American officials are seeking to seize $23.7 million in high-end Manhattan real estate they say were purchased with money from a huge fraud exposed by a lawyer who later died in prison.U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara filed a civil forfeiture complaint Monday against properties held by nine offshore companies and the assets of two other companies they say laundered part of the proceeds of a huge Russian tax fraud that caused a rift in U.S.-Russian relations. “Today’s forfeiture action is a significant step towards uncovering and unwinding a complex money laundering scheme arising from a notorious foreign fraud,” Bharara said in a
This, apparently, is how diplomacy happens these days: Someone makes an off-hand remark at a press conference and triggers an international chain reaction that turns an already chaotic and complex situation completely on its head, and gives everyone a sense that, perhaps, this is the light at the end of the indecision tunnel. Speaking in London next to British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said that perhaps the military strike around which the administration has been painfully circling for weeks could be avoided if Bashar al-Assad can "turn over every single bit of his
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — To understand just how complex and sometimes chaotic the organizational structure of a big-time college football program can be, one would only need to have followed the developments surrounding Texas A&M this summer. [Snip] The one exception, of course, to Saban´s single-minded, almost robotic approach occurred last season when Manziel became legend at the Crimson Tide´s expense. For 60 minutes, he drew Alabama into the chaotic, seat-of-your-pants world of Johnny Football and came out the other side as a national phenomenon, winning the game, 29-24, and ultimately the Heisman Trophy. For Alabama, though, redemption this week in College Station, Texas,
How…unexpected. (Not.) John Kerry said it couldn’t be done. Russia is making sure that it won’t, even if it could be. Russia is not keen at this stage for a binding U.N. Security Council resolution that would provide a framework to control Syria’s chemical weapons’ stocks, France’s foreign minister said after talks with his Russian counterpart on Tuesday. (Snip) Obama is being played. The Russian deal forced him to change course and re-write tonight’s speech at the last minute. Now he has to re-write it again, or pretend that the Russians didn’t just drop a flaming bag of something on the
In one of the most deft diplomatic maneuvers of all time, Russia’s President Putin has saved the world from near-certain disaster. He did so without the egoistical but incompetent American president, or his earnest but clueless Secretary of State, even realizing they had been offered a way out of the mess they’d created. The eventful day started out Monday morning with the Obama administration making a full court press for an American attack on Syria: lobbying members of Congress, scheduling an historic series of presidential interviews with top news anchors, and sending Secretary Kerry to London to persuade our reluctant
Washington - President Barack Obama on Tuesday asked Congress to delay votes on authorizing military strikes against Syria in order to give Russia time to get Syria to surrender any chemical weapons it possesses, according to U.S. senators. "What he (Obama) wants is to check out the seriousness of the Syrian and the Russian willingness to get rid of those chemical weapons in Syria. He wants time to check it out," Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin told reporters. Levin made his remarks after a lunch meeting on Capitol Hill that Obama attended. On Monday, the Senate began debating
The Obama administration has been forced into working with the United Nations, after Russia outwitted the White House to strike a deal with Syria over handing over its chemical weapons--just hours before the president makes a landmark national address. The Syrian government said Tuesday that it had accepted Russia´s proposal to turn its chemical weapons over to international monitors for destruction at a later date. [Snip] As a result, Vladimir Putin--not Barack Obama--has emerged as the power broker in Syria. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem met with Russia´s parliament speaker on Tuesday, saying afterward that his government had ´agreed to
President Barack Obama said Tuesday he wants Congress to delay its efforts to vote on authorizing the use of force in response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons until the round of diplomatic efforts that began Tuesday has a chance to play out. Obama’s comments came at lunch meetings with senators, which followed the administration’s commitment to engage in talks at the United Nations, and as Syria and Russia quickly responded to the action at the UN with their own statements and requests. (Snip) Efforts to reach an agreement at the UN began Tuesday, as France proposed a Security Council resolution
Serious allegations are being raised in the legal community that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has recruited the U.S. Trustee Program to collect bankruptcy data on its behalf to aid a controversial data-mining program. Documents obtained by the Washington Examiner describe efforts by the CFPB to collect a decade´s worth of private financial data on the consumer behavior of five million American citizens without their knowledge or consent. The CFPB data-mining campaign has alarmed privacy watchdogs.
When some members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church confronted country music superstar Vince Gill before a show in Kansas City recently, the artist took the opportunity to give them a piece of his mind. The encounter was caught on camera. "What are you doing out here, Vince Gill?" one of the protesters demanded. "Oh, I just came out to see what hate looks like," he fired back. The protester continued prodding Gill, asking him what he was doing "with another man´s wife," referring to fellow singer Amy Grant, his second wife to whom he´s been married for 13 years.
London - Britain, France and the United States will table a resolution on Syrian chemical weapons in the United Nations Security Council later on Tuesday, said British Prime Minister David Cameron, reacting to a Russian proposal for Syria to surrender such arms. Cameron was speaking after Syria accepted the proposal in order to win a possible reprieve from punitive US military strikes which US President Barack Obama has floated as a way of preventing a repeat of a suspected chemical attack on Aug. 21. (Snip) Russia is not keen at this stage for a binding UN Security Council resolution
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that his government’s plan to have Syria turn over chemical weapons will only work if President Obama calls off his plans for military strikes — something the White House has rejected. Instead, the Obama administration was still pushing Congress on Tuesday to pass a resolution authorizing the strikes, saying that the threat of military action is the only reason Russia and Syria were willing to deal in the first place. In a statement to Russia Today, a Kremlin-financed television station, Mr. Putin said Syria can’t be expected to disarm under threats of violence.
