House Democrats have put forth a bill to create a "diplomatic envoy" to Iran to try to "convince that country to abandon its nuclear ambitions." Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) sponsored the legislation, which will require the envoy to pursue "direct, sustained... negotiations with Iran in order to prevent war and support human rights." The darkening clouds surrounding Iran´s nuclear program are troubling. We must use all diplomatic tools available, including engaging in direct bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. To do that we must lift the "no contact" policy and begin negotiations. The bill has little chance
Organic tomatoes really are healthier than their conventionally grown counterparts, new research suggests. Despite being smaller, they are packed with higher amounts of vitamin C and compounds that may combat chronic diseases, the findings show. The reason for the difference is down to the organic plants´ tough upbringing, it is claimed. While conventionally grown tomatoes are are treated with pesticides and artificial fertilisers, organic farming forces the fruits to fend for themselves. The stress they suffer as a result promotes greater concentrations of health-giving chemicals, according to the scientists.[Snip] A U.S. review of research studies published last year found
More than 600,000 white British Londoners have left the capital in a decade. Census figures show that between 2001 and 2011 the level of ‘white flight’ reached 620,000. It is the equivalent of a city the size of Glasgow, made up entirely of white Britons, moving out of the capital. The figures, reported by the BBC yesterday, mean that for the first time, white Britons are now in a minority in the country’s largest city. At the same time, the census shows, some rural areas have seen a rise in the proportion of people who describe their ethnicity as
Imagine a new senator who ran a campaign of “no more business as usual.” No more special interest politics, no more backroom deals — and he won. He came to Washington, and he delivered. He didn’t stay quiet, he spoke passionately for what he believed in, and he made it clear he planned to shake up the status quo. How would the media react to a senator like that? Nothing but praise for standing his ground, right? Surely editorials lauding his boldness, his vision, his courage would be his reward. He would be held
Three Al Qaeda-backed British Muslims have been found guilty of planning the worst-ever terror attack on British soil by using eight suicide bombers to cause ´mass death´ and ´carnage´. Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, all from Birmingham, were today convicted of plotting the ´spectacular campaign´ designed to claim as many lives as the 2005 London Underground bombs that killed 52 innocent people. Inspired by hate preacher Anwar al-Awlaki´s online sermons, the homegrown jihadis led an extremist plot to set off bombs and other deadly weapons in crowded shopping centres and railway stations across Britain.
The New York Times Co is putting The Boston Globe on the auction block for a second time as it seeks to focuses solely on growing its flagship newspaper, the company said on Wednesday. The sale, which will also include the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, is expected to come at a big loss for subscribers and advertisers .. the Globe could fetch about $150 million. The New York Times paid $1.1 billion for the newspaper in 1993.
In his first term President Obama was criticized for trash-talking the one-percenters while enjoying the aristocracy of Martha´s Vineyard and the nation´s most exclusive golf courses. Obama never quite squared his accusations that "millionaires and billionaires" had not paid their fair share with his own obvious enjoyment of the perks of "corporate jet owners," "fat cat bankers" and Las Vegas junketeers. Now, that paradox has continued right off the bat in the second term. In the State of the Union, Obama once more went after "the few," and "the wealthiest and the most powerful,"
WASHINGTON- Republican Sen. Richard Shelby says he will vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, a major boost for President Barack Obama´s nominee. The Alabama lawmaker tells the Decatur Daily he has concerns about his fellow Republican but plans to support him. Shelby spokesman Jonathan Graffeo said Thursday that, barring unforeseen surprises, the senator will vote for confirmation. Hagel is a former two-term senator from Nebraska who has faced strong GOP opposition. Shelby joins two other Republicans who have indicated their support for Hagel -- Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Mike Johanns of Nebraska.
Detroit — Nearly half of the owners of Detroit´s 305,000 properties failed to pay their tax bills last year, exacerbating a punishing cycle of declining revenues and diminished services for a city in a financial crisis, according to a Detroit News analysis of government records. The News reviewed more than 200,000 pages of tax documents and found that 47 percent of the city´s taxable parcels are delinquent on their 2011 bills.(Snip) Delinquency is so pervasive that 77 blocks had only one owner who paid taxes last year, The News found. Many of those who don´t pay question why they should
WASHINGTON -President Obama goes into a busy spring of legislative battles holding the upper hand over congressional Republicans on key issues, a newly released poll shows. In the fight over automatic spending cuts that are scheduled to begin March 1, Obama has a dual advantage: Almost half of Americans surveyed said they would blame the GOP if the cuts took place, compared with fewer than one-third who said they would blame Obama. Moreover, an overwhelming majority, 79%, say that additional tax increases should be part of any new deficit reduction deal, compared with only 19% who side with
A third of the seafood sold nationwide and almost 40 percent of the fish purchased by consumers in Northern California was not what it was touted to be, a study released Thursday by the nonprofit group Oceana revealed. Genetic testing of 1,215 fish taken from 674 retail outlets, grocery stores and sushi bars throughout the United States between 2010 and 2012 found that 33 percent of the samples had been mislabeled, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Researchers with Oceana, a group dedicated to preserving the ocean ecosystem, reported finding seafood mislabeling in all 21 states where
Global stock markets have fallen after some members of the US central bank suggested its stimulus measures may be increasing the "risks of future economic and financial imbalances". The comments came in minutes of the Federal Reserve´s last meeting, where the Fed said it had left its monthly $85bn bond-buying plan in place. US markets opened lower on Thursday after recording their biggest drop so far this year on Wednesday. [Snip] Currently, the Fed is carrying out its plan of buying $85bn of bonds a month until the US jobs market sees a substantial improvement. By buying bonds, the Fed
