It’s cricket mating season in Oklahoma and unusually massive swarms of the frisky bugs are terrorizing the state’s residents. Not only does the field cricket have a noxious odor and shrieking chirp, it has a tendency toward cannibalism so killing them only makes things worse. Residents say the insects tend to congregate and feed on carcasses of their dead brethren, but they’re covering every street, sidewalk, and building so there’s no way to avoid the occasional crunch. Scroll down for video... The more they’re stomped, worse infestations around homes and businesses become.
The weather system that had become tropical storm Gabrielle overnight Wednesday has abruptly lost strength and was demoted to tropical-depression status with sustained winds of only 35 miles per hour at 11 a.m. Thursday. (Snip) The number of named storms is on pace to fall within the range several seasonal forecasts have projected. On average, however, the season should have seen its first hurricane by now, and none has emerged. Indeed, the first major hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 111 miles an hour or more, typically appears around Sept. 4, notes Dennis Felgen, spokesmen for the National Hurricane Center.
In the Obama administration´s sharpest criticism so far of Russia´s response to the crisis, Ms Power told a press conference outside the UN Security Council in New York that Moscow “continues to hold the council hostage and shirk its international responsibilities”. Describing Russia as “the patron of a regime that would brazenly stage the world´s largest chemical attack in a quarter-century”, Ms Power said its veto of intervention against Bashar al-Assad brought the UN into disrepute. "To stand back would be to endanger not only international peace and security, not only US peace and security, but also the very international
Manchester NH -Eight patients who may have been exposed to a fatal brain disease at a New Hampshire hospital have been contacted by the hospital´s president, who said Thursday the patients aren´t panicking. Dr. Joseph Pepe called the Catholic Medical Center patients a day after health officials announced that they may have been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease — a brain disease characterized by rapidly progressive dementia which can cause death within months after symptoms first appearing. It has no treatment or cure. Officials believe the extremely rare disease caused the August death of a patient who had brain surgery at
After a skirmish during Thursday’s practice between Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper and cornerback Cary Williams, video captured Eagles quarterback Michael Vick stepping in and trying to break up the fight. After practice, Vick was still rattled by the incident. When a reporter approached Vick in the locker room and congratulated the QB on being a peacemaker in the altercation, Vick didn’t want to hear it. “I try to be the peacemaker,” said Vick, “but these young dudes don’t respect me.” After a minute, Vick went on: “Our maturity level’s gotta be on a whole different plane. Regardless of who the
Fighting raged through the picturesque mountain village of Maaloula, near Damascus, on Thursday, as the regime launched a counter-attack against the rebels. "They entered the main square and smashed a statue of the Virgin Mary," said one resident of the area, speaking by phone and too frightened to give his name. "They shelled us from the nearby mountain. Two shells hit the St Thecla convent." Maaloula, tucked into the honey-coloured cliffs of a mountain range north of Damascus and on a "tentative" list of applicants for Unesco world heritage status, is associated with the earliest days of Christianity. St Thecla,
Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) joined MSNBC’s Alex Wagner on Thursday for a wide-ranging and contentious interview focused on President Barack Obama’s push for American intervention in the Syrian civil war. What followed was a tense and heated exchange between the two ideologically unaligned figures about the need for intervention in Syria, American foreign policy in general, and Paul’s speaking before “anti-Semitic” groups. Wagner opened by asking about a recent interview Paul conducted with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on his web-based interview program, but the conversation quickly turned to the push for intervention in Syria. Paul questioned the “so-called gas
President Barack Obama faced a heavy lift in Congress this fall when his agenda included only budget issues and immigration reform. Now with Syria in the mix, the president appears ready to spend a lot of the political capital that he would have kept in reserve for his domestic priorities.A resolution authorizing the use of force in Syria won’t make it through the House or the Senate without significant cajoling from the White House. That means Obama, who struggles to get Congress to follow his lead on almost everything, could burn his limited leverage convincing Democrats and Republicans to vote
The sound of artillery reverberated Thursday through a predominantly Christian village north of Damascus as government troops and al-Qaida-linked rebels battled for control of the mountainside sanctuary. The hit-and-run attacks on the ancient village of Maaloula, one of the few places in the world where residents still speak Aramaic, highlighted fears among Syria´s religious minorities about the growing role of extremists among those fighting in the civil war to topple President Bashar Assad´s regime. The fighting came as President Barack Obama´s administration pressed the U.S. Congress for its authorization of a military strike against the Assad regime, while the president arrived at
Lobbying on Syria has inspired coalitions of the unlikely, aligning President Barack Obama with Sheldon Adelson, the Republican billionaire who spent about $70 million trying to defeat him last year, in the push for a military response to the use of chemical weapons. (Snip) The pro-Israel community contributed $14.5 million to federal campaigns for the 2012 elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s more than the $11.1 million in donations by the defense aerospace industry, one of the biggest and most consistent political contributors. While most of the Jewish groups’ donations lean Democratic, Adelson alone transformed the 2012
The powerful pro-Israel lobby AIPAC is planning to launch a major lobbying campaign to push wayward lawmakers to back the resolution authorizing U.S. strikes against Syria, sources said Thursday. Officials say that some 250 Jewish leaders and AIPAC activists will storm the halls on Capitol Hill beginning next week to persuade lawmakers that Congress must adopt the resolution or risk emboldening Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear weapon. They are expected to lobby virtually every member of Congress, arguing that “barbarism” by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated, and that failing to act would “send a message” to Tehran
Sen. John McCain felt the heat of opposition to U.S. military intervention in Syria on Thursday during a town-hall meeting in Phoenix that exposed the emotions and ethic and religious tensions connected to crisis in the Middle East. During his opening remarks at the more than one-hour session, McCain, R-Ariz., had just started making the point that he was against “having a single American boot on the ground” in the Syrian civil war when he was interrupted by war opponents who shouted “not good enough” and “not good enough at all.” “You don’t respect our view!
