Spotlight On America

 

3105pr2.jpgspotligtamerica

Report casts light on US drone programme

Full ArticleAl Jazeera 

16 Mar 2014

 

When a US drone attack killed members of a wedding party outside the city of Rad’a, Yemen, in December, it appeared to directly contradict US President Barack Obama’s earlier promise that such attacks would only be undertaken when a “near-certainty” could be reached that no civilians would be killed. That strike, which killed 12 and wounded 15,… 

File - After taxiing in an MQ-9 Reaper, Airman 1st Class Jon Mann walks under a Reaper's wing to place wheel chocks to prevent accidental movement April 24, 2013 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.

Venezuela says US seeks to fund violence

Full ArticleAl Jazeera 

15 Mar 2014

 

Venezuela‘s chief prosecutor has accused Washington of seeking to stoke violence in her country, after US lawmakers called for funding for activist groups there. “There’s no doubt that this is to fund the violent actions taking place in Venezuela,” Luisa Ortega Diaz told reporters in Geneva on Friday. Diaz said the money would be used to buy C4, a… 
A demonstrator uses a Venezuelan flag to strike at a line of Bolivarian National Police officers in riot gear, during clashes at a anti-government protest in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

US Drone “Intercepted” Over Crimea By Russian ‘Self-Defense’ Forces

Submitted on 03/14/2014 – 15:20
An American scout-attack drone, “almost invisible at a height of 4000 meters” has, according to AFP, been intercepted in the Crimean sky. Reports from the Russian state arms and technology group Rostec stated, judging by side-markings it was an MQ-5B drone – which is likely part of the 66th US Recon Brigade based in Bavaria. It was possible to break the drone’s link with its American operators with the help of the EW (electronic warfare) complex Avtobaza. As a result, the device made an emergency landing and passed into the possession of the self-defense forces almost unbroken.” It is perhaps ironic that the US is complaining abouit Russia’s military presence in Ukraine even as its own equipment is reportedly operating in the country.

n-TITAN-AEROSPACE-large570

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death Toll Rises in New York City Building Explosion

Full ArticleABC News 

13 Mar 2014

 

Share ABC Entertainment News | ABC Business News Copy The death toll in Wednesday’s suspected gas explosion and building collapse in New York City has risen to six, with three additional victims found early this morning. Investigators found the bodies of two adult males and one adult female this morning, ABC Newshas confirmed. Several people are… 
Firefighters continue to investigate and remove debris from an explosion in Harlem, Wednesday, March 12, 2014 in New York.

 

 

 

Death row inmate Glenn Ford released 30 years after wrongful conviction

Full ArticleThe Guardian 

12 Mar 2014

 

Man found guilty of murder by all-white jury in deeply flawed trial had one ofAmerica’s longest ever waits for exoneration Glenn Ford, 64, talks to the media as he leaves the maximum-security Angola prison in LouisianaPhotograph: Uncredited/AP Glenn Ford has been freed from the notorious Angola prison in Louisiana having lived under the shadow… 
File - In this Aug. 18, 2011 photo, prison guards ride horses that were broken by inmates as they return from farm work detail at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana.

 

 

 

 

 

The 20 Most Powerful Harvard Graduates

ALYSON PENN AND PETER JACOBS MAR. 7, 2014, 
obama michelle air force one
Harvard alums Barack and Michelle Obama exit Air Force One.

 

From the president of the United States to the heads of some of the biggest financial institutions in the world, Harvard University graduates have established themselves in powerful positions.

Harvard—which was recently named the university with the best reputation in the world—is known as being one of the best academic institutions in the America. Both its undergraduate and graduate programs consistently top many higher education rankings.

For this list, we’ve included any living person who has a degree from one of Harvard’s schools. We looked for those who are currently in positions of major power and influence on both a national and global stage.

 

 

 

 

It’s Obama v Putin on Crimea

Full ArticleThe Times of India 

08 Mar 2014

 

WASHINGTON: Now it’s personal. By upping the ante with his threat to isolateRussia with sanctions over CrimeaBarack Obama risks setting off a cycle of confrontation with Vladimir Putin. And despite his reluctance to play Cold War-style chess with the Russian president, a degeneration into a new great power rivalry cannot be ruled out. Since… 
File - President Barack Obama talks with Bob Carr, Australia Minister for Foreign Affairs, as President Vladimir Putin opens an afternoon plenary session at Konstantinovsky Palace during the G20 Summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 6, 2013.

 

 

CIA Launches Probe of Possible Spying on US Senate Staffers

Full ArticleVoa News 

06 Mar 2014

 

VOA News The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has launched an internal review into allegations that its officers had improperly monitored congressional staffers assigned to investigate the agency’s interrogation program. Democratic SenatorDiane Feinstein told reporters Wednesday about the investigation by… 
File - Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, left, and CIA Dir.ector John Brennan, right, take their seats on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, prior to testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on current and projected national security threats against the US.
photo: AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

 

 

 

 

$9.5 billion ruling against Chevron was corrupt, judge says

Full ArticleSan Francisco Chronicle 

05 Mar 2014

 

A federal judge in New York ruled Tuesday that a landmark $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. in Ecuador was the result of fraud, committed by lawyers who sued the oil giant for allegedly poisoning part of the Amazon rain forest.Chevron, based in San Ramon, has argued for years that the 2011 judgment, in an environmental case closely… 
Cofan indigenous women stand near an open oil pit in the Sucumbios province in Ecuador's Amazon in this Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2005 file photo. A court-appointed expert recommended on April 2, 2008 that Chevron Corp. pay up to US$16 billion (€10.2 billion) for allegedly polluting Ecuador's Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

USA GRABS 1ST GOLD

The Stupendous News Hidden In The Jobs Report

 

One Brutal Quote Sums Up John Boehner’s Current Nightmare As Speaker

WHERE THERE’S A WILL THERE’S THE NSA

UH-OH: These New Services Won’t Protect You From Government Snoops

US warns Russia Olympics of ‘toothpaste’ bomb

Full ArticleAl Jazeera 

06 Feb 2014

 

The United States has issued a warning to airports and to some airlines flying toRussia for the Olympics to watch for toothpaste tubes that could hold ingredients to make a bomb on a… 
Russian security personnel patrol Olympic park ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.

Congressman: Obama’s Drone War Rules Let Terrorists Go Free

1391562600175.cached dronewar

The President’s restrictions on U.S. drone strikes endangering American troops, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee charges.

BUTTS OUT

‘GAME OF GOTCHA’

NEW HOSTAGE DEMANDS

Obama to visit Saudi Arabia amid tensions over Iran, Syria

Full ArticleChina Daily 

01 Feb 2014

 

US President Barack Obama plans to travel to Saudi Arabia in March on a mission to smooth tensions with Washington’s main Arab ally over US policy on Iran’s nuclear program and the civil war in Syria, a newspaper reported. Obama is preparing to meet with King Abdullah for a summit, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing unnamed Arab… 
President Barack Obama talks on a conference call with U.S. negotiators in Geneva, and Deputy National Security Advisors Tony Blinken and Ben Rhodes in the Oval Office, to discuss negotiations with Iran, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013.

US Navy Admiral Tapped To Lead The NSA

Full ArticleBusiness Insider 

31 Jan 2014

 

See Also The embattled National Security Agency is about to get new leaders to deal with the ongoing fallout from whistleblower Edward Snowden’s surveillance disclosures. Vice-admiral Michael Rogers, the commander of the US navy’s tenth fleet and its Fleet Cyber Command, will take over from NSA Director Keith Alexander, who reluctantly… 
Vice Admiral Michael S. Rogers, commander of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and U.S.10th Fleet, speaks to students and staff at the Center for Information Dominance

Court: Amanda Knox Is Guilty

Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC, via AP
A court in Florence has ruled that Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito are guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher.
UPDATE: The court has ruled that Knox and Sollecito are guilty of Meredith Kercher’s murder, overturning their appeal. Knox’s sentence has been increased to 28 years in prison and Sollecito, sentenced to 26 years, has been ordered to turn over his passport.After more than 11 hours of deliberation, two coffee runs and a catered lunch, the two judges and six lay jurors tasked with delivering yet another ruling in the complicated murder case against Seattle native Amanda Knox and her erstwhile Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito came back with a resounding guilty verdict for the murder of Meredith Kercher. This is the fourth ruling in the case and the second time a court has decided to convict them of the murder. Kercher’s siblings Stephany and Lyle were in court for the verdict. “We have always believed in the prosecution in this case, but this is no time for celebration,” Lyle Kercher told reporters after the verdict. When asked whether or not he thought the fact that Knox was not present for the trial had any impact, he said no. “I can fully understand their personal reasons for not coming,” he said. “But I don’t think it had any impact on the outcome.” Judge Alessandro Nencini sentenced Knox to 28.6years in prison—two years more than the original judge sentenced her to, and sentenced Sollecito to 26 years in prison—one year more than his original conviction carried. They have 45 days to publish their judicial reasoning for upholding the convictions. Knox and Sollecito still have one more chance to fight for their freedom in front of Italy’s high court. No cases are considered final in Italy until and unless the high court rules definitively. Knox can wait until that final ruling in Seattle without fear of being arrested, but if the high court confirms their conviction, then she faces a possible extradition order that might be difficult to fight. Knox and Sollecito will not have to begin serving their sentence until after the high court signs off on the ruling, likely not before the spring of 2015. Sollecito was ordered to surrender his passport and travel documents. Knox, who the judge says is not a risk of flight since she is already out of the country, will not have to surrender her documents. After the hearing, Knox’s attorney Carlo Dalla Vedova said Knox was listening to the verdict by an open phone in the courtroom. “She was petrified,” he said.

Kercher’s lifeless half-nude body was found with two stab wounds to her neck in a locked bedroom in the student apartment she shared with Knox on November 2, 2007.

Kercher’s lifeless half-nude body was found with two stab wounds to her neck in a locked bedroom in the student apartment she shared with Knox on November 2, 2007.  Five days later, Knox, Sollecito and Patrick Lumumba, Knox’s boss at the pub where she worked, were in jail on suspicion of murder.  During an intense interrogation, Knox had admitted to being in the house when Kercher was killed and accused Lumumba of the murder.  Two weeks later, Lumumba was released from jail due to lack of evidence.   Rudy Guede, an Ivory Coast native who worked odd jobs and peddled dope to students, including those who lived in the apartment below Kercher and Knox, was arrested in Germany after his DNA was found in Kercher’s room and on her body.  In October 2008, Guede was convicted of Kercher’s murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison in a fast-track trial on the same day Knox and Sollecito were indicted.  They were kept in protective custody because Knox was deemed a flight risk, according to the judge who denied her request for bond.  In December 2009, Knox and Sollecito were convicted of Kercher’s murder and sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison.  The same month, Guede’s sentence was reduced to 16 years on appeal.  In October 2011 the former lovers’ convictions were overturned on appeal.  In March 2013, Italy’s highest court overturned those convictions and ordered a new appellate trial, which began in September 2013 and concludes today. The new appellate trial was not a replica of the first two trials. The court did not ask to rehear and rehash all of the evidence presented in the first two trials. Instead, the court homed in on key evidence like the knife the prosecution maintains is the murder weapon, and asked for clarification on key witnesses that were used to convict Knox and Sollecito in the first instance, and then acquit them on appeal.   Knox was not present in court, but she sent an email in which she said she was “afraid” the judicial panel would make a mistake and uphold their convictions.  After reading the letter for the court record, Judge Nencini commented that receiving an email was highly irregular.  “If you want to speak in court, you should come to court,” he said. Sollecito attended several hearings, including the final rebuttals by Knox’s lawyers on the morning of the verdict.  “We are nervous,” Sollecito’s father Francesco Sollecito told The Daily Beast the night before the verdict. “We have faith but we are afraid.” Kercher’s siblings Stephany and Lyle came from London to hear the verdict in the case, accompanied by a representative from the British Consulate.  They have been present for each of the court rulings. Patrick Lumumba was also in court on verdict day, telling reporters, “If Amanda was innocent, she would be here, too.”

‘TAKE BACK YOUR PARTY’

State of the Union 2014: Obama wants ‘action’ on income inequality

Full ArticleThe Examiner 

29 Jan 2014

 

President Barack Obama vowed to take action this year at the 2014 State of the Union on women’s rights, income inequality and ending the War in Afghanistan, according to a Jan. 28 report in the Chicago TribuneObama also revealed an executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contract employees to $10. 10, which will mostly affect… 
President Barack Obama gestures during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 29, 2011.

PRES. FORCES WAGE RAISE

‘LIKE A THREAT’

Caribbean cruise liner investigated after nearly 300 passengers fall ill

Full ArticleThe Guardian 

27 Jan 2014

 

Gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea, afflict almost 10% of passengers on Explorer of the Seas Explorer of the Seas docked at St ThomasUS Virgin IslandsPhotographThomas Layer/AP US health officials boarded a cruise ship in the US Virgin Islands on Sunday to investigate an illness outbreak that has stricken at least 300… 
The Royal Caribbean International's Explorer of the Seas is docked at Charlotte Amalie Harbor in St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.

THE SNOWDEN EFFECT How NSA Spying Threatens The U.S. Tech Industry’s Global Ambitions

‘WE HAVE A DUMB SYSTEM’

1.6 MILLION NOW SHAFTED

Snowden trial could be awkward for US

Full ArticleTimes Union 

21 Jan 2014

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Putting former NSA contractor Edward Snowden on trial for leaking U.S. surveillance information could be an awkward public spectacle for theObama administration. More classified material could be at risk and jurors might see him as a whistle-blower exposing government overreach. Snowden surely would try to turn the tables on the… 
File - In this image provided by Human Rights Watch, NSA leaker Edward Snowden, center, attends a news conference at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport with Sarah Harrison of WikiLeaks, left, Friday, July 12, 2013.

Barack Obama: ‘Marijuana No More Dangerous Than Alcohol’

Full ArticlePeace FM Online 

20 Jan 2014

 

US President Barack Obama has said smoking marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, but still called it a “bad idea”. Speaking to The New Yorker magazine, he said it was wrong to think legalising the drug would be “a… 
In this May 5, 2011, shows a unidentified man smoking medical marijuana during karaoke night at the Cannabis Cafe, in Portland, Ore

Obama Believes 2014 ‘Can Be A Breakthrough Year For America’

Full ArticleHuffington Post 

18 Jan 2014

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he believes 2014 can be a breakthrough year for the country. In his weekly radio and Internet address,Obama says the U.S. is primed to bring back jobs lost in the recession or to overseas competitors. But he says to make that happen, the U.S. must act to create good-paying jobs and increase economic… 
President Barack Obama talks on the phone with FBI Director Robert Mueller to receive an update on the explosions that occurred in Boston, in the Oval Office, April 15, 2013.

