Alliant Techsystems Inc, the world´s largest ammunitions maker, will buy gun accessories company Bushnell Group Holdings Inc for $985 million as it shifts focus to a fast-growing shooting sports business from a spending-constrained defense industry. Alliant, spun off from Honeywell International in 1990 and commonly known as ATK, said it would integrate Bushnell into its sporting group business, which makes products such as sporting rifles, holsters and harnesses. Bushnell, owned by private equity firm MidOcean Partners since 2007, makes binoculars, riflescopes and night vision equipment
Chicago - A reputed former leader of a heroin-trafficking network that extended from Thailand to Nigeria and Mexico and into Chicago is set to be sentenced, two decades after being charged. In a negotiated deal, Musiliu Balogun faces a maximum nine-year prison term when a federal judge in Chicago sentences him Thursday. He faced a life sentence. Court documents describe Balogun as one of the kingpins in the powerful trafficking ring. Many of its other leaders were arrested in 1996. Balogun evaded capture until his arrest in Amsterdam in 2006 as he sought to fly to Ghana.
SYDNEY — Flamboyant Australian billionaire Clive Palmer on Thursday said he plans to sue Rupert Murdoch over unflattering allegations and claimed the media mogul´s estranged wife is a Chinese spy. Palmer, best known for building a replica of the Titanic and who is running for election in Australia on Saturday, seethed over a comment piece questioning his wealth and whether he was indeed a university professor and a mining magnate, as he claims. Murdoch´s flagship The Australian ran the story on its front page under the headline "Why we need to worry about the real Mr Palmer", alleging he was
Associated Press reporter Matt Lee grilled State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Thursday, repeatedly asking her how Secretary of State John Kerry found it "courageous" for President Barack Obama to seek Congressional authorization of military force in Syria. Lee´s argument came from this premise: How is it "courageous" for Obama to ask for Congress to approve something that he believes he has the right to do, anyway?
WASHINGTON —The Justice Department is declassifying portions of some secret court orders concerning the government´s authority to seize records under the Patriot Act. The department revealed its decision to declassify the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions in a filing with the federal court in the Northern District of California Wednesday. The government says it will provide hundreds of pages of documents to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet civil liberties group that had filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act. The release of the records is in response to an order issued by a federal judge in California.
Things aren´t exactly warming up between the Obama administration and Vladimir Putin, even as President Obama arrived in St. Petersburg for the G-20 summit. Putin called Obama Secretary of State John Kerry a liar over Kerry´s testimony this week before Congress. The question may be al-Qaeda´s influence on the Syrian rebels, an issue Kerry has downplayed. Speaking to his human rights council Wednesday, Putin said, "This was very unpleasant and surprising for me. We talk to them (the Americans), and we assume they are decent people, but he is lying and he knows that he is lying. This is sad."
While children are gassed in Syria, Obama’s America hems and haws and debates endlessly. Whatever happened to our moral power and leadership, asks Tunku Varadarajan. Has anyone noticed how diminished, how very Lilliputian, America has become? Great tragic events in the world beyond our borders are parsed here as accountants would parse the finer points of a creative tax deduction. Hundreds of innocent Syrians have been gassed to death by their despot—hell, even my ninth grader is horrified, and not just because he is aware that many of the dead were close to his age—and yet … our spontaneous revulsion,
ProPublica is today publishing a story in partnership with the Guardian and The New York Times about U.S. and U.K. government efforts to decode enormous amounts of Internet traffic previously thought to have been safe from prying eyes. This story is based on documents provided by Edward Snowden, the former intelligence community employee and contractor. We want to explain why we are taking this step, and why we believe it is in the public interest. The story, we believe, is an important one.
