Myopic focus on alleged chemical weapons use by the Assad regime in Syria is wrongheaded, as it has been all along. The salient issue is whether the United States should intervene militarily on behalf of enemies of the United States — the “rebel” factions, in which ties to al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood run deep. If chemical weapons use, rather than American national security, is to be our obsession, however, it is worth remembering al Qaeda’s history in that regard. In 1998, the Clinton Justice Department filed its initial indictment against Osama bin Laden for conspiring to carry out mass-damage attacks
BILLINGS, Mont. – A Montana judge under fire for his comments about a 14-year-old victim in a schoolhouse rape case has ordered a new sentencing hearing for the former teacher who received just 30 days in prison for the crime. In setting the hearing for Friday afternoon, District Judge G. Todd Baugh said Tuesday that state law appears to require that a two-year mandatory minimum prison term be imposed against Stacey Rambold, 54, of Billings. Rambold last week was sentenced to 15 years with all but 31 days suspended and a one-day credit for time-served. He began serving his monthlong term last
We’ll start with Pew. The good news for O? Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats and a near majority of independents agree with him that there’s “clear evidence” that Assad used chemical weapons against civilians. (Are they right about that? Hmmmmm.) Of those who do believe the evidence is clear, support for airstrikes is even with opposition at 41 percent apiece. That’s in line with other, older polls showing that public backing for intervening in Syria soars once you introduce WMD into the equation. To the extent O can convince the public that Assad really did gas hundreds of people
While the Republican National Committee brass writes autopsies for the party’s 2012 losses and GOP lawmakers in Congress fight with each other over who´s a true conservative and who´s a wacko bird, a new generation of Republican women is breathing new life into the Grand Old Party. Here, nine GOP women with the potential to revitalize the right. If you haven´t heard of them yet, you will. 1. Susana MartinezIf asked to name a tough, charismatic Republican governor in a blue state, most people might say Gov. Chris Christie. But make that a female Hispanic chief executive with approval ratings
Baton Rouge- Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal found out late on Friday, August 23. Attorney General Eric Holder was suing to block the state’s school voucher program, which aims to give low-income kids in terrible schools the opportunity to attend better public schools and even private schools. The Justice Department claims the two-year-old program could interfere with federal desegregation orders in several Louisiana parishes, holdovers from the Civil Rights era. “This was a complete shock,” Jindal says. “A complete surprise.” Maybe it shouldn’t have been. Liberals have been fighting the Louisiana voucher initiative, officially called a “scholarship” program, from the beginning. “The teacher unions
The son of an American missionary imprisoned in North Korea is hoping that Dennis Rodman can perform a "miracle" and help bring his father home. "North Korea is a crazy place and anything is possible, even Dennis Rodman rescuing my father," said Jonathan Bae, the son of Kenneth Bae, who was last year was sentenced to 15 years hard labor after being accused of committing hostile acts against the state. Jonathan Bae conceded that it was unlikely Rodman, a flamboyant former professional basketball player, would leave Pyongyang with his father in tow, but after failed attempts through official channels it
SAN FRANCISCO — Sergio Garcia arrived in the U.S. illegally 20 years ago to pick almonds in the field with his father. But that was not all he wanted for his life. Working the fields and at a grocery store, he attended community college, studying to become a paralegal, and passed the California bar on the first try, a boast Gov. Jerry Brown, former Gov. Peter Wilson and nearly 50 percent of all first-time test takers can´t make. Now, still living in the U.S. illegally, he will ask the California Supreme Court on Wednesday to license him. He has the support of
A proposed $8.7 million TV advertising campaign to promote ObamaCare in the lead-up to a key launch date is being targeted by Sen. Marco Rubio, who calls the effort a “blatant misuse of federal dollars.” The Florida Republican said Tuesday that such spending is “unconscionable,” considering the uncertainty of the law and urged the Department of Health and Human Services to halt the spending. “Until critical questions can be answered regarding the availability and type of health insurance to be provided by ObamaCare, it is unconscionable to spend taxpayer dollars to promote and advertise ObamaCare plans that have yet to
Ariel Castro, the man sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison for the abductions of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, is dead. Castro was found hanging in his cell at 9:20 p.m. Tuesday at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, south of Columbus, said JoEllen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. He was housed in protective custody, which means he was in a cell by himself and rounds are required every 30 minutes, Smith said. She had no other details about how he was hanging when he was found.
Chicago - A federal judge in a Chicago terrorism case has undone a key ruling where she found the government need not divulge whether its investigation relied on expanded phone and Internet surveillance programs — opening the sensitive issue back up to debate. U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman took the rare step over the weekend of vacating that initial finding days after siding with government attorneys prosecuting Adel Daoud, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen accused of trying to ignite what he thought was a bomb next to a downtown Chicago bar last year.
