A grocery store owner in Bridgeport, Connecticut, was charged Thursday with buying food stamps from 128 customers and using the proceeds to buy $45,000 in bulk merchandise to resell in his shop, including 1,200 cases of Red Bull.
Aslam Khawaja, of Iranistan Avenue, claims he was only trying to help the poor.
If convicted, Khawaja could face up to 20 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine.
Russia has achieved a strategic psychological victory over NATO in the Ukraine with the announcement by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva that an agreement had been reached with Ukrainian and NATO member diplomats to ease tensions in the country.
Over the last few weeks, NATO has been shown to be economically unstable, fully dependent on Russian energy, and lacking a meaningful military deterrent. Russia has brutally humiliated NATO and has strategically reemerged as the dominant nation in Europe.
The Geneva, Switzerland, talks were originally supposed to focus on disarming illegal militant groups in Ukraine, de-escalating tensions, and instituting the constitutional reforms promised in February following the ouster of pro-Russian former President Viktor Yanukovych. But the new terms of the “deal” make no mention of constitutional reforms and grant amnesty for all pro-Russian protesters. There is some language about prosecuting criminals, demanding illegal armed groups disband, and requiring protesters occupying government buildings to leave, but no one will aggressively challenge the pro-Russians sympathizers’ actions.
After succeeding in annexing the Crimean peninsula from the Ukraine by popular demand, Moscow sought to bait the Ukrainian government into violent reprisals against pro-Russian protestors and government building occupiers in eastern and southern Ukraine. But unlike the Crimea where the support for Russia was overwhelming, eastern pro-Russian protests were often met with large pro-Western counter-demonstrations. Without the supportive political conditions to welcome a military intervention, Russia fostered the maximum amount of turmoil in the hope the Ukraine military would violently retaliate against both paramilitary groups and civilians.
The Ukrainian government did begin an “anti-terrorism” campaign in eastern Ukraine in an attempt to drive out mobs of pro-Russian forces that had barricaded themselves inside federal buildings near the Russian border, demanding the government disarm. The worst violence was the death of at least three pro-Russian militants and the injury of thirteen others as Ukrainian National Guard and police were attempting to repel a crowd of roughly 300 attacking the Black Sea navy base of Mariupol with Molotov cocktails according to the Associated Press.
Russia has succeeded in stopping any further talk of Ukraine joining NATO and must be ecstatic with the state of paralysis in the nation that was already facing financial insolvency and default. The International Monetary Fund had already approved a loan in March that required politically painful austerity spending reforms. Those reforms include doubling of residential natural gas prices and adopting a floating currency exchange rate that will devalue the buying power of worker’s salaries and pensions.
With a highly contentious Ukraine presidential election coming on May 25th, Russia will be able to criticize the legitimacy of the vote count and feed bitter historic antagonism against politicians in the western Ukrainian capital city of Kiev. If continuing protests cause the elections to be delayed, Russia can push for a break-up of the country or a decentralization of power. Either event would strengthen Russia’s position and humiliate the credibility of NATO as a friend and ally to other Eastern European nations.
President Vladimir Putin is enjoying a 75% approval rating at home since the beginning of his muscular response to Ukraine. As a former KGB operative, Putin has the luxury of choreographing events in a way that emphasizes his defiance of perceived Western meddling in other nations’ internal affairs. Fearing a scenario like the Ukraine, I expect a number of countries to move away from NATO and re-establish “harmonious relationships” now that Russia has reemerged as the dominant power in Europe.
The author welcomes feedback and will respond to comments by readers.
The hypocrisy could not be more evident as reports indicate Media Matters for America is resisting efforts by Service Employees International Union Local 500 to unionize its employees. Heck, next thing you know, they'll be asking them for a higher minimum wage.
Last week, the union filed a representation petition with the National Labor Relations Board, indicating that the nonprofit media watchdog organization rejected an effort by the union to organize MMFA's staff through a Card Check election.
The filing indicates that MMFA is not simply accepting Local 500 efforts in their regard. Meanwhile, MMFA has lawyered up and isn't talking, for now.
The nonprofit media watchdog group has hired the law firm Perkins Coie, which specializes in representing management in labor disputes, to represent it before the board.
Neither Media Matters for America nor Local 500 responded to requests for comment.
Senator makes his case for why the U.S should get involved against Dictator Nicholas Maduro, but then seemed to make excuses for the President’s soft position on Venezuela, by rattling off a list of other things that are currently on Obama’s “plate.”
You mentioned the President. This is where Senator Rubio and I will have a difference of style. I want the President to speak out, or the other authorities, such as the Secretary of State, but its not like that the President of the United States doesn’t have a lot on his plate.
And he is dealing with a number of other crisis in the world, right now, simultaneously, in the Ukraine, in the Middle East, Israel and her neighbors, trying to get the troops out of Afghanistan, and multiple hot spots around the world.
This is another one that should be attended to, and very strongly.-Senator Bill Nelson (D)
When asked about those excuses in defense of the President, Nelson said that the President needed to give this issue attention, regardless of the reasons he gave for why the President was not engaged.
Watch the video, what Rubio’s facial expressions, as he listens to Nelson.
According to FOX News, two Long Island, New York high school students have been suspended from school for displaying a Confederate flag to a school sporting event.
Brother Gary Cregan, the principal at St. Anthony's High School in South Huntington, told WCBS-TV the boys walked into the after-hours sporting event with the flag draped around their shoulders.
