Speaking after talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry in London, Foreign Secretary William Hague told a news conference that the US has the full diplomatic support of the United Kingdom and said that Britain would be "working closely with our closest ally" on Syria. John Kerry added that the US and UK´s "bond is bigger than one vote", referring to Parliament´s rejection of Britain taking part in military action against Syria. The US Secretary of State also emphasised that the solution to the Syrian conflict must be "political not military."
Whatever Apple announces this week, it won’t be what I really want. It’ll be fun to see a new iPhone and, possibly, the near-mythical iWatch, but I want something more radical. I want the tech giants--Google, Amazon and Microsoft--to kill the mobile carriers. To take the myopic, mendacious and just plain awful networks down to the river and drown them without a second´s thought. The phone companies are terrible at serving customers. They make it hard to switch networks. Thanks to an idiotic attitude to paperwork, my phone number is currently in limbo after 3 and O2 couldn’t get their
Sometimes, I wonder why I bother to read Time magazine. Then a rare gem surfaces that makes the drudgery of leafing through each issue worth it. Or at least, almost worth it. Time’s August 12 cover story is a case in point. Lauren Sandler takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the world of couples who purposely choose a childfree life. The tagline, “When having it all means not having children,” neatly summarizes the overall premise. “The birthrate in the U.S. is the lowest in recorded American history,” Sandler writes, “which includes the fertility crash of the Great Depression.… A 2010
Mr Kerry was in London on Monday morning on the final leg of a whirlwind European tour to drum up support for intervention in Syria. When asked by a reporter whether there was anything Assad´s government could do or offer to stop an attack, Mr Kerry said: "Sure, he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week--turn it over, all of it without delay and allow the full and total accounting (of it). "But he isn´t about to do it and it can´t be done."Mr Kerry repeated his belief, stated
Let’s get one thing clear: President Barack Obama’s upcoming media blitz, to include interviews on six television networks and a primetime Oval Office address, is not going to rally the public behind U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria. It’s hard to fault Obama for trying. The belief in the dominant president who moves the country and the government through strong leadership has deep roots in American political culture. We frequently attribute extraordinary persuasiveness to the chief executives Americans revere most — from George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. These past masters of the bully pulpit moved the
We might have a new word for folly if President Barack Obama gets Congressional approval and authorizes military strikes against Syria. Tactically, cruise missiles will do their job by blowing stuff up, but these raids will probably harm innocent civilians—maybe killing more than in the chemical attacks—and strategically, they might precipitate disastrous consequences across the region. Future generations might warn against committing an “Obamolly.” Moral outrage doesn’t constitute a comprehensive strategic plan, which is needed to prosecute a just war without causing more harm than good. Strategic thinking involves four key aspects: (i) useful, durable objective(s); (ii) the selection of
This past Sunday, September 1, saw the release of a remarkable bit of security footage from a Marionville, MO liquor store. In it, store clerk (and military veteran) Jon Alexander is behind the counter when he is approached by a would-be robber — a robber who came very close to winning the Darwin Award.(Snip for photo)The robber had initially set off Alexander’s “alarm” when he had to be told to take his cigarette out of the “no smoking” establishment. The security footage later shows the robber step up to the counter with his right-hand held close to and just behind his
Leo Tolstoy´s novel "Anna Karenina" famously starts "All happy families are alike." But what readers may want to know is how alike are different translations of such foreign classics? There are half-a-dozen English-language translations of the 1878 Russian novel available for sale online, including the 2001 version produced by celebrated translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. An endorsement by Oprah Winfrey turned that edition into a best-seller, with more than 1.3 million copies in print to date. Yet next year, two new translations of the massive novel will hit the shelves. "Why two more now, and in the same year? I have
“A shot across the bow” has been a much-used metaphor of late, referring to the proposed strike against the Assad regime in Syria for its use of chemical weapons. But what does that phrase mean, exactly? In the days before radio communications it was a warning that meant, simply, “stop or I’ll sink you.” It gave the other ship an opportunity to stand to before being attacked. But the warning, necessarily, implied the possibility of further hostile action. After all, if you tell someone to “stop or I’ll sink you,” and they don’t stop, the next move is to hit them directly.
