The city of Chicago registered more homicides than any city in the nation in 2012, surpassing even New York — despite the fact that the Second City has only one third as many residents as the Big Apple. In new crime statistics released Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported 500 murders in Chicago in 2012, up sharply from the 431 recorded in 2011. New York reported 419 murders last year, compared with 515 in 2011. But residents of Chicago and New York were much less likely to be victims of a homicide than residents of Flint, Mich. Sixty-three murders
The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it will keep its multibillion-dollar stimulus program intact, surprising investors and sending stocks to record highs. Signaling concern that the nation’s tepid economic recovery is still not ready to stand on its own, the Fed referred to tighter financial conditions and "federal fiscal retrenchment" as shaping its decision to continue buying $85 billion a month in bonds. The central bank said it would like to see more evidence that the recovery will be sustained before scaling back its purchases. The decision, coming at the end of the central bank´s two-day policy meeting, stunned investors,
With the deadline for a government shutdown growing near, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) had a familiar choice to make: embrace something that looked like a compromise with Democrats, antagonizing conservatives in his party, or give in to their demands and guarantee a showdown with President Obama and Senate Democrats. On Wednesday, Boehner announced that he had chosen to stick with his own. Rather than rallying Republicans to a less-confrontational plan to keep the government running past Sept. 30, Boehner threw in with the boisterous, rebellious wing of the House GOP: He set, for Friday, a vote that would
JPMorgan Chase is expected to pay more than $900 million in fines to government authorities in Washington and London and make a rare admission of wrongdoing on Thursday, a pact that will settle a range of investigations over a multibillion trading blunder the bank suffered last year, according to people briefed on the matter. The settlements with the government authorities — the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve and the Financial Conduct Authority in London — will mark a pivotal moment for the nation’s largest bank as it works to move
The toll from devastating twin storms climbed to 80 on Wednesday as isolated areas reported damage and deaths to the outside world, and Mexican officials said that a massive landslide in the mountains north of the resort of Acapulco could drive the number of confirmed casualties even higher. Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said federal authorities had reached the cutoff village of La Pintada by helicopter and had airlifted out 35 residents, four of whom were seriously injured in the slide. Officials have not yet seen any bodies, he said, despite reports from people in the area that at
WASHINGTON — President Obama’s first two defense secretaries publicly questioned the administration’s handling of the Syrian crisis on Tuesday night and expressed skepticism about whether Russia can broker a deal to remove Syria’s chemical weapons. (Snip) Mr. Gates, the only cabinet member from the administration of George W. Bush whom Mr. Obama asked to stay, said missile strikes on Syria “would be throwing gasoline on a very complex fire in the Middle East.” “Haven’t Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya taught us something about the unintended consequences of military action once it’s launched?” Mr. Gates said. Mr. Panetta, also speaking at the
Syrian President Bashar Assad, in an exclusive interview with Fox News, claimed he is fully committed to carrying out a plan to turn over and destroy his government´s chemical weapons -- while continuing to deny responsibility for last month´s deadly chemical weapons attack despite new evidence that officials say implicates the Assad regime. Assad acknowledged that his government has chemical weapons. "It´s not a secret anymore," he said, referencing his government´s decision to join the international Chemical Weapons Convention. Assad also said that the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack, in which more than 1,000 people reportedly died, was a violation
Patrick Kennedy, the State Department´s undersecretary for management, faced questioning for the first time since a Republican House committee report faulted him in his management role at the State Department for security lapses leading up to the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya. Republicans pummeled Kennedy while Democrats largely defended him and the State Department. Questions ranged from why four of Kennedy´s subordinates faced disciplinary action for "leadership" failures, while Kennedy and other more senior officials did not; to why Kennedy did not wish to deploy an inter-agency emergency response team.