Anticipating a move by the White House to appease unions, top House Republicans asked Congress‘ auditors to estimate how much it would cost to provide Obamacare subsidies to workers who use multi-employer health plans. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, Michigan Republican, and Education and the Workforce Committee head John Kline, Minnesota Republican, asked the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation to figure out how much taxpayers would have to provide to offset health premiums tied to these types of plans, which are commonly used by union members. Their request comes amid reports the White House is
The CDC survey comes as the federal government is expected to announce, as early as October, its plan to regulate these battery-powered devices as tobacco products. Now chic among celebrities, electronic cigarettes are gaining favor among U.S. teenagers as new data show a recent doubling in usage. Last year, 10% of high school students say they tried e-cigarettes, up from 4.7% in 2011, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A doubling also occurred among U.S. middle school students saying they've experimented
The White House’s proposed strikes on Syria almost couldn’t be more limited. They’re likely to cost in the millions of dollars rather than the billions of dollars, and no U.S. lives are likely to be in danger. It’s “barely five percent of what we did in Libya,” says Rep. Brad Sherman. And it’s not just the White House. The congressional authorization of force — if one ever passes — will expressly forbid committing ground troops. So even if the Obama administration wanted to escalate sharply, they’d need to persuade a reluctant Congress to pass a new law allowing them to
President Obama has postponed a Los Angeles fundraiser scheduled for next Monday. The announcement arrives as Congress gets ready to debate the authorization of the use of military force against Syria. The reception was to be held at the Hancock Park home of Friends co-creater Marta Kauffman and her husband, composer Michael Skloff. The Sept. 9 Hancock Park fundraiser with Obama was set to include an exclusive $32,400-per-person "off the cuff" roundtable discussion with the president, as well as a photo line for those who donate $5,000 to the party -- and raise an additional $20,000 from others.
Prosecutors in rural Missouri have charged a man with exposing his partner to HIV and say he may have exposed more than 300 other people to the virus that causes AIDS. David Mangum told police he had at least that many unprotected sexual encounters with people he met online or in parks since he was diagnosed with HIV in 2003, Dexter, Missouri, detective Sgt. Corey Mills told CNN. Mills said it will be difficult to find and warn those people, since Mangum "usually only knew his partners´ first names." Mangum was arrested after his former partner told police that Mangum
The USS San Antonio, an amphibious transport dock ship, arrived at the port of Haifa on Wednesday for what the US Navy called a "routine port visit." Captain Randell Dykes said the visit was a "well deserved break for sailors and marines, and for many is the first time they have visited Israel. (Snip) A defense official said the San Antonio had been asked to serve as an afloat forward staging base, which could provide a temporary base for special operations forces, if they were needed. It could also assist with evacuations. A spokesman for the ship declined comment,
In an extreme effort to stamp out unfriendly competition, a youth soccer group in Midlake, Ontario, is eliminating soccer balls from their games and forcing kids to pretend they’re kicking a ball around. “This year to address some of the negative effects of competition, we’ve actually removed the ball,” said Helen Dabney-Coyle of Midlake’s Soccer Association, OpposingViews.com reported. “And the kids are loving it.”
The United States declared on Thursday that there is "no viable path forward" in the U.N. Security Council on Syria because Russia is holding it hostage in an effort to protect the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power´s remarks appeared to leave no doubt that Washington would not seek U.N. approval for a military strike on Syria in response to an August 21 chemical weapon attack near Damascus. She said a draft resolution Britain submitted to the five permanent council members last week calling for a response to that attack was effectively
Ten months after Mitt Romney shuffled off the national stage in defeat — consigned, many predicted, to a fate of instant irrelevance and permanent obscurity — Republicans are suddenly celebrating the presidential also-ran as a political prophet. From his widely mocked warnings about a hostile Russia to his adamant opposition to the increasingly unpopular implementation of Obamacare, the ex-candidate’s canon of campaign rhetoric now offers cause for vindication — and remorse — to Romney’s friends, supporters, and former advisers. “I think about the campaign every single day, and what a shame it is who we have in the White House,”
Facing the prospect of waging war against Syria unilaterally, President Obama belatedly gambled that Congress could give him some political cover for a risky decision. He´s not likely to get it, based on the initial reaction from House members from both parties. Despite the show of support from House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday afternoon, that´s not going to move many votes. Neither is putting any pressure on their members to vote for a military strike against Syria despite their personal support. Both are calling it a vote of conscience and aren´t urging members to
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