Archives for News

Mubarak steps down; Military takes control of Egypt

“The people ousted the regime,” rang out chants from crowds of hundreds of thousands massed in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square and outside Mubarak’s main palace several miles away in a northern district of the capital. The crowds in Cairo, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and other cities around the country danced, chanted “goodbye, goodbye,” and raised their hands in prayer in an ecstatic pandemonium as fireworks and car horns sounded after Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall. “Finally we are free,” said Safwan Abou Stat, a 60-year-old in the crowd of protesters at
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Muburak’s slight of hand fails to appease angry Eqyptians

Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak refused to step down or leave the country and instead handed his powers to his vice president Thursday, remaining president and ensuring regime control over the reform process. Stunned protesters in central Cairo who demand his ouster waved their shoes in contempt and shouted, “Leave, leave, leave.” The rapidly moving events raised the question of whether a rift had opened between Mubarak and the military command. Hours earlier, a council of the military’s top generals announced it had stepped in to secure the country, and a senior commander announced to protesters in Tahrir Square that all their
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WikiLeaks founder: A would-be emperor

A tell-all book by a former WikiLeaks insider casts founder Julian Assange as an “emperor” who has become just the kind of public figure he is trying to expose. Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the former WikiLeaks spokesman who left the secret-spilling website after a bitter dispute with Assange, writes about his euphoria at the website’s spectacular rise as well as his disillusionment with a leader he describes as delusional and power-crazed. He said one of his motives for writing the book was that he wanted to clarify the events that led to the falling-out. “We need to set the record straight before
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Washington’s new game: Who’s the new top threat in town?

Amid criticism that intelligence services missed the signs of Arab revolt in Tunisia and Egypt, the nation’s top intelligence official will tell Congress that the threat from al-Qaida and its affiliates remains his No. 1 priority, U.S. officials said. In testimony scheduled Thursday before the House Intelligence Committee, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper will stress that counterterrorism to keep Americans safe is the focus of the intelligence community, according to one of those officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence. Clapper is expected to defend how the intelligence community tracked the revolts that have
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Obama pushes wi-fi

President Barack Obama wants nearly all Americans to have access to speedy wireless services. He’s promoting that plan in a small city in Michigan that’s becoming a model for how the Internet can bring prosperity to far-flung places. Obama on Thursday heads to Marquette, Mich., a university and tourism town of 20,000 overlooking Lake Superior that cherishes both its geographical remoteness and technological savvy. There he’ll see high-tech wireless initiatives in action at Northern Michigan University, where students telecommute, and talk about the plan he unveiled in his State of the Union address to expand access to high-speed wireless to
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Mississippii considering license places honoring Ku Klux Klan

A fight is brewing in Mississippi over a proposal to issue specialty license plates honoring Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan. The Mississippi Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans wants to sponsor a series of state-issued license plates to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, which it calls the “War Between the States.” The group proposes a different design each year between now and 2015, with Forrest slated for 2014. “Seriously?” state NAACP president Derrick Johnson said when he was told about the Forrest plate. “Wow.” Forrest, a Tennessee
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Patriot Act vote defeat catches GOP leaders off guard

The clout of tea party advocates and other hard-line conservatives in Congress has caught top Republicans by surprise, raising questions about whether GOP leaders can impose enough discipline in their House majority to pass tough measures, such as raising the debt ceiling. Within 24 hours this week, House Speaker John Boehner’s team had to pull a trade bill from the chamber floor, suffered an embarrassing setback on a USA Patriot Act vote, and failed to recoup money paid to the United Nations. And in electoral politics, the tea party’s threat to Republican incumbents came more into focus. Three GOP senators
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So, why are the jobless numbers so high?

The job numbers are bleak. Some 13.9 million workers remain unemployed 21 months after the end of the recession, according to the latest estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   Of those, 6.2 million people have been out-of-work for 6 months or more, and 8.4 million toil at part-time jobs. And few economic forecasters believe the nation’s unemployment rate — currently at 9 percent — will drop much below that level in 2011. Just how broken is the great American jobs machine? American companies have returned to record profitability, and, as President Obama pointed out in a speech to the
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The ‘widows tax:’ Another broken promise

Tens of thousands of the nation’s war widows find it perplexing and downright disrespectful to their late military husbands: In order to fully collect on insurance their husbands bought for them when alive, they must marry another man. And to qualify, the widows must remarry when they are 57 or older. Those who remarry earlier miss out, as do widows who never remarry. At the heart of the issue is a government policy known as the “widows’ tax.” It says a military spouse whose loved one dies from a service-related cause can’t collect both survivor’s benefits and the full annuity
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At CIA, mistakes mean promotions

In December 2003, security forces boarded a bus in Macedonia and snatched a German citizen named Khaled el-Masri. For the next five months, el-Masri was a ghost. Only a select group of CIA officers knew he had been whisked to a secret prison for interrogation in Afghanistan. But he was the wrong guy. A hard-charging CIA analyst had pushed the agency into one of the biggest diplomatic embarrassments of the U.S. war on terrorism. Yet despite recommendations by an internal review, the analyst was never punished. In fact, she has risen to one of the premier jobs in the CIA’s
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