A newly-released tape recording of actor Jon Pertwee, best known for playing the debonair Time Lord, has revealed his clandestine life as a senior intelligence officer during WWII. He was, for many fans, the greatest Doctor Who of them all. The actor Jon Pertwee, who played the intrepid Time Lord from 1970 to 1974, is fondly remembered for the flamboyance and enthusiasm he gave to the role as well as for his sartorial elegance. Yet what was not known until now is that Pertwee, famous for fighting against the Daleks on TV, was a secret agent during the Second World
A deadline for signing up to Barack Obama´s trouble-hit health insurance reforms without penalties will be postponed by six weeks, the White House has said. Officials confirmed that enrollment requirements were being changed so that consumers could register for health insurance right up to the March 31 deadline. As it stands, some people previously needed to be signed up by February 15 to ensure their insurance cover took effect in time to avoid sanctions. A White House official said that pushing back the sign-up requirement was not related to glitches with Healthcare.gov, but was simply an effort to eliminate a ´disconnect´ over
Germany has summoned the US ambassador in Berlin over claims that the US monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel´s mobile phone. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will meet US envoy John Emerson later in what is seen as an unusual step between close allies. Mrs Merkel has demanded a "complete explanation" of the claims, which are threatening to overshadow an EU summit. [Snip] President Obama told Mrs Merkel the US was not monitoring her calls and would not in future, the White House said. However, it left open the question of whether calls had been listened to in the past.
The rift between America and Saudi Arabia has many causes, ranging from President Obama’s failure to use force in Syria to the impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. But I would suggest that one subject above all lies behind the tension: Iran. When it comes to the ambitions of the Shia theocracy across the waters of the Gulf, Saudi Arabia’s leadership is not exactly a model of cool rationality. King Abdullah summed up its attitude when he advised America to “cut off the head of the snake”, according to a leaked diplomatic cable. As the custodian of the holy mosques
For more than 20 years, there have been one or two medical commentators in newspapers, such as the Telegraph´s great James Le Fanu, who have rejected the cholesterol theory of heart disease. Dr Le Fanu has always maintained that (most) people should stick to the boiled eggs and buttered soldiers for breakfast and avoid margarine as if their lives depended on it. [Snip] The evidence is pretty persuasive. The essence of it is: recent studies have failed to support any significant association between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular risk. Indeed, saturated fat has actually been found to be protective--though it
Most people know that Germans make sturdy cars, speedy trains, fine machine tools, and foaming beer served by unnervingly buxom women in dirndl. What is less well known is that Germany produces rather excellent English-language journalism. Der Speigel’s English edition is a case in point. Precise, lucid and well-informed, it is always highly readable. It also provides a precious insight into the politics and opinions of Europe’s most important nation. That is to say: at a time when it pays to keep an eye on Berlin, it behoves us to read the best German journalists.
