GENEVA — Syrian government forces are systematically attacking hospitals and medical staff members and denying treatment to the sick and wounded from areas controlled or affiliated with the opposition, United Nations investigators said Friday in a new report that also detailed the use of hospitals as torture centers by military intelligence agencies. “The denial of medical care as a weapon of war is a distinct and chilling reality of the war in Syria,” the United Nations Commission of Inquiry, which is monitoring human rights in Syria, said in its report. The panel said pro-government forces carried out such attacks “as
Sadly, they have al-Assadicide. Sadly for us, we have Obamacide. Some how, our majority asked for BO just as NY state majority wanted Hillary. Either people lie to me or everyone I asked just happens to be in agreement with my selections.
The once-sleepy town of Williston sits on the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers in the US state of North Dakota. Five years ago, Williston had a population of 12,000 and was slowly dying on its feet – an agricultural hub marked out from the plains only by the grain silos that stand silhouetted against the big North Dakota skies. The fall-out from a brief oil boom in the mid-1980s had left the town with sky-high debts and a main street filled with empty shops and peeling facades. Young people looking for jobs skipped town at the first opportunity. Today, Williston is
The CIA used a secret base at Guantanamo Bay nicknamed ´Penny Lane´ to turn some of al-Qaeda´s most dangerous terrorists into double agents, US officials have admitted.Inmates languishing under Guantanamo Bay´s harsh regime were offered cash rewards, "hotel" style rooms and even pornography if they agreed to help the CIA track down and kill fellow al-Qaeda operatives. Instead of Guantanamo´s spartan cells, they would be transferred to cottages equipped with private kitchens, showers and televisions, as well as their own patio. A handful then signed agreements to work for the CIA, under which they were released and told to hook up once
DALLAS - A winter storm system blamed for at least 10 fatal accidents in the West and Texas threatens to dampen the Thanksgiving holiday for millions of Americans traveling this week.Nearly 300 American Airlines and American Eagle flights were canceled in and out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Monday due to the weather, spokeswoman Laura Masvidal said, mirroring disruptions at the air hub a day earlier. Some of the country´s busiest airports - New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston and Charlotte, N.C. - could see big delays. Icy roads led to hundreds of accidents and at least 10 deaths, half
As he climbed the political heap, a young Barack Obama roused audiences with promises to unite the nation. He was a Senate candidate in 2004 when he told the Democratic national convention, “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is a United States of America.” In 2007, he declared early in his presidential run that “I don’t want to pit red America against blue America. I want to be the president of the United States of America.” A year later, after he won the Iowa caucus, he promised, “We are not a collection of red states and blue
Remember President Barack Obama´s mother? Though the airwaves currently echo with his vow "If you like your plan . . ." I keep remembering Obama´s account of his mother being denied coverage by her insurance company as she lay dying of cancer.The moving and infuriating story was a staple on the 2008 campaign trail. His mother had insurance, he explained, but when she came down with cancer, her insurance company claimed her disease was a "pre-existing condition" and refused to pay for her treatment. In a debate with Sen. John McCain, Obama said: "For my mother to die of cancer
Lawmakers began reacting late Saturday to news of an historic agreement that freezes key parts of Iran´s nuclear program. Here are excerpts from statements responding to the deal: House Majority Leader Eric I. Cantor (R-Va.):"While I await specific details of the interim agreement, I remain concerned that this deal does not adequately halt Iran´s enrichment capabilities. Numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions have called for the full suspension of Iran´s nuclear activities, so it is troubling that this agreement still permits the Iranians to continue enriching. It is critical that distrust but verify be the guiding principle with which we approach
WASHINGTON — On a sultry day in late August, a dozen staff members of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gathered at the agency’s Baltimore headquarters with managers from the major contractors building HealthCare.gov to review numerous problems with President’s Obama’s online health insurance initiative. The mood was grim. Henry Chao, a 19-year Medicare agency veteran with no formal background in software engineering, was eventually left with day-to-day management of the president’s signature initiative.
