When Facebook bought the photo sharing app Instagram early last year, it only took a few Internet moments for the critics to weigh in. A bunch of Instagram users figured the by-now establishment social network would ruin the app, and some vowed to bail. Yeah, right. Not only did Instagram’s user growth not slow down, it has seen user numbers accelerate, at least in absolute numbers. Today, the Facebook unit announced it has hit 150 million monthly active users. That’s 50 million more than just seven months ago. It took Instagram 19 months from its founding in October 2010 to
Washington - Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad Sunday denied he had anything to do with last month’s chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of Syrians, but would not confirm or deny his regime has chemical weapons, according to Charlie Rose of CBS, the first American television anchor to interview the Syrian leader. Rose said on Face The Nation news programme that Assad “denied he had anything to do with the attack” and “he denied that he knew in fact” there was a chemical attack. The entire interview will air on Monday evening. The Syrian President reportedly told Rose there is no
Last week, was arguably the worst of Barack Obama’s presidency. If the wheels are not to come off it altogether, this coming one will need to be among his best – starting on Tuesday night with his address to the nation about Syria. It is hard to understand how an instinctively cautious president in his fifth year could have manoeuvred himself into such a dismal corner. But his largely self-charted route lends little confidence that he can easily escape it. In the next 10 days or so we will find out if Mr Obama will get the chance to recapture his
President Bashar al-Assad did not personally order last month´s chemical weapons attack near Damascus that has triggered calls for US military intervention, and blocked numerous requests from his military commanders to use chemical weapons against regime opponents in recent months, a German newspaper has reported , citing unidentified, high-level national security sources. The intelligence findings were based on phone calls intercepted by a German surveillance ship operated by the BND, the German intelligence service, and deployed off the Syrian coast, Bild am Sonntag said. The intercepted communications suggested Assad, who is accused of war crimes by the west, including foreign secretary
The end of the Cold War provided an opportunity for a reshuffling of historic alliances and power, and Americans embraced the idea of a New World Order. Syria is the latest example of Obama’s New World Disorder. With 9/11, we saw the culmination of a new, asymmetric threat from seventh-century primitives who continued to gain strength through the Clinton administration before perpetrating the worst attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor. In the aftermath, then-Senator Obama voted against our overseas efforts to fight terrorism and vehemently objected to tactics, such as enhanced interrogation methods, some of which played a role
BEIRUT — Iran won Iraqi support for its efforts to oppose a U.S.-led military strike on Syria during a visit to Baghdad on Sunday by the new Iranian foreign minister, highlighting how close the two countries have grown since U.S. forces withdrew in 2011. Speaking during his first visit abroad since he was appointed last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javed Zarif warned that U.S. intervention in Syria risks igniting a regionwide war. “Those who are short-sighted and are beating the drums of war are starting a fire that will burn everyone,” Zarif said during a news conference. Standing alongside
SAN FRANCISCO — A football fan fell from an elevated pedestrian walkway and died at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park during the 49ers-Green Bay Packers game. San Francisco police spokesman Gordon Shyy (SHY) says multiple people witnessed the man’s fall onto a sidewalk from the Jamestown walkway, which goes around Candlestick. According to police, witnesses say the man appeared intoxicated when he fell just after kickoff at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the 49ers’ 34-28 win over the Packers. Off-duty medics and police officers gave him first aid until an ambulance arrived, but the man was declared dead from his injuries.
