Archive for September 2014
|See Earlier Stories 1 2 3 4 5 6 |
Israel on Edge
|Rachel Avraham||September 30th 2014|
Hours after Netanyahu’s speech in front of the UN General Assembly last night, the Israeli political establishment reacted to Netanyahu’s remarks. “Netanyahu knows how to give a speech and I agreed with a number of words, but the problem is that the world is not listening,” head of the Israeli Opposition Haim Herzog stated. “We have speeches that remain on paper.”
But there were members of the opposition that praised Netanyahu’s speech. MK Eli Yishai of Shas stated, “It was not a politician’s speech. It was a speech full of pride in the Jewish people and the country. Netanyahu’s speech is a wake-up call to the world and also a late-wake up call that people continue to prefer to ignore.”
Likud Party members voiced similar remarks. Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee MK Ze’ev Elkin stated that he “welcomed Netanyahu’s appropriate response to the lies and slander of Mahmoud Abbas, while I call on the Prime Minister and Cabinet to move beyond words to action. It is unthinkable that Abu Mazen, who depends on us for every step along the way for everything, will continue to benefit from our help while maintaining a diplomatic and media war against us.” Read more ..
America on Edge
|Justin Sink||September 30th 2014|
The veteran carrying a knife who scaled the White House fence and sprinted inside the executive mansion made it far farther than was originally known, according to multiple media reports. Originally, it was suggested that 42-year-old Omar Gonzalez was detained in the building's foyer, almost immediately after entering the front door. But Gonzalez was able to overpower a female Secret Service agent and proceed through the entirety of the 80-foot East Room. He was finally tackled as he attempted to enter the Green Room, a small ceremonial parlor on the southern side of the building, according to the The Washington Post and CBS News.
Secret Service agents had also muted an alarm box near the front of the building that would have alerted them of the intruder and signaled them to lock the doors, an agency official told the Post. Secret Service spokeswoman Laura Topolski said the agency was not commenting on the reports "due to the ongoing investigation." Read more ..
Germany on Edge
|Adriano Bosoni and Mark Fleming-Williams||September 30th 2014|
The European Court of Justice announced Sept. 22 that hearings in the case against the European Central Bank's (ECB) bond-buying scheme known as Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) will begin Oct. 14. Though the process is likely to be lengthy, with a judgment not due until mid-2015, the ruling will have serious implications for Germany's relationship with the rest of the eurozone. The timing could hardly be worse, coming as an anti-euro party has recently been making strides in the German political scene, steadily undermining the government's room for maneuver.
The roots of the case go back to late 2011, when Italian and Spanish sovereign bond yields were following their Greek counterparts to sky-high levels as the markets showed that they had lost confidence in the eurozone's most troubled economies' ability to turn themselves around. By summer 2012 the situation in Europe was desperate. Bailouts had been undertaken in Greece, Ireland and Portugal, while Italy was getting dangerously close to needing one. But Italy's economy, and particularly its gargantuan levels of government debt, meant that it would be too big to receive similar treatment. In any event, the previous bailouts were not calming financial markets. Read more ..
The 2016 Vote
|Amie Parnes ||September 30th 2014|
Republicans are working hard to define a Hillary Clinton presidency as a third term for President Obama’s White House.
Seizing on Obama’s low approval ratings, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and outside GOP spending groups are casting the president’s former secretary of State as being in lockstep with his agenda.
It is a strategy Republicans say they unveiled just in time for the midterm elections, as Clinton prepares to campaign for Democrats in tight races across the country. America Rising, a super-PAC targeting Clinton, released a memo to supporters last week titled “Stop Hillary 2016, Obama’s 3rd Term.” In the memo, officials seek to make the case that Obama’s policies are Clinton policies. “No matter how many of her advisers whisper to reporters that she’s different from Barack Obama, Americans still know who she is: Barack Obama Part Deux,” the memo says. Read more ..
