The Obama administration and Russia reached a deal Saturday to compel Syria to account for and eventually destroy its chemical weapons arsenal, leaving open the possibility that the UN could authorize sanctions or military action for future violations.The deal announced in Geneva by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov provides a path for President Obama to avoid the air strikes he had promised to launch againt Syria for its recent use of sarin gas on civilians in a Damascus suburb.
Al Qaeda terror network leader Ayman al-Zawahri sent out a message marking Sept. 11, 2001, with a call for more attacks on U.S. soil, aimed at hitting America hard in the pocketbook.The terror leader released an audio recording on Thursday, saying America’s hardly a “mythical power” and that Islamic holy warriors, or mujahedeen, can surely defeat the nation “on its own soil,” The Associated Press reported.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the one-time head of the International Monetary Fund, has been hired by Serbia to help restructure the country’s foreign debt — even though he faces aggravated pimping charges in France. Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told state TV Thursday that Strauss-Kahn’s checkered past has no bearing on his financial acumen. To argue that it does, Vucic said, would be like saying Pablo Picasso’s abilities as an artist were diminished by his treatment of women. Nafissatou Diallo, a hotel housekeeper who alleged that she was sexual assaulted by former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The charges were dropped and
This week, Vladimir Putin outflanked Barack Obama on his home turf. The Russian president´s scathing op-ed in the New York Times did more than simply leave the American president looking "rudderless and outplayed at every turn", as Max Hastings wrote in the Daily Mail. What shot the piece to the top of the international conversation was its merciless inversion of a long-standing American truism: that the good guys can do no wrong. Instead, here is our American hero--the compassionate, liberal former professor of constitutional law who once opposed the war in Iraq--now on the verge of bombing a sovereign country
Illinois´ old law banning the concealed carry of firearms took another hit Thursday. A federal court already found it unconstitutional last year. Now the Illinois Supreme Court has taken the same position. Alberto Aguilar was 17 when Chicago police arrested him for having a loaded handgun with the serial number scratched off. He was convicted of unlawfully possessing a firearm and sentenced to 24 months probation. While his appeal was pending before the Illinois Supreme Court, a federal court in Chicago struck down Illinois´ ban on public gun possession, finding it violated the U.S. Constitution. The Illinois legislature also legalized concealed
Syria´s chemical weapons must be destroyed or removed by mid-2014, under an agreement between the US and Russia. US Secretary of State John Kerry outlined a six-point framework under which Syria must hand over a full list of its stockpile within a week. If Syria fails to comply, the deal could be enforced by a UN resolution backed by the threat of sanctions or military force. [Snip] In a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Mr Kerry called on the Assad government to live up to its public commitments. "There can be no room for games. Or anything less than
WASHINGTON--Labor leaders took their turn visiting the White House on Friday to talk about what can and should be done for bankrupt Detroit, while also cautioning the Obama administration that the financial problems experienced in southeast Michigan may soon be felt in many other metropolitan areas across the U.S. Calling for a plan that would not only address Detroit’s concerns but also serve as a playbook for future crises, the group--which included the UAW’s Bob King and others--left the hour-long meeting touting few specifics, but saying the groundwork was laid for a response that could help address Detroit’s issues by
WASHINGTON —Social Security made $1.3 billion in potentially improper disability payments to people who had jobs when they were supposed to be unable to work, congressional investigators said in a report Friday. The Government Accountability Office estimated that 36,000 workers got improper payments from December 2010 to January 2013. The numbers represent less than 1 percent of beneficiaries and less than 1 percent of disability payments made during the time frame. But GAO said the overpayments reveal weaknesses in Social Security´s procedures for policing the system. [Snip] "We are planning to do an investigation, and we will recoup any improper
I suppose it was only a matter of time before the Bloombergians of the world decided to extend their regulatory impulses to . . . dinner parties. The local CBS affiliate in New York reports on the crackdown on “illegal” dinner parties (with my commentary interpolated): NEW YORK (CBS 2) — As you sit down to dinner, this story illustrates eating out like you have never experienced before. We are talking about super-secret, illegal dining experiences hosted in homes. CBS 2 investigative reporter Tamara Leitner went undercover to see firsthand how this underground world works. It may look like a
The sword rests briefly on his neck as a blindfolded man kneels under a clear blue sky. Moments later, the executioner raises his right arm, slashes downwards and the prisoner is dead. The whole barbaric episode is watched by a crowd of jeering men, many of them armed. And sitting on a low wall only a few feet from where the wretched captive died so violently is a line of young boys. They were still there as the dead man’s head was dumped on his body. Another child, even younger, was led by the hand past the corpse.
