Al-Qaida and the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood met secretly last week in Jordan according to a source quoted by the Egyptian daily Al-Youm al-Sabaa on Saturday. The meeting focused on the conflict in Egypt and Syria and an altercation broke out between a Brotherhood member and jihadist leader Mohammad al-Miqdad, and the latter asked the Brotherhood not to publicly denounce the actions of the jihadists. The jihadists discussed their plans to start moving Syrian and Iraqi jihadists into Egypt in order to carry out terror operations there after the Eid al-Adha festival,
Any day now the Bank of Sweden will announce a new Nobel economics laureate. On past form, the winner will be an aging Anglophone, Caucasian male. He will also probably be a dangerous crank. For many years, the great majority of recipients of the Swedish bauble have been advocates of extreme laissez-faire. As such, they have been precisely the people we have to thank for the radical financial deregulation that has so blighted the lives of millions of home buyers and small investors in the United States (not to mention Ireland, Spain, and elsewhere). There have been a few exceptions,
Tomorrow morning, more than seven years after the United Nations Security Council first ordered Iran to halt all aspects of its illicit nuclear programme, British and American diplomats--along with representatives of other global powers--will sit down with Iranian nuclear negotiators in Geneva to try, once again, to resolve this crisis. This could be a seminal moment in world history--for what we choose to do about Iran will have consequences for generations. In the run-up to the negotiations, there has been much talk of a new spirit of détente between Iran and the West. The election of President Hassan Rouhani in June
Good for Fraser Nelson. It strikes me that he is 100 percent right. The editor of The Spectator has announced that his ancient and illustrious publication will have nothing whatever to do with any new system of press regulation. He will neither bow nor truckle to any kind of control. He will not “sign up”. He will politely tell the new bossyboots institution to mind its own beeswax, and he will continue to publish without fear or favour. [Snip] We are undermining the work of everyone from John Milton to John Wilkes--men who fought for the right to say and
The Cuban-American writer Oscar Hijuelos - the first Latino to win the Pulitzer Prize - has died aged 62. Hijuelos´s agent, Jennifer Lyons, said he had died of a heart attack in New York City while playing tennis. Hijuelos won the award in 1990 for his second novel, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, which was later adapted as a Hollywood film. Like many of his novels, it focused on the lives of immigrants and their quest for the American dream. Hijuelos was born in New York City in 1951 to Cuban immigrant parents. He enrolled in local community colleges before studying creative writing under
What kind of leader wants a military more loyal to himself than to the rule of law? And why? These are two questions to ponder when considering the strange happenings in the armed forces since Barack Obama took office. Let´s start with a hypothetical. Let´s say you were a hard-left-wing commander in chief who wanted the military firmly in your corner. You´d certainly note that our armed forces have been a bastion of conservatism and Christian faith, and you´d know that its members generally weren´t very fond of you. So how would you go about changing this? Some years ago I met a very
WASHINGTON – The Senate has taken the lead from the House in attempting to devise a plan to reopen the government and avoid a potential default in the coming week. Speaking with Bob Schieffer on Sunday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he is “cautiously hopeful” that the Senate can pick up where House negotiations have become deadlocked, and hopefully avoid the continued government shutdown through bipartisan Senate discussion. “I’m cautiously hopeful, optimistic that we can come to an agreement and open up the government and avoid default based on the bipartisan meetings that are going on,” Schumer said on Face the Nation.