WASHINGTON –NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous, who is credited with boosting the finances and helping to stabilize the nation´s largest civil rights organization, said Sunday that he plans to step down at the end of the year. The Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said that its rosters of online activists and donors have grown tremendously during his five-year tenure. Jealous was the group´s youngest-ever leader when he was hired as its president at age 35 in 2008. In a written statement Sunday, Jealous, now 40, said he plans to pursue teaching at a university and
MIAMI (AP) - Diana Nyad´s 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida has generated positive publicity and adoration for the 64-year-old endurance athlete - along with skepticism from some members of the small community of marathon swimmers who are questioning whether she accomplished the feat honestly. On social media and the online Marathon Swimmers Forum, long-distance swimmers have been debating whether Nyad got a boost from the boat that was accompanying her - either by getting in it or holding onto it - during a particularly speedy stretch of her swim. They also question whether she violated the traditions of her
WASHINGTON- The U.S. State Department denies a claim by a diplomat who says he feels punished for speaking about a fatal attack on a U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. In an appearance Sunday on ABC´s "This Week," former Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya Gregory Hicks said he feels punished by the State Department for speaking out about the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, in which U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. citizens were killed. "I feel that I have been punished. I don´t know why I was punished. I don´t know why I was shunted aside.
At least four Afghan intelligence staff have been killed after suicide bombers attacked offices of the provincial intelligence department in Wardak. Five suicide bombers were shot dead in the series of co-ordinated attacks, an hour away from the capital Kabul. More than 100 people - mostly civilians - were injured, police said. Separately a Nato air strike on Saturday in the eastern province of Kunar killed 15 people, including nine civilians, Afghan officials said. But a Nato spokeswoman told the BBC that a precision attack had killed 10 insurgents and that she had no reports of civilians dying.
A new daffodil has been created to commemorate the sacrifice of those killed in one of the bloodiest campaigns of the First World War. Nursery boss Ron Scamp has spent 21 years developing the yellow Gallipoli Dawn in honour of those who fought in the Dardanelles in Turkey in 1915. Only 200 bulbs--costing £4 each--will go on sale this year. But Mr Scamp, from Falmouth, Cornwall, hopes to increase the numbers in time for the 100th anniversary of the bitter fighting that cost 60,000 Allied lives. He will make a donation from every sale to the Gallipoli Association’s
If there is one thing that even Barack Obama’s fiercest critics acknowledge, it is that the President can give a good speech. But on Tuesday night, in a live address from the White House, he will have to deliver one of his very best. For Mr Obama will be trying to persuade a nation weary of war--and particularly weary of interventions in the thankless, draining sands of the Middle East--that the US should once again deploy its military might there. [Snip] In a gamble that is shaping up as a make-or-break moment for his second term in office, Mr Obama
President Obama has said the U.S. will studiously avoid putting “boots on the ground” during any conflict with Syria, but the same does not hold true for CBS News. The Eye’s news division has already scored some impressive wins in its coverage of the Syria situation by figuring out how to get its journalists into the strife-torn nation. CBS has had a reporter, Elizabeth Palmer, holding forth from Damascus, billing her on air as “the only network reporter inside Damascus.” And on Sunday, the network scored another coup: Charlie Rose, the “CBS This Morning” co-anchor, secured an interview with Syrian
PINE BLUFF, Ark.- A 107-year old Pine Bluff man died Saturday after a shootout with officers and S.W.A.T. members. The Pine Bluff Police Dept. released the following information about the incident on Saturday evening. "On September 7, 2013, at approximately 4:25 p.m., Officers of the Pine Bluff Police Department responded to a disturbance at 1411 W. 16th. [Snip] Shortly afterwards, a S.W.A.T. entry team, inside the residence, breached the door to the bedroom and threw a distraction device into the bedroom. Isadore then began to fire on the entry team and the entry team engaged Isadore, killing him."
