Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted Iran’s invitation to visit Tehran to work out a strategy for the Islamic regime’s nuclear program, Fars News Agency reported Saturday. The West believes the Iranian program is a front for developing nuclear weapons. Putin, seen by Iran’s clerical establishment as a strong opponent to America and the West — especially after his successful political play on averting a U.S. missile strike on Syria — was approached by Iran to protect the Islamic regime in the face of continued pressure by the West over its illicit nuclear program. Russia and the U.S. reached agreement
It certainly says something about the state of Hollywood today that a three minute ad produced at a fraction of the cost of most movies is more moving and poignant than almost anything the big studios have to offer. The Thai telecommunications conglomerate True is getting rave reviews worldwide for its latest spot, "Giving," which tells the story of a man unexpectedly rewarded for a lifetime of good deeds he performed without expecting anything in return. TrueMove too says it "believes in the power of giving without expecting a return." Which would probably be more meaningful if they were to, say, give away
Syria´s army battled rebels for control of the ancient Christian town of Maalula near Damascus on Saturday, a security official told AFP, a week after opposition fighters took the area. At the same time, rebel units were fighting jihadists in the east, near the border with Iraq, as were Kurdish fighters in Hasakeh province in the northeast, the Syria Observatory for Human Rights said. "The army is continuing its mission in Maalula. There are still some terrorist pockets in the north of the town, in the Al-Safir hotel and its surroundings, as well as in the hills surrounding the town,"
GENEVA — Syrian government forces are systematically attacking hospitals and medical staff members and denying treatment to the sick and wounded from areas controlled or affiliated with the opposition, United Nations investigators said Friday in a new report that also detailed the use of hospitals as torture centers by military intelligence agencies. “The denial of medical care as a weapon of war is a distinct and chilling reality of the war in Syria,” the United Nations Commission of Inquiry, which is monitoring human rights in Syria, said in its report. The panel said pro-government forces carried out such attacks “as
Tuesday is inspection day for building owner John Vicars. He´s got a commercial property on College Avenue, right in the heart of Oakland´s busiest shopping district. His quest is simple: to see an ice cream parlor opened on the ground floor of the building. But his journey has been a regulatory nightmare. It´s taken him nine months to prepare 1,700 square feet of retail space to the city´s satisfaction - at least to where they were satisfied enough to actually come out to inspect it. It all started in December, when Vicars forked over $3,500 for the right to apply
A hobbyist using a remote-control airplane mounted with a digital camera just happened to capture images last year of a Dallas creek running red with pig´s blood. It led to a nearby meatpacking plant being fined for illegal dumping and two of its leaders being indicted on water pollution charges. Yet, a Texas law that took effect Sept. 1 tightened rules not on polluters but on taking such photographs, an effort to better protect private property from drone surveillance. More than 40 state legislatures have debated the increasing presence of unmanned aircraft in civilian airspace, with most of the proposals
BEIRUT - Al-Qaida-affiliated rebels battled more moderate Syrian opposition fighters in a town along the Iraqi border on Saturday, killing at least five people in the latest outbreak of infighting among the forces opposed to President Bashar Assad´s regime. Clashes between rebel groups, particularly pitting al-Qaida-linked extremist factions against more moderate units, have grown increasingly common in recent months, undermining the opposition´s primary goal of overthrowing Assad. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday´s fighting took place in the town of Boukamal between the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant against more mainstream rebel groups. Observatory
History books say it was the fall of the Berlin wall that ended the Cold War, but it seems Vladimir Putin and a group of American politicians personally settled the score with an arm-wrestling match a few years later. In an interview on Southern California Public Radio this week, Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California republican, talked about the time he met Mr Putin and was matched up against him in an impromptu arm-wrestling competition. Mr Putin was part of a delegation of young Russian political leaders who traveled to California in the early 1990s. At the time, Mr Putin
It was just a cockroach, one of millions around the world. But this one had a White House address, making it pretty special. Well, special at least to the reporters with workspace in the often-troubled basement of the press offices. Already this year, they have been treated to flooding, soaked carpet, mousetraps and the wondrous odors of mold. "It was the size of a small drone," said Martha Joynt Kumar, professor of political science at Towson University, who led the effort Wednesday to capture the bug. Kumar, who has worked out of the press offices studying the president-press relationship for
Just how bad is America’s underemployment crisis, in which college grads toil in dead-end jobs that don’t even require higher education, much less advanced degrees? Consider this: The country’s leading health-and-nutrition buttinsky has not just one but two Ivy League diplomas and earned over a quarter-of-a-million dollars back in 2006, before the Great Recession destroyed the hopes and dreams of entire generations, including those not yet born. Now she makes no salary at all and provides diet-and-exercise information that doesn’t even require a GED. I speak of course of First Lady Michelle Obama, whose bold new initiative aims to get Americans to
