Hong Kong’s Economic Times says in its report “Terrorist attack at Urumqi Railway Station, killing 3, injuring 79”: according to China’s official media Xinhua, terrorists killed 3 and injured 79 at South Railway Station, Urumqi, the Capital of Xinjiang, at 7:00am yesterday.
It happened a day after Chinese President’s inspection tour in Xinjiang, where he stressed that there should be not even a moment of relaxation in fighting terrorism and that decisive measures should be taken to resolutely crush terrorists’ swollen arrogance.
After the attack, Xi pointed out the need of a profound understanding of the prolonged, complicated and…
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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will take a leave of absence to seek help for substance abuse, his lawyer said Wednesday.
The mayor’s decision came shortly after The Globe and Mail reportedly viewed a new video of Ford smoking what’s described as crack-cocaine, and the Toronto Sunobtained a new audio recording of Ford swearing in a bar.
“I have a problem with alcohol and the choices I have made while under the influence,” Ford said in a statement late Wednesday night.
Read the rest of this entry »
On the red carpet at Mad Men’s Season 6 premiere, BuzzFeed asked the show’s stars where their characters would be in the ’80s. Here’s what they’re predicting, along with our interpretations of them as contemporary ads.
May Day, the first day of May, was a time to celebrate the arrival of spring. In the Middle Ages it was the custom to gather wildflowers and green branches, weave floral garlands, and dance around a Maypole.
image: Folio 5v: the calendar page for May of Les Trés Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.
HORLIVKA, Ukraine (Reuters) – Marko Djurica reports: Masked gunmen in military fatigues took control of a government building in another Ukrainian town on Wednesday, as pro-Russian separatists tightened their grip on a swathe of the country’s industrial east largely unopposed by police.
Local media reports said the gunmen turned up at first light, and were later seen by a Reuters photographer to be controlling entry to the building in the town of almost 300,000 people. They refused to be photographed.
The heavily armed men wore the same military uniforms without insignia as other so-called “green men” who have joined pro-Russian protesters with clubs and chains in seizing control of a string of towns across Ukraine’s Donbass coal and steel belt abutting the border with Russia.
A police official in nearby Donetsk, the provincial capital where separatists have declared a “People’s Republic of Donetsk”, said separatists were also in control of the Horlivka police division, having seized the regional police HQ earlier in April.
Wednesday’s takeover followed the fall of government buildings on Tuesday further east in Luhansk, capital of Ukraine‘s easternmost province, driving home just how far control over the densely populated region has slipped from the pro-Western central government in Kiev. Read the rest of this entry »
As dyspeptic as Andy Rooney, as cranky as Mark Steyen, and as subversive as Andrew Breitbart, Greg Gutfeld writes: In the interest of time (I’m nearly a half century old and have fewer years ahead than I’ve already swallowed up), I do my best to avoid black holes: what I call “time-suck” stories that are so murky and slippery you can’t make heads or tails of them. These stories are often most attractive precisely because their messiness lets you make them into anything you want.
In the absence of grip, rage becomes the recipe, as media hacks like me become bombarded with shrill demands for coverage. “WHY AREN’T YOU COVERING THIS STORY?!!!” is the usual refrain, often linked to stories that start loud and end in a fizzle (the Million Muslim March, anyone?). Sometimes we should cover them; other times they should be covered with a blanket and labeled “not worth it.” You see this more in our Munchean era of the constant Scream, as the internet transforms into a chorus megaphone of endless complaint, directed at those the public wish to persuade. It’s a legitimate activity — if you’re concerned, why not rally people to a neglected cause? Other times, though, it drags simpletons like me down a hole. A black hole. I avoid these holes if I cannot answer a simple question with a definitive yes: “Do I add any clarity to this mess?” If it’s no, or an “I don’t know,” I skedaddle. I don’t want to make things worse. I don’t want people to get hurt. I don’t want people to look at me and say, “Thanks for nothing, asshole.” Some of my louder and even smarter pals might disagree, but the Bundy saga was a hole — one filled with quicksand that I had no interest in drowning in. So I avoided it. Others didn’t. I’m not as smart about land issues as some, but I know a swamp when I see it. The more I read about it, the less I understood. It’s like a Pynchon novel, only