Washington - Governors warned Congress Wednesday that lingering uncertainty over raising the nation´s borrowing capacity could hinder their budgets and their ability to foster job growth in their states. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin outlined states´ agendas in 2013 on behalf of the National Governors Association, urging lawmakers to reach a deal on the debt ceiling, which will reach its limit in about two months. Markell says the postponing of spending cuts under the fiscal cliff deal and a lack of action on raising the debt limit has led to uncertainty just as states are
Comments: Of course, even dRATS governors want Washington to raise the debt ceiling while GOP wants to reduce taxes. Time, which is running out, will tell.
Cambridge - Harvard University is evacuating four buildings on campus after unconfirmed reports of explosives. Harvard tweeted this message just after 9 a.m: Alert: Unconfirmed reports of explosives at four sites on campus: Science Center, Thayer, Sever, and Emerson. Evacuate those buildings now. The university followed with another tweet saying, “There have been NO reports of explosions.” Students are still on campus for exams this week, the managing editor of the campus newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, told WBZ-TV. Several students were moved into a freshman dining hall. Employees were also alerted via automated
Santiago, Chile - Chile´s once and future President Michelle Bachelet won Sunday´s runoff election after promising profound changes in society in response to years of street protests. With 90% of the votes counted, Bachelet had an unbeatable 62% to 38% for the center-right´s Evelyn Matthei, who conceded defeat. A moderate socialist, Bachelet served as president in 2006-2010, then ran the United Nation´s women´s agency from New York as her successor, conservative Sebastian Pinera, was confronted with widespread demonstrations for change. She has a new center-left coalition and promises to finance education with higher corporate
The cellphone encryption technology used most widely across the world can be easily defeated by the National Security Agency, an internal document shows, giving the agency the means to decode most of the billions of calls and texts that travel over public airwaves every day. While the military and law enforcement agencies long have been able to hack into individual cellphones, the NSA’s capability appears to be far more sweeping because of the agency’s global signals collection operation. The agency’s ability to crack encryption used by the majority of cellphones in the world offers it wide-ranging powers to listen in
Montevideo - Uruguay´s Senate is expected to pass a law on Tuesday making the small South American nation the world´s first to allow its citizens to grow, buy and smoke marijuana. The pioneering government-sponsored bill establishes state regulation of the cultivation, distribution and consumption of marijuana and is aimed at wresting the business from criminals. Cannabis consumers would be allowed to buy a maximum of 40 grams (1.4 ounces) each month from state-regulated pharmacies as long as they are over the age of 18 and registered on a government database that will monitor their monthly purchases.
The political temperature in the Arctic rose on Tuesday when Vladimir Putin vowed to step up Russia´s military presence in the region in response to a claim by Canada to the north pole. In typically trenchant style, Putin told his defence chiefs to concentrate on building up infrastructure and military units in the Arctic. He said the region was again key to Russia´s national and strategic interests, following a retreat in the post-Soviet period. His comments were a direct and rapid riposte to Canada, a rival Arctic power. John Baird, said his government had asked scientists to work on a submission to the UN arguing
The phone call came from a charming woman with a bright, engaging voice to the cell phone of a TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer. She wanted to offer a deal on health insurance, but something was fishy. When Scherer asked point blank if she was a real person, or a computer-operated robot voice, she replied enthusiastically that she was real, with a charming laugh. But then she failed several other tests. When asked “What vegetable is found in tomato soup?” she said she did not understand the question. When asked multiple times what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained repeatedly of a bad connection.
A porn performer who tested positive for HIV in Los Angeles is asking for privacy as the industry tries to determine the scope of the problem. "The performer deserves privacy and dignity at this difficult time, and we ask that our colleagues and the media respect the performer’s wishes for privacy unless he or she wishes to speak," the Free Speech Coalition, a porn industry trade group, said in a statement. The Free Speech Coalition said it was working to identify anyone who had sex with the infected performer. “We take the health of our performers very seriously and felt
In China on Thursday, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. spoke plainly about the role of a free press in a democratic society. “Innovation thrives where people breathe freely, speak freely, are able to challenge orthodoxy, where newspapers can report the truth without fear of consequences,” he said in an address to American businesspeople living and working there. He was speaking against the backdrop of China’s restrictive policies on reporting by foreign news organizations; the Chinese government has so far declined to renew the visas of nearly two dozen reporters from The New York Times and Bloomberg News as a consequence
Jerusalem - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided not to attend a memorial service for Nelson Mandela this week because it is too expensive to travel to South Africa, Israeli media reported on Sunday. Netanyahu had notified the South African authorities that he would fly in but cancelled his plans at the last minute due to the costs involved -- around 7.0 million shekels ($2 million) for his transport and security alone, pubic radio and the Haaretz daily reported. "The decision was made in light of the high transportation costs resulting from the short notice of the trip and the security required for the prime minister
New Orleans - Things traditionally get started a little late down here, an inclination that runs from mealtimes to political races. But with nearly a year to go before the 2014 election, it is already open season on Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana. (Snip) As Democrats look across the rest of the South, the outlook does not get much better. Ms. Landrieu, along with Senators Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Kay Hagan of North Carolina, is pretty much all that is left of Southern Democrats in the Senate. All three are up for re-election next year. And the outcome of their races could determine whether the Southern Democrat,
Even as five regulatory agencies prepared to vote Tuesday on a regulation that seeks to rein in risk-taking on Wall Street — an effort known as the Volcker Rule — lawyers and lobbyists were gearing up for another round of attacks against it. (Snip) The groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are hinting that they could use litigation to either undercut or clarify the rule, which is intended to bar banks from trading for their own gain and limit their ability to invest in hedge funds. The rule, a cornerstone of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and a barometer for the overall strength of the regulatory overhaul, is aimed at
Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreed on a cooperation pact with Iran, despite continuing to resist signing a security agreement with the U.S., Reuters reported. Karzai made the deal with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran Sunday. (Snip) Rouhani said Sunday his country opposes the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan and the region, saying their presence generates tension, the official IRNA news agency reported. IRNA quoted Rouhani as telling Karzai: "We believe that all foreign forces should leave the region and that the security of Afghanistan should be handed over to people of the country."
As thousands of state residents enroll in Washington’s expanded Medicaid program, many will be surprised at fine print: After you’re dead, your estate can be billed for ordinary health-care expenses. The way Prins saw it, that meant health insurance via Medicaid is hardly “free” for Washington residents 55 or older. It’s a loan . . .
Valerie Jarrett, Obama´s Rasputin, unwittingly provided us an answer to the question of why the Obama Presidency is such a man-caused disaster. There are few people who are close to the notoriously insular Barack Obama (a former aide, Neera Tanden, said that "Obama doesn´t call anyone, and he´s not close to almost anyone. It´s stunning that he´s in politics, because he really doesn´t like people") but Valerie Jarrett is among the select few. They have been friends for decades; she introduced Barack to Michelle; she is a constant presence in the White House, and highly unusual for a White House
Sure, he likely didn’t mean anything overtly sexual by it. But Vice President Joe Biden is a folksy kind of guy who has officially entered dirty old man territory and done something sure to elicit laughs within the White House Press Corps. Look how he’s manhandling The Hill‘s White House Correspondent Aime Parnes for this photograph taken at a recent holiday party that she posted on her Facebook page. For most people’s tastes he’s grazing way too close to the vicinity of her abdomen. And watch her reaction. Is it shock, awe, utter disbelief? Whatever the expression, she appeared to
The film industry is in mourning after legendary film actor Peter O´Toole died at the age of 81. The critically acclaimed performer, who was born in County Galway, Ireland, died after being taken to hospital with a long-suffering illness on Friday. He is survived by two daughters - Kate and Patricia - and a son, Lorcan Patrick O´Toole. In a statement released earlier, Kate O’Toole said: ´His family are very appreciative and completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of real love and affection being expressed towards him, and to us, during this unhappy time. Thank you all, from the bottom of
The universe is a hologram and everything you can see - including this article and the device you are reading it on - is a mere projection. This is according to a controversial model proposed in 1997 by theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena. Until now the bizarre theory had never been tested, but recent mathematical models suggest that the mind-boggling principle could be true. According to the theory, gravity in the universe comes from thin, vibrating strings. These strings are holograms of events that take place in a simpler, flatter cosmos. Professor Maldacena´s model suggests that the universe exists in nine
Michelle Obama has once again stepped out in her $6,800 J Mendel jacket, despite fielding a backlash last time she wore the pricey garment. [Snip] But the last time she wore the embellished garment, in July 2012 at a Buckingham Palace reception in London, political commentators took issue with the fact that she had spent so much on fashion while so many in the U.S. are suffering financially. A post on the Gateway Pundit blog remarked that the design ´cost more than the average American family makes in a month ($4,284)´. ´She does this as Americans continue to suffer through a
Lobbyists and the GOP political establishment applauded Speaker John Boehner´s strident attacks against the Tea Party and conservatives as the House prepared to approve the Ryan-Murray budget deal. Boehner hadsaid that conservative groups had "lost all credibility" for opposing a budget deal that increases the national debt. While business groups may get a tingle hearing Boehner´s harsh words, one wonders how alienating the grass roots will help them curtail the next government overreach. “You didn´t hear all the applause across downtown?” Dirk Van Dongen, a top GOP lobbyist with the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) said about Boehner´s remarks. “Folks
Reportage of last week´s Nelson Mandela funeral reveals clearly enough that President Obama has reached the point in his tenure where everything ceases to go right -- when even the most serious and determined efforts deteriorate into a hash, or worse, a joke. This happens to everyone in public life eventually, politicians above all. The original attraction wears thin, flaws appear more prominently, styles and opinions change. There is little the individual can do to avoid this.(snip)The Mandela funeral shows that Obama is deep into this phase of his career, and has landed on his head.
House Speaker John Boehner checked off the final items on his list of year-end legislation Thursday, dismissing lawmakers for a 25-day holiday recess. The House came together in rare bipartisan fashion to pass the budget deal, approve the National Defense Authorization Act, extend farm law through the end of next month and temporarily delay cuts to doctors’ Medicare payments. But left undone was one major piece of legislation: an extension of long-term unemployment benefits. Although the benefits could be extended retroactively, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid acknowledged this week, 1.3 million Americans are set to lose them Dec. 28.
In 2000, shortly after Hillary Clinton was elected to represent New York in the Senate, I was honored when she called seeking my advice.(snip)Hillary is a patriot who loves her country completely. Her deep commitment to public service and progressive causes runs through her veins. At the State Department, she proved to be an outstanding diplomat. She rolled up her sleeves and went to work repairing relationships with heads of state around the world. From the evolving conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq to the turbulent Arab Spring, Hillary was always a steady hand on the foreign policy rudder. Over the years, Hillary and
London – Large tapestry portraits of President Barack Obama were unveiled for guests at the U.S. Embassy in London over the weekend. The recently-installed, large-scale tapestry portraits were created by National Medal of Arts winner and renowned American painter, photographer Chuck Close. Close created the portraits by compiling and interweaving Polaroids of the president from an hour-long photo shoot done the summer before, the Washington Post reports. The portraits are nearly 8 feet tall and more than 6 feet wide, with the final piece looking like photos but feeling like textiles. Close used one photo of Obama smiling and another
Washington -National Security Agency officials are considering a controversial amnesty that would return Edward Snowden to the United States, in exchange for the extensive document trove the whistleblower took from the agency. An amnesty, which does not have the support of the State Department, would represent a surprising denouement to an international drama that has lasted half a year. It is particularly unexpected from a surveillance agency that has spent months insisting that Snowden’s disclosures have caused vast damage to US national security. The NSA official in charge of assessing the alleged damage caused by Snowden’s leaks, Richard Ledgett, told