John Kerry has prompted a Gallic shrug by refusing to speak French at his maiden news conference as US Secretary of State. Asked to answer a question with a "bit of French please", he said: "Not today. I got to refresh myself on that." The response surprised some in the francophone world as Mr Kerry attended a Swiss boarding school and is known to speak the language well.
San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener´s ban on baring it all in San Francisco notwithstanding, Nude Aid, a benefit for the Center for Sex and Culture, brought more than 30 artists and a dozen naked and fetish-clad models together for a pre-Valentine´s Day sketch session. Visitors hoping for an erotic thrill by seeing models in the buff got a different surprise (although the man with his face painted purple in the mode of a Mexican wrestling mask was an unexpected treat). The real voyeurism was peering over the shoulders of the artists as they worked
If Frederick Douglass walked today´s ghettos, he would witness a new-age style of slavery, plantations without the lash and chains. He would soon be outraged that government overseers are perpetuating generations of dependency through policies designed to capture the votes of the ignorant. Of the people he would ask, "What have you done with your freedom? Where is your dignity and self-respect?"
Kentucky senator Rand Paul told CNN’s Candy Crowley this morning that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, Ky.) is unlikely to face a Tea Party challenger in the 2014 election, despite rumors to the contrary. “I haven’t heard of any challenger coming forward,” Paul said. Asked about the prospect of a Democratic challenge from actress Ashley Judd, who is reportedly mulling a run, Paul told Crowley, “When I heard Ashley Judd might run for office, I thought maybe it was Parliament, since she lives in Scotland half of the year.” Judd, who recently announced her intention
The main purpose of US President Barack Obama´s visit to Israel in the spring is to warn Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu against attacking Iran, unnamed officials told Army Radio on Sunday. According to the officials, the urgency of the trip is because in his speech to the United Nations in September, Netanyahu had flagged the spring of 2013 as a significant time in the context of the Iranian nuclear threat. Therefore, they said, Obama is concerned that the prime minister will decide to attack Iran now when he is backed by
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday threatened to hold President Obama’s nominees to head the CIA and Defense department unless the administration provides him with more answers on the response to the Benghazi Consulate attack. “I don’t think we should allow [John] Brennan to go forward for the CIA directorship, [former Sen. Chuck] Hagel [R-Neb.] to be confirmed secretary of Defense until the White House gives us an accounting,” said Graham on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “Did the White House ever pick up the phone and call anyone in the Libyan government to help these folks?”
White House spinners are working furiously in the final 72 hours before President Obama’s State of the Union speech. Their job: convince the recession-scarred American public that economic recovery is Obama’s top priority — after everything he has said and done to suggest otherwise. The unemployment rate is 7.9 percent — one tenth of a point higher than it was when Obama took office in January 2009. But the true toll of joblessness is far higher. The Labor Department’s so-called U-6 rate, which includes people who want a job but have become so discouraged they
On Fox News Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told Fox News Channel anchor Chris Wallace that the ongoing debate about a balanced approach to deficit reduction should not place undue emphasis on spending cuts. She said that it is “almost a false argument” to say that Washington has a “spending problem.” Pelosi noted that there have been “plenty of spending cuts,” and budgetary priorities like education and food safety must be protected. (Snip) “Sequestration is a bad idea all around,” Pelosi began. “The fact is we’ve had plenty of spending cuts,
A conservative doctor named Ben Carson made quite a splash this week when he appeared to lecture President Obama at the national prayer breakfast. On CNN´s State of the Union Sunday, host Candy Crowley asked her guests, "Do you find anything offensive with" what the doctor said or did (video follows with transcript and commentary): CANDY CROWLEY, HOST: This was in Dr. Ben Carson. He is a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon out of Johns Hopkins. He was at the prayer breakfast and he was talking about the idea of, you know, weaving the Bible into some objections
KABUL, Afghanistan- Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford took over Sunday as the new and probably last commander of all U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan. The American-led NATO coalition is entering the final stretch of its participation in a war that will have lasted more than 13 years when most foreign combat troops pull out at the end of 2014. Dunford took over leadership of the International Security Assistance Force, and a smaller but separate detachment of American troops, from Marine Gen. John Allen, who had led them for the past 19 months. "Today is not about change,
Dr. Benjamin Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, raised a number of political eyebrows in Washington this week when he took to a stage he shared with President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast and advocated a number of conservative reforms. On Sunday, the panel guests on CNN’s State of the Union weighed in on whether it was appropriate for Carson to use the forum of the prayer breakfast to advocate for free market reforms to healthcare and a flat tax code. (Snip) “Whoa,” said CNN anchor Candy Crowley after playing a portion of Carson’s speech
Pressed to come up with hundreds of millions of dollars to settle clergy sex abuse lawsuits, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony turned to one group of Catholics whose faith could not be shaken: the dead. Under his leadership in 2007, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles quietly appropriated $115 million from a cemetery maintenance fund and used it to help pay a landmark settlement with molestation victims. (Snip)Families of those buried in church-owned cemeteries and interred in its mausoleums have contributed to a dedicated account for the perpetual care of graves, crypts and grounds since the 1890s.
