Washington - The Obama administration is considering a plan to use U.S. military trainers to help increase the capabilities of the Syrian rebels, in a move that would greatly expand the current CIA training being done quietly in Jordan, U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Thursday. Any training would take place outside Syria, and one possible location would be Jordan. (Snip) The CIA has been training select groups of rebels in Jordan on the use of communications equipment and some weapons provided by Gulf states. The new discussions center on whether the U.S. military should take over
San Jose, Calif. - Google´s attorneys say their long-running practice of electronically scanning the contents of people´s Gmail accounts to help sell ads is legal, and have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to stop the practice. In a federal court hearing Thursday in San Jose, Google argued that "all users of email must necessarily expect that their emails will be subject to automated processing." The lawsuit, filed on behalf of 10 individuals, is expected to be certified as a class action and is widely seen as a precedent-setting case for other email providers. The plaintiffs say Google "unlawfully
The long-rumored move of the actor Alec Baldwin to the new position of talk show host was confirmed on Thursday with the announcement that MSNBC had hired Mr. Baldwin for a once-a-week program in prime time. The network said that Mr. Baldwin — most recently the star of the comedy “30 Rock” on the news channel’s sister network NBC — would host a show where he would conduct interviews related to current events and culture. “Up Late With Alec Baldwin” will begin in October and fill the 10 p.m. Friday slot, replacing the prison reality show “Lock Up,” which will be pushed back an hour.
Go to law school, pass the bar, get a license to practice law: It’s a path that thousands of Americans have followed. Now, several immigrants – who don’t have citizenship or a green card but have been able to take the first two steps – say that they, too, should be allowed to practice law. The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday about whether it should grant a law license to Sergio Garcia. He was brought by his family from Mexico as a baby, returned to Mexico for part of his youth, and then came
The threat of a US strike against Syria is "organized terrorism," Lebanese Shia organization Hezbollah said in the first statement since calls for military action against Syria began, AFP reported on Friday. "US aggression against Syria, or the threat of it, is... organized terrorism and threatens the region and its people," the group said, warning any military action against Syria would pose a threat to "regional and international peace and security." The group said calls for military action against Syria were intended to "support Israel and tighten the grip of Western colonialism on the region."
Iran has ordered militants in Iraq to attack US interests in Baghdad should the US carry out military strikes in Syria, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing intercepted communications from the Iranians. The message from Qasem Soleimani, the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards´ Quds force, to Shi´ite allies in Iraq was intercepted in recent days, US officials told the Journal. The US Embassy in Baghdad was one potential target of a retaliatory strike by the Shi´ite groups, the paper quoted US officials as saying. The US State Department on Thursday warned Americans against
In all the debates swirling around whether the United States should launch a unilateral military attack on Syria, as the Obama Administration is now seeking to do, one key point is getting very little attention: it would violate international law. The fundamental rule of contemporary international law is that states cannot attack other states. The U.N. Charter embodies this rule, and makes only two exceptions to it: a state can attack another state if it is authorized to do so by a Security Council resolution, or if the attacking state is acting in genuine self-defense. Neither of these exceptions apply
Berlin — Germany is the world’s most popular country, according to a BBC World Service survey this year, not bad for a nation that has probably fretted more over its self-image than any other. It is also an enigma, a powerful state wary of power, a lusterless leader. Angst is a German word but not a German condition. As world leaders debate the Syrian crisis, Europe’s dominant power is conspicuous for its silence. It murmurs that the regime must be punished if use of chemical weapons is proved, and it contributes intelligence, but it wants no part of any riposte.
Lingering frustration over the way President Obama handled the attacks in Libya that led to death of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans has colored the debate over whether to launch military strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad. Republican lawmakers said in hearings this week that the two situations are linked because the September 2012 attack on the diplomatic post in Benghazi weakened Mr. Obama’s credibility with the public, with the public still seeking answers about what went wrong and why people have not been held accountable for the security shortcomings there. “These issues call into question the accountability
He’s there in every corner of Congress where a microphone fronts a politician, there in Russia and the British Parliament and the Vatican. You may think George W. Bush is at home in his bathtub, painting pictures of his toenails, but in fact he’s the biggest presence in the debate over what to do in Syria. (Snip) Blame Bush? Of course, President Obama has to lead; it’s his superpower now, his armies to move, his stage. But the prior president gave every world leader, every member of Congress a reason to keep the dogs of war on a leash.
Rush Limbaugh announced today on his radio show that he has a book on the way this fall (Oct. 29): “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans.” OK, that’s not the most self-explanatory book title in literary history, so let’s do a little FAQ here: Q: Who is “Rush Revere”? A: That would be the Rush Limbaugh character that fronts the radio host’s outfit Two If By Tea. Here’s the full explanation from the Two If By Tea website: “Rush Revere is a modern-day Paul Revere who rides around America espousing fundamental American values. He is a
An Associated Press reporter became a symbol Wednesday of journalists´ impatience with the Obama administration´s course in making a case for military strikes in Syria, asking the State Department´s chief spokeswoman whether the White House had undergone a ´group spine removal procedure.´ Longtime AP foreign affairs correspondent Matt Lee was invited to ask the first question in a State Department briefing, and asked spokeswoman Jen Psaki why Secretary of State John Kerry called President Obama ´courageous´ for seeking congressional approval before taking military action. ´I don’t understand what is courageous,´ Lee said, ´about asking permission for something that you say
St. Petersburg — President Obama scrambled with senior advisers Thursday to soften resistance to a military strike against the Syrian government among U.S. lawmakers and some of Obama’s most reliable global allies. Obama has staked the credibility of the United States — and his presidency — on his call for a military operation to punish the Syrian government for its alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians last month. But the president faces hardening barriers in Congress, where both Republican critics and Democratic allies have voiced deep reservations
A bodyguard to the stars who protected the likes of Lady Gaga, Jay Z, Beyonce and Nelson Mandela has been killed by police after a bizarre break-in, according to reports. Norman Oosterbroek, 43, nicknamed the Dutch Giant given his 6 ft 5, 280 pounds stature, allegedly broke into a Miami mansion naked around 10.45pm on Monday night, the Miami Herald reports. [Snip] Authorities say the father-of-two, who was photographed the world over accompanying stars to events, had long had drug issues. According to the Herald, he had been in and out of rehab for years. Many hoped his problems were behind him
The roof is pretty much falling down around President Obama’s head. Obamacare, finally rolling out and crashing on takeoff, is more unpopular than ever. The economy remains dismal, with labor force participation hitting near-record lows and young people’s job prospects in the toilet. Poverty rates are sky-high, with record numbers on food stamps. The federal government is about to run out of money again, having incurred nearly $17 trillion in debt. In foreign affairs, Obama has become a laughingstock. Today Vladimir Putin, in a brazen display of contempt, called Secretary of State John Kerry a “liar” just hours before he
In a sharply-worded intervention in the debate on the Syrian conflict, Pope Francis also accused world leaders of having stood by and allowed a "senseless massacre" to unfold in the country. The Pope wrote in a letter, delivered to Vladimir Putin but addressed to all the G20 leaders meeting: "To the leaders present, to each and every one, I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution." He added: "Rather, let there be a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination,
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