The National Zoo’s female giant panda gave birth to a cub Friday as hordes of people in this panda-obsessed realm halted work to watch the royal arrival in intimate high-definition on the zoo’s new public panda cams. Across the area, thousands heeded the zoo’s summons to its cameras and sat at their computers, glued to the live black-and-white images as Mei Xiang gave birth to the scrawny cub at 5:32 p.m., the zoo said. The birth sparked cautious jubilation at the zoo, salved the memory of the cub that died in September, and restored dreams of pandamania in a city
The Internal Revenue Service is targeting the veterans’ organization the American Legion, and a U.S. senator believes that Lois Lerner — a key figure in the IRS scandal – is to blame. “The IRS now requires American Legion posts to maintain dates of service and character of service records for all members… The penalty for not having the required proof of eligibility is, apparently, $1,000 per day,” the American Legion stated. The American Legion was referring to a 13-part section of Part 4, Chapter 76 of the Internal Revenue Manual pertaining to “veterans’ organizations.” The section falls under
Marsha Jones Shoushtari went back to work on Tuesday, two weeks after her youngest child, her only son, died after being shot on Crenshaw Boulevard. But she can´t escape the unfinished business that homicides entail. On Tuesday, police visited her office to return her son´s cellphone, the "effects" of an 18-year-old. On Wednesday, she and husband Manochehr visited the cemetery to arrange for their son´s burial; the coroner had just released the body. Through it all, some part of her is trying to believe this might not be real.
WASHINGTON - The estate of pop music legend Michael Jackson owes $702 million in federal taxes and penalties, the Internal Revenue Service charged in U.S. Tax Court, accusing the estate of undervaluing some of the star´s assets by hundreds of millions of dollars. The dollar amounts in dispute had not been previously disclosed in the court challenge that the Jackson estate filed in July to a bill from the IRS, the U.S. tax-collecting agency. At issue is the wide difference between what the estate said Jackson´s legacy was worth versus what the IRS determined was its taxable value. An IRS
The star witness in the case against accused baby killer De’Marquise Elkins admitted lying to police, the court and his family more than a dozen times Thursday, giving Elkins’ defense attorneys a chance to take shots at his credibility. The co-defendant and star witness for the prosecution, 15-year-old Dominique Lang of Brunswick, traded in his jail jumpsuit for slacks and a button-down shirt as he testified for more than five hours Thursday against Elkins in front of the Cobb jury for the first time. Lang is accused of being present when police say Elkins shot 13-month-old Antonio Santiago in the face and
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday played down the prospect of speedy U.S. intervention in Syria, stressing the difficulty of ordering military action against the Assad government without a strong international coalition and a legal mandate from the United Nations. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Obama has asked the Pentagon to provide military options in light of reports that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians. While Hagel declined to discuss any specific force movements, U.S. defense officials said the Navy moved a fourth warship into the region. Each can launch ballistic missiles.
Slowly at first, then all of a sudden, the Obama administration has devolved into the Obama regime. Obama does whatever he wants. Those pesky impediments on his predecessors — namely, federal law, the separation of powers, and the Constitution — have proved as tough as tissue paper in containing Obama’s ambition to impose statism on America. From Obamacare to unions to telephones, it’s basically another day, another decree. “I have to figure out what I can do outside of Congress through executive actions,” Obama reportedly told the Congressional Black Caucus last month. In Jacksonville on July 25, Obama announced, “Where I
When Mark Levin decided to write his book "The Liberty Amendments" to advocate a convention to propose a series of amendments to the U.S. Constitution, he may not have realized how quickly and deeply his profound idea would resonate. But throughout the nation, people are inclining their ears. The first obstacle Levin faced was the widespread misconception that he is calling for a constitutional convention that could be hijacked by enemies of our founding principles and converted into a forum to hammer the final nails into our constitutional republic by fundamentally and radically changing our founding document. In fact, Levin´s proposal couldn´t
About 40 Catholic pilgrims who traveled to Brazil for Pope Francis´ recent visit never left, hoping to stay permanently with political asylum. The U.N. High Commission for Refugees in Brasilia said Thursday that the asylum seekers who came to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day say they suffer from persecution in home countries including Pakistan, Congo and Sierra Leone. At least a dozen pilgrims say they are persecuted as Christians. The rest say they face political persecution or are fleeing conflicts. If was unclear how long Brazil´s Justice Ministry will take to weigh the asylum applications. The U.N. agency says