It´s not often that people feel sorry for NFL players. With even the lowest-paid rookies earning hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, they live a life that most fans could only dream of. But in the states of Colorado and Washington, the general public enjoy at least one privilege that NFL players do not. As long as they are 21 or older, those fans can smoke marijuana. Despite being legalised in both of those two states, marijuana remains on the NFL´s list of banned substances; players found to have used the drug are punishable with fines and suspensions. Not
Internet pioneer Matt Drudge may have had enough of the Republican Party. Though known to needle the GOP and its leaders from time to time, the founder of Drudge Report let loose over the party´s direction on Twitter this week. Asking why anyone would vote Republican, Drudge listed his grievances: "Raised taxes; marching us off to war again; approved more NSA snooping. WHO ARE THEY?!" His tweets referred to Republican leaders, like House Speaker John Boehner, getting behind the president´s military-strike push in Syria and other positions. But Drudge´s comments also touched on the broader internal fight in the party. Or as Drudge put
Vice President Joe Biden hosted a late-afternoon briefing on Syria with a small set of House and Senate members in the White House Situation Room Thursday, according to a White House official. Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, who has taken an increasingly high profile during the Syria debate, joined Biden in briefing lawmakers. Attendees included Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), according to a photo of the meeting distributed by the White House. With Congress threatening to vote down President Barack Obama’s request for formal authorization to launch reprisal strikes in Syria, the administration has
If the House voted today on a resolution to attack Syria, President Barack Obama would lose — and lose big. That’s the private assessment of House Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides who are closely involved in the process. If the Senate passes a use-of-force resolution next week — which is no sure thing — the current dynamics suggest that the House would defeat it. That would represent a dramatic failure for Obama, and once again prove that his sway over Congress is extraordinarily limited. The loss would have serious reverberations throughout the next three months, when Obama faces off against Congress
Three Russian warships crossed Turkey´s Bosphorus Strait Thursday en route to the eastern Mediterranean, near the Syrian coast, amid concern in the region over potential US-led strikes in response to the Damascus regime´s alleged use of chemical weapons. The SSV-201 intelligence ship Priazovye, accompanied by the two landing ships Minsk and Novocherkassk passed through the Bosphorus known as the Istanbul strait that separates Asia from Europe, an AFP photographer reported. The Priazovye on Sunday started its voyage from its home port of Sevastopol in Ukraine "to the appointed region of military service in the eastern Mediterranean", a military official told
Louisiana has emerged as America´s most corrupt state with the highest rate of convictions for people in public office, official figures revealed this week. The Southern state came top for public corruption convictions with nine per 100,000 population. Overall Louisiana convicted 403 public officials in the past ten years. The data was compiled by the Justice Department, covering the period from 2002 until 2011. [Snip] The lowest conviction rates for public corruption are South Carolina, Oregon, Washington, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Utah--with 1 per 100,000 population. Corrupt public figures in Louisiana have littered the headlines in the past few years.
Nancy Pelosi waxed rhapsodic in 2010 as she imagined the benefits of Obamacare: “Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance.” Well, that was the economy we used to have. But as Obamacare begins to kick in, artists, photographers, writers, and other members of the “creative class” who have access to health insurance programs through numerous professional organizations will lose that coverage. Up until now professional organizations have worked with insurance providers to craft reduced-rate plans for their members. But
While President Obama is conferring with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, current and retired senior American intelligence officials fear he is blind to a growing threat from a resurgent Russia. These officials say that Moscow continues to probe America´s skies and seas with bombers and submarines, both to assert itself and to see just how far Russia can push Obama. In June 2012, Russian strategic nuclear bombers broke protocol and conducted maneuvers in the Arctic without alerting the U.S. A month later a Russian Tu-95 Bear-H strategic bomber, capable of carrying nuclear-armed cruise missiles,
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia—French President François Hollande pressed European leaders attending the Group of 20 summit here to support a statement denouncing the Syrian regime, but divisions remained and Russian resistance persisted. "It´s really important that the Europeans here at the G-20 are on the same page in condemning the use of chemical arms and condemning the regime that used them," said the French leader, who has been the lone Western ally supporting U.S. President Barack Obama´s push for military action in Syria. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said G-20 leaders at the two-day summit here were divided over whether to back
Wednesday´s 10-7 vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee supporting an authorization of military attacks on Syria may have been affected by varying levels of financial support the senators got from political action committees representing the defense industry, and from the companies´ employees. On average, a ´yes´-voting senator received 83 percent more money from defense contractors than one who voted ´no.´ [Snip] The resolution would not authorize the deployment of ground forces, but MailOnline reported Wednesday that the Pentagon has already estimated the need for 75,000 troops to secure Syria´s vast supplies of chemical weapons and the factories that produce
We have a problem. The president proposes attacking Syria, and his top military officer can´t tell you the objective. Does the commander in chief know his own objective? Why, yes. "A shot across the bow," explained Barack Obama. Now, a shot across the bow is a warning. Its purpose is to say: Cease and desist, or the next shot will sink you. But Obama has already told the world — and Bashar Assad in particular — that there will be no next shot. He has insisted time and again that the operation will be finite and highly limited. Take the shot,