Istanbul - A Turkish court this week convicted one of the country’s most famous musicians for insulting Islam, highlighting building fears over protection of freedom of speech in the country. Fazil Say, a world-renowned concert pianist, was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment for “insulting the religious values of a part of the population” due to messages on his Twitter feed considered by the court to be offensive to Muslims. The sentence, however, was suspended on the condition that he does not reoffend within five years. Mr. Say, who was convicted by a court in Istanbul, said in a statement
Comments: And Turkey is a ´moderate´ Muslim country.
DENVER - 9Wants to Know has learned federal investigators believe Colombian drug cartels have taken root within Colorado´s medical marijuana industry. On Thursday, federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency and Internal Revenue Service executed search warrants on several medical marijuana shops in Denver and Boulder. One of those shops is VIP Cannabis, a shop near Federal Boulevard and Alameda Avenue. Numerous calls into VIP Cannabis by 9Wants to Know have not been returned. While the warrants and other documents relating to the investigation are under court-ordered seal, sources spoke on the condition of anonymity to 9Wants to Know.
Minorities continue to offer a bulwark of support for the Affordable Care Act, according to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll. But the deepening discrepancy between their views of Obamacare and their support for President Obama´s reelection last year shows skepticism about whether the big social-welfare program has worked touched even the White House´s most ardent supporters. A battery of questions about who benefits from the health care law, whether it should be repealed, and what´s to blame for its rocky rollout all reveal a portion of the electorate that´s far more favorable to the sweeping reform than
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama´s signature health law has helped spur stronger economic growth by contributing to slower increases in healthcare prices and spending, the White House said on Wednesday. The White House´s assertion of the economic benefits of the law commonly called Obamacare runs counter to the views of many critics, who say it is raising insurance premiums and chilling job creation. (Snip) "The government´s non-partisan actuaries report this is the result of the terrible economy under President Obama, not his health care law," Boehner press secretary Brendan Buck said in an email.
The Obama administration has not always been great at selling its agenda, but the president´s adoption of the right-wing slur "Obamacare" as a prideful new name for the Affordable Care Act has been a notable exception. We often think the proper response to being called a dirty name is to object. That´s a good first step, but in the long term, the judo approach is constructive -- hurl the power being used against you back to your opponent. For example, in 1968 William F. Buckley could offend Gore Vidal by calling him a "queer" on television. Today, the line would
President Obama on Tuesday sought to redirect some of the political blame for the botched rollout of the federal health insurance exchange to Republicans, characterizing GOP lawmakers as rooting for the law’s failure. Addressing a gathering of business executives, Obama acknowledged that the health-care rollout “has been rough, to say the least,” and he lamented the government’s archaic information-technology procurement system. Obama said that fixes to the HealthCare.gov Web portal are underway and that the exchange will function for a majority of people by the end of November. But the president said staunch opposition from congressional Republicans is inhibiting the
Oregon, a state that fully embraced the Affordable Care Act, is enduring one of the rockiest rollouts of President Back Obama´s signature health care law, with an inoperative online exchange that has yet to enroll a single subscriber, requiring thousands to apply on paper instead. Unlike most other states, Oregon set an ambitious course to make its insurance exchange, dubbed Cover Oregon, an "all-in-one" website for every individual seeking health coverage, including those who are eligible for Medicaid. But instead of serving as a national model, Oregon´s experience has emerged as a cautionary tale, inviting comparisons to technical glitches that
The 26-second film often regarded as the most famous home movie in history was shot by a Texas dressmaker who initially didn´t even bring his camera to work on the overcast day of President John F. Kennedy´s assassination. Abraham Zapruder, 58 years old at the time, was a dress manufacturer who owned Jennifer Juniors, Inc., which was located across the street from the Texas School Book Depository. Zapruder, a Kennedy fan, left his Bell & Howell film camera at home since the morning was overcast. At lunchtime, Zapruder´s assistant urged him to go home and get the camera before the
