While President Obama was publicly celebrating the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech last week, his administration took action behind the scenes in Louisiana that was a complete rejection of King’s dream. The Justice Department has challenged our state in court for having the temerity to start a scholarship program that frees low-income minority children from failing schools. In other words, Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder would rip children out of their schools and handcuff them to the failing schools they previously attended. And, in the ultimate irony, they are using desegregation orders set up
The head of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has asked members of the group to stay largely silent on Syria until lawmakers receive more information about President Obama´s plan for missile strikes against the war-torn nation. CBC Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) sent an email Tuesday to CBC members asking them “to limit public comment on the issue,” Fudge spokeswoman Ayofemi Kirby said Thursday. “The chair believes Congress and the American public need more information, and she awaits more briefings between now and early next week before commenting further,” Kirby said. (Snip) The issue is a tough one for black Democrats,
July was supposed to mark the starting point for an amped-up economy. Instead, data on Friday showed the recovery remains stuck in second gear. The Labor Department said that the economy added 162,000 jobs in July— enough to nudge the unemployment rate down to 7.4 percent, but short of analysts’ expectations. The government also lowered its estimates of hiring during the previous two months and reported that workers earned less and put in fewer hours.
Fort Worth — After years of enormous power and political influence, no member of the Bush family currently holds political office. But as the focus on military action in Syria drags former President George W. Bush’s Iraq war policy back into the spotlight, the Bush family is quietly but forcefully gearing up for another, still-developing debate: The fight on Capitol Hill over a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws — a discussion critical to protecting the Bushes’ legacy on what has, for decades, been a defining issue for them. In July, Mr. Bush, who has largely avoided the political spotlight since
The heads of Russia’s oldest human rights groups have said they decided not to attend the meeting with the US president after it was rescheduled several times. The three people whom the mass media call the symbols of the Russian HR movement – Lyudmila Alekseyeva of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Lev Ponomaryov of the For Human Rights Movement and Svetlana Gannushkina, the chairperson of the Citizen’s Assistance Committee. (Snip) All three of the activists live and work in Moscow and they told reporters on Wednesday that they had to cancel their tickets and postpone various important events several times because
This is where we came in. For we´ve seen this movie before, or rather this all too real, all too familiar tragedy. And travesty. In the Korean War and Stalemate, for painful example, the military objective became not victory but an unending, inconclusive draw -- day after bloody day. And year. After a dramatic end run -- the master stroke that was the Inchon Landing, Allied troops led by American forces headed for the Yalu and the liberation of all the Korean peninsula. But on the verge of victory, the military calculus was turned upside down by the massive intervention
The diplomatic dialogue between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin has featured the U.S. president comparing Putin to a bored schoolboy and the Russian leader forcing an irritated Obama to wait a half-hour for a meeting. (Snip) With Obama in St. Petersburg today for a summit of global leaders, Putin yesterday denounced a potential U.S. attack on Syria as a violation of international law, while Obama told reporters the two countries’ relations have “hit a wall.” “This is basically as bad as it gets,” said James Goldgeier, dean of the School of International Service at American University and the Russia director
China and Europe at a Group of 20 summit hosted by Russia warned that U.S.-led strikes on Syria would risk harming the global economy, bolstering efforts to rally opposition to the proposed attack. “Such a military action will definitely have a negative impact on the world economy, especially on the oil price,” Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told reporters in St. Petersburg today. “We hope that this issue could be solved at the United Nations and through diplomatic channels.” (Snip) Italy and Germany have joined Russia and China in insisting they won’t support military intervention in Syria without approval
Russia and China on Thursday said that they had made progress towards agreeing a mega deal for the delivery of Russian gas to its energy-hungry eastern neighbour. Russian gas giant Gazprom and China´s state energy firm signed an agreement after a meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin ahead of the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg on the "fundamental conditions" for the gas delivery. (Snip) The deal envisages Russia pumping 38 billion cubic metres of gas to China from 2018, a major change from the Russian firm´s current orientation towards European export.
