The Pakistani doctor who was hailed a hero after helping the CIA hunt down Osama bin Laden has had a 33 year prison sentence for treason overturned. Shakil Afridi was convicted in May 2012 on charges unrelated to the bin Laden incident of ´conspiring against the state´ by giving money and providing medical treatment to Islamic militants in Pakistan´s Khyber tribal area. The doctor´s family and the militants denied the allegations. Yesterday a senior Pakistani judicial official overturned the sentence and ordered a re-trial, on the grounds that person who had issued the sentence had not been authorised to hear
Top secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden have revealed how a clandestine NSA unit helped bug phones to locate Osama Bin Laden, a previously undisclosed lab helped confirm his DNA and the SEALS who raided his compound were guided from space. According to a packet of classified intelligence documents that were leaked to the Washington Post by former NSA contractor-turned-Russian émigré Edward Snowden, the successful raid on Bin Laden´s lair was made possible in part thanks to a team of top secret operatives known as the Tailored Access Operation group. The elite hackers are tasked with breaking into computers and cell
President Barack Obama is planning for the possibility of launching a unilateral American military action against Syria within days after Britain opted out in a stunning vote by Parliament. Facing skepticism at home, administration officials spoke with a group of lawmakers for more than 90 minutes Thursday evening to explain why they believe Bashar Assad´s government was the culprit in a suspected chemical attack last week. Afterward, the House Democratic leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, pointedly sided with Republican Speaker John Boehner of Ohio in urging the administration to do more to engage with Congress on the matter. She
One voice in Washington that has been remarkably absent from this week’s Syria debate has been that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, Mrs. Clinton hasn’t said anything at all about President Obama’s plans for military strikes against the dictatorship in Damascus. As someone who dominated the US foreign policy landscape over the past four years, Clinton’s silence on Syria is striking. What explains this? [Snip] Firstly, a US military intervention in the Syrian civil war is strongly opposed by the vast majority of the American public.
Remember that a couple of weeks ago Glenn Greenwald´s husband was stopped at Heathrow airport, detained and had his electronic equipment seized? Well, we now have some idea of what was on it--and it doesn´t make Glenn look good. [Snip] The Government´s accessed just a small portion of an astonishing 58,000 pages of intelligence documents and, according to a witness statement by Oliver Robbins, deputy national security adviser to the Cabinet, it includes: "personal information of UK intelligence officers, any compromise of which would result in a risk to their lives and those of their family members."
Washington - The U.S. intelligence community believes that a chemical weapons attack ordered by the Syrian government Aug. 21 killed at least 1,429 people, including at least 426 children, an intelligence document says. “The United States government assesses with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on Aug. 21," the report issued Friday says. “We further assess that the regime used a nerve agent in the attack.” The report is based on spies, intercepts and satellites, as well as video evidence the world has already seen, it says.
In a rare show of unity, Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali has joined the National Commission on Violence Against Women in the chorus condemning the proposed mandatory virginity test for high school girls. “It is unethical and it is an act of disrespect to women,” he said on Wednesday. of the proposal made by South Sumatra’s Prabumulih education board head. Suryadharma said the implementation of such tests could elicit negative consequences in the long term, not only in a way that would degrade the dignity of female students and women, but by potentially damaging them psychologically.
As the two candidates in Virginia´s governor´s race enter the final stretch this fall, it is starting to look like it´s Democrat Terry McAuliffe´s to lose. A Public Policy Polling survey of 500 likely voters just released has the former Democratic Party boss seven points up over GOP challenger Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. That´s a one point gain over a Quinnipiac University poll released last week and a three point gain over a similar PPP poll from last month. In the new PPP poll, 44 percent support McAuliffe, 37 percent Cuccinelli, 9 percent libertarian Robert Sarvis and 9 percent are
Breaking News: Secretary of State John F. Kerry says the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made preparations three days before last week’s chemical weapons attack on the outskirts of Damascus and fired the rockets from regime-controlled areas. This story will be updated shortly. London - French President Francois Hollande said Friday that his country is prepared to act in Syria despite Britain’s surprise rejection of military action, potentially making a nation that turned its back on Washington during the war in Iraq the primary U.S. ally in a possible strike against Syrian forces.