Islam on Edge
|Geert Wilders||September 30th 2014|
To defeat IS we should do more than just bomb its strongholds in the Middle East; we should no longer turn a blind eye to the violent nature of Islam. We should demand that those who settle in our countries cast aside values incompatible with ours. There is a huge problem -- also in our countries - cause by the violent exhortations of Islam. Only when we face this truth will we be able to win this war we are in.
Although the majority of Muslims are moderate, thousands of innocent civilians all over the West have fallen victim to terrorists inspired by Islam. IS has announced that every citizen of the West is a target.
70% of Dutch Muslims consider the religious rules of Islam more important than the secular laws of the country where they are living. Survey, December 2013, by Prof. Ruud Koopmans, Humbolt University, Berlin Read more ..
The Edge of Terrorism
|Soeren Kern||September 30th 2014|
"In the Quran it is not allowed for you to feel sorry for non-Muslims. I don't feel sorry for him." — Anjem Choudary.
"Eventually the whole world will be governed by Shari'ah & Muslims will have authority over China Russia USA etc This is the promise of Allah." — Anjem Choudary.
"Under the Koran the sale of alcohol is prohibited and if one were to also drink alcohol, that would be 40 lashes." — Anjem Choudary.
"We [Muslims] take the Jizya, which is ours anyway. The normal situation is to take money from the kuffar [non-Muslim]. They give us the money. You work, give us the money, Allahu Akhbar. We take the money." — Anjem Choudary. Read more ..
|Daniel Mael||September 29th 2014|
The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter at Loyola University was temporarily suspended by the university administration for verbally assaulting a student group tabling for Birthright Israel according to the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law.
The Brandeis Center, which seeks “to advance the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and to promote justice for all,” noted in a press release that the university presented SJP “with a letter indicating that SJP is temporarily prevented from hosting any on-campus activities or events until their leadership meets with Loyola University Chicago representatives and the group complies with stated policies and procedures that apply to all student organizations.”
"By all reports, this appears to have been a serious incident, and we are glad that Loyola University Chicago is taking it seriously. More work must still be done, and we hope that Loyola University Chicago will follow-up and take appropriate further action,” Brandeis Center President Kenneth L. Marcus stated in a letter to university President Michael J. Garazini. “Sadly, we have seen a pattern of incidents in which SJP has violated the rights of other students and the rules of other universities. We are glad that Loyola University Chicago is upholding its standards and values." Read more ..
The Edge of the Universe
|Ron Cowen||September 29th 2014|
Astronomers have discovered the largest known gas cloud in the Universe. The mammoth nebula may be the first imaged filament of a spidery arrangement of galaxies, gas and dark matter that traces the large-scale structure of the cosmos. The team used a brilliant quasar, seen as it appeared when the Universe was less than 3 billion years old, to illuminate the faint gas in the beacon’s neighborhood.
The flood of light from the quasar (one of a class of intensely bright galaxy cores, thought to be black holes going through a spurt of growth) prompts hydrogen atoms in the gas to emit a characteristic wavelength of ultraviolet radiation. As the Universe expands, the radiation subsequently stretches into longer wavelengths, becoming visible light. Astronomers Sebastiano Cantalupo and Xavier Prochaska of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and their colleagues recorded that light using the Keck Observatory atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano. The Keck images reveal a gas cloud that is 460,000 parsecs (1.5 million light years) in length — or more than ten times the diameter of our own Milky Way galaxy. It is the first detection of radiation from a cloud “on scales far beyond a galaxy”, Prochaska says. Read more ..
The Edge of Nature
|Jennifer Frazer||September 29th 2014|
When HIV jumped from chimpanzees to humans sometime in the early 1900s, it crossed a gulf spanning several million years of evolution. But tobacco ringspot virus, scientists announced last week, has made a jump that defies credulity. It has crossed a yawning chasm ~1.6 billion years wide.
And this is likely bad news for its new host, the honeybee, matchmaker of crops and bringer of honey. These are two services for which humans are both eternally indebted, and, in the case of the former, possibly unable to live without. Bees pollinate the majority of our fruit and nut crops and many vegetables — some 90 all told — without which humanity would be nutritionally impoverished. Yet shortages are a possibility we are confronting, as bee populations in America have declined in recent years for reasons that seem to be both diverse and elusive. Colony collapse disorder, as whatever it is is called, was first reported in 2006 and has spread globally. Many viruses, parasites, and pesticides have been implicated, but no smoking gun has emerged. Read more ..
The Race for Fusion
|David Biello||September 29th 2014|
The power of the sun has edged a little closer to Earth. Under x-ray assault, the rapid implosion of a plastic shell onto icy isotopes of hydrogen has produced fusion and, for the first time, 170 micrograms of this superheated fusion fuel released more energy than it absorbed. Experimental shots of the 192 lasers at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have reproduced such fusion
at least four times since September 2013. The advance offers hope that someday in the far future scientists might reliably replicate the power source of the sun and stars.
"This is closer than anyone's gotten before, and it's really unique to get out of the fuel as much energy as put in," says Livermore physicist Omar Hurricane, lead author of the paper presenting the results published in Nature
. "We got more fusion energy out of the DT fuel than we put in to the DT fuel." (Scientific American
is part of Nature Publishing Group.)
DT fuel stands for deuterium and tritium
, the isotopes of hydrogen that encompass one proton and one neutron or one proton and two neutrons, respectively. One shot at Livermore’s National Ignition Facility
(NIF) on November 19, 2013, that lasted less than 2 X 10^–8 seconds—less time than the blink of an eye—produced nearly twice as much energy as was applied, according to the new paper
. Changing the timing of how the lasers put energy into the hohlraum, a tiny can that holds the fusion fuel pellet, proved key. The scientists concentrated more energy earlier in the shot to make conditions hotter earlier in the process, which seems to help hold the fuel pellet together longer as it implodes. Read more ..
|Jonathan Spyer||September 29th 2014|
This week witnessed the second determined attempt by Islamic State forces to destroy the Kurdish enclave around Kobani (Ayn al-Arab) city in northern Syria. Kobani is one of three autonomous enclaves maintained by the Kurds in Syria.
As of now, it appears that after initial lightning advances, the progress of the jihadis has been halted; they have not moved forward in the last 24 hours. The arrival of Kurdish forces from across the Turkish border is the key element in freezing the advance.
Yet Islamic State has captured around 60 Kurdish villages in this latest assault, and its advanced positions remain perilously close – around 14.5 km. – from Kobani city. Around 100,000 people have fled Kobani for Turkey, from the enclave’s total population of around 400,0000. Read more ..
Islam on Edge
|Charles Jacobs||September 29th 2014|
“Narin” was abducted and enslaved in Iraq by ISIS jihadis and then escaped. She used a pseudonym with the reporter because: many of her relatives, practitioners of an ancient Zoroastrian faith, are held captives by the Islamic State. Her community in Eastern Iraq suffered a jihadi blitzkrieg: villages were surrounded, men, including her brother, were murdered and the women and children were carted off as slaves to be converted to Islam and given as “wives” to the jihadists. “Narin” escaped when her captors were at prayer.
Reports of the Yazidis’ enslavement shocks Westerners, but they it closely mirror reporting on Sudan, where African Christians were, in the 1990’s and for over two decades, target of an Islamic “holy war” which prominently featured jihad slavery as a terror weapon of choice. Just like ISIS raiders, Muslim militias stormed African Christian villages, shot the men and took women and children as slaves. Read more ..
The 2014 Vote
|Justin Sink||September 29th 2014|
President Obama said in an interview broadcast Sunday night that he thinks the Democrats can hold the Senate.
The president told “60 Minutes” that he will spend the next six weeks campaigning on his economic record.
“The country is definitely better off than we were when I came into office,” Obama said, offering to put his record “against any leader around the world in terms of digging ourselves out of a terrible, almost unprecedented financial crisis.”
“Ronald Reagan used to ask the question, ‘Are you better off than you were four years ago?’ In this case, are you better off than you were in six?’” Obama asked. Read more ..
The 2014 Vote
|Juan Williams||September 29th 2014|
One of the biggest surprises on the midterm campaign trail is hearing President Obama echo President Reagan’s famous question by asking voters whether “you are better off than you were four years ago.”