Washington - An independent review panel has concluded that with American embassies and consulates facing an increasing threat of terrorist attacks, the State Department office overseeing diplomatic security is mired in the agency’s sprawling bureaucracy and must be elevated in importance. A separate, broader inquiry last December into the attack on the United States mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans last Sept. 11 blamed the diplomatic security bureau and another State Department office as failing to coordinate and plan adequate security. That inquiry also found that several
With up to 50 per cent of ordinary Americans still opposed to possible American strikes on Syria, US servicemen have turned to social media to voice their objection. As Congress debates the pros and cons of an attack - with a resolution expected perhaps as early as tomorrow - US service personnel have posted images of themselves holding signs which speak of their opposition to intervention. The reason for their opposition goes back to the 10 point Syria explainer we ran last week. In that background summary of the civil war, we explained this isn´t a case of the brave,
Cairo - The two-month-old Egyptian government on Tuesday stepped up its use of swift military trials to lock up Islamist supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, while an administrative court banned four satellite networks considered sympathetic to them, including an Egyptian affiliate of Al Jazeera. Although the government has promised a prompt return to inclusive democracy and the rule of law, the military trials and network closings extended its use of authoritarian tactics as it widens its crackdown on Morsi supporters and the Muslim Brotherhood. On Tuesday, a military court in Suez
Stockholm - President Barack Obama is seeking to use a 24-hour visit to this Swedish capital to show a softer side of American diplomacy even as the world´s gaze remains fixed anxiously on Syria. He intends to focus in the Nordic nation on climate change, trade and technology, a trio of issues on which there is broad consensus with European allies. The topics are a marked departure from the thorny, pressing matters he´s facing back home on national security and the economy. He also plans to pay homage to a Holocaust-era hero whose name is commemorated on street signs from
Moscow - Russia does not rule out agreeing to a military operation in Syria, provided Damascus´ responsibility for using chemical weapons is proved - but only with United Nations approval, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday. In an interview with the Associated Press and Russia´s state TV network channel 1, the Russian president stressed that Russia needs "clear proof" as to who used chemical weapons in Syria, and that once it has this, "Moscow is prepared to act decisively." President Putin also confirmed that Russia has supplied components for the S-300 to Syria,
Western troops may have to remain in Afghanistan for another five years because local troops are losing too many men in battle, a Nato commander claims. Deaths have regularly topped 100 a week and monthly tolls are no longer published by Afghan ministers for fear of damaging morale, said US General Joseph Dunford. He now fears it may have been ‘premature’ for Nato to end combat operations this spring and said it may have to offer a supporting role after 2014 – when Western troops were scheduled to pull out. ‘I view it as serious, and so do all the commanders,’ he said.
Ariel Castro, who was sentenced early last month to life in prison (plus an additional 1,000 years), was found hanging in his Ohio cell on Tuesday night, according to local authorities. Here´s the official statement from JoEllen Smith of the Ohio Department of Corrections [Snip] Castro, 52, was sentenced on Aug. 1 after pleading guilty to holding three women captive in his Cleveland house for a decade and raping them
Delanco — More than 7,000 solar panels on the roof of a burning warehouse in Burlington County proved too much of a hazard for firefighters, local officials said today. "We may very well not be able to save buildings that have alternative energy," William Kramer, New Jersey’s acting fire marshall, said after Delanco Fire Chief Ron Holt refused to send his firefighters onto the roof of the 300,000-square foot Dietz & Watson facility, ablaze since Sunday afternoon. Solar panels are particularly hazardous to firefighters for a number of reasons, according to Ken Willette, a division manager with the National Fire Protection Association.
Newark — A woman was killed and another man injured in a double shooting near a playground in Newark’s South Ward Tuesday night, marking the city’s ninth homicide in as many days, prosecutors and neighbors said. The woman, whose identity was withheld, was gunned down in the 400 block of Hawthorne Avenue, less than a block away from a city public school, about 10 p.m., according to Thomas Fennelly, Essex County’s chief assistant prosecutor. She was pronounced dead at University Hospital in Newark a short time later, Fennelly said. Another man was shot in the attack and remained at University Hospital
Cleveland-based kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro has been found dead from hanging in his cell at the Correction Reception Center in Orient, OH. Castro had been sentenced to life plus 1,000 years for kidnapping and sexually assaulting Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus while holding them captive for over a decade. The Ohio Department of Corrections released the statement below: Inmate Ariel Castro was found hanging in his cell this evening at 9:20 pm at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient. He was housed in protective custody which means he was in a cell by himself
Judith Glassman Daniels, who blazed a trail for women in the publishing world and became the first woman to serve as top editor of Life magazine, has died at the age of 74. Daniels served in senior editing positions at The Village Voice, New York magazine, Time Inc and Conde Nast over a career that spanned 35 years in New York before she retired with her husband to Maine in 2004. She on died Sunday from stomach cancer at their home in Union, said her husband, Lee Webb. During her career, Daniels oversaw creation of a magazine for executive women called Savvy at a time when magazines catered to
Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reached an agreement late Tuesday on wording of a new resolution authorizing U.S. military force against the Syrian government. The resolution would permit up to 90 days of military action against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, beginning with 60 days and the option of 30 more pending President Obama’s notification of Congress, according to a copy of the resolution provided by Senate aides. The resolution also bars the deployment of U.S. combat troops into Syria, but would permit the deployment of a small rescue mission,