VATICAN CITY — As cardinals from around the world begin arriving in Rome for a conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, new shadows have fallen over the delicate transition, which the Vatican fears might influence the vote and with it the direction of the Roman Catholic Church. In recent days, often speculative reports in the Italian news media — some even alleging gay sex scandals in the Vatican, others focusing on particular cardinals stung by the child sexual abuse crisis — have dominated headlines, suggesting fierce internal struggles as prelates scramble
This weekend is the NFL Combine, where the new crop of rookies run and jump and are analyzed by professional scouts before the annual draft. Among this year´s crew is Manti Te´o. You may have heard of him. He dated a girl that didn´t exist. A lot of reporters had questions for him. Seriously, look at all these reporters: (Snip for photo)This is what Te´o could see: (Snip for photo)Thankfully he´s not scared of public speaking. Somewhere, someone is looking at these pictures and starring at their very worst nightmare come to life for this kid.
Take a big gulp, New York: Hizzoner is about to give you a pop. Nanny Bloomberg unleashes his ban on large sodas on March 12 — and there are some nasty surprises lurking for hardworking families. Say goodbye to that 2-liter bottle of Coke with your pizza delivery, pitchers of soft drinks at your kid’s birthday party and some bottle-service mixers at your favorite nightclub. They’d violate Mayor Bloomberg’s new rules, which prohibit eateries from serving or selling sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces. Bloomberg’s soda smackdown follows his attacks on salt, sugar, trans fat, smoking and even baby formula.
For many, it’s the country’s ultimate over-the-horizon electoral question: Could Texas become a blue state? To which Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry emits a hearty guffaw. Texas going blue, he says, “is the biggest pipedream I have ever heard.” To explain just how preposterous, Gov. Perry summons the example of the state’s two arch rivals, the University of Texas and Texas A&M, his alma mater, whose colors are maroon and white. “The University of Texas will change its colors to maroon and white before Texas goes purple, much less blue,” he said in an interview
Now former WCBS anchorman Rob Morrison is finally out of his marital home this week, and his wife Ashley may be one of those women who is lucky to be alive. He allegedly had a long- term pattern of physically abusing his wife, who is a beautiful and intelligent television journalist. Merely a month before this incident, the police were called when he is said to have choked her until she almost passed out. However, she then decided to drop the January complaint, saying that she had exaggerated her accusations. I certainly hope that Ashley, with support from family,
Barry Steenkamp was speaking a day after the Paralympic champion was freed on bail pending his trial. Mr Pistorius, 26, admits shooting Ms Steenkamp, 29, but denies murder, saying he mistook her for an intruder. "If it didn´t happen the way he says it did he must suffer and he will suffer," her father told Beeld newspaper. "It does not matter how much money he has and how good his legal team is, he will have to live with his conscience," Mr Steenkamp said. "But if he speaks the truth, I can perhaps some day forgive him," he added.
Living in New York, we’re no strangers to really restrictive new gun laws, but you sort of expect that out here. We may have some competition in the race to the bottom, though, if some legislators in Oregon have their way. In fact, if HB 3200 gets passed into law, you may as well pack up and leave the state if you have any interest in Second Amendment rights. Here’s the top line summary. Creates crime of unlawful possession or transfer of assault weapon or large capacity magazine. Punishes by maximum penalty
Proclaiming himself a conciliator and a moderate with a vision of Americans "stand[ing] with each other" and "paying their fair share," President Barack Obama is in fact one of the most partisan presidents ever to occupy the White House. Fine-sounding words notwithstanding, he is a leftist ideologue and no-holds-barred political fighter whose practice has consistently been to demonize the American equivalents of the hated kulaks (farmers) and petit-bourgeoisie (small business owners) persecuted in the Soviet Union.
The Republicans may as well stop their soul-searching and look at the reality of the Democrat electorate. In addition to those Republican voters who stayed home on Election Day, the hard-core (so-called) progressives, the inadequate Republican ground game, and those who pay little or no federal tax and are happy to elect those who promise to take larger sums from those who DO pay, there´s a more profound and possibly intractable problem.
At the Democratic National Convention last year, actress Eva Longoria called for higher taxes on America´s rich. Her take: "The Eva Longoria who worked at Wendy´s flipping burgers—she needed a tax break. But the Eva Longoria who works on movie sets does not." Actually, nowadays an Eva Longoria who flipped burgers would probably qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit and get a check from the government rather than pay taxes. It´s the movie set where she works these days that may well be getting the tax break. With campaign season over,
Nearly four months after the election, most everybody seems to agree that something is amiss with the GOP. This consensus has provoked a stream of free advice for how Republicans can get back on their feet. Some of it is constructive and helpful. For instance, commentators like Jim Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute, Peter Wehner of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and Michael Gerson of the Washington Post have persuasively argued in various ways about why and how the Republican party needs to update its policy offerings. But much of the “advice”
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and the same thing goes for Al Gore and Rupert Murdoch, right?I wrote a column recently excoriating Al Gore for selling his Current TV cable channel to Al Jazeera, the Arabic news broadcast company based in Qatar.It isn’t just that Al Jazeera is Arabic, but rather that it is a mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist causes.Turns out that the new Al Jazeera America may not be the only problem, however. An interview with columnist Diana West on the website www.radicalislam.org has pointed to Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News
By law, on Friday the executive must begin to cut $85 billion from federal spending. Though, as is his wont, the president is blaming the Republicans for what he claims is a draconian measure. No less a Washington chronicler of events than Bob Woodward of the Washington Post considers that a gross distortion of the truth [T]he automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of [Treasury Secretary nominee Jack] Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors -- probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.