Here´s some good news--via Bishop Hill--from America. A Big Oil company--Chevron--is taking legal action against a group of environmentalists for fraud and extortion: aka greenmail. The sums involved are eyewatering: $19 billion. (That´s billion, note, not million). Phelim McAleer has the details: Chevron is suing lawyer Steven Donziger and a number of activist environmental groups in a civil-racketeering suit, claiming that his landmark $19 billion award against the oil company in an Ecuadorean court was the product of a criminal conspiracy. Ironically, much of the company’s evidence comes from footage shot for “Crude,” an award-winning pro-Donziger documentary that premiered with
It´s constantly presented as the country where fracking is both overwhelmingly beneficial and popular, slashing energy prices and bringing prosperity of vast swathes of its territory. But, perhaps surprisingly, opposition to the technique is rising sharply over much of the United States, just as in Europe. Last month Santa Cruz County, in California, banned fracking for oil, fearing contamination of the aquifers on which they depend for water, and thus casting a shadow over plans fully to exploit the vast Monterey Shale, which is thought to contain a staggering 15.4 billion barrels of oil, more than any other shale formation
If you want to understand how relations between the US and Europe work, you need to understand that many continental European politicians of both the Left and Right are committed to a particular self-image, which dictates how they conduct diplomacy and react to world events. This self-image is based on a general theory of international affairs, which is as follows: the United States is an out-of-control vandal and Europeans are the civilised, sophisticated adults trying to curb America’s tendency toward irrationality and overreaction. (Things work differently with the UK, which many Western Europeans regard with contempt for the Brits’ healthy
The heiress to the Wrigley Gum fortune came to the rescue of a US Marine by chartering a private jet to fly two dogs he rescued in Afghanistan to his new home in North Carolina. Staff Sgt Andrew Morales had adopted the two Anatolian shepherds, named Dusty and Wyatt, while deployed in Afghanistan almost three years ago and brought them back to San Diego with him. But recently he was reassigned from his base in southern California to camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Morales called various airlines to book travel for the dogs, but was told that the dogs were too
President Obama’s healthcare website has come under scrutiny and now the programmers who made the site are speaking out about how they expressed concerns before the launch but were ignored by higher-ups. Insider interviews and a review of technical specifications found a mind-numbingly complex system put together by harried programmers who pushed out a final product that congressional investigators said was tested by the government and not private developers with more expertise. [Snip] They were crammed into conference rooms with pizza for dinner, some programmers working past 10pm with energy drinks in hand. Others rewrote computer code over and over
What we find shocking depends largely upon what we are daily exposed to and what we come to experience as normal. In a world in which everything is not only showable but shown, nothing shocks--and where nothing shocks, everything is permissible. So Facebook’s decision to permit, in effect, the universal dissemination of real beheadings to anyone with eyes to look at a screen is a contribution to the brutalisation of the world and ultimately a blow against the freedom of expression to which the company claims to be devoted. For where restraint does not come from within, eventually it must
Could bad coding succeed where Ted Cruz failed? Yesterday, President Obama came out and gave a speech admitting that the website that is crucial to Obamacare has failed disastrously. "The affordable care act is more than just a website", he said. That´s true of Facebook too, but the point is, the whole thing won´t work without the website. [Snip] Essentially, the Obamacare website works on Microsoft Internet Explorer--but has serious conflicts with practically every other browser. With almost 60 percent of Americans choosing something other IE, that´s a serious problem. Even if you are on IE, any interruption in your
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that he is considering running for another term in 2016, when he would be 80 years old. "I´m seriously thinking about maybe giving another opportunity for you to vote for or against me in a few years from now," McCain said on KFYI-AM in Phoenix. "I´m seriously giving that a lot of thought." [1-minute sound bite] Asked by host Barry Young to clarify if he was saying he might run again, McCain said: "That would not be wrong." The New York Times´s Mark Leibovich, who is in Arizona following McCain, first tweeted the news.
On Sunday night, I wrote a short post soliciting stories from my readers about how Obamacare has already immediately impacted their lives. I asked that all of these emails be directed to ObamacareMakesMeSick@Yahoo.com. I expected a response; I didn’t expect it to be quite so overwhelming. Over the last 24 hours, my inbox has been flooded with hundreds of emails. What you’ll read in this post represents a portion of them. I’m only one guy (with a fulltime job and twins) — I wasn’t able to go through every single message just yet. Some, I left out because the information
That was America standing behind President Obama in the Rose Garden this week as he stammered, and droned on and on, trying to explain away the epic disaster that Obamacare has become even before it has begun “About three weeks ago, as the federal government shut down,” he began.Expectant and hopeful, America stood tall on the steps behind him for as long as she could. She was proud and gazed at the nation’s new top health care provider proudly. But as the excuses and mistruths mounted and the barrage of words rolled on and on and on, she could not
