The massive forest fire that has scorched 333 square miles in and around Yosemite National Park may have been sparked by illegal marijuana growers, according to one fire official in Tuolumne County.The San Jose Mercury News reports that Todd McNeal, chief of the Twain Harte Fire Department, told a community meeting that it was "highly suspect that there might have been some sort of illicit grove, a marijuana-grow-type thing."McNeal, who has 23 years of experience with Forest Service, the National Park Service and other agencies, said at the Aug. 23 meeting that investigators know the fire is human caused since there was know lightening in the area.
President Barack Obama referred to the country´s troops as "my military" in Friday remarks about how the United States may respond to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria that Obama asserted violated international norms. "Now, I have not made a final decision about various actions that might be taken to help enforce that norm," Obama said. "But as I´ve already said, I have had my military and our team look at a wide range of options. We have consulted with allies. We´ve consulted with Congress. We have been in conversations with all the interested
In 11 terms in Congress, Rep. Ed Royce has taken a hard line on illegal immigration, earning an A-plus rating from the anti-amnesty group Numbers USA.(Snip) the 39th District presents what experts called a uniquely Southern California conundrum, defying stereotypes about immigrants and their loyalties. It is majority minority yet suburban and wealthy — the average household income is $98,000. Bisected by the Puente Hills and straddling Los Angeles and Orange counties, it includes both the Nixon presidential library and the massive hilltop Hsi Lai Buddhist temple.
BOSTON– Tim Tebow has been released by the New England Patriots, according to multiple reports. Tebow played in three of the Patriots four preseason games this season, finishing 11-for-30 (36.7 percent) for 145 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked four times for a loss of 48 yards, and rushed for 91 yards on 16 carries for a 5.7-yard average. Tebow said following Thursday’s preseason win over the Giants that he was not worried about the impending roster cuts. “I’m blessed because of my faith, because you don’t have to worry about the future, because I know who
The United Nations needs time to examine the “entire body of evidence” on alleged use of chemical weapons by Syria, Martin Nesirky, spokesman for the secretary-general, told reporters today in New York. The result will be an “impartial, credible” report of what UN inspectors found on their visit to the site of the alleged attack outside Damascus, Nesirky said. Angela Kane, the UN’s disarmament chief, and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon are doing “whatever can be done to speed up the process,” Nesirky. The UN won’t provide a timetable for a final report, Nesirky said.
Cairo - Mohamed Badie, the top leader of Egypt´s Muslim Brotherhood, suffered a heart attack while in jail but his condition has since stabilized, state run al-Ahram newspaper said on Saturday. State-run news agency MENA denied a report by the private al-Nahar website, that Badie, 70, had died. Badie, the Brotherhood´s general guide, and many other leaders have been arrested in recent weeks in the toughest crackdown the Islamist group has faced. (Snip) A medical team was sent to Torah prison on the outskirts of Cairo to assess Badie´s medical condition earlier on Saturday, a security source told al-Ahram.
World Net Daily has a report on an incident involving a police raid on a private home whose family home schools its children in Darmstadt, Germany that resulted in the kids being forcibly removed by armed police officers. Apparently the raid stems from a Nazi era law still on the books in the Federal Republic of Germany that requires all children to be educated in state sanctioned schools, no exceptions. Dirk and Petra Wunderlich preferred that their children be home schooled, a widely accepted practice in the United States, because of their religious convictions. The German state disagreed and made
“Die Gedanken sind frei.” —“Thoughts are Free,” famous German song about freedom of thought, 1810-1820, author unknown Shortly after I arrived in the U.S., I realized that the freedom of speech Americans thought they had, was, let’s just say, with no intention of offending anyone, a figment of their naïve imagination. I was naïve too, having escaped a communist dictatorship, I felt free to speak my objective opinion, thinking that there would be no harmful consequences since my freedom of speech was guaranteed. I felt elated. I did not have to fear the security police day and night; and I did not have
WASHINGTON — The White House says President Barack Obama is getting ready to speak about Syria from the White House. Obama has been considering a limited military strike against Syria, but he said Friday that he hadn´t yet made a decision. The strike would be in response to a chemical weapons attack the U.S. says Syrian President Bashar Assad´s government carried out against Syrians. The U.S. says more than 1,400 Syrians were killed in that attack last week. The White House is also briefing senators Saturday about Syria. Obama´s statement is set for 1:15 p.m.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel hit out at Russia and China over their stance in the Syrian crisis, saying in an interview published Saturday that their action weakened the United Nations. "It is very regrettable that Russia and China have refused for some time to come to a common position (with Western partners) on the Syrian conflict. This considerably weakens the role of the United Nations," she said in an interview with regional daily Augsburger Allgemeine. Russia and China have vetoed three resolutions that would increase pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since the start of the conflict in March 2011.
