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Articles Posted by maggief

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  • Nevada ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid’s reputation

    04/13/2014 6:13:17 PM PDT · by maggief · 82 replies
    Washington Times ^ | April 13, 2014 | Valerie Richardson
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said little as federal agents seized and then released cattle last week from the Bundy ranch, but there is little doubt that the highly charged episode was threatening to become a political headache for the Nevada Democrat. The Bureau of Land Management is headed by former longtime Reid aide Neil Kornze, who was confirmed by the Senate as BLM director on Tuesday, just as federal authorities descended on the cattle ranch outside Mesquite, Nev.
  • Jeb Bush: ‘It’s Not An American Value To Allow People To Stay In The Shadows’

    04/11/2014 5:57:59 AM PDT · by maggief · 143 replies
    AP ^ | April 11, 2014
    With a single phrase of compassion for immigrants in the U.S. illegally, Jeb Bush has prompted questions about his viability as a potential presidential contender and underscored how divisive the immigration issue remains for the Republican Party. The former Florida governor sparked a conservative furor this week when he described illegal immigration in an interview as an “act of love” by people trying to provide for their families. Backing Bush are some of the GOP’s most powerful insiders and financiers, who are hoping the party can woo Hispanic voters and rebound from Mitt Romney’s damaging “self-deportation” rhetoric in 2012. “The...
  • Democrats defend Holder from GOP

    04/11/2014 5:16:31 AM PDT · by maggief · 12 replies
    The Hill ^ | April 11, 2014 | Alexander Bolton
    Senate Democrats are rallying to Attorney General Eric Holder’s defense. They argue Republicans are wrong to suggest he is overly partisan, or that he is more uncooperative with Congress compared to past attorneys general. “I guess they don’t like anybody who disagrees with them,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “He’s a strong and smart advocate for a different point of view.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a senior member of the panel, also stood up for Holder. “I simply do not accept that. I’ve been here long enough to know,” she said. “He is...
  • Republicans: GOP leaders ‘deceived’ us

    04/02/2014 12:33:41 PM PDT · by maggief · 20 replies
    The Hill ^ | April 2, 2014 | Russell Berman
    House Republican leaders got an earful in two separate private meetings Wednesday from conservatives fuming over their move last week to pass a Medicare payment fix without a full House vote. The leadership on Thursday had abruptly put up a bill to prevent a cut in Medicare reimbursements to doctor, passing it by voice vote rather than holding a recorded roll-call vote. Few members were on the House floor to object, angering conservatives who accused the leadership of subverting the democratic process. “I’m getting used to being deceived by the Obama administration, but when my own leaders do it, it’s...
  • The Jeb Boomlet: Why journalists are promoting another Bush candidacy

    04/02/2014 6:25:43 AM PDT · by maggief · 23 replies
    FoxNews ^ | April 2, 2014 | Howard Kurtz
    You know who wants Jeb Bush to run for president? The pundits. It's not that they pine for another Bush in the White House; it's that they need a GOP front-runner, preferably a household name. The Republican race is too amorphous for their taste. Every story has to mention Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and on and on. What journalists love is a two-person showdown, especially if each candidate hails from a different wing of the party, paving the way for lots of civil war themes. Christie was their guy. A brash, blunt blue-stater with...
  • (Boehner:) 'What the hell is this, a joke?'

    03/26/2014 10:14:58 AM PDT · by maggief · 53 replies
    The Hill ^ | March 26, 2014 | Russell Berman
    “What the hell is this, a joke?” Boehner said at his weekly press conference. He was responding to the administration’s announcement on Tuesday evening that people who had begun the process of signing up for insurance through the federal exchanges would have until mid-April to do so, instead of March 31. The Speaker called the move “another deadline made meaningless,” adding it to a litany of unilateral changes that the administration has made to the law. “This is part of a long-term pattern of this administration manipulating the law for its own convenience,” Boehner said. “It’s not hard to understand...
  • In Beijing, Michelle Obama Speaks Out for Free Speech