It is a treacherous moment for gold bugs. The first whiff of future tightening from the US Federal Reserve has sent bullion into a nose-dive, triggering a much-feared “Death’s Cross” sell signal on gold futures. Gold has dropped by over $100 an ounce in ten days, touching $1556 this morning.[Snip] Citigroup says the great bull market of the last 12 years is over. The “long cycle” has peaked. Economic recovery has yanked away the key support. So long as there are no big “street riots” this year, investors will stop buying precious metals as Armaggedon insurance and rotate instead
Wednesday´s NBC Today featured a full report on Tiger Woods praising President Obama´s golf game, with White House correspondent Peter Alexander cheering the weekend outing as the "most talked about golf pairing in years" and that Woods "was to golf what the President wants to be to politics, the guy who can´t stop winning." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]-In between clips of Woods, Alexander proclaimed: "And reflecting on their weekend round together, this ruthless competitor admits he was impressed by his presidential partner." After a sound bite of Woods saying Obama could
Brin, a local mixed breed known as a Koochee Tiger, was adopted by the British army when he was found starving and abandoned outside a base in Helmand in 2010. The soldiers discovered he had an inborn talent for sniffing out danger and soon he began accompanying patrols around the area. It was during these patrols that he saved the lives of two soldiers when he barked to alert them to a hidden bomb that would have killed them. He was later captured by the Taliban during a raid and remained with them until later that year when a daring
I have it on excellent authority that, with the sequester looming, House Republicans will pass a bill to provide the various federal departments and agencies with the power to prioritize where cuts go in each organization. The total amount of cuts within a department or agency would be the same, but the cuts could be made on a more rational basis. (snip) It has two virtues. From a policy standpoint, it will improve the sequester (if that’s what we end up with) by making it less of a blunt instrument. From a political standpoint, it improves the Republicans position.
The last of the Bayonne teens responsible for beating a 24-year-old man into a coma 19 months ago is expected to be sentenced to between 5 and 7 years in prison when he appears in court tomorrow. John McShea, 18, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in October in connection to the July 2011 beating of Dawid Strucinski that had him in a coma for most of the month. McShea is among a group of nine teens that were charged in the brutal attack, but is the only one that is expected to serve any prison time for the attack.
Up to eight suicide bombers carrying backpacks rammed with explosives and armed with guns were to carry out a horrifying blend of the 7/7 and Mumbai atrocities. The jihadi gang planned to walk in to crowded, public places shooting indiscriminately before simultaneously detonating their terrible homemade payloads killing hundreds on their wake. Although no firm target was settled on, the 2012 Olympics may have been one along with soldiers based in this country. They even boasted about "hitting" David Cameron, his friends and other non-believers in the "land of Satan". The plot was the most significant since the plans
On his MSNBC show this morning, NBC´s senior White House correspondent, Chuck Todd, reported that Republican senator Lindsey Graham had been successful in his quest to see White House emails concerning Libya. As leverage, Graham threatened to hold up the nomination of John Brennan, who´s slated to take over the C.I.A., if the emails weren´t released. According to Todd, there are also memos related to Libya the GOP would like to see. Thus far, the White House hasn´t budged on those.
CHICAGO — Finally. The epic saga of Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi is winding down. The disgraced former congressman, who is publicly milking his alleged bi-polar disorder for all it’s worth, pleaded guilty yesterday to federal charges of using his campaign accounts as a personal piggy bank. The government and other experts claim Jackson’s misuse of over $750 thousand dollars in campaign funds is the largest corruption case in the history of the House of Representatives. Disgraced former Chicago alderman Sandi Jackson pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion. It is doubtful
President Obama’s plan to carry out a new round of nuclear-warhead cuts will be announced soon, U.S. officials say. The coming round of warhead-reduction talks with Russia was put on hold partly as a result of the Senate delay in confirming Defense Secretary-designate Chuck Hagel, an outspoken proponent of the Global Zero anti-nuclear weapons group that called in a report last year for radical denuclearization steps.
WASHINGTON — Rep. Ed Markey on Tuesday compared the Supreme Court´s Citizens United campaign finance decision to the 1858 Dred Scott decision upholding slavery during a campaign speech in Pittsfield, Mass. The remarks came during a speech that Markey, who is running to replace former Sen. John Kerry in the Senate, gave to a crowd of supporters in which he said repealing the decision is a key reason he is running. "I want to go to the United States Senate in order to fight for a constitutional amendment to repeal Citizens United.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he´ll run for a sixth term in the Senate in 2016 — though it doesn´t sound like he´s given the bid much thought at this point. "Sure, why not?" he responded when asked by a Nevada reporter if he´ll run again. Reid, who won a hard-fought reelection battle in 2010, will be 76 in 2016. He refused to speculate on whether Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) would run against him. Sandoval, a popular governor, would likely be Republicans´ best chance at the seat in the Democratic-trending state.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is the latest prominent figure to fall for a political parody article, this one from “military’s answer to The Onion” The Duffel Blog. One of McConnell’s constituents evidently sent him this piece from last October claiming that Guantanamo prisoners were set to receive GI Bill benefits and the senator decided he had to do something about it. Wired Magazine‘s Danger Room blog acquired a letter, seen below, that McConnell wrote to Elizabeth King, the Pentagon’s congressional liaison, expressing his concern.
CSCOPE is the acronym-sounding name — that is not actually an acronym — for the oft-criticized, all-embracing K-12 educational curriculum that is used in 80 percent of the school districts in Texas. “CSCOPE’s high quality curriculum, assessment, and instructional components assist schools in meeting the high standard of rigor and relevance” ostensibly required by various assessments administered by the Lone Star State, touts the nonprofit entity’s website. Most — though not all — of the critics of CSCOPE are politically conservative. They charge that the controversial curriculum is a radical, backdoor way for progressives to