TIMBUKTU, Mali - One of the last things the bearded fighters did before leaving this city was to drive to the market where traders lay their carpets out in the sand. The al-Qaida extremists bypassed the brightly-colored, high-end synthetic floor coverings and stopped their pickup truck in front of a man selling more modest mats woven from desert grass, priced at $1.40 apiece. There they bought two bales of 25 mats each, and asked him to bundle them on top of the car, along with a stack of sticks.
Comments: Tip #1: Renounce Islam Tip #2: See tip #1
I know everyone has a right to report everything and I support that, but I really wish that things we find like this that will help us combat the murderous freaks would be kept secret by someone so that the freaks don´t know what we know and adapt before we do justice to them.
LONGMONT — Cleanup of the former production facility contaminated and abandoned by bankrupt Abound Solar Inc. is estimated to cost as much as $3.7 million, according to documents obtained by the Business Report. As lawyers, regulators, bankruptcy officials and the landlord spar over the case, the building lies in disrepair, too contaminated to lease. (snip) The company had borrowed almost $70 million on a $400 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy. Taxpayers are expected to lose $40 million to $60 million as a result of its bankruptcy.
Cannabis is reportedly legal in North Korea as Kim Jong-un does not consider it to be a drug and grocery bags full of it can be bought in markets. Writer Darmon Richter said he purchased a plastic bag full of weed in an indoor market in North Korea and smoked it in outdoor parks, restaurants and bars. Richter´s minder told him that marijuana was legal in North Korea and that he smoked the drug himself. The writer took several pictures of his purchase showing the drug in a bag, and rolled joints inside a restaurant. Posting on his blog, he wrote: "So as
A U.S. decision to curtail military and economic aid to Egypt to promote democracy may ultimately backfire, pushing Cairo to seek assistance elsewhere and giving Washington less leverage to stabilize a country in the heart of the Middle East. Washington faces a dilemma in dealing with its major regional ally: Egypt controls the Suez Canal and has a peace treaty with neighboring Israel but its army overthrew the first freely elected president, Islamist Mohamed Mursi, in July. The United States said on Wednesday it would withhold deliveries of tanks, fighter aircraft, helicopters and missiles to Cairo as well as $260 million in
A report finds the U.S. government´s aggressive prosecution of leaks and efforts to control information are having a chilling effect on journalists and government whistle-blowers. The Committee to Protect Journalists released its first examination of U.S. press freedoms Thursday, focusing on changes under the Obama administration. Leonard Downie Jr., a former executive editor of The Washington Post, wrote the 30-page analysis entitled "The Obama Administration and the Press." Downie interviewed reporters and editors who described a chilling effect in which "government officials are increasingly afraid to talk to the press." Those suspected of discussing classified information are subject to investigation, lie-detector tests and
If you´re trying to access your Obamacare account on Healthcare.gov, you may be told your password needs to be reset. "All passwords were deleted for existing accounts as part of the upgrade process," a call center representative told CNN´s Elizabeth Cohen. The representative said users experiencing issues must call in to reset their password; it cannot be done online. Representatives can be reached at 1-800-318-2596. CNN is working to determine the scope of the password issue and has reached out to federal Health and Human Services officials. The federal site for the Affordable Care Act has been plagued by technical glitches since it launched
Rep. Michele Bachmann said Thursday the new health care law should be an optional program for people who want it. Mrs. Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, is an ardent opponent of President Obama’s signature health law, known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. House Republicans demanded a delay to key provisions of the law as part of any short-term spending deal, but Democrats held firm, and the parties now are reeling from a government shutdown and an encroaching limit on the nation’s borrowing authority. Online insurance markets tied to the health care law have been plagued by technical glitches, adding fuel to critiques from
With the partial shutdown of the federal government dragging on, first lady Michelle Obama has canceled a fundraising trip to California that was scheduled for this weekend, Democratic Party officials said Tuesday.(snip)Democratic insiders said there was queasiness at the prospect of the first lady raising millions from wealthy donors and campaigning for Democratic causes while thousands of federal employees are furloughed because of the partial government shutdown.