Let’s count up the ways in which the Syria debate has exposed Barack Obama’s utter incompetence and lack of seriousness. 1. Failure to consult Congress. The Obama administration has built no consensus among Congress for any kind of strike. Generalissimo Pelosi wants a strike, but beyond her there is very little appetite for any U.S. action. Democrats are vocally skeptical. Republicans see a replay of Libya, just a couple of weeks before the first anniversary of the deadly attack in Benghazi. Even Dennis Kucinich is starting to make sense. There may be good reasons for striking Syria, but those reasons have
Beirut - The United Nations chemical weapons inspection team in Syria was reported to have wrapped up its field work Friday and was preparing to leave the war-torn country on Saturday. U.N. officials have generally described the 20-member contingent’s work as a success. The inspectors visited several sites of the suspected Aug. 21 poison gas attack and gathered samples, apparently of possibly contaminated soil, tissue and other evidence, and also interviewed victims, witnesses, doctors and others in and around Damascus, the Syrian capital. The U.N. team spent four working days on the ground in
The seven wonders of the ancient world are said to be the most remarkable creations of classical antiquity, yet only six per cent of Britons can actually name them all, a survey has revealed. While 61 per cent of those quizzed managed to name one - in most instances the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, only a paltry 21 per cent were capable of coming up with a second. (Snip) However the lack of knowledge may not be altogether unexpected as out of the all the monuments on original list it is now only possible to visit one -
Making ObamaCare a reality will require massive computing power to track, store and process the millions of individual cases. But in Illinois, contracts to compute that state’s cases – valued as high as $190 million – are being awarded without competitive bidding. The practice already has watchdogs crying foul. “No transparency and with no bidding -- if that’s legal in Illinois, It shouldn’t be.” said Adam Andrzejewski of openthebooks.com, a watchdog group. “To the extent that is happening across the country, the citizens need to know it.”“It has the hallmarks of everything that is Chicago and also Illinois, which is
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) offered a scathing criticism of President Obama on Syria, saying he makes “Jimmy Carter look better by the day.” Graham cast Obama’s strategy on Syria as “unintelligible” and said he had made a huge mistake by withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq and sending a U.S. ambassador back to Syria. He also told conservative radio talk show host Mike Gallagher in an interview Friday that he didn’t trust Obama on Syria, and that the administration’s talk of a limited strike won’t solve anything. “Obama is prescribing an aspirin when we have the get to the root of the problem,”
A leading human rights group has called on Dunkin´ Donuts to withdraw a "bizarre and racist" advertisement for chocolate doughnuts in Thailand that shows a smiling woman with bright pink lips in blackface makeup. The Dunkin´ Donuts franchise in Thailand launched a campaign earlier this month for its new "Charcoal Donut" featuring the image, which is reminiscent of 19th and early 20th century American stereotypes for black people that are now considered offensive symbols of a racist era.
More than 70 years after the start of World War II, America has 100,000 troops stationed at bases in Germany and Japan. More than 50 years after the cease-fire in Korea, we have nearly 30,000 American military stationed there. But in Iraq, where we toppled Saddam just a decade ago and oversaw three national elections, there isn’t a single American combat soldier left. A fact President Obama has repeatedly celebrated.(Snip)Obama’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq will be viewed by history as one of the greatest foreign policy blunders of all time. Please don’t start the tired “Bush Lied, People
I’ve intentionally put off commenting on Allison Benedikt’s little essay (“If you send your kid to private school, you are a bad person”) in Slate, but I think I have come up with a policy option that would satisfy both Ms. Benedikt’s concerns and my own inclinations as well. She writes: “Everyone needs to be invested in our public schools in order for them to get better. Not just lip-service investment, or property tax investment, but real flesh-and-blood-offspring investment.”(Snip) What I am proposing is to give rich white liberals the opportunity — the mandatory opportunity — to live up to
Barring some strange turn of events, it’s likely that the United States and key NATO allies will be raining TLAMs (“cruise missiles” to civilians) on Syria by the end of this week. This will be in response to reasonably hard evidence – smart money is on Israeli SIGINT [Ed note: Signals Intelligence] as the main source – that Bashar al-Assad’s regime used chemical rockets recently in the eastern suburbs of Damascus, killing at least hundreds of innocents.