Our nation and all of humanity stands at a critical crossroads in history, with Syria as the epicenter of a looming global conflict that will leave no one untouched. Despite a nearly unanimous consensus of the American people against military action in Syria, elements of our government are determined to override the will of the people and push us headlong into war in Syria, which will lead to a much greater conflagration than most are willing to believe or imagine. As I have extensively written over the last 12 months, we are being pushed into World War III. This war, like
Sarah Palin is sick of hearing about Syria. A little more than a week after the former Alaskan governor suggested the world "let Allah sort it out" in the conflict between Syrian President Bashar Assad and the country´s citizens, Palin posted a video to her various social media accounts urging U.S. lawmakers to ignore "this foreign fiasco distraction" and "get back to work." "It is time to bomb Obamacare," Palin wrote on her Facebook page above the video. The message, posted late Monday, has generated more than 56,000 likes. (Snip) “So we’re bombing Syria because Syria is bombing Syria?
Remee Lee was elated when she became pregnant, but those feelings quickly turned into a nightmare that won´t let go of her. Her boyfriend wasn´t happy about the pregnancy, but it was Lee´s dream to have a child. Until her boyfriend, John Andrew Welden, took that dream away. This week, Welden, 28, pleaded guilty to killing their unborn baby. How? He tricked Lee into taking an abortion pill, causing her to miscarry. "Every day is a nightmare for me ever since this began," Lee told Chris Cuomo on CNN´s ´New Day´ Tuesday. "Even hearing the guilty (plea) yesterday, it´s hard
United Nations — The U.N. Security Council has scheduled closed consultations on a resolution aimed at securing and destroying Syria´s chemical weapons stockpiles. The U.N. spokesman´s office said the meeting was scheduled for 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) Tuesday. Council diplomats said Russia asked for the meeting. The Syrian government has accepted a proposal from Russia, its most powerful ally, to give up its chemical weapons stockpile. France has announced that it plans to introduce a Security Council resolution to ensure international verification of the disarmament. The White House said the U.S., France and Britain have agreed to work closely
Secretary of State John Kerry may not have expected his casual suggestion that Syria avert American military action by giving up its chemical weapons to be taken seriously. But it may have created a diplomatic way out for President Obama, who has insisted that a military strike is the only way to respond after concluding that the Syrian government used poison gas in its civil war. Russia, Syria’s arms supplier and ally, immediately embraced Mr. Kerry’s suggestion on Monday and proposed that President Bashar al-Assad do exactly that. “If the establishment of international control over chemical weapons in the country
House Democrats are lining up in support of a possible diplomatic response to Syria´s alleged chemical weapons attacks. Behind House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the lawmakers say they´re hopeful a Russian offer to secure the international transfer of Syria´s chemical weapons will preclude President Obama´s proposal to launch military strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad´s forces. “I hope that it works,” Pelosi Tuesday said after a meeting where the Democratic Caucus was briefed by White House chief of staff Denis McDonough. “Our members were assured by the president´s chief of staff that this [offer] — if it is serious,
“The genius of you Americans,” the Arab nationalist and one-time president of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, once explained, “is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them which we are missing.”I’ve long taken patriotic pride in such statements of befuddlement from foreigners. America is a gloriously complicated thing. We often confuse our national creeds for universal principles. We are a Jacksonian people (that’s Andrew Jackson, in case you were wondering) in love with Jeffersonian ideals and legalistically committed to Madisonian mechanisms. Like a
AMMAN - Syrian warplanes bombed rebel suburbs of Damascus on Tuesday for the first time in three weeks, in an offensive that opposition activists said showed President Bashar al-Assad no longer feared attack by the United States. Not seen in action around the capital since before August 21, when hundreds of people were killed in a poison gas attack that Western powers blame on Assad, government jets mounted attacks on three areas, some in support of assaults on the ground. As world leaders discussed a Russian proposal to confiscate Syria´s chemical weapons and avert U.S. and French action, some of
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh tore into the media on Tuesday and accused them of malpractice in their reporting of how the so-called Russian proposal to impose a diplomatic solution on Syria. Limbaugh played a montage of clips of members of the media celebrating the “genius” of President Barack Obama for embracing a misstatement by Sec. John Kerry and making it the centerpiece of American policy towards that country’s civil war. “Turns out, this was the plan all along – at least what the media wants us to believe,” Limbaugh said of the Russian solution. “This is journalistic malpractice.” “It’s
New York’s famous 42nd Street will offer natives and visitors a new sight later this week: a mammoth, six-story billboard with a striking message: “Warning—Obamacare may be hazardous to your health.” It’s part of The Heritage Foundation’s continuing public education campaign to inform the American people about the dangerous side-effects of this unfair, unaffordable and unworkable law, and how it can be stopped. How will ObamaCare—a 2,700-page law passed by a single vote over bipartisan opposition— harm Americans’ health? Well, here are five of its worst side effects. First, many Americans will lose their current health coverage.
Maybe Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin really did discuss the idea of putting Syrian chemical weapons under international control last week on the sidelines of the G20 conference. Putin sure doesn’t care that Obama’s taking credit for the proposal, or that the administration is posturing like a Mob enforcer. “The only reason why we are seeing this proposal,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney, “is because of the U.S. threat of military action.” Right, Putin is laughing to himself. Whatever. (snip) Putin won.
Allegations that Oklahoma State football players were paid for performance are part of a Sports Illustrated investigation that details numerous issues within the Cowboys´ program over the past 13 years. The magazine said it conducted a 10-month probe that included interviews with 64 Oklahoma State football players from 1999 to 2011, as well as current and former staff members. A five-part series, starting with money, was published Tuesday on SI´s website. In addition to illegal payments of players, the series contains allegations of academic misconduct, drug use and sexual favors. According to the story, the payments to players ranged from money for