Newark — With union negotiations at a stalemate, The Star-Ledger´s publisher once again today threatened to shut down the newspaper by the end of the year if millions of dollars in labor concessions are not forthcoming. In a letter sent to employees, Star-Ledger Publisher Richard Vezza said negotiations with three of the unions -- the pressmen, engravers and machinists -- have been productive and it appears they will reach an agreement with the newspaper. However, the newspaper´s negotiators have made little progress with the mailers´ union. In June, Vezza threatened to shut down the paper Dec. 31 if the four production unions
I arrived at the parking lot in Manasquan around 7:25 last Friday morning to find perhaps a dozen men scattered around the edges of the lot. Within moments, a commuter bus pulled up across the street and twice as many mostly Hispanic men -- predominantly Mexican -- disembarked and joined their confreres. (Snip) The plight of the some 11 million undocumented in the U.S. has prompted the U.S. Catholic Bishops to mount a campaign for immigration reform this Sunday. Building on their long tradition of supporting and protecting immigrants, large Catholic dioceses like New York and Los Angeles -- meccas
Brazil´s President Dilma Rousseff has cancelled early preparations for a US visit, a spokeswoman said Thursday, amid a row with Washington over reports she was a target of US electronic espionage. A spokeswoman for Rousseff said a trip by a Brazilian delegation to prepare for the president´s October 23 visit to Washington "was cancelled." The spokeswoman did not say why the trip was cancelled, but it comes after Brazil demanded explanations from Washington for reports that US intelligence spied on her communications. (Snip) Brazilian Foreign Minister Luis Figueiredo said the report, if proven, "represents and unacceptable and unallowable violation of
Newark — The 14-year-old boy shot and killed in a Terrell Homes at Riverview Court courtyard Wednesday night had 30 bricks of heroin and a loaded handgun in his bedroom, according to law enforcement sources and a police documents. The victim, identified as Ali Rajohn Eric Henderson, had several prior arrests for drug possession and robbery, according to police documents and law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation who declined to be identified because they are not yet authorized to speak about the investigation. His last contact with police was on Aug. 15th, when he was arrested for possession of
A 15-year-old high school student has turned his tech startup into a multi-million-dollar enterprise in just a couple of years - without even taking any time off class. Jaylen Bledsoe of Hazelwood, Missouri, founded Bledsoe Technologies, an information technology consulting company, when he was just 12 years old. Since then, Bledsoe Technologies has grown into a global enterprise worth around $3.5 million, KTVI-TV reports. The startup, which now has about 150 contract employees around the world, helps companies with website design, graphics and other technology consulting services. At age 15 and considered a millionaire, Bledsoe says the guiding principle
SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court indicated Wednesday that federal law appeared to prevent immigrants without green cards from obtaining licenses to practice law. During a hearing in a packed courtroom, several justices suggested they were bound to follow a law passed by Congress that denies professional licenses to immigrants who are in the country illegally. The state high court is considering a bid by Sergio C. Garcia, 36, a Mexican immigrant who has spent most of his life in California, passed the state bar examination and has been waiting 18 years to obtain a green card.
Chobani, the biggest Greek yogurt maker in the U.S., has recalled some yogurt cups that contained mold after an unspecified number of people reported feeling ill, the company said Thursday. According to the company, a small batch of yogurt from an Idaho facility -- less than 5% of its production -- was found to contain mold. The recall, announced Thursday, began as a "voluntary withdrawal" Saturday after consumers had complained on social media about the unusual consistency and taste of the yogurt.