A Senate panel is investigating whether former Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano’s close allies pushed the department’s inspector general to tread lightly in its investigation of the prostitution scandal involving the U.S. Secret Service. Government sources familiar with the probe say Senate investigators are looking into John Sandweg, the secretary’s former general counsel whom she recently promoted to acting chief of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and her former chief of staff, Noah Kroloff, who, shortly after the 2012 prostitution scandal subsided, formed a private consulting firm with Mark Sullivan, who retired in March as head of the Secret Service. Read
If anyone in the Obama administration thought having former Democratic representative Jane Harman appear on NBC’s Meet the Press to support the Syrian war resolution was a good idea, he must be cringing now. Harman, a former congresswoman from California who now runs the Woodrow Wilson International Center, weighed in on why so many in Congress were resisting a vote to authorize force in Syria: “All these folks in both parties, especially in the House, are worried about being primaried. The base in each party is against this. . . . So these folks think that their reelection . . .
WASHINGTON — President Obama may not have sought out to assemble a “team of rivals” in the vein of Abraham Lincoln, but he sure has developed a knack for turning Cabinet members into foes. Soon, Secretary of State John Kerry could become Obama’s latest administration frenemy. The president has, at best, a very slim chance of convincing congressional lawmakers — particularly those in the House — to back his plan of an air strike on Syria in response to chemical weapons attacks in the country. If Congress rejects the president’s plan at a time when international support from anyone other than
Mark Huma and Silda as almost certain no-shows. Scandal-plagued pols Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer ducked questions Sunday about whether their wives would join them on the final day of campaigning before the primary election. The two candidates, who claim to have their spouses’ full support, will make last-minute appeals to voters Monday without their better halves at their sides. “I don’t know, I mean, I’m walking a fine line,” Weiner said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” when asked if his wife, longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, would make a last-minute appearance on the campaign trail. “You have an appetite for the Huma
LOS ANGELES — Valerie Jarrett, one of President Obama’s closest aides, pledged to labor on Sunday to complete a worker safety rule long lobbied for by unions. Speaking to union members and leaders at the AFL-CIO’s conference on diversity, Jarrett touted the Obama administration’s effort to protect workers from harmful silica dust. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) last month issued draft regulations for the rule, which had been under review at the White House for more than two years. Jarrett said the administration and labor want to do what’s right for the country. “It includes our effort that is underway
The man did not imagine the turn his life was about to take when he reported in his NYPD application that he was fluent in Arabic. “I had no idea what’s in store for me,” he says. He had wanted to be a cop since he was a youngster. His great hope was to become a member of the elite Emergency Service Unit. “The whole lights and sirens, busting in doors,” he says. “All the stuff on TV.” But before he entered the academy, he was quietly approached by a member of the NYPD intelligence division who inquired if he would be interested
Both President Obama and Congress are giving far too little consideration to the potentially huge costs of a U.S. military strike against Syria, according to longtime civil libertarian and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul. The financial toll of retaliating against the Syrian government for its use of chemical weapons is the “one issue that not too many people have been talking about” – but they urgently ought to be, Paul said in an interview on Friday. Despite Obama’s assurances that U.S. military action won’t involve “boots on the ground,” Paul warned about the human cost of “so many more lives
Okay. I’m an idiot. What was I thinking? I apologize. Any administration that could have the temerity to send the nauseating serial Benghazi prevaricator Susan Rice, on the anniversary of that event yet, to explain to Congress why our representatives should approve a strike on Syria not only should NOT get the aforesaid approval, they should be forbidden approval for anything more significant than the choice of wallpaper in the White House rest rooms — and even that I’m not so sure. In earlier columns, I supported an attack on Syria because I abhor Bashar Assad and his (or his minions’) use