"The African-American students who immediately saw it really exercised heroic restraint and fortunately a teacher immediately confiscated the flag and took the students out of the gym,” Cregan said.
While everyone can agree that the Confederate flag may represent hate to many, the flag is also a symbol of heritage in the "Deep South."
But what about free speech? Isn't it the rights of these two men, as well as every other American, to express themselves however they please?
If the Confederate flag is considered so racist, and should not be banned from being displayed in public, then how about banning the Nation of Islam flag, as well as the Black Panther flag?
Back in the 1900's when the Confederate flag proudly flew throughout the southern United States, it wasn't displayed to call attention the slavery of blacks that was occurring, but to represent those southern states.
There is a very big difference here between the Confederate flag and those flags from the Black Panther Party, Nation of Islam, and the KKK, which all convey outright hatred.
Sriracha Hot Sauce may move its factory out of California because of a months-long battle with the city of Irwindale over the smell from the factory, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Sriracha sauce creator David Tran said on Wednesday that there have been multiple offers from other cities in California as well as other states to move his factory and leave Irwindale behind. He invited the various interested parties to tour the factory and see if the smell would be a problem.
One week ago, the Irwindale City Council voted unanimously Tran’s factory to be declared a public nuisance even though Tran had promised he would fix the problem by July 1. Tran is worried that even if he fixes the smell, and residents still file complaints, he will be embroiled in legal disputes for the foreseeable future. He told the Times: "[City officials] tell you one thing, but think another. I don't want to sit here and wait to die.”
Irwindale City Attorney Fred Galante, along with Irwindale officials, feel that all they are asking for is an action plan, the Times notes, and they claim that Tran is being intransigent in not providing one to this date. Galante said of Tran’s threat to move: “This seems very extreme. It's disappointing giving that [air quality officials] have explained that there are readily available solutions.”
Tran is determined to consider moving despite the fact that the pepper grower Tran uses is in Ventura County, and the partnership has benefited both parties. One problem is that the peppers Tran uses have to be fresh ground on the day they are harvested, and if Tran moves that opportunity will be lost. He complained, “I have had the bad luck to move into a city with a government that acts like a local king.”
Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Ohio, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, New Mexico and West Virginia have all told Huy Fong Foods that they want its business.
Amidst the general gloom about Republican electoral fortunes in California, past and present, came some good news last week: Pete Peterson, director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University, is leading the race for Secretary of State by double digits.
Moreover, Peterson was ahead even before rival State Sen. Leland Yee (D) was hit with federal charges of corruption and gun-running.
No one was more surprised than Peterson himself. His campaign, which he says has raised about $175,000 so far, had not done any polling yet. And yet he was not only ahead of the second-place contender, State Sen. Alex Padilla, by double digits, but he was also ahead of all other candidates combined.
Peterson, whom I met Thursday at the Coffee Bean at the Malibu Country Mart, ascribes his poll strength to his relative outsider status.
"It's part of the advantage of not being a state senator," he says. "There's a strong desire among California voters to find qualified people to do the job who aren't necessarily in office already, and who aren't part of the rotation in Sacramento."
Unlike his rivals, he says, and unlike term-limited incumbent Debra Bowen, he does not see the office of Secretary of State as a political sinecure, or as a stepping stone to higher political ambitions in the state.
Peterson is focused on the job itself. In many ways, it seems tailored to his qualifications.
He has spent years working on ways to improve "civic engagement" in the state, working with government agencies and private companies to create and implement new ideas and technology that make participation in government easier. He sees the office of Secretary of State as a continuation of his passion for an active and accessible civic life.
"The problems in Bell," he says, referring to the notoriously corrupt municipality in Los Angeles County where several officials were recently sentenced to lengthy prison terms, "began at the ballot." He points out that Bell's political class was able to win voter approval of structural changes that enabled later abuses partly due to low voter turnout.
Peterson believes that Republicans can lead a new era of technology-driven reforms.
"The whole referendum system," he points out, "was invented by Republicans to free the state government from the grip of the railroads. We can use new reforms to free the state today from the unions, who control almost everything."
As an example, he points out that California still has no statewide voter database, noting that the $45 million contract to build it has been awarded to CGI, the same company that built the Obamacare website. "I'd like to revisit that contract," he says.
Peterson also wants to streamline the process for registering a small business with the Secretary of State's office, noting that most small business owners have no idea where their $800 annual franchise tax goes, and that the registration process suffers from frequent backlogs and delays.
Peterson believes that California's state government has done a poor job of harnessing local technological skill to make government more responsive, noting a recent Pew study that placed California 49th out of 50 states in election administration.
He is also concerned about voter fraud--though he says photo ID is not his top priority. There are big problems long before a voter arrives at the polling place, he says, noting that California's absentee voter system is dysfunctional and that the signature-gathering process is rife with opportunities for fraud.
He predicts that he will be out-raised significantly, but Peterson says he believes he can win, partly because of anti-incumbent sentiment, and partly because he really wants this particular job. After the primary, he intends to endorse Padilla as the Democrats' candidate for Senate in 2018--the job, he says, that Padilla really wants.
If he wins, Peterson believes he will be able to work with Democrats who, on present polling numbers, are likely to retain every other statewide office.
"I think Gov. Jerry Brown would like my platform," he says. "After all, it's the one Brown himself ran on in '70, when he ran for Secretary of State on transparency," he adds wryly.
Yet will a socially liberal state tolerate a conservative Republican?
