For President Barack Obama´s new foreign policy advisers, the first test of their willingness to undertake military action wound up being a stark lesson in the president´s ability to overrule them all. Obama´s abrupt decision to seek congressional approval before striking Syria also overshadowed what had been a surprising level of consensus among the second-term team members about how to respond to a deadly chemical weapons attack against civilians in Syria. People close to the deliberations say Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, national security adviser Susan Rice and U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power largely agreed about the need to
Infiltration by people with ties to terrorist groups is a major worry at the CIA, according to a Washington Post report. Some job seekers were found to have connections to groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and al-Qaeda, and the agency apparently has millions of dollars targeted at investigating its own staff, according to a classified budget document obtained by the Post from ex-National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. Among job applicants with questionable backgrounds, about one-fifth had “significant terrorist and/or hostile intelligence connections,” according to the document. Overall, the number was “small,” an anonymous CIA source told the Post.
In a sea of red shirts, thousands of Philadelphia teachers filled the Liacouras Center on Temple University’s campus on Labor Day to hear about the very real labor woes affecting their union. Teachers said they were scared, upset and worried about the precarious position of the 136,000-student school district and the way the district is treating its professionals. “I never thought they would take a bunch of professionals and treat them as non-professionals…It’s going to be a tough school year,” said Len Fennessy, an English teacher at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in the Northeast. The 15,000-member Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
According to USAID (United States Agency For International Development), the federal agency in charge of distributing the vast majority of foreign aid monies to other countries, United States taxpayers have paid for over one billion dollars in foreign aid packages to help support the “Syrian Humanitarian Response." Despite the threat of continued chemical attacks against the Syrian people that has served as the focal point of rallying cries for advocates of US military intervention (including the Obama administration), The Daily Beast reported that gas masks were not among the items
“I don’t believe what I’m seeing,” said John McEnroe, as Roger Federer sprayed another forehand six feet past the baseline en route to a straight-set loss at the U.S. Open to No. 19 seed Tommy Robredo and another early exit from a Grand Slam. Neither could anyone else, except, perhaps, Roger Federer, who seemed oddly resigned to his fate early in the stunning defeat. Even as his one-time invincibility waned and he went through his streak of Slam-less years, and even during his summer woes that were capped by a stunning loss to No. 116 Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second
WASHINGTON — The White House’s aggressive push for Congressional approval of an attack on Syria appeared to have won the tentative support of one of President Obama’s most hawkish Republican critics, Senator John McCain of Arizona, who said Monday that he supported a “limited” strike if the president did more to arm the Syrian opposition. In an hourlong meeting at the White House, Mr. McCain said Mr. Obama gave general support to doing more for the Syrian rebels, although no specifics were discussed. In the same conversation, which also included Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican, officials said that
Portland is in the middle of a nasty bout of black mob violence. This time directed at bicyclists. But Tim Oberlander does not want us to know. Oberlander says he wants to be able to live in a city that does good things for good people. So what’s wrong with that? Everything. Oberlander is a news editor at KGW TV in Portland. His city is under attack from black mob violence centered around Martin Luther King Boulevard. This mob has been attacking bike riders, housewives, students, seniors, you name it. These attacks are part of a long — but quiet
Early signs say it will be hard for President Obama to win congressional authorization for military action in Syria. That could change; lawmakers might re-write the president´s draft authorization into something they can live with, ultimately allowing Obama to go forward. But whatever happens, Republicans have a compelling case for rejecting the president´s request. Based on off-the-record conversations with some of them, this is it: 1) The chemical weapons evidence. The Obama administration appears to believe that conclusive proof that the Assad regime used chemical weapons against Syrian civilians creates an unassailable case for U.S. intervention. A few lawmakers will likely
Britain will not launch military strikes against Syria, even if the regime carries out further nerve gas attacks on its own people, ministers said yesterday. George Osborne and William Hague rejected growing calls for a second Commons vote. They said last week’s vote had ruled out British military intervention in the crisis for the foreseeable future. The Chancellor told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that David Cameron would not call another Commons vote on the issue – even if tyrant Bashar al-Assad stepped up his use of banned chemical weapons. Asked about how the Government would respond to a worsening situation in
Military sources have claimed that the role of senior British officers at the US Central Command in Tampa, Florida, has been downgraded because their American counterparts believe that they cannot be trusted with high-level intelligence about a conflict with which they are not involved. Roughly 30 British personnel have been working alongside the Americans and French and have been involved war planning for a number of weeks, including fine-tuning a list of targets and orchestrating military assets.[Snip] No British officers are now engaged in military planning and none will be involved in the execution of the operation, a British defence
One of the largest genetic investigations into the microbe which causes TB shows the germ followed early humans out of Africa at least 70,000 years ago, scientists say. In a parallel probe, investigators also said they had identified 39 new genes that drive dangerous drug resistance in this germ, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB is one of the deadliest diseases in the medical lexicon. Untreated, it kills roughly half the people it infects. Even today, in the era of advanced antibiotics, it causes between a million and two million deaths each year, mainly in developing countries.
General Joseph Dunford, the highest US and Nato commander in the country, said that the security forces´ weekly death regularly toll tops 100 and therefore they may need five more years of western support before they can fight independently. He added that it was too early to tell whether Nato had been right to end combat operations and only offer training and support in the war torn country this Spring. He said that both Nato and Afghan commanders viewed the number of men being lost as “serious”, telling the Guardian: "I´m not assuming that those casualties are sustainable."
