Berlin - Continuing revelations, based on documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden, of sweeping American digital surveillance around the world are rattling the close ties between the United States and Germany. (Snip) The latest of the Snowden revelations came on Sunday, when the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel published a report, citing documents Mr. Snowden obtained while he worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency, that said the agency had succeeded in tapping into videoconferences at the United Nations in New York, into the European Union’s mission to the United Nations, and into other diplomatic missions around the world.
While veterans waited longer than ever in recent years for their wartime disability compensation, the Department of Veterans Affairs gave its workers millions of dollars in bonuses for “excellent” performances that effectively encouraged them to avoid claims that needed extra work to document veterans’ injuries, a News21 investigation has found. In 2011, a year in which the claims backlog ballooned by 155 percent, more than two-thirds of claims processors shared $5.5 million in bonuses, according to salary data from the Office of Personnel Management. The more complex claims were often set aside by workers so they could keep their jobs,
Cody, Wyoming - And it is a woman with a familiar surname in US politics that is asking for a chance to lead a renewed assault on Washington and rid America of, what she sees as, the scourge of Barack Obama, impending socialism and the grasping hand of big government. Liz Cheney – 46-year-old daughter of former US vice president Dick Cheney – doesn´t stand much over five feet tall in her cowboy boots, but from behind her sunglasses she radiates the kind of toughness that suits a place where you can still legally take a six-shooter into a bar.
Amanda Knox will not return to Italy for a retrial in the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher, a spokesman for her family said. Italy’s high court ordered that Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito be retried for the killing after their initial convictions were overturned for "lack of evidence." The new trial is due to begin next month. David Marriott, a spokesman for the Knox family, told US network CNN the 26-year-old would not travel to Italy for the trial and that there is “no requirement she be there”. However, there is still the possibility she could be forced to return
In a sign of the state´s cultural and religious diversity, Muhammad is now officially one of our most popular baby names. The moniker cracked the state´s top 100 baby names for the first time last year - but varying spellings have actually seen it in sitting in the top quarter of NSW baby boy names for the last three years, figures from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages reveal. Boys named Muhammed, Mohamed, Muhammed or Mohammed combined to make the top 25 most popular names in NSW for the first time in 2010, with a total of 312 NSW parents naming their child after the Islamic
London - Britain said on Sunday that evidence of a chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus could have already been destroyed ahead of UN inspectors visiting the site. "We have to be realistic now about what the UN team can achieve," Foreign Secretary William Hague told reporters. "The fact is that much of the evidence could have been destroyed by that artillery bombardment. Other evidence could have degraded over the last few days and other evidence could have been tampered with," he said, referring to opposition activists´ reports that the army has shelled the area in the last
Washington - Secretary of State Colin Powell said the situation in Syria was beyond the capability of the United States to influence to any major extent. Appearing on CBS´ "Face the Nation" Sunday, Powell said the two sides of the conflict were too shaky for the United States to effectively take sides. "In both Egypt and Syria, America has to take a much more clever role," said Powell, who added he considers the Syrian conflict to be a civil war. "We shouldn´t go around thinking that we can really make things happen." Powell advised the United States should wait for the war to be settled and then offer
Jonathan Wajskol, an Italian graphic designer who moved to the United States about three decades ago, has a life with the hallmarks of an immigrant success story: graduate studies at an American university; a successful international firm with partners in Milan and Beijing; and a residence in Greenwich Village that he shares with his wife and two children. One thing he does not have, however, is American citizenship — and that is a deliberate choice. (Snip) “I would feel that if I get the American citizenship, I would feel a little less Italian,” he explained. “I really don’t feel American.”
SAN FRANCISCO — When the mayor of Richmond, Calif., and a gaggle of activists and homeowners showed up at the Wells Fargo Bank headquarters in downtown San Francisco this month, they were on a mission to speak with the bank´s chief executive. They wanted the bank to drop a lawsuit aimed at stopping Richmond´s first-in-the-nation plan to use the government´s constitutional power of eminent domain to "seize" hundreds of mortgages from Wells Fargo and other financial institutions. As Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and the plan´s backers approached the bank building, security guards locked the doors. After a bank official told her
Are you ready for the Big Magilla of American politics? This fall, every important domestic issue could crash into every other: health-care reform, autopilot budget cuts, a government shutdown, even a default on the national debt. If I were betting, I’d wager that we will somehow avoid a total meltdown. House Speaker John Boehner seems desperate to get around his party’s Armageddon Caucus. But after three years of congressional dysfunction brought on by the rise of a radicalized brand of conservatism, it’s time to call the core questions: Will our ability to govern ourselves be held perpetually hostage to an
MOSCOW— Russia urged the U.S. and its allies Sunday to await the findings of a U.N. inspection team expected to visit the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria and avoid military action. Moscow also welcomed Syria´s decision to allow international experts to examine the area in a Damascus suburb where at least 100 people died in the suspected attack. Syrian and U.N. officials are working to finalize the timing of the visit. Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said all countries should wait for the results of the investigation and he encouraged other countries to "show prudence and
This weekend´s promotion of the legend of Rev. Martin Luther King offers a reminder that the liberal media can blatantly state that it is their job to "print the legend," and not report on a historic figure´s flaws. In the fall of 1989, King´s longtime lieutenant Ralph Abernathy wrote a book titled "And the Walls Came Tumbling Down." Abernathy told the tale that Rev. King committed adultery with two women on the night before he was murdered. Bryant Gumbel, then a co-host of NBC´s Today, lectured: "When the truth collides with a legend, print the legend." Our November 1989 newsletter MediaWatch
An insider attack that killed three Marines in Afghanistan last year is under new scrutiny as the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York investigates the case and a congressman questions why an officer who warned about potential danger beforehand received a career-ending evaluation. Staff Sgt. Scott Dickinson, 29, Cpl. Richard Rivera, 20, and Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley, 21, died Aug. 10, 2012, after an attacker opened fire on them with an assault rifle at a base gym. A fourth Marine, Staff Sgt. Cody Rhode, sustained five gunshot wounds, including one that shattered his elbow, according to a Marine Corps news release.
Why does President Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett have Secret Service protection? It turns out that some of her colleagues inside the White House are skeptical that actual, specific threats resulted in Jarrett’s proection . “While a high-profile White House official — especially an African-American woman, such as Jarrett — could legitimately be considered a more likely target than most, several West Wing officials I spoke to were dubious there had been any special threats against her,” writer Mark Leibovich reported in “This Town,” a new book on Washington. Added Leibovich of Jarrett’s White House colleagues: “They suspected, rather, that Jarrett
We know a picture is worth a thousand words. Apparently it’s also good for fifty stars. An American flag with President Barack Obama’s face where the fifty stars normally go caused a bit of a stir on Twitter, where some objected to the “hero worship” of Obama, and complained that it was part and parcel with the rally’s overall “Democratic” feel.
When Ted Sarandos put out the word that Netflix would begin producing original shows, he was swamped with story pitches that everyone else in Hollywood clearly had taken a pass on — including some scripts marked with coffee stains, smudged fingerprints and other telltale signs of rejection. That all changed in 2011 after Netflix bought the political thriller "House of Cards" from "The Social Network" and "Fight Club" director David Fincher.
Britain is planning to join forces with America and launch military action against Syria within days in response to the gas attack believed to have been carried out by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces against his own people. Royal Navy vessels are being readied to take part in a possible series of cruise missile strikes, alongside the United States, as military commanders finalise a list of potential targets.
