Paris — More than a year after resigning in disgrace as the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is seeking redemption with a new consulting company, the lecture circuit and a uniquely French legal defense to settle a criminal inquiry that exposed his hidden life as a libertine. Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 63, a silver-haired economist, is seeking to throw out criminal charges in an inquiry into ties to a prostitution ring in northern France with the legal argument that the authorities are unfairly trying to “criminalize lust.” That defense and the investigation, which is facing a critical
Comments: The mind-set of those who sprang to DSK's defense claiming he was set up is similar to the mindset of those who make excuses for Zero's failures or Jesse, Jr....
If Hillary Clinton has indeed managed to "freeze" the Democratic presidential field for 2016, as many pundits suggest is the case, some big cracks in the ice are about to spread across Iowa. A growing number of ambitious Democrats are no longer waiting passively for the former secretary of state and frontrunner-in-waiting to make her decision about a campaign. (Snip) Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is set to become the first potential Democratic contender to introduce herself to future caucus-goers when she delivers the keynote address Friday at the 10th annual North Iowa Wing Ding Fundraiser. Vice President Joe Biden
The Justice Department, along with the attorneys general of six states and the District of Columbia, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to block the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways. Dealing an unexpected blow to a yearlong effort to create the world’s biggest airline, the Justice Department said the merger between the two airlines would substantially reduce competition, increase air fares and cut service. After approving a series of mergers between the nation’s airlines in recent years, the Justice Department’s decision came as a surprise to both carriers, who had expressed confidence the deal would go through
In the latest sharp turn of the chaotic mayor’s race, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has surged to the head of the pack according to a poll released today. De Blasio, who is running as the liberal antidote to Mayor Bloomberg, leapt to first place with 30 percent of among likely Democratic voters one month before the primary, the Quinnipiac Poll shows. In second place is City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at 24 percent, followed by former City Comptroller Bill Thompson at 22 percent and former Rep. Anthony Weiner at 10. Comptroller John Liu is bringing up the rear
When we first meet Karen, star of a new Channel 4 documentary, she is driving a huge, silver Nissan people-carrier. The 54-year-old grandmother is smartly dressed in fashionable clothes, jewellery and sports an immaculate manicure. But neither her car nor her clothes are paid for by her wages. Instead, Karen is among the 20 million people claiming benefits in Britain. (Snip) Karen was a care assistant for 22 years, but has been out of work for seven years, during which time she has claimed £155-a-week disability living allowance. Her car, too, is paid for by the state.
Zimbabwe has signed a secret deal to supply Uranium to Iran for its controversial nuclear programme, according to a senior Government source in Harare. Negotiations between the two countries, which would see thousands of tonnes of the raw uranium shipped to Tehran for enrichment, have allegedly been going on for two years, the Times reports. Zimbabwe´s Deputy Mining Minister Gift Chimanikire, said a ´memorandum of understanding´ had been signed between the two countries both currently subject to stringent international sanctions. (Snip) The Chinese are also believed to have approached Zimbabwe offering finance and construction projects in return for mining
Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 flattering fans packed the The Ski Company in Henrietta and lined out the door around the the Cohoes Commons plaza to get an autograph from Olympic gold medalist and champion skier Lindsey Vonn on Friday. Vonn, who arrived at The Ski Company at roughly 6:30 p.m. after a flight from Vail, Colo., entered to a store full of cheering fans. The four-time World Cup Alpine champion posed for pictures and signed autographs for fans who had waited all afternoon to see her, enjoying the time to mingle with admirers. “It’s really awesome,” said Vonn.