The question is the hammer in Obama’s toolbox for nailing down his Democratic majority in the Senate in this year’s midterm election.
“By almost every economic measure, we are better off today than we were when I took office,” the president said in a Sept. 19 speech to the Women’s Leadership Forum, sponsored by the Democratic National Committee.
Speaking to a Labor Day rally of union workers in Milwaukee, he also pointed to America’s improved economic performance over the last five years. “You wouldn’t know it from watching the news,” he lamented.
In fact, Reuters recently confirmed the president’s upbeat claims. Read more ..
|Kenneth Bandler||September 29th 2014|
The American Jewish Committee called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's address to the UN General Assembly a rhetorical cocktail of hatred, deceit and distortion. Once again, as in his previous UN speeches, Abbas undermined prospects for advancing peace. "President Abbas today offered no fresh ideas, indeed no hope for peace," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.
"Recycling well-worn and false accusations against Israel, ignoring the damage caused by his terrorist partner Hamas, playing to the rejectionist crowd, and pressing for UN intervention are not exactly the road to a two-state settlement and coexistence. Indeed, today Abbas took himself and the Palestinian people another step down into the abyss of failed peacemaking." Read more ..
The Way We Are
|Kent Paterson||September 29th 2014|
All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey
I've been for a walk on a winter’s day
I'd be safe and warm if I was in L.A.
California dreaming on such a winter’s day...
The Mamas and the Papas (1965)
California is a land of dreams. From the star-struck Midwestern girl seeking fame and fortune in Hollywood to the Oaxacan farm laborer hoping to earn a few bucks for the folks back home, the Golden State lures the brave, the imaginative and the desperate. Almost another nation perched on the Pacific, California’s migrant histories span different eras, ranging from the Dust Bowl environmental exodus to the Indochinese apocalypse and the Central American cataclysm, among numerous others. Read more ..
The Battery Edge
|Lakisha Ladson||September 28th 2014|
Researchers from The University of Texas at Dallas have created technology that could be the first step toward wearable computers with self-contained power sources or, more immediately, a smartphone that doesn’t die after a few hours of heavy use.
This technology, published online in Nature Communications, taps into the power of a single electron to control energy consumption inside transistors, which are at the core of most modern electronic systems.
Researchers from the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science found that by adding a specific atomic thin film layer to a transistor, the layer acted as a filter for the energy that passed through it at room temperature. The signal that resulted from the device was six to seven times steeper than that of traditional devices. Steep devices use less voltage but still have a strong signal.
“The whole semiconductor industry is looking for steep devices because they are key to having small, powerful, mobile devices with many functions that operate quickly without spending a lot of battery power,” said Dr. Jiyoung Kim, professor of materials science and engineering in the Jonsson School and an author of the paper. “Our device is one solution to make this happen.” Read more ..
Jewry on Edge
|Barry Curtiss-Lusher and Abraham H. Foxman||September 28th 2014|
As we mark the end of another year with the advent of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, we pause to take stock of the year that has passed, to learn from ourselves, our experiences and our mistakes as we move forward to build a better future.
This has been a most difficult year for the Jewish people and particularly for the state of Israel, which once again has fended off a threat on its southern border from an implacable foe: the terrorist group Hamas. As the year concludes there is little hope that the most recent war will lead to any meaningful change in the depressing state of affairs in the Palestinian territories and particularly in Gaza, where Hamas rules with an iron fist, an anti-Semitic charter and a deep ideological opposition to any rapprochement with Israel. Read more ..
Israel and Palestine
|Algemeiner||September 28th 2014|
An Israeli Arab youth from northern Israel who spoke out against the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in June has been forced to leave the country due to death threats, Israel Hayom reported.
The youth had posted a video on Facebook in which he called the kidnappers and their supporters cowards, and called for the return of the abducted teens, who at the time were believed to possibly be alive.
One of the youth’s videos, in which he says he is a Muslim but also a loyal citizen of the state of Israel and its democratic values, went viral. Read more ..
|Valerie Plame||September 28th 2014|
As discussions of terrorism and foreign fighters come to a close this week at the United Nations, President Obama can be sure of one thing: his opportunity to add the single greatest safeguard to global security is slipping away. If he wants to cement his legacy as the president who faced what he himself identified as “the most immediate and extreme threat to global security,” he needs to double down on his vision for a world without nuclear weapons in order to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on them.
Today – the first-ever International Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons – is as good a day as any to get rolling. Achieving the elimination of nuclear weapons is one of the U.N.’s longstanding objectives, one it has failed to prioritize. It’s no surprise that the security discussions this year were overshadowed by the plans of 10 member states to dismantle and defeat the Islamic State group, especially as their assault on radical Sunni resistance and aggression toward U.S. and British journalists continues to grow. Read more ..
|Timothy Cama||September 28th 2014|
President Obama largely blamed the United States' intelligence community in an interview broadcast Sunday for giving an incorrect assessment of the capabilities of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
"Our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that, I think, they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria," Obama said on CBS’s'"60 Minutes."
Obama said ISIS, also known as ISIL, went "underground" when United States forces fought al Qaeda in Iraq in the last decade.
That, along with Syria's civil war, allowed ISIS to regroup and recruit fighters from all over the world, including Europe, the United States, Australia and the Muslim world, Obama said in an excerpt from the interview. Read more ..
|Kyle Balluck||September 27th 2014|
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said in an interview broadcast late Sunday that the threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) can be tied in part to President Obama’s decision not to arm moderate Syrian rebels.
“The real key was how can we develop a leadership group among the opposition that would be able to take control,” Panetta said on “60 Minutes,” reflecting on a recommendation from top administration officials in 2012 to arm the rebels against President Bashar Assad. “And my view was to have leverage to do that, we would have to provide the weapons and the training in order for them to really be willing to work with us in that effort.”
“I think the president's concern, and I understand it, was that he had a fear that if we started providing weapons, we wouldn't know where those weapons would wind up,” he said. “My view was, ‘You have to begin somewhere.’" Read more ..
|Bernard Banks||September 26th 2014|
The United States and its partners launched a new round of strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria on Wednesday, only hours after President Barack Obama called on the world to help end the extremist group’s reign of terror in the Middle East.
“I can confirm that US military and Arab partner forces are undertaking additional strikes today against ISIL terrorists in Syria,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said on Wednesday, using the Obama-administration's preferred language for the group formerly known as ISIS that today identifies as the Islamic State. “These operations are ongoing, so we will not provide additional details at this time. We will do so later as operationally appropriate.”
Later, the Pentagon confirmed that less than a dozen aircraft are involved in the latest attack. US Central Command (CENTCOM), meanwhile, confirmed that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also participated. Read more ..
|Nicol Casal Moore||September 26th 2014|
Up to half of the water on Earth is likely older than the solar system itself, University of Michigan astronomers theorize.
The researchers' work, published in the current issue of Science, helps to settle a debate about just how far back in galactic history our planet and our solar system's water formed. Were the molecules in comet ices and terrestrial oceans born with the system itself—in the planet-forming disk of dust and gas that circled the young sun 4.6 billion years ago? Or did the water originate even earlier—in the cold, ancient molecular cloud that spawned the sun and that planet-forming disk?
Between 30 and 50 percent came from the molecular cloud, says Ilse Cleeves, a doctoral student in astronomy at the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. That would make it roughly a million years older than the solar system. Read more ..
The Climate Debate
|Ira Chernus||September 26th 2014|
MythicAmerica is on a forced hiatus while I deal with health problems. But over 300,000 people in New York City the other day reminded us all that no one's health will matter much unless we take care of the planet's health. So I felt moved to polish up a previously unpublished column and share these thoughts with you:
The old joke, "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it," is no laughing matter any more. It's dead serious. Yet the United States seems politically paralyzed on this most vital issue.
It's easy to blame the climate change deniers. But it's wrong. In Gallup's most recent poll only 18% of us denied climate change. In a CBS poll, only 11% were outright deniers.