SERVED MORE CHRISTIE AIDES HIT WITH SUBPOENAS

NSA HERE TO STAY

SAUL LOEB via Getty Images

Obama Calls For Modest Changes To Surveillance State… Intel Groups Will Need Permission To Search Phone Data… Headed For Supreme Court?…OBAMA: Some Countries Loudly Criticizing NSA Use NSA Data, Spy On U.S….

Obama to reveal curbs on NSA spy programmes

Full ArticleBBC News 

17 Jan 2014

 

President Barack Obama is to announce changes to US electronic spy programmes after revelations made by ex-intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. He aims to restore public confidence in the intelligence community. Mr Obama is expected to create a public advocate at the secretive court that approves intelligence collection. His proposals come hours… 
File - President Barack Obama uses his speaker phone during a Congressional phone call in the Oval Office, Oct. 25, 2013.

AND THE NOMINEES ARE…

Israeli defence minister apologises to Kerry over diatribe

Full ArticleNew Straits/Business Times 

15 Jan 2014

 

Israel‘s Minister of Defence Moshe Yaalon apologised to US Secretary of State John Kerry after he accused the American of having an “obsession” with Middle Eastpeace, sparking a furious diplomatic row between the two allies. The White Househad described Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon’s initial comments as “offensive,” in a mark of the degree of… 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses reporters and takes some of their questions during a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 24, 2013, after the P5+1 member nations concluded negotiations with Iran about its nuclear capabilities.

JERSEY JIVE

AP

Gov. Addresses NJ: ‘Mistakes Were Made’… Vows Cooperation With Probes…DRIP: CHRISTIE CAUGHT WITH CAPO DURING BRIDGE DEBACLE…  GOV. LAST WEEK: ‘I Have Had No Contact With Him In Long, Long Time’…Adviser: Christie Will Keep Fundraising Throughout U.S…. NYT: ‘Fired Aide Called Loyal Team Player, Not Rogue Operative’… New Investigation Sought…

Why You Should Never Use Your Debit Card

By Patrick Morris  January 14, 2014 

Target (NYSE: TGT  ) provided the latest update about the theft of its customers’ information on Friday, and nearly doubled the amount of affected individuals hit by its data breech from 40 million to 70 million. Names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses were all stolen. 

Source: MoneyBlogNewz on Flickr

While there is often a lot of guidance on why customers shouldn’t use credit cards, this latest news from Target shows why using a debit card may in fact be a worse idea. And while in the example of Target both credit and debit cards were affected, and it has assured that its customers “will not be held financially responsible for any credit card or debit card fraud,” it brings into question whether or not debit cards should be used at all. The case against debit cards While some say credit cards are dangerous because of the potential to rack up massive amounts of debt, it isn’t as though debit cards should be used without caution or concern. With debit cards, consumers have fewer rights when it comes to unauthorized purchases, greater potential liabilities, longer potential resolution times, and even less protection on the purchases they do make.

FEELING THE BURN (BUT NOT IN A GOOD WAY)

Some Fitbit Owners Complain Of Severe Skin Irritation

SHE’S BACK

1.14.2014

US REPORTER BARRED FROM RUSSIA FOR FIRST TIME SINCE COLD WAR

 

Afghanistan stability: a pipe dream?

13 Jan 2014

 

In recent days, US officials have admitted that negotiations with Afghan PresidentHamid Karzai on a bilateral security agreement (BSA) continue to make little progress. Washington’s ambassador to Kabul has reportedly concluded that Karzaiis unlikely to sign an accord before the elections this spring – and yet the Obama administration, after… 
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Joseph Brockbank (middle), platoon leader for 1st platoon, Troop P (Palehorse), 4th Squadron, Combined Task Force Dragoon, walks back to his vehicle with a member of the Afghan Uniformed Police after engaging with local village elders Dec. 16, 2013, at Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

 

January 11

PORT BOSS FEARED DEATHS

US challenges ‘provocative’ China sea law

10 Jan 2014

 

The United States has described as “provocative and potentially dangerous” newChinese restrictions of foreign fishing vessels in disputed waters in the South China Sea. From January 1, China has required foreign fishing vessels to obtain approval to enter waters it says are under… 
EAST CHINA SEA (Jan. 14, 2011) USS Bunker Hill trails behind USS Carl Vinson and two Korean ships.

US opposes to release of Taliban suspects

Full ArticleChina Daily 

10 Jan 2014

 

WASHINGTON - The United States on Thursday voiced opposition to Afghanistan‘s latest decision to release 72 of the 88 suspected Taliban inmates, calling them “dangerous criminals”. “These 72 detainees are dangerous criminals against whom there is strong evidence…
File Photo: Afghan detainees, seen through a mesh wire fence, prepare for noon prayers inside the Parwan detention facility near Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan.

