Jerusalem - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry briefed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday on a U.S.-Russian deal to remove Syria´s chemical weapons, an accord that drew a guarded response from the Israeli leader. Netanyahu, in a speech before the meeting, said the agreement would be judged on whether it achieved "the complete destruction" of the Syrian government´s chemical weapons stockpiles, and he pointed toward Iran´s nuclear program as another test of world resolve. (Snip) Israeli officials had expressed dismay in private about U.S. President Barack Obama´s handling of the Syria crisis, fearful possible failure to follow through with
I know that the Israelis would like to have us help "solve" their Syria problem, but we both have bigger fish to fry. Syria itself is not an existential threat to Israel - Iran is.
We´re all skeptical that the deal will work out. The CWs will likely not all be reined in. However, Assad´s future use of them is much less likely, since Mr. Putin´s credibility is now tied to preventing that. That would satisfy the original stated objective of the Emperor.
For those who have argued that diplomacy is better than war: it´s "Go Time" on Iran. We want you to be right, and urge you on with a healthy dose of skepticism. We want Iran to back away from a nuclear bomb, without a lot of people (including our own sons and daughters) being killed or wounded.
Peace is far from being "at hand", but there is at least a dim ray of hope. "Trust, but verify" is the operative phrase here.
Pope Francis will make his first visit to Israel in March. The pope told his close friend, Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka, of his lifelong dream to visit the Holy Land, and of his intentions to visit Israel and Bethlehem, Channel 2 reported on Sunday. Skorka is expected to join Pope Francis on his visit. According to Channel 2, the pope hopes his visit will bring a message of reconciliation. He dreams of embracing Rabbi Skorka in front of the Western Wall, in order to send out a message against anti-Semitism. Last week, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein visited the Vatican and
Iran´s Jewish community has called on US President Barack Obama to seize an "unrepeatable" opportunity to mend ties with Tehran following Iranian President Hassan Rouhani´s overtures to the US, AFP reported on Sunday. "If the US and the international community do not make the best of this golden and perhaps unrepeatable opportunity, then it will be in the benefit of those who are against the normalization of ties between Iran and the US," the head of the Jewish community in Tehran wrote in an open letter to the US president. Homayoun Sameyah Najaf Abady also rejected the suggestion made by
London-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the window for diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear program is "cracking open," but that "no deal is better than a bad deal." Kerry made the comments in a speech Sunday via satellite from London to a foreign policy conference in California by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel lobbying organization in the United States. (Snip) The focus on Iran´s number program comes before the start of negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany that are set for Tuesday and Wednesday
It is feared a deadly drug known as ´cannibal heroin´ which eats flesh from the inside out is about to hit the UK. Krokodil, which is like heroin and originated in Russia 10 years ago, turns users into zombies as their bodies begin to rot leaving addicts with reptilian skin. (Snip) In Russia around 30,000 people die from the affects of the drug every year yet it is thought about a quarter of a million people in the country are now hooked on the poison. Addiction is spreading among young people and even those who manage to quit come away
Millions of Americans may be wrestling with computer glitches to try to sign up for Obamacare, but many people eligible just won’t bother and will pay a price for it. Some will flout the mandate to buy coverage on ideological grounds, a health insurance version of civil disobedience. Some will opt for the penalty because it’s cheaper than paying for insurance, even with subsidies, as long as they don’t get sick and have to pay their own medical bills. And some are so confused about the president’s health care law that they may not even realize they have to pay
The shipwreck off Malta that claimed the lives of more than 30 migrants revealed yet another facet of Syria´s humanitarian nightmare, the largest displacement of people in decades. Since the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011 some seven million people, nearly a third of the population, have been displaced, with two million of them fleeing across the border, according to UN figures. (Snip) Some 47,000 Syrians have sought asylum in Europe, leading to calls from several nations for a unified EU response which has yet to materialise. Since the start of the year, Syrians have filed some 13,000
Thousands rioted Sunday in Moscow, bashing in the doors and windows of a shopping centre and beating up security guards in a nationalist protest sparked by a murder blamed on a migrant. The crowd, chanting "Russia for Russians", also beat down the doors of a nearby vegetable warehouse where many immigrants were working, an AFP photographer reported. (Snip) The riot in Moscow´s southern Biryulyovo district broke out over the killing Thursday of a 25-year-old local man who was stabbed to death as his fiancee watched. The murderer fled the scene but was caught on surveillance cameras that suggested he could
‘Red’ Ed Miliband is keen to play down suggestions that Labour has ‘lurched to the Left’ under his leadership. But the message doesn’t seem to have reached leafy Chippenham, where the party has just selected an apologist for Stalin as its candidate for the next General Election. (Snip) He has called the Berlin Wall ‘a great success’ and praised the ‘significant improvement in working class living standards’ during Stalin’s Great Terror. He described the attacks on Pearl Harbour as the ‘opening salvo in a war between two rival imperialisms’ – equating America with wartime Japan under Emperor Hirohito –
At least 146,000 Michiganders — and possibly thousands more — with health coverage purchased directly from insurers now are learning their polices will end Dec. 31 because they don’t meet the minimum requirements of the federal health care act. Under the law, each policy must cover essential benefits in 10 categories. Instead of beefing up these policies, insurers are opting to drop them, advising consumers to consider other policies that are now available either from the insurers directly or though the Michigan Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the state exchange. The policies that are ending were often less expensive
John Foley is beyond exasperated about the meltdowns plaguing HealthCare.gov, the federal Obamacare enrollment website that Floridians must use. "I´m stunned — I just don´t know what to say," Foley, a supervising attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, said Friday. "It´s still not working. And it´s just as terrible as it´s been from Day One." Since Oct. 1, Foley has spent most of his time trying to enroll South Floridians in health insurance plans as a certified Obamacare "navigator." Yet he — and six others on staff — haven´t been able to enroll anyone in any
Andy Mangione, who lives in Louisville, Ky. with his wife Amy and their two boys, is doing the same thing millions of people are doing --trying to figure out how much his insurance will cost under ObamaCare. Before the exchanges opened, his insurance company said his rates would soar. But now that there are subsidies, he´s been trying for days to find out how much he would get. "To logically compare plans, I´ve been calling them every day since October 1st," says Mangione, "several times a day on some occasions. Sometimes enduring 45, 50 minute holds, half an hour holds."
Money was falling from the sky in a Senate office building on Thursday. It was just a protest against the lobbying by agribusiness giant Monsanto, but the sight elicited a Twitter joke from Washington Examiner economics reporter Joe Lawler: "The Yellen Era begins." President Obama´s nomination of Janet Yellen as chairman of the Federal Reserve board represents a victory for the Left. (Snip) There are many ways to put a dollar figure on the money supply, and the broadest measure, the “monetary base,” has increased from $800 billion in 2008 to nearly $3.5 trillion today.
Megyn Kelly blew out Rachel Maddow in the key demo on Tuesday after losing to her the night before. "I have never seen it in all my years of cable," says Phil Griffin.Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, says there's something fishy about Tuesday's ratings for the Fox News Channel, which were up significantly from a day earlier when Fox News debuted its new schedule. And he wants an investigation."Monday we had a really good day in the key demographic. On the night that Fox News debuted their three shows, we either tied or beat them in those hours," Griffin said at a briefing, according to TVNewser
Jen Senko is a filmmaker who watched in horror as her father slowly came to believe the extreme right-wing lies of Rush Limbaugh and other conservative media mavens. Now she’s making a documentary about it calledThe Brainwashing of My Dad. Senko’s first documentary, Road Map Warrior Women, won recognition with several festival awards. Her most recent film, The Vanishing City, co-directed with Fiore DeRosa, exposes the economic policies that have made New York a city for the rich. The Vanishing City won Best Feature Documentary in the Williamsburg International Film Festival, Best Short Documentary in the Harlem International Film Festival, and
The rights of a transgendered Colorado high school student are being put ahead of girls the boy harasses in the girls bathroom. A male student at Florence (CO) High School who claims to be transgendered has caused controversy by harassing female students in the girls room, but will not face any discipline – this despite vocal protests from the girls’ parents. ‘The boy’s rights as a transgender trump their daughters’ privacy rights,’ the school has told concerned parents, according to CBN. Unidentified because all involved are minors, the students are being threatened with removal from sports teams or even hate crime charges