more entertaining. But there’s something just as bad as these rage lasagnas, in my opinion, and it’s something you should also ignore. I refer to lectures from the media about “cozying up to extremists.” Like the piece in the Washington Post by Dana Milbank, with a headline that says exactly that: “Bundy saga reveals the risk of cozying up to extremists.” Or another from the same paper by Kathleen Parker, that reads, “The GOP’s bad fling with Cliven Bundy.” I totally get the importance of vetting any subject to avoid looking stupid. But I wonder, how many in the media offered this sage advice as most of their ilk (and their liberal cohorts in politics) gave repeated, slobbering wet kisses to the Occupy movement, which — after awhile — was reduced to a dwindling bundle of anti-Semitics, lurid felons, and fecal squatters? You’d think the OWS movement would have been relegated to the dustbin of ridicule, but instead glowing anthologies retell the story of the movement, minus the other “movements.” Do the media ever level this warning about extremism when faced with the likes of Reverend Wright? Or Bill Ayers, who actually wanted to blow people up? What about Al Sharpton? Did anyone, beside the typical cranky right winger, ever tell our president, “Hey, maybe you shouldn’t really have this race-baiting charlatan at the White House?” I find Al’s outrage toward Don Sterling quaint. Say what you want about the gibbering Sterling, but he didn’t create horrible hoaxes that ruined lives or incite hate that found its way on the streets of New York. Read the rest of this entry »
How the Ukraine Crisis Is Stoking Fears of War in Europe
By SPIEGEL Staff: These days, Heinz Otto Fausten, a 94-year-old retired high school principal from Sinzig, Germany, can’t bear to watch the news about Ukraine. Whenever he sees images of tanks on TV, he grabs the remote and switches channels. “I don’t want to be subjected to these images,” he says. “I can’t bear it.”
“As of last week, the lunacy of a war is no longer inconceivable.”
When he was deployed as a soldier in the Ukraine, in 1943, Fausten was struck by grenade shrapnel in the hollow of his knee, just outside Kiev, and lost his right leg. The German presence in Ukraine at the time was, of course, part of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. But, even so, Fausten didn’t think he would ever again witness scenes from Ukraine hinting at the potential outbreak of war.
For anyone watching the news, these recent images, and the links between them, are hard to ignore. In eastern Ukraine, government troops could be seen battling separatists; burning barricades gave the impression of an impending civil war. On Wednesday, Russian long-range bombers entered into Dutch airspace — it wasn’t the first time something like that had happened, but now it felt like a warning to the West. Don’t be so sure of yourselves, the message seemed to be, conjuring up the possibility of a larger war.
‘A Phase of Escalation’
Many Europeans are currently rattled by that very possibility — the frightening chance that a civil war in Ukraine could expand like brushfire into a war between Russia and NATO. Hopes that Russian President Vladimir Putin would limit his actions to the Crimean peninsula have proved to be illusory — he is now grasping at eastern Ukraine and continues to make the West look foolish. Efforts at diplomacy have so far failed and Putin appears to have no fear of the economic losses that Western sanctions could bring. As of last week, the lunacy of a war is no longer inconceivable. Read the rest of this entry »
The note, which was obtained by CBS, mocks the rock idol’s vows with his then-wife Courtney Love, adding further intrigue to the two’s marriage and how that and his personal life led to his demise.
[See the book Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain at Amazon]
It reads: “Do you Kurt Cobain take Courtney Michelle Love to be your lawful shredded wife,” he wrote. “even when she’s a bitch with zits and siphoning all yr money for doping and whoring…”
The note is written on stationery from the Phoenix Hotel outside of San Francisco and is in stark contrast to Cobain’s presumed suicide note that calls Love a “goddess of a wife who sweats ambition and empathy.”
Credit: Seattle Police Department
As well, Seattle Police have publicly released 34 photographs taken at the crime scene. See them in a gallery at the Seattle Police Department blotter website…
Seattle Police Photos Released
This April 1994 photo provided by the Seattle Police Department shows items found at the scene of Kurt Cobain‘s suicide, in Seattle. The image has never before been released. Police spokeswoman Renee Witt said Thursday, March 20, 2014, that several rolls of undeveloped film were found when a detective re-examined the Cobain case recently.
New photos have surfaced depicting the death scene police found when they discovered the body of Kurt Cobain on April 8, 1994.
The green-tinted, 35mm photos show Cobain’s suicide note, his driver’s license and a heroin kit kept in a cigar box, all taken in the greenhouse of the Nirvana frontman’s Seattle home where the body was found. Other photos show Cobain’s wallet, an empty garage and detectives and police officers working at the scene. Twenty-nine of the photos can be seen at CBS News.
The suicide note has been released before, though the public had never seen it the way it was left by Cobain — with a red pen stabbed through its center. Read the rest of this entry »
During the April 30, 2014 White House press briefing, ABC’s Jon Karl repeatedly presses White House Press Secretary Jay Carney over a newly released email from a White House senior aide discussing preparing then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice to blame the Benghazi attack on a YouTube video.
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) April 30, 2014
“Video” to blame, “not a broader failure or policy.”
Sharyl Attkisson writes: Newly-released documents reveal direct White House involvement in steering the public narrative about the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, toward that of a spontaneous protest that never happened.
One of the operative documents, which the government had withheld from Congress and reporters for a year and a half, is an internal September 14, 2012 email to White House press officials from Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s Assistant and Deputy National Security Advisor. (Disclosure:Ben Rhode is the brother of David Rhodes, the President of CBS News, where I was employed until March.)
In the email, Ben Rhodes lists as a “goal” the White House desire “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”
The email is entitled, “RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET” and refers to White House involvement in preparing then-U.S.Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice for her upcoming appearance on Sunday television network political talk shows.
The Rhodes email states that another “goal” is “To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”
A court compelled the release of the documents, which were heavily-redacted, to the conservative watchdog group JudicialWatch, which has sued the government over its failed Freedom of Information responses. I have also requested Benghazi-related documents under Freedom of Information law, but the government has only produced a few pages to date. Read the rest of this entry »
Expedition 39 commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, currently aboard the International Space Station will make space-to-Earth musical connections with students in Texas this week to share and explore the relationship between the arts and space exploration.
Students from Pearl Hall Elementary in Pasadena, Texas, will perform songs with NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, Houston Symphony violinist Sergei Galperin and violinist Kenji Williams at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
The live “Music in Space” program will be broadcast on NASA Television and webcasted on the DLiNfo Channel at 12:30 p.m. EDT Friday, May 2.
This is the second “Music in Space” event. The first featured astronaut Chris Hadfield formerly of the Canadian Space Agency in March 2013. This event is a part of the Building Cultural Bridges program, which links Pearl Hall Elementary with Johnson Space Center and several arts organizations, providing opportunities for students to discover that they are an integral part of society at the local, state, national and international levels. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy slowed drastically in the first three months of the year as a harsh winter exacted a toll on business activity. The sharp slowdown, while worse than expected, is likely to be temporary as growth rebounds with warmer weather.
The economy’s growth slowed to a barely discernible 0.1 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That was the weakest pace since the end of 2012 and was down from a 2.6 percent growth rate in the October-December quarter.
Consumer spending grew at a 3 percent rate. But that gain was dominated by a 4.4 percent rise in spending on services, reflecting higher utility bills. Spending on goods barely rose. Also dampening growth were a drop in business investment, a rise in the trade deficit and a fall in housing construction.
The scant 0.1 percent increase in the gross domestic product, the country’s total output of goods and services, was well below the 1.1 percent rise economists had been predicting. The last time the quarterly growth rate was so slow was in the final three months of 2012, when it was also 0.1 percent. Read the rest of this entry »
China has rejected a World Bank report that suggests it might pass the United States this year to become the biggest economy measured by its currency’s purchasing power.
China is on track to become the No. 1 economy by sheer size by the early 2020s and possibly sooner. But its leaders downplay such comparisons, possibly to avert pressure to take on financial obligations or make concessions on trade or climate change.
“…the NBS of China does not endorse these results as official statistics.”
— China’s National Bureau of Statistics
The estimate by the World Bank’s International Comparison Program says that based on 2011 prices, the purchasing power of China’s currency, the yuan, was much stronger than was reflected by exchange rates.
“It does bring home the sheer size of the Chinese economy, in the services and goods and that people in China are producing.”