    03/22/2014 5:51:15 AM PDT · by maggief · 49 replies
    NYT ^ | March 22, 2014 | JANE PERLEZ
    BEIJING — On a visit that was supposed to be nonpolitical, Michelle Obama delivered an unmistakable message to the Chinese on Saturday, saying in a speech here that freedom of speech, particularly on the Internet and in the news media, provided the foundation for a vibrant society. On the second day of a weeklong trip to China with her two daughters and her mother, Mrs. Obama spoke to an audience of Americans and Chinese at Peking University, and in the midst of an appeal for more American students to study abroad, she also talked of the value for people of...
  • Thailand Gives Radar Data 10 Days After Plane Lost

    03/18/2014 10:17:23 AM PDT · by maggief · 32 replies
    AP ^ | March 18, 2014 | THANYARAT DOKSONE
    Thailand's military said Tuesday that its radar detected a plane that may have been Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 just minutes after the jetliner's communications went down, and that it didn't share the information with Malaysia earlier because it wasn't specifically asked for it. A twisting flight path described Tuesday by Thai air force spokesman Air Vice Marshal Montol Suchookorn took the plane to the Strait of Malacca, which is where Malaysian radar tracked Flight 370 early March 8. But Montol said the Thai military doesn't know whether it detected the same plane.
  • Beaming President and Michelle are all smiles after returning from their weekend getaway ...

    03/09/2014 6:38:51 PM PDT · by maggief · 44 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | March 9, 2014 | JAMES NYE
    President and First Lady returned from their vacation at exclusive Florida resort that costs up to $2,500 a night President faced criticism for leaving Washington D.C. while Ukraine crisis looms large President Obama and his family are vacationed at the exclusive Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo A White House spokesman claimed the president would be doing exactly the same thing in Florida as he would do in the White House The White House says Obama squeezed in another round of golf Sunday before he left on Sunday morning After vacationing at the $2,500 a night Ocean Reef Club in...
  • Missing Malaysia Jet Adds Fuel to 'Live Black Box' Debate

    03/09/2014 12:15:25 PM PDT · by maggief · 45 replies
    WSJ ^ | March 9, 2014 | ANDY PASZTOR And JON OSTROWER
    EXCERPT Discussed for many years but never implemented, the concept of automatically transmitting data would involve using satellite links to send critical safety information from an airliner to the ground during extreme emergencies or just before a plane goes down. The information may highlight, among other things, engine and system performance, flight commands by pilots and possible problems with cockpit automation. The direct transmissions would serve as real-time substitutes when traditional "black boxes" containing digital flight data and recordings of cockpit conversations are damaged or lost, whether temporarily or permanently. "Such a solution is long overdue, considering the state of...
  • WaPo: President will still be president, aides say — just in Fla. (Key Largo)

    03/07/2014 3:19:44 PM PST · by maggief · 32 replies
    Washington Post ^ | March 7, 2014 | David Nakamura
    KEY LARGO, Fla. – No matter what’s going on in the world – or where in the world he happens to be – President Obama never stops being president, his aides say. So on Friday, a week into a tense international standoff half a world away, Obama loaded his aides and his family aboard Air Force One, left chilly Washington and arrived here in sunny South Florida for a weekend getaway at the exclusive Ocean Reef resort. There were golf courses, tennis courts, pools and immaculate beach fronts. There was also, White House spokesman Josh Earnest assured reporters, the “regular...
  • Obamas Arrive In S. FL For Visit At Coral Reef Senior High

    03/07/2014 11:21:04 AM PST · by maggief · 21 replies
    CBS Miami/AP ^ | March 7, 2014
    MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Students at Coral Reef High School in Southwest Miami-Dade will receive a presidential visit Friday. President Barack Obama, along with the First Lady Michelle Obama, arrived right on time at 1:40 p.m. at Homestead Air Reserve Base. The President pay the magnet high school a visit Friday afternoon to kick off a new effort to help students take the first step toward getting a college education. “It’s a historic event,” said student Sumaiya Khandaker. Mr. Obama, in a speech to the school’s seniors, will announce a new initiative to help students complete the Free Application for Federal...
  • Some not excited about Obama visit (Ocean Reef Club)

