The Global Hawk is one of the US military´s most sophisticated spy planes and the BBC was able to get a rare view of one at Grand Forks Airbase in North Dakota. It can travel half-way round the world on a single tank of fuel and can can track a man on the ground, even when the earth is covered by cloud, from a height of about 18,000m--that´s close to 60,000ft. That means it could in theory peer into Syria to track chemical weapons while still flying in international airspace. Or keep track of North Korea´s nuclear programme flying from
UPDATE: Rep. Louie Gohmert read this PJ Media report on the House floor today. Heard about those two or three bad apples? Here’s 40 more. Remember, Healthcare.gov admits using the honor system for certification. Last week, we reported that the “honor system” is being used to confirm the identity and certification of Navigators/Assisters. The “Find Local Help” feature on Healthcare.gov refers consumers to potential predators. We have since reviewed, state by state, every single Navigator/Assister that Healthcare.gov currently displays to the public via “Find Local Help”. This search revealed two additional dangers of the Navigator/Assister system: 1. The consumer is vulnerable, but so
The world is facing a wine shortage, with global consumer demand already significantly outstripping supply, a report has warned. The research by America´s Morgan Stanley financial services firm says demand for wine "exceeded supply by 300m cases in 2012". It describes this as "the deepest shortfall in over 40 years of records". Last year, production also dropped to its lowest levels in more than four decades. Global production has been steadily declining since its peak in 2004, when supply outweighed demand by about 600m cases. ´Main drivers´ The report by Morgan Stanley´s analysts Tom Kierath and Crystal Wang says global wine consumption
An Afghan translator who saved the life of a U.S. Army captain but whose own life wound up on a Taliban kill list for his assistance to America is finally on U.S. soil. Janis Shinwari is one of the faces of the Special Immigrant Visa program that is in disarray, leaving Iraqis and Afghans who helped U.S. forces at risk in their home countries while applications are backlogged or dismissed without recourse. Shinwari is an Afghan interpreter who worked with the U.S. military for seven years and went through a two-year application process to secure visas for himself, his wife
The US has criticised Germany´s economic policies, saying that its export-led growth model is hurting the eurozone and the wider global economy. In its bi-annual report, the US Treasury said that domestic demand growth in Germany had been "anaemic". It also reiterated its view that the Chinese yuan continued to remain "significantly undervalued". The report has criticised Chinese policy before, but criticism of German economic policy is rarer. "Germany´s anaemic pace of domestic demand growth and dependence on exports have hampered rebalancing at a time when many other euro-area countries have been under severe pressure to curb demand and compress
Syria´s declared equipment for producing, mixing and filling chemical weapons has been entirely destroyed, the international watchdog has said. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had given Syria until 1 November to destroy this equipment. Weapons inspectors were sent to Syria following allegations that government forces had used chemical weapons in civilian areas. The government denies the accusations. The US says more than 1,400 people were killed during a nerve agent attack in Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus on 21 August. Syria and Russia believe rebel groups were responsible for the attack.
Property experts said the controversial structures, which campaigners say are a blight on the British landscape, can reduce the value of homes by up to eight per cent. In August The Daily Telegraph reported that, according to coalition sources, a secret report into the impact of wind farms on rural house prices is being blocked by officials at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) amid fears it will conclude that turbines harm property prices. Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat energy secretary, had denied that anyone in his department is trying to suppress the report.
