should anyone’s conscience really bother them for watching the Ravens play the 49ers on Sunday? Barack Obama labels himself “a big football fan” on the eve of the Super Bowl. But he envisions a kinder, gentler game, one that won’t force us “to examine our consciences quite as much.” Barack Obama told the New Republic, “If I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football.” “Of all games I personally like foot ball best,” Theodore Roosevelt wrote
Barney, President George W. Bush´s black Scottish terrier who became famous during his White House tenure for the “Barney Cam” videos, has died, the Bushes announced on Friday. “He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal,” Bush said in a statement. The dog, who was twelve years old, had been suffering from lymphoma. Barney gained quite a following for his “Barney Cams,” which showed the White House from the dog´s point of view. The videos were usually focused on the holidays, with Barney —
Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan will retire effective Feb. 22, an agency spokesman confirmed Friday. Sullivan, who has led the agency since 2006, began his career with the Secret Service in 1983. He will be the third-longest serving head of the agency, and was responsible during his career for overseeing 23 national security special events, including the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. But Sullivan´s tenure will likely be defined by the Colombian prostitution scandal that enveloped the agency last year.
According to the Hurriyet Daily News: Security cameras were not recording at the moment of the blast due to a power outage in the area, according to claims. It is not clear whether or not the embassy building was the only building experiencing the outage, Hürriyet reported on its website. Officials from the company that is responsible for the the capital’s power are reportedly at the scene as well. It is surprising–and a significant vulnerability–that security cameras would be dependent upon the local power supply, rather than an independent source. Benghazi revealed serious flaws which had developed in embassy
To the shock of America, Katie Couric admitted she shared an intimate evening with Larry King. Yes, the bespectacled, suspender wearing, grandfatherly TV-news journalist who is 23 years Couric’s senior. On last night’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Couric recounted in striking detail about the Italian dinner date she went on with King 26 years ago in Washington, DC. After dinner, King drove them back to his apartment where he tried to put the moves on her. “So we sat there and what can I say, he lunged,” Couric said (to the delight/horror of everyone watching probably.)
The Rev. Jesse Jackson pledged to march this weekend on behalf of the Windy City teenager who was shot and killed, days after performing at an event for President Barack Obama’s Inauguration. Jackson said the march would feature his Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Rev. Al Sharpton, among others. He added that there are a number of factors that drive gun violence beyond gun laws, which are stringent in Chicago. “It’s not just about gun laws; it’s about gun flow and drug flow and job flow,” Jackson said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We know where they’re manufactured.
After the American economy delivered more bad news today in the form of an increase in the unemployment rate and job growth that barely kept up with the increase in population, it took exactly 4.3476 seconds for the Washington Post´s Ezra Klein and some flak for NBC News to jump before the "Morning Joe" cameras to assure Americans this was good news. Apparently, the increase in the unemployment rate means the economy is so good, more people are joining the labor force ... except 169,000 people dropped out of the labor force, and the economy isn´t good;
A week after women were cleared to serve in combat, Defense Intelligence Agency employees got a different message. "Makeup makes you more attractive." "Don´t be a plain Jane." "A sweater with a skirt is better than a sweater with slacks." "No flats." "Paint your nails." "Don´t be afraid of color." And, "brunettes have more leeway with vibrant colors than blondes or redheads." Men and women at DIA were given fashion advice in a presentation prepared by an employee at the agency this week. Susan Strednansky, public affairs officer at DIA, offered the agency´s regrets about the briefing,
Some frankly silly thoughts and ideas have been punctured in the past few days about France´s invasion of Mali. Most importantly, that the French military effort to roll back the advance of salafy jihadis who had captured much of the north of the country, bringing a reign of amputations and torture to locals for what they deemed violations of Islamic law, would turn into a repeat of Dien Bien Phu, where French forces were defeated by a 45,000 man Viet Minh army backed by both China and the Soviet Union.
Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, who passed away today at the age of 88, was in the news until just a few weeks ago, reacting--angrily--to the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as Secretary of Defense. Koch had a visceral understanding of the evil and danger of Islamic terrorism--he had Daniel Pearl´s last words inscribed on his tombstone--and in the last few years of his life, he became alarmed at the anti-Israel drift of his Democratic Party, particularly under the leadership of President Barack Obama, whom he felt had betrayed him.
You don´t have to be that good to fend off a committee of showboating senatorial blowhards. Hillary Clinton demonstrated that a week or so back when she unleashed what´s apparently the last word in withering putdowns: What difference does it make? Quite a bit of difference, it seems. This week, an oversedated Elmer Fudd showed up at the Senate claiming to be the president´s nominee for Secretary of Defense, and even the kindliest interrogators on the committee couldn't prevent the poor chap shooting himself in the foot. Headline split by staff.
A 6-year-old´s woeful YouTube video about not being old enough to marry Houston Texans defensive lineman JJ Watt lead to a surprise proposal, complete with a Ring Pop ring, a white jersey wedding gown and a first dance to Justin Bieber. "It first started when we saw on the news that JJ Watt was having a hard time finding a good girlfriend because of his fame and everything," Lindsey Bartay, mother of the mournful Breanna in the YouTube video, told ABCNews.com. "He wanted to make sure he had the right one." "I called her in because she loves him,"
Last year’s Supreme Court decision declaring ObamaCare constitutional ensured that the massive expansion of government power would go forward, but it did not remove all legal challenges to the legislation. Religious organizations that rightly objected to the bill’s mandate that even those who objected on religious grounds had to pay for services that violated their beliefs. Opponents of the mandate were falsely portrayed last year as taking part in a Republican “war on women” that helped whip up support for President Obama and the Democrats.
Texas Governor Rick Perry claimed this week that the health of the U.S. economy is dependent in large part on Texas. Perry said, “You think about what’s happening in the country, job-wise, economic impact-wise, if you were to take Texas out of that mix, this country would be in trouble.” Texas has done so well under Perry that he wants to give $1.8 billion in tax rebates to the people of Texas, saying, “That money will do more good in the hands of taxpayers and citizens.” Because the Texas state constitution forbids such a move, Perry says he will try to pass a constitutional amendment so he can give the people their money back. Headline resplit and Content added by staff.
Free Markets: Unemployment in socialist Brazil has hit a record-low 4.6%, the government said Thursday, two days after it proposed a $15 billion tax cut. So why can´t the U.S. elect socialists who deliver such results? The short answer is that Brazil, now 10 years under socialist rule, has learned lessons about taxing the rich, spending, drilling for oil and defending the currency since its earlier socialistic days of runaway inflation, high taxes and low growth. In short, it knows that free-market reform works. Brazil´s free-market changes largely began with the presidency of centrist Fernando Henrique Cardoso in 1995.
This summer there will be two Oval Offices in the White House complex, and it won’t be a case of double vision. In preparation for a major, two-year renovation of the West Wing, the government is undertaking extensive work to complete a new executive office for President Obama at the south end of the adjacent Eisenhower Executive Office Building, RCP has learned. The president’s facsimile Oval Office, created as a nearly identical replica of the most famous ovoid room in the world, is slated to be ready for occupancy by August if Obama is ready to move
Conservative and religious groups panned the Obama administration´s long-awaited "accommodation" meant to spare religious-affiliated groups from the so-called contraceptive mandate, calling a proposal unveiled Friday "radically inadequate." The Department of Health and Human Services announced the broader opt-out Friday a year after Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pledged to address complaints from Catholic schools, religious-affiliated service providers and other organizations. The proposed regulations, though, did not satisfy the widespread concerns about the ObamaCare rule requiring near-universal access to contraceptive coverage for employees.