Conservative media´s total fixation on black-on-black and black-on-white crime isn´t going to end. Here´s why. There are a few black people up to no good in this country and Fox News is on it! So is Drudge Report. Vigilantly on the lookout, 24 hours a day, for stories about black youths behaving badly. This isn’t a particularly new phenomenon, but it’s intensified noticeably in the past year for at least two reasons. Conservatives, particularly white conservatives, feel a burning urgency to find a racial counterweight to the aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s shooting (including President Obama’s public comments about the incident), a
The Obama administration issued a new policy Friday that says immigration agents should try not to arrest and deport illegal immigrant parents of minor children. The move adds to the categories of people the administration is trying not to deport. In a nine-page memo, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said agents should use “prosecutorial discretion” to try to avoid detaining parents and, if parents are detained, agents should make sure they have the ability to visit with their children or participate in family court proceedings. The move won praise from immigrant-rights groups who said it’s a step toward a less harsh detention
Archaeologists have uncovered what could be the grave of Alexander the Great at a site near ancient Amphipolis. The warrior king--who ruled in the 4th century BC--was thought to be buried in Egypt. But experts have now become excited after they uncovered a marble-faced wall dating from the time. The structure measures an impressive wall measuring 500 metres long and three metres high, which archaeologists believe could contain a royal grave. [Snip] A Culture Ministry statement has enthused that the archaeologists have partly excavated a mound that has yielded a ´very remarkable´ marble-faced wall from the late 4th century BC.
From Saturday´s Daily Telegraph: Car bombs blasted through another Arab city yesterday, killing 27 people and injuring more than 350. This time, it was Tripoli’s turn. Not the Libyan capital, but the ancient Phoenician settlement in northern Lebanon – though, with the violence so widespread, it’s hard to keep up. [Snip] No one talks of an Arab Spring any more. Shakespeare, as I never tire of pointing out, has apt words for every human situation: The spring, the summer, The childing autumn, angry winter, change/ Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world, By their increase, now knows not which is which: And this same progeny
I´m writing these words in what was formerly one of the loveliest valleys in all of Wales. To be fair, the Edw valley still is pretty spectacular. But this year, for the first time in the decade or more I´ve been holidaying here, I no longer look at the white houses dotting the valley and wish one day that I could own one. Why don´t I wish to buy my dream home in my dream valley any more? Because the greed and selfishness of a local sheep farmer has killed it, that´s why. I´m sure he doesn´t see it that way.
Michael Hastings allegedly told a neighbor he thought his car had been tampered with. Hastings was killed on June 18 when the Mercedes he was driving slammed into a tree in Los Angeles. There have been many questions about Hastings´ death, and now a new wrinkle appears in an L.A. Weekly interview with Hastings´ neighbor, Jordanna Thigpen. She claims the journalist was worried that his car was being tampered with shortly before his fateful drive. Thigpen said that Hastings was "scared" and that nothing she could do would console him. Other reports claim that Hastings had sent friends a panic-filled
WASHINGTON - CBS News has learned that the Pentagon is making the initial preparations for a cruise missile attack on Syrian government forces. We say "initial preparations" because such an attack won´t happen until the president gives the green light. And it was clear during an interview on CNN Friday that he is not there yet. "If the U.S. goes in and attacks another country, without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented," the president told CNN, "then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it -- ´do we have the coalition to
Another school year beckons, which means it´s time for President Obama to go on another college retreat. "He loves college tours," says Ohio University´s Richard Vedder, who directs the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. "Colleges are an escape from reality. Believe me, I´ve lived in one for half a century. It´s like living in Disneyland. They´re these little isolated enclaves of nonreality." Mr. Vedder, age 72, has taught college economics since 1965 and published papers on the likes of Scandinavian migration, racial disparities in unemployment and tax reform. Over the last decade he´s made himself America´s foremost expert on the