The headlines seemed to come in a rapid-fire rhetorical onslaught. “Fighting for His Presidency … Does Obama Have Any Cred Left? … Does the health-care fumble mean game over for Obama? … The five biggest ways Obamacare’s problems have hurt Democrats … Is This Obama’s Katrina? … Obama needs his friends back.” If President Obama has had a worse week than the one just ending, it’s hard to remember. He had to apologize for the Affordable Care Act computer problems that have turned out to be far more than “glitches.” He acknowledged having misspoke – Republicans say he lied – when
Just months before Healthcare.gov launched, senior Obama administration officials questioned whether the website’s developers would meet the Oct. 1 target launch date and expressed anxiety that after several benchmarks were missed, a condensed schedule to test the site could be inadequate. That’s according to a series of documents provided to congressional investigators by the Department of Health and Human Services. In emails sent between July 8 and July 20, administration officials discussed their sworn testimony pledging to meet the Oct. 1 deadline while at the same time officials were privately concerned that the entire launch was in jeopardy with the
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration could extend beyond 2014 a one-year fix in its healthcare law that allows insurance companies to renew health plans for consumers whose policies would otherwise be canceled, the White House said on Thursday. President Barack Obama announced a plan to let insurance companies extend policies that would not meet the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act. In a fact sheet outlining the details of that plan, the White House said the Department of Health and Human Services would consider a further extension of that fix beyond 2014. "HHS will consider the impact of this transitional
Many NFL observers believed it was only a matter of time before parents curtailed their children’s participation in youth football after hearing so many stories about the potential side effects of concussions. It appears that time is now. According to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines," Pop Warner, the nation’s largest and most recognized youth football program, saw its participation levels drop 9.5 percent between 2010-12. Pop Warner lost 23,612 players, thought to be the greatest two-year decline since the organization began keeping statistics decades ago, according to the report. In addition, the report states Pop Warner football had a record-high 248,899
A South Dakota mom´s blog - written for her original eight followers - has gone stratospheric after she wrote that boys should be allowed to play with guns, trashed what she considers to be over-protective parents and said kids being bullied should "toughen up." (Snip) "The mentality of our society in 2013 is nauseating to me, friends," Metz writes in her blog. Metz warns parents that constantly sheltering their children and protecting them from all things "evil" sets a child up for failure. "Kids are being raised to never have to deal with adversity," Metz told ABC News. "I don´t
Fraud can be so brazen it takes people’s breath away. But for a prosecutor tasked with proving a swindle — or what federal law describes as a “scheme to defraud” — the crucial thing is not so much the fraud. It is the scheme. To be sure, it is the fraud — the individual false statements, sneaky omissions, and deceptive practices — that grabs our attention. As I’ve recounted in this space, President Obama repeatedly and emphatically vowed, “If you like your health-insurance plan, you can keep your health-insurance plan, period.” The incontrovertible record — disclosures by the Obama administration in
Fear swept through Borough Park, Brooklyn, as soon as the news got out: A young man was randomly assaulted by strangers early Friday morning, and the attack was possibly part of the so-called Knockout Game. Four men were arrested, but on Friday night only one was charged and the others were released. The attack added to a growing log of reports of such crimes in the Northeast and beyond. Young assailants were randomly picking unlucky targets and trying to knock them out with just one punch. Yet police officials in several cities where such attacks have been reported said that the “game” amounted
Joining the hosts of MSNBC’s The Cycle on Friday, legendary NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw previewed a special on the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination that will air on MSNBC that night. Recounting his experiences from that day, he said that the reaction to JFK’s assassination, “mostly in conservative states,” was encapsulated by his interaction with one man who expressed satisfaction over the president’s killing. “This was unusual but it was not unheard of,” Brokaw told the MSNBC hosts, prefacing a conservative’s reaction to JFK’s killing. “As I came running out of the announce booth, the chief engineer,
