Nairobi - A siege at Kenya´s largest shopping mall in Nairobi launched by Islamic radicals in which dozens of shoppers were killed and more than 170 were injured, appears to be finally over. With the crisis entering its fourth day, Kenyan officials have declared that all hostages being held at the Westgate shopping mall are free. They also claimed that the Kenyan military had taken back control the building from al-Shabaab militants. "We believe all hostages have been released… situation of hostiles to be confirmed," a message on the Twitter account of the government´s disaster operations
Washington - In dealing with North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs, it should be noted North Korea already has a nuclear weapon while Iran doesn´t, a U.S. official said. Addressing reporters aboard Air Force One on a flight to New York for the U.N. General Assembly session, Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, responded to a question about Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu comparing Iran to North Korea on the risk of dealing diplomatically over their nuclear efforts. "Well, look, the comparison is simply that they are two nations that
New York - President Barack Obama will turn to his unofficial "secretary of explaining stuff," former President Bill Clinton, on Tuesday to help with a final push to extol the benefits of U.S. healthcare reform before new insurance exchanges go live on October 1. Obama, who is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, will meet with his most recent Democratic predecessor at the Clinton Global Initiative, a conference where the two men will talk about Obama´s healthcare reform law, which Republicans continue to try to repeal. A White House official noted that the conversation will take
A court in Cairo has banned "all activities" by the Muslim Brotherhood. The ruling on Monday applies to the group, its NGO and "any organisation derived from it," judges said. The court also ordered the interim government to seize the group´s funds and establish a panel to administer its frozen assets until any appeal had been heard. A Brotherhood source told Ahram Online the verdict would be appealed within ten days. The Islamist group existed outside of Egyptian law for decades and was only officially registered as an NGO in March 2013. The lawsuit was filed by the leftist
It’s the pit stop – reimagined. Rest stops and service areas along the Thruway are being renamed “Texting Zones” to encourage drivers to pull over safely before they start tapping away on their smartphones. Blue traffic signs with the message “It can wait” are being installed along the Thruway and state highways will direct drivers to rest stops and service areas newly designated as these Texting Zones, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Monday. There will be 91 Texting Zones statewide, including four along Interstate 90 in Erie County and one in Genesee County at the Pembroke service area.
Denver - Vice President Joe Biden is promising residents that aid for areas devastated by massive flooding in Colorado won´t stop even if the federal government shuts down. "I promise you, I promise you, there will be help," Biden said after flying by helicopter Monday over the Big Thompson River, and fields and reservoirs swollen with muddy brown water. Biden stood with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and member of the state congressional delegation to tell Coloradans not to fear that budget problems in Washington could stall aid. "It´s probably going to scare the living devil out of you,"
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will not join an effort in the Senate to block a House-passed spending bill that defunds Obamacare, a spokesman for McConnell said Monday. “Sen. McConnell supports the House Republicans’ bill and will not vote to block it, since it defunds Obamacare and funds the government without increasing spending by a penny. He will also vote against any amendment that attempts to add Obamacare funding back into the House Republicans’ bill,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman for the Republican senator. The statement represents a divergence from the
It was supposed to work like this: An NJ Transit conductor would take a stack of train tickets that hadn’t been punched. He would sell them to a New York Penn Station newsstand vendor, who would in turn offer cut-rate tickets to customers — and no one would be the wiser. But the plan backfired when an informant bought hundreds of tickets, turned them over to police and the conductor was arrested and suspended without pay, officials said today. (Snip) He was hired in March 1989 and last year made $57,346 in salary, plus another $33,415 in overtime, according to the
The national census which attempts to count everyone in the country is to be abolished after more than 200 years, it was announced yesterday. Ministers hope to save half a billion pounds or more by replacing the 10-yearly census with a less rigorous system of counting national numbers. But critics warned a cheap census substitute would endanger efforts to keep tabs on the scale of immigration or to learn whether levels of illness are rising or falling. They point out that the last full national census carried out in 2011 found half a million immigrants undetected by other means
Before I head out and play the role of the retired dude I thought I would drop a few thoughts here, and leave you with some reading assignments. First … this movement to defund 0bamacare. Worthy movement? Oh Hell yes, it’s a worthy movement. People have absolutely no idea how much of a complete disaster 0bamacare is going to be. The trouble is, there is just now way in hell this defund 0bamacare ploy is going to succeed. The Democrats hold three cards that will insure the 0bamacare hell storm continues: The Senate, the Presidency and the Media. Let’s deal with the media first.