Police State: The administration is building a detective squad that will target consumers and companies that don´t follow ObamaCare´s rules. The game of "good cop, bad cop" has arrived in American health care. It was bad enough to know that an Internal Revenue Service that targets the political opponents of the Obama administration between partying on the taxpayer dime would be in charge of monitoring compliance with ObamaCare´s individual mandate via our tax returns. Now, the Daily Mail, which lodged a Freedom of Information Act with Health and Human Services, reports that the agency has hired a bevy of criminal investigators as
President Obama recently concluded a five-year campus speaking tour in which he explained to students how his financing programs were making college more affordable. Then on Thursday he kicked off a new campus speaking tour to tell students that college is unaffordable, and that the financing program he has championed faces increasing defaults. "We´ve got a crisis in terms of college affordability and student debt," said Mr. Obama, without a trace of irony at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The same man who three years ago forced through a plan to add $1 trillion in student loans to
Propaganda was decisive in the victory of the Bolsheviks in the Russian Revolution of 1917. From its very beginning, "The Soviet state was more permeated with propaganda than any other," wrote University of California historian Peter Kenez in "The Birth of the Propaganda State: Soviet Methods of Mass Mobilization, 1917-1929." It was astonishing that a ragtag, uncouth band of conspiratorially inclined communists, led by V.I. Lenin, managed to topple the mighty czar of Russia and the weak social democratic government that followed him, decisively taking power in the October 1917 revolution. But much of it can be explained by their mastery of
Benghazi-Gate: The president is pulling out the U.S. team in Libya charged with tracking down the terrorists responsible for killing four Americans. Why not? Benghazi is just a "phony scandal." Why would the U.S. — knowing since last November who the terrorists are that murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans last Sept. 11, its own Justice Dept. having just charged them this month — not take out these jihadists before they kill more Americans? Special operators in the region told Fox News last week that U.S. special forces personnel have spent many months "sitting in de facto standby," waiting for
The "wheels are falling off" the train wreck that is Obamacare, said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Cruz, speaking with Fox News´ Greta Van Susteren on Thursday, further explained the problems with President Obama´s health care law and the effects that it would have on the economy. "We all know President Obama promised the American people: ´If you like your health insurance you can keep it,´" Cruz said. "And yet, every day that´s proving less and less true. And I think the American people are ready to stop this, to stop the biggest job killer we´ve got in our economy." Cruz
Michael Jones, the driver of the vehicle carrying the two other teenagers one of whom shot Australian baseball player Christopher Lan last week in Duncan, Okla., has been connected to other crimes in the area, according to one of the detectives on the case. The Daily Mail reports that the Ford Focus of 17-year-old Jones was repeatedly seen in connection to three separate robberies in March of this year. Detective John Byers said that Jones’s “name kept coming up” as investigators compiled information on the robberies. ”Whenever we executed a search warrant on a house where the armed
Prominent civil-rights leaders and reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton pushed back against comparisons between Trayvon Martin’s death and that of Australian college baseball player Christopher Lane on MSNBC yesterday. Jackson, for example, agreed that some people are making a “false equivalency” between Lane and Martin. He accused them of ignoring or forgetting about shootings that took place in Tulsa, Okla., by white gunmen on black residents last year. “There are no winners in any of this sickness,” he added. “There’s simply, in our country, too much violence and too much
George Zimmerman was on the hunt today -- for a shotgun ... TMZ has learned. Zimmerman went to Kel-Tec in Cocoa, Florida ... a gun manufacturing company. We´re told he was asking questions about the legality of buying a shotgun -- specifically, the Kel-Tec KSG. The gun in question is a tactical shotgun, often used for home defense. It holds 12 rounds of 12 gauge shells. And this is interesting ... Kel-Tec manufactures the PF-9 gun -- the pistol Zimmerman used to kill Trayvon Martin. We're told the owner's son took Zimmerman on a tour of the grounds, including the area where the firearms are
The New York Times published two major corrections to Maureen Dowd’s Tuesday column. Dowd’s column was about an interview with Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray.Dowd incorrectly quoted McCray. She also misstated where the interview took place. Maureen Dowd’s column on Wednesday misquoted the response of Chirlane McCray, the wife of New York City’s public advocate, Bill de Blasio, to a question about the City Council speaker, Christine Quinn, who like Mr. de Blasio is seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor.