WASHINGTON - The White House budget office has directed federal agencies to shut down, lacking funding from Congress. The U.S. government began a partial shutdown Monday after the Democratic-led Senate and Republican-controlled House refused to back down in a clash over scaling back President Barack Obama´s landmark health care law as the price for essential federal funding. On a long day and night in the Capitol, the Senate torpedoed one Republican attempt to tie government financing to changes in the law known as "Obamacare." House Republicans countered with a second bill despite unmistakable signs their unity was fraying — and
Comments: *Associated Press writers Andrew Taylor, Alan Fram and David Espo contributed to this report.
A first-term Florida Republican congressman has been charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, according to charges filed in Washington, D.C., superior court on Tuesday. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., faces arraignment on Wednesday in Washington. He was arrested on Oct. 29 for alleged possession of cocaine, which was first reported by Politico. The charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of 180 days of imprisonment and/or a fine of $1,000, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Radel released the following statement on Tuesday: "I´m profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida.
A sweeping child pornography investigation has led to the rescue of 386 children around the world and the arrest of 348 people, Canadian police said Thursday. Toronto police describe the Project Spade operation as one of the largest child porn busts they´ve ever seen. "It is alleged that officers seized hundreds of thousands of videos detailing horrific sexual acts against very young children, some of the worst that they have ever viewed," Inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins said. Police said 108 people were arrested in Canada and 76 in the U.S. Others were arrested in other countries. Australian Federal Police commander Glen McEwen
RALEIGH-DURHAM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, N.C. --The pilot of a Southwest Airlines flight headed to RDU went on the loudspeaker and told passengers their plane was going down, according to a woman on board the flight. "He said, we´re going down. And everyone is looking around like, is this a joke? Is he serious? And then you felt the nosedive," passenger Shelley Wills said. Wills told ABC11 the Tuesday night flight from Tampa took a nosedive thousands of feet in the air while they were about 100 miles away from RDU. Wills is a nurse and tried helping the first-time flier seated next to her who
The Family Research Council (FRC) released a video in time for Veterans Day that warns Americans about the persecution of U.S. troops who express their Christian faith. The four-minute-and-44 second video, “A Clear and Present Danger,” features active duty members of the U.S. military sharing their concerns about the “tremendous culture of intimidation and fear in the ranks of the American military right now.” The identities of the men the faces and voices of the man are obscured to cloak their identities. “Soldiers give up a lot of privileges or rights to be soldiers and defend the freedom of others,”
Today has, rightfully, been set aside to honor the men and women who have stood in the breech between us and those who would destroy us, devoting precious years in the very prime of their young lives to protect the country, the people and the way of life they love. They all made tremendous sacrifices, up to and including the ultimate one of giving their lives for their country. They suffered the loss of limbs, sight and even their sanity, or at the very least, the grinding loneliness of separation from family, loved ones and everything that was dear and
A leading allergy doctor has debunked a host of myths, saying that gluten allergy doesn’t exist – and nor do hypoallergenic pets. Dr David Stukus, an allergy specialist from Columbus, Ohio, wrote a presentation debunking various common allergy misconceptions after years of hearing patients declare inaccuracies. One pet peeve is the patients who say they can’t eat bread because they’re allergic to gluten, he says. ‘There’s this claim about “gluten allergy,” which really doesn’t exist,’ he told the website today.com. ‘It’s not really a recognised allergy. Wheat is a recognised allergy — but a lot of people will misinterpret that as
Sybrina Fulton was on Capitol Hill Tuesday testifying on the issue of “stand your ground,” an issue close to her heart after the death of her son Trayvon Martin. Senator Ted Cruz told her during the hearing that stand your ground laws are not racist, and Fulton responded to Cruz’s defense of the Florida law Al Sharpton‘s MSNBC show Tuesday night. Sharpton cited statistics to rebut Cruz’s claim that African-Americans have benefitted more from stand your ground laws in Florida than white Americans have. Fulton told Sharpton there’s “some disconnect” in Cruz’s remarks, saying he is “not aware of the
Aurora, Colo. — Police were searching Tuesday for a man who tried to kidnap an 8-year-old girl from her bedroom in the middle of the night by slashing an outdoor screen and dragging her into an alley. Investigators say the girl screamed for help early Monday morning and was able to get away from the abductor just as her father ran outside to help her. The father told police he saw the suspect speed away in the alley that runs behind their house. Police Chief Dan Oates said the girl´s loud struggle to escape may have saved her life. Oates
Josef Martin, 92, woke up with a gun barrel in his mouth. The robbers told him to "shut up" and stay quiet as they ransacked his east-central Fresno home early Wednesday morning. The World War II veteran, who served in four major battles in Europe and is blind in one eye and nearly deaf, lay motionless with the gun in his mouth, sure that if he moved, they would kill him. After a few minutes, a robber got him out of bed and struck him in the face with the butt of a handgun, then threw him into his bedroom
Don’t donate to the tea party or to evangelical Christian groups — that was the message soldiers at a pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood said they received from a counter-intelligence agent who headed up the meeting. If you do, you could face punishment — that was the other half of the message, as reported by Fox News. The briefing was Oct. 17, and about a half-hour of it was devoted to discussion about how perceived radical groups — like tea party organizations and the Christian-based American Family Association — were “tearing the country apart,” one unnamed soldier said, to Fox
A business owner who contracted with the Pentagon has pleaded guilty to charges he sold the military defective parts that grounded planes, and then sent sensitive information to India. In a release Thursday, federal prosecutors said Robert Luba, 47, the owner of Allied Components LLC of New Jersey, sold the government defective Indian-made “wing-pins” that eventually grounded 47 Air Force F-15 fighters while military officials inspected and repaired the aircraft. Then he sent information on a component of a nuclear-powered submarine to an associate in India, officials said. “The conduct admitted by Luba shows a callous disregard for the safety of
A new bipartisan poll finds that most Americans support creation of a special congressional committee to investigate events surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Among voters who were polled, 62 percent believe “it is important” for Congress to establish a singular committee to address unanswered questions about the bombing in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed four American lives, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, according to pollsters John McLaughlin, a Republican, and Pat Caddell, a Democrat. More than 80 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of independents also support creation of a special panel to assess
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
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.”
“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
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,
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.
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,"
"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
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.
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
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,
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