The wife of an American pastor held captive in an Iranian prison for nearly a year said she has yet to hear from President Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry and to her knowledge the administration has not done anything to help free her husband. “I have not received a telephone call from President Obama,” said Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Rev. Saeed Abedini. “I have not received a telephone call from Secretary of State John Kerry – unfortunately.”
When a staffer texted Senator Mike Lee that his friend and colleague Rand Paul was mounting a talking filibuster to demand greater transparency on the administration’s drone policy, Lee did not hesitate. “I alerted my staff that I would need to be going to the floor,” he says in an interview. Lee was the first of Paul’s Republican colleagues to formally join the filibuster, providing some relief by delivering a speech in support. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas would soon follow, bearing news of the tremendous outpouring of public support on social media
A sales tax break designed to help agricultural businesses was written with sweeping language aimed at a range of Georgia farmers. But faced with a growing horde of applicants, state officials are racing to clarify a vast gray area determining who should qualify for the lucrative benefits. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis shows more than 20,000 businesses have rushed to apply for the tax break since it passed last year, and regulators have few resources to scrutinize the wave of applications. The program, which took effect in January, broadens sales tax exemptions for equipment and supplies bought by farmers in Georgia.
WASHINGTON -- A federal judge sounded skeptical Monday of former Sen. Larry Craig´s claim that he properly used $217,000 in campaign funds for his legal defense after his arrest in a 2007 airport bathroom sex sting. Craig contends that the airport bathroom trip fell under his official, duties as senator because he was traveling between Idaho and Washington for work, and therefore the legal fees could be paid for with campaign money. But at a hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that such a broad reading of official travel could be taken to extremes.
A series of moderate earthquakes -- the largest a magnitude 4.7 -- struck the Riverside County desert area Monday morning, officials said. The biggest quake rattled large parts of Southern California but was felt most strongly in the Inland Empire area and parts of Imperial and San Diego counties. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Here is the U.S Geological Survey time line of the morning´s quakes. 4.6 2013/03/11 09:56:06 4.7 2013/03/11 09:55:50 4.7 2013/03/11 09:55:42 The temblors were centered about 23 miles from Palm Springs and 64 miles from San Diego.
WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. John McCain is a walking contradiction, antagonizing President Barack Obama over foreign policy one minute, cooperating with the Democrat the next on immigration and the budget. So who is the real McCain? There’s the national security expert pounding the Obama administration with words like “cover-up” and “incompetence” over the deadly assault in Libya last September, snarling about the administration’s lack of backbone on Syria and ripping into Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel over the Iraq war. But there’s also the Arizona lawmaker reviving his past bipartisan effort on immigration by reaching out to Obama
CINCINNATI, OH - A nun, a poll worker and a senior citizen are charged with voter fraud in Hamilton County stemming from the contentious 2012 presidential election. Russell Glassop, 75, Melowese Richardson, 58 and Sister Marguerite Kloos each face charges of voter fraud. Glassop is charged with voting via absentee ballot on behalf of his deceased wife. Officials say Glassop forged her signature on an absentee ballot after she´d passed on. Richardson, a Hamilton County poll worker for at least 14 years, was charged with eight counts of illegal voting. The prosecutors
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) local 1199 in New York City allowed a celebration of the life of the late socialist Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez to be held in their offices Friday. The event, organized by the pro-Chavez Bolivarian Circle of New York, was held last Friday at 6:30 PM and promoted on Facebook. The event’s Facebook announcement declared that the event was to be held in the auditorium of the 1199 SEIU building on 43rd street in New York City. “Those who die for life can not be called dead,” the announcement reads.
The House Republican budget will balance the budget over 10 years in part by cutting spending by about $5 trillion and turning Medicare into a premium support program, Rep. Paul D. Ryan said Sunday. The Wisconsin Republican, whose previous budget resolutions have been signposts for GOP economic policy priorities, said the fiscal 2014 plan that he will release Tuesday will not need to make dramatic changes from previous proposals because of improved economic circumstances. “We always got close to balancing the budget but not quite there,” the House Budget Committee chairman said on “Fox News Sunday.”