JERUSALEM -- Israel´s prime minister has criticized the international community´s nuclear deal with Iran as a "historic mistake." Speaking to his Cabinet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel is not bound by the deal and reserves the right to defend itself. That is a reference to possible military action against Iran. Israel believes Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, although Tehran denies that. Netanyahu said the deal would not adequately stop Iran, while also giving it relief from sanctions. "Today the world became a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world
“For the first time in nearly a decade we have halted parts of Iran’s nuclear program” announced a jubilant Barack Obama after the news of the just-signed Geneva six-month interim agreement with Iran. But the American goal for the accord was that the Iranians not “advance their program” of building a uranium nuclear bomb (and perhaps a plutonium bomb too); the apparent deal exactly permits such advancement, plus sanctions relief to Tehran worth about $9 billion. This wretched deal offers one of those rare occasions when comparison with Neville Chamberlain in Munich in 1938 is valid. An overeager Western government, blind to
Let me be the first to ask: Did the White House know that employment reports were being falsified? Last week I reported exclusively that someone at the Census Bureau’s Philadelphia region had been screwing around with employment data. And that person, after he was caught in 2010, claimed he was told to do so by a supervisor two levels up the chain of command. On top of that, a reliable source whom I haven’t identified said the falsification of employment data by Census was widespread and ongoing, especially around the time of the 2012 election. There’s now a congressional investigation
If voters had been aware last year that they might lose their health-care plans when Obamacare went into effect, Republican President Mitt Romney would be sitting in the White House today, according to a poll released Friday. A Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research survey conducted from Nov. 18-20 asked voters who supported President Barack Obama in 2012: “As you may know, millions of Americans have lost their insurance plans despite President Obama’s promise that, quote, ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it.’ If you knew in 2012 that this promise was not true, would you still have voted
Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans”- President John F. Kennedy. There is no family in American politics who is quite on par with the Kennedy’s. Fifty years after the assassination of JFK, the family’s presence in American politics has dwindled–they’ve experienced many ups and downs– but they’ve carried on. Each generation seems to pass on the proverbial torch, and America’s interest in the Kennedy clan, whether they’re running for office or battling public relations snafus, has continued with that passing.
President Obama said Friday he does not worry much about his safety because of the “outstanding” Secret Service detail that shadows him everywhere he goes. Obama said the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago transformed the presidential security detail to a point where he hardly thinks about safety. "It´s not something I think about, mainly because we have a Secret Service that does an outstanding job every single day," Obama told ABC News in an interview set to air next week. For example, the open-air car Kennedy was riding in while shot in Dallas in 1963
Ahmad Rashad, a Pro Bowl wide receiver, has made yet another great catch. The Minnesota Vikings legend has rebounded from his broken marriage to Sale Johnson — the ex-wife of Jets owner Woody Johnson — and is said to be dating Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s most trusted senior adviser. Rashad, a sportscaster and a close friend of Michael Jordan’s, is keeping the romance on the down low. “They haven’t gone out in public,” one source told me. “They are sneaking around.” (Rashad’s manager did not respond to questions about the relationship, and the White House declined to comment on Jarrett’s personal life.) Rashad, who
Mike Convente, a left-wing Daily Kos diarist and a representative on the University of Pennsylvania health care committee, took to the pages of Kos to complain about the "law of unintended consequences" of ObamaCare. Convente is also upset that Obama´s "marketing slogans … turned out to be not so correct." It looks as though the students at UPenn will be paying a lot more for their health insurance policies, thanks in large part to the fact that ObamaCare is forcing them to pay for coverage they do not need. Not only that, Convente is probably not buying the propaganda from
When Lyndon B. Johnson became president, he brought with him a new first lady. Lady Bird Johnson’s passion was beautification. It was dismissed by some as a silly project, just planting daffodils by the side of the road. But it was more. Lady Bird was one of the first environmentalists, one with access to the legislative resources of the powerful Johnson White House. She gathered experts and brought the issue of conservation to the nation’s attention. Her work led to the passage of 50 bills protecting national parks and removing billboards and junkyards from the highways. Her work was more