Washington — Sen. Robert Menendez´s office says he traveled on a plane owned by a Florida physician who is a friend and political donor, but denied that the senator had engaged with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. The New Jersey Democrat´s office issued the denial Wednesday. It said he traveled on three occasions on Dr. Salomon Melgen´s airplane. The FBI searched Melgen´s West Palm Beach, Fla., office Tuesday night and early Wednesday, but it was unclear if the raid was related to Menendez. Menendez´s office said the trips were "paid for and reported appropriately."
Despite the pumped-up threats and quickening military preparations, President Obama has yet to make a convincing legal or strategic case for military action against Syria. While there should be some kind of international response to the chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of civilians last week, Mr. Obama has yet to spell out how that response would effectively deter further use of chemical weapons. For starters, where is the proof that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria carried out the attack? American, British, French and Turkish officials have been unequivocal in blaming
The Obama administration’s plan to launch a military strike against Syria is being received with serious reservations by many in the U.S. military, which is coping with the scars of two lengthy wars and a rapidly contracting budget, according to current and former officers. Having assumed for months that the United States was unlikely to intervene militarily in Syria, the Defense Department has been thrust onto a war footing that has made many in the armed services uneasy, according to interviews with more than a dozen military officers ranging from captains to a four-star general.
The financial crisis engulfing the eurozone has driven tens of thousands more migrants into Britain. The numbers arriving from countries worst-hit by the continent’s recession - such as Spain, Greece and Portugal - have leapt by as much as 50 per cent, official figures show. The surge from southern Europe is a blow to ministers, whose efforts to cut migration have stalled. David Cameron had pledged to reduce net migration – the number of new arrivals minus those leaving – to ‘tens of thousands’ by the next election. However, latest figures suggest that while the Government is cutting the number
David Cameron’s authority in Parliament and on the world stage was dealt an unprecedented blow last night as he faced a breathtaking Commons defeat over plans for missile strikes on Syria. In an extraordinary assault on the Prime Minister’s authority, 50 coalition MPs joined Labour in voting against a watered-down Government motion supporting the ‘principle’ of military action. There were shouts of ‘resign’ from the Labour benches as the result – 285 votes to 272 – was announced to a shocked House of Commons. The last time a Prime Minister was defeated over an issue of war and peace was
Barack Obama’s foreign policy dream — cordial relations with a Middle East tranquilized by “smart diplomacy” — is in a death grapple with reality. His rhetorical writhings illustrate the perils of loquacity. He has a glutton’s, rather than a gourmet’s, appetite for his own rhetorical cuisine, and he has talked America to the precipice of a fourth military intervention in the crescent that extends from Libya to Afghanistan. Characterizing the 2011 Libyan project with weirdly passive syntax (“It is our military that is being volunteered by others to carry out missions”), he explained his sashay into Libya’s civil war as
Refusing to be drawn into a public screaming match with Syria and Iran, Israel´s leaders on Thursday ignored apocalyptic threats and repeated the mantra voiced continually since Sunday: Israel is not involved in the Syrian crisis but will respond fiercely if attacked. Prior to holding another round of security consultations in Tel Aviv about the situation in Syria, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on camera and in his own voice what his office has been saying in his name throughout the week. "At present there is no need to change daily routines," he said. "Despite the low assessment regarding Israel´s
The speaker of the House wants to know what the legal justification for war with Syria is. And more than a quarter of the House says President Barack Obama can’t launch an attack on Syria alone. But the president has yet to give them, or the public, a response. White House spokesman Josh Earnest repeatedly declined Thursday to give a legal justification for an attack on Syria, something that the United Kingdom has already detailed, or give an explanation on how the president can act on his own without Congressional authorization. That will come if and when the president decides
A bipartisan group of senators said Thursday that President Barack Obama and the State Department should not again delay a decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Reports earlier this week noted that construction might not be authorized until an inspector general’s report is completed in 2014. Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., John Thune, R-S.D., Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., said in a joint statement that further delay would be unjustified and would prevent jobs from being created in their states. “This marks the fourth delay of the Keystone XL project since 2011, when the State Department issued