First Lady and style icon Michelle Obama has come a long way from her preppy school girl look. The White House tweeted on Thursday a photo of Michelle Obama as a fresh-faced 14-year-old in 1978. The black and white portrait shows her sporting a collared shirt under a sweater and what is perhaps her best fashion accessory: her beaming smile. The tweet was accompanied by a link to a White House blog post about the First Lady´s call to arms for young people to be the "next agents of change" as she hosted a viewing of a new documentary about civil rights
BOWDOINHAM, Maine- It´s not quite winning the lottery, but the odds are about as remote: A lobsterman off the coast of Maine recently hauled in an almost perfectly two-toned lobster - half orange, half brown. The chances, according to scientists, are approximately 1-in-50 million. "It looked as if someone had taken painter´s tape and run it from proboscis to tail, then spray-painted one side. It´s a perfectly straight line," said Alan Lishness, of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. "You don´t usually see such hard edges in nature." (Snip) The lobster was caught by Jeff Edwards, a lobsterman from Owl´s
Home bakers tasted victory two years ago when the Texas Cottage Food Law made their businesses legal. A set of revisions that take effect Sunday will sweeten the deal by expanding the list of places where home bakers can peddle their treats. Under the updated law, cottage food producers can sell their goods at farmers markets, farm stands, fairs and festivals. Current rules require sales to take place exclusively at the baker’s house. “Most of us do custom work, so we just don’t have people walking off the street to our homes,” said Denise DelVecchio of Midlothian, a home baker
Tehran -- The Iranian army will stage a large- scale military maneuver in late September, a senior Iranian commander said Saturday. Quoted by Press TV, Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, commander of Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base, said the exercise, dubbed the Modafe´an-e Aseman-e Velayat 5 (Defenders of the Velayat Skies 5), will be larger than the previous one held in the eastern part of Iran last year. Various long-range radars and passive defense systems will be tested during the drill, he was quoted as saying without elaboration on the area and scope of the exercise.
WASHINGTON—The White House continues this weekend to reach out to Congress, as President Barack Obama tries to build support for a potential military response to the Syrian regime´s alleged use of chemical weapons. Republican members of the House were notified Saturday in an email that administration officials delivered classified intelligence to the Capitol late Friday night for House members to review. Administration officials also are briefing Senate Democrats and Republicans Saturday afternoon about Syria, congressional officials said. The White House on Friday made public some of the evidence that it says ties the Syrian government to a chemical weapons attack outside
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office will have a monitor to ensure that the agency complies with a federal court order designed to prevent discrimination against Latinos, a judge again made clear Friday. But the monitor will not have veto power over Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s operations, U.S. District Judge Murray Snow told attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union and the Sheriff’s Office.
Daqmascus -- Chief of the Iranian parliament´s security and foreign policy commission arrived in Syria Saturday as the country is poised to come under a U.S. strike due to its alleged use of chemical weapons. Alaeddin Boroujerdi, heading a parliamentary delegation, is expected to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and hold a press conference at the end of his two-day visit, sources told Xinhua. The delegation arrived in Damascus hours after the departure of a UN investigation team after days of inspections at the site of purported chemical weapon attacks outside the Syrian capital.