President George W. Bush was mocked for saying he was the “decider.” But that is precisely what a president must be. Deciding is arguably the most important thing a president does, along with rallying others, whether in war or to support a domestic agenda, to an important national purpose. Presidents only make the hard calls, ones in which advisers are divided or uncertain. Everything else is handled a level or two below the president. If a candidate comes to office expecting a series of easy calls punctuated by a hard one now and then he’ll be disappointed — and overwhelmed. President
Mexican drug cartels are recruiting American soldiers to act as clandestine hit men in the United States, paying them thousands of dollars to assassinate federal informants and organized crime rivals, law enforcement experts tell the Daily News. The most recent — and blatant — example came this summer when 22-year-old Michael Apodaca, a former private first class at Fort Bliss in Texas, was sentenced to life in prison for executing Jose Daniel Gonzalez-Galeana, a member of the infamous Juarez Cartel in Mexico and a snitch for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The Juarez Cartel paid Apodaca $5,000 to off the
No sooner did our commander in chief make the world safe for pinpricks than he heard from one of the pinpricks, who denied there is anything at all exceptional about himself. It was unbelievably small of him, which is the way he likes it, Freud or no Freud. With a tip of his furry shliapa — made of real domestic Russian fur, for you PETA people out there — he even invoked Comrade Obama’s favorite notion of keeping “hope alive.” We know of course that Mr. Putin would give everyone the shirt off his back, which accounts for those frequent
The US and Russia have promised to set a date for a long-awaited ´peace conference´ aimed at ending the bloodshed in Syria once and for all, Secretary of State John Kerry has revealed. [Snip] Speaking after today´s talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Mr Kerry said they planned to meet again on the fringes of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month to try and set a date for the conference. However, the vow comes as rebels claim President Assad is simply using the Russians to ´buy time´ so he can continue killing with the conventional arsenal he
Already one of the most-traveled presidents in history, President Obama will travel next month to Indonesia, where he grew up as a boy. The White House announced Friday that Mr. Obama will visit the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei in addition to Indonesia from Oct. 6 to Oct. 12 “as part of his ongoing commitment to increase U.S. political, economic and security engagement with the Asia Pacific.” Mr. Obama lived for several years in Indonesia with his mother and stepfather after moving there from Hawaii as a child. In Indonesia, he will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders meeting, a forum
Protests against General David Petraeus Monday by CUNY students were organized by an ad hoc committee that includes several Communist groups. A leaflet for the protests, which refers to Petraeus as a “war criminal” and “mass murderer,” says that the events were organized by the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY and were endorsed by the Internationalist Group, Workers Power-US, and IGNITE. These groups are explicitly Communist in nature. Workers Power states that it is a “revolutionary, communist organization . . . in the tradition of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky.” The Internationalist Group uses the hammer and sickle alongside
President Obama´s pitch for a military strike in Syria looked so politically clueless that he left supporters and foes alike scratching their heads: What was he thinking? For some, the answer was obvious. Because every conspiracy theory ever concocted about the President — from him being a secret Muslim agent sent from Kenya to take over the government to gay-sex-and-cocaine binges in the backseats of limousines — all make perfect sense if you simply accept the foundational supposition that Obama hates America. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Sunday, Norman Podhoretz argued that Syria showed the swift collapse of
The US will drop its insistence that a UN resolution on Syria must be backed by military force, officials say, after strong objections from Russia. US and Russian diplomats say the two sides are edging closer to a deal on Syria´s chemical arsenal, as talks in Geneva enter a third day. They are thrashing out the technical details of the disarmament process. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says a UN report will "overwhelmingly" confirm that poison gas was used last month. He made no comment on who was to blame for the 21 August attack in eastern Damascus.
