There is a dreadful symmetry to the terrorist atrocity in Kenya. The outrage in Westgate shopping centre shows not only the enduring ability of al-Qaeda’s brethren to kill and maim in the teeth of the biggest counter-terrorism campaign in history, it reminds us that Nairobi was the place where Osama bin Laden’s network first demonstrated its lethal potency.[Snip] The heavily fortified US embassy was the nominal target, but a vulnerable nearby tower block bore the brunt of the blast. For a terrible instant, the sky above the crowded streets of central Nairobi rained shards of jagged glass, blinding scores of
Embattled IRS official Lois Lerner is retiring from the agency effective Monday, two congressional aides told POLITICO. Lerner sparked the IRS scandal in May when she acknowledged that the agency wrongly targeted tea party groups applying for a tax exemption. She was placed on administrative leave later that month and is under a subpoena to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. A Democratic congressional aide said the IRS was moving toward terminating Lerner after completing an investigation into her role in the targeting controversy. The IRS found that Lerner mismanaged her department and was “neglectful of duty”
From all of last week´s headlines saying that the Pope wants to forget this nonsense about abortion and gays, you´d imagine that Germaine Greer had been elected to run the Catholic Church. Actually what the Pope was saying was that he wants the Church to talk more about what it´s for than what it´s against. But that doesn´t mean it won´t still be against those things that contradict its teachings and traditions. Just ask Greg Reynolds of Melbourne--a priest who appears to have been both defrocked and excommunicated because of his radical views on women clergy and gay marriage. From
The White House is trying to hide unpopular provisions in the Senate’s immigration bill that would allow immigrant criminals to stay in the country and would increase the inflow of low-skill refugees from war-torn countries, says a top White House official. “The bill has a number of other important provisions that have stayed under the radar, and we’d actually like to keep them under the radar,” said Esther Olavarria, the White House’s director of immigration reform. “We haven’t played [them] up because we want to be able to maintain them as we go through the legislative process,” she told about 50 attendees
Better known for its handy pocketknives and Vatican guards than for fighting wars, the Swiss Army of conscripts is still necessary to protect the Alpine federation and its nearly 200-year-old policy of neutrality, voters have decided. In the third referendum on conscription in 25 years, Swiss voters defeated a pacifist group´s proposal to abolish the draft with a resounding 73% no vote on Sunday. The abolitionists from the Switzerland Without an Army group had argued that the 4.7 billion Swiss francs ($5.1 billion) spent to keep 155,000 troops at the ready was a waste of taxpayer funds in a country
Sochi, Russia - Russian President Vladimir Putin warned ex-Soviet allies on Monday that Islamist militancy fuelling the war in Syria could reach their countries, some of which have Muslim majorities. He said Russia and its allies would provide "additional collective assistance" to Tajikistan to guard its border with Afghanistan after the pullout of most foreign combat troops in 2014. Russia, which has a large Muslim minority of its own and is fighting an Islamist insurgency, has accused the West of helping militants by seeking Syrian President Bashar al-Assad´s removal without paying enough attention to the potential consequences.
It started as an appeal to principle against pure pragmatism. It is ending as farce. After getting their way in the House of Representatives last Friday when House Speaker John Boehner agreed to push through a bill funding the government but not ObamaCare, Tea Party hardliners were faced with a problem. Once the bill was in the Senate’s hands, the Democratic majority would trash it. So in order to continue their quixotic quest, Senator Ted Cruz, whose fiery rhetoric and implicit threats of primary opposition for any Republican who didn’t join his suicide caucus had helped create this dilemma, had
The Richmond Times-Dispatch hasn’t endorsed in the Virginia governor’s race yet. But after Sunday’s editorial… we can guess who they’re NOT endorsing: When it comes to raking together piles of cash, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is without peer. On questions of actual governance, though, his troubling lack of mastery and odd flippancy combine to paint a portrait of a deeply unserious candidate. The editorial goes on to describe McAuliffe’s refusal to name the positions in the governor’s Cabinet; his dismissal of questions from Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Tech PAC (the group subsequently endorsed Ken Cuccinelli), and his recent claim
Two massive stories focused on the world of the Clintons — Hillary, Bill and Chelsea — came out on Sunday. The first, in New York magazine, was a generally friendly treatment that made clear that Hillary Clinton is running for president in 2016 — even if she doesn’t know it yet. The second, in the New Republic, was a far tougher piece profiling Doug Band, Bill Clinton’s long-time consigliere.