Obamacare is set to become the fully implemented law of the land in October unless something stops it. We will all find out the hard way just how this law, which has never enjoyed majority support, will impact our health insurance and the medical industry as a whole. So far, it’s proving effective at halting hiring and forcing employers to cut worker hours. Doctors have accelerated retirement. Large insurance carriers like Aetna have announced their intention to stay out of the Obamacare state insurance exchanges. Citizens in many states will see major increases in their health insurance premiums. It’s also
Am I a racist? That’s what I was called on Twitter this week. It happens every time I express my loathing for the burka and the niqab, both hideous shrouds that hide a woman’s face from the world and prevent her – and, therefore, her children – from playing a full part in society. My accuser on Twitter, one Imran Bhaloo, said it was offensive and racist of me to call a burka a shroud. “You have no right to evaluate culture,” he said. “A burka is not better or worse than a short dress, especially when you’re wearing it
I keep asking myself: why Syria? Why now? No war in America history has ever been opposed by 71% of the citizens, or 75% of the military. That’s how absurd and unnecessary this potential war is. Then, when you realize Obama has had so many scandals and failures to hide, war is the perfect cover story to mask the most disastrous record in modern presidential history. Obama is a desperate man. He has to cover-up the truth.
One of the first teams of heavily armed police to respond to Monday´s shooting in Washington DC was ordered to stand down by superiors, the BBC can reveal. A tactical response team of the Capitol Police, a force that guards the US Capitol complex, was told to leave the scene by a supervisor instead of aiding municipal officers. The Capitol Police department has launched a review into the matter. Aaron Alexis, 34, killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard. "I don´t think it´s a far stretch to say that some lives may have been saved if we were allowed to intervene," a Capitol
An organization called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is taking credit for Starbucks´ headline-making decision to stop allowing guns in its coffeehouses. "This is a huge win for American moms who fought for this policy change," said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. Her organization collected 60,000 signatures this summer and has used social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to lobby -- or, as some say jokingly, "nag" -- the coffee giant into taking action. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz did not refer to Moms Demand Action in his letter announcing the policy change, and a Starbucks
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Nearly every Alaska resident will receive a check for $900, as this year´s share of the state´s oil wealth. Acting Revenue Commissioner Angela Rodell made the announcement during a Wednesday morning ceremony in downtown Anchorage. This year´s payout wasn´t expected to be much because of the recession. The dividends are distributed annually to people who have lived in Alaska for at least one calendar year. The amount is based on a five-year rolling average of the $47 billion Alaska Permanent Fund´s investment earnings.
Less than a month before he went on the shooting rampage that killed 12 people, Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis twice visited U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers to seek treatment for insomnia but, when asked by doctors, he denied having thoughts about harming himself or others, the department said Wednesday.(Snip)On both occasions, Mr. Alexis was alert and oriented, and was asked by VA doctors if he was struggling with anxiety or depression, or had thoughts about harming himself or others, which he denied," the statement said. The VA also said Alexis never sought care from a mental health
Mideast: Despite reports that half the Syrian "rebels" are al-Qaida terrorists and other jihadists, the White House insists they´re mostly freedom fighters worthy of aid. That´s not what the commander in chief said last year. According to Jane´s, a defense consultancy, more than 45,000 of the estimated 100,000 opposition fighters are tied to al-Qaida and other hardline Islamist groups. Other reports say Syria is the biggest jihad since the jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Jihadists are flooding in from Iraq, Europe and even Canada. This week an ex-Gitmo prisoner who once trained with al-Qaida in Afghanistan turned up dead in Syria´s
Washington - Senior House Republicans on Wednesday accused the State Department of failing to hold senior department officials accountable for security failures that contributed to the attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year in which four Americans were killed. “No State Department personnel have been fired or even disciplined,” said Representative Ed Royce, Republican of California who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “No one has missed a paycheck.” Mr. Royce’s comments opened the first of three hearings this week that the House