WEST MELBOURNE -- Investigators say a Brevard County pizza delivery man took action into his own hands -- shooting and killing a would-be robber. Investigators said Byron Park, a Domino´s employee, had just delivered a pizza to one of the rooms at the Days Inn off US-192 near Interstate 95. Park, 54, went back to his car, sat down and starting counting his money and tip, waiting for his next call for a delivery. That’s when investigators said 32-year-old Fredrick Kelly Jr. approached him with a knife, demanding money and threatening to kill him. Park pulled out his firearm and fired once toward Kelly,
Britain and the US are set to launch missile strikes against the Syrian regime in retaliation for its barbaric chemical attack on civilians. David Cameron and Barack Obama discussed the plan in a 40-minute phone call at the weekend and will finalise the details within 48 hours. The two leaders want to send a clear warning to dictator Bashar Al-Assad over the deaths of as many as 1,300 people, many of them children. William Hague said ‘all the evidence’ suggested Assad’s henchmen carried out last week’s horrific nerve gas atrocity. ‘We cannot, in the 21st century, allow the idea that chemical weapons can be
ObamaCare has become big business for an elite network of Washington lobbyists and consultants who helped shape the law from the inside. More than 30 former administration officials, lawmakers and congressional staffers who worked on the healthcare law have set up shop on K Street since 2010. Major lobbying firms such as Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock, The Glover Park Group, Alston & Bird, BGR Group and Akin Gump can all boast an ObamaCare insider on their lobbying roster — putting them in a prime position to land coveted clients. “When [Vice President] Biden leaned over [during healthcare signing] and said to [President] Obama,
The 20-year-old City of Poughkeepsie man accused of burglarizing and murdering a 99-year-old city woman is being held without bail and is due in court Monday morning to face charges, authorities said, bringing relief to the woman’s family. Police arrested Javon Tyrek Rogers on Friday at 11 p.m. and charged him with first-degree murder and first-degree burglary, both felonies, in connection with the homicide of Fannie Gumbinger, who was found dead at her home on Underhill Avenue early Wednesday morning, said city police Detective Lt. Edward Freer.
The Obama administration hardened its stance against Syria´s regime and stepped up preparations for possible military action, saying it believed Damascus used chemical weapons in an offensive last week and rebuffing its offer to let United Nations officials inspect the affected areas. The White House, in statements issued by senior officials, signaled it wasn´t backing away from a showdown with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad despite apparent efforts by Damascus to ease tensions by letting U.N. inspectors visit areas near Damascus that were allegedly hit with chemical weapons. In recent days, the Pentagon has moved more warships into place in the eastern Mediterranean
The famous Farmer’s Almanac is going to damper the mood of many man-made global warming alarmists when the book hits the shelves on Monday. They predict the 2013-2014 winter will be extremely cold. The book uses words like “piercing cold,” “bitterly cold,” and “biting cold” to describe the upcoming winter. The authors predict a huge winter storm during the first outdoor Super Bowl in years. The Super Bowl is scheduled at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands in New Jersey, and the almanac predicts a huge winter storm in the Northeast at that time. The almanac also predicts two-thirds of the
Melbourne- It was the day when all that was good reigned over all that was bad in the life and death of murdered Australian baseballer Chris Lane. Hundreds of friends - those who had played with him as a kid to old folks on walking sticks who had watched his sporting progress - gathered today on ´Laney´s´ field of dreams in Melbourne where his sporting life as a catcher had taken off. His family and friends had shed tears all week since the day they learned that Chris had been shot randomly in the back as he jogged through the
Because of the release of a new movie about him, I wish to discuss Steve Jobs and his obvious success. But to do that leads me to one of Jobs’ greatest admirers, Rush Limbaugh. Rush’s fondness for Steve Jobs began with Rush’s great love of technology. He didn’t become enamored with Apple products because of Steve Jobs, he became enamored with Jobs because of his products. Rush knew they must have been demanded by someone who thought like he did: attempt as much as possible to achieve perfection.
A boxed-in President Obama is moving closer to approving air strikes against Syria. Obama’s public comments and actions over the past year suggests he does not want to get drawn into the fight over Syria, particularly at a time when the public is fatigued after the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. But the Syrian government’s actions and Obama’s own rhetoric may leave him little choice. Obama “has kind of trapped himself,” said Doug Bandow,(Snip) “I don´t think he thought he was going to be in this position,” Bandow said. “He didn´t want to get involved in Syria. All of the sudden