The Internal Revenue Services is the target of a federal lawsuit filed today by the Indiana attorney general on behalf of the state and 15 school corporations. The lawsuit challenges a new IRS regulation, according to a release from the AG’s office, “that imposes the costly ‘employer mandate’ requirements of the Affordable Care Act onto state and local governments.” The state and school corporations are seeking “declaratory judgments and injunctions that would prevent the IRS from financially penalizing the State and its political subdivisions,” the release said. “This case is about the fundamental relationship between the state and federal government. We respect the
WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday intensified his pressure on Republicans with a hastily scheduled news conference, calling on them to both fund and reopen the government and to raise the nation’s borrowing limit as the federal shutdown entered a second week. “Let’s lift these threats from our families and our businesses, and let’s get down to work,” Mr. Obama said in the White House briefing room before taking questions from reporters. Mr. Obama said that he was holding firm that he could not negotiate concessions to the Republican-led House for it to perform Congress’s constitutional responsibilities. “I am happy
Over the weekend, the FBI took its Amber Alert missing child website offline, blaming the shutdown. At the same time, First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” web site stayed up and running. Amber Alert is back online today, after the closure of the site generated negative publicity. So it seems that Lord Obama can pick and choose what is and isn’t getting shut down. And it seems that he is in fact picking and choosing what gets shut down, in real time. He chose to close memorials and parks, including Mount Rushmore, and Obama chose to kick a pair of senior citizens
The website dedicated to helping find kidnapped children has been turned off during the government shutdown but the First Lady´s healthy living initiative has not received the same treatment. Amber Alerts advertise national and local cases where children have been abducted, and since it is not considered an essential service like national defense, it has not been funded during the shutdown. One website that apparently is too important to unplug? First Lady Michelle Obama´s ´Let´s Move´ campaign, as that is one of the few government websites still operational. Agency websites like the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for
Investors will be keeping a sharp eye on the markets Thursday after President Obama´s comments about Wall Street. Told by a CNBC interview that Wall Street is "pretty calm" about the government shutdown and political infighting, Obama said: "I think this time is different — I think they should be concerned. Obama cited concern about possible Republican objections to an increase in the debt ceiling, leading to a government default. While it´s "not unusual for Democrats and Republicans to disagree," Obama also said that "when you have a situation in which a faction is willing potentially to default on U.S. government obligations, then
WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama is not an overtly religious man. He and his family rarely attend church, and he almost never elaborates in public about his own relationship to his Christian faith. But away from the public eye, advisers say, the president has carefully nurtured a sense of spirituality that has served as a grounding mechanism during turbulent times, when the obstacles to governing a deeply divided nation seem nearly insurmountable. Every year on Aug. 4, the president´s birthday, Obama convenes a group of pastors by phone to receive their prayers for him for the year to come. During the
The Affordable Care Act´s botched rollout has stunned its media cheering section, and it even seems to have surprised the law´s architects. The problems run much deeper than even critics expected, and whatever federal officials, White House aides and outside contractors are doing to fix them isn´t working. But who knows? Omerta is the word of the day as the Obama Administration withholds information from the public. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is even refusing to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in a hearing this coming Thursday. HHS claims she has scheduling conflicts, but we hope
An unnamed Obama administration official claimed that the White House feared GOP subpoenas would slow their work on the Obamacare website, leading to keeping its design in-house with "trusted campaign tech experts" that seemed to have spectacularly failed at creating a successful commerce website. In a Politico article lamenting the second week of failed performance of Healthcare.gov, the Obamacare insurance website, the unnamed official attempts to explain why the whole thing has been such a dismal failure: it´s the Republican´s fault. "Facing such intense opposition from congressional Republicans," Politico wrote, "the administration was in a bunker mentality as it built the enrollment