WASHINGTON—An aggressive White House campaign to win congressional approval for military action against Syria intensified Sunday as Chief of Staff Denis McDonough vigorously reasserted the administration´s arguments in a blitz of television appearances. Entering a crucial week for winning the support of lawmakers, Mr. McDonough argued there is widespread acceptance that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons in a late August attack, leaving only the question of how to respond. "There´s not a single member of Congress debating the intelligence with us right now," Mr. McDonough said on CNN´s "State of the Union" show. "We are no longer debating whether
On Thursday, the Obama administration showed graphic video footage of Syrian victims of sarin gas to members of the Senate Intelligence committee. The video, which the administration claims is authentic, has since been released to the media. The administration appears to be using the video in an attempt to make the case for military intervention in Syria. In doing so, they appear to be counting on emotions instead of rational thought. I don´t presume to know who is using sarin gas against innocent civilians in Syria. There appears to be confusion about who is actually using the gas to kill people
It is entirely understandable that Barack Obama´s way of dealing with Syria in recent weeks should have elicited responses ranging from puzzlement to disgust. Even members of his own party are despairingly echoing in private the public denunciations of him as "incompetent," "bungling," "feckless," "amateurish" and "in over his head" coming from his political opponents on the right. For how else to characterize a president who declares war against what he calls a great evil demanding immediate extirpation and in the next breath announces that he will postpone taking action for at least 10 days—and then goes off to play golf
Conrad Black has an interesting column in the New York Sun about parallels between the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990-91, the fall of France in 1940, and the collapse of American influence in the last few years, Black, an interventionist on Syria, nevertheless offers lessons on how to throw away American power by electing incompetent leadership: What we are witnessing now in the United States, by contrast, is just the backwash of inept policy-making in Washington, and nothing that could not eventually be put right. But for this administration to redeem its credibility now would require a change of direction
Former Democratic representative Jane Harman said she believes both Republicans’ and Democrats’ concerns about primary challengers are persuading them to not support military intervention in Syria. “These folks think their reelection, in my view, matters more than perhaps taking a principled stand,” said Harman, who is currently president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, on Meet the Press this morning. “They want this to pass, they just don’t want to vote for it.” “The base in each party is against this,” she added. Harman recalled that she faced primaries three times as a California representative after she supported intervention in Iraq.
Democrats tend to be more “principled” in their opposition to President Obama’s request for authorization for military strikes in Syria than their Republican counterparts in Congress, according to NBC’s Chuck Todd. “I think about half of the Republican opposition here is a political opposition, but I think a good 50 percent is not,” Todd said on Meet the Press the morning. “I think about 75 percent of the opposition in the Democratic party is rational and principled, and about 25 percent of it is politics.”
MELBOURNE, Fla. -- The deadly violence percolating half a world away in Syria and the warnings of a possible U.S. attack have some people not only looking ahead to what might happen in the coming days — but also looking backward into ancient, apocalyptic prophecies in the pages of the Old Testament. In recent weeks, some dire prophecies have turned up on websites, in book stores, as the subject of Bible studies and in sermons by some Christians and others who see a link between the old passages and modern-day events in Egypt, Libya and Syria. "Behold, Damascus is about to be
As President Obama makes his rounds on major news nets to plead his case for limited military action against Syria, CBS and PBS may have landed the biggest interview in the hotly-contested international crisis yet: one with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Charlie Rose interviewed the Syrian leader Sunday morning in Damascus, and discussed with the prez his alleged use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians on August 21. Per Rose, who called in to CBS’ “Face the Nation” and relayed details of the interview, Assad wholly denied the allegations. Assad “denied that he had anything to do with the attack,” Rose
According to researchers from the George Washington University (GWU) School of Public Health, in 2010, almost half of all births in the United States were paid for by Medicaid, and that rate is only going to go up. Medicaid was responsible for 48% of the 3.8 million births in 2010, an increase of 90,000 births from 2008, which was an 8% increase during that period. Lead investigator Anne Markus, an associate professor of health policy at GWU, said, "As states expand coverage, low-income women of childbearing age will be able to obtain more continuous coverage before and between pregnancies. Now, for
Following up on multiple questions regarding the proposed Syrian intervention and its fate in Congress, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace invoked the approaching one year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, and asked White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough why the perpetrators had not been brought to justice. Wallace was especially interested in why the U.S. had not arrested Ahmed Abu Khattala, who has been charged with the crime but not arrested, despite having given interviews to several news outlets. “Why is it that reporters seems to be able to find this guy, who the government