Pentagon ex-head Gates criticises Obama’s Afghan tactics

Full ArticleBBC News 

08 Jan 2014

 

Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has strongly criticised President Barack Obama‘s handling of the war in AfghanistanUS media have reported. InDutyMemoirs of a Secretary of War, Mr Gates says that the president was sceptical that his administration’s Afghan strategy would succeed. “I never doubted [his] support for the… 
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates pauses during a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, not seen, at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday Jan. 16, 2007.

SENATE SHOWS HEART FOR JOBLESS

187 MIL IN DEEP FREEZE!

Getty

‘Polar Vortex’ Spreads South And East… More Records Set To Fall… Single Digits In Georgia, Alabama… Ohio Preps For Coldest Temps In Decades… Illinois, Indiana Declare Disaster…

Janet Yellen: Federal Reserve Boss Is Revealed

Full ArticleOrange News 

07 Jan 2014

 

January 2014, 1:37 Janet YellenFederal Reserve Boss Is Revealed Tweet Federal Reserve vice chair Janet Yellen will be the new head of the world’s most powerful central bank – the first woman to hold the position. The 67-year-old was Barack Obama’s choice and she earned cross-party support in the bitterly divided chamber. “The American people… 
Janet Yellen, of California, President Barack Obama's nominee to become Federal Reserve chair, center, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday Nov. 14, 2013, before the Senate Banking Committee hearing on her nomination to succeed Ben Bernanke.

Iraqis Make Gains Against Militants in Key City

Full ArticleThe New York Times 

06 Jan 2014

 

BAGHDAD — Iraqi security forces and their tribal allies made gains in heavy fighting on Sunday in Ramadi, reclaiming parts of the city from Sunni militants aligned with Al Qaeda, security officials and tribal leaders said. Related Qaeda-Linked Militants inIraq Secure Nearly Full Control of Falluja (January 5, 2014) Power Vacuum in Middle East… 
Gunmen patrol after clashes with Iraqi security forces in Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014.

Sixteen Dead As Snow Storms Batter Eastern US

Winter Snow Storm Hammers Northeastern US

Brutal weather claims several lives as wind-chill readings plunge as low as -23C in parts of the US.

The Washington Post: Keeping faith in Afghanistan

Full ArticleThe Salt Lake Tribune 

04 Jan 2014

 

The United States’ war effort in Afghanistan is to wind down this year, leaving a multitude of unanswered questions and plenty of loose ends. But the United States must not leave any ambiguity about the fate of the interpreters who aidedU.S. forces over the past 13 years. Congress has approved a special immigrant visa program for those who… 
The Washington Post: Keeping faith in Afghanistan

NSA eyes encryption-breaking ‘quantum’ machine

03 Jan 2014

 

The US National Security Agency is making strid es toward building a “quantum computer” that could break nearly any kind of encryption, The Washington Postreported Thursday. The Post said leaked documents from fugitive ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden indicate the computer would allow the secret intelligence agency to break encryption used to… 
Matthew Hirschland, communications director for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, stands at the end of two rows of processors that make up a small part of the new Yellowstone supercomputer on the outskirts of Cheyenne, Wyo. on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.

Guantanamo and Force-Feeding: From Rape to Sodomy?

Full ArticleWorldNews.com

03 Jan 2014

 

Article by WN.com Correspondent Dallas Darling In the early 1900‘s, when it was clear that the British Parliament had no intentions of passing legislation protecting a woman’s right to vote, members of the WSPU started to engage in acts of civil disobedience. For publicly demonstrating, shadowing prominent leaders, and for burning down vacant… 
In this photo reviewed by the U.S. military, a U.S. Navy nurse stands next to a chair with restraints, used for force-feeding, and a tray displaying nutritional shakes, a tube for feeding through the nose, and lubricants, including a jar of olive oil, during a tour of the detainee hospital at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013.

PAPERS LAUNCH PARDON PUSH

HELLO, 2014!

1544283_592543004149241_1632199321_n 2014

Train collision in North Dakota sets oil rail cars ablaze

Full ArticleDNA India 

31 Dec 2013

 

BNSF train carrying crude oil in North Dakota collided with another train on Monday, setting off a series of explosions that left at least 10 cars ablaze, the latest in a string of incidents that have raised alarms over growing oil-by-rail traffic. Local residents heard five powerful explosions just a mile outside of the small town ofCasselton… 
A fireball goes up at the site of an oil train derailment Monday, Dec 30, 2013, in Casselton, N.D. The train carrying crude oil derailed near Casselton Monday afternoon. Several explosions were reported as some cars on the mile-long train caught fire.
photo: AP / Bruce Crummy
Poll: Clinton, Obama, most admired

DARKEST HOUR HOW CONGRESS SCREWED OVER AMERICANS IN 2013

U.S. intelligence report has grim outlook for Afghanistan

Full ArticleDenver Post 

29 Dec 2013

 

WASHINGTON — A new American intelligence assessment on the Afghan warpredicts that the gains the United States and its allies have made during the past three years are likely to have been significantly eroded by 2017, even if Washingtonleaves behind a few thousand troops and continues bankrolling the impoverished nation, according to… 
U.S. Army soldiers with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, from Forward Operating Base Torkham, conduct a dismounted patrol from one of their observation points to an Afghan Border Police checkpoint, Nov. 18, 2013.