Peterson says that the Republican Party must be the "party of life," but that it is foolish to promise overturning Roe v. Wade. Instead, he says, Republicans should do more to encourage adoption and reduce the number of abortions. He voted for Proposition 8--the 2008 referendum defining marriage as between as a man and a woman--but says that gay marriage is now a fact of life in California, and agrees with aspects of the the Supreme Court's ruling on the issue last year.
Though speculation seems premature, Peterson knows that if he does win, he will face immense pressure to run for governor in 2018.
Will he do it? "No way," he says.
Undoubtedly, however, if Peterson does win statewide office as a Republican this November--an achievement that almost seemed impossible until just a few days ago--there will be plenty of people, both inside California and beyond, urging him to give higher office a chance.
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) says her constituents are "frustrated and embarrassed" by Hawaii's failed Obamacare exchange, which cost taxpayers $204 million and signed up only 8,000 people.
On Wednesday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced it will launch an investigation into Hawaii's busted Obamacare program.
"This is not a partisan issue, this is an economic issue," said state Sen. Sam Slom.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie previously predicted "hundreds of thousand of people" would sign up for Obamacare in the President's home state.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama tried to rally Democrats to support his unpopular Obamacare program.
"I think Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of [Obamacare]... We should not be defensive about it," said Obama.
Behind closed doors, however, Democrats have expressed anger and frustration with Obama for the position his signature policy achievement has placed them in heading into the Nov. 4 midterm elections. One Democratic member of Congress told the New York Times that Obama is "poisonous" to Democrats. Top Democratic pollsters have advised those in their party to steer clear of the controversial and unpopular program.
Former Saturday Night Live star Amy Poehler is becoming one of Hollywood's more vocal Democratic supporters.
Poehler lent her voice to the battle to promote the flailing, failing ObamaCare reform, and she uses her Parks and Recreation gig to worship at the altar of Hillary Clinton via her character. Now, Poehler is hosting a party for former SNL writer and current Democratic Sen. Al Franken.
The L.A. event, to be held April 24, is dubbed "Spring into Action with Al and Amy." To attend, you must donate at least $5 to Franken's war chest. Winners will be flown to the event and have their hotel accommodations taken care of for the winner and a friend.
And, best of all, you might get a selfie out of it. The deadline, alas, is noon tomorrow, April 18.
According to Southern California NBC4, the homeless woman who was egged by three teens in Lancaster on Monday was Kathleen Hurst, who had become homeless just two months ago and was once married for 24 years.
Kathleen was sitting on a curb and praying: "Please Lord give me strength to keep me marching forward every day," when one of the boys approached her and threw an egg from close range right at her chest. "It felt like somebody hit me with a baseball," she said. "Seriously, if I had a heart problem, it probably could have killed me."
The down-on-her-luck homeless woman was in such pain from the callous act that she is still sore. "I can't even touch my chest. It hurts," she said. "It's been hard. It's been one thing after another, and I always go, 'How much more can you ask of me, Lord?'"
On Wednesday, The LA Times reported that a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy caught one of the suspects in the act near Sierra Highway and Jackson Avenue and arrested him immediately. Two other teens who were waiting for the alleged assailant in a nearby car were also arrested, all of them minors.
NBC4 reported that backpacks, another egg, a paint gun, a face mask, and cell phone video of other attacks were found in the Honda that was occupied by the other two 17-year-olds.
President Obama proudly promoted record Obamacare signup numbers Thursday, boldly calling for Democrats to defend the law.
"I think that Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the fact that millions of people like the woman I just described, who I saw in Pennsylvania yesterday, we are helping because of something we did," Obama said. "I do not think we should apologize for it. I don't think we should be defensive about it."
When questioned by reporters, Obama dismissed the idea that the law was deeply unpopular.
Obama admitted that there were still some who were adversely affected by the law but insisted that it was a smaller number than the amount of people who benefited from the legislation.
He also dismissed polls that showed that the law was still unpopular.
“The other side is just polling – what's the general opinion of the law – which is attached to general opinions about me or about Democrats and partisanship in the country generally," he said.
President Obama said that it was only a matter of time before Americans realized that the law was helping millions of people and that accusations against the law were in the process of being “completely debunked.”
"This shouldn’t be a political football,” he said. “It should be something we take for granted.”
During a speech marking the one year anniversary of the day he was elected President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro said he saw this week's lunar eclipse as a "socialist moon."
Maduro narrowly defeated Enrique Capriles-Radonski to succeed Hugo Chavez after Chavez died from cancer last March. Chavez was a promoter of socialism who frequently wore a bright red shirt to advertise his commitment to the cause. His followers likewise often show up at rallies wearing red. So when there was a "blood moon" this week Maduro saw it as symbolic of the departed Chavez.
"When I looked up at the sky, it was already the 15th, and it was marking exactly one year since the results of the popular vote were announced. And in front of me I saw a red moon. How about it? Like a message, right? Like a historical message, clear like the full moon but also very red the moon was at night. We had a 'Chavista' moon last night. A socialist moon, a very red moon full of symbology."
Enrique Capriles-Radonski also made a speech to opposition supporters on the anniversary of his loss to Maduro. He said "Today marks one year since we took a great leap, although they did not want to recognize it. A year ago we expressed ourselves in favor of change, which was not able to take place due to institutional control. One year later and here are the results; we are a country with the highest inflation rate in the world, the least security and a very difficult problem of scarcity."