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee promised Monday to make Rep. Paul Ryan´s (R-Wis.) new budget a focal point of their 2014 campaigns. "The Ryan budget will be a gift that gives throughout the 2014 cycle for Democrats," pollster Geoff Garin said on a Monday call hosted by the DSCC. House Democrats ran hard against Ryan´s budget in 2012 and picked up some seats, though some believe the attacks didn´t have as much of an impact than they were hoping. The budget was a factor in some Senate races like North Dakota, though it wasn´t as much of a focus.
Bruce Carroll, a co-founder of the conservative gay group GOProud, has resigned from the organization´s board in order to concentrate on a potential bid against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), he announced on Monday. "In the spirit of transparency and honesty, I informed my fellow GOProud board members that I could not dedicate the time to the organization while I seriously considered the effort it will take to challenge Senator Graham in the 2014 primary," Carroll writes in an open letter on gaypatriot.net Monday morning. "Over the next few weeks, I will be studying the resources, time and effort
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says the prospect of running for president has become “more realistic” to him but he will not think about a 2016 bid before completing deficit-reduction talks. Ryan also told Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace that he has no intention of replacing John Boehner (R-Ohio) as House speaker. Ryan said he looks back on the 2012 presidential campaign, when he served as Mitt Romney’s running mate, as a very positive experience. He said it made running for the presidency himself seem more likely but he pledged not to weigh a run until deficit-reduction talks in Congress
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, once seen as a rising star in Democratic Party politics, was convicted on Monday on two dozen federal charges of corruption and bribery while in office. U.S. prosecutors accused Kilpatrick, 42, his father and a city contractor of widespread corruption, extorting bribes from contractors who wanted to be awarded or keep city contracts, turning the mayor´s office into "Kilpatrick Incorporated" during his seven year tenure.
President Barack Obama says he’s ready to do whatever it takes to help Democrats win the House next year — a feat that could make the difference between limping to the end of his presidency and going out with a bang. But some Democratic candidates and operatives in the districts on which control of the House will hinge said in interviews with Politico that the message and issues Obama has emphasized since the election are creating a difficult political headwind for them. Obama’s political choices, they say, reflect a tone-deafness to the challenges they face competing for moderate and conservative-leaning
Del. Eleanor Norton (D-District of Columbia) says private sector jobs are not showing much growth because the federal government is shrinking. “What is shrinking is not the private sector – it’s hard for them to grow because the public sector, both the state sector and the federal government is shrinking and they are having to grow it all by themselves and that is why we don’t have much growth,” Holmes Norton said. The delegate discussed her economic theory during last Friday’s House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearing on "The Impact of Sequestration on Women and Families."
Paris–France’s surprise intervention in northern Mali against Islamist fighters involved in lucrative drug-running has disrupted cocaine supply to Europe but smugglers are already finding new routes, analysts said. The former colonial power sent its jets and troops exactly two months ago to eliminate Al-Qaeda-linked groups that had been controlling northern Mali for nine months and were threatening to move south towards the capital. The jihadist network in Mali’s north has funded itself by taking foreign hostages but also by levying a tax on smugglers running drugs from Latin America to feed Europe’s ever-growing market.
I was raised in a religious Jewish environment, and though we were not strongly Zionist, I always took it to be self-evident that “Israel has a right to exist.” Now anyone who has debated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will have encountered this phrase often. Defenders of Israeli policies routinely accuse Israel’s critics of denying her right to exist, while the critics (outside of a small group on the left, where I now find myself) bend over backward to insist that, despite their criticisms, of course they affirm it. The general mainstream consensus seems to be that to deny Israel’s right
It is a myth that wedding rings and sacred vows guarantee permanent residency in this country. Ashley Fuller applied for citizenship after he was married. The federal government denied him a green card.“It’s only in the movies,” said Fuller’s wife, Cindy. Fuller is facing deportation on Friday. He’s lived the American dream alongside his wife for 25 years. Like many expatriates who arrive on U.S. soil, Fuller spawned a symbiotic relationship between himself and the community. The father of three owns a business, employs four workers and volunteers with two charity groups in Casper.
