Downing Street accused Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger of threatening investigations into child-sex rings and drugs gangs in a last-ditch attempt to stop the paper publishing details from whistleblower Edward Snowden. Speaking to The New Yorker, Rusbridger said Prime Minister David Cameron’s Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood pleaded with him to spike the story. Snowden’s leaked documents showed how GCHQ routinely eavesdropped on phone calls, emails, social media posts and internet histories while sharing the details with the US National Security Agency. During a meeting in
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have banned future sales of most semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines, part of a firearms package approved by state lawmakers in response to mass shootings in other states. The governor announced signing other gun-related legislation on Friday but rejected the centerpiece bill, which would have imposed the nation’s toughest restrictions on gun ownership.
Taxpayer-funded union activity is drawing new scrutiny after the Obama administration carved out a furlough exemption for government workers who serve as labor representatives. The Office of Personnel Management, the agency managing federal employee issues, last Friday opened the door for some workers who serve as union representatives across the federal government to return to work and receive regular paychecks while most of their colleagues remain furloughed.
Dr. Ben Carson, a rising star in conservative circles, on Friday compared President Obama´s health-care law to slavery. "You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery," Carson, who is African American, said Friday in remarks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. "And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control." Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon who was recently hired to be a contributor at Fox News, has stoked controversy with his remarks before.
NEWARK, N.J. — Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker is canceling Senate campaign events because of his father´s death. Booker´s Senate campaign says in a statement that Cary Booker died Thursday in Las Vegas. He was 76. He recently had a stroke and suffered from Parkinson´s disease. Booker died less than a week before a U.S. Senate election in which his son is considered the favorite to win. Cory Booker often speaks about how his father rose up from poverty. His father and mother, Carolyn, were among the first black executives at IBM. Cary Booker, who grew up in North Carolina, also was active
Leaks of official secrets like the ones whistleblower Edward Snowden passed on to the press are a “gift” to terrorists, the new head of Britain’s counter-intelligence agency charges. In his first public remarks since assuming his leadership role in April at MI5, Andrew Parker defended the techniques used by British intelligence agencies, like the Government Communications Headquarters, to counter terrorist activity. “We are facing an international threat and GCHQ provides many of the intelligence leads upon which we rely,” Parker said at a London think tank Monday night. “It causes enormous damage to make public the reach and limits of GCHQ
WASHINGTON — The Libyan government in recent weeks tacitly approved two American commando operations in its country, according to senior American officials, one to capture a senior militant from Al Qaeda and another to seize a militia leader suspected of carrying out the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi. The Qaeda leader, Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, was captured by American commandos in Tripoli on Saturday in a raid that the United States had hoped to keep secret, but that leaked out to the news media. The operation has been widely denounced by Libyan officials, who
A Kentucky lawyer made millions off Social Security disability programs, devising a scheme with a judge to approve fraudulent claims at an “assembly-line” rate. A two-year investigation led by Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, revealed a case of coordinated fraud responsible for the approval of billions in claims. Eric Christopher Conn, known as “Mr. Social Security,” made $4.5 million in attorney fees from the Social Security Administration (SSA), gaming the system with discredited doctors signing off on medical conditions and working with a judge to expedite the claims process.
Families of fallen military service members usually receive a "death gratuity" of $100,000 for interment and expenses within days, but not during government shutdown. They paid the ultimate price serving their country — but their government can’t spare a cent to cover their funerals. The stooges on Capitol Hill added insult to tragedy Tuesday when it was revealed that the families of four soldiers and a Marine who were killed in Afghanistan have not received a $100,000 “death gratuity” because of the government shutdown....
Conservative critics of Obamacare want to know how many people have actually purchased insurance through the president’s signature legislation following the glitch-ridden rollout of the Obamacare website last week. Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) launched a website Monday—obamacarecoverup.com—attacking the administration’s refusal to release information about the number of enrollees. “Americans already know that they have a hard time putting information into the Obamacare enrollment system,” ATR’s Grover Norquist said in a press release. “Turns out they can’t get any information out of the system either. The system is broken on both ends. Even a company going bankrupt knows how many widgets it
Thousands of people found themselves inside a national park when the government shutdown went into effect. Pat Vaillancourt and her tour group "which included senior citizen visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States, were locked in Yellowstone National Park hotel under armed guard." The seniors were treated harshly by armed park employees until they were able to leave according to Vaillancourt. Once they began the journey out of the park, "the bus was not allowed to halt at all along the 2.5-hour trip out of the park, not even to stop at private bathrooms that were open along the
The Obama administration failed to act against Libyan Islamists who attacked the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi last year during the capture last weekend of a senior al Qaeda terrorist in Tripoli according to U.S. officials. Meanwhile, the Somali terrorist group al Shabaab is “gripped with fear” following the unsuccessful covert U.S. military strike against one of its leaders. The U.S. official said the locations of several attackers behind the Sept. 11 armed assault on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi and a nearby CIA facility are known. The group Ansar al Sharia, which has links to al Qaeda,
ust a week before the government shutdown kicked in on October 1, the State Department awarded a five-year, maximum $5 million contract for custom handcrafted crystal stem and barware, according to a report in the Valley News, an online news site in Vermont (via Charlie Perkins). Valley News reporter Warren Johnston reports: On eve of last week’s government shutdown, Simon Pearce won a potential five-year competitive contract for $5 million to provide 20 different styles of custom handcrafted stem and barware to the State Department for use in American embassies around the world. The contract stipulates that the items be made in