It´s clear, HealthCare.gov is problematic. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apologized for its rocky rollout on Wednesday. But the website is not the only issue with the Affordable Care Act. Other issues are plaguing the health program. The issues range from the serious that could cause the foundation of the entire program to crumble to the annoying that could frustrate consumers. Too few ´young invincibles´ "Young invincibles" are key. They are the young and the healthy. If they don´t purchase health insurance, the program is at risk.If too many exchange consumers are older or unhealthy, then monthly premiums
A Colorado-based solar company that got hundreds of millions of dollars in federal loan guarantees before going belly-up didn´t just empty taxpayers´ wallets - it left behind a toxic mess of carcinogens, broken glass and contaminated water, according to a new report. The Abound Solar plant, which got $400 million in federal loan guarantees in 2010, when the Obama administration sought to use stimulus funds to promote green energy, filed for bankruptcy two years later. Now its Longmont, Colo., facility sits unoccupied, its 37,000 square feet littered with hazardous waste, broken glass and contaminated water. The Northern Colorado Business Report estimates
A new olive branch from Sen. Ted Cruz? After Cruz endured weeks of criticism from his fellow Republicans, several senators said he extended his hand on Wednesday and told them he would not actively campaign against them or help raise money for their primary opponents. Cruz, the firebrand freshman from Texas, made the comments during a private lunch with Republican senators at the Capitol. He indicated he would not play a direct role in raising money or helping guide strategy for the Senate Conservatives Fund, several Republican senators told ABC News. “I was very pleased. I had urged him to do that in
HOUSTON -- Plans to auction a rare permit that will allow a hunter to take down an endangered black rhino are drawing criticism from some conservationists, but the organizer says the fundraiser could bring in more than $1 million, which will go toward protecting the species. John J. Jackson III belongs to the Dallas Safari Club, which earlier this month announced it would auction the permit - one of only five offered annually by Namibia, the southwestern African nation. The permit is also the first to be made available for purchase outside of that country. "This is advanced, state-of-the-art wildlife conservation and
WASHINGTON - A bloody resurgence of al-Qaida in Iraq is prompting Baghdad to ask the U.S. for more weapons, training and manpower, two years after pushing American troops out of the country. The request will be discussed during a White House meeting Friday between Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Barack Obama in what Baghdad hopes will be a fresh start in a complicated relationship that has been marked both by victories and frustrations for each side. Al-Maliki will discuss Iraq´s plight in a public speech Thursday at the U.S. Institute for Peace in Washington.
Kathleen Sebelius knew that Wednesday´s U.S. House hearing about the problems with the Obamacare website was going to be tough--but perhaps she wasn´t prepared for just how tough. The Health and Human Services Secretary, who is in charge of implementing the president´s signature domestic policy, could be heard on a hot microphone as she turned to an aide and said ´Don´t do this to me,´ during a pause in the questioning. It´s not entirely clear what ´this´ she was referring to, however, she was in the midst of fielding questions about whether she would sign up for an Obamacare insurance exchange for
Officials say increases could send waterfront property values plummeting. SEGUIN — Owners of lakefront and riverfront homes in Guadalupe County and elsewhere in the nation are facing huge increases in their premiums for federal flood insurance. In a presentation at Tuesday’s session of Guadalupe County Commissioners Court, County Attorney David Willborn described the potential impact of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act passed by Congress in 2012.
London - A prosecutor said Wednesday that there was "a conspiracy which involved a significant number of people" to hack phones at the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World, revealing that three senior journalists at the now-defunct newspaper have pleaded guilty to illegally eavesdropping on voicemails. Opening the long-awaited hacking trial of former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and others, prosecution lawyer Andrew Edis said hacking and other illegal activity at the paper and its sister tabloid, The Sun, went on for a decade. He said it was inconceivable that the top executives didn´t know about it. "They were
Russian strategic forces carried out a large-scale surprise military drill on Wednesday, launching four nuclear missiles that were closely monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies, U.S. officials said. The drill began around 9:00 am ET and included the test launch of two land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and two submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). The test firings were unusual because of the number of missiles fired at one time, said officials who discussed some details of the drill on condition of anonymity. State Department spokeswoman Alexandra F. Bell confirmed the tests and said the long-range missile firings were “conducted consistent with the requirements of the