BEIRUT Syrian government troops battled al-Qaida-linked rebels over a regime-held Christian village in western Syria for the second day Thursday, as world leaders gathered in Russia for an economic summit expected to be overshadowed by the prospect of U.S.-led strikes against the Damascus regime. Residents of Maaloula said the militants entered the village late Wednesday. Rami Abdul-Rahman, the director of the Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights, said the fighters included members of the of al-Qaida affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra group.(Snip)The rebels launched the assault on the ancient Christian village of Maaloula _ which is on a UNESCO list of tentative world heritage sites
The intense moment was posted on Twitter by CNBC´s Eamon Javers and described by Brett Logiurato of Business Insider as the president giving Putin "a significantly intense death stare upon their meeting at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia." [Tweet, Photo] National Journal´s Matt Vasilogambros was less dramatic in his description of the 15 second meeting between the two leaders, calling it "awkward and friendly", and surmising that as Obama walked away, Putin thought to himself,
President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin shared a brief, 15-second greeting Thursday at the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was the first face-to-face interaction between the leaders after a summer of high-profile spats over Syria, Edward Snowden and gay rights. According to the White House pool report, the pair shook hands and chatted briefly, with President Obama at one point flashing a big grin. Reporters could not hear what the pair discussed. Earlier Thursday, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said there was no expectation of a formal bilateral meeting with Putin during the economic summit.
WASHINGTON –Orders to U.S. factories fell in July by the sharpest amount in four months, held back by weaker demand for commercial aircraft and heavy machinery. A key category that reflects business investment plans also fell. Factory orders dropped 2.4 percent in July compared with June, when orders rose 1.6 percent, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Orders for core capital goods, a category viewed as a proxy for business investment spending, fell 4 percent in July. Core capital goods are considered a good measure of businesses´ confidence in the economy. They include items that point to expansion — such as machinery,
President Obama on Wednesday defended the National Security Agency´s surveillance at home, responding to a question from a reporter in Sweden, where the public has voiced concerns about the program. "I can give assurances to the publics in Europe and around the world that we´re not going around snooping at people´s e-mails or listening to their phone calls," he said at a press conference in Stockholm. "What we try to do is target very specifically areas of concern."(Snip) Moving forward, there may be a need for tighter restrictions in U.S. law, Obama said. "As technology advances and capabilities grow, it may
The National Rifle Association (NRA) joined the American Civil Liberties Union´s (ACLU) lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA) Wednesday, claiming the federal agency´s "database of phone numbers amounts to ´a national gun registry.´" According to The Hill, the NSA "acknowledged that it collects records on virtually all U.S. phone calls." The NRA and ACLU see tyranny in this. Because Section 215 of the Patriot Act is understood to allow the NSA to collect records that are considered "relevant" to terrorism, the NRA fears the surveillance program is especially being used to listen to calls to gun stores, shooting ranges, and
What kind of a president could reportedly sleep when four courageous Americans were being slaughtered in a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya—but within a week of the first anniversary of the tragedy send the U.S. military to fight side by side with al-Qaeda in Syria? What kind of president could play 15 rounds of Spades while the Seal Team 6 sent by him was taking out Osama bin Laden? What kind of president would allow his Secretary of State to announce to the world that Saudi Arabia would be willing to finance the U.S. attack on Syria? John Kerry could
Obama´s choice of John Kerry to lead the charge for war against Syria demonstrates once again just what a tin ear this administration has. When you have a hard sell from the get-go, it helps to have a credible spokesman. Has every member of the president´s inner circle forgotten the 2004 election and how John Kerry was shown by former members of his naval unit in Vietnam to have huge credibility issues regarding his own war record and his untruthful testimony before Congress about American atrocities in Vietnam? Have they never considered that the reason John Kerry never followed through
The letters and photos were beyond value -- some of the mementos Joe Quinn still had to remember his older brother Jimmy, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Now they are gone, sullied by floodwaters and charred by fires that tore through the Queens community of Breezy Point last October during Superstorm Sandy. From photos and letters to coffin liners and actual memorials, scores of families from Breezy Point and Rockaway -- two Queens beachside neighborhoods hit particularly hard by both events -- lost cherished reminders of loved ones taken by one tragedy that were then swept
St Petersburg, Russia- Europe´s top officials warned against a military response in Syria on Thursday, aligning themselves more closely with Russian President Vladimir Putin than President Barack Obama in how best to respond to the chemical attack in the Syrian civil war. While describing the Aug. 21 attack near Damascus, in which an estimated 1,400 people died, as "abhorrent" and a crime against humanity, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said a military strike would not help resolve the crisis. "There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict," Van Rompuy told reporters ahead of a summit