On health care, the president´s pile of broken promises keeps getting higher. Consider this gem from Aug. 20, 2009: “Let´s be clear about the fact that nobody has proposed anything close to a government takeover of health care.” Well, yes, somebody did. President Obama is now well on his way to orchestrating the federal government´s takeover of Americans´ health care. Commandeering the resources of major federal departments, particularly the Department of Health and Human Services and the IRS, the administration and its allies in Congress have created numerous federal bureaus, commissions and programs and have issued thousands of pages of rules, regulations,
The Los Angeles Times headline said it all: "Rep. Paul Ryan Fails to Close Republican Divide." When this became Ryan´s job, or whether his now "controversial" Wall Street Journal op-ed was even an attempt at doing that, is anyone´s guess. But once again, Republicans have decided to cannibalize themselves viciously and needlessly instead of uniting over common goals. To be clear, the divide on the right isn´t over policy. No Republican I´ve met thinks Obamacare is good legislation. No one is suggesting capitulation on the debt ceiling. Everyone wants spending cuts, entitlement reform and deficit reduction. Where we´re divided is over tactics. Incidentally, Ryan
It’s a buyer’s market for President Barack Obama. With House and Senate Republicans preparing competing proposals to end the government shutdown and avert a default on the nation’s debt, Obama hasn’t shown any inclination to jump at the first offer. The plan House Republicans presented to the White House on Thursday night wasn’t enticing enough, and there is a sense in Washington that the GOP’s scramble to avoid further political pain from this latest fiscal crisis will give Obama plenty of opportunity to define the terms of a settlement. At this point, White House officials won’t even describe
Good morning. Over the past few days, I’ve met with Republicans and Democrats from both houses of Congress in an effort to reopen your government and remove the dangers of default from our economy. It’s a positive development that House Republicans have agreed on the need to avoid the economic consequences of not meeting our country’s commitments. Because once the debt ceiling is raised, and the shutdown is over, there’s a lot we can accomplish together. We’ve created seven and a half million new jobs in the past three and a half years. Now let’s create more. We’ve cut our deficits in half over
Boston – A possible glitch in a computer system upgrade was causing major problems nationwide with the Electronic Benefits Transfer System on Saturday, as a countless number of shoppers found themselves stranded at the register. Reports from around the country began pouring in around 9 a.m. on Saturday that customers’ EBT cards were not working in stores. The glitch, however, did not appear to be part of the government shutdown. At 2 p.m., an EBT customer service representative told CBS Boston that the system was currently down for a computer system upgrade. The representative said the glitch is affecting people
Police officers in Los Angeles have long faced accusations of institutional racism, but now it appears their dogs may be unjustly discriminatory, too. A new report focusing on the Canine Special Detail of the LA Sherriff’s Department (LASD) has uncovered a vast increase in the number of minority individuals bitten by police dogs since 2004. And in the first six months of this year, every single victim of a bite by a LASD dog was African-American or Latino.The data was published in a new report by the Police Assessment Resource Centre (Parc), a Los Angeles-based non-profit organisation, devoted to “advancing effective
House Republicans were furious with Senate Republicans and President Obama on Saturday for trying to cut a debt ceiling deal that leaves them out in the cold. Members emerged from a conference meeting saying Obama had double-crossed them by breaking off talks in order to shop for a better deal from the Senate GOP. They said the deal, formulated by centrist Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine.), would never get House GOP approval. “They are trying to jam us with the Senate and we are not going to roll over and take that,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said after a GOP
Elizabeth Smart is making the rounds, flogging her new book My Story (written with Congressman Chris Stewart). Smart is, of course, the beautiful Mormon girl who in 2002 at 14 years old was abducted for nine months by evil lunatic Brian David Mitchell and his wife. Then, miraculously, she was found and reunited with her family. Today, she’s married and says she “couldn’t be happier.” She does good work fighting human trafficking and speaking to sexual abuse survivors. I’ve always been kind of fascinated with Smart. (Snip) Her kidnappers dragged her around the country, chaining her up like an animal
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) attended a rally protesting the closure of the World War II Memorial, according to reports. The lawmakers and the former governor – and 2008 GOP vice-presidential nominee – joined a crowd that removed barricades at the memorial and chanted “tear down these walls,” according to Washington, D.C., radio station WTOP. (Snip) The presence of a Confederate flag at the protest, which later moved to the White House, sparked an uproar on Twitter.