Whether this weekend finds you blowing two feet of snow off the driveway or counting the hours until "Downton Abbey," make time to watch the video of Dr. Ben Carson speaking to the White House prayer breakfast this week. Seated in view to his right are Senator Jeff Sessions and President Obama. One doesn´t look happy. You know something´s coming when Dr. Carson says, "It´s not my intention to offend anyone. But it´s hard not to. The PC police are out in force everywhere."
WHEN the annals of presidential nicknames are updated a few years hence, it will be obvious that Barack Obama began earning a certain designation virtually from the day he took office in 2009. The Great Divider. This will be an appendix to a list that includes The Great Emancipator (Lincoln), The American Cincinnatus (Washington), The Apostle of Democracy (Jefferson) and The Great Communicator (Reagan). These are flattering descriptions. They are also earned descriptions — unlike irreverent and partisan monikers such as Martin Van Ruin (Van Buren) and The Human Iceberg (Benjamin Harrison).
Mafia gangs in Italy and Poland are being blamed for the horsemeat scandal amid fears that more cases of contamination could be revealed in Britain within days. Experts in the horse slaughter industry believe the meat is ending up in lasagnes, burgers and other products being served at dinner tables across Britain as part of multimillion pound scams. It has been claimed that the criminals use intimidation to get vets and other food production officials to approve the horsemeat and other cheaper alternatives, such as pork, as beef, which are then shipped around the world.
WASHINGTON — If President Obama tuned in to the past week’s bracing debate on Capitol Hill about terrorism, executive power, secrecy and due process, he might have recognized the arguments his critics were making: He once made some of them himself. Four years into his tenure, the onetime critic of President George W. Bush finds himself cast as a present-day Mr. Bush, justifying the muscular application of force in the defense of the nation while detractors complain that he has sacrificed the country’s core values in the name of security. The debate is not an exact parallel to those of
TEHRAN — Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated Sunday his desire to engage in direct talks with the U.S., on one condition. “Take your guns out of the face of the Iranian nation and I myself will negotiate with you,” he said at an event attended by tens of thousands of Iranians in Tehran’s Azadi Square. Ahmadinejad delivered his eighth and final annual speech to commemorate Iran’s 1979 revolution amid a range of challenges from his domestic opponents as well as international pressures, which have resulted in tough economic sanctions over the country’s nuclear program.
An infestation of tens of thousands of bed bugs has hospitalized a Kentucky homeowner after being literally eaten alive for more than a year in one of the worst cases exterminators have ever seen. Walking around Caleb and Debra Goins´ home in Frankfort, thousands of bed bugs are easily seen scurrying across walls, lampshades and falling out from holes in the sofa. ´This is one of the worst. I´ve seen others that are in line with it but this is about as bad as it gets,´ Michael Potter, professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky told WTVQ.