AS the debate on the Syria intervention began in Congress last week, some wondered why President Obama, who has been frustrated repeatedly by Republican legislators, would risk being thwarted yet again and possibly jeopardize the ability of future presidents to pursue ambitious foreign policy objectives. In explaining his decision, Mr. Obama stressed constitutional imperatives. “I’m the president of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy,” he said, adding that he must respect “members of Congress who want their voices to be heard.” But Mr. Obama might also have been acknowledging something else: that he holds office at a time when the presidency itself
Only Brazil still produces the classic 56-year-old VW camper van, but not for much longer. With a final special edition series of the beloved vehicle wrapping up before year´s end, the race is on for those looking to buy used models. Some of them make rattling and popping noises, while others creak when heavily loaded and have rust-colored age marks. They may be old, but many are deeply cherished. New ones can still be purchased, but not for much longer, because the days of the Volkswagen Bus are numbered in Brazil, the only place the company still produces the vehicle. Businessman Ademir
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is hitting the airwaves to try to convince war-weary Americans that limited strikes against Syria are needed for the United States´ long-term safety, while his national security team is attempting to reassure skeptical lawmakers that the United States is not heading toward another Iraq or Afghanistan. Obama on Monday planned to make his case for punishing Syrian President Bashar Assad for turning chemical weapons against his own people - a charge Assad denies in a new interview. Top administration officials are heading to Capitol Hill for more classified briefings. And White House national security adviser
The push by 50 western Virginia counties to secede in 1863, forming West Virginia at the height of the Civil War, was led by a charismatic store-clerk-turned-lawyer who famously urged his supporters: “Cut the knot now! Cut it now! Apply the knife.” West Virginia was the last state to break off from another. Now, 150 years later, a 49-year-old information technology consultant wants to apply the knife to Maryland’s five western counties. “The people are the sovereign,” says Scott Strzelczyk, leader of the fledgling Western Maryland Initiative, and the western sovereigns are fed up with Annapolis’s liberal majority, elected by
The sheer ineptitude of President Obama´s handling of his Syria red line has made jaws drop all across the political spectrum. The man who garnered so much admiration for his oratorical brilliance, personal charm, and political genius has managed to make matters worse with every step he has taken. This dramatic and historic collapse demands explanation.It must be acknowledged from the start that Obama might now be the victim of unrealistic expectations stoked by his media allies, who once called him a "lightworker" and "almost a god." But then again, when you promise to stem the rise of the oceans,
Town halls have always been a great object of interest for me -- and I´ve attended my share from my days working for the former Senator Kit Bond (R-MO). I´ve never seen as large and energized a crowd as today´s town hall held in a quiet, affluent Connecticut town about 40 miles outside Manhattan. The town hall was convened by Jim Himes, the Democrat representing Connecticut´s fourth district, but Senator Richard Blumenthal showed up, too. The crowd had come from all over the district, and the large meeting room -- at a public library -- overflowed, past standing room to
Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul were headline attractions at a conference in Iowa this summer that brought hundreds of conservative Christian pastors together to talk faith and politics. But they weren’t the only draw. The trim man with silver hair who drew in close to Cruz in a prayer huddle also had considerable star power: the evangelical historian David Barton. An informal adviser to several prominent Republican politicians, including Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, Barton argues that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and must return to those roots. His ideas have shaped the
U.S. taxpayers have spent at least $1,010,354,195 on Syrian humanitarian aid for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, according to official numbers from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). USAID, which was created by President John F. Kennedy, is the federal government´s primary agency in charge of distributing civilian foreign aid. (Snip) "To help the many Syrians in need this Eid al-Fitr, the United States is providing an additional $195 million in food aid and other humanitarian aid, bringing our humanitarian contribution to the Syrian people to over $1 billion since the crisis began,"
President Obama is facing a humiliating defeat at the hands of Congress over his plans to launch limited missile strikes on Syria according to even his most ardent supporters. That was the assessment on Sunday of the influential Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, Mike Rogers. Rogers told CBS´s ´Face the Nation´ the White House had made a ´confusing mess´ of the Syria issue. Now, he said, ´I´m skeptical myself.´ Congress will be in session on Monday for the first time since the August recess. Debate on Syria could begin in the full Senate this week, with voting as