The vast majority of Americans are well aware that there's a real problem. More than four out of five agree with the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is happening now or surely will happen soon. Read more ..
Obama's Second Term
|Benjamin Goad||September 26th 2014|
Conservatives are warning President Obama against using a lame-duck session of Congress to push through Attorney General Eric Holder's replacement, even as the White House signals its intention to fill the post quickly.
Holder’s announcement that he will resign as the nation’s top law enforcement officer reverberated Thursday around Washington, where speculation has already begun to mount about who might fill the Cabinet position.
Republican lawmakers quickly vowed that whomever Obama taps would be subject to intense scrutiny following an era when the GOP was often at odds with the Justice Department. Read more ..
Obama's Second Term
|Justin Sink||September 26th 2014|
President Obama credited Eric Holder for a decline in the crime and incarceration rates Thursday at an emotional White House ceremony formally announcing the attorney general’s resignation. Obama credited Holder with reinvigorating the department's Civil Rights division, fighting for gay rights, and spearheading sentencing reform.
“Thanks to his efforts since I took office, the overall crime rate and the overall incarceration rate have gone down by about 10 percent,” Obama said, noting that it was the first time the two had fallen in tandem in 40 years. “We could not be more grateful for everything you've done — not just for me and the administration, but the country,” the president added.
Obama and Holder are close friends, and the bond between them was apparent in their remarks. “You have been there for me,” Holder said, his voice wavering. “I'm proud to call you my friend.” Obama hailed Holder's “proud career of public service” and credited his longtime friend with a "deep and abiding fidelity to one of our most cherished ideas as a people: and that is equal justice under the law." Read more ..
Obama's Second Term
|Benjamin Goad||September 25th 2014|
Attorney General Eric Holder, one of President Obama’s longest serving lieutenants, will announce his resignation Thursday, according to the Justice Department.
Holder, widely rumored to have been planning his departure before the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., thrust the Justice Department into the national spotlight, will announce his resignation Thursday afternoon, according to a Justice Department official.
The country’s first African-American attorney general, Holder presided over an ambitious agenda that included the administration’s decision to stop its defense of the federal ban on same-sex marriage and dramatic policy shifts meant to end disparities in the federal criminal justice system. Read more ..
|Ginger Pinholster||September 25th 2014|
|Great Mosque of Aleppo before its destruction.|
In war-torn Syria, five of six World Heritage sites now "exhibit significant damage" and some structures have been "reduced to rubble," according to new high-resolution satellite image analysis by the nonprofit, nonpartisan American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
The AAAS analysis, offering the first comprehensive look at the extent of damage to Syria's priceless cultural heritage sites, was completed in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology's Penn Cultural Heritage Center (PennCHC) and the Smithsonian Institution, and in cooperation with the Syrian Heritage Task Force. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the analysis provides authoritative confirmation of previous on-the-ground reports of damage to individual sites. Read more ..
The Edge of Agriculture
|David Ruth||September 25th 2014|
As more gardeners and farmers add ground charcoal, or biochar, to soil to both boost crop yields and counter global climate change, a new study by researchers at Rice University and Colorado College could help settle the debate about one of biochar's biggest benefits -- the seemingly contradictory ability to make clay soils drain faster and sandy soils drain slower.
The study, available online this week in the journal PLOS ONE, offers the first detailed explanation for the hydrological mystery.
"Understanding the controls on water movement through biochar-amended soils is critical to explaining other frequently reported benefits of biochar, such as nutrient retention, carbon sequestration and reduced greenhouse gas emissions," said lead author Rebecca Barnes, an assistant professor of environmental science at Colorado College, who began the research while serving as a postdoctoral research associate at Rice. Read more ..
The Water's Edge
|David Vitter||September 25th 2014|
|Mine runoff in Ohio River|
In several different ways, President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is using and abusing the Clean Water Act to improperly block economic development projects and take away Americans' property rights.
In one recent example, the EPA made plans to block a permit for a mining project before the project had even applied for one.
After intense pressure from and collusion with Washington D.C. and New York-based environmental lobbyists, the agency proposed to block an Alaska mining company from receiving a federal Clean Water Act permit for a project known as Pebble Mine. But the company had never even applied for a permit. In fact, EPA’s proposed Clean Water Act veto was based only on speculation of what mining on private land might look like, not on an actual mining plan. In other words, EPA manipulated its own bureaucracy in order to control potential and future projects of American businesses on private property. It did so to proactively discourage investment in the venture, so it could never begin to get off the ground. Read more ..
|Rebecca Shabad||September 25th 2014|
The United States launched nearly 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Islamic militant targets in Syria on Tuesday, each of which cost about $1.5 million to replace.
The military also used F-22s, F-16s and B-1 bombers to pound Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) positions, which cost between $20,000 and $65,000 per flying hour.
The figures highlight how President Obama’s campaign against the terrorist network will have high fiscal costs for the nation, even as the bills from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars fade from memory. The fight against ISIS looks to be much less expensive than those other wars, which sent hundreds of thousands of combat troops to those countries. President Obama has repeatedly insisted that no ground troops will be used in the new campaign.
Still, more than 1,600 military advisers have been authorized to go to Iraq. While nearly 800 of those advisers will provide diplomatic security, military leaders have suggested more troops on the ground could be necessary. “My guess is we’re going to have a lot of ground troops waging this war,” predicted Stephen Biddle, an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who worked on assessment teams for Gen. Stanley McChrystal in Kabul in 2009 and Gen. David Petraeus in Baghdad in 2007. Read more ..
The 2014 Vote
|Alexander Bolton||September 25th 2014|
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has begun to have serious conversations with state officials and local powerbrokers about running for a sixth term in the Senate.
The longtime Republican senator is expected to face a tougher challenger and would be a major target for Tea Party groups given his support for a Senate immigration bill granting a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.
And McCain, who turned 78 last month, has at times suggested he’s willing to hang it up, telling the entertainment website The Wrap earlier this year that he didn’t “want to be one of these old guys that should’ve shoved off.” But more recently, McCain has given every indication that he wants to stay in the upper chamber, even after three decades as a senator.
“I’m leaning toward it,” McCain told The Hill when asked about running for re-election. “I’m doing all the things necessary to do so,” McCain says of a reelection bid. “A good fundraising quarter. A lot of meetings and talking to a lot of people in the state, the usual preparations in the state.”
The 2008 GOP presidential candidate met Friday in Phoenix with “key supporters” to plan his re-election race, a McCain aide said. And McCain says whether Republicans win a Senate majority in November won’t “particularly” make a difference in his decision. McCain faced a primary challenger in 2010, just two years after Barack Obama defeated him for the White House. He easily fought off former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, defeating him by 25 points after pouring $25 million into the face.
But Hayworth was seen by many as a weak candidate, and McCain could face a much tougher challenger in 2018. Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) is flirting with a run against McCain. He is hosting a breakfast Thursday in Scottsdale for local Republican candidates, including Mark Brnovich, the candidate for state attorney general. Read more ..
Venezuela on Edge
|Nancy Menges and Luis Fleischman ||September 23rd 2014|
On September 18th, the United States announced that it will not oppose Venezuela’s bid to seek a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council for a two year term that would commence in 2015. The U.S. decision came after countries in the region unanimously endorsed Venezuela’s bid.
For those who have monitored the assault on human rights in Venezuela as well as the country’s nefarious connections to the FARC, Hezbollah, ETA, and Iran, Venezuela’s appearance as a voting member of the Security Council would make a mockery of the UN Human Rights Charter.
Unfortunately, most of Latin America is now dominated by a left –wing cadre of countries that have warmly greeted the Bolivarian regime as well as the fifty year plus Cuban dictatorship and the ALBA countries. Read more ..
The Ebola Outbreak
|Sam Levin||September 23rd 2014|
Fox News and agencies
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report Tuesday predicting as many as 550,000 to 1.4 million cases of the Ebola virus in Liberia and Sierra Leone alone, by the end of January.
The CDC calculations are based, in part, on assumptions that cases have been dramatically underreported. Other projections haven't made the same kind of attempt to quantify illnesses that may have been missed in official counts.
CDC scientists conclude there may be as many as 21,000 reported and unreported cases in just those two countries as soon as the end of this month.
“The model shows — and I don’t think this has been shown by other modeling tools out there — that a surge now can break the back of the epidemic. It also shows that there are severe costs of delay," CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a press conference Tuesday.
The agency's numbers seem "somewhat pessimistic" and do not account for infection control efforts already underway, said Dr. Richard Wenzel, a Virginia Commonwealth University scientist who formerly led the International Society for Infectious Diseases.
Separately, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned in a new report that the number of people infected with the Ebola virus could reach 20,000 by the beginning of November if efforts to contain the outbreak are not accelerated. Read more ..
The 2016 Vote
|A.B. Stoddard ||September 23rd 2014|
So we know how Hillary Clinton feels about steak, retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), equal pay, a minimum wage increase and how hard Democrats should campaign for the midterm elections in November. But we don’t know what the former secretary of State — who wants to be president — thinks about a brand-new war launched by the United States in the Middle East. What’s staggering is that it comes as no surprise.
Last week, Clinton called on the United Nations to more effectively combat the abduction of women and girls by Boko Haram and other terrorist groups but was not moved to comment on the president’s strategy, outlined in an address to the nation two nights prior, to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Read more ..
|Martin Barillas||September 23rd 2014|
Cutting Edge Contributor
The United States and a group of five Arab countries have carried out air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria.
In a September 23 statement, U.S. Central Command said 14 air strikes overnight damaged or destroyed targets in four areas of eastern Syria, including in the Islamic State group's main stronghold of Raqqa.
It said Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates either participated in or supported the attacks, which hit training compounds, militant headquarters and a finance center.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the airstrikes killed or wounding tens of militants.
According to Voice of America, Pentagon spokesman Jeff Pool said on the evening of September 22 that the strikes involved fighter planes, bombers and ships at sea firing cruise missiles. Read more ..
|Samuel Westrop||September 23rd 2014|
British politicians seem to be trapped in an endless debate over how to curb both violent and non-violent extremism within the Muslim community.
A truly useful measure might be to end the provision of state funding and legitimacy to terror-linked extremist charities.
The British government is, incredibly, still continuing to fund charitable UK-based organizations with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, terrorist groups and domestic extremism. Simultaneously, lawmakers seem to be having trouble thinking of ways to tackle extremism and terrorist incitement within Britain's Muslim communities. Read more ..
|Soeren Kern||September 23rd 2014|
|Sven Lau chats with locals in Wuppertal, Westphalia, Germany|
According to Burkhard Freier, the director of domestic intelligence for North Rhine-Westphalia, German Salafists are increasingly inclined to use violence to achieve their aims, and many have travelled to Iraq or Syria to obtain combat training.
"The intention of these people is to provoke and intimidate and force their ideology upon others. We will not permit this." — Wuppertal Mayor Peter Jung.
"In Germany, German law is determinative, not Sharia law." — Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician Volker Kauder.
Salafist ideology posits that Sharia law is superior to all secular laws because it emanates from Allah, the only legitimate lawgiver, and thus is legally binding for all of humanity. According to the Salafist worldview, democracy is an effort to elevate the will of human beings above the will of Allah. Read more ..
The Race for Natural Gas
|Aeron Haworth||September 22nd 2014|
Greenhouse gas emissions from the production and use of shale gas would be comparable to conventional natural gas, but the controversial energy source actually faired better than renewables on some environmental impacts, according to new research. The UK holds enough shale gas to supply its entire gas demand for 470 years, promising to solve the country’s energy crisis and end its reliance on fossil-fuel imports from unstable markets. But for many, including climate scientists and environmental groups, shale gas exploitation is viewed as environmentally dangerous and would result in the UK reneging on its greenhouse gas reduction obligations under the Climate Change Act. Read more ..
See Earlier Stories 1 2 3 4 5 6