Capriles-Radonski also published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in which he wrote:
These protests are not a conspiracy, and Mr. Maduro knows it. They were not hatched in Washington. They are the cries of students who study for seven years just to graduate from university because their teachers aren't paid enough to educate them. They risk being robbed or even raped on their way to class, as the government accepted long ago that gun-toting criminals would rule our streets.
The protests are born from men and women, young and old, who have stood for hours in the hot sun, hoping to purchase basic goods that have disappeared from our shelves because of government corruption and incompetence. They arise from the patriotic spirit all Venezuelans share. The protesters are rightly outraged at a government that views the law with contempt, eradicating our political freedoms and constitutional rights.
The team behind the upcoming TV movie about convicted killer Kermit Gosnell counted on the public to help them fund their project. They said that the mainstream media and Hollywood didn't give Gosnell's horrific crimes the attention they deserved.
Filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney credit the support of popular actors Kevin Sorbo and Nick Searcy for starring in videos promoting the project.
McAleer and his wife Ann McElhinney have raised $907,460 to date and the total continues to climb. The record for a crowdsourcing campaign continues to be Veronica Mars on Kickstarter, which pulled in $5.7M after hoping to raise $2M for the film. In comparison, Franco collected $327,929 for Palo Alto Stories on a goal of $500,000 falling short and Moore raised $638,983 on a goal of $500,000 for the romantic comedy The Bounce Back.
The Gosnell TV movie will focus on Kermit Gosnell, the late term abortionist accused of killing babies after they were born in gruesome fashion. The filmmakers are seeking $2.1 million to complete the project.
President Obama announced on Thursday that over eight million people had enrolled for Obamacare, which was why it was time to stop talking about whether the law was working or not.
“This thing is workin',” he said bluntly.
Obama told reporters that it was time to spend more time on the economy – particularly improving the country’s infrastructure.
“I guarantee you after this winter, if you look at the potholes that are the size of canyons all across big chunks of the United States, that people would like to see an infrastructure bill,” Obama said. “Let's get it done.”
Obama said that it was beyond time for Republicans to stop complaining about the law and trying to repeal it.
“I recognize that their party has gone through the stages of grief, anger, denial, and all that stuff,” he said. “We are not at acceptance yet.”
The football players at Minnesota State-Mankato refuse to practice for Todd Hoffner as he tried to return to a job he was fired from after being falsely accused of child pornography. The team wants Aaron Keen to remain head coach.
In 2012, an IT professional confiscated Hoffner’s phone because of certain photos and videos on it. He was immediately arrested, but it turned out the images depicted Hoffner’s children taking a bath. Charges were dropped and he took a job at Minot State.
However, an arbitrator ruled he was wrongfully terminated and MSU had to rename him as their head coach. But the players grew close to Keen and won 24 of the 26 games with him at the helm.
MSU Mankato player Sam Thompson read statement - team won't practice, because players prefer Coach Keen to Hoffner pic.twitter.com/zSdpVKl5JH
“As a collective unit, we’ve all agreed that we will stick together and show our support in having Aaron Keen as the head football coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato,” junior safety Samuel Thompson read from the statement. “We’ve all become outstanding community members, students and athletes, in the last year and a half since the removal of Todd Hoffner. Throughout this process, our voice has been silent. It is time our voice is heard. We want information, we want answers, because this is our team.”
“This whole thing has been fumbled by the administration,” said Steve Woehrle, a retired MSU accounting professor. The administration “botched it” when it fired Hoffner, then botched it again when he returned, he said. The athletic director, coaching staff and the players should have met before Wednesday’s aborted practice to discuss Hoffner’s return, Woehrle said.
“You have to remember that these are young kids and they’re confused. They’re angry, and they don’t understand how my husband has been treated by the university,” she said. “They were told that Aaron Keen would be their head coach for so long, and now that’s not the case.”
The new recruits on the team “have never even met my husband,” she said. “They don’t know him. My husband is consistent and fair and he does hold his players to a very high standard and it doesn’t matter if you’re the best player on the team or you don’t have as much talent. His expectations are high for all the players. He can be tough but his intention is always to make the players better people and better players.”
Hopefully, the situation can be resolved soon. Remember: Innocent until proven guilty.
Cybercast News Service reported on Thursday that the average price for a kilowatthour (KWH) of electricity hit a March record of 13.5 cents. This number was released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and shows that average price went up about 5.5 percent from 12.8 cents per KWH in one year.
In fact, last year, after the price of a KWH averaged 12.8 cents in March, it spiked to an all-time record high of 13.7 cents in the months of June, July, August and September.
The rising costs of electricity during the spring and summer months is expected; however, President Barack Obama did warn in his 2008 campaign a few times that under his energy policy agendas electricity rates would go up. Although, a cap and trade bill never passed on Capitol Hill, the president's EPA has continued forward with further regulations that did force energy companies to pass bill on to the consumer, just like the president said.
"The problem is can you get the American people to say this is really important and force their representatives to do the right thing. That requires mobilizing a citizenry. That requires them understanding what is at stake. Climate change is a great example. When I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would sky rocket, even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gasses, coal power plants, natural gas—whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was they’d have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money and they will pass that money on to consumers."
"If we're going to get serious and cap the emission of green house gasses that are causing global warming then we are going to be having power plants have to figure out how to reduce carbon, because they’ll have to pay penalties, if they exceed the cap—and that means they’re going to have to change how they operate. And that means in turn that they’ll have to make investments that they’ll try to pass on to consumers and could result in higher electricity prices.