 The Holidays is a time to take a break from the great debates

An encore Horsey cartoon contrasts the gifts of Christmas with the follies of politics.

Forgetting for a while the wise guys of human folly, most of us can spend the days being wise men and women sharing love, friendship, good times and a communal meal with the people in our lives who matter the most.

Okinawa governor approves plan of relocating U.S. Futenma airbase

Full ArticleXinhua 

27 Dec 2013

 

TOKYO, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) – Japan‘s Okinawa governor on Friday approved the landfill work to relocate the U.S. Futenma airbase within the Japanesesouthernmost prefecture, reported local media. Governor Hirokazu Nakaimachanged his previous policy of relocating the controversial airbase out of the… 
Marine Corps Air Station Futenma or MCAS Futenma is a United States Marine Corps base located in Ginowan, 5 NM of Naha, on the island of Okinawa, Japan.
photo: GFDL

If U.S. troops leave Afghanistan, much civilian aid may go too

Full ArticleSwissinfo 

26 Dec 2013

 

Reuters December 26, 2013 – 07:03 By Missy Ryan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For years, U.S. officials have pointed to the improvements in the everyday lives of Afghans made possible by billions of dollars in aid from the United States and elsewhere. In Afghanistan, people now live 20 years longer on average than under Taliban rule, they say; 7… 
File - While on patrol, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Brendan D. Murphy of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, walks beside the children of a village in Khowst Province, Afghanistan, while engaging them in conversation on June 2, 2013.
photo: US Army / Sgt. Justin A. Moeller

Mass power cuts continue in US and Canada after storm

Full ArticleBBC News 

26 Dec 2013

 

More than 500,000 households in the north-eastern US and the south-easternCanada are still without electricity after last weekend’s severe ice storm. Utilitycrews are working round-the-clock, but warn that some homes could… 
Snow-covered Lake Michigan is seen Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, in Chicago. Two bursts of light snow are likely to total 1 to 2 inches area-wide, making this the snowiest Christmas in the Chicago area since 2002 when 2 inches fell.

Obama warns of ending support to South Sudan

Full ArticleThe Siasat Daily 

22 Dec 2013

 

WashingtonDecember 21US President Barack Obama Saturday urged factions inSouth Sudan to resolve conflict through peaceful negotiations, while warning that the use of force to seize power would end support from the US and global community. Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii, was briefed on Air Force OneFriday night on the status of four… 
Obama warns of ending support to South Sudan

Time for limits on the ever-expanding powers of NSA cyber spies

Panel recommends limits on NSA cyber spies

NOT MUCH LONGER

OBAMA’S PANEL TELLS NSA TO COOL IT

The Federal Reserve’s open market committee closes its meeting today and decides whether to start to taper the nearly $20 billion per week, or $85 billion per month, it creates each month in order to buy U.S. bonds.

Federal Reserve Balance Sheet and S&P 500 – The Financial Times

The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet is set to exceed a whopping $4 trillion

First lady brings holiday cheer to sick kids

Associated Press

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE
First lady Michelle Obama, accompanied by Santa Claus, reads a holiday story to children at Children's National Health System in Washington, Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. Michelle Obama read a story to children during her visit and answered questions at the Children’s Hospital. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
.

 Edward Snowden leaks: NSA amnesty ‘considered’

Full ArticleBBC News 

16 Dec 2013

 

A top National Security Agency official says it is considering offering an amnesty to fugitive US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden if he agrees to stop leaking secret documents. The man in charge of assessing the leaks’ damage, Richard Ledgett, said he could be open to an amnesty deal. Disclosures by the fugitive intelligence analyst have…
A supporter holds a picture of Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who leaked top-secret information about U.S. surveillance programs, outside the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong Thursday, June 13, 2013.

December 15, 2013

ONE YEAR LATER THESE ARE THE FACES OF AMERICA’S GUN VIOLENCE VICTIMS

Why AP is publishing story about missing American tied to CIA

Posted on  by 

The Associated Press today is publishing an article about serious blunders at the Central Intelligence Agency and an effort to cover them up. At the heart of the story is a retired FBI agent, Robert Levinson, who was recruited as a spy by a rogue group of analysts inside the CIA. Without any authority to do so, the analysts sent Levinson into Iran, where he disappeared in 2007. His condition and whereabouts are not known and the Iranian government says it has no information. Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll explains why AP decided to publish this story: Publishing this article was a difficult decision. This story reveals serious mistakes and improper actions inside the U.S. government’s most important intelligence agency. Those actions, the investigation and consequences have all been kept secret from the public. Publishing articles that help the public hold their government to account is part of what journalism is for, and especially so at The Associated Press, which pursues accountability journalism whenever it can. This seems particularly true on this subject at a time when the decisions of intelligence agencies are being extensively debated. The AP has been seeking information on Levinson’s whereabouts from governments, agencies and any other source possible for several years. Government officials tell us that they, too, have hit a wall, though their efforts continue. In the absence of any solid information about Levinson’s whereabouts, it has been impossible to judge whether publication would put him at risk. It is almost certain that his captors already know about the CIA connection but without knowing exactly who the captors are, it is difficult to know whether publication of Levinson’s CIA mission would make a difference to them. That does not mean there is no risk. But with no more leads to follow, we have concluded that the importance of the story justifies publication.