Mexican police have detained the alleged leader of the Juarez drug cartel, a 47-year-old man known as "Ugly Betty," authorities said. Alberto Carrillo Fuentes was arrested by federal police in the western state of Nayarit and he was later questioned by prosecutors, an official from the attorney general´s office told AFP on Sunday, on condition of anonymity. He faces charges of drug trafficking, murder and organized crime. The official declined to provide more details. Carrillo Fuentes is believed to have taken over the cartel named after Ciudad Juarez, the city bordering Texas, after his brother
The homeless son of a former New York City detective is being called a hero after he stepped in to help a San Francisco cop who was being attacked by a suspect. The incident occurred Monday night, when a female officer came upon a woman who allegedly was vandalizing cars by jumping up and down on them, San Francisco Police Department Sgt. Eli Turner told ABC station KGO-TV. The officer, who was alone, tried to calm the woman down, but she only became more agitated and eventually attacked the cop, Turner said. A crowd formed, but even though the officer called for help,
A Texas father who discovered a man raping his five-year-old daughter and beat him to death with his bare hands will not be charged with homicide under state law. A Lavaca County grand jury decided not to press charges against the 23-year-old father in the June 9th death of Jesus Mora Flores, 47, who was killed inside a remote shack after he was caught molesting the young girl. Under Texas state law, deadly force is authorized and indeed, justified in order to stop an aggravated sexual assault and coupled with the fact that the harrowing 911 calls made by the
The Obama national security team that wants to go to war with Syria and demonizes President Bashar Assad is the same group that, as senators, urged reaching out to the dictator. As a bloc on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, President Obama, Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Vice President Joseph R. Biden all opposed the George W. Bush administration’s playing tough with Mr. Assad. None grew closer to Mr. Assad and promoted him in Washington more than Mr. Kerry. “President Assad has been very generous with me in terms of the discussions we have
As NewsBusters reported Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry when he was still a Senator dined with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2009. In a 2010 interview, Assad said, "I trust Senator Kerry, and I think he´s genuine...I met him five times." BASHAR AL-ASSAD: I trust Senator Kerry, to start with this word. I trust Senator Kerry, and I think he’s genuine. And I met him five times. It’s not the first meeting or the second meeting. I met him five times in very difficult circumstances. So what he said, he said what he meant, what he means.
A project to build a memorial and a center for nonviolence just outside Saratoga Springs has been put on indefinite hold by its backers because of bureaucracy and burnout. Organizers had already obtained about $1 million in pledges toward the roughly $1.2 million cost of the project, which is called The Lighthouse Memorial. Christopher Porter, one of the initial backers, said the center was originally intended to honor the victims of last December’s shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. The project was broadened to include all victims of violence.
Brasilia - Brazil assailed the United States on Monday after new allegations that Washington spied on President Dilma Rousseff, complaining that its sovereignty may have been violated and suggesting that it could call off Rousseff´s planned state visit to the White House next month. A Brazilian news program reported on Sunday that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on emails, phone calls and text messages of Rousseff and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, a disclosure that could strain Washington´s relations with Latin America´s two biggest nations.
Approximately one in five "flagged" job applicants to the US´s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had ties to either Hamas, Hezbollah or Al Qaeda, according to a Washington Times report. The report is based off of documents leaked by former NSA agent Edward Snowden. These latest revelations indicate the high motivation among Islamist terrorists of various stripes to infiltrate US intelligence agencies. In response, according to the leaked documents, the NSA investigated 4,000 instances of suspected "abnormal staff activity," including tracking employee keystrokes on agency computers
The Syria debacle sheds light on the thinking of both interventionists and isolationists. The former are furious with President Obama for stalling, evading a burgeoning crisis and then coming up with half-measures coupled with a punt to Congress. The isolationists don’t want him to take action no matter how “limited” and “narrow” he says his action will be. We should fully understand what the isolationist right and left contemplate as ideal national security policy. According to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), we have no national security interests in Syria.
Tommy Morrison, the hard-punching heavyweight with boy-band good looks who once beat George Foreman and later starred in the Rocky franchise before falling ill in recent years — all the while denying he was HIV positive — died on Sunday at a hospital in Nebraska. Morrison, who was nicknamed "The Duke," was 44. Morrison´s death was confirmed by his wife, Trisha to the mixed martial arts website, "MMA Dirty," which reported he died of "respiratory and metabolic acidosis and multiple organ failure." His death was also confirmed by Morrison´s long-time promoter, Tony Holden to the
Key West, Fla. - Looking dazed and sunburned, U.S. endurance swimmer Diana Nyad walked ashore Monday, becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. The 64-year-old Nyad swam up to the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after starting her journey from Havana on Saturday. As she approached, spectators waded into waist-high water and surrounded her, taking pictures and cheering her on. "I have three messages. One is, we should never, ever give up. Two is, you're never too old to chase your dream. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport,
US President Barack Obama assured Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a telephone conversation on Saturday that he remains determined to keep Iran from going nuclear, Channel 2 reported Monday. According to the report, Obama’s assurances came in a phone conversation with Netanyahu just prior to announcing in a White House speech that he would ask Congress to approve a limited US attack on Syria. The advanced notice Obama gave Netanyahu of his plans is believed to have been motivated partly by a desire to mute Israeli criticism. And, indeed, there has been relatively little public
The first congressional hearing on President Obama’s request for military force authorization in Syria comes tomorrow when Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The 2:30 p.m. hearing comes nearly a week before lawmakers are supposed to be back in session from the August recess, but many are already back in town to attend administration briefings. Tuesday’s hearing will be open, but the Foreign Relations Committee holds another hearing