At 9 a.m. on Aug. 22, a team of federal health officials sat down in a Baltimore conference room with at least a dozen employees of CGI Federal, the company with the main contract to build the online federal health insurance marketplace. For six weeks, the federal officials overseeing the project had become increasingly worried that CGI was missing deadlines, understaffing the work and overstating its progress. As the meeting began, one of the officials reminded the CGI employees that HealthCare.gov was “the president’s number one priority,” assured them that the discussion would be a “blame-free zone,” and then bored 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
The extremely peculiar rules governing the United States Senate just got a little less peculiar. After a historic vote yesterday, it will now take 51 votes — a simple majority — for most presidential nominations to be approved by the 100-member Senate. One senator responded with outrage to the idea. The American people, he roared, “don’t expect .?.?. for one party — be it Republican or Democrat — to change the rules in the middle of the game.” His name is Barack Obama. Sen. Obama spoke those words in 2005 about a Republican proposal to do something very much like
President Obama held an off-the-record meeting with MSNBC hosts and liberal pundits on Thursday, POLITICO has learned.Present at the meeting: MSNBC´s Ed Schultz and Lawrence O´Donnell, Washington Post economics blogger Ezra Klein, Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn, Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall, ThinkProgress editor-in-chief Judd Legum, Atlantic senior editor Garance Franke-Ruta, Salon political writer Brian Beutler and Fox News contributor Juan Williams. The participants agreed to an off-the-record classification for the meeting, though sources familiar with President Obama´s remarks said that Williams later appeared on Fox News and cite some of the president´s remarks, which he
It´s no secret that Sarah Palin is mighty steamed at MSNBC and Martin Bashir over his despicable remarks about the abusive treatment he imagines for her. And now she´s doing something about it. The former Alaska governor and Fox News contributor was scheduled to sit down with Matt Lauer for a Christmas season interview. That´s now toast. Palin has now canceled Lauer´s scheduled trip to Wasilla, a source close to her tells me. It´s not because Palin is upset with Lauer or the "Today" show, but as a protest against NBC for not taking action against Bashir. In fact, Palin once sat
Though the Obama administration said that individuals making under $45,960 would get Obamacare subsidies, low-income young people in most of America´s big cities who relied on that promise are discovering they will be ineligible for them. According to a CNN report, though young people are now required to purchase insurance under Obamacare or pay a fine, "many low-income younger Americans won´t get any subsidy at all" because, as the Obama administration claims, the "cost of insurance is lower than the government initially expected." In April, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "told a
The sounds of Christmas in the Obama White House mean James Taylor, Mariah Carey and Nat King Cole. “The kids tease me that they know it’s Christmas when I pull out my playlist,” First Lady Michelle Obama tells Ladies’ Home Journal. The holiday tunes are accompanied by hot chocolate and a fire in the Yellow Oval room as President Obama and his family decorate their tree. “Christmas has always been a special time in my household,” Michelle Obama says in the December/January issue. “Growing up, we lived in a little-bitty apartment, but my mom put her heart and soul into decorating that house.”