Just when you think Washington politics couldn´t get dirtier, Congress finds a new low. To hold onto their illegal ObamaCare subsidy that no other American earning $174,000 could get, members of Congress are trying to silence the subsidy´s chief critic, Sen. David Vitter, by dredging up a 2007 unproven accusation that Vitter patronized a prostitute before being elected to the Senate. Shockingly, the cabal also proposes that any member of Congress who votes for Vitter´s proposal would be ineligible for the subsidy if Vitter fails and the subsidy stays. Has anyone in Congress read the Constitution? You can´t make a lawmaker´s future
Corruption: As the layers on the IRS scandal are peeled back, it´s become increasingly clear the law has been broken and the White House may have been far more deeply involved than claimed. Time for a special prosecutor. A House investigation has found that, far from being a case of "rogue agents" in Cincinnati as the White House has claimed, the IRS harassment of conservative groups appears to have been directed from the very top in Washington, D.C. IRS employees say they were made "acutely" aware as far back as 2010 that President Obama wanted to go after tea party and other
President Vladimir Putin of Russia said in an Op-Ed article that we published last week that “there is every reason to believe” that the chemical weapons attack in Syria on Aug. 21 was carried out by the rebel forces in a crafty plan to provoke the United States into bombing Syria and unleashing all kinds of mayhem. In an article that contained many lines that irritated our readers, that sentence was perhaps the most annoying. Mr. Putin’s opinion was dubious at the time. (For the sake of argument, I’m assuming Mr. Putin really believed the rebels launched the attack and
On Wednesday, BBC News reported that an armed emergency response team arrived on site at the Washington Navy Yard within minutes of Aaron Alexis beginning his shooting spree, but was forced to stand down and was instead ordered back to Capitol Hill. According to BBC, “A tactical response team of the Capitol police, a force that guards the US Capitol complex, was told to leave the scene by a supervisor instead of aiding municipal officers.” A Capitol Police source told the BBC, “I don’t think it’s a far stretch to say that some lives may have been saved if we were
Washington - The White House on Wednesday threatened to veto a Republican-written bill nearing a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives that would cut food stamps for the poor by $40 billion over a decade and end benefits for an estimated 4 million people. Representatives are likely to vote on the bill on Thursday. A close vote is expected. The White House threat capped a day of high-decibel opposition by congressional Democrats and antihunger groups who called the cuts harsh and heartless. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says the food stamps program in its current form is a unaffordable
Beirut - The trajectory of the rockets that delivered the nerve agent sarin in last month´s deadly attack is among the key evidence linking elite Syrian troops based in the mountains overlooking Damascus to the strike that killed hundreds of people, diplomats and human rights officials said Wednesday. (Snip) A U.N. report released Monday confirmed that chemical weapons were used in the attack but did not ascribe blame. The United States, Britain and France cited evidence in the report to declare Assad´s government responsible. Russia called the report "one-sided" and says it has "serious
Near the end of the Tuesday, September 17, All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes took a moment to read and display two viewer responses to his question of what they would like to see in "actual comprehensive gun safety legislation," and included one over the top viewer who not only wanted nearly all guns banned, but desired that the National Rifle Association be "dissolved and made illegal." Hayes began: Earlier in the show, we asked you, "If politics were no obstacle, what would actual comprehensive gun safety legislation look like?" He continued: We got a ton of answers posted to our Facebook
The commentariat has been in overdrive lately dissecting President Obama´s approach to Syria: It is dizzying, incompetent, deceptive, confused or, as columnist Jonah Goldberg put it Tuesday in The Times, a case of "bait-and-switch." Goldberg has a point, if you come from the camp whose top priority is removing Syrian President Bashar Assad from power. Over the years, the Obama administration has evolved from criticizing Assad to denouncing him and then to calling for his ouster. But in the last week it has spoken only of eliminating his stockpile of toxic weapons, a task that may require Assad´s continued
Professor Stephen Hawking, who once said he thought assisted dying was "a great mistake", has changed his stance to support the right of terminally ill people who are suffering to end their lives. Hawking, 71, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig´s disease – a form of motor neurone disease – at the age of 21 and was told he had only two or three years to live. He said in 2006 that, although people should have the right to end their life if they wanted to, "I think it would be a great mistake. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope."