Category Archives: United States
A U.S. serviceman has opened fire on Afghan civilians in Kandahar Province. Entering their homes in the middle of the night to carry out the attacks.
- US soldier shoots 17 civilians dead in Kandahar (nation.com.pk)
By Mohammed Ghobari and Mohammed Mukhashaf
U.S. drone attacks killed at least 25 al Qaeda-linked fighters including one of their leaders while a Yemeni air force raid killed 20 more in the south, sources said on Saturday, in the biggest airstrikes since Yemen’s new president took office.
Militants have expanded their operations in southern Yemen during months of turmoil which paralysed the country and eventually unseated former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was replaced in a February vote by Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Local residents in Jaar, a southern town seized by militants in March last year, said Yemen’s air force had killed 20 al Qaeda-linked fighters at a military base, also destroying weapons and military equipment.
Last week, the fighters had seized the base from the government and confiscated weaponry and military equipment.
read more at www.trust.org
PORT-AU-PRINCE: President Michel Martelly displayed his Haitian passport on national television on Thursday to try to quell rumours that he gave up his citizenship and is not eligible to hold office.
“I am a native Haitian. I, Joseph Michel Martelly, have never lied,” the president said during a meeting with religious leaders at the presidential palace which was broadcast on national television.
The Haitian constitution does not recognise dual nationality for senior government officials, and politicians have been disqualified from office in the past for having acquired the citizenship of other countries.
Critics of Martelly, a former globe-trotting musician, charged that he had renounced his Haitian citizenship prior to taking office last May. Several opposition senators went so far as to open an inquiry into the question of his passport.
Martelly had already denied that he held the citizenship of another country but angered opponents by refusing to show his Haitian passport.
But on Thursday, Martelly showed reporters eight stamped passports that he’s held over the years as US ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten and other diplomats looked on.
read more at gulftoday.ae
Saudi Crown Prince Nayef has arrived in the United States for medical tests, Saudi state television said on Friday.
Prince Nayef, who has been the kingdom’s interior minister for decades, arrived in Cleveland for “scheduled medical tests”, it said, without giving further details.
At about 78, Prince Nayef is part of an ageing leadership in the world’s top oil exporter, whose stability is key to the world economy.
The television said Prince Nayef had arrived in the United States from Morocco, where state media said on Thursday he had traveled for a private vacation.
Saudi liberals see him as an anti-reform force who is likely to take a cautious approach to social and political change. In foreign affairs, he is expected to focus on national security, having led the kingdom’s fight against al Qaeda as interior minister since 1975.
However, former diplomats to Riyadh and some analysts say he is likely to show a more pragmatic side as crown prince, and eventually as king.
Just this past Monday a story had broken that had outraged and horrified a lot of people around the world. It told of a canned hunting ranch in Texas that was offering the opportunity to kill a white buffalo for $13,500. The white buffalo has long been a sacred animal to the Native American people. The story exploded all over Facebook and the feedback from it reached the owner of the ranch.
Late on Tuesday, Aaron Bulkley, the owner of the ranch, contacted the Indian Country Today Media Network and discussed the issue. He is aware that the white buffalo is sacred to the Native American people and although he claims to have had the picture and the white buffalo hunting offer on his website for 3 years, he has decided to take it down and no longer offer hunting on the white buffalo.
Aaron Buckley also stated the white buffalo are not as rare as is believed. He claims there are multiple breeding ranches of white buffalo all over the U.S. Although the rarity of the white buffalo was also brought up that was not the main contention of the protest against the killing of these white buffalo. It is however true that the number of white buffalo has definitely increased in recent years according to Dan Sharps, a biologist at the National Bison Range in Montana. The increase in the percentage of white buffalo can be attributed to better knowledge about genetics and breeding.
By BROCK VERGAKIS
Skywatchers along the East Coast may be able to see a NASA experiment that will launch a series of rockets to learn more about the little-understood jet stream winds that circle the Earth at the edge of space.
On a clear night between March 14 and April 4, NASA plans to launch five rockets in five minutes from its Wallops Island facility in coastal Virginia.
Each rocket will release a chemical leaving a long, milky-white cloud to track the winds that scientists will monitor from cameras on the coasts of North Carolina, Virginia and New Jersey.
The clouds should be visible to the human eye for about 20 minutes from roughly Myrtle Beach, S.C. to southern New Hampshire, and as far west as Morgantown, W.Va.
“People will be able to see it. They can also photograph it pretty easily,” said Miguel Larsen, a Clemson University professor who is the mission’s principal investigator.
The possible viewing area covers major cities like Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston, although it depends on ground lighting, cloud cover and the rockets’ trajectories. Those in a smaller area from New York City to the Outer Banks in North Carolina might be able to see the rockets’ glowing exhaust trails. NASA plans to post pictures and video taken by bystanders on its social media sites.
read more at www.washingtontimes.com
- NASA to launch 5 rockets quickly to track winds (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- NASA jet stream study will light up the night sky (eurekalert.org)
- NASA Rocket Barrage to Study Winds at Edge of Space (space.com)
A thriving crop of marijuana plants, an arsenal of guns, pipe bombs, grenades and enough explosives to potentially level an entire block were uncovered by officers investigating a report of a silent alarm, officials on Long Island announced Wednesday.
Marc Ringel, 53, was arrested on drug, weapons and other charges after police made the discovery Tuesday at the house he shares with his parents in Woodmere, a New York City suburb, Nassau County Police Chief Steven Skrynecki said.
He was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, according to the district attorney’s office. It was not immediately clear if Ringel had an attorney.
“My only concern is for my family,” Ringel told reporters as he was led from police headquarters. “They are wonderful, loving people.”
Approximately 20 houses surrounding Ringel’s were evacuated as police scoured the home for evidence. Local police were being assisted by the FBI, and agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives remained at the scene on Wednesday looking for evidence.
Skrynecki said officers were particularly concerned that the home, which he described as a “significant growhouse” for marijuana, may have been booby-trapped.
He said approximately 50 pounds of ingredients for making explosives _ including ammonium nitrate, fuel oil, peroxide, sodium nitrate and citric acid _ were found in the home. Police also found approximately 100 handguns, 20 long rifles, 15 pipe bombs and 15 hand grenades in various locations around the home, he said.
read more at www.stltoday.com
- Arsenal of Weapons, Explosives Found at NY Home (abcnews.go.com)
Leon Panetta Says Obama Admin Will Seek “International Permission” To Attack Syria, not Congressional permission. And they will “inform” Congress what their plans are.
The Treasury Department said Wednesday it is selling $6 billion worth of the $41.8 billion in common stock it holds in insurance giant American International Group Inc., which received the biggest bailout of the financial crisis in 2008.
The stock sale is a step by the government toward disentangling itself from AIG. It still owns 77 percent of the company’s common shares. Treasury said AIG plans to buy as much as $3 billion of the stock being sold.
Treasury also said it has a deal with AIG for it to repay the government’s remaining $8.5 billion preferred-stock investment in the company.
A price for the common shares wasn’t specified. The share price at which taxpayers would break even on their AIG investment is about $28 or $29. AIG shares closed at $29.45 in trading Wednesday. They fell 53 cents, or almost 2 percent, to $28.92 on heavy volume in afterhours trading following the announcement of the stock sale.
The government stepped in with $182 billion to rescue New York-based AIG from collapse in the depths of the financial crisis. Treasury has recouped $18 billion of the $68 billion it provided the company through its Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. The remainder of the money came from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. AIG has repaid all but $17.5 billion of those loans.
read more at news.yahoo.com
- Treasury launches sale of $6B of AIG stock (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Book of Esther Tells of Iran Threat, But Big Gap Remains
Benjamin Netanyahu’s gift to Barack Obama summed up his message at their White House meeting Monday.
The Israeli Prime Minister gave the President a copy of the Book of Esther, which tells the story of the Jews fighting back against a genocidal plot by the ancient Persians.
Netanyahu sees the nuclear threat posed by modern-day Iran as no less existential to Israel, and the leaders’ two-hour meeting did little to bridge their differences on how to respond to this.
In their face-to-face meeting, according to officials involved, Obama stressed the need to give diplomacy a chance. His position reflected the U.S. stance that the time frame for any possible military action would be many months away.
Netanyahu, who didn’t mention diplomacy, emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself, reflecting a much shorter time line for acting militarily to eliminate the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
The U.S., according to a senior administration official, sees a time frame “more in the ballpark of a year than a month,” before Iran can acquire nuclear weapons; Israeli officials have spoken about a deadline of several months for stopping Iran.
Aides to Netanyahu said the Israeli leader provided Obama with a copy of the Book of Esther as a form of “background reading” on Iran.
The book, which is read during the holiday of Purim starting Wednesday, tells the story of an attempt in ancient Persia, the predecessor of modern day Iran, to kill off all the Jews within its empire. The plot was successfully overturned, ending in the mass killing of those who sought the demise of the Jewish people.
Israeli officials see this as a none-too-subtle hint of Netanyahu’s view of the broader situation. The Israeli prime minister believes that Iran’s ultimate goal is the destruction of the State of Israel and therefore sees special urgency in dealing with this threat.
read more at forward.com
- Happy Holiday! Purim (Feast of Lots) starts tomorrow Via Colorado (terri0729.wordpress.com)
- Netanyahu gives Obama the Book of Esther. Biblical parable for nuclear Iran? (csmonitor.com)
- Netanyahu’s Book of Esther gift for Obama a pointed reminder of Iran ‘annihilation’ threat (news.nationalpost.com)
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) today announced a $1 million reward for “information leading directly to the safe location, recovery and return of Robert A. Levinson,” a retired FBI agent who went missing in Iran in 2007 and is suspected of being held captive there.
The FBI confirmed the move to GlobalPost as the group made the announcement to reporters in Washington.
The news comes just days ahead of the five-year anniversay of Levinson’s disappearancefrom Iran’s vacation spot, Kish Island, on March 9, 2007.
The former agent, whom US officials believe is still alive, is set to turn 64 years old this week.
The move is also part of a ratcheted-up public-relations offensive by the US on Levinson’s behalf, the NY Times reported the FBI as saying. The US
reportedly has plans for fresh radio broadcasts about him and billboards carrying his image throughout Afghanistan, Pakistan and other areas in southwest Asia.
The last contact Levinson’s family is believed to have had with their missing relative came in a 2010 video, in which he sits in a temporary prison pleading, “help me get home,” reported The Guardian.
Former Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford, whose financial empire once spanned the Americas and made him fabulously wealthy, was convicted of bilking his investors out of more than $7 billion through a Ponzi scheme he operated for 20 years.
Top members of hacking group Anonymous arrested after LEADER ‘betrays them and works with FBI for six months’
- Leader of computer hacking group LulzSec identified as unemployed dad-of-two Hector Xavier Monsegur
- Secretly arrested last June and pleaded guilty to hacking charges in August
- Has reportedly been working with FBI to bring down top hackers ever since
- Court papers released Tuesday portray him as ringleader of hacking groups
- Five members from UK, Ireland and US face charges
Top members of computer hacking groups Anonymous and LulzSec have been arrested across two continents after their leader – one of the world’s most wanted computer vandals – turned them in.
In a startling show of betrayal towards his fellow hackers, 28-year-old Hector Xavier Monsegur led authorities to the five people who have now been charged in court papers in New York.
Dad-of-two Monsegur, who has pleaded guilty to a dozen hacking-related charges, is portrayed in court papers as the ringleader of LulzSec, and an ‘influential member’ of Anonymous.
Ever since his arrest last June, he has reportedly been working with authorities to bring down the groups’ top hackers.
One of the oldest planes the United States Air Force still flies is used to carry out some of America’s most sensitive and critical missions. Whether it’s aiding NATO troops in Afghanistan, providing surveillance over North Korea or examining Japan’s hurricane ravaged coast, the high altitude U-2 keeps flying despite initial plans to retire it by the end of this year. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman, at Osan Air Base in South Korea, got a rare look at what is considered the world’s most difficult aircraft to fly.
The genius of the free market is that it provides consumers with more for less. That principle is turned on its head in the Obama era, as Americans face the prospect of getting less for more when it comes to powering their homes and workplaces. In a poor economy, that’s bad news for folks who’ve already tightened their belts to the final hole.
Cheers went up last week from the self-proclaimed green lobby, including the Sierra Cluband Greenpeace, as they reached a milestone in their quest to drive up the cost of America’s fossil fuels. On Feb. 29, two utility companies announced the shuttering of nine coal power plants in the East and Midwest. That sent the number of plants slated for deactivation since 2010 beyond the century mark to 106.
GenOn Energy said it would shutter seven coal plants and one oil-fired plant in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois with a total generating capacity of 3,140 megawatts. Midwest Generation followed suit with an advisory that it would close two coal plants serving Chicago.
The shutdowns represent a victory for President Obama, who in a 2008 interview as a candidate signaled his intention to run the coal industry into the ground: “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can, it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s emitted.”
read more at www.washingtontimes.com
- Dirty, Ancient Coal Plants In Midwest Being Shuttered (thinkprogress.org)
BY FRAN SPIELMAN, ABDON M. PALLASCH AND FRANK MAIN Staff Reporters
In a surprise turnaround, the White House announced Monday afternoon that Chicago won’t be hosting the controversial G-8 summit after all.
It will be held at Camp David instead of Chicago.
The NATO summit will proceed here May 20-21.
City Hall insisted that it was President Barack Obama’s decision — that Mayor Rahm Emanuel did not ask the White House to take the more controversial of the two summits off Chicago’s hands.
One leading demonstrator pledged the protests “will go forward” here despite the switch.
The White House issued a terse statement dropping the bombshell shortly before 3 p.m.
“In May, the United States looks forward to hosting the G-8 and NATO summits. To facilitate a free-flowing discussion with our close G-8 partners, the president is inviting his fellow G-8 leaders to Camp David on May 18-19 for the G-8 summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
“The president will then welcome NATO allies and partners to his hometown of Chicago for the NATO summit on May 20-21, which will be the premier opportunity this year for the President to continue his efforts to strengthen NATO in order to ensure that the Atlantic Alliance remains the most successful alliance in history, while charting the way forward in Afghanistan.”
read more at napervillesun.suntimes.com
- G-8 Summit Moves To Camp David (myfoxny.com)
- Life in Rahm’s Chicago: G8 won’t come here. Hiding out in Camp David. (preaprez.wordpress.com)
- G8 moving to Camp David = one less summit to protest (chicagoreader.com)
- Security fears? Chicago G8 Summit canceled, relocated to Camp David (rt.com)
Prior to his passing, Andrew Breitbart said that the mission of the Breitbart empire was to exemplify the free and fearless press that our Constitution protects–but which, increasingly, the mainstream media denies us.
“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” – “Who guards the guardians?” Andrew saw himself in that role—as a guardian protecting Americans from the left’s “objective” loyal scribes.
Andrew wanted to do what the mainstream media would not. First and foremost: Andrew pledged to vet President Barack H. Obama.
Andrew did not want to re-litigate the 2008 election. Nor did he want to let Republicans off the hook. Instead, he wanted to show that the media had failed in its most basic duty: to uncover the truth, and hold those in power accountable, regardless of party.
From today through Election Day, November 6, 2012, we will vet this president–and his rivals.
We begin with a column Andrew wrote last week in preparation for today’s Big relaunch–a story that should swing the first hammer against the glass wall the mainstream media has built around Barack Obama.
so similar to that of Osama bin Laden, might harm his political career.
But Obama was not always so worried about misspellings and radical resemblances. He may even have cultivated them as he cast himself as Chicago’s radical champion.
In 1998, a small Chicago theater company staged a play titled The Love Song of Saul Alinsky, dedicated to the life and politics of the radical community organizer whose methods Obama had practiced and taught on Chicago’s South Side.
Obama was not only in the audience, but also took the stage after one performance, participating in a panel discussion that was advertised in the poster for the play.
Recently, veteran Chicago journalist Michael Miner mocked emerging conservative curiosity about the play, along with enduring suspicions about the links between Alinsky and Obama.
read more at www.breitbart.com
- Obama’s Guiding Hand: Sual Alinsky (theconservativehillbilly.wordpress.com)
- The Final Work of Andrew Breitbart: The real (crypto-socialist) “Baraka” Obama (bokertov.typepad.com)
- Even after Death, Breitbart Exposes Obama (markamerica.com)
- Breitbart.com relaunches with Alinsky broadside on Obama (hotair.com)
- Video: Phoenix CBS Affiliate Reports On Arpaio’s Findings – “Obama’s BC Failed Every Test They Put it Through” (nicedeb.wordpress.com)
Chinese hackers gained control over NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory(JPL) in November, which could have allowed them delete sensitive files, add user accounts to mission-critical systems, upload hacking tools, and more — all at a central repository of U.S. space technology, according to a report released Wednesday afternoon by the Office of the Inspector General.
That report revealed scant details of an ongoing investigation into the incident against the Pasadena, Calif., lab, noting only that cyberattacks against the JPL involved Chinese-based Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.
Paul K. Martin, NASA’s inspector general, put his conclusions bluntly.
“The attackers had full functional control over these networks,” he wrote.
JPL is a jewel in NASA’s space technology crown.
Beyond a wealth of exploration programs, such as the recent GRAIL mission to study the moon and the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory, JPL manages the Deep Space Network, a network of antenna complexes on several continents that monitors both outer space and planet Earth.
Martin released written testimony about the attacks in the report “NASA Cybersecurity: An Examination of the Agency’s Information Security,” presented to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee investigations panel on Wednesday. It details a host of security lapses and breaches of protocol at the space agency.
read more at www.foxnews.com