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he might not be good at calculus, but he knows how to legislate. Reid told The Huffington Post that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is smart, but he can’t outmaneuver the 26-year veteran in the halls of Congress. “He might be able to work a calculus problem better than I can,” Reid said Thursday. “But he can´t legislate better than I can." Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are credited with brokering the deal that ended the government shutdown. Reid said the House’s decision to go along with a deal to end
Of all the bitter fruit of the Barack Obama disaster, the most bitter may be the sense of hopelessness that has descended on Americans, especially the young. Has there ever been anything like it in our history? Even on the eve of the Civil War, was there this much pessimism about our future? Gallup wasn’t around in those days, but I wonder. For a simple measure of how the Obama administration has crushed any sense of hopefulness in the American people, take a look at the survey that Rasmussen Reports does periodically on whether America’s best days are behind her,
This is not the column about the Obamacare rollout I expected to write. If you had told me, months ago, that weeks after the health care law’s coverage expansion went into effect I would be writing about the problems its launch had exposed, I would have assumed I’d be writing about rate shock, rising premiums and the disappearance of many cheap insurance plans — basically, all the problems conservatives have worried will make Obamacare a ruinously expensive failure if they play out as we fear they might. I may be writing about those issues soon enough. But for now there
Here’s a question for conservatives and Republicans: Going into the 2012 Election Day, or even in the last few days before Election Day, did you think Mitt Romney was going to win? A couple of months ago, did you think the strategy of threatening to shut down the government or prevent raising the debt ceiling, to force the outright repeal or defunding of Obamacare, would really work? Romney lost by 4,967,508 votes, 126 Electoral College votes, and 3.85 percentage points. That’s not very close. Obamacare isn’t going to be repealed this year, and it’s not going to be defunded. So the
The British multinational in charge of processing Obamacare paper applications received a hefty contract boost just days before Healthcare.gov’s disastrous roll-out, a sign that the Obama administration may have expected serious problems with the website.The Business of Federal Technology (FCW) reports that on Sept. 26, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) increased their planned payout to Serco’s U.S. subsidiary by 75 percent, adding an extra $87 million to the $114 million promised for processing initial Obamacare enrollment applications.The contract documents do not explain the last-minute infusion of federal dollars, and neither Serco nor CMS would disclose why the
In a statement delivered from the White House this morning, President Barack Obama said that now that Congress has enacted a continuing resolution to fund the government--that includes funding to implement Obamacare--he would like to negotiate with the House with the aim of enacting the immigration bill passed by the Senate earlier this year. The key provision in that Senate bill would allow illegal aliens currently in the United States to become legal residents here and get on a "path to citizenship." Critics of the "path to citizenship" call it an "amnesty" because it lets foreign nationals breaking U.S. law--including U.S. immigration
Watch out, Alan Grayson: you´ve got competition when it comes to uttering the ugliest slur on Tea Party Republicans . . . Sure, you´ve compared them to the Klan. But fellow Dem Steve Cohen has upped the ante. On Steve Kornacki´s MSNBC show this morning, Cohen called Tea Party congressmen: "domestic enemies" that he took an oath to defend the country against. Did Kornacki challenge Cohen´s libel? Hah! He merely observed that Cohen sounded "very pessimistic." View the video after the jump.Was Cohen´s calumny what President Obama had in mind when this past week he proclaimed that "there is no
South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy doesn’t think the GOP’s “defund Obamacare” strategy turned out to be such a smart plan. “What did Republicans get for 16 days of a government shutdown with people being hurt? We have absolutely nothing to show for it, other than a damaged brand,” the tea party favorite told The Greenville News, noting that Republicans were ultimately forced to capitulate to the president. Gowdy said that the GOP ended up worse off after the 16-day shutdown than the party had been beforehand. “We had a government shutdown, we were at the precipice of hitting the debt ceiling and
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton formally endorsed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on Saturday, signifying her first high-profile public foray into elective politics since leaving her post earlier this year. Mrs. Clinton helped fire up an overflow crowd of an estimated 800 people at the State Theater in Falls Church there to support Mr. McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee Chairman and prolific fundraiser who was a rainmaker for President Clinton during the 1990s.