WASHINGTON — In October 2002, more than five months before the U.S. would invade Iraq, an Illinois state senator named Barack Obama said at an anti-war rally that he was not against all wars, just "dumb war." Obama, who later made ending the war in Iraq a critical plank in his presidential campaign, would later go on to lament that the U.S. made a crucial mistake when it bypassed the United Nations and went to war despite skepticism in much of western Europe. A decade after the U.S. military started the Iraq campaign with a shock-and-awe air assault, Obama finds himself battling
ANCHORAGE, AK- Several aftershocks rattled a remote Aleutian Island region off Alaska in the hours after a major 7.0 temblor struck with a jet-like rumble that shook homes and sent residents scrambling for cover. At least three dozen aftershocks, including one reaching magnitude 6.1 in strength, struck after the major quake Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. "I heard it coming," said Kathleen Nevzoroff, who was sitting at her computer in the tiny Aleutians village of Adak when the 7.0 temblor struck at 8:25 a.m. local time, getting stronger and stronger. "I ran to my doors and opened them
American President Barack Obama received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people." The head of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Alexei Pushkov suggested U.S. President Barack Obama should be deprived of the Nobel Peace Prize in the event the Americans strike a military blow on Syria, he wrote on Twitter on Friday, August 30. "If the United States strike Syria without a sanction from the UN, the world community must demand the Nobel committee should deprive Obama of the Peace Prize," he wrote.
The United States and European countries should attack Syria but Israel should not, two separate polls in weekend Hebrew newspapers found. While polls in the US and United Kingdom have found overwhelming opposition to their countries attacking Syria, a Gal Hadash poll published in Israel Hayom found that 66.6 percent of respondents would be in favor of American and European military intervention in Syria. Only 17% opposed a US/EU strike and 16.4% did not know. When asked whether they thought such an attack would take place, 72.8% said yes, 15.8% no, and 11.4% did not know.
Army chiefs who led Britain in Iraq and Afghanistan have praised Parliament for its decision not to join the U.S. in any military strikes against Syria. As America prepares for missile strikes against the war-torn country--possibly as early as tomorrow--David Cameron is still reeling from Thursday´s shock Commons defeat. But despite the anger and frustration of the British government--and many Conservative MPs--generals who led the British Army in recent campaigns said not taking action against Syrian president Bashar Assad was the correct decision. [Snip] ´The will of the people has been expressed through the House of Commons that we don´t
U.S. military analysts say any Western strike against the Syrian government is unlikely to draw an immediate counterattack by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. That, however, does not make the response of the Syrian government — or its allies Iran, Hezbollah and Russia — any easier to predict. Assad possesses few if any real defenses against long-range precision missiles launched from U.S. ships far away. Russia and Iran, which have navies capable of engaging those U.S. ships, are not expected to do so, defense and diplomatic experts said. Still, the consequences of a U.S. strike could be complex: the Assad regime
U.S. military action in Syria could give the White House an advantage in the looming fiscal showdown with congressional Republicans, according to defense and budget experts. They said the Syria crisis could boost calls by President Obama and defense hawks to reverse the automatic spending cuts to the Pentagon known as sequestration. Steve Bell, a budget expert at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said if the U.S. moves forward with military action, it will underline the arguments of those who say keeping the sequester in place impairs U.S. military readiness. “I think it has the possibility of advancing fiscal talks, I really do,” he
George W Bush has made his foray into Instagram, posting a couple of patriotic pictures at the start of the Labor Day weekend. The 43rd President has attracted just over 11,000 followers since uploading his first picture on Friday. Bush is featured in two group shots, the first with Southern Methodist University football team´s black Shetland stallion Peruna Tonic, and the second on a Dallas golf course. In the wake of the Syria crisis the former president received plenty of praise from commenters saying they wished he was still in office. On the Instagram picture of him posing with children on a Dallas