Over the long term what happens is technology catches up and those electricity prices will come down. In the short term, though, people individually who can afford it, and the government will help, we’re all going to have to be more energy efficient. We’re all going to have to insulate our homes. Change our light bulbs..."
The Heritage Foundation points out the EPA regulations that have hurt both the coal industry and consumers since the Obama administration took office. These are:
Cross-State Air Pollution Rule,
Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (Utility MACT),
Coal Combustion Residues (coal ash),
Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards,
Cooling Water Intake Structures,
Greenhouse Gas New Source Performance Standard,
New Source Review,
Section 404 Clean Water Permits,
Stream Buffer Zone Rule,
Proximity Detection Systems,
Examinations of Work Areas in Underground Coal Mines for Violations of Mandatory Health or Safety Standards,
Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, and
Patterns of Violations.
According to Heritage, the costs of these new regulations "come with little added environmental benefit. The EPA is ignoring the remarkable achievements in reducing nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions over the past four decades."
California's Obamacare exchange enrolled the most people in the nation, but San Francisco hospitals and doctors have yet to see an uptick in patients, reports the San Francisco Business Times.
"Here's the mystery: Why aren't Bay Area doctors' offices, hospitals, clinics and other health care providers being inundated with patients?" asks reporter Chris Rauber.
Indeed, health industry analysts expected that "pent-up" demand for overdue procedures and tests would correspond with an increase in doctor visits by the newly-insured. But so far that is not happening.
Health Access California Executive Director Anthony Wright hypothesized that perhaps people do not know how to use their new insurance.
"Some of the new folks may not know how to use the health system yet," said Wright.
Another explanation may be that the newly-insured are only now learning what high deductibles mean. A study last year in the Journal of Health Economics found that just 14% of individuals who have health insurance could accurately answer four basic questions about policy terminology, including what a "deductible" is.
Another possible explanation is that the vast majority of people who have signed up for Obamacare already had insurance. Indeed, Obamacare canceled five million individuals' insurance policies, thereby forcing them to either sign up for Obamacare, seek coverage elsewhere, or remain uninsured.
Finally, some Californians are learning that Obamacare's narrow networks – extreme restrictions of access to doctors and hospitals – may mean that nearby doctors and hospitals do not accept their Obamacare plans. As Breitbart News reported, some California plans force patients to drive over 100 miles to find the nearest doctor who will accept their Obamacare insurance.
Obamacare will cost U.S. taxpayers $2.6 trillion over the next ten years.
A prolific writer who started out as a newspaper reporter, Garcia Marquez's masterpiece was "One Hundred Years of Solitude," a dream-like, dynastic epic that helped him win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.
Garcia Marquez died at his home in Mexico City, a source close to his family said. He had returned home from hospital last week after what doctors said was a bout of pneumonia. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed the death.
Known affectionately to friends and fans as "Gabo", Garcia Marquez was Latin America's best-known author and most beloved author and his books have sold in the tens of millions.
Marquez was also a fierce critic of so-called American imperialism, considered himself close friends with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and identified himself as a socialist.
The United States banned Garcia Marquez from visiting for a decade after he set up the New York branch of communist Cuba's official news agency and was accused of funding leftist guerrillas at home.
Despite his reputation as a left-leaning intellectual, critics say Garcia Marquez didn't do as much as he could have done to help negotiate an end to Colombia's long conflict, which has killed tens of thousands of people.
Instead, he left his homeland and went to live in Mexico.
Breitbart News contributor Jedediah Bila will co-host a new Fox News television program that will have the same title as her book.
Debuting at noon on April 28, the hour-long Outnumbered show will feature four female panelists and one male panelist who will discuss a plethora of topics, including pop culture and politics.
Bila's book, Outnumbered, is centered around her experiences as a Manhattan conservative.
Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner and Fox Business Network's Sandra Smith will be two of the regular co-hosts. Other panelists will include Bila, Fox News hosts Kimberly Guilfoyle and Andrea Tantaros, and Fox News contributors Katie Pavlich and Kirsten Powers.
Fox News said that the program will combine "a distinctive group" of panelists with "unique experiences and insights" that will make the show compelling. The network also said that the show is "designed to provide viewers with a fresh take on the latest news," and the panelists "will examine the top news of the hour and deliberate the leading pop culture and relationship issues dominating the headlines that day."
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:28:42 -0500 - John Dickerson, Slate This is trolling. I've decided against it, but the White House has not. CBS's Major Garrett writes in National Journal about a new version of the “stray voltage” theory of communication in which the president purposefully overstates his case knowing that it will create controversy. Garrett describes it this way: “Controversy sparks attention, attention provokes conversation, and conversation embeds previously unknown or marginalized ideas in the public consciousness.”
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:32:17 -0500 - Karl Rove, Wall St. Jrnl To understand President Obama's legislative agenda, follow the money.At a Houston fundraising dinner last week, Mr. Obama criticized Senate Republicans for opposing the Paycheck Fairness Act, which he called "common sense" legislation "to meaningfully enforce the simple concept of equal pay for equal work."