December 13

HERE’S THE CATCH OBAMA OFFERS LAST-MINUTE OBAMACARE FIX, BUT…

Kerry, Congress spar over Iran nuclear deal

Full ArticleOhio 

11 Dec 2013

 

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration and Congress clashed Tuesday over the historic nuclear deal with Iran, exposing deep rifts over a U.S. pledge to refrain from any new sanctions over the next six months in exchange for concessions on enriching uranium. The disagreement could have broad consequences for the U.S. diplomatic effort to prevent Iran… 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gives a statement to the media at the start of a meeting with business leaders in Cairo, Egypt

December 8, 2013

ON THE RISE

Hagel Outlines New Weapons Sale Plan for Gulf

Full ArticleThe New York Times 

07 Dec 2013

 

MANAMA, Bahrain — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is opening the door for the U.S.to sell missile defense and other weapons systems to a group of U.S.-friendly Gulf nations. The move is intended to help counter Iran‘s ballistic missiles, even as global powers ink a nuclear deal with Tehran. In a speech to Gulf leaders Saturday,Hagel plans to make… 
Outgoing U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel talks to supporters Thursday Dec 18, 2008 during a farewell news conference in Omaha, Neb.

Mandela’s struggle was personal inspiration, Obama says

Full ArticleYahoo Daily News 

06 Dec 2013

 

By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - America‘s first black president, Barack Obama, hailed Nelson Mandela on Thursday as a source of personal inspiration whose struggle against racism in South Africa jump-started his own involvement in politics. Speaking in the White House press room shortly after the announcement of… 
File - President Barack Obama makes a Thanksgiving Day phone call to a member of the U.S. military stationed overseas, from the Oval Office, Nov. 28, 2013
photo: White House / Pete Souza

NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show

Video: The National Security Agency gathers location data from around the world by tapping into the cables that connect mobile networks globally and that serve U.S. cellphones as well as foreign ones.

<

By Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani, Published: December 4 E-mail the writer

The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a dayon the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.

Biden in China amid spat over air defense zone

Full ArticleThe Guardian 

04 Dec 2013

 

JOSH LEDERMAN Associated Press= BEIJING (AP) â?? Vice President Joe Biden has arrived in Beijing for meetings with top Chinese leaders amid an international spat over China’s new air defense zone. Biden flew… 
US Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the United States Forces-Iraq change of command ceremony in Baghdad, on Wednesday Sept. 1, 2010, as a new US military mission in Iraq was launched ending seven years of combat.

Crashed NY train travelling three times speed limit

Full ArticleThe Irish Times

03 Dec 2013
The Metro-North Railroad train that hurtled off the rails on a sleepy holiday weekend morning was traveling more than 80 mph (128 km/h) as it approached one of the sharpest curves in the region’s rail system, federal investigators said on Monday – nearly three times the speed permitted through the turn. The throttle was still engaged – giving the… 
An Amtrak train, top, traveling on an unaffected track, passes a derailed Metro North commuter train, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York.

December 1st, 

TRAIN DERAILS IN NYC Reports: 4 Dead… Multiple Injuries…

GOBBLE GOBBLE

Eugene Gologursky via Getty Images

NSA FIGHTING DIRTY

Revealed: Guantanamo suspects were ‘turned’ into double agents at secret facility

27 Nov 2013

 

The CIA was doing more than just incarcerating… 
File - U.S. Army and Navy guards cross train while escorting a detainee to a recreational area on board Camp One at Joint Task Force Guantanamo.

November 26 

NO DEAL, NO TROOPS U.S. Threatens To Pull All Forces After Karzai Stalls Post-2014 Security Deal

 November 25th

O vs. GOP OBAMA HITS REPUBLICANS AS AN ‘IMPEDIMENT’

November 24th

RAISING THE STAKES

November 21st

Short ‘Umbrella Man’ Documentary About JFK’s Assassination Will Make You Rethink All Sorts Of Conspiracy Theories

Reid, Democrats trigger ‘nuclear’ option; eliminate some filibusters in party-line vote