CNN.com covered Sunday’s “Million Vet March” in Washington D.C. against the Obama administration’s closure of military memorials by castigating the marchers as Tea Party kooks and fringe crazies. “At tea party-like rally, Obama told to ‘put the Quran down,’” the headline read. CNN derided the size of the crowd: The rally, billed as the "Million Vet March on the Memorials," drew far fewer than a million people and evolved into a protest that resembled familiar tea party events from 2009, with yellow "Don´t Tread On Me" flags throughout the crowd and strong anti-Obama language from the podium and the audience. One
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) suggested Sunday that Democrats would consider raising the debt limit with only 51 votes in the Senate. Democrats tried to pass a $1.1 trillion increase in the debt limit Saturday, but they failed to achieve the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. On "Fox News Sunday," host Chris Wallace asked Manchin to explain Sen. Dick Durbin´s (D-Ill.) comment that Democrats have "several somethings" they can use as a back-up plan to raise the debt ceiling and avoid default. "I would assume that they might be referring to the so-called ´nuclear option,´" Manchin said. "If you have to
Putrajaya, Malaysia - A Malaysian court ruled on Monday that a Christian newspaper may not use the word "Allah" to refer to God, a landmark decision on an issue that has fanned religious tension and raised questions over minority rights in the mainly Muslim country. The unanimous decision by three Muslim judges in Malaysia´s appeals court overturned a 2009 ruling by a lower court that allowed the Malay-language version of the newspaper, The Herald, to use the word Allah - as many Christians in Malaysia say has been the case for centuries. "The usage of the word Allah is not
Scotland Yard said the men were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. Armed officers were deployed in the pre-planned intelligence-led operation because it was feared the men may have had access to weapons, the Daily Telegraph understands. The men had been under surveillance by police and MI5 for some time. They have all been taken to a south London police station, while six addresses across the capital are being searched, a force spokesman said. Two men were arrested in Mansell Street, east London, one man was arrested at a premises in
Pope Francis will make his first visit to Israel in March. The pope told his close friend, Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka, of his lifelong dream to visit the Holy Land, and of his intentions to visit Israel and Bethlehem, Channel 2 reported on Sunday. Skorka is expected to join Pope Francis on his visit. According to Channel 2, the pope hopes his visit will bring a message of reconciliation. He dreams of embracing Rabbi Skorka in front of the Western Wall, in order to send out a message against anti-Semitism. Last week, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein visited the Vatican and
Iran´s Jewish community has called on US President Barack Obama to seize an "unrepeatable" opportunity to mend ties with Tehran following Iranian President Hassan Rouhani´s overtures to the US, AFP reported on Sunday. "If the US and the international community do not make the best of this golden and perhaps unrepeatable opportunity, then it will be in the benefit of those who are against the normalization of ties between Iran and the US," the head of the Jewish community in Tehran wrote in an open letter to the US president. Homayoun Sameyah Najaf Abady also rejected the suggestion made by
The feds will spend just about $10,000 subsidizing health insurance costs for a poor, middle-aged man who lives in Georgia - and just $3,000 buying the same guy in nearby Tennessee a near-identical plan. This is the weird world of financing the Affordable Care Act, where the prices that the insurers charge for health care directly impact how much Obamacare will cost the federal government. John Graves, a researcher at Vanderbilt University, has spent some time toying around with data on premium rates across the country. The federal government has made this data accessible through the HealthCare.gov site. It will
Will the Floridians who have enrolled for Obamacare please stand up? Nearly two weeks after the federal government launched the online Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov, individuals who have successfully used the choked-up website to enroll for a subsidized health insurance plan have reached a status akin to urban legend: Everyone has heard of them, but very few people have actually met one. The Miami Herald searched high and low for individuals who completed enrollment for a subsidized health plan through the marketplace, also called an exchange, launched by the federal government on Oct. 1 in 36 states, including Florida.
The compromise-friendly New Jersey governor tells Lloyd Grove he thinks Washington— including his own party—has failed at its only job: keep the government running. “It’s ridiculous,” Chris Christie said. New Jersey’s blunt-spoken, bipartisanly-inclined Republican governor was discussing the ongoing federal shutdown and debt ceiling crisis plaguing the nation’s capital. “You get hired to do a job. Do your job!” he said.