President Obama is “likely” to meet with congressional leaders this week about funding the government, the White House said Monday. “I think it’s likely that the president will meet with leaders,” Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One. “I don´t have a time for that or a day for that. But here’s the bottom line: Congress needs to act responsibly in order to ensure that the government does not shut down.” Aides on Capitol Hill have said since last week that the White House was attempting to schedule a meeting with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
The State Department today announced that John Kerry would spend $10 million "to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies worldwide." "Secretary of State John Kerry announced Monday the provision of $10 million in funding for a new U.S. initiative, Safe from the Start, to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies worldwide. Secretary Kerry emphasized that in the face of conflict and disaster, we should strive to protect women and girls from sexual assault and other violence," reads the State Department press release. Safe from the Start’s initial commitment of $10 million will allow the UN High
A Kenyan intelligence officer and two soldiers each claimed one of the al-Shabaab terrorists who had been killed in the Westgate attack was a white female. Earlier, a senior Kenyan intelligence source said video footage from within the complex did show a white woman among the attackers. He said she was actively involved and believed to be British. The Foreign Office and British spy agencies have already said they cannot rule out the possibility that Lewthwaite, who is the widow of 7/7 suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay, was involved but there was no evidence at this stage.
Vandals set fire to a life-size statue of Ronald Reagan at a Southern California sports park that bears the name of the 40th president, authorities reported Monday. The bronze statue stands at the Ronald Reagan Sports Park in Temecula, Calif., the very same site praised by Reagan in the 1980s as a solid example of what volunteerism and fundraising can accomplish — rather than government regulation and taxpayer dollars. The statue portrays the president wearing casual clothing and holding a cowboy hat in one hand and a shovel in the other hand.
A stone monument of the Ten Commandments that sits on a street behind the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington and was the subject of controversy in the past has been toppled by vandals. The 3-foot-by-3-foot granite monument weighs 850 pounds and sits out front of the headquarters of Faith and Action, a Christian outreach ministry. The group installed the tablets in a garden outside its offices in 2006, and the group´s president said the tablets were angled so that justices arriving at the high court would see them. The Rev. Robert Schenck, who heads the organization, said the damage to the monument
WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service says an official at the center of the agency´s tea party scandal is retiring. Lois Lerner headed the IRS division that handles applications for tax-exempt status when she was placed on paid leave in May. While she was in charge, the agency acknowledged that agents improperly targeted tea party groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status from 2010 to 2012. Lerner first disclosed the targeting at a law conference in May, when she was asked a planted question about IRS treatment of political groups. Less than two weeks later, she refused
Say goodbye to political gridlock, and say hello to actual gridlock. President Obama left the city where nobody gets along and was en route Monday to the city where — for the next two weeks — nobody will be able to get around midtown. Obama is the headliner at the 68th United Nations General Assembly, an annual gathering of world leaders that means world-class traffic woes in Manhattan and elsewhere in New York City. They may speak myriad languages, but their arrival here translates to chaotic commutes, shuttered streets, honking horns, and rerouted bicyclists for the duration of the gathering.
