United States military units in Afghanistan are in the midst of the biggest force pullout in American history and it´s resulting in the biggest yard sale of military hardware in American history. An estimated $50billion in military hardware--from armored vehicles to dining room sets, combat uniforms to vending machines--must be removed from the country by the end of 2014. The cost of bringing equipment home is reach an estimated $6billion. More than a decade of war is nearly over and the military no longer has use for much of the equipment. As a result, billions worth of hardware is being
Potential 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul drew applause from The Citadel’s Corps of Cadets on Tuesday when he said Hillary Clinton should be disqualified from running for president because of the Benghazi affair. “Her failure to provide our ambassador and his mission with adequate security should preclude Hillary Clinton from ever holding high office again,” Paul said of the former secretary of state in connection to last year’s fatal attack on the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city. While the comment was one of several applause points Paul, R-Ky., received during a 20-minute speech, it was also one of the more
It is almost 25 years since the detective Hercule Poirot, created by Agatha Christie and played by David Suchet, made his debut on ITV. The first of 70 episodes of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, a minor short story called The Adventure of the Clapham Cook, was broadcast in January 1989. Tonight, Curtain--Poirot’s Last Case brings this long televisual life to an end. Even those who view the Christie oeuvre as irredeemably lightweight may feel a sense of momentousness, a tug of poignancy, at the death of a character who has been part of our national life for a generation.
In the end, the smell lives on as the strongest memory. Back in January 2010, I was sent to Haiti just after an earthquake had devastated the capital, Port-au-Prince. In the aftermath of this calamity, which claimed as many as 300,000 lives, the ruins of the city were pervaded by a particular smell, combining tropical humidity, pulverised buildings, spilled petrol, filth, sweat and--most cloyingly of all--decomposing human remains. Today, the scenes in the Philippines must be tragically similar. All emergencies have their own characteristics, but there are parallels between the catastrophe wrought by Typhoon Haiyan and the Haiti earthquake.
How to respond to the failures of Obamacare--with tears or with laughter? This administration does have a talent for snatching farce from the jaws of defeat. Here are some of the latest problems that it´s created for itself (and the American people)… Problem #1: enrollment. The administration´s goal was to sign up 500,000 people in the first month through its website IKeepPressingCtrlAltDeleteButNothing´sHappening.com. The actual figure achieved? 50,000. The problem is partly that the website is a total mess, slow moving and full of glitches and almost unworkable. But it´s more than just a technical issue, it´s reflective of both the
Violence is completely unacceptable regardless of the outcome of the current round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro said Monday. Shapiro’s comments at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly came five days after US Secretary of State John Kerry raised eyebrows in a television interview by warning of a third intifada if the talks break down. Kerry said in the interview last Thursday that the alternative to “getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos,” and then asked, “I mean, does Israel want a third intifada?” Shapiro, asked about these comments at a session moderated by
Naderev "Yeb" Sano, representative for the Philippines at the UN Climate Change talks, broke down in tears as he addressed delegates in Warsaw. Mr Sano, whose family is from Tacloban--one of the worst hit areas--announced that he was going on hunger strike until "a meaningful outcome is in sight". Representatives from 190 nations have gathered in Poland to try and thrash out a new pact to fight global warming. "What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. "We can fix this. We can stop this madness. Right now, right here," Mr Sano
A new investigation has revealed that the U.S. government has paid more than $150million to groups that fund terror attacks against American soldiers. The findings have been reported by the Pentagon itself as the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction compiled a list of 43 such companies who are connected to Taliban leaders who have arranged bombs and attacks on American targets. ´It´s like the United States government subsidizing the Taliban, al Qaeda, the Haqqani network, those groups that are trying to shoot and kill our soldiers,´ New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen told ABC News. The Haqqani Network may be lesser
Ministers are being urged to take ‘urgent action’ after cancer patients in Scotland were given access to another drug not available in England and Wales. Axitinib, aimed at kidney cancer patients who have stopped responding to other treatments, is to be given the green light north of the border after it was shown to significantly extend life. The drug--which costs £3,000 a month--could potentially help 6,000 sufferers a year, but has so far been deemed not cost effective by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for use on the NHS in England and Wales. The body is
British cities could be hit by rioting because of an influx of Roma migrants, David Blunkett has warned. The former Home Secretary said ‘frictions’ with local people could lead racial tensions to ‘explode’ in a repeat of the riots that rocked Northern towns in the summer of 2001. Mr Blunkett called on Roma migrants from Slovakia to ‘change their culture’ because their dumping of rubbish and refusal to send their children to school had caused ‘understandable tensions’ with residents in his home city of Sheffield. Sheffield citizens have already set up street patrols to combat anti-social behaviour by the Roma.
