Archives for News

WikiLeaks: One percent and counting

RAPHAEL G. SATTER Nearly two months after WikiLeaks outraged the U.S. government by launching the release of a massive compendium of diplomatic documents, the secret-spilling website has published 2,628 U.S. State Department cables — just over 1 percent of its trove of 251,287 documents. Here’s a look at what the consequences of the cables’ release has been so far, and what the future could hold for WikiLeaks. ___ IT’S LIFTED THE VEIL ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS WikiLeaks has given the world’s public an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at U.S. diplomacy. Among the most eye-catching revelations were reports that Arab countries had lobbied
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The State of The Union response exresss: Who’s next?

Time was when the President of the United States delivered the State of the Union Address, and people cheered or jeered — dependent on their political persusasion then everybody went out and g0t drunk. Now everyone from the party boss to the janitor gets face time on the tube to pontificate on the state of affairs in the nation. Barack Obama, of course, delivers the State of the Union next Tuesday. That’s part of his job as the top boss.  The Republican Party gets its change to and down its view on the state of things in the official GOP
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Is Todd Palin banging an Alaska madam?

The National Enquirer reported today that Todd Palin, husband of former Alaska Gov. and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, has been engaged in an illicit affair with a massage therapist-cum-madam. The tabloid newspaper indicated it has documentary proof that the woman in question, 36-year-old Shailey Tripp, had been arrested for running a house of prostitution in March 2010. Tripp pleaded no-contest to those charges in June. The National Enquirer also claims to have proof that the authorities have physical evidence that may definitively prove liaisons between Tripp and Palin took place. The National Enquirer has a history of leading
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Keith Olbermann to MSNBC: ‘No good night and no good luck’

Keith Olbermann was MSNBC’s most popular personality and single-handedly led its transformation to an outspoken, left-leaning cable news network in prime time. Despite that, he often seemed to be walking on a tightrope with his job. Friday night, it snapped. Olbermann returned from one last commercial break on “Countdown” to tell viewers it was his last broadcast, and read a James Thurber short story in a three-minute exit statement. Simultaneously, MSNBC e-mailed a statement that “MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract.” The network thanked him and said, “we wish him well in his future endeavors.” Neither MSNBC President
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Another failure: Now what?

The collapse of another attempt at international outreach to Iran on Saturday has left world powers with few options except to wait — and hope that the bite of sanctions will persuade Tehran to reconsider its refusal to stop activities that could be harnessed to make nuclear weapons. But their patience could be tested. While the U.S. and others say that Iran already is suffering from the wide range of financial and trade sanctions, travel bans and other penalties imposed by the U.N., the U.S., the EU and others, the Islamic Republic shows no sign of bending. Uranium enrichment lies
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White House needs to do more to prevent future oil spills

A presidential panel investigating the Gulf oil spill says that the oil industry, Congress and the Obama administration need to do more to reduce the chances of another large-scale disaster. That’s the primary conclusion of the independent panel assembled by President Barack Obama, which released its final report Tuesday. The commission recommends increasing budgets and training for the federal agency that regulates offshore drilling; increasing the liability cap for damages when companies drill offshore; dedicating 80 percent of fines and penalties from the BP spill to restoration of the Gulf; and lending more weight to scientific opinions by other federal
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Poll: Americans like Obama, but. . .

Thumbs up for President Barack Obama‘s personality. Thumbs down for his progress. An overwhelming majority of Americans like Obama, but most say he hasn’t accomplished much on two top goals — fixing the sluggish economy and changing how Washington works, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll midway through the first term of his presidency. Half of those surveyed say he deserves a second term, and independents, whose support will be critical in 2012, are evenly divided on that question. Obama is getting the benefit of the doubt despite concerns about his policies, a reflection based in large part on
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Giffords moving to rehab today

Fresh from a sunny outing that brought a smile, Gabrielle Giffords is moving to a Houston rehab center where her husband hopes the “fighter” continues on the path to a full recovery. University Medical Center staffers took the wounded congresswoman to a deck at the hospital Thursday, where she breathed in the fresh air and felt the sun, trauma surgeon Peter Rhee said. “I saw the biggest smile she could gather,” Rhee said. “We are very happy to have her enjoying the sunshine of Arizona.” Giffords has been making progress nearly everyday in her recovery from a bullet wound to
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Jobless claims drop top expectations

U.S. initial jobless claims fell more than expected last week and showed their biggest decline since February, in a hopeful sign for the U.S. labor market. The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits dropped sharply to 404,000 from a downwardly revised reading of 441,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The 37,000 drop in claims was the biggest since the week that ended Feb 6, when claims fell by 51,000. Analysts had expected weekly jobless claims to fall to 420,000. A Labor Department official said the larger-than-expected decline was partly explained by jobless claims
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God, sure wish I hadn’t said that

Two days after being sworn in as Alabama governor, Robert Bentley apologized Wednesday for proclaiming to a Baptist church audience that only Christians were his brothers and sisters and vowed to work for people of all faiths and colors. His comments Monday shocked and offended some believers of other faiths, but the backlash didn’t seem to be a serious political wound for the retired dermatologist and Southern Baptist deacon. In a conservative state with some of the highest levels of church attendance in the country, some Christian leaders defended the remarks and the Republican will likely get a fair chance
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