— Mark Williams, chief Asia economist for Capital Economics
By that measure, China’s economy was 87 percent the size of the United States’ in 2011, or 15 percent bigger than the previous estimate, according to a calculation by RBS economist Louis Kuijs. Faster-growing China would pass the United States in purchasing power terms this year, though it still would be about 60 percent the size of the U.S. economy at market exchange rates. Read the rest of this entry »
For Breitbart.com, Kristin Tate reports: A 17-year-old male student brought three loaded firearms and a 12-inch knife to his San Antonio high school on April 28, a police spokesperson confirmed to Breitbart Texas. The teen suspect is a student at Madison High School.
North East Independent School District spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor told the San Antonio Express-News that weapons and additional magazines were found inside the student’s backpack. The firearms were reportedly an AK-47, a .22 caliber and .45-millimeter pistols. Chancellor said she believes that the student got the weapons from home.
“We are reviewing all legal options at this point. That includes whether or not the parents took all precautions to secure their firearms.”
— Aubrey Chancellor
The student had reportedly run away from home prior to the incident. When his parents learned their son was at school, they drove to Madison High and had a meeting with the teen and several school administrators, according to reports. Read the rest of this entry »
For Breitbart.com, Debra Heine reports: Fake hate crimes on American universities are a dime a dozen, these days. The practitioners imagine themselves to be discriminated against members of a minority (racist, gay, Muslim) and aim to push an agenda by claiming victimhood.
This time the subject is an 18-year-old Montclair State University Muslim student who filed a false report alleging that three white men in hoodies beat him and called him an “Islamic terrorist.”
It didn’t take long to straighten this one out. The incident supposedly took place last Thursday night. The police had concluded the story was “fabricated” by Friday.
Police at Montclair State University have charged a student with filing a false report after an investigation determined that his claim that he was assaulted outside a residence hall was untrue, the school said Monday.
Navjoat Aulakh, 18, of Carteret allegedly said three white men assaulted him and called him an “Islamic terrorist” outside Whitman Hall Thursday night. An alert was issued to students and staff.
The police investigation concluded that Aulakh’s story was “fabricated” the next day. Read the rest of this entry »
The U.S. is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated, according to the world’s leading statistical agencies.
The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872. Most economists previously thought China would pull ahead in 2019.
After extensive research on the prices of goods and services, the ICP concluded that money goes further in poorer countries than it previously thought, prompting it to increase the relative size of emerging market economies.The figures, compiled by the International Comparison Program hosted by the World Bank, are the most authoritative estimates of what money can buy in different countries and are used by most public and private sector organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund…
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Two Whispering Politicians, undated
NOTES: Acquired 1950. © Estate of Ben Shahn/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.
For National Review Online, Patrick Brennan writes: Charles Krauthammer argued on Special Report tonight that the new Benghazi e-mails from the White House are a “smoking gun,” but that the media will plead that the scandal is too complicated, so the issue is dead. Alas, the scandal is complicated enough that Krauthammer is either mistaken about the facts of what he calls “a classic cover-up of a cover-up,” or he’s eliding the details for his audience”the CIA and the State Department assembled talking points pinning the attacks partly on the video, without any input from the White House.
“…the CIA and the State Department assembled talking points pinning the attacks partly on the video, without any input from the White House…”
An e-mail revealed today shows a White House official recommending that U.N. ambassador Susan Rice play up the importance in the Benghazi attacks of an anti-Islam YouTube video that was mentioned in an unclassified summary from the intelligence community (the “talking points”), in order to help burnish the administration’s image. Krauthammer claims this demolishes the White House’s longstanding claim that “this stuff” — the involvement of the video — “all came from the CIA, or from intelligence, that it was completely clean.” What the batch of e-mails (most of which aren’t new, they can be read here) show is the opposite: that the CIA and the State Department assembled talking points pinning the attacks partly on the video, without any input from the White House.
Then the White House told Susan Rice to argue that the intelligence community had concluded, on balance, that an exogenous factor (the video) had caused the protests, and that administration policy (in terms of the stability of Libya and the fight against al-Qaeda) wasn’t to blame here. Read the rest of this entry »
BREITBART NEWS reports: Comedian Louis CK writes, directs and stars in his signature FX series Louie. Today, he became a one-person wrecking crew against Common Core State Standards Initiative. Given his reach and influence, it could be a body blow against the movement.
In short, he said Common Core made his kids cry.
My kids used to love math. Now it makes them cry. Thanks standardized testing and common core!
— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
This is one of my favorites. Also for third graders. Who is writig these? And why? pic.twitter.com/xUBVIxE6WU
— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
Okay I’m done. This is just one dumb, fat parent’s POV. I’m pissed because I love NYC public schools. mice, lice and all.
— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 29, 2014
“The tale of the forty-seven loyal warriors is based on events that took place inJapan in the years 1701-03. The warriors vowed to avenge the death of their master Lord Enya Hangan, who had been ordered to commit suicide as punishment for drawing his sword and attacking a high official in the palace. This official, who had in fact provoked Hangan, was the evil Moronao. Following two years of planning, the warriors (actually “ronin,” former samurai who have lost their master) finally killed Moronao in his home. A year later they too were ordered to perform ritual suicide. A dramatization of the actual events appeared on the Kabuki stage almost immediately. The best-known play, Chushingura, was written for the puppet theater in 1748. Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japanese, 1798-1861)”
From NRO: Charles Krauthammer called the new emails showing White House involvement in briefing U.N. ambassador Susan Rice before she spoke about the Benghazi attacks on the Sunday shows “a serious offense” and “a classic cover-up of a cover-up.”
“We now have the smoking document, which is the White House saying, ‘We’re pushing the video because we don’t want to blame it on the failure of our policies,’ which is what anybody who looked at this assumed all the way through.”
Krauthammer said. Read the rest of this entry »
For the Washington Post, Erik Wemple writes: Ever since TMZ posted on Friday night its story about the recorded racist remarks of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling to V. Stiviano, news outlets had taken to calling those comments “alleged.” That’s an important bit of caution, given how easy it is for people to alter, fabricate and otherwise doctor audio — or anything that bubbles up on the Internet.
“The reason we were able to secure the tape is based purely on fact that we have an experienced news desk that has spent the years building a solid network of sources and contacts, and the fact that we got the tape was the result of those relationships over the years.”
— Evan Rosenblum, executive producer of TMZ
Yet Evan Rosenblum, executive producer of TMZ and TMZ Sports, didn’t put much credence in the whole “alleged” thing. “We spent eight days” vetting the tape before publication, “contacting everybody under the sun and doing our due diligence trying to vet this thing. It didn’t go up on the Web site until we were 100 percent sure it was authentic.”
New e-mails in the days after the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack reveal that the Obama White House urged Susan Rice to “underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video” ahead of her controversial Sunday-show appearances.
- “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”
- “To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”
He wrote that the president and administration “find [the video] disgusting and reprehensible,” but said that “there is absolutely no justification at all for responding to this move with violence.”
Additionally, Rhodes recommended Rice herald President Obama ahead of the upcoming elections…(read more) The Corner
Newly released emails on the Benghazi terror attack suggest a senior White House aide played a central role in preparing former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice for her controversial Sunday show appearances — where she wrongly blamed protests over an Internet video.
More than 100 pages of documents were released to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Among them was a Sept. 14, 2012, email from Ben Rhodes, an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.
The Rhodes email, with the subject line: “RE: PREP Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET,” was sent to a dozen members of the administration’s inner circle, including key members of the White House communications team such as Press Secretary Jay Carney. Read the rest of this entry »
For the Chicago Tribune, Jason Meisner writes: Former Illinois State Rep. Keith Farnham was charged Monday with using both personal and state-owned computers to trade hundreds of images and videos depicting child pornography and engage in graphic online chats in which he allegedly bragged about sexually molesting a 6-year-old girl.
The federal criminal complaint alleged that Farnham, 66, a Democrat from Elgin, possessed two videos depicting child pornography on a computer that was seized from his state office in Elgin a week before his abrupt resignation in March. Authorities also linked a Yahoo! email account used by Farnham to a online trading forum in which he chatted with other users about his sexual preferences, according to the charges.
“12 is about as old as i can handle,” Farnham allegedly said in one online chat in November, according to the charges. “i love them at 6 7 8”
Farnham – who twice co-sponsored bills in the House that toughened penalties for child pornography — is scheduled to make his initial appearance at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse on Wednesday.
When he resigned his seat on March 19, Farnham told the Tribune he was stepping down due to serious health concerns. A Navy veteran who ran a painting business in Elgin before running for office in 2009, Farnham said he is receiving treatment for bladder cancer and also struggles with pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that causes lung tissue to scar.
Farnham did not return calls for comment Monday. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Read the rest of this entry »