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:38:51 -0500 - Paul Kane, Wash Post It’s no secret that Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) don’t like one another. They battle regularly over legislation and their Senate floor fights over arcane-but-important rules have become must-see entertainment for senatorial insiders.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:35:52 -0500 - Bloomberg & Watts, CNN A year ago on Thursday, the U.S. Senate failed to pass a bill that would have helped fix our nation's gun laws by requiring background checks on all purchases of firearms. Ninety percent of all Americans -- and more than 80% of gun owners -- believe that all people should be subject to such checks. And even though the bill won majority support in the Senate -- more than 50 members -- it was not enough to break a filibuster.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:48:16 -0500 - Gracy Olmstead, The Federalist It’s the stuff of Westerns: a showdown on the desert plains, the big bad government against an underdog farmer.Though the story has only grabbed national headlines in the past several days, rancher Cliven Bundy has illegally grazed cattle on the Nevada land surrounding his farm for over 20 years. He hasn’t paid grazing fees since 1993, and refuses to renew the necessary grazing permit. Things came to a head this past week, when the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seized almost 400 cattle belonging to Bundy. In response, angry protesters formed an armed rebellion, opposing BLM...
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:44:49 -0500 - Ivan Krastev, Foreign Affairs Russia's willingness to violate Ukraine's territorial sovereignty is the gravest challenge to the European order in over half a century. The conflict pits a vast nuclear power against a state equal in size to France, an autocratic regime against a revolutionary government. The Russian intervention in Ukraine raises questions about the security guarantees that the West made to Ukraine after the country gave up its nuclear weapons in 1994, and it flies in the face of many Europeans' belief that, in recent years, a continental war has become all but impossible. The end result may be the...
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:46:00 -0500 - Seth Mandel, Commentary Back in September, I described Vladimir Putin’s op-ed in the New York Times, in which he lectured Barack Obama over Syria, as an example of Putin’s trollpolitik. He is an exceptional practitioner of concern trolling, and he has taken particular delight in criticizing Obama over his supposed military adventurism. Edward Snowden’s eastward defection with damaging American intelligence secrets was a boon to Putin’s trollpolitik.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:47:30 -0500 - Sarah Kliff, Vox Nexium is a bright, purple pill that treats heartburn. It's the second best-selling drug in the United States right now. Americans spent $6.2 billion buying millions of Nexium prescriptions in 2013 alone.But we probably didn't have to: while Americans pay an average of $215 for a Nexium prescription, the Dutch get the exact same purple pill for $23. In England, Nexium costs $42 and in Spain the price is $58.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:51:07 -0500 - Peter Berkowitz, RCP Duke is back in the news. As befits a great university, its travails have implications for higher education in America and for public life throughout the country.Two months ago, a freshman womenÂs studies major who uses the stage name ÂBelle Knox,Â proudly affirmed that she is putting herself through Duke by acting in adult films. In what might seem like an unrelated matter, last week Vanity Fair columnist and New York Times best-selling author William D. Cohan published ÂThe Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great...
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:08:16 -0500 - Andy Kroll, Mother Jones AS SHE LIKES TO TELL anybody who'll listen, Susana Martinez, the governor of New Mexico, didn't start out a Republican. She and her husband, Chuck, like most everyone else in Las Cruces, had always been Democrats. But she'd long dreamed of running for office, and when word got out that she had her eyes on the district attorney's seat, two local Republican activists asked her to lunch. At the meeting, the story goes, her suitors didn't talk about party affiliation or ideology. They zeroed in on issues—taxes, welfare, gun rights, the death penalty. Afterward, Martinez got into the car,...
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:09:33 -0500 - Byron York, Examiner On Wednesday, Mother Jones — the publication that first revealed the secretly recorded Mitt Romney "47 percent" video — published a piece attacking New Mexico Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. Like the Romney story, the article was based in part on recordings "obtained by Mother Jones." It described Martinez, a rising GOP star who some believe could end up on a future presidential ticket, as "nasty" and "petty" and "juvenile" and "vindictive," as well as "ignorant about basic policy issues," and — perhaps worst of all in Mother Jones World — the "next Sarah Palin."
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:16:05 -0500 - Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer Despite Russia's Crimean landgrab and its massing of troops on the Ukrainian border, Western leaders still refuse to recognize the mind-set of Vladimir Putin.U.S. officials still hope he will negotiate a "compromise" with the Kiev government rather than engineer the dismemberment of Ukraine.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:37:45 -0500 - Ian Bremmer, National Interest It's remarkable that the US economy looks to be picking up steam even as rising stars like China, India, Turkey, and Brazil wrestle with slowing growth and the risk of unrest. Improving US fundamentals, a steadily recovering jobs market, and revolution in energy production remind us that Americans aren’t waiting on Washington to kickstart growth. Yet, even as America strengthens at home, its influence abroad continues to wane.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:39:22 -0500 - Charles Blow, New York Times No one should ever endure the kind of economic humiliation that comes with working a full-time job and making a less-than-living wage.There is dignity in all work, but that dignity grows dim when the checks are cashed and the coins are counted and still the bills rise higher than the wages.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:23:25 -0500 - James Taranto, Wall Street Journal It must have seemed like a good idea at the time. In February 2009 a new Democratic president reached across party lines and nominated a Republican senator, New Hampshire's Judd Gregg, as commerce secretary. Putting a Republican in the cabinet would give Barack Obama's administration a bipartisan gloss while also benefitting the president's own party in the Senate by allowing the Granite State's Democratic governor to appoint a Senate replacement, leaving the Democrats just one seat short of a filibuster-proof 60-seat supermajority.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:24:21 -0500 - Sam Baker, National Journal Obamacare hasn't "won"—but it's making a pretty impressive run.The headlines about the Affordable Care Act have turned positive lately, and they're starting to pile up. The most dire predictions from the law's critics simply haven't panned out, and now Democrats are headed into another big health care fight—the confirmation of a new Health and Human Services secretary—with stronger real-world evidence than they've had before.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:42:32 -0500 - Ross Douthat, New York Times Ezra Klein, in his new capacity as one of the impresarios behind Vox, has written a pair of attention-grabbing posts — here, and then here — defending the proposition that Obamacare has, in some sense, “won,” and that conservatives who can’t come to terms with that victory can’t come to terms with reality itself. Reading them, it struck me that this argument would benefit from laying down some specific markers for the near future, because Klein seems to move back and forth between two definitions of success.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:26:52 -0500 - Halimah Abdullah, CNN Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu is in the middle of a storm.She is beset by well-funded forces on the right who sense the Gulf Coast Democrat's vulnerability in trying to defend a Senate seat in a red state. On the left, she is trying to avoid being pulled down by the undertow of a president whose decline in approval ratings and controversial health care reform law might not play well with her state's conservative sensibilities.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:06:58 -0500 - Charles Murray, WSJ There's another thing that's going on, Mary, which is even bigger: capitalism in bed with the government. Big time. The American people look at the way people make zillions of bucks because they can get the regulations they want to, because they get the government to support their technology. They see that going on, plus the crony capitalism. And the number of these capitalists are enthusiastically in favor of real competition is depressingly small.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:34:18 -0500 - Gabrielle Giffords, USA Today A year ago Thursday, the United States Senate failed us.It was last April — mere months after the senseless slaughter of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. — that a minority of senators blocked legislation that would have made it harder for criminals and people with dangerous mental illnesses to get their hands on deadly firearms.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:29:32 -0500 - Linda Greenhouse, New York Times Twenty-five years ago this month, with the Supreme Court’s support for the right to abortion shrinking rapidly, the justices heard a case from Missouri that invited them to disavow Roe v. Wade, the precedent that 16 years earlier had given women the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy. A month after the argument, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist circulated to his colleagues a proposed majority opinion that would have overturned Roe in all but name, upholding the challenged regulations under such a relaxed standard of judicial review that states in the future would have been...
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:35:10 -0500 - George Will, Washington Post In a 2006 interview, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said the Constitution is “basically about” one word — “democracy” — that appears in neither that document nor the Declaration of Independence. Democracy is America’s way of allocating political power. The Constitution, however, was adopted to confine that power in order to “secure the blessings of” that which simultaneously justifies and limits democratic government — natural liberty.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:36:31 -0500 - James Carville, The Hill OPINION l This past Sunday I joined a panel of distinguished pundits on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” and to the surprise of no viewers we spent a considerable amount of time discussing the prospects of a presidential race between Hillary Clinton, former secretary of State and former first lady, and Jeb Bush, former Florida governor and brother to former President George W. Bush, in 2016. A debate ensued about how each candidate might overcome or utilize their respective last names to their advantage.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:40:03 -0500 - Charles Gasparino, NY Post If Hillary Clinton runs for president, she’ll be getting a lot of help from Wall Street. But her friends and confidants there tell me she truly hasn’t decided yet.So why is she hesitating? The big reason, according to these sources, has to do with the dude who occupies the Oval Office now.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:41:46 -0500 - Katty Kay & Claire Shipman, The Atlantic For years, we women have kept our heads down and played by the rules. We’ve been certain that with enough hard work, our natural talents would be recognized and rewarded
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:40:36 -0500 - Kirsten Powers, USA Today War on women alert: One of the most forceful fighters against misogyny in the modern era is under attack.Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been a vocal critic of women's oppression under Islamic law. She's blasted arranged marriage, legally sanctioned domestic violence, genital mutilation, and the killing of adulteresses and rape victims. Despite being a supporter of abortion rights, an atheist, and an advocate of gay and women's rights, she is despised by many who claim to be defenders of women's rights. Over the years, they have worked to delegitimize her in the hopes that she will be...
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:43:08 -0500 - Joy Pullmann vs. Mike Petrilli, The Federalist Despite its deep effects on the character of our nation, conservatives and the general population often ignore what children are learning except when their own are in school, so I thank everyone reading this debate and my worthy, tenacious opponent, Mike Petrilli, for your time and attention. National Common Core testing and curriculum mandates are destructive, overall, but one good side-effect is creating the opportunity to discuss what children will learn, and why.
"When the people that wear this are being forced out of the armed services because of the political whim of progressives and their policies, and the pursuit of weapons systems and gold stars at the expense of their own lives, then we don’t deserve such people any more." --Bill Whittle
President Obama announced Thursday that 8 million people have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, calling the feat a success story that Democrats should “forcefully defend and be proud of” in the face of Republican election-year attacks on the law.
Scientists have grown stem cells from adults using cloning techniques for the first time — bringing them closer to developing patient-specific lines of cells that can be used to treat a whole host of ailments, from heart disease to blindness.
NEW YORK — Chelsea Clinton announced Thursday that she and her husband are expecting their first child this year — as her parents, the former and possibly future presidents, prepared to become grandparents.
GENEVA — Top diplomats on Thursday laid out a series of steps to tamp down violence and political unrest in Ukraine, even as Western officials publicly doubted Russia’s resolve to use its influence to help defuse the crisis in the former Soviet republic.
Forget raising the minimum wage. How about enforcing the meager minimum already on the books?