Manti Te´o walked into a crowded room of reporters Saturday in Indianapolis, took a breath and settled in for one of the most riveting news conferences ever at the NFL scouting combine. Again, the former Notre Dame linebacker explained how he had been duped into an Internet romance with a girlfriend he never met. He answered every question with thoughtful deliberation and tried to provide clarity on a hoax that turned one of the nation´s best college players into the butt of national jokes. "I cared for somebody. That's what I was taught to do ever since I was young.
Brazil´s President Dilma Rousseff said Saturday that her government will seek to boost energy ties with Nigeria, Africa´s top oil producer, after meeting President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. Nigeria is Brazil´s main commercial partner in Africa, with bilateral trade soaring from $1.5 billion (1.1 billion euros) in 2002 to $9 billion last year. Brazil´s state-owned oil company Petrobras has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Nigeria´s coal, oil, natural gas and alternative energy sectors.(Snip)Experts say that Brazil, an emerging economic powerhouse, is looking to resource-rich countries like Nigeria to help sustain growth. Nigeria is also anxious to develop
The National Journal’s rankings of the most liberal U.S. representatives reveals that Connecticut’s Sen. Richard Blumenthal is the most liberal Senator, while Connecticut’s all-Democrat congressional delegation is the fourth most liberal in the country. Blumenthal tied with Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) for the top liberal spot in the Senate. Others at that end of the spectrum include Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). According to the rankings, Blumenthal voted for the liberal position on legislation 90.7% of the time.
Several years ago, the columnist Paul Krugman veered from his usual practice of writing about the economy and began writing columns about the war in Iraq. (Snip) Readers ask me about this on a fairly regular basis: How much freedom do The Times’s star columnists have? Are they edited or directed at all? Given their stature, would anyone dare? Robert Manson of Marlborough, Mass., posed the question recently in an e-mail: “I know that Times columnists are free to choose to write what they please, and I certainly consider that to be a good thing. However, I am writing to ask whether there
After a week in which a lot of media attention was focused on the White House Press Corps’ lack of access to President Obama‘s golf vacation in Florida, Fox News Watch asked Saturday why the president is shutting out reporters and avoiding “tough questions.” Jim Pinkerton, contributing editor for The American Conservative magazine, said that Ed Henry‘s message that this was “about transparency” and not about golf, was lost on most of the “mainstream media” because of Henry’s affiliation with Fox. He added, “the mainstream media are so ‘Obamaphilic’ that they just clobbered the
Sen. Ted Cruz’s office has chided the New Yorker for calling a three-year-old speech news, but has confirmed that the Texas Republican believed that the Harvard Law faculty had numerous self-described Communists. Cruz, according to the New Yorker, said that there were a dozen Marxists on the law school faculty committed to overthrowing the U.S. government when he attended Harvard during the 1990s. But according to Cruz, there was but a single Republican on the same faculty. Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for the senator, told a conservative website that the Texas
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.- At least 30 NASCAR fans were injured Saturday when a car sailed into the fence at Daytona International Speedway, and large chunks of debris - including a tire - flew into the grandstands. No fatalities were reported from the accident on the last lap of the Nationwide Series race. The crash began as the field closed in on the finish line, and rookie Kyle Larson´s car came upon the wreck and went airborne into the fence that separates the track from the seats. Large chunks of Larson´s car landed in the grandstands,
Obama thinks he has a mandate for change. But this is the man who ran for president in 2008 promising to “cut net spending” and to shrink the federal government; a man who promised that his “stimulus” spending was only temporary. Obama hid regulations from view until after his reelection. The press maintained the fiction that Obama supports the Second Amendment and is no threat to citizens’ keeping guns for self-defense. Yet the day after his reelection, Obama called for the UN Arms Trade Treaty negotiations to be started again, and a few weeks later he promised to put the full force of the federal
London - Iran´s Revolutionary Guards have brought down a foreign surveillance drone during a military exercise, the official Islamic Republic News Agency said on Saturday. "We have managed to bring down a drone of the enemy. This has happened before in our country," the agency quoted war games spokesman General Hamid Sarkheli as saying in Kerman, southeast Iran, where the military exercise is taking place. (Snip) In Washington, a Pentagon spokesman said he had seen the reports. He noted that the Iranians did not specifically claim that the drone was American.
As our colleague Viv Bernstein writes, the end of the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., was marred by a wreck that injured spectators and sheared the front from one of the cars. A report The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported on some of the immediate details: Dozens of safety workers went into the stands and have carried several people out on stretchers to a line of at least eight ambulances waiting below and behind the stands. Safety workers appeared to carry patients from at least two sections of the grandstands, while they worked
The major objection most Republicans have to the coming sequestration budget cuts is that the cuts will fall disproportionately on the Department of Defense. That’s true; defense spending is about one-fifth of the federal budget but will take about half of the sequester cuts. But even for the Pentagon, the cuts are only to the rate of growth for the defense budget in coming years. They are not actual cuts that make spending decline. In a February publication, “The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023,” the Congressional Budget Office (summary here, full report here)
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood threatened to shut down airports if Congress does not undo sequestration, even though the Federal Aviation Administration annual budget for consultants, travel, and supplies is larger than the sequester cut. “At DOT, we will need to cut nearly a billion dollars, which will affect dozens of our programs. Over $600 million of these cuts will need to come from the Federal Aviation Administration, the agency that controls and manages our nation’s skies,” LaHood said during the White House press briefing. “As a result of these cuts, the vast majority of FAA’s