Looks as if Adrian Fenty took the phrase “Go West, young man” to heart — and has done very well for himself. Last year, the former D.C. mayor scored a plum job with Andreessen Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s hottest venture capital firms. Now we’ve learned that Fenty is dating Laurene Powell Jobs, the billionaire widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. (Snip) Sources tell us the relationship began as a friendship and blossomed into a “budding romance” around the time Fenty and his wife, Michelle, formally announced their separation in January. The Fenty marriage had been rumored to be
The population in Britain is rising more steeply than anywhere else in Europe, according to official estimates yesterday. Numbers rose by almost 420,000 in a year, driven by the highest birth rate since 1972. (Snip) The Office for National Statistics says around four in ten of the additional people are immigrants. Six out of ten are the result of rising birth rates, which brought a 40-year high in the number of babies born last year – 254,400 more births than deaths. But a major cause of the baby boom is immigration. More than a quarter of all newborns have mothers
British warships are to visit Gibraltar in a show of strength in the stand-off with Spain over control of The Rock. Three ships including the frigate HMS Westminster will sail for the region on Monday even as the diplomatic row with Madrid escalates over plans for draconian border controls. The move comes just days after Gibraltar’s chief minister called for the British military to send forces into the area. (Snip) After the call, Mr Cameron vowed: ‘Britain will always stand up for the people of Gibraltar.’ But hopes he had won concessions from Mr Rajoy were dashed as officials
A couple with seven young children living in a two bedroom council house have spoken of their worries over the health problems caused by their cramped living conditions. David Stewart, 38 and his wife Lisa, 29, have fought for a bigger council house for the last five years to accommodate their growing family but have not been awarded an alternative house. Mr Stewart accused the council of losing his application form for a housing exchange twice and prioritising new families in the area. The Stewarts´ children, who are all aged six or under, sleep four to a room
Rome – Top Silvio Berlusconi aides are maneuvering to win a presidential pardon so the ex-premier can avoid a prison term and ban on holding office, with one loyalist warning of possible "civil war" unless punishment for his tax-fraud conviction is lifted. Renato Brunetta, a leader of Berlusconi´s People of Freedom party, said Saturday he and another aide requested a meeting with Italy´s president, who can issue pardons. Separately, longtime Berlusconi loyalist Sandro Bondi said Italy risks "civil war" if the 76-year-old media mogul isn´t spared punishment. A law to reduce prison overcrowding slashes Berlusconi´s four-year sentence to one
If you want to squeeze off a few rounds from a .905-caliber rifle, you´ll need two things: muscles and cash. An Ohio-based gun company has developed the world´s first .905-caliber rifle that - at .905 - is the highest-caliber rifle in the world. And with bullets that cost more than $40 a piece, you´ll probably think twice before pulling the trigger. ´It´s a little scary,´ one user said of the gun in a Youtube video that demonstrates just how powerful the weapon can be. The rifle is the creation of SSK Industries and is essentially a shoulder-mounted cannon,
President Obama asserted the unilateral power to "tweak" inconvenient laws in last Friday´s news conference, underscoring his Administration´s increasingly cavalier notions about law enforcement. So it´s good that the judiciary—a coequal branch of government, in case the Administration forgot—is starting to check the White House. In a major rebuke on Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an unusual writ of mandamus, which is a direct judicial order compelling the government to fulfill a legal obligation. This "extraordinary remedy" is nominally about nuclear waste, writes Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the 2-1 majority, yet the case "raises significant questions about the
President Obama´s former personal aide said Wednesday that the president was so "irritated" by controversy over his birthplace that he wanted to hold an "impromptu press conference" when he discovered the long-form version of his birth certificate, only to be dissuaded by his advisers. Reggie Love, the former body man to the president, told UCLA´s Luskin School of Public Affairs that the delay in producing the president´s birth certificate was because when "your parents don´t live together (and) you travel all over the world, documents get lost." "He wanted to just have an impromptu press conference, just walk in to
Oprah Winfrey says she´s kinda sorta "sorry" for the fallout that ensued after she told the media about a "racist" encounter at a purse store in Switzerland ... saying, "I´m really sorry that it got blown up." Yeah, right. Oprah addressed the media at the premiere of "The Butler" in L.A. last night -- backpedaling after the shop in question started to refute O´s allegations of racism during an incident last month. The shop owner says the whole thing was a "misunderstanding" and had "nothing to do with racism." Last night, Oprah said ... "I think that incident in Switzerland."