She gave hope to millions of women everywhere when she appeared outside hospital with her new baby, Prince George, sporting a noticeable baby bump. But just five weeks later, the Duchess of Cambridge has managed to sensationally snap back into shape - and is even sporting her pre-pregnancy skinny jeans. Arriving at her first official engagement since having her son on July 22, Kate looked radiant - without the slightest sign of baby fatigue - in a green tweed hacking jacket, loose geometric-patterned top and a pair of J Brand jeans.
Proponents of action in Syria after the use of chemical weapons make a case — and it’s not a bad case — that the credibility of the United States is on the line. Once the President draws a red line, we either need to back up those words or risk losing the deterrent our power provides to keep our enemies in line, and our friends confident of our protection. With Iran still pushing to create its own nuclear-arms arsenal, that deterrent isn’t just a theoretical construct but a badly-needed reality. Advocates of action in Syria explicitly name Iran as the
Two of President Barack Obama´s White House predecessors offered their views of his impending decision on Syria Friday as global support for strikes in the country faltered. Former President George W. Bush, in an interview, said Obama has a "tough choice to make" on potential U.S. military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is accused of using chemical weapons against civilians. "If he decides to use our military, he´ll have the greatest military ever backing him up," Bush said in an appearance on Fox News. The United States and major allies are currently weighing major military action against Assad,
Why does the National Review want the United States to take stronger measures against Bashir al-Assad when the majority of its contributors, along with the American public, seem to be wary of any kind of intervention? In an editorial published Wednesday, “The Editors” endorsed the Obama administration’s intention to take military action in Syria, while arguing they should go further, putting U.S. special forces on the ground to arm and train a rebel army with links to al-Qaeda, “creating proxy forces on the ground.” Though they stopped short of calling for the U.S. to topple Assad — it’s a “manifestly
Congress hasn’t passed immigration legislation, but that hasn’t stopped President Obama from issuing directives that grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. Last week, the Obama Administration issued the latest in a line of policy directives granting amnesty by default. This latest directive instructs Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials not to enforce immigration laws in cases where an illegal alien is the primary provider for any minor child—regardless of the child’s immigration status—or the parent or guardian of a child who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. In a statement about the new directive, House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte
A stellar ‘caterpillar’ in the midst of a metamorphosis has been spotted by astronomers. The light-year-long cosmic squiggle is currently collecting material from an envelope of gas surrounding it. A previous study has called the object, which lies 4,500 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, a ‘tadpole in an interstellar pond.’ Harsh winds from extremely bright stars are blasting ultraviolet radiation at this ´wanna-be´ star, named IRAS 20324+4057, and sculpting the gas and dust into its long shape. Astronomers are now keen to see what will emerge from the protostar, which is in a very early evolutionary stage.
President George W. Bush appeared on Fox News Channel on Friday where he discussed his recovery from a recent heart surgery and his charitable works for veterans. Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade asked Bush for his thoughts on the debate over whether to intervene in the Syrian civil war. Bush said that President Barack Obama has a hard decision to make, the hardest any president can make. While Bush said that he is not a fan of Bashar al-Assad, he refused to be “roped in” to giving an opinion as to whether a strike on Syria was justified. Kilmeade