BAGHDAD — A wave of bombings targeting Shiite Muslims in two major cities south of Baghdad killed at least 39 people and wounded more than 100 on Thursday morning, Iraqi officials said. The deadliest of the attacks was in the city of Hillah, where back-to-back explosions in a busy commercial area killed at least 27 people and wounded up to 90, a police officer said. Insurgents first detonated a roadside bomb that was followed by a car bomb explosion when rescuers rushed to the scene, he added. Among the victims
Comments: [with Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Sameer N. Yacoub] Is Iran flexing its muscles again?
Macy´s Inc and a slew of other U.S. retailers are opening on Thanksgiving for the first time ever in a bare-knuckled brawl for a bigger slice of overall holiday sales. But it might not be so easy to lure most Americans from their turkey and football - particularly if the weather is foul. Department store rivals Kohl´s Corp and J.C. Penney Co Inc led a string of Thanksgiving opening announcements after Macy´s said it would open its U.S. stores on the popular holiday, ending a 155-year tradition. Sales trends, survey results and an online "Save Thanksgiving" backlash suggest that shoppers
The captain of a Greenpeace ship released on bail after two months of detention in a Russian prison following an Arctic protest said he and his fellow activists remain in shock at their treatment. American Peter Willcox, who was also in charge of Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior when it was sunk in Auckland in 1985 by a bomb planted by the French intelligence service, said the organization again found itself in the crosshairs of a government bent on throttling the environmental group. “There is a similarity between the two cases,” with both the French and Russian governments targeting Greenpeace to prevent
DENVER - 9Wants to Know has learned federal investigators believe Colombian drug cartels have taken root within Colorado´s medical marijuana industry. On Thursday, federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency and Internal Revenue Service executed search warrants on several medical marijuana shops in Denver and Boulder. One of those shops is VIP Cannabis, a shop near Federal Boulevard and Alameda Avenue. Numerous calls into VIP Cannabis by 9Wants to Know have not been returned. While the warrants and other documents relating to the investigation are under court-ordered seal, sources spoke on the condition of anonymity to 9Wants to Know.
Minorities continue to offer a bulwark of support for the Affordable Care Act, according to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll. But the deepening discrepancy between their views of Obamacare and their support for President Obama´s reelection last year shows skepticism about whether the big social-welfare program has worked touched even the White House´s most ardent supporters. A battery of questions about who benefits from the health care law, whether it should be repealed, and what´s to blame for its rocky rollout all reveal a portion of the electorate that´s far more favorable to the sweeping reform than
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama´s signature health law has helped spur stronger economic growth by contributing to slower increases in healthcare prices and spending, the White House said on Wednesday. The White House´s assertion of the economic benefits of the law commonly called Obamacare runs counter to the views of many critics, who say it is raising insurance premiums and chilling job creation. (Snip) "The government´s non-partisan actuaries report this is the result of the terrible economy under President Obama, not his health care law," Boehner press secretary Brendan Buck said in an email.