Over the past year, low-wage workers and their supporters have protested, struck and polemicized for a raise of some kind, a proposition that has support from the White House and most Americans, if not Republican politicians. But low-wage workers face an even more upsetting affliction that both parties should feel comfortable condemning: Employers are stealing from their employees, often with impunity.
Goldwater, his defenders effectively argue, was not a racist, only an ideologue. True enough. He had been a founding member of the Arizona NAACP. He helped integrate the Phoenix public schools. His problems with the Civil Rights Act were theoretical and libertarian — an objection to the extension of federal power over private enterprise.
JINDO, South Korea — Emergency workers at the scene of a capsized ferry were finding bodies but not survivors Friday morning in an increasingly grim operation marred by confusion and complicated by strong currents.
OBAMACARE’S CRITICS have had a bad week. On Thursday, President Obama announced that 8 million people have enrolled in new health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, and a significant portion of them are young Americans. Yes, we need to learn more about the numbers. And yes, a lot needs to happen to complete the ACA’s phase-in. The debate about how well the law is working is not over. But the initial figures are encouraging, and Mr. Obama is right to insist that continued Republican demands for repeal are unproductive and unwise.
WE WERE among those who doubted that a meeting on Ukraine in Geneva Thursday could produce results, given the weak Western response to Russian aggression. So count us as pleasantly surprised by the “initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security” that the parties announced. The accord calls for the Russian-backed groups that have taken over government buildings in eastern Ukrainian cities to evacuate and disarm under the watch of international monitors. In exchange, Ukraine’s government committed to constitutional reforms giving eastern regions more autonomy, and the United States and Europe will hold off on further sanctions against Russia.
Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel Prize-winning Colombian writer who immersed the world in the powerful currents of magic realism, creating a literary style that blended reality, myth, love and loss in a series of emotionally rich novels that made him one of the most revered and influential writers of the 20th century, died April 17 at his home in Mexico City. He was 87.
NEW YORK Chelsea Clinton announced here Thursday afternoon that she is expecting her first child later this year.
“I just hope that I will be as good a mom to my child and hopefully children as my mom was to me,” the former first daughter said at an event with her mother, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
President Obama announced Thursday that 8 million people have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, calling the feat a success story that Democrats should "forcefully defend and be proud of" in the face of Republican election-year attacks on the law.
The hunt for Earth’s alien twin reached a new milestone with the discovery of a faraway planet that’s similar in size to our globe and has the right temperature to potentially support liquid water — and possibly life.
Facebook is rolling out a new tool that allows its users to track their friends in real time.
Flipping on the feature in the Facebook mobile app lets you share your general or specific location with friends. The idea is to make it easier to set up spontaneous coffee dates with friends or to let a worried parent know when you have arrived at your destination.
BEIJING — China has unfurled a vigorous new campaign to clean up the Internet, to purge it of everything from pornography to “rumors” that might undermine Communist Party rule, a crusade that critics say is a renewed attempt to silence grass-roots voices and stifle dissent.
Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden (D), son of Vice President Biden, will run for governor in 2016 and will not pursue a third term in his current job this year, he announced Thursday.
"Over the past few months, as I’ve been planning to run for reelection, I have also been giving a great deal of thought to running for Governor in 2016. What started as a thought — a very persistent thought — has now become a course of action that I wish to pursue," Biden said in a statement. "After careful consideration, I have concluded that it is not right to ask for your support in 2014, knowing that my focus would be divided between doing my job as Attorney General while at the same time running as a candidate for Governor."
The conservative lawyer who defended California’s ban on gay marriage at the Supreme Court is at work on another project: planning his daughter’s upcoming same-sex wedding ceremony.
Charles J. Cooper, a former top official in the Reagan Justice Department and onetime “Republican lawyer of the year,” learned of his daughter’s sexual orientation during the legal battle over California’s Proposition 8, according to journalist Jo Becker’s soon-to-be-released book chronicling the movement to legalize same-sex marriage.
MOSCOW — American fugitive Edward Snowden made a surprise appearance during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual call-in meeting with the nation on Thursday, submitting what critics considered a softball question about domestic surveillance in the country where Snowden has taken refuge.
Wal-Mart introduced its own money-transfer service Thursday, moving one step closer to becoming one of the biggest financial services providers in the nation.
The service, called Walmart-2-Walmart, allows customers to transfer funds between any of its 4,000 U.S. locations, enabling the big-box retailer to claim a cut of the market now served by Western Union and MoneyGram.
American tax filers made roughly $192 billion in interest-free loans to the federal government last year, according to IRS data just released by the Brookings Institution. All told, 80 percent of tax filers overpaid on their taxes and received refund checks from the IRS for tax year 2012, with the average refund worth $2,742. In effect, those are a zero-interest loans to Uncle Sam.
Hogwarts was, until very recently, the 100-percent fictional boarding school in J.K. Rowling’s popular “Harry Potter” books. But thanks to an untold horde of would-be wizards, Hogwarts is now — if not exactly “real” — then something approximating it.
MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin, who repeatedly denied Russian troops had entered Crimea before the March referendum there, changed his version of those events Thursday, telling the nation that they had indeed been there all along.
MARIUPOL, Ukraine — Ukrainian forces engaged pro-Russian separatists Thursday in what appeared to be the most intense battle yet in restive eastern Ukraine, killing three militants and wounding 13 after what the Interior Ministry described as a siege of a military base here.
NEW DELHI — A New York City police officer arrested last month at the New Delhi airport with bullets in his luggage may be forced to stay in India until this summer, after a judge delayed his case Thursday.