    03/07/2014 8:35:04 AM PST · by maggief · 38 replies
    Keys News ^ | March 7, 2014 | Josh Gore
    Not all Ocean Reef Club residents will welcome the president with open arms if he visits this weekend. President Barack Obama is scheduled to be in Miami Friday to speak about education at Coral Reef High School. A Chicago Sun-Times blog, citing anonymous sources, said he then planned to join his family at the gated Ocean Reef Club for a weekend getaway.
  • Sneed: Obama’s top adviser, Valerie Jarrett, is dating Ahmad Rashad

    03/06/2014 5:52:07 PM PST · by maggief · 43 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | March 3, 2014 | Sneed
    Sneed is told senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett is dating Ahmad Rashad, the four-times-married sportscaster who was once a wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings. Although Jarrett has told at least one Chicago pal “it is not serious,” Sneed hears Rashad accompanied Jarrett to first lady Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday party at the White House in January. (snip) Rashad, who converted to Islam, was originally named Bobby Moore. ◆ Backshot: Rashad was photographed at an event in the East Room of the White House last Thursday to promote the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative introduced by President Barack Obama urging...
  • President Obama Imposes Sanctions on Individuals Over Ukraine Crisis

    03/06/2014 10:21:31 AM PST · by maggief · 14 replies
    abcnews ^ | March 6, 2014
    President Obama has signed an executive order today imposing sanctions on individuals he said violate Ukrainian sovereignty or are "stealing the assets" of the Ukrainian people. He said the sanctions were meant to "impose a cost" on Russia's action in Crimea. Obama emphasized that new visa restrictions the U.S. placed on those who are opposing the Ukraine government “continue our efforts to impose a cost on Russia and those responsible for the situation in Crimea.”
  • Video: RT Anchor Quits On Air ("network that whitewashes the actions of Putin")

    03/05/2014 2:47:47 PM PST · by maggief · 44 replies
    Daily Beast ^ | March 5, 2014
    An American anchor working for state-owned television station Russia Today quit on air on Wednesday. Liz Wahl, in the network's D.C. bureau, said she could no longer be "part of a network that whitewashes the actions of Putin."
  • French-made warship destined for Russia sets sail

    03/05/2014 6:28:04 AM PST · by maggief · 9 replies
    AP ^ | March 5, 2014
    PARIS — A French-built warship designed to strengthen Russia’s ability to deploy troops, tanks and helicopter gunships is getting its first test run Wednesday — just as Western powers are trying to rein in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military threat to Ukraine. A spokesman for the shipbuilder says the Vladivostok helicopter carrier is setting sail from the French Atlantic port of Saint-Nazaire. A few hundred kilometers away in Paris, France’s government is hosting American, Russian and other leading world diplomats Wednesday amid mounting tensions over Ukraine.
  • Kerry lands in Ukraine with promise of $1 billion in U.S. aid

    03/04/2014 5:19:35 AM PST · by maggief · 62 replies
    AP ^ | March 4, 2014
    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — U.S. officials say the White House is announcing an aid package to Ukraine of $1 billion in lost energy subsidies as it seeks to extract itself from Russia’s influence. The announcement came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry landed in the Ukrainian capital Tuesday to show American support for Kiev’s military and political struggle against Moscow.
  • Boehner on seeking reelection as speaker: ‘It won’t even be close’

    03/03/2014 1:05:46 PM PST · by maggief · 35 replies
    Washington Post ^ | March 3, 2014 | AARON BLAKE
    EXCERPT "It won’t even be close,” Boehner said. “I frankly think I’m in better shape with my own caucus than I have been any time in the last three years," Boehner said. "I think they understand me better.” Boehner reiterated that the condo purchase "has nothing to do with my future.”
  • Mark Levin on Obama: "I Can't Think of Anything He Touches That Doesn't Turn to Crap"

    03/03/2014 11:48:45 AM PST · by maggief · 23 replies
    YouTube ^ | March 3, 2014
    In a compelling and insightful interview, Radio Talk Show host, Mark Levin joins 'Imus In The Morning' to weigh in with his thoughts on Sarah Palin's prophetic comments about Russia's advancement towards the Ukraine.
  • (BBC) Ukraine: UK rules out Russia trade curbs?