Iran´s foreign minister has blamed divisions between Western powers for the failure to agree a deal on its nuclear programme on Saturday. Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected US Secretary of State John Kerry´s claim that Iran had been unable to accept the deal "at that particular moment". He said "no amount of spinning" could change what had happened in Geneva, but it could "further erode confidence". Mr Zarif appeared to blame France for "gutting over half" of a US draft deal. Representatives from Iran and the so-called P5+1--the US, UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany--will meet again on 20 November.
Retail giant Amazon is to start offering Sunday delivery to all its customers after striking a deal with the US Postal Service (USPS). [Snip] While the offer will be free for Prime subscribers, regular customers will still have access to the service as long as they pay for business day delivery. Dave Clark, Amazon´s vice president of worldwide operations and customer service, said: ´This is part of a continuing effort to make online shopping a normal, seven-day-a-week, any-time-you-want experience.´ Amazon says it is planning to extend the year-round service next year to Dallas, New Orleans, Phoenix and other cities.
Hundreds of well-wishers today turned out for the funeral of a Bomber Command veteran who died without any close family. Harold Jellicoe Percival, who helped with the Dambusters raid during the Second World War, died last month in a nursing home aged 99. He was laid to rest today, Armistice Day, at exactly 11am, when Britain fell silent to remember those killed in war. More than 300 people attended the ceremony at the Lytham Park Crematorium in Lancashire, nearly all of whom had never met Mr Percival. Roads around the crematorium were totally jammed, while there were too many people to fit into
It’s sad that Maverick’s taking this idea just seriously enough that he’d think to mention it to another human being. He’s 77 years old, ran a famously chaotic campaign in 2008 before getting crushed on election day, and would face a much stronger, younger field in the primaries than he did last time. That he forced me just now to devote even half a second of thought to how he might stack up against the 2016 contenders is frankly embarrassing, and something for which I’ll never forgive him. It’s like watching a 60-year-old pitcher announce that he’s thinking of coming
Washington: A woman, who claims to have been a classmate of Barack Obama, said that the president was gay and used cocaine in school. In a bizarre interview, Mia Marie Pope told right-wing preacher James David Manning that she believes Obama was not only active within the gay community, but also a heavy cocaine user during his years in Hawaii. Pope said that Obama always portrayed himself as a foreign student, adding that girls were never anything that he ever was interested in, but he would get along with older white gay men. She added that Obama at that time was also
James O’Keefe, the guerrilla videographer who helped bring down ACORN (the “community organizing” group that Barack Obama worked for as a lawyer and trainer) and got NPR’s president fired, is back. This time, his undercover investigators focused on Obamacare’s “navigators,” the nearly 50,000 people who, in the words of the Department of Health and Human Services, “will serve as an in-person resource for Americans who want additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in plans” on the Obamacare exchanges (at least when they’re finally working). The total value of grants doled out for nonprofits and community organizations to hire navigators
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) will ask two oversight agencies for a full-blown investigation into the problems surrounding the ObamaCare launch. Hagan, who is up for reelection in 2014, is asking her Senate colleagues to co-sign a letter asking two agencies to conduct “a complete, thorough investigation to determine the causes of the design and implementation failures of HealthCare.Gov.” “These problems are simply unacceptable, and Americans deserve answers and swift solutions,” Hagan writes in a letter obtained by The Hill. “Taxpayers are owed a full and transparent accounting of how the vendors contracted to build the site failed to launch it