Western democracies face a growing problem. No, it´s not the ballooning budget deficits, swelling entitlement programs, or expanding ranks of the permanently unemployed. This time the problem is what´s not growing: Too few women are having babies to sustain the population. (Snip) Here´s one idea that Western democracies ought to consider and it won´t take a dime from their strained government budgets: Try toning down the alarmism heaped on expectant parents to make pregnancy and parenting more appealing. Sadly, too much of society seeks to scare would-be parents into believing that danger lurks around every corner for any child they foolishly
Having achieved something close to mythic status in California pop culture, the state´s "5150" hold for people in psychiatric crisis is being looked at by national gun-control advocates and some experts as a way to get help for mass shooters before they open fire. Named for the section where it appears in California´s Welfare and Institutions Code, 5150 lets mental health professionals commit those deemed to be a danger to themselves or others to a care facility for as long as 72 hours. (snip)Those who have been detained on a 5150 hold cannot possess or own guns
Argentina will not accept the remains of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke who died in Italy, officials in Buenos Aires said on Friday. Priebke died in Rome aged 100 after serving nearly 15 years under house arrest for a World War II massacre in Italy for which he never expressed remorse. “Foreign Minister Hector Timerman has given the order not to accept the slightest move to allow the return of the body of Nazi criminal Erich Priebke to our country,” the foreign ministry said in a tweet. “Argentines will not accept this kind of affront to human dignity.” Priebke lawyer Paolo Giachini
Venezuela´s annual inflation rate rose to 49.4% in September, from 45.4% in August. Consumer prices increased 4.4% month-on-month, the central bank said, compared with 3.0% in August. It was the highest annual rate since the Venezuelan government changed the formula used to calculate the figure five years ago. President Nicolas Maduro´s administration has vowed to rein in inflation this year and on Thursday pledged on national television to auction 900 million dollars a week to companies to help with imports and combat shortages. The central bank said September´s price rises were driven by a 9.7% spike for housing services, a 6.6%
London-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the window for diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear program is "cracking open," but that "no deal is better than a bad deal." Kerry made the comments in a speech Sunday via satellite from London to a foreign policy conference in California by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel lobbying organization in the United States. (Snip) The focus on Iran´s number program comes before the start of negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany that are set for Tuesday and Wednesday
It is feared a deadly drug known as ´cannibal heroin´ which eats flesh from the inside out is about to hit the UK. Krokodil, which is like heroin and originated in Russia 10 years ago, turns users into zombies as their bodies begin to rot leaving addicts with reptilian skin. (Snip) In Russia around 30,000 people die from the affects of the drug every year yet it is thought about a quarter of a million people in the country are now hooked on the poison. Addiction is spreading among young people and even those who manage to quit come away
The first time it happened, Jesus Setuj Curruchich said he was stiffed $1,200 from a local moving company. The Palisades Park day laborer said he had been promised $120 a day to pack and lift heavy furniture from residential homes. The boss — or “patrón” as he would call him — paid in cash at first, but then the payments stopped and excuses began. After 10 days of work with no pay, the father of five walked away from the job and cut his losses. Curruchich, 48, who emigrated from Guatemala about a decade ago, is not alone. Day laborers, men and
Millions of Americans may be wrestling with computer glitches to try to sign up for Obamacare, but many people eligible just won’t bother and will pay a price for it. Some will flout the mandate to buy coverage on ideological grounds, a health insurance version of civil disobedience. Some will opt for the penalty because it’s cheaper than paying for insurance, even with subsidies, as long as they don’t get sick and have to pay their own medical bills. And some are so confused about the president’s health care law that they may not even realize they have to pay
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) attended a rally protesting the closure of the World War II Memorial, according to reports. The lawmakers and the former governor – and 2008 GOP vice-presidential nominee – joined a crowd that removed barricades at the memorial and chanted “tear down these walls,” according to Washington, D.C., radio station WTOP. (Snip) The presence of a Confederate flag at the protest, which later moved to the White House, sparked an uproar on Twitter.
The shipwreck off Malta that claimed the lives of more than 30 migrants revealed yet another facet of Syria´s humanitarian nightmare, the largest displacement of people in decades. Since the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011 some seven million people, nearly a third of the population, have been displaced, with two million of them fleeing across the border, according to UN figures. (Snip) Some 47,000 Syrians have sought asylum in Europe, leading to calls from several nations for a unified EU response which has yet to materialise. Since the start of the year, Syrians have filed some 13,000