After weeks of anxiety plodding through the opaque Russian legal system, two U.S. women have custody of their adopted Russian children and are preparing to take them home to start a new life together. Jeana Bonner of South Jordan, Utah, and Rebecca Preece from Nampa, Idaho, told The Associated Press on Saturday about the expenses, the confusion and emotional swings they’ve gone through since arriving in Moscow in mid-January, expecting to quickly leave with their children, both of whom have Down syndrome.
The first rule about traveling between America and England aboard the Queen Mary 2, the flagship of the Cunard Line and the world’s largest ocean liner, is to never refer to your adventure as a cruise. You are, it is understood, making a crossing. The second rule is to refrain, when speaking to those who travel frequently on Cunard’s ships, from calling them regulars. The term of art — it is best pronounced while approximating Maggie Smith’s cut-glass accent on “Downton Abbey” — is Cunardists. The third rule, unspoken, is to not fling your Champagne flutes
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Mark Sanford’s bid for his old congressional seat is equal parts political campaign and confessional tour. The disgraced ex-South Carolina governor is back on the trail seeking forgiveness for the sins that caused his political career to collapse in spectacular fashion four years ago: The mysterious days-long disappearance, the lies about hiking the Appalachian Trail and the extramarital affair with an Argentine woman that splintered the Republican’s picture-perfect family and shattered his presidential aspirations. “I’m not in any way unaware of how I’ve let you down. I’m not in any way unaware
Alleged Los Angeles shooter Christopher Jordan Dorner, influenced by left-leaning media coverage of gun crime in the wake of the Newtown shootings, has virtually paralyzed the City of Angels. Floyd Lee Corkins, a gunman incensed by anti-gay marriage bias after reading articles by the liberal advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Center, took a firearm into the Family Research Council’s headquarters with the intention of killing “as many as possible.” He hoped to smash Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the faces of as many corpses as he could. These shooters were clearly moved by left-wing media, and we should thank every benevolent force
Distillers of a world famous bourbon has cut its alcohol content so it can meet increasing demand for the drink. The owners of Maker´s Mark, which is distilled Loretto, Kentucky, said they are unable to produce the bourbon fast enough. The plans became public after an email from Maker´s Mark executives Rob Samuels and Bill Samuels Jr, son of the company´s founder, emerged. It announced that the bourbon--which used the slogan ´It tastes expensive... and is´--will drop its alcohol content by there percent. It will now be reduced to 42 percent ABV from 45 percent.
WASHINGTON -- Marco Rubio is taking center stage as Republicans search for a new leader. In the nearly 100 days since President Barack Obama won a second term, the Florida senator has made calculated, concrete steps to emerge as a next-generation leader of a rudderless party, put a 21st-century stamp on the conservative movement and potentially position himself for a presidential run. The bilingual Cuban-American lawmaker has become Republicans´ point person on immigration and he pitches economic solutions for middle-class workers. He is an evangelist for a modern, inclusive party that welcomes more Hispanics and minorities,
Both captain and first officer had to don special oxygen masks to breathe, allowing them to make the emergency landing en route to Philadelphia from Heathrow last Sunday. They told passengers merely there had been a “technical fault” with the Boeing 777 but gave no other reason for the “pan pan” distress call. They landed in temperatures of -30C at Goose Bay in Newfoundland, the nearest airstrip to the coast and where passengers had to wait 10 hours on board for a replacement plane to arrive. The Sunday Express has established the original aircraft was the same plane which made
It´s not often one looks to the Guardian´s environment pages for an incisive and thorough critique of green propagandising. But hats off--really--to Leo Hickman for this ruthless deconstruction of an erroneous claim made by David Attenborough on his latest BBC nature documentary that in the last twenty years Africa has warmed by 3.5 degrees C. 3.5 degrees C in two decades? That would indeed be a remarkable temperature rise in anybody´s money. (Remember, since 1850 global mean temperatures have risen by about 0.8 degrees C--and we´re supposed to find that worrying and significant). Which is why, you might have thought