More than 100 lawmakers, including 21 Democrats, have signed a letter that says President Obama would violate the Constitution by striking Syria without first getting authorization from Congress. A total of 140 lawmakers had signed the letter as of Thursday, highlighting bipartisan interest and growing momentum in ensuring a role for Congress in any decision to use force in Syria. The letter has yet to be sent to the White House. “Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers
The Obama administration views Israel as one of the top spying threats facing its intelligence services, leaked documents reveal. A secret budget request obtained by The Washington Post from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden lumps Israel alongside U.S. foes Iran and Cuba as “key targets” for U.S. counterintelligence efforts. The document suggests Israel does not believe U.S. assurances that its interests are aligned with Israel´s on crucial issues such as Iran and peace talks with the Palestinians. (Snip)“In addition, we are investing in target surveillance and offensive CI [counterintelligence] against key targets, such as China, Russia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and
DEVELOPING ... British lawmakers on Thursday rejected a measure that would have given preliminary approval to military intervention in Syria, in a major setback for both British Prime Minister David Cameron and the Obama administration. ORIGINAL STORY ... President Obama and his top advisers were taking their case for intervention in Syria to Congress Thursday afternoon, holding a series of briefings as lawmakers increasingly voiced skepticism toward any military strike. The president on Thursday afternoon personally briefed House Speaker John Boehner, who a day earlier wrote to the president urging him to provide a "clear, unambiguous explanation"
Cairo - Workers in blue overalls scramble over scaffolding around Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, whitewashing its charred walls to restore an appearance of normalcy to the corner of Cairo where the struggle for Egypt reached a bloody climax this month. After a stunning reversal in which the army seized upon a tide of public discontent to overthrow freely elected President Mohamed Morsi, the powerful state apparatus appears to have all but neutralized the Muslim Brotherhood to which he belongs. Not only that. Even as the army-backed government promises to shepherd Egypt towards democracy, its plans for a new political transition allude
GWEN IFILL: Hello, Mr. President. Thank you so much for joining us. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Really appreciate it. Thank you. ARTICLE TOOLS Print Email Share JUDY WOODRUFF: And welcome to the NewsHour. (snip)PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, first of all, I’ve not made a decision. I have gotten options from our military, had extensive discussions with my national security team. So let me talk about what’s at stake here. I think we all understand terrible things have been happening in Syria for quite some time, that the Assad regime there has been killing its own people by the tens of thousands, that
Fast-food workers in 50 U.S. cities plan to walk off the job today in an attempt to ratchet up pressure on McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) and Wendy’s Co. to raise wages. Protests that began in New York last year are spreading to cities including Boston, Chicago, Denver, San Diego and Indianapolis, according to the Service Employees International Union, which is advising the strikers. About 200 workers showed up at the two-story Rock N Roll McDonald’s store in Chicago’s River North neighborhood this morning chanting: “Hey hey, ho ho, poverty wages gotta go!” The non-union workers are demanding the right to organize
If you crave small town life the way that Norman Rockwell imagined, then pack up and head for these unassuming idylls scattered across the country. A list of the top ten best small towns in America has been compiled by analyzing the size of population, income, crime levels, house prices and number of parks and gardens. The perfect spots are dotted from coast to coast, reaching from the Pacific Northwest to the Rockie Mountains, the Heartland and up the Atlantic Coast. The town of Sharon Massachusetts comes in first place, according to a survey by CNNMoney. Number One: SHARON, MASSACHUSSETS
After recently growing out her much buzzed-about bangs, Michelle Obama has debuted a new hair update: caramel colored highlights. The First Lady showed off her brand new look yesterday while speaking at a film screening in Washington, DC. The new face-framing ´do is significantly less drastic and more flattering than the blunt bangs she had cut in January, which she admitted were ´irritating´ after a while.Placed mostly around the edges of her face, the highlights are subtle and warm, in a soft honey color. Reactions to the style have been mostly positive,
The Founders bequeathed Americans a method to bypass the federal government and amend the Constitution, empowering two thirds of the states to call an Amendments Convention. In the wake of Mark Levin´s bestselling book, The Liberty Amendments, proposing just such a convention, entirely unnecessary alarms have been raised by even some of the leading lights of conservatism, based on an incomplete reading of history and judicial case law. Phyllis Schlafly is a great American and a great leader, but her speculations about the nature of the Constitution´s"convention for proposing amendments" are nearly as quaint as Dante´s speculations about the solar system.
Barack Obama´s speech on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington was classic Obama: beautifully delivered, moving, deceptive, divisive, frustrating. And, of course, it was far more about Barack Obama than it was Martin Luther King Jr. It started with a history lesson, a reminder of the significance of that bright shining moment in 1963--when thousands of ordinary Americans, "assembled here in our nation´s capital under the shadow of the great emancipator to offer testimony of injustice, to petition their government for redress, and to awaken America´s long slumbering conscience." For all Americans--left and right--that´s the kernel of what
These football players scored a touchdown without setting foot on the field. Four members of the William Paterson University football team in New Jersey each scored $50 gift cards after surveillance cameras captured them at a Wayne store paying for batteries and sunglasses, even though no employees were around. Buddy´s Small Lots was actually closed Sunday night. But the lock malfunctioned and the lights were on, making it appear as though it was open. Buddy´s management got a call from police that there had been a break-in, but upon arrival, nothing was missing from the store, News 12 New Jersey
Kim Jong-un´s ex-girlfriend was among a dozen well-known North Korean performers who were executed by firing squad nine days ago, according to South Korean reports. The reports in South Korea´s Chosun Ilbo newspaper indicate that Hyon, a singer with the Unhasu Orchestra, was among those arrested on August 17 for violating domestic laws on pornography. All 12 were machine-gunned three days later,
Oprah. Oscar. Oscar. Oprah. Yes, it might be a bit early to riff on David Letterman´s ill-fated, Uma-Oprah 1995 Academy Awards monologue bit. Then again, with Winfrey´s movie "Lee Daniels´ The Butler" sitting atop the box office for a second week with a 10-day take of $52 million, and Winfrey herself earning solid critical praise for her first acting turn since 1998´s "Beloved," the conversation has already started, like it or not. And, given the brand name in question, that debate will be spirited, intense and, to some extent, managed by Winfrey herself, as she has the built-in advantage of
A lawyer for Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning said in a blog post on Thursday the soldier is doing well as she goes through processing at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth. David Coombs wrote that he spoke on Wednesday with Manning, previously known as Bradley Manning, while she goes through the three-to-four-week period known as indoctrination at the Kansas prison. Coombs, who lives in Rhode Island, also said he plans to travel there in the coming weeks to meet with medical staff and the leadership in the quest to allow Manning to receive hormone therapy and other treatment for her gender
The sequel rarely lives up to the original, and those commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington never had a chance. “It won’t be as good as the speech 50 years ago,” President Obama told an interviewer. Obama fulfilled his prediction. His 29-minute address, 12 minutes longer than King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, was at times moving, but — inevitably — unremarkable compared with the legendary oratory he was memorializing. The first African American president, who had just turned 2 when King gave his iconic speech, is a fulfillment of King’s dream, and many
Christians should be ‘repentant’ about the Church’s past treatment of gay and lesbian people, the Archbishop of Canterbury said last night. The Most Rev. Justin Welby told a group of traditional evangelical Christians that the Church’s historic support of homophobia was ‘utterly and totally wrong’. (Snip) The Archbishop insisted he did not regret voting against gay marriage legislation, but acknowledged that such views were seen by many as akin ‘to racism and other forms of gross and atrocious injustice’. The Marriage Act received royal assent in July and gay couples in England and Wales will be able to wed from