GENEVA -- As they follow up an apparently contentious opening round of talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are searching for agreement on the nuts and bolts that go into a Russian proposal for securing Syria´s chemical weapons stocks. Kerry, Lavrov and Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria, were meeting again Friday. Going into the session, Kerry was asked about his talks late Thursday with Lavrov. "It was a good, constructive talk," he said.
WASHINGTON — On the most deadly day here since Sept. 11, 2001, with the capital reeling over the sadly familiar scene of a mass shooting by a madman, the chief executive stepped to the microphones and captured the heartbreak. It wasn’t the chief executive of the nation. It was Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief operating officer of MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where three of those injured were being treated. (Snip)Top Democrats who used to consider Obama one cool cat now muse that he’s “one weird cat,” as one big shot put it.
A resolution on Syria could be delayed after serious disagreements between Russia and the West were laid bare during a UN Security Council meeting. The five permanent members of the council met Tuesday night to discuss the draft of a UN resolution prepared by the United States, Britain, and France, Interfax reported Wednesday. The Western governments proposed an amendment to the text that would hold Bashar Assad´s regime responsible for use of chemical weapons, specifically citing Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. This alteration would permit military intervention if Syria fails to put its chemical weapons under international control. Russian representatives resisted the
To understand the Syrian mess, think of President Obama as the classic Jeff Bridges character in the 1998 Coen Brothers film “The Big Lebowski.” Just like the loveable Jeff Lebowski — the White-Russian-drinking dude dragged in to solve a confusing crime — Obama stumbles along into hopeful solutions to complex problems. And just like The Dude, he’d rather be bowling. Obama alone, we’re told, grasps the real world’s overwhelming complexity. As The Dude explains in the movie, “This is a very complicated case . . . You know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs, a lotta what-have-yous. And, uh, a lotta strands
Lyons, Colorado -- More people were told to evacuate their homes in northeastern Colorado on Tuesday as residents of the flood-stricken towns north of Denver returned to battered neighborhoods, with some of them finding no house to call home. The small town of Crook, about 150 miles northeast of Denver, ordered residents on the north side of town to clear out as water in a canal rose to "historic" levels, the Logan County Emergency Management Office reported. Residents on the south side of town had already been ordered out of their homes as firefighters monitored the rising South Platte River, the
As video game players have gotten older, as antiheroes have become routine across the culture, as sex and violence have permeated prestige television, the controversies that once surrounded the Grand Theft Auto games have begun to seem like sepia-toned oddities from another age. Sure, the new installment, to be released on Tuesday, contains plenty that might offend those who enjoy taking offense, and it is still disturbing to see parents giving these games to preteenage children. Among the interactive pastimes Grand Theft Auto offers — alongside pursuits like yoga, sky diving, tennis, scuba and golf — are bong hits and
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.´s personal secretary is selling a collection from the early civil rights movement, including handwritten notes by King and a page from his "I Have a Dream" speech, what the auction house calls an unprecedented historical trove. Maude Ballou worked as King´s secretary from 1955 to 1960, when King led the Montgomery Improvement Association and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Ballou, who turned 88 Friday, is selling the items Oct. 17 in New York through Texas-based Heritage Auctions. People can bid in person or online. Ballou and Heritage Auctions say a portion of the proceeds will be
The wreckage of the Costa Concordia cruise liner has been pulled upright after a 19-hour, first-of-its-kind engineering feat to salvage the ship that slammed into a reef near Giglio Island 20 months ago. ´´The parbuckling operation has been successfully completed," the project´s organizers said in a statement early this morning. " The wreck is now upright and resting safely on the specially built artificial sea bed, at a depth of approximately 30 meters." The daring operation to right the Concordia began early Monday morning off the coast of Tuscany and had been expected to take no more than 12 hours. The operation
WASHINGTON -- For President Barack Obama, an embarrassing diplomatic rebuke by Brazil has compounded an already troublesome stretch for the White House both at home and abroad. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced Tuesday that she was putting off a state visit to the U.S. next month to protest an American spy program that has aggressively targeted her nation´s government and private citizens alike. Rousseff´s decision deepened the global fallout for Obama from revelations about National Security Agency surveillance programs, which have also angered many Americans. The announcement also came amid criticism of Obama´s public shifting over the threat of U.S. military action
NEW ORLEANS — More than two years ago, federal prosecutors exchanged hugs and held hands with victims´ relatives after a jury convicted five former New Orleans police officers of civil rights violations stemming from deadly shootings on a bridge after Hurricane Katrina. But a judge threw out those convictions Tuesday and ordered a new trial for the officers, concluding the case had been tainted by "grotesque prosecutorial misconduct." Romell Madison, whose mentally disabled brother, Ronald, was one of two unarmed people gunned down on the Danziger Bridge, said the family is "extremely disappointed" and urged the Justice Department to appeal the ruling.
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin exploded over the Obama administration’s anti-coal policies Tuesday. “We’re getting the living crap beaten out of us,” Manchin said during a Senate hearing with President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the country’s top energy regulator. “There has been nothing more beat up than coal.” Manchin voiced his frustrations with rules put forward by Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency which have made it more costly and difficult for coal plants and coal mines to operate. “They just beat the living daylights out of little West Virginia, but they sure like what we produce,” Manchin added. “We
A Newport, Rhode Island police sergeant reported Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis to naval station police last month after the suspect told cops he was “hearing voices” through his hotel room wall and that three people were following him and sending vibrations into his body, according to a police report obtained by FoxNews.com. In the document, the officer said that on August 7, he was sent to a local hotel to check out a suspicious person report involving Alexis, who told him he was a naval contractor and travelled often. The report said Alexis told the officer that while flying from Virginia
Tuesday morning, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius announced on Twitter: Big news! Nearly 6 in 10 uninsured Americans will #GetCovered for less than $100/month starting Jan 1 #Obamacare #ACA pic.twitter.com/RimQkFIuPJ — Kathleen Sebelius (@Sebelius) September 17, 2013 However, while Sebelius´s claim sounds like a sure thing ("will" get covered,) the accompanying graphic is somewhat less unequivocal, employing the phrase "can"get covered. But the truth is even one additional step removed. The HHS press release, which Sebelius refers to but does not link to, reads as follows [emphasis added]: A new report released today by the Department of Health and Human
Leadership sources tell me the House GOP will soon vote on a continuing resolution that simultaneously funds the federal government and defunds Obamacare. Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are expected to announce the decision at Wednesday’s closed-door conference meeting. This means the conservatives who have been urging Boehner to back a defunding effort as part of the CR have won a victory, at least in terms of getting the leadership to go along with their strategy. But getting such a CR through the Democratic Senate and signed into law will be very difficult — and many House Republican
Washington -- The White House defended President Barack Obama from criticism that he was tone deaf in his reaction to the mass shootings at Washington Navy Yard. For a second straight day, White House press secretary Jay Carney faced questions about a Monday afternoon event that occurred as the situation at the Navy Yard was still unfolding. Obama touched on the tragedy before forcefully criticizing conservative Republicans who are threatening to shut down the government. "I understand that some Republicans are trying to make something of this," Carney said
They call semiautomatics like this sport rifles. You bet. Mostly for the sport of killing innocent people, and killing them fast. So it takes nine months and two days from Newtown, from 20 dead children and six adults, for someone else to carry the same kind of AR-15 that Adam Lanza carried into Sandy Hook Elementary School into the Washington Navy Yard. They call semiautomatics like this sport rifles. You bet. Mostly for the sport of killing innocent people, and killing them fast. This time the shooter is reported to be a Navy reservist named Aaron Alexis and when he is shot dead
For the last few weeks, House Speaker John Boehner has been trying to find a way to convince his caucus to vote for a bill that keeps the government open after Sept. 30 without picking a fight over Obamacare. But a minority of his caucus has been insisting on defunding Obamacare, egged on by outside conservative groups and a handful of far-right Republican Senators, most importantly Ted Cruz (Texas). This has been pretty annoying for a lot of House Republican members and staff. Jonathan Strong and Andrew Stiles of National Review got an anecdote out of a closed Republican Study Committee
On Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) urged House Republicans to not shut down the federal government. “I hope my colleagues in the House who believe we need to shut down the government will understand that that’s not want the American people want,” McCain said on CNN. “They hate government, but they don’t want it to stop functioning.” President Barack Obama and Republicans have to agree on another resolution to fund the government before the current resolution expires on September 30. As The Hill notes, at least a third of House Republicans want the Republican leadership to use the next round of budget
President Obama waived a provision of federal law designed to prevent the supply of arms to terrorist groups to clear the way for the U.S. to provide military assistance to "vetted" opposition groups fighting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Some elements of the Syrian opposition are associated with radical Islamic terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, which was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., in 2001. Assad´s regime is backed by Iran and Hezbollah. The president, citing his authority under the Arms Export Control Act, announced today that he would "waive the prohibitions in sections 40
Suffice it to say, it’s hard to do a deal when the only thing the other guy wants is the one thing you can’t give him. This null set scenario is, unfortunately, precisely where we find ourselves in the debate over funding the government beyond September 30th. House Republicans are insisting that any funding measure simultaneously de-fund Obamacare, while Democrats have rightly proclaimed this idea preposterous. And there appears to be no wiggle room in the GOP position. According to The Wall Street Journal, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked House Speaker John Boehner what else on the entire
If you have any doubts that President Obama’s handling of Syria is an utter debacle, witness the embarrassing spectacle this morning as his top aides scramble to place blame for it at their boss’s feet. In today’s Wall Street Journal, senior officials leak how they desperately tried to talk Obama out of his “head-spinning reversal” on airstrikes and his decision to go to Congress. “He received swift — and negative — responses from his staff,” the Journal reports. National security adviser Susan Rice, we learn, warned that “he risked undermining his powers as commander in chief.” Senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday wearily lamented “yet another mass shooting,” this time in the nation’s capital where the debate that raged earlier this year over tightening firearms laws has stalled amid opposition from gun-rights advocates. The shooting at the Washington Navy Yard came a week after voters recalled two Colorado legislators who supported tougher gun measures, illustrating the strong political headwinds faced by lawmakers seeking to respond to the violence. Obama, for one, has been powerless to get legislation passed despite a string of mass shootings during his presidency. In the wake of the shooting at the Navy Yard, Obama
JOSE DIAZ-BALART, TELEMUNDO: The Affordable Care Act takes effect next month, The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Americans oppose it, believing it will produce damaging results. Fifty-two percent believe the law will raise their health care costs. Is everybody wrong? PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Yes, they are.### OBAMA: The problem we have is that over the last four years billions of dollars have been spent misinforming people about what this law is about. All of the horror stories that were talked about have not come true. It is going to be a good deal
The University of California has leased an Oakland residence for incoming system president Janet Napolitano for $9,950 a month, officials said Monday. Napolitano, the former U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Arizona, will be provided the housing plus an annual $570,000 salary, $8,916 a year for car expenses and $142,500 for one-time relocation costs. Napolitano is scheduled to begin her UC presidency Sept. 30, with her office at UC system headquarters in downtown Oakland. The two-year lease for the 3,500-square-foot residence began Sept. 1.
For those of us foolish enough to live in a crime-gripped city that summarily denies our constitutional right to protect ourselves, this week´s massacre at the Washington Navy Yard pretty well sums up our insane, defenseless existence.Our Capitol Hill neighborhood drowned in the screams of sirens as police cars, vans, trucks and armored vehicles streaked through the narrow streets at deadly speeds. The skies filled with the constant whopping of countless helicopters.