Archives for News

Hobbled al-Qaida wants payback for death of bin Laden

A year after the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida is hobbled and hunted, too busy surviving for the moment to carry out another Sept. 11-style attack on U.S. soil. But the terrorist network dreams still of payback, and U.S. counterterrorist officials warn that, in time, its offshoots may deliver. A decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that has cost the U.S. about $1.28 trillion and 6,300 U.S. troops* lives has forced al-Qaida’s affiliates to regroup, from Yemen to Iraq. Bin Laden’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, is thought to be hiding, out of U.S. reach, in Pakistan’s
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Can Mitt Romney morph into a ‘regular guy?’

Mitt Romney’s Etch A Sketch moment is at hand. Now that he’s the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Romney is shifting away from the “red-meat” issues of abortion and immigration and instead holding more events highlighting his appeal as a regular guy. The transformation played out Friday when he emerged publicly for the first time in days at a central Ohio university carrying a hamburger and fries in a Styrofoam container. In a small room that featured more television cameras than students, Romney chatted about economic issues facing young people as he picked through his greasy lunch. Romney’s appearance at Otterbein
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President turns into the joker for correspondents dinner

This year’s primaries, the 2008 primaries, the General Services Administration scandal, even the Secret Service and Donald Trump were targets for President Barack Obama’s scattershot humor at Saturday night’s celebrity studded White House Correspondents Dinner. Even the entrance to his speech was part of his schtick. The president walked off stage just before he took the podium with an alleged “hot mic,” making fun of getting caught last month on an open microphone with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. “What am I doing here,” he asks off stage. “I’m opening for Jimmy Kimmel and telling knock-knock jokes to Kim Kardashian.” Once
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Romney’s campaign promises: Fact or fiction?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is making campaign promises that could produce an economic miracle — or a more predictable list of broken vows. Romney says he wants to put the nation on a path to a balanced budget while also cutting an array of taxes, building up the Navy and Air Force and adding 100,000 active-duty military personnel. He says he would slash domestic spending and reduce tax loopholes but has offered few details. His comments raise eyebrows in Congress, long accustomed to easier-said-than-done promises. And even some conservatives have their doubts. Christopher A. Preble, a vice president for
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Secret Service sets new limits on drinking, partying

Heavy drinking and bringing foreign nationals back to hotel rooms on trips abroad is now banned by the U.S. Secret Service in the wake of a growing scandal over allegations that agents consorted with prostitutes in Colombia this month. The new rules of conduct issued on Friday also ban visits to “non-reputable establishments,” presumably including strip clubs, and say staff must obey U.S. laws even while abroad. A copy was provided to Reuters by the Secret Service, and a spokesman said they were effective immediately. The new rules were issued two weeks after the scandal erupted over allegations that Secret
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House vote sets up a cybersecurity showdown

The House’s solid bipartisan vote for a cybersecurity bill sends a message to the Senate: Now it’s your turn to act. Ignoring a White House veto threat, the House approved the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which would encourage companies and the federal government to share information collected on the Internet to help prevent electronic attacks from cybercriminals, foreign governments and terrorists. The vote Thursday was 248-168, with 42 Democrats joining 206 Republicans in backing the measure. Congressional leaders are determined to get a cybersecurity bill completed this election year but that may be difficult. The Obama administration and
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Want instant fame? Try politics

 Wanna be famous? Forget reality TV. The presidential campaign could be just the ticket from nowhere to notoriety. It can be done with a heartfelt story. An off-hand remark. Or simply by having a distant connection to someone who’s Somebody. Think Sandra Fluke. She was just another outspoken college student before her defense of insurance coverage for birth control drew biting ridicule from conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh and then a sympathetic phone call from the president. Now she’s got more than 35,000 Twitter followers. Think Joe the Plumber, aka Samuel Wurzelbacher. The Ohio worker rocketed to the center of
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Hijacking, ‘kill Obama’ joke lands Utah man in hot water

A purported practical joke on a colleague that threatened a plane hijacking and the assassination of President Barack Obama has landed a Utah man in trouble with federal authorities. Federal prosecutors say Jeremiah Hill placed a letter or note containing the threats inside a colleague’s travel case while both were working at Hill Air Force Base, just north of Salt Lake City, last August. “1 – Hijack Plane, 2 – Kill Obama,” the note read, according to court papers filed on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City. Transportation Security Administration screeners found the note during a baggage
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Gingrich ‘unofficially’ suspends campaign

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, his failed presidential campaign mired in millions of dollars in debt and his political future uncertain, “unofficially” suspended his campaign Wednesday and will bow out officially next week with an expected endorsement of Mitt Romney for the GOP Presidential nomination. Defiant to the end, Gingrich still insisted Wednesday he is the “best candidate” in the GOP field, a faint boast in a primary campaign that many feel brought out the worst slate of contenders in presidential history. In the end, the Republican who lived lavishly while preaching financial austerity bounced checks and drew
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Romney sweeps primaries

The Republican presidential nomination all but in hand, Mitt Romney is refocusing his efforts on challenging President Barack Obama, raising cash for the battle ahead and reconciling with onetime primary rival Rick Santorum. “Tonight is the start of a new campaign,” the former Massachusetts governor said Tuesday night as he celebrated a sweep of five primaries. He blasted Obama as a man whose time in office has been marked by “false promises and weak leadership” in a time of economic struggle. The contests were the first since Santorum conceded the race, and the former Pennsylvania senator said he intends to
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