‘TRAIN WRECK’ GOP

REFUSING TO REVOLT DEM DEFECTION FAILS TO MATERIALIZE

CAPITAL VENTURE Inside Cairo’s New Silicon Valley

‘BROKEN’ BOEHNER BLAMED FOR FAILING TO WORK WITH DEMS

PUTTING OUT FIRES

Getty

Obama To Meet With Insurance CEOs Atter One-Year Fix Proposal…Doubts Raised About Whether It Can Work… Chait: GOP Alternative Far Worse… GOP Advances Bill To Undermine Law… More Bad News: Young People Not Signing Up…

MASS BURIAL

Getty

US Aircraft Carrier Reaches Devastated Philippines… Over 2,300 Confirmed Dead, Toll Expected To Rise…

Walmart’s Sustainability Results Don’t Match Promises, Report Finds

Posted: 11/13/2013 
walmart sustainability
A customer pushes a shopping cart during the grand opening of a Walmart location in the Chinatown neighborhood of Los Angeles. A new report argues that Walmart is not living up to its promises on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images) | Bloomberg via Getty Images

HARDER DEEPERFESTER LONGER

‘STAND UP’ DEMS’ IRON LADY CHALLENGES GOP

BOY WONDER?

John Kerry changes plans to join Iran nuclear talks

08 Nov 2013

 

US Secretary of State John Kerry is to fly to join negotiations in Geneva on Iran‘s nuclear programme, amid rising expectation of a breakthrough. Mr Kerry had been on a tour of the Middle East, but changed his plans at the invitation of the EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Iran’s foreign minister said a deal could be reached on… 
Flanked by Jerusalem Consul General Michael Ratney, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before a working dinner in Amman, Jordan, on November 7, 2013, that focused on Middle East peace issues.

byd-couciaa6h6n timemagchrischristy

GOLD RUSH: $45

US seeks to repair relationships with Arab allies

Kim GhattasBy Kim GhattasBBC state department correspondent, Riyadh

John Kerry and Prince Saud al-Faisal in Riyadh (3 November 2013)
John Kerry said Saudi Arabia was “really the senior player in the Arab world”

The praise was effusive, disputes and abuses papered over and differences about vision dismissed as mere disagreements over tactics.

From Egypt to Saudi Arabia, US Secretary of State John Kerry was on a mission to put the relationship with two of his country’s traditional allies in the region back on track after a difficult summer.

In Egypt, Mr Kerry praised what he said was progress made so far on the road map towards a new constitution and elections; he made no reference to the violent crackdown by the security forces this summer that left several hundred people dead.

Across Egypt, the US has been accused both of being in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood and of conniving with the military for the removal of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

“Start Quote

The US feels political transformations in the region are too costly and undermine their regional interests”

Emile HokayemInternational Institute for Strategic Studies

After two years of upheaval in Egypt and in Washington’s relationship with Cairo, the Obama administration seems intent to just move on and get down to work with the country’s generals and the civilian rulers they installed.

Egypt Looks To Russia To Fill American Shoes

Secretary of State John Kerry made a short stop in Egypt as the first visit senior U.S. official to visit the country since the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian officials are saying it could be too little too late.posted on 

BuzzFeed Staff

John Kerry and Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy at a news conference in Cairo Sunday. Jason Reed / Reuters

CAIRO — Egyptian officials have said they are in “serious talks” with other countries, including Russia, to fill the gap left in United States military aid, even as Secretary of State John Kerry spent six hours in Cairo on Sunday during a brief unannounced visit. One senior Egyptian official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the press, said there had been several rounds of talks between Egyptian and Russian officials over a possible weapons deal. “There has been more than one deal. We are speaking here of serious weapons that would boost our abilities to defense our country against terrorists,” the official said, adding that an air defense system and new fighter jets were among the equipment being discussed.

HIGH STAKES ‘TRENCH WARFARE’ LIES AHEAD OVER OBAMACARE

Gunman kills TSA officer at LAX, wounds 2 others

02 Nov 2013

 

TAMI ABDOLLAH Associated PressLOS ANGELES (AP) â?? A man carrying a note that said he wanted to “kill TSA” pulled a semi-automatic rifle from a bag and shot his way past a security checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, killing one Transportation Security Administration officer and wounding two others, authorities said. The… 
In this photo provided to the AP, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, police officers stand near an unidentified weapon in Terminal 3 of the Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013.

Obama vows health website fix, says some rates may rise

31 Oct 2013

 

President Barack Obama took the heat Wednesday for his health reforms’ bungled rollout, and acknowledged perhaps for the first time that some Americans will pay more for coverage under Obamacare. One month after the October 1 debut of the online portal, thousands of Americans have signed up for new health insurance but millions more have been… 
President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at The Associated Press luncheon during the ASNE Convention, Tuesday, April 3, 2012, in Washington.

Clapper contradicts White House, says Obama was aware of spying on allies

30 Oct 2013

 

Facebook Follow @washtimes Is it possible that President Obama really didn’t know the NSA was spying on foreign leaders for years? Login to Vote View resultsAmerica’s top intelligence official acknowledged Tuesday that President Obama and other senior White House officials were well aware of U.S. surveillance activities targeting leaders… 
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper gestures during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on potential changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 in Washington.

 

 Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>