In July 2011, the Associated Press hired Chris Tomlinson to be its Supervisory Correspondent in its Austin, TX bureau. The AP’s news reporting is supposed to be neutral and non-partisan, but Tomlinson is not. He came to the AP from a gig at the Texas Observer, which is the same lefty publication that was once the home of Molly Ivins. The Observer by its own admission promotes “progressive change for Texas.” Well, the Observer used to describe itself that way. Now that page pulls up a 404 error — it has been deep-sixed. But blogger Bradley J. Fikes was alert
Is this related to the retirement of Lois Lerner? I don’t know, but it seems that the Obama administration has decided to cut its losses on the IRS. The Department of Justice told a federal court on Friday that it is conceding in the lawsuit brought by True the Vote, Inc., and will grant True the Vote 501(c)(3) status. True the Vote’s press release explains: TTV, the nation’s leading voters’ rights organization, filed with the IRS for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in July 2010 and has been awaiting a decision on its application for more than three years. After discovering
The question at the core of most of today’s debates in American politics is whether all people have an unalienable right to keep the fruits of their own labor—as the Founders believed and the Declaration of Independence (properly understood) asserts—or whether the government should funnel vast sums of money to the nation’s capital and then magnanimously redistribute it back to the tributaries. Well, the stats are in, and it seems that neither of these two notions is really being fulfilled. To be sure, Americans’ money is flowing to the nation’s capital. But it’s not flowing back. Indeed, the metropolitan area
Here’s looking at you, Harry Reid. In the final days leading up to the expiration date for America’s “temporary budget,” the House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution that will fund all parts of the government at sequestration levels through Dec. 15. It just won’t fund Obamacare. The Republicans’ position is reasonable. If the health care law isn’t ready to be implemented in full, the American people should not be paying for it. No Republican is calling for a government shutdown, because that doesn’t defund Obamacare. We are demanding an Obamacare shutdown. You can fund the government without funding Obamacare,
Lois G. Lerner, the woman at the center of the IRS tea party targeting scandal, retired from the agency Monday morning after an internal investigation found she was guilty of “neglect of duties” and was going to call for her ouster, according to congressional staff. Her departure marks the first person to pay a significant price in the scandal, though Republicans were quick to say her decision doesn’t put the matter to rest, and pointed out that she can still be called before Congress to testify. The IRS confirmed Ms. Lerner’s retirement in a statement, but said it couldn’t release
President Obama said on an open microphone at the U.N. General Assembly Monday that he quit smoking six years ago "because I´m afraid of my wife." "I hope you quit smoking," he told a fellow attendee, according to audio played Monday by CNN. After the man said he smokes "sometimes," Obama said he chews Nicorette nicotine gum and that "I haven´t had a cigarette in probably six years." He then jokes: "That´ because I´m scared of my wife." Michelle Obama previously said that Obama quit smoking sometime around 2010.