    03/03/2014 10:48:35 AM PST · by maggief · 26 replies
    BBC ^ | March 3, 2014 | Nick Robinson
    The government will not curb trade with Russia or close London's financial centre to Russians as part of any possible package of sanctions against Moscow, according to an official document. The document, which was photographed as a senior official carried it into a meeting in Downing Street, says that "the UK should not support for now trade sanctions or close London's financial centre to Russians", while it confirms that ministers ARE considering - along with other EU countries - visa restrictions and travel bans on key Russian figures. It also says that ministers should "discourage any discussion (eg at Nato)...
  • Russian upper house approves use of force in Ukraine

    03/01/2014 7:10:27 AM PST · by maggief · 507 replies
    CNN ^ | March 1, 2014 | Laura Smith-Spark. Diana Magnay and Ingrid Formanek
    Simferopol, Ukraine (CNN) -- [Breaking News Update, 10:02 a.m. ET] (CNN) -- Russia's upper house of parliament voted Saturday to approve the use of military force in Ukraine. The vote was unanimous. [Original Story, published 9:23 a.m. ET] (CNN) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked the upper house of parliament for approval to send Russian troops into Ukraine's Crimea region to normalize the political situation there, the Kremlin said Saturday. Due to the "extraordinary situation in Ukraine," Putin said, there are threats to the lives of Russian citizens and Russian military personnel based in the southern Crimean region. It...
  • Obama to Make Statement on Ukraine at the White House

    02/28/2014 1:41:32 PM PST · by maggief · 129 replies
    ap ^ | February 28, 2014
    Headline only.
  • President's Brother: As Young Man Obama 'Acted Too Black'

    02/28/2014 9:53:29 AM PST · by maggief · 18 replies
    Newsmax ^ | February 27, 2014 | Cathy Burke
    President Barack Obama places "politics before family," his Kenya-born half-brother Mark Obama Ndesandjo said in an exclusive Newsmax interview. And when the two men first met, the man who went on to be president appeared to be acting "too black" for his African-raised sibling. "When we met in '88 he was very much influenced by African nationalists and also at the same time had strong opinions about the roles of independence," Ndesandjo said on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV. Ndesandjo, whose book "Cultures: My Odyssey of Self-Discovery" explores the complicated relationship between the brothers, said the first time...
  • #FREEREID: Rogers (MN) student suspended over tweet (10 week suspension)

    02/17/2014 2:41:12 PM PST · by maggief · 38 replies
    KMSP ^ | February 17, 2014 | Paul Blume
    ROGERS, Minn. (KMSP) - The student body at Rogers High School has Reid Sagehorn's back. "He's got the whole school behind him. We all believe this isn't right," junior Cole Murray said. Sagehorn is a big man on campus. He's smart, good looking, captain of the football and basketball teams, a National Honor Society member with a 3.75 grade point average and plans to attend North Dakota State University in the fall. However, a certain Twitter conversation has banned him from school. An anonymous tweet was posted suggesting Sagehorn may have made out with a young, attractive gym teacher at...
  • Youtube: Inside Scientology Sea Org meeting

    02/04/2014 12:24:18 PM PST · by maggief · 28 replies
    YouTube ^ | January 28, 2014
    About: Published on Jan 28, 2014 FOUND ONLINE RIPPED AND RE-POSTED This is cleaned up audio version of video shot inside of a Scientology Sea Org meeting. In this video you can hear the speaker talking about how to get more money out of people. She basically is saying when people tell you they don't have more money, they do and how you can get it out of them. The cult has lied about this tactic for years and here you can not only see it is true but the Sea Org members are excited about it. This is the...
  • Boehner likes Jeb Bush in 2016

    01/24/2014 8:29:20 AM PST · by maggief · 48 replies
    The Hill ^ | january 24, 2014 | Mario Trujillo
    Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday night that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would be a great president if he ran in 2016. However, the Speaker made clear he is not endorsing anyone more than two years before the election. “Well listen I’m not endorsing anybody, but Jeb Bush is my friend, and I frankly think he would be a great president, I really do,” he said on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Bush was the only potential GOP candidate Boehner mentioned when asked who he liked for president. In the wide-ranging interview, Boehner also touched on last October’s...
  • Third-ranking House Republican backs legal status for immigrants

