Anyone who remembers the halcyon dreams of the 1990s, of civil society spreading the world over, heralding a new peaceful, global millennium, must marvel at the path the young 21st century has taken. Even those who paid attention to global Jihad before the millennium could not imagine how vulnerable the West would prove in the coming, wildly asymmetrical war. Those who, over the course of the last 13 years, have awakened to the ever-growing danger of Islamism and to the astonishing inability of decent people--Muslims and non-Muslims--to effectively oppose its aggressions, owe themselves a brief lesson in cognitive warfare, and
Tonight, a woman who supported the imprisonment of Soviet political dissidents (calling them common criminals), cheered on the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize (formerly the International Stalin Peace Prize) by communist East Germany, will give the Birkbeck-University of London Annual Law Lecture. Her title? ‘Freedom is a Constant Struggle.’ She is the American Angela Davis, former self-styled "political prisoner", tried and acquitted of suspected involvement in the abduction and murder of Judge Harold Haley in Marin County California in 1970, unrepentant Communist Party member until its collapse in 1991, the US Communist
EU leaders meeting in Brussels say distrust of the US over spying could harm the fight against terrorism. A statement agreed by the leaders says that "a lack of trust could prejudice" intelligence-gathering co-operation. France and Germany are pushing for talks with the US to find a new "understanding" by the year´s end. A number of allegations against US intelligence agents have surfaced this week, including the bugging of German Chancellor Angela Merkel´s phone. In addition there have been claims that the US National Security Agency (NSA) monitored millions of French telephone calls. On Thursday, the UK´s Guardian newspaper also
Hat-tip to our Energy Correspondent Emily Gosden for this Department of Energy & Climate Change infographic. It was deleted from Gov.uk this week "because of sensitivities", according to a DECC press officer. "Hmmm," says Emily. Quite. It turns out that the Renewable Energy Association called it "unhelpful" in a press release, pleading that "as Ed Davey stressed… it is not an either/or choice". What´s going on at DECC? I´d hate to start a conspiracy, but did the infographic come from the Tory Energy Minister Michael Fallon´s people? Was it squashed by the Lib Dem Energy Secretary, Ed Davey?
When the dust has settled on the media frenzy over allegations that America´s National Security Agency NSA) succeeded in bugging the mobile phones of 35 world leaders, surely the agency should given an award for undertaking one of the most remarkable feats of intelligence-gathering of modern times, rather than subjected to universal condemnation. The first duty of any intelligence organisation is to acquire information that will help to defend both its national interests and to protect it against enemy attack, whether it takes the form of industrial espionage or a more physical manifestation, such as a terrorist attack. This is
A robber was spotted breaking into a car belonging to one of John Kerry´s bodyguards, which was parked at the Secretary of State´s Georgetown home last night. In a major security breach for Mr Kerry, a white male was said to have broken into a detached garage on the property at about 10pm before gaining access to the car. Mr Kerry was on official business in Rome at the time, but the break in is sure to be an embarrassment for the team of bodyguards tasked with keeping outsiders at a safe distance. A source told Fox 5 that the
European leaders united in anger today as they attended a European Union summit overshadowed by reports of widespread US spying on its allies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the allegations had shattered trust in President Barack Obama’s administration and undermined the crucial trans-Atlantic relationship. Claims that the US National Security Agency swept up more than 70million phone records in France and may have tapped Mrs Merkel´s own mobile brought criticism from the French and Germans. Mrs Merkel´s stern remarks at the EU gathering indicated she was not placated by talks yesterday with President Obama, or his personal assurances that the
A team at the University of Cambridge has found the first proof that mutated DNA does indeed slow metabolism. The researchers say fewer than one in 100 people are affected and are often severely obese by early childhood. The findings, published in the journal Cell, may lead to new obesity treatments even for people without the mutation. Scientists at the Institute of Metabolic Science, in Cambridge, knew that mice born without a section of DNA, a gene called KSR2, gained weight more easily. But they did not know what affect it may be having in people, so they analysed the DNA of 2,101
The unique beer ice cream, called Frozen Pints, comes in seven different flavours and the strongest tub has a alcohol level of 3.2 percent. Peach Lambic is the weakest at 1 percent, while Pumpkin Ale at 3.2 percent is the strongest ice cream on offer. Each special portion of ice cream comes in a 454ml tub and costs £4.33. Ari Fleischer, founder of Frozen Pints from New York, said how the quirky concept actually started by accident. The 29-year-old said: "We were having a party and a friend brought over an ice cream maker to make homemade ice cream.