A government shutdown next week would jeopardize the paychecks of more than 800,000 federal workers who could be told to stay home. More than 2 million other employees who are deemed essential by the government — including the active military — would be entitled to their salaries but might not get paid on time. While there is no law requiring that nonessential employees be compensated if they are ordered off the job, Congress has in the past voted to reimburse their losses once the shutdown ended. But this go-round could be different. The bitterly divided Congress includes many lawmakers who
NAIROBI — One of the Islamist militants wore a white turban, witnesses said, while others wore black head scarves. Most were in civilian clothes, but a few wore camouflage fatigues. Some carried sophisticated machine guns, and others wielded the AK-47 rifles widely used by African insurgents. Most of the extremists who seized the upscale Nairobi mall were young and barked orders in English. By Monday evening, Kenyan security forces said they controlled much of the Westgate Premier Shopping Mall, although several militants from al-Shabab, a group allied with al-Qaeda, appeared dug in, determined to fight to the death. With the
At Sunday’s memorial for the victims of the Navy Yard shooting rampage, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray blamed the tragedy on too many guns in this country. While praising the first responders to the attack Gray said, “We’re reviewing their response to learn as many lessons as we can from this event. But there’s one lesson that’s already abundantly clear. Our country is drowning in a sea of guns.” According the District of Columbia’s 2012 Annual Report (page 25), the homicide rate in the nation´s capital has dropped by 53 percent between 2008 and 2012. Gray went on to compare the D.C. shooting with
On Monday afternoon, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz asked for unanimous consent to immediately consider the House Continuing Resolution to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. The legislation would also take steps to avoid a default on government debt while Congress debates a raising of the debt ceiling. Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid was on hand to block the request. After Reid´s block, Cruz noted in remarks that the move keeps open the possibility of a government shutdown next week and a default on the national debt later in October. "He is willing to risk a government shutdown," Cruz said about
An off-duty member of the SAS emerged as a hero of the Nairobi siege yesterday, after he was credited with saving up to 100 lives. The soldier was having coffee at the Westgate mall when it was attacked by Islamists on Saturday. With a gun tucked into his waistband, he was pictured helping two women from the complex. He is said to have returned to the building on a dozen occasions, despite intense gunfire. A friend in Nairobi said: ‘What he did was so heroic. He was having coffee with friends when it happened. ‘He went back in 12 times and saved
Former vice president Al Gore on Monday called for making climate change "denial" a taboo in society. “Within the market system we have to put a price on carbon, and within the political system, we have to put a price on denial,” Gore said at the Social Good Summit New York City. “It is simply not acceptable for major companies to mimic the unethical strategy of the tobacco companies in presenting blatantly false information in order to protect a business model,” Gore added, alleging that’s what some oil and coal companies are doing. “There needs to be a political price for denial.”
Public money is being wasted on climate change-tackling schemes based on dodgy Met Office figures, an environmental think tank has claimed. The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), chaired by former Chancellor Lord Lawson, published a report today which argues the UK’s official climate projections, known as UKCP09, are incorrect. Using research conducted by independent climate scientist Nic Lewis, the GWPF argues a flaw in the Met Office´s computer climate model means it is bound to predict fairly high warming in the UK whatever observational data is used. The Government uses the Met Office predictions when it comes to building roads,
As the Kenyan government declared that its forces were close to achieving success after three days of carnage which has left 62 dead and more than 100 injured, a lethal and grim threat was emerging from the fires of the Westland shopping complex – that of international jihad. The terrorist “spectacular” with which al-Shabaab sought to demonstrate that it was not confined to Somalia was carried out by fighters from the US, Britain, Canada, Sweden, Syria, Finland, Russia, Dagestan and Kenya as well as Somalia, according to the organisation’s own tweets. The victims, too, came from different backgrounds: 10 countries.
As close observers of history and human nature, James Madison and the other Founders of the U.S. Constitution knew that the equal and unbiased application of the law to all people, especially elected officials, is essential to freedom and justice and one of the primary safeguards from authoritarianism and oppression by a ruling class. And so, referring to the members of Congress, James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 57: "[T]hey can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society." Today, elected officials need to be
Buried for more than 40 years inside the plane they were flying when they were shot down over Laos in 1969, Major James Sizemore and his navigator Major Howard Andre made their final journey home Monday to Arlington National Cemetery, where they were laid to rest just the way they flew: side by side. A single bugler played TAPS as the families of the airmen gathered and two horse drawn caissons made their way through the cemetery. Overhead, eight civilian pilots performed a tribute flyover at their own expense after the Air Force said it couldn’t perform a traditional flyover