Noel Ignatiev, a professor at Massachusetts College of Art, has for years advocated the total elimination of Caucasians. During his final lecture before retirement last Monday, he told his white male students "you don’t deserve to live. You are a cancer, you’re a disease." NOEL IGNATIEV: If you are a white male, you don’t deserve to live. You are a cancer, you’re a disease, white males have never contributed anything positive to the world! They only murder, exploit and oppress non-whites! At least a white woman can have sex with a black man and make a brown baby but what can a
Appearing on Arsenio Hall’s talk show over the weekend, ?Jesse Jackson defended both President Obama, who he said has faced heretofore unseen advsersity as president, as well as Jackson’s embattled son, who he said “had the best voting record in the Congress” before he was sentenced by unfair laws. On the president, Jackson praised him for “serving us well against the most hostility an American president has ever had” and “more attempts to derail his legislation then in the history of the country.” Between job creation and his efforts in Iraq, President Obama has “maintained a kind of dignity” without stooping
Bankrupt and hemorrhaging population, the city of Detroit is banking on greener pastures to lead its rebirth. A private company is snapping up 150 acres on the Motor City´s East End -- property where more than 1,000 homes once formed a gritty neighborhood -- and turning it into what is being billed as the world´s largest urban farm. Hantz Woodlands plans to start by planting trees, but hopes to raise crops and even livestock in the future, right in the midst of the once-proud city. “We are interested with moving into different types of agriculture,” Mike Score, president of Hantz,
Normally, I don´t traffic much in gossip, but the case of Valerie Jarrett is different. She may well be the most powerful woman in America, and almost certainly is the most powerful member of the Obama administration. The adjective "shadowy" definitely applies to this woman who enjoys her power through her relationship to the President, having never been confirmed by Senate hearings. Her title as "Senior Adviser" to the President barely scratches the surface of her real power. President Obama has time for his 150+ rounds of golf, his extensive television watching, and his expertise on March Madness bracketology because ValJar,
The Obamacare rollout remains a debacle, but now enough time has passed that smart people are beginning to dissect what went wrong. So far, the best take I´ve seen comes from Internet pioneer Clay Shirky, who notes that the politicians weren´t listening to the people doing the actual work. I was talking about this to my Administrative Law class not long ago. I had told them that there are few real secrets in D.C. because everyone sleeps with everyone else. A student then asked why both the administration and the GOP seemed to have been blindsided by the Obamacare website problems. "I guess nobody was sleeping with the techies,"
America has long had two embassies in Italy: One for the country, the other for the Holy See. Barbie Latza Nadeau on why soon there will be only one. Citing security concerns without naming a specific threat, the U.S. State Department is planning to shutter its embassy to the Holy See inside the lush Villa Domiziana overlooking the Circus Maximus and Palatine Hill in central Rome. The embassy, which has been in operation since 1984 when Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II signed an accord, will essentially be swallowed up by the larger, more influential U.S. embassy to Italy.
Located just 50 miles off the U.S. coast, north of New York City, sits Petra, a heart-shaped island that now belongs to Brad Pitt, after Angelina reportedly shelled out £12.2million to buy it for his 50th birthday. Pitt is apparently an architect fanatic, so when Jolie discovered that the island´s only two homes were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, she was sold. Pitt once said,“When I discovered Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Frank Lloyd Wright, it changed my life.” A source revealed that “as soon as Angelina heard the island was on the market she arranged a viewing. She was really impressed.
"I cannot tell a lie." That´s the signature line from a classic American story. When the nation´s first president was asked as a boy if he had chopped down his father´s cherry tree, he didn´t say "I can neither confirm nor deny those reports," or "it depends on what the meaning of the word ´is´ is." George Washington told the truth even if it got him in trouble. The moral of the story -- Washington was a great leader because he would not lie, and all presidents should be as honest as our founding father. Well, guess what? That story about
The Elders, an organization of elder statesmen, peace activists and human rights advocates that includes former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, welcomed the interim agreement reached in Geneva between the P5+1 groups and Iran early Sunday. “We are all aware of the risks involved,” said Jimmy Carter. “But I am convinced that, after 35 years of animosity and distrust, there is an historic opportunity to rebuild relations with the government and people of Iran on solid foundations of mutual respect.” Kofi Annan, the chairman of the Elders and former secretary-general of the UN, said he hoped the deal would be "swiftly followed up
ObamaCare may have backfired in its goal of making smoking so expensive that users quit, public health experts say, as sky-high insurance premiums force smokers to drop coverage altogether and lose smoking cessation programs along with it. "Tobacco surcharges are not proven to help tobacco users quit and there are major concerns that they will prevent people from getting health care coverage," the American Lung Association´s Jennifer Singleterry said. The ALA supports the Affordable Care Act, as does the American Cancer Society, but both oppose the tobacco penalty because they believe it makes insurance unaffordable for smokers. "Charging tobacco users