WASHINGTON — When President Obama travels abroad, his staff packs briefing books, gifts for foreign leaders and something more closely associated with camping than diplomacy: a tent. Even when Mr. Obama travels to allied nations, aides quickly set up the security tent — which has opaque sides and noise-making devices inside — in a room near his hotel suite. When the president needs to read a classified document or have a sensitive conversation, he ducks into the tent to shield himself from secret video cameras and listening devices. American security officials demand that their bosses — not just the president, but
We were just asking for it. This is, essentially, what Century Foundation fellow Michael Cohen took to the pages of the New York Daily News on Monday to say. In a profound scolding, Cohen diagnoses America’s “immaturity” as demonstrated by the backlash against President Barack Obama over to his oft-repeated and false claim that every American who was happy with their health insurance would be able to keep their health insurance. This was never true. The president and his staff were aware this was not true as early as February, 2010. Some media outlets reported that, for millions of Americans,
Swampscott, Massachusetts Selectman Barry Greenfield is pushing a measure to give police the authority to conduct home searches to check proper storage of firearms. Greenfield said "state law requires Massachusetts gun owners to keep their firearms locked away or rendered inoperable." There are "600 registered gun owners in [Swampscott]," and the selectman wants police to be able to drop in unannounced, enter the homes of each gun owner, and verify compliance. According to the Swampscott Patch, Greenfield has spoken with Swampscott Police Chief Ron Madigan about this issue, and has spoken with other selectmen. At least one of the selectmen-
Fourteen years ago, I was asked to be a keynote speaker at the Richmond County Women´s Republican Club annual dinner. I had started my column at the Staten Island Advance the year before, and as an Hispanic who had grown up in Spanish Harlem, many Republicans were surprised that I was a conservative. It was my first speaking engagement and one I accepted reluctantly, but I felt that it was an opportunity to offer some advice to the Republican Party about winning over the voters in the barrios and the inner city.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) said he has no plans to run again for the White House. Speaking to the Arizona Republic, McCain said he had received "a spate of e-mails and letters and phone calls" urging him to run since the government shutdown. But he said he´s focused on whether to run for a sixth term in the Senate, not for president. “As you know, I’m seriously thinking about running for re-election to the Senate," he said. "But I think, in the words of the late Morris K. Udall, as far as my presidential ambitions are concerned, ‘The people have spoken —
Perhaps the most entertaining facet of watching the scales fall from liberal´s eyes about Obamacare is the absolute shock they experience when their liberal friends chastise them for complaining. Lori Gottlieb, a contributing editor for The Atlantic and a psychotherapist, writes in the NY Times about her conversation with Blue Anthem insurance and the reaction by her "friends" on Facebook when she posted about it: THE Anthem Blue Cross representative who answered my call told me that there was a silver lining in the cancellation of my individual P.P.O. policy and the $5,400 annual increase that I would have to
Veterans, we think about you all the time. Sometimes we fail to tell you. Today, on Veteran’s Day, we put our admiration for you into words. World War II, Korean and Vietnam Veterans. We will start with you. You fought for our freedom. You watched your closest friends fall by your side and you were heartbroken, knowing it could have been you. You shoulder the burden of painful and haunting memories. Many of you have physical wounds; you sacrificed your warrior’s body for us, people you never met. You use a cane or a wheelchair now because of your choice
Last week, the media went apoplectic after a 60 Minutes report on the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, turned out to be mistaken. Much of the report was based on the testimony of one Dylan Davies, a security contractor who said that he had climbed over the wall of the consulate in Benghazi and seen the body of Ambassador Chris Stevens. It turned out that Davies was lying, and 60 Minutes was fooled. Media Matters, which uncovered the lie, promptly declared victory in its war on behalf of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with founder David