Questions have been raised over financial dealings within the Clinton family charity that may cause problems for Hillary Clinton´s possible 2016 presidential run. New reports have revealed that the Clinton Foundation has been ´in the red´ for years even though the charity has raised hundreds of millions of dollars each year, showing the high cost of running the worldwide charity. Former President Bill Clinton called in a team of lawyers to help examine the charity´s financial standing over a year ago and they drew some unsettling conclusions. A scathing article in The New York Times tells how the ´rotating board
Soon after the 10th anniversary of the foundation bearing his name, Bill Clinton met with a small group of aides and two lawyers from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Two weeks of interviews with Clinton Foundation executives and former employees had led the lawyers to some unsettling conclusions. The review echoed criticism of Mr. Clinton’s early years in the White House: For all of its successes, the Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and
The Missouri chapter of the NAACP appealed for the U.S. Department of Justice and the Secret Service to launch an investigation and open a federal case against the rodeo clown who donned a mask of President Obama’s face and mocked with the crowd: Do you want to see a bull run down Mr. Obama? The NAACP says the clown was guilty of inciting violence against the president. In a statement reported by Breitbart, the NAACP’s state president, Mary Ratliff, wrote: “The activities at the Missouri State Fair targeting and inciting violence against our president are serious and warrant a full
There is no way to sugarcoat it: Egypt stands on the brink of a bloody, nasty civil war, and, at the very least, sustained civil unrest and sectarian violence. The current confrontation between the Egyptian military and radical Islamists — led by the Muslim Brotherhood — will not end well and the MB and its allies will not go quietly. The Brothers — the original modern Islamic terror group and the ideological source of both al-Qaeda and Hamas — are in no mood to negotiate or compromise. Think about it: After decades of patience, stealth, and gradualism,
In the wake of a rodeo clown’s anti-Obama skit this weekend, the Missouri State Fair is forcing all clowns to undergo sensitivity training. The state fair commission voted Monday to ratify the decision to ban the clown in question who wore an Obama mask as the rodeo announcer asked if the crowd wanted to see him get run down by a bull. The crowd enthusiastically approved, according to local media reports. But the state commission went further, saying it will require that before the Rodeo Cowboy Association can take part in any future state fair, “they must provide evidence to
Reggie Love says he and President Obama played cards during the Osama bin Laden raid, and that the president told him, "I can´t watch this entire thing." (Snip for video)"“Most people were like down in the Situation Room and [President Obama] was like, ‘I’m not going to be down there, I can’t watch this entire thing,’ We must have played 15 games of spades,” said Love at a public event. Love was Obama´s "body man," and spent much time with his boss while he worked for Obama at the White House.
The only surprise here is the source. The details are all too familiar: Employers around the country, from fast-food franchises to colleges, have told NBC News that they will be cutting workers’ hours below 30 a week because they can’t afford to offer the health insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. “To tell somebody that you’ve got to decrease their hours because of a law passed in Washington is very frustrating to me,” said Loren Goodridge, who owns 21 Subway franchises, including a restaurant in Kennebunk. “I know the impact I’m having on some of
Over the weekend, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is “for big government and trying to go along to get along.” She added that Christie has “got a schtick going there where he’s got a YouTube videographer following him around, kind of these set-up situations sometimes so he can be seen as perhaps a little bit avant-garde and going rogue on things.” Christie said nothing in return. He should. Here’s why.Taking on Palin is good politics for Christie or Jeb Bush or anyone else who is planning to run as a quasi-establishment candidate for president in
The Missouri State Fair will force rodeo clowns to complete sensitivity training after a clown mocked President Obama in a stunt one spectator likened to a Ku Klux Klan rally. The fair’s commission also approved a lifetime ban on the offending clown. The controversy began on Saturday at the fair in Sedalia. A clown in an Obama mask with a broom handle attached to his backside moved into the arena as another clown called out over the microphone, “This bull’s going to get’cha, Obama! He’s gonna get’cha!” The fair commission has called the stunt “unacceptable,” and approved a measure that would