The man who helped write a brutal obituary for his mother that went viral online says he has no regrets and sang Ding Dong the Witch is Dead when he heard she had died. Patrick Reddick and his sister Katherine Reddick, a teacher, co-wrote the scathing obit outing their late mother Marianne Johnson-Reddick, who they said was an “evil and violent” child abuser who made their lives a living hell. The obituary, published in the Reno Gazette-Journal on Sept 10, quickly went viral around the world. Reddick told the MailOnline he smiled and felt overwhelming relief when he learned his
US rapper Kanye West has been charged with battery and attempted theft over a fight with a photographer at Los Angeles Airport in July. Paparazzo Daniel Ramos sued Mr West after the singer apparently punched him and threw his camera to the ground. Lawyers for the international music star said he had only been trying to prevent the photographer from taking his picture. If found guilty, he faces a maximum penalty of six months in prison. Prosecutors refused to press more serious felony charges because the alleged victim sustained only minor injuries. [Snip] The altercation took place on 19 July
In the era of “warmonger” Republicans in the White House, the Toronto International Film Festival would have been fertile ground for bold, outspoken “dissent” from actors against war in the Middle East. You’d expect the same agitation, but this time coupled with a dash of betrayal, when President Obama was on the brink of missile attacks in Syria. Instead, the Hollywood Reporter found nothing there but an icy pile of “no comments” from more than a dozen celebs, including Susan Sarandon, Josh Brolin, Penn Jillette and Tim Robbins. For divorced Sarandon and Robbins, left-wing rabble-rousing against the Pentagon was too reminiscent of
WASHINGTON — Low-income workers on union health plans are not eligible for the same federal subsidies available to those who buy insurance in the new state health care marketplaces, the White House said Friday. The decision is a disappointment for labor unions, coming shortly after top union officials met for more than an hour with President Barack Obama to press their case that subsidies could be extended to union-sponsored plans. Labor leaders have complained for months that without the subsidies, the Affordable Care Act would drive up the cost of some union plans, leading employers to drop coverage and jeopardizing
Lost in a busy news week dominated by Syria, Putin, Obama’s bungling, and the 9/11 anniversary was an important federal court ruling on September 10, resulting in a victory so that the motto “In God We Trust” can remain on all U.S. currency. The Associated Press reported: A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking removal of the words “In God We Trust” from U.S. coins and currency. Atheist groups and individuals argued that the national motto conveys a religious message that violates separation of church and state and puts them in a position of spreading a religious message when
Lower than it was after Watergate, lower than it was at the nadir of Bush’s job approval collapse. Obama promised he’d bring change, and he delivered: Americans in the same survey also expressed historically low levels of confidence in the federal government’s ability to handle domestic problems, with 42% reporting a great deal or a fair amount of confidence. This is one point below the previous low of 43% in 2011. Americans’ confidence in the federal government on domestic problems, as was true for international issues, peaked in the October post-9/11 poll, when 77% expressed confidence. Confidence then trended downward throughout the 2000s,
Members of the Washington establishment were quick to denounce Vladimir Putin’s op ed article in Thursday’s New York Times questioning the legitimacy and legality of a U.S. attack on Syria. The White House quickly dismissed his column as “irrelevant” and a sideshow to the real issues at stake. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said that Putin’s column made him want to “vomit.” (Snip)There is an unspoken sub-text at play here: what President Putin said in his column is pretty much what American liberals and leftists have been saying about the United States since the 1960s.
For the past week, Sen. David Vitter has antagonized Democrats by insisting on a vote that would strip lawmakers of a valuable health care subsidy they have enjoyed for years. But now, Senate Democrats are showing Vitter two can play at this game, hitting the Louisiana Republican, who was once embroiled in a prostitution scandal, where it hurts. Here’s how it all started: In August, the federal government announced that it would continue to contribute to the health care coverage of members of Congress and their staff. Had the government not stepped in, the health care premiums of lawmakers and their aides would