    01/22/2014 8:41:46 AM PST · by maggief · 49 replies
    The Hill ^ | January 22, 2014 | Russell Berman
    The third-ranking House Republican, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), said he backs granting legal status — but not a new pathway to citizenship — to millions of immigrants in the U.S. illegally. McCarthy stated his personal view on the contentious issue in an interview with KBAK/KBFX Eyewitness News in his hometown of Bakersfield, Calif. He signaled that the call for a provisional legal status would be included in the immigration reform principles that House Republican leaders are soon to release. "The principles aren't written yet, but in my personal belief I think it'll go with legal status that will allow...
  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford: I drank a little with my friends before latest video

    01/22/2014 7:36:07 AM PST · by maggief · 14 replies
    CNN ^ | January 22, 2014 | Steve Almasy
    CNN) -- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted to drinking again after a video posted on social media showed him babbling about the city's police chief Monday night while he was at a fast food restaurant. The mayor, who had pledged to refrain from alcohol, stopped briefly to talk to reporters Tuesday when he was asked about the video that shows him incoherently talking to customers at a Steak Queen in Rexdale.
  • Boehner defends rush to pass 1,500-page spending bill

    01/14/2014 9:39:43 AM PST · by maggief · 43 replies
    The Hill ^ | january 14, 2014 | Russell Berman
    Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday defended the House leadership’s decision to call a vote on a 1,582-page omnibus spending bill less than two full days after unveiling it. “I would like to have more time,” Boehner said at a press conference following a House GOP conference meeting. “But we’re in a situation where the government is in fact going to run out of money.” Current funding expires on Wednesday, and the House plans to pass a three-day extension on Tuesday to allow time for both chambers to vote on the omnibus and send it to President Obama for his...
  • Records Show Christie Administration Canceled Meetings After Jersey City Mayor Didn't Endorse

    01/13/2014 10:46:45 AM PST · by maggief · 25 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | January 13, 2014 | HEATHER HADDON
    Documents released Monday indicate that meetings arranged between top commissioners to Gov. Chris Christie and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop were abruptly canceled without reason last year—providing evidence of Mr. Fulop's claim that he was cut off after he decided not to endorse the governor. The documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal through a public records request showed communications between Mr. Fulop and Christie administration staff members arranging the meetings in June and July, until the commissioners all canceled one meeting after another. The documents don't indicate why the meetings were scrapped, but Mr. Fulop has said that he...
  • Rep. Darrell Issa's agenda in 2014: IRS, Benghazi and Fast and Furious

    01/12/2014 4:48:46 AM PST · by maggief · 24 replies
    The Hill ^ | January 12, 2014 | Molly K. Hooper
    Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) in 2014 will pursue the IRS scandal, the deadly Benghazi attack and the botched Fast and Furious operation in what will likely be his last year as the House GOP's chief investigator. Issa sounded a cautionary note that the investigations might not conclude while he has the gavel. “The administration wraps up investigations. We are done when we are done … there shouldn’t be any sort of effort to load in or unload" before his term limit of six years as the top Republican on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee ends in December. Rep. John...
  • State: 'Core al Qaeda' didn't plan Benghazi

    12/31/2013 5:57:34 AM PST · by maggief · 54 replies
    The Hill ^ | December 30, 2013 | Peter Sullivan
    The State Department on Monday said it has no evidence that “core al Qaeda” was behind last year's terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. “We have no indications that core al Qaeda, which I think is what most people are referring to when they talk about quote ‘al Qaeda,’ directed or planned what happened in Benghazi,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said at a briefing. The statement appears to leave open the possibility that associates or followers of the terrorist network were involved in the assault. The comments come on the heels of a New York Times investigation published over the...
  • Egyptian army vehicle fires live rounds at pro-Mursi protesters in central Cairo

    10/04/2013 7:20:27 AM PDT · by maggief · 26 replies
    Reuters ^ | October 4, 2013
    An Egyptian army vehicle fired live rounds in the direction of Muslim Brotherhood supporters who had been pushed away from Cairo's Tahrir Square by security forces on Friday, a Reuters witness said.
  • Barry-cades confirmed: Park Service says Obama admin ordered closure of World War II Memorial

    10/02/2013 8:56:29 AM PDT · by maggief · 94 replies
    Twitchy ^ | October 2, 2013
    Barry-cades confirmed: Park Service says Obama admin ordered closure of World War II Memorial Posted at 11:17 am on October 2, 2013 by Twitchy Staff
  • After ARB testifies, only 2 @OversightDems decide to stay & hear testimony from family members..

    09/19/2013 12:57:51 PM PDT · by maggief · 26 replies
    Twitter ^ | September 19, 2013 | Darrell Issa
    After ARB testifies, only 2 @OversightDems decide to stay & hear testimony from family members on 2nd panel PHOTO:
  • Russian official blames Navy Yard shooting on ‘American exceptionalism’

    09/16/2013 10:56:29 AM PDT · by maggief · 33 replies
    Washington Post ^ | September 16, 2013 | Max Fisher
    Alexei Pushkov, head of the foreign affairs committee of Russia’s parliament, seized on the shooting Monday at the Washington Navy Yard to reiterate long-standing Russian criticisms of the United States. "Nobody’s even surprised anymore," he wrote, sarcastically describing the still-ongoing shooting as "A clear confirmation of 'American exceptionalism.'"
  • Angry House Republicans demand better communication

    09/15/2013 11:36:05 AM PDT · by maggief · 49 replies
    The Hill ^ | September 15, 2013 | Molly K. Hooper
    Republican lawmakers are growing increasingly frustrated with what they say is a lack of communication from their leaders. Both centrist and conservative members in the House believe that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his lieutenants could have done more earlier this year to counter the Tea Party's effort to defund ObamaCare. Some Republicans on Capitol Hill say such an effort is politically impossible with a Democratic-controlled Senate and a Democrat in the White House. Regardless, the rift on what to do on ObamaCare has opened up a civil war within the GOP. That deep division is flaring at a time...
  • McCain to parry Putin N.Y. Times op-ed with one for Pravda

    09/13/2013 4:16:53 PM PDT · by maggief · 43 replies
    Reuters ^ | September 13, 2013
    (Reuters) - U.S. Senator John McCain will submit an opinion piece to the Russian newspaper Pravda in response to an op-ed on Syria in The New York Times by Russian President Vladimir Putin that infuriated many members of Congress, a spokesman said on Friday. "Senator McCain is glad to take them up on the offer and will submit a piece," said Brian Rogers, a spokesman for the senior Republican senator, one of the leading congressional voices on international affairs. The announcement came a day after the venerable U.S. newspaper published a Putin commentary in which the Russian leader painted himself...
  • Obama Pivots to Asia, Announces Trip to Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines

    09/13/2013 12:05:27 PM PDT · by maggief · 54 replies
    Weekly Standard ^ | September 13, 2013 | Daniel Halper
    President Barack Obama will be traveling to Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines, at the beginning of next, the White House announced today. "The President will travel to Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines from October 6 – 12 as part of his ongoing commitment to increase U.S. political, economic and security engagement with the Asia Pacific," reads the press secretary's announcement.
  • McCain: Putin's column an 'insult' to Americans

    09/12/2013 7:48:59 AM PDT · by maggief · 71 replies
    USA Today | September 12, 2013
    Link only.
  • Syria crisis exposes rifts in U.S.-German ties

    09/12/2013 7:29:06 AM PDT · by maggief · 9 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | September 12, 2013 | Marc Young
    BERLIN — Angela Merkel might not personally like Vladimir Putin very much, but the German chancellor is surely pleased the Russian president’s diplomatic efforts have temporarily averted U.S. plans for a military strike against Syria. Constrained by Germany’s jingoistic past and a looming election, the leader of the largest country in the European Union has been decidedly reluctant to follow President Barack Obama’s call for a robust response to the apparent use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war. And Merkel’s aversion to getting involved in the conflict has exposed rifts in the trans-Atlantic alliance by often leaving Berlin...
  • McCain: Putin wants US to take use of force off the table - unacceptable.

    09/10/2013 3:00:59 PM PDT · by maggief · 41 replies
    Twitter ^ | September 10, 2013
    Putin wants US to take use of force off the table - unacceptable. "Putin: No US strikes for #Syria deal" Vladimir Putin: No U.S. strikes for Syria deal - Tal Kopan Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that for the proposed Russian agreement that Syria turn over its chemical weapons to work, the United States must take military action off the table....
  • Report: Polish Foreign Minister Responsible For Russian Syria Plan

    09/10/2013 2:55:22 PM PDT · by maggief · 9 replies
    BuzzFeed ^ | September 10, 2013 | Rosie Gray
    Confusion grows over the origin of a potential compromise on Syria as Poland throws its hat into the ring. WASHINGTON — According to a report in the German newspaper Die Welt, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski outlined a Syria chemical weapons deal similar to that proposed by the Russians to Secretary of State John Kerry well before the current deal became public. According to Die Welt, Sikorski called Kerry on August 29th and submitted to him a version of the plan later proposed by Kerry and the Russians. He also reportedly talked about the plan in person with Kerry during...
  • Putin calls on US to renounce use of force in Syria

    09/10/2013 10:42:04 AM PDT · by maggief · 74 replies
    AFP ^ | September 10, 2013
    EXCERPT "It all makes sense and can work if the US side and all those who support it renounce the use of force," he said according to Russian television.
  • Assad air force back in action in Damascus, hitting rebels

    09/10/2013 9:46:24 AM PDT · by maggief · 58 replies
    Reuters ^ | September 10, 2013 | Khaled Yacoub Oweis
    * Government air strikes back ground forces in rebel-held suburbs * Activists say first air raids in Damascus since before gas attack * Assad opponents say shows he no longer fears imminent U.S. strike By Khaled Yacoub Oweis AMMAN, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Syrian warplanes bombed rebel suburbs of Damascus on Tuesday for the first time in three weeks, in an offensive that opposition activists said showed President Bashar al-Assad no longer feared attack by the United States. Not seen in action around the capital since before Aug. 21, when hundreds of people were killed in a poison gas attack...
  • Sen. McConnell to Vote 'No' on Syria Resolution

    09/10/2013 7:46:54 AM PDT · by maggief · 38 replies
    AP ^ | September 10, 2013
    EXCERPT McConnell says the proposal is, quote, "utterly detached from a wider strategy to end the civil war" in Syria.
  • Gulf Arab states still want deterrent action against Syria

    09/10/2013 6:54:10 AM PDT · by maggief · 38 replies
    Reuters ^ | September 10, 2013
    DUBAI (Reuters) - Gulf Arab states renewed their demands on Tuesday for the United Nations Security Council to take deterrent measures against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government over a chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of people. The statement was the first from the Sunni Muslim-led Gulf Cooperation Council, a main backer of rebels fighting to overthrow Assad, a member of the Alawite sect of Shi'ite Islam, since Russia unveiled a proposal to avoid military strikes by dismantling Syria's chemical weapons. "The GCC condemns the ugly crime committed by the Syrian regime by using internationally banned chemical weapons, which resulted...
  • Rowhani talks tough on Iran nuclear rights ("will not give up one iota")

    09/10/2013 6:23:38 AM PDT · by maggief · 6 replies
    AFP ^ | September 10, 2013 | Mohammad Davari
    Iran's new President Hassan Rowhani said Tuesday that Tehran will not give up "one iota" of its nuclear rights, echoing his hardline predecessor, after the UN nuclear watchdog urged improved cooperation. The comments come ahead of meeting later this month between his Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on restarting negotiations on the Islamic republic's controversial nuclear ambitions. "Our government will not give up one iota of its absolute rights" on the nuclear issue, said Rowhani, a reputed moderate, repeating a mantra frequently used by his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
  • John Kerry on Syria: how a gaffe could stop a war

    09/10/2013 4:30:48 AM PDT · by maggief · 33 replies
    The Guardian ^ | September 10, 2013 | Jonathan Freedland
    Write a new chapter in the diplomatic handbook. Dedicate it to the off-the-cuff remark – the gaffe, even – which averts a war. We don't yet know if John Kerry's apparently unplanned comment in London, suggesting Syria could avoid a US military strike by turning over its stash of chemical weapons, has set in train a process that will ultimately prevent armed American action. But Barack Obama described it as a "possible breakthrough" and the relief can be felt across multiple world capitals. Of course the practical problems are legion – one report claims that getting rid of Syria's chemical...