The Obama administration remained mum Monday on whether it will grant a visa to accused war criminal and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who wants to address the U.N. General Assembly this week in New York. Bashir told reporters over the weekend that he´s booked a New York City hotel and plans to fly into the United States via Morocco, following the State Department confirming last week that he has indeed applied for a visa. Bashir´s wishes have put the U.S. government in a tricky and troubling situation. The Sudanese leader has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in connection
WASHINGTON — A so-called "family glitch" in the 2010 health care law threatens to cost some families thousands of dollars in health insurance costs and leave up to 500,000 children without coverage, insurance and health care analysts say. (Snip) Congress defined "affordable" as 9.5% or less of an employee´s wages, mostly to make sure people did not leave their workplace plans for subsidized coverage through the exchanges. But the "error" was that it only applies to the employee — and not his or her family. So, if an employer offers a woman affordable insurance, but doesn´t provide it for her
NAIROBI — Kenyan security forces on Monday seized control of a luxury shopping mall that had been attacked by Islamist militants, but officials said some assailants remained hidden inside stores in the mall and little was known about who staged the brazen attack and what countries they came from. A total of 62 people were killed after the gunmen, from the Islamist al-Shabab militia, burst into the Westgate Premier Shopping mall at lunchtime Saturday and began shooting, said Joseph Ole Lenku, a senior official with the Interior Ministry. The Kenyan Red Cross earlier estimated the death toll at 69, but
A jogger went to police Thursday evening after the driver of a car that nearly hit him fired a gun. Police said the jogger was on Shannon Road near the intersection with Clubhouse Drive when the incident occurred. The car reportedly cut the jogger off, then he spit on the car. After that the driver fired one shot. Police responded to the scene Friday morning and recovered one shell casing. Police have the gun that they believe was used, but have not made any arrests. A charge of reckless conduct is expected to be filed soon.
It´s hard for Ted Cruz to be humble. Part of the challenge stems from his résumé, which the Texas senator wears like a sandwich board. There´s the Princeton class ring that´s always on his right hand and the crimson gown that, as a graduate of Harvard Law School, he donned when called upon to give a commencement speech earlier this year. (Cruz´s fellow Harvard Law alums Barack Obama and Mitt Romney typically perform their graduation duties in whatever robes they´re given.) Even Cruz´s favorite footwear, a pair of black ostrich-skin cowboy boots, serves as an advertisement for his credentials and
BEMUS POINT, New York -- Increasingly popular bathroom wipes - pre-moistened towelettes that are often advertised as flushable - are being blamed for creating clogs and backups in sewer systems around the U.S. Wastewater authorities say wipes may go down the toilet, but even many labeled flushable aren´t breaking down as they course through the sewer system. That´s costing some municipalities millions of dollars to dispatch crews to unclog pipes and pumps and to replace and upgrade machinery. The problem got worldwide attention in July when London sewer officials reported removing a 15-ton "bus-sized lump" of wrongly flushed grease and
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said she would be "disappointed" in the American electorate if Hillary Clinton becomes a serious candidate for president in 2016. The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee argued Clinton would not be right for the role as commander in chief after four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, died last year in a terrorist attack against a U.S. consulate in Benghazi. (Snip) She said "anyone who would just throw away 200 years of military ethos and leave our men behind to be murdered" should "never be considered as a commander in chief."
There are just some things that shouldn´t happen before your morning cup of coffee. Watching a live birth on TV is one of those things. Sandwiched between news of gunfire at the site of the Kenyan terror attack and a discussion of the Emmy Awards, the NBC Morning show started their week-long ´Born Today´ series about the challenges facing modern parents with a live birth.As part of the series, Today will be airing live births across the country throughout the show this week. The first half hour of Today is traditionally the most news-heavy so it was perplexing, and jarring,
The appalling events in Nairobi, where an al-Qaeda-linked terror cell has wreaked carnage in a shopping mall, is the price Kenya is paying for being a staunch ally of the West in waging war against Islamist extremism. [Snip] Al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda-linked terror cell based in Somalia, has been involved in numerous attacks against the West during the past decade, from kidnapping and murdering holidaymakers to committing acts of piracy. But rather than confronting the group directly, the West has encouraged regional powers such as Kenya to tackle the problem on its behalf. Britain and America are more than happy to