I was born at the beginning of the Second World War into a family of high school teachers who were members of the Communist Party, and therefore were actually part of a vast conspiracy dedicated to the destruction of this country, although they would never have looked at it that way, and so-called liberals would be the first to deny it. (Snip) It is also an unhappy but hugely important fact that the conspiracy to which my parents belonged has steadily migrated into the heart of the Democratic Party until it now occupies the Oval Office in the person of
The federal government has spent $634million on the Obamacare website--more than it cost to build Facebook or Twitter, it was revealed today. Despite the massive bill to taxpayers, the Healthcare.gov still doesn´t work properly ten days after it was launched - allowing only a handful of Americans to sign up for plans on the insurance exchange market. And experts warn that the site is likely to continue to experience significant glitches for months to come as engineers work out the bugs they failed to to spot before the site went live on October 1. The price tag for the broken
President Obama’s meeting with certain House Republicans, Carney said, would not be a negotiation: “he’s not going to pay ransom to the Tea Party so that the government opens or the government doesn’t default.” Carney blamed divisions among Republicans for the government shutdown, particularly blaming the Tea Party: “The President invited all members of Congress because he believes all of them shoulder the responsibilities…When it comes specifically to the House of Representatives and the House Republican conference, I think the president extended the invitation to all members because we have seen that it is a very diverse and fractious conference…a subsection
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer continued his criticism of Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday, asking “where is he now?” “How exactly was he going to achieve abolition of Obamacare? Explain that to me. Has he ever explained it? And where is he now?” Krauthammer said on “The Laura Ingraham Show.” Krauthammer, who has previously hit Cruz (R-Texas) on the strategy of shutdown to defund Obamacare, included Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in his questioning and said the two went home to “have lunch.” “I mean his sidekick, Senator [Mike] Lee said, ‘Oh, we’re past Obamacare. We moved on.’ These are the generals
Throw the bums out. That’s the message 60 percent of Americans are sending to Washington in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, saying if they had the chance to vote to defeat and replace every single member of Congress, including their own representative, they would. Just 35 percent say they would not.(snip) The 60 percent figure is the highest-ever in that question recorded in the poll, registered in the wake of the government shutdown and threat of the U.S. defaulting on its debt for the first time in history.
WASHINGTON — Starting in about a decade, Kingston, Jamaica, will probably be off-the-charts hot — permanently. Other places will soon follow. Singapore in 2028. Mexico City in 2031. Cairo in 2036. Phoenix and Honolulu in 2043. And eventually the whole world in 2047. A new study on global warming pinpoints the probable dates for when cities and ecosystems around the world will regularly experience hotter environments the likes of which they have never seen before. And for dozens of cities, mostly in the tropics, those dates are a generation or less away. "This paper is both innovative and sobering," said
The National Park System has a budget of $2.6 billion, much of it raised by concession and attendance fees. Even if it were entirely taxpayer-funded it would represent only .00068 of every federal dollar in our $3.8 trillion budget. Nonetheless, hardball-playing White House strategists have made it the most conspicuous instrument of pain inflicted by the federal shutdown. The Republican House has tried to fund the park system during the struggle over Obamacare funding, but without success. Even park funding offers by states have been rejected by the feds. Almost every day brings fresh examples of unnecessary annoyances and hardships visited
One of the TV´s priciest daytime experiments soon could be coming to an end. Stations throughout the U.S. are contracted to carry Katie Couric´s syndicated talk show through summer 2014, but the decision on whether Katie will score a third season likely will be made this month -- and renewal seems a long shot. In fall 2012, Disney/ABC TV rolled out the red carpet for Couric, 56, giving her plum time slots on the best stations, fat license fees and loads of promotion. The initial annual budget was $50 million, according to a show source -- including $20 million for Couric
The State Department announced Wednesday that it was cutting hundreds of millions in military and other aid to Egypt, and make no mistake: this was not a government shutdown move. This was the President of the United States blackmailing a sovereign state to force it to restore the Muslim Brotherhood government he favors. With the Egyptian economy in crisis and Egypt strongly dependent on this aid, Obama has just effectively cast his vote for the Muslim Brotherhood’s return to power – and his vote outweighs that of millions of Egyptians.
The Obama administration insisted Tuesday it had no choice but to withhold death benefits to relatives of 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno, a 25-year-old soldier born and raised in San Diego, and four other soldiers killed since the partial government shutdown began Oct. 1. This is ridiculous and perverse. President Barack Obama has used an expansive — and some legal scholars believe extreme — interpretation of his powers to unilaterally rewrite key provisions of the No Child Left Behind law, the sweeping 2002 measure that drastically reshaped federal education policies. In similar fashion, the president has unilaterally rewritten key provisions of
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has destroyed an entire press run of a stamp series over safety concerns about the images on three out of the 15 stamps in the series. The stamps, which were aimed at getting children to be more active, featured kids cannonballing into a pool, skateboarding without kneepads, and performing a headstand without a helmet. Postalnews, a blog run by Brian Sheehan, a retired postal employee from Massachusetts, reports that USPS Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Nagisa Manabe asked First Lady Michelle Obama to take part in a first day ceremony for the stamps. Upon
Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed AB 154 on Wednesday, legalizing non-physician abortions in the state. The legislation, which had been pushed vigorously by Planned Parenthood, had been strongly opposed by pro-life groups and some physicians, arguing that it amounted to legalizing back-alley abortions for profit. In a statement, Gov. Brown boasted that AB 154 was one of seven bills signed Tuesday "to support the health and well-being of women in California."