The Obama administration has not always been great at selling its agenda, but the president´s adoption of the right-wing slur "Obamacare" as a prideful new name for the Affordable Care Act has been a notable exception. We often think the proper response to being called a dirty name is to object. That´s a good first step, but in the long term, the judo approach is constructive -- hurl the power being used against you back to your opponent. For example, in 1968 William F. Buckley could offend Gore Vidal by calling him a "queer" on television. Today, the line would
President Obama on Tuesday sought to redirect some of the political blame for the botched rollout of the federal health insurance exchange to Republicans, characterizing GOP lawmakers as rooting for the law’s failure. Addressing a gathering of business executives, Obama acknowledged that the health-care rollout “has been rough, to say the least,” and he lamented the government’s archaic information-technology procurement system. Obama said that fixes to the HealthCare.gov Web portal are underway and that the exchange will function for a majority of people by the end of November. But the president said staunch opposition from congressional Republicans is inhibiting the
Oregon, a state that fully embraced the Affordable Care Act, is enduring one of the rockiest rollouts of President Back Obama´s signature health care law, with an inoperative online exchange that has yet to enroll a single subscriber, requiring thousands to apply on paper instead. Unlike most other states, Oregon set an ambitious course to make its insurance exchange, dubbed Cover Oregon, an "all-in-one" website for every individual seeking health coverage, including those who are eligible for Medicaid. But instead of serving as a national model, Oregon´s experience has emerged as a cautionary tale, inviting comparisons to technical glitches that
The 26-second film often regarded as the most famous home movie in history was shot by a Texas dressmaker who initially didn´t even bring his camera to work on the overcast day of President John F. Kennedy´s assassination. Abraham Zapruder, 58 years old at the time, was a dress manufacturer who owned Jennifer Juniors, Inc., which was located across the street from the Texas School Book Depository. Zapruder, a Kennedy fan, left his Bell & Howell film camera at home since the morning was overcast. At lunchtime, Zapruder´s assistant urged him to go home and get the camera before the
The headlines seemed to come in a rapid-fire rhetorical onslaught. “Fighting for His Presidency … Does Obama Have Any Cred Left? … Does the health-care fumble mean game over for Obama? … The five biggest ways Obamacare’s problems have hurt Democrats … Is This Obama’s Katrina? … Obama needs his friends back.” If President Obama has had a worse week than the one just ending, it’s hard to remember. He had to apologize for the Affordable Care Act computer problems that have turned out to be far more than “glitches.” He acknowledged having misspoke – Republicans say he lied – when
Just months before Healthcare.gov launched, senior Obama administration officials questioned whether the website’s developers would meet the Oct. 1 target launch date and expressed anxiety that after several benchmarks were missed, a condensed schedule to test the site could be inadequate. That’s according to a series of documents provided to congressional investigators by the Department of Health and Human Services. In emails sent between July 8 and July 20, administration officials discussed their sworn testimony pledging to meet the Oct. 1 deadline while at the same time officials were privately concerned that the entire launch was in jeopardy with the
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration could extend beyond 2014 a one-year fix in its healthcare law that allows insurance companies to renew health plans for consumers whose policies would otherwise be canceled, the White House said on Thursday. President Barack Obama announced a plan to let insurance companies extend policies that would not meet the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act. In a fact sheet outlining the details of that plan, the White House said the Department of Health and Human Services would consider a further extension of that fix beyond 2014. "HHS will consider the impact of this transitional
Those who wrote the PPACA legislation were much more brilliant than most conservatives have given them credit for. They have hidden a landmine in the way it all works that will ensure an eventual takeover of the entire health care industry by the government. Let me first clarify my professional interest. I have been a vendor of software and services to both insurance companies and providers, and therefore have a deep understanding of the health care industry and what the ACA will do to it. I do not work for any insurance companies or medical providers, nor do I own stock
Iranian officials say that the White House is misleading the public about the details of an interim nuclear agreement reached over the weekend in Geneva. Iran and Western nations including the United States came to an agreement on the framework for an interim deal late Saturday night in Geneva. The deal has yet to be implemented. The White House released a multi-page fact sheet containing details of the draft agreement shortly after the deal was announced. However, Iranian foreign ministry official on Tuesday rejected the White House’s version of the deal as “invalid” and accused Washington
It is no secret that the Democrat party is hemorrhaging support in the wake of the disastrous ObamaCare rollout. As the Administration warns that the website will not be fully operational at the end of November, nervous Democrats are expected to try to separate themselves from Obama and his flawed health program. Politico´s Mike Allen was on MSNBC this week, saying that they are "hearing" that Democrats will be very aggressive against the program in Congressional oversight hearings next week. If Politico is "hearing" something, it means Democrats are trying to leak the information to the public ahead of the
President Obama's weekly remarks: Hi, everybody. On behalf of all the Obamas — Michelle, Malia, Sasha, Bo, and the newest member of our family, Sunny — I want to wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. We’ll be spending today just like many of you — sitting down with family and friends to eat some good food, tell stories, watch a little football and. most importantly, count our blessings. And as Americans, we have so much to be thankful for.
LEE COUNTY - The Lee County Sheriff´s Office has arrested a juvenile in connection with two random attacks reported in Lee County. Traveshia Blanks, of Fort Myers, is charged with two counts of battery on a person 65 years of age or older. On Tuesday around 3:50 p.m., deputies responded to a report of a group of people who randomly attacked an unsuspecting victim (Snip)We talked to students from nearby Cypress Lake High School who didn´t seem to think the teens did anything wrong. "I´m not gonna say it´s not right and it´s not fun, because it is fun," said
Economics: It seems the official position of Pope Francis is that the free market is a wicked enemy that must be restrained. With all due respect, he´s mistaken. The free market has been a heavenly blessing. Two days before our American Thanksgiving, the Argentinian pontiff, in his first apostolic exhortation, called the free market a "new tyranny." "Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world," he wrote in the Vatican report. Claims of free-market success, he said, have "never been confirmed
President Obama is concerned these days with the "young invincibles," the 20-somethings he needs now to buy into his program, but who probably won´t because they feel (you guessed it) invincible and think they will stay so for quite a long time. But it takes one to know one, as the irony is Obama himself is, or once was, an ultra-invincible, unstoppable and doing what people said couldn´t be done. Could he become world famous on the strength of one speech? Yes, he could. Could he beat Hillary Clinton, a president´s wife and a feminist icon? Yes, he could. Could he
President Obama lashed out Tuesday at Republican lawmakers during a Hollywood speech seemingly designed to shift public debate away from his Obamacare - and Iran-related political train wrecks and toward safer territory: jobs and the economy. [Snip] ´Instead of rooting for failure or re-fighting old battles, Republicans in Congress need to work with us,´ he declared, complaining about his opponents´ fixation on the Affordable Care Act. ´We would be a lot further along without some of this dysfunction and obstruction we´ve seen in Washington,´ he insisted,.´if we didn´t [sic] have one wing of one party that was a little less
President Barack Obama told a Democratic fundraiser in Beverly Hills Tuesday that he has accomplished "as much, if not more" than any other president."Over the last five years, thanks to the leadership of Nancy (Pelosi) and Harry (Reid) and legislators who are here, we have accomplished as much, if not more, than any time in our history -- saving an economy from a Great Depression; revitalizing an auto industry that is producing better cars and has come roaring back like nobody believed; doubling our exports; drastically reducing our dependence on foreign oil; doubling fuel efficiency standards; doubling our production of
In the wake of the Obamacare fiasco, President Obama’s poll numbers are collapsing in two industrial Midwestern states — the quintessential swing state of Ohio and his home state of Illinois. In Illinois, the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling found Obama’s approval rating falling to just 50–46 positive in a state he carried by 17 points just a year ago. His biggest drops in support came among women voters (only 50 percent positive) and Hispanics (only 51 percent positive). Without his overwhelming support among African-Americans (92 percent), his approval rating would easily be in the low 40s. The liberal website
A new study of methane emissions finds that the U.S. is spewing 50 percent more methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times better at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere than the Environmental Protection Agency previously assumed. Several factors contribute to the accumulation of methane gas in Earth’s atmosphere, such as the burning of fossil fuels and leaks from oil and gas refining and drilling, but one contender stands out above the rest as particularly repugnant: cow farts.(snip)According to the new research, livestock’s noxious flatulence accounts for a large portion of the methane gas being released into the atmosphere.
Reports of bias incidents at Vassar College that involved hateful messages left on students’ doors were actually elaborate hoaxes — and the perpetrator is none other than the student member of the Bias Incident Response Team, The Daily Caller has learned. This fall semester at the liberal arts college in New York saw a curiously high number of bias incident reports. [snip] The task force had one student member: Genesis Hernandez, who is transgendered and was also a vice president of the Vassar Student Association (VSA), the student government.