LYONS, Colo. —By air and by land, the rescue of Coloradoans stranded by epic mountain flooding accelerated Saturday as debris-filled rivers became muddy seas that extended into towns and farms miles from the Rockies. Helicopters and hundreds of National Guard troops searched miles of mountainous terrain for people as food and water supplies ran low in remote communities cut off since Thursday. Thousands were being driven from their homes in convoys. For the first time since the harrowing floods began Wednesday, Colorado got its first broad view of the devastation. Floodwaters have affected parts of a 4,500-square-mile area, almost the
On Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” Wednesday night, host Stephen Colbert took a jab at Fox News Channel “Red Eye” personalities Greg Gutfeld and Andy Levy by mocking them for appearing to be upset that President Barack Obama had put his foot on his desk in the Oval Office. “[I]’ve been talking about how our bungler-in-chief is botching the Syria conflict,” Colbert said. “It’s not just what he says about Syria, it is what he does while saying it. Just check out this photo released by the White House last week of Obama calling John Boehner to say he would
Cook County prosecutors will drop weapons charges pending against a small number of licensed firearms owners after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled this week that part of a state gun law is unconstitutional. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that state prosecutors must follow a ruling from a federal appeals court last year that ended Illinois´ status as the last state without a concealed carry law. The ruling from the state´s highest court affects only a portion of a law prohibiting people from carrying guns outside their homes. Cases of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon brought against people who
“A Plea for Caution From Russia”; That was the title of my op-ed, published in Thursday’s New York Times. Yes, the op-ed that went right into Barack Obama’s face. I started the op-ed by talking up the importance of peace. As my Soviet predecessors knew, one should always talk up the importance of peace, because some people love the word so much that they will believe anything you say in the name of peace. So I praised the United Nations as a bastion of peacemaking since 1945. That’s not true, of course, because the UN did nothing in the face
PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans´ trust and confidence in the federal government´s ability to handle international problems has reached an all-time low, with 49% saying they have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence, two percentage points below the previous low of 51% recorded in 2007.(Snip for graphic)These new data come from Gallup´s annual Governance survey, conducted Sept. 5-8, 2013, while Congress was debating the use of military force in Syria, but prior to President Barack Obama´s nationally televised address on Syria, and Russia´s proposal to avert U.S. military action. Between 57% and 66% of Americans said they had
MOSCOW- Muscovites welcomed the Krispy Kreme doughnut this week with sugary salutations, as patrons praised the first franchise store to open in Russia. "Russians are not opposed to what America produces," said Italian-Russian translator Susanna Agababyan, 21, who attended the store´s grand opening this week. "They put something in it. I had the original. It´s really tasty," she said. "Today I tasted this for the first time. And I decided maybe it was worth it," said accounting student Mikhail Kiselyov. The Washington Post reported Saturday that Kiselyov was commenting, specifically, on a chocolate doughnut with sprinkles. The new doughnut shop,
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent was arrested Friday for conspiring to smuggle illegal aliens into the country. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officers arrested David Alexander Díaz-Torres in Orlando, Fla., according to the Justice Department. Díaz-Torres and five others were charged in a 13-count indictment for bringing, transporting, harboring, and shielding illegal aliens within the United States. According to a Justice Department press release, a group of Brazilian nationals were smuggled through the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Journalists emerging from a closed-door briefing at the White House Friday afternoon were informed that President Barack Obama won´t insist that a U.N. resolution governing Syria´s surrender of chemical weapons include a threat of military force if President Bashar Assad doesn´t follow through. Reports sourced to "senior administration officials" began emerging moments after the journalists were seen coming out of the White House session. "Obama will not insist on UN threat of force to ensure that Syria lives up to CW deal but will seek other consequences, officials said," New York Times reporter Peter Baker said on Twitter. CNN and NBC
It´s official: Rep. Jeff Denham is the proud owner of the cutest dog on Capitol Hill. The California Republican´s pooch, Lily, claimed top dog status at the Animal Health Institute´s fifth annual "Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill" contest Thursday night at the Cannon House Office Building. Avon Barksdale, a feline belonging to Rep. Tim Walz’s (D-Minn.) legislative assistant, Aly Lubov, took home the “Cutest Cat” award among the pets nominated by members of Congress and Hill staffers. Even a reptile was able to snag (albeit probably pretty slowly) a prize at the ceremony — Senator, a turtle belonging to Sen.