DETROIT — Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted Monday of corruption charges, ensuring a return to prison for a man once among the nation’s youngest big-city leaders. Jurors convicted Kilpatrick of a raft of crimes, including a racketeering conspiracy charge that carries a maximum punishment of 20 years behind bars. He was portrayed during a five-month trial as an unscrupulous politician who took bribes, rigged contracts and lived far beyond his means while in office until fall 2008.
A jury has convicted former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of most of the federal charges against him -- including racketeering extortion and filing false tax returns -- in a case accusing him of using the mayor´s office to enrich himself and associates, CNN affiliate WDIV reported Monday morning. Contractor Bobby Ferguson also was found guilty Monday of racketeering and extortion. Kilpatrick's father, Bernard Kilpatrick, was found guilty of a single tax count, and not guilty on two others charges, according to WDIV. Kwame Kilpatrick, the Detroit mayor from 2002 until he resigned in 2008,
It holds some of the world’s most dangerous prisoners and is a byword for terror. But astonishing new pictures have given a fresh glimpse of what life is really like inside Guantanamo Bay - the top-security, barb-wired holding pen for extremists captured in the war on terror. Far from languishing in a dank and desolate dungeon as many in the outside world imagine, inmates are in fact able to rent Harry Potter movies, borrow car magazines and even get strawberries for their tea. Detainees wake up each morning in a room equipped with a private lavatory, sink and
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a member of the Democratic Party’s leadership in the House of Representatives, suggested to Jason Mattera at a Feb. 13 women’s rights rally that plans for an assault weapons ban and private-sales background checks were only the beginning of a broader gun control agenda extending to handguns as well. Schakowsky evidently did not recognize Mattera, a conservative video journalist and senior investigative reporter for Talk Radio Network, who infamously confronted Vice President Joe Biden in the Capitol. (Mattera introduced himself to Schakowsky by name but did not indicate that he was filming or that
Blockbuster miniseries The Bible has fast become one of the biggest hits on American TV, landing more than 13million viewers for its first episode. But while its runaway success has taken the entertainment world by surprise, it has not come as a shock to its creators. The producers have revealed that during its production, the show seemed to be marked by mysterious omens which they claim are evidence of ´the hand of God´. These apparent miracles included a a sudden swarm of snakes around the base of the cross where Jesus was to be crucified,
The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, to far too little notice. It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. As elsewhere reported, much of this purchase order is for rounds forbidden by international law for use in war plus a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending fewer than
Seoul, South Korea - North Korean state media said Monday that Pyongyang had carried through with a threat to cancel the 60-year-old armistice that ended the Korean War, as it and South Korea staged dueling war games amid threatening rhetoric that has risen to the highest level since North Korea rained artillery shells on a South Korean island in 2010. Enraged over the South´s joint military drills with the United States and recent U.N. sanctions, Pyongyang has piled threat on top of threat, including vows to launch a nuclear strike on the U.S. Seoul has responded with tough talk
Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for killing 48 Syrian soldiers and state employees in Iraq last week, saying their presence proved collusion between the Shi´ite-led government in Baghdad and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Unidentified gunmen last week attacked a convoy of Syrians who had fled across the border into Iraq from a Syrian rebel advance, and were being escorted back home through the western province of Anbar, Iraq´s Sunni Muslim heartland. "Military detachments succeeded in annihilating an entire column of the Safavid army," al Qaeda´s Iraqi wing, Islamic State of Iraq, said in a statement posted online,