Running for New Jersey governor in 2009, Chris Christie hammered the Democratic incumbent, Jon S. Corzine, for using “one-shot gimmicks” to balance the budget, called it “unconscionable” to take away property tax rebates and railed against issuing more debt for transportation projects, promising to “start saying no to spending.” But in four years in office, Governor Christie, a Republican, has relied on the same kind of short-term strategies, diverting money for things like affordable housing and property tax rebates to balance the budget, and tapping funds intended for development of new sources of energy to keep the lights on in
Final, 6-1 Red Sox: It’s all over. The Boston Red Sox are world champions. End 8th, 6-1 Red Sox: It’s Koji time. The Sox are three outs away from the World Series, they have a five-run cushion, and they have the best closer in baseball to get them there. Middle 8th, 6-1 Red Sox: Workman gets it done with a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth. Three outs away… Top 8th, 6-1 Red Sox: Stephen Drew got another hit (hey, how about that?) but that’s it for the Red Sox. Credit to Carlos Martinez for actually being good for St. Louis this series. On comes
Detroit – Cockroaches aren’t on the typical child’s Christmas list, but an Ann Arbor company is hoping to change that with a cyborg device meant to turn the creepy crawlers into scientific entertainment they can control with a smartphone. Backyard Brains has developed a Kickstarter project, the RoboRoach, that allows one to cut live cockroaches and implant electrodes to control the insects’ movements. One hundred and eighty three people have pledged $12,339 — exceeding the $10,000 goal to fund the project. It’s like a remote-controlled car in the body of a live bug, the game “Operation” writ large. But the
Australia´s highest court has ruled a bureaucrat injured while having sex on a work trip is not entitled to workers´ compensation. The bureaucrat, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was hospitalised in November 2007 after a glass light fitting above a bed she was having sex in fell onto her face injuring her nose and mouth. The woman also suffered psychological injury. The woman was visiting a regional office observing the budget review process, meeting regional staff and undertaking training — and staying in a motel room booked by her employer. According to the court transcript the fitting was
A Pakistani teenager moved a translator to tears on Capitol Hill as he spoke of the moment his grandmother was killed in a US drone strike. Zubair ur Rehman, 13, who attended the event with his father Rafiq and his sister Nabila, aged nine, described how Momina Bibi, 67, was out picking okra when a drone fired several missiles at an unknown targets near his compound. He said he first heard the drone hovering overhead but was not concerned because neither he nor his grandmother were militants. “When the drone fired the first time, the whole ground shook and black
Opening a new front in the city’s war on smoking, the New York City Council voted Wednesday to hike the legal age for buying cigarettes to 21. Mayor Bloomberg promised to sign the bill, making it certain that New York will become the first major city in America to adopt such a high age requirement. Thomas Farley, the city’s health and mental hygiene commissioner, said the law, the Sensible Tobacco Enforcement Act, represents a "historic advance in our fight against New York City´s leading killer." Bloomberg said the new age requirement will prevent more teenagers from developing a smoking habit, saving lives. Research
The New York Times Co.’s advertising department is struggling to replace its once-lucrative print ads with digital sales, as Google Inc. (GOOG) and Facebook Inc. gobble up increasingly large chunks of marketers’ budgets. Both print and digital advertising at the newspaper decreased about 3 percent in the third quarter, the company said last month, signaling that the total amount fell below $140 million. That’s the lowest level since at least 1998, when the Times began reporting the ad revenue of its individual papers. While the entire newspaper business is suffering advertising woes, the Times’ prestige and elite readership should be
Facebook Inc. is testing technology that would greatly expand the scope of data that it collects about its users, the head of the company’s analytics group said Tuesday. The social network may start collecting data on minute user interactions with its content, such as how long a user’s cursor hovers over a certain part of its website, or whether a user’s newsfeed is visible at a given moment on the screen of his or her mobile phone, Facebook analytics chief Ken Rudin said Tuesday during an interview. Mr. Rudin said the captured information could be added to a data analytics warehouse that
New York - When it comes to a certain type of tax, not everyone is paying a share, according to a new report. The New York State Comptroller´s Office took a look at tax-exempt properties in the state and found that more than 25 percent of the real estate is exempt from all local taxes. The total value of the exempt properties is $680 billion. In New York City, about 32 percent of the total real estate value cannot be taxed. Manhattan Institute senior policy analyst Nicole Gelinas said that has far-reaching implications. The study found that some cities and towns had less than
During a House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on the Obamacare website, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, “I don’t think so” when asked “has a man ever delivered a baby?” Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) asked Sebelius, “Now as far as the essential health benefits, correct me if I’m wrong, do men not have to buy maternity coverage?” Sebelius: “Policies will cover maternity coverage for the young and the healthy—” Ellmers: “Including men?” Sebelius: “30-year-olds will also have a choice of a catastrophic plan which has no maternity coverage?” Ellmers “The catastrophic, but the men are required to purchase maternity coverage?” Sebelius: “The insurance policy has benefits