White House spokesman Jay Carney on Wednesday asserted that Russian prestige was now “on the line” regarding Syria. Carney’s statement recalled an earlier remark by US President Barack Obama himself. (Snip) Russian credibility is not in question, it is already assured. Moscow has ensured the safety of its ally and his war effort. So now it’s back to the war. The Russian weapons lifeline to the autocrat is buzzing with increased activity. The arms ships making their way from the Ukrainian port of Oktabyrsk have increased in number in recent weeks, shipping analysts say. They are bringing the vital
For generations, eminent New York Times wordsmiths have swooned over foreign strongmen, from Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer-winning paeans to the Stalinist utopia to Thomas L. Friedman’s more recent effusions to the “enlightened” Chinese Politburo. So it was inevitable that the cash-strapped Times would eventually figure it might as well eliminate the middle man and hire the enlightened strongman direct. Hence Vladimir Putin’s impressive debut on the op-ed page this week.
The Daily Beast is celebrating a new exhibit on “A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk.” Naturally, this is funded by the New York Council on the Humanities and the New York State Council on the Arts, “with the support of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.” Here’s more government-subsidized liberalism, for the museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology. Peter Davis writes “One of the sweetest moments in the show is a celebration of the historical gay marriage rulings.” There are two brides together and two grooms holding hands.
President Obama is prepared to bow to Russian demands that he give up a military trigger in the pending UN resolution on Syria, administration officials told reporters on Friday. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the United States must take the threat of force off the table if Syria is to turn over its chemical weapons arsenal to the international community. Russia is expected to veto any resolution that would include an automatic military trigger if Syria´s Bashar Assad fails to comply. The Obama administration, worried that Assad is stalling for time, says it will not accept a UN
Russia will soon bring the number of its warships in the Mediterranean Sea to ten, Russian Navy Commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov said. Chirkov said the ships will head to the Syrian coast as well. "The tasks are very clear: to avoid even the smallest threat to borders and security. This is the practice of all navies of the world - to be in the places, where tension rises," said the admiral. Today, the group of Russian vessels in the Mediterranean Sea includes large amphibious ships Admiral Nevelskoy, Peresvet, Minsk, Alexander Shabalin, Novocherkassk, guard ship "Besstrashny" and large anti-submarine
This week, thanks to a groundswell of opposition from conservative activists, the House Republican leadership decided to delay voting on their continuing resolution. Leadership would never admit it, but they canceled Thursday’s scheduled vote because they did not have enough support from Republican members. Using tactics that only Washington insiders could dream of, House leadership attempted a questionable parliamentary scheme which is known as "deem and pass." The goal was to give Republicans a chance to say they voted to defund Obamacare while simultaneously passing a bill out of the
A Texas couple have told a court they were subjected to harassment by a group of Scientologists, who allegedly taunted them in the street, pointed cameras at their home and sent a sex toy to their office. Monique Rathbun is bringing a lawsuit claiming she suffered emotional distress after a 199-day campaign of harassment that she claims was directed by Scientology leader David Miscavige. She claimed that whenever she or her husband and former Scientologist Marty went outside, a group known as the ´squirrel busters´ would approach them and tell Mr Rathbun to stop what he was doing.