The National Security Agency has monitored the phone conversations of at least 35 world leaders after being given their numbers by an official in another government department, according to a classified document leaked by whistle-blower Edward Snowden. The confidential memo reveals that senior officials in ´customer´ departments such the White House and the Pentagon were encouraged to share their ‘Rolodexes’ of contact details with the NSA. The agency then added the phone numbers of the foreign politicians to their surveillance systems and started to monitor them. According to the leaked document handed over to The Guardian, one unnamed official handed over 200
Patients could be at risk in one in four hospitals, alarming new NHS ratings reveal today. Health inspectors have raised fears about high death rates, long waits for A&E, cancer treatment, botched operations and patients struggling to even find staff. Urgent inspections will be made of the worst NHS trusts, with officials admitting that at some patients ‘might not be receiving safe, effective, high quality care’. New rankings from the Care Quality Commission reveal 44 hospitals are put in the two lowest bands, with warnings that they are at ‘raised risk of poor performance’. Using ‘intelligent monitoring’ the CQC has
The White House admitted Thursday that it was the source of a phony quote attributed to a top House Republican, who had allegedly told President Obama during a tense Oct. 10 meeting that ´I cannot even stand to look at you.´ Sen. Dick Durbin, the Senate Majority Whip, claimed in a Facebook post on Sunday that an unnamed GOP lawmaker had delivered the verbal slap in Obama´s face, but everyone involved with the story now says it never happened. Eighteen Republicans from Congress attended that meeting with the president during a 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government, with the
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius bragged in July on her agency´s health care blog that ´we´re on track with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. It´s signed, sealed, and it´s delivering--on time. Eleven weeks later, Sebelius and the rest of the Obamacare rollout team came under fire when its flagship website crashed, flubbed and gaffed its way into the historical annals of failed launches. HHS published an infographic and a video on July 15, boasting that a series of benchmarks were reached on the way to what was hoped to be a seamless implementation of the Affordable
Does President Obama belong on the same list as John Kennedy and Bill Clinton when it comes to presidents who are sex symbols? That’s what Entertainment Tonight reporter Rocsi Diaz thinks. First Lady Michelle Obama chuckled and smiled as Diaz asked her what it’s like to be married to someone who’s seen by many women as a “sex symbol,” in an interview that aired Tuesday evening. “He’s got a little swag, you know, that’s okay,” the first lady said. “I’m proud of him. He’s a stylish man who is healthy and he’s smart and he’s passionate and he’s inspiring. And
Sen. John McCain’s daughter says that her father is “depressed” and “frustrated” with the impact the “hyper-conservative wing of the party” is having on national politics, including on the recent government shutdown. “We’re both frustrated with the idea that only the hyper-conservative wing of the party is going to represent the masses,” Meghan McCain said in a joint interview with ABC and Yahoo News. Ms. McCain, who has her own reality show “Raising McCain,” said the last time she can remember her father was so depressed about the state of politics was after his failed 2008 presidential bid. “He is
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
Senate majority leader Harry Reid says that "Everybody" is "willing to pay more" taxes. He said so in an interview with a Nevada Public Radio host. “The only people who feel there shouldn’t be more coming in to the federal government from the rich people are the Republicans in the Congress,” Reid told the radio host, according to Roll Call. “Everybody else, including the rich people, are willing to pay more. They want to pay more.” Reid rebuked the Nevada Public Radio host when he was asked what Republicans would have to concede to get Medicare and Social Security cuts
More than 700 websites have been created with names playing off of Obamacare or Healthcare.gov, making it likely that some Americans will mistakenly hand over private information to unknown third-parties. For instance, there is a website — www.obama-care.us — that brands itself as part of the "Obamacare enrollment team," directs people to an "Obamacare enrollment form" and asks users for their name, address, Social Security number and other contact information. According to a counter at the bottom of the page, more than 3,000 people have visited obama-care.us.
It took a tea-party insurrection that disabled the federal government and wrecked the Republican brand, but after months of handwringing, establishment Republicans are preparing to attack ultraconservative ideologues across red America. (Snip) "Hopefully we´ll go into eight to 10 races and beat the snot out of them," said former Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio, whose new political group, Defending Main Street, aims to raise $8 million to fend off tea-party challenges against more mainstream Republican incumbents. "We´re going to be very aggressive and we´re going to get in their faces." The caterwauling over the GOP brand ramped up after President Obama´s
The Healthcare.gov debacle has been thoroughly dissected so far by America´s best health journalists and policy analysts. To be sure, every major rollout of a new or changed social policy, including Medicare itself, is rough and takes weeks or months to resolve. (Snip) It is the larger failure of public administration that has been endemic in the Obama White House, and is probably the president´s most significant weakness. The first clues to this problem came during the transition in 2008. George W. Bush and his chief of staff, Josh Bolten, offered exemplary assistance to the incoming Obama team—but many of the
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
We´re hearing for the first time from a security officer who witnessed the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year. U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack on the mission and a nearby annex. In an interview for "60 Minutes," correspondent Lara Logan spoke with a British citizen, who had been hired to train the Libyan guards at the U.S. mission. He calls himself Morgan Jones, a pseudonym to protect his safety.Jones says he was annoyed that the State Department wouldn´t allow his guards to carry guns. As the
Marines are decrying a new look President Obama has planned for their uniforms — namely, a unisex-style cap that they say looks more French than American, more “girly” than hard-charging. “We don’t even have enough funding to buy bullets and the DoD [Department of Defense] is pushing to spend $8 million on covers that look like women’s hats,” one senior Marine said to The New York Post. “The Marines deserve better. It makes them look ridiculous.” One estimate is that the new hats could cost about $8 million. The hats are thinner and smaller, aimed at looking equally good on females as well
On the top of Thursday´s broadcast of his radio show, Sean Hannity revealed Erling Davis, the Obamacare operator he called early in his Monday show, got fired. Hannity quizzed her on how well the law is being received by applicants and she revealed no one liked it. Hannity had Davis on his show today and revealed he will give her a year´s salary of $26,000 and help her find a new job.
If House lawmakers wanted a clear admission of guilt during today’s testimony from four government contractors behind the botched healthcare.gov launch, they must have been sorely disappointed. Instead, the committee hearing offered a daisy chain of blame and interconnected responsibilities—a reflection of just how convoluted the massive effort became. An official from CGI Group (GIB/A:CN), the main contractor for the Obamacare health exchanges, described 55 different subcontractors who worked on the site, which consisted of six main “complicated systems” and interacted with numerous