A federal judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss a case that could fatally cripple the Obamacare health insurance law. The Affordable Care Act forbids the federal government from enforcing the law in any state that opted out of setting up its own health care exchange, according to a group of small businesses whose lawsuit got a key hearing Monday in federal court. The Obama administration, according to their lawsuit, has ignored that language in the law, enforcing all of its provisions even in states where the federal government is operating the insurance marketplaces on the error-plagued Healthcare.gov website. Thirty-six states chose not to
After a shutdown fight that had Republicans in Congress taking sides against one another, the Senate minority whip put out a plea for unity today in the form of a Fox News op-ed. “In recent weeks, the national media have been obsessed with highlighting divisions and disagreements among Republicans on Capitol Hill. It’s time for GOP lawmakers to remind the American people of what unites us,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) wrote. “Republicans are united in our desire to dismantle President Obama’s health care law and replace it with patient-centered alternatives that reduce costs, expand quality insurance coverage, and improve access to
On Wednesday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) revealed that he was working on a bill to delay the Obamacare individual mandate. He said in late September that he would support efforts to delay the individual mandate, but this is the first time that Manchin has signified that he will lead a legislative effort toward such a delay. Manchin’s spokesperson, Jonathan Kott, said Manchin will not back Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) proposal for an indefinite delay to work out insurance exchange glitches, but that he would instead work on a bill “to delay the pena
Juan Williams has a clear grip on responsibility for the failure of a program that got passed in Congress with no Republican votes, and implemented with no Republican management in a Democratic administration. Williams claims that the White House would have delayed the rollout of ObamaCare’s exchanges except for the opposition of the GOP to the program as a whole. As a result, Williams argues, Barack Obama and Kathleen Sebelius had no choice but to lie about the exchanges and let it unfold. Come on — you knew the media would eventually get around to this argument. You just didn’t
A top Senate Democrat said that a leading House Republican told President Obama that they could not ´even stand to look at you´ during negotiations over the government shutdown. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in a Facebook post that the alleged confrontation happened during a meeting between Republicans and the president. "Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn´t try hard enough to communicate with Republicans," Durbin said. "But in a ´negotiation´ meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: ´I cannot even stand to
President Barack Obama didn´t know of problems with the Affordable Care Act´s website -- despite insurance companies´ complaints and the site´s crashing during a test run -- until after its now well-documented abysmal launch, the nation´s health chief told CNN on Tuesday. In an exclusive interview with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, CNN´s Dr. Sanjay Gupta asked when the President first learned about the considerable issues with the Obamacare website. Sebelius responded that it was in "the first couple of days" after the site went live October 1. "But not before that?" Gupta followed up. To which Sebelius replied,
Healthcare insurance executives were received at the White House today — but not to confront President Obama about the flub-ridden exchange launched on Oct. 1. Instead, the CEOs of Aetna, Humana, CareFirst, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Health Net, Inc., Health Care Services Corporation, Independence Blue Cross, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Molina Healthcare, Centene Corp., Tufts Health Plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Wellpoint and Kaiser Permanente got to meet with Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Meanwhile, on the Hill, Pelosi brushed off the tech implosion as something they just have to be able to fix because she doesn’t want to
Representative Alan Grayson (D., Fla.) is standing by his campaign’s use of a burning cross in a fundraising e-mail to illustrate a comparision between the Tea Party and the Klu Klux Klan. “If the shoe fits, wear it,” he said in a written statement. “Tea Party members have circulated countless altered pictures depicting President Obama and the First Lady as monkeys. Tea Party members also called my fellow Member of Congress, civil rights hero John Lewis, a ‘n***ger,’ and Rep. Barney Frank a ‘faggot,’” Grayson said. “One could go on and on, because there is overwhelming evidence that the Tea Party
Fresh from presenting a “liberty medal” to Hillary Clinton on the anniversary of the Benghazi massacre, GOP establishment pillar Jeb Bush dropped in on ABC News over the weekend to bash Ted Cruz and the conservative campaign to stop Obamacare. (Memo to self: Maybe if conservatives called it the campaign to “abort” Obamacare, Beltway Republicans would be less confrontational.) As if the last 40 years of American history, including the presidential administrations of his father and brother, had never happened, Bush urged that Republicans must: [W]ith civility, have a dialogue about the bigger, more pressing issues, and try to find common ground.