Florida officials trying to eradicate the Giant African Land Snail, one of the world´s most destructive invasive species, plan to deploy a new weapon in the battle - Labrador retrievers. State agriculture authorities say they hope the dogs will add to their success in fighting an infestation of the slimy snails, which were first spotted by a homeowner nearly two years ago and quickly swept through the Miami area. On Wednesday, officials said that since the start of an aggressive extermination campaign they have collected 128,000 of the snails, which can grow as big as rats and devour plants as well as
An estimated one-fifth of a subset of all applicants for Central Intelligence Agency positions had significant ties to the terror groups Hamas, Hezbollah and al Qaeda, a newly released document from the Edward Snowden collection revealed Monday. The document — released by Mr. Snowden as part of his National Security Agency intelligence dump — said the terrorist groups worked hard to infiltrate America’s top security agencies. CIA officials uncovered thousands of applicants, roughly one in five of a subset, with “significant terrorist and/or hostile intelligence connections,” the document states, as Ynet News reported. The specifics of those ties were not
In an appearance on Sean Hannity’s radio show Friday, hosted by fill-in host Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, the head of the union representing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents called on Congress to investigate the administration’s immigration policies. “With regard to our government in general, I mean right now, that’s our problem with our immigration system,” National ICE Council President Chris Crane said. “[The problem] is not our immigration system, it’s our government, and it’s the ability of a president of the United States to ignore the laws enacted by Congress.” “And it doesn’t matter what type of legislation we
There has never been a more inept, indecisive occupant of the White House in this nation’s once proud history. (And yes that even includes the hapless Jimmy Carter.) This nation used to stand for something. Our president was once called — quite seriously, in fact — the Leader of the Free World. Barack Obama has degraded the office and in doing so put this nation and most of the Middle East at risk. On Friday Secretary of State John Kerry outlined in the clearest possible terms the case for an imminent U.S. attack on Syria — more than a week after Bashar al-Assad
It’s reported that President Obama was ready to order a military strike against Syria, with or without Congress’s blessing, but “on Friday night, he suddenly changed his mind.” According to the Huffington Post: Senior administration officials describing Obama’s about-face Saturday offered a portrait of a president who began to wrestle with his own decision – at first internally, then confiding his views to his chief of staff, and finally summoning his aides for an evening session in the Oval Office to say he’d had a change of heart. In light of all this, it’s worth posing a few questions: 1. Why didn’t the
SPARTENBURG -- South Carolina Tea Party groups have drafted a resolution containing a 29-point case to replace Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) with a Senator who is more conservative, Breitbart News has learned. Local Tea Party leaders provided the document, a resolution that can be passed by local and state GOP committees, to Breitbart News. It argues that Graham’s activities in the U.S. Senate are a violation of the principles of the South Carolina Republican Party platform. Graham is up for reelection next year. Items highlighted by Tea Partiers include: Graham’s support of providing weapons to “Al Quaeda / Muslim Brotherhood
Sen. Patrick Leahy said Sunday that Senate Democratic aides are drafting new language for an authorization of military force in Syria. The news comes after an intense holiday Sunday with the administration pressing its case with reluctant lawmakers on the Hill and to the American public on the Sunday shows, while members of Congress attended classified briefings and tried to decide what to do now that Obama has forced them to take a stand. The administration’s proposal is too open-ended — a complaint many lawmakers have — Leahy (D-Vt.) said. The current version wouldn’t garner his support, but he indicated that a
There was a classified briefing attended by dozens of congressmen and senators yesterday where administration officials outlined the evidence that pointed to the Assad government´s complicity in the chemcial weapons attack and where the language of the resolution authorizing force was debated. In the end, few lawmakers were totally convinced and none supported the resolution as it was worded. The Hill: Members emerged from the meeting expressing deep doubts about an assault on Syria, putting into sharp relief the challenge facing Obama as he seeks passage of a resolution authorizing the strikes. "To me there [are] profoundly unanswered questions about effectiveness, about what happens
Nine of 10 Louisiana children who receive vouchers to attend private schools are black. All are poor and, if not for the state assistance, would be consigned to low-performing or failing schools with little chance of learning the skills they will need to succeed as adults. So it’s bewildering, if not downright perverse, for the Obama administration to use the banner of civil rights to bring a misguided suit that would block these disadvantaged students from getting the better educational opportunities they are due. The Justice Department has petitioned a U.S. District Courtto bar Louisiana from awarding vouchers for the
DIRGIN, Texas— Ida Finley smiles wistfully, recalling how she used to cook for an entire East Texas community — nearly all descendants of slaves. The children would grab cornbread, greens and cookies from her kitchen while their parents grew vegetables in a tiny creekside village hidden among pine forests. "It´s been so long," she muses, gazing at old photos that dot the walls of her nursing home room some 30 miles from Dirgin. Now, just weeks from her 102nd birthday, Finley faces the prospect of losing the land worked by her husband and his parents, slaves who toiled for a
ObamaCare’s grand opening is just a month away. The law’s new insurance marketplaces are scheduled to open for enrollment on Oct. 1, and supporters are ramping up a major education and outreach campaign as the date draws nearer. The success or failure of the healthcare law doesn’t hinge entirely on Oct. 1, which falls on a Tuesday when Congress will be in session. But it’s nevertheless a critical date in the implementation effort, and will mark the public´s first real look at the centerpiece of a law that has dominated domestic politics for years. The White House has two big
The Obama administration, bolstered by evidence the Syrian government used lethal sarin gas on its own people, expressed confidence Sunday that Congress would back President Obama’s decision for a military strike on the Middle East country. However, the president and his inner circle worked furiously over the weekend to win congressional support, appearing on Sunday shows, holding classified briefings and making calls to Capitol Hill leaders. A senior administration officials told Fox News that the president, Vice President Joe Biden and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough made phone calls on Sunday to senators and House members urging them to vote in favor
DAMASCUS, Syria -- International aid to Syrians uprooted by civil war is a "drop in the sea" of what is needed, a top U.N. official said Monday, estimating that five million Syrians have been displaced inside the country. In addition, 2 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries, according to U.N. figures. The total, of about 7 million, amounts to nearly one-third of Syria´s population. The funding gaps for the displaced remain wide, with donor countries sending less than one-third the money needed to help those displaced, Tarik Kurdi, the representative of the U.N. refugee agency in Syria, told The Associated Press.
WASHINGTON—U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been on the international stage for nearly four decades. But his campaign against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad likely will define his diplomatic legacy. In a little over two years, the former senator from Massachusetts who took the helm at the State Department in February, has morphed from Washington´s leading advocate for engaging Syria´s 47-year-old dictator to taking much more aggressive steps to unseat him, U.S. and Arab officials say. This aggressive stance has placed Mr. Kerry at the center of Syria policy in successive U.S. administrations, despite President Barack Obama´s tendency to dominate the
In March 2011, President Obama committed the United States to action in Libya that involved roughly 100 cruise missile firings, 12 U.S. Navy ships in the Mediterranean, and 75 U.S. Air Force and Navy aircraft including B-2 bombers. And the Libyan case involved no use of chemical warfare by Muammar Qadhafi. Still, the president saw no reason to seek a congressional vote. This context makes his claim that he must seek a vote now, in the Syrian case, unintelligible. It cannot be a matter of principle, or the principle would have applied to intervention in Libya as well. From all
Two residents of East Jerusalem admit to planning bombing at Mamilla Mall, slated to take place over the holidays. Two men, aged 22 and 25, have confessed to planning a terror attack in Jerusalem at the Mamilla Mall, near the Old City, police sources revealed on Sunday. The men, who worked as cleaning staff at the mall, planned to use their access to plant a bomb in a trash can at the popular shopping center during the imminent Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) holiday season.
Israel could be forgiven for having a siege mentality — given that at any moment, old frontline enemies Syria and Egypt might spill their violence over common borders. The Arab Spring has thrown Israel’s once-predictable adversaries into the chaotic state of a Sudan or Somalia. The old understandings between Jerusalem and the Assad and Mubarak kleptocracies seem in limbo. Yet these tragic Arab revolutions swirling around Israel are paradoxically aiding it, both strategically and politically — well beyond just the erosion of conventional Arab military strength.
The decision of President Barack Obama to seek congressional approval for US military strikes in Syria is constitutionally sound, but strategically appalling. By not making it clear from the outset of the crisis that he would seek the approval of the Senate and House for a military response to the Assad regime’s chemical atrocity, the president’s jarring change of direction now runs the risk of thoroughly undermining whatever remains of allied confidence in his leadership. By not calling on Congress to return to Washington immediately the president conveys a sense of nonchalance that his newly discovered soaring rhetoric cannot disguise.
The mood at Westminster is shifting. In the hours before Thursday’s dramatic Syria vote, the prevailing concern was over a precipitous rush towards war. This morning there is a feeling that Parliament has been guilty of a precipitous rush to peace. As this paper reports, pressure is now mounting for a new vote. Yesterday Lord Howard, Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Lord Ashdown all took to the airwaves to make a concerted plea for their parliamentary colleagues to think again. The evidence of the Assad regime´s culpability was mounting, they pointed out. Britain should not stand impotently by. As they did
HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Even by Florida standards, the arrests of three suburban Miami mayors on corruption charges within a month were a source of dismay, if not exactly a surprise. On Wednesday, Steven C. Bateman, 58, the mayor of Homestead, was arrested. He is accused of accepting under-the-table payments from a health care company that sought to build a clinic in town, the state attorney’s office for Miami-Dade County said. Mr. Bateman was turned in by City Council members and staff, said employees interviewed Friday at City Hall.
Daniel Ricketts struck hidden wire near pot plants. (Berne, NY) — A 50-year-old town man died Saturday after he apparently became the victim of booby traps he had set to protect marijuana plants on his property, Albany County Sheriff Craig D. Apple said. Sheriff´s officials on Sunday identified the victim as Daniel R. Ricketts, who owns property and a residence on Saw Mill Road, near Thacher Park, where the accident took place. Ricketts was driving an ATV in the backyard of his property around 2:30 p.m. Saturday when was nearly decapitated after running into a fine, nearly invisible wire that
President Barack Obama bought himself some time Saturday to drum up support, at home and internationally, for a strike against Syria. He did what he needed to do, at considerable risk to his credibility. The president, in his brief speech to the nation Saturday, said he will seek authorization from Congress to launch an attack on Syrian forces, which used chemical weapons to kill more than 1,400 people. But he also asserted that he is "prepared to give that order" and that he has the authority to act without Congress´ approval. So what if Congress says ... no? What if lawmakers join their
It took some real talent for Obama to make me feel bad for Kerry. Kerry is a generally reprehensible person, but in this episode he had to: explain why Obama was right to delay the action he clearly called for yesterday lie straight-faced (“a horse walked into a bar…”) to claim that the Cabinet had been consulted before Obama changed tacks, when Chris Wallace was quoting the White House that the Cabinet hadn’t been consulted as well as generally supporting the Presidential power that he and Obama ran against in their campaigns. Just remember, at these prices, we call them escorts.
A return to parliament for a fresh vote on possible military action in Syria has been ruled out by the prime minister´s spokesman as Downing Street officials played down the prospect of a diplomatic initiative on the two-year civil war being launched at the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg at the end of the week. Numerous voices have been insisting that last week´s Commons vote need not be the last word in the event of a further chemical weapons attack by President Bashar al-Assad´s troops. But the prime minister´s spokesman said: "Parliament has spoken. The government has absolutely no plans
President Obama´s unprecedented regulatory agenda is driving both foreign and domestic capital out of the United States. For now, the U.S. fortunately is still the top destination for investment in the world. Foreigners have invested more than $3.5 trillion in the U.S. economy, more than triple the share of the next-closest economy. But that edge is slipping. In 2011, foreigners invested $227 billion in the United States. That dropped to just $147 billion in 2012, a drop of more than 35 percent. And the decline occurred during what was supposedly an economic recovery. There are many reasons why investors are
Syria has asked the United Nations to prevent "any aggression" against Syria following a call over the weekend by U.S. President Barack Obama for punitive strikes against the Syrian military for last month´s chemical weapons attack. Washington says more than 1,400 people, many of them children, were killed in the world´s worst use of chemical arms since Iraq´s Saddam Hussein gassed thousands of Kurds in 1988. U.S. military action will be put to a vote in Congress, which ends its summer recess on September 9, giving President Bashar al-Assad time to prepare the ground for any assault and try to rally international