The program aired on Tuesday on the “Seven Stars” satellite television channel.
It featured journalists Shaker al-Johari and Mohammad al-Jayousi talking about the 3-year-old war pitting rebels against President Bashar Assad‘s government, a conflict that activists say has killed more than 150,000 people. Read the rest of this entry »
— Dane Cook (@DaneCook) May 8, 2014
Anderson Cooper isn’t known for being profane, so CNN viewers were surprised on Wednesday night when he dropped an f-bomb on television. Here’s a video of the special moment (at about 2:50):
A suspected arms dealer, an allegedly crooked mayor dealing in White House access, and a cowardly attorney general walk into a bar. Even if it’s the bar right next door to The Washington Post, would they get any coverage? If they’re Democrats, the answer is probably no.
You know the old story. A national media once obsessed with the “local crime story” of the Trayvon Martin case is suddenly reticent about abortion doctor and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell, because it was a “local crime story,” as The Washington Post health reporter Sarah Kliff called it. A national media once obsessed with state Sen. Wendy Davis of Texas is suddenly reticent about a state senator in California allegedly selling rocket launchers to foreign terrorists because they don’t do state senator stories, according to a CNN Twitter account. Read the rest of this entry »
(Reuters) – Vietnam said on Wednesday a Chinese vessel intentionally rammed two of its ships in a part of the disputed South China Sea where Beijing has deployed a giant oil rig, sending tensions spiraling in the region.
The Foreign Ministry in Hanoi said the collisions took place on Sunday and caused considerable damage to the Vietnamese ships. Six people suffered minor injuries, it said.
The standoff between China and Vietnam over an oil rig under construction in the South China Sea has escalated to dangerous levels, the New York Times reports…
…Whether purposely timed or not, Beijing has escalated its rhetoric and backed up words with action ever since President Obama’s tour of East Asia. ”It is increasingly obvious that Washington is taking Beijing as an opponent,”warned one editorial in China Daily as soon as President Obama returned to the U.S. ”Ganging up with its troublemaking allies, the U.S. is presenting itself as a security threat to China.” The editorial also called U.S. actions in East Asia ”malicious.”
“On May 4, Chinese ships intentionally rammed two Vietnamese Sea Guard vessels,” said Tran Duy Hai, a Foreign Ministry official and deputy head of Vietnam’s national border committee.
Vietnamese naval vessels and Chinese ships collided Wednesday, a Vietnamese government official said, as Hanoi sought to prevent a Chinese oil rig from setting up in a disputed part of the South China Sea.
The official said no ammunition had been fired and there were no reports for injuries as a result of the standoff, the most serious in years between the two countries in the sea. If neither side step downs, some analysts said they feared full blown skirmishes could break out between the two navies in what has long been regarded as a possible global flashpoint.
“Chinese ships, with air support, sought to intimidate Vietnamese vessels. Water cannon was used,” he told a news conference in Hanoi. Six other ships were also hit, but not as badly, other officials said. Read the rest of this entry »
“This obfuscation and refusal to come clean to Congress has left us as well as the people of this country wondering what else is the White House hiding?”
— House majority leader Eric Cantor
Lawmakers in the House passed a bill on Thursday to establish the new committee to investigate the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
Last week, Speaker of the House John Boehner ordered the establishment of the committee to investigate the attacks. On Monday, Boehner announced that he is tapping South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy to serve as chairman of the select committee hearings. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Hamas TV: Nothing Says Religion of Peace Like Brainwashing Children into Being Devoted Jew-Killing Genocidal MurderersPosted: May 8, 2014
Hamas TV Kids Show Features Giant Bee Imploring Children To Kill “All The Jews”…
Child host (Rawan): “Tulin, why do you want to be a police officer? Like who?”
Girl (Tulin): “Like my uncle.” …
Child host: “OK, so what does a policeman do?”
Nahul (adult in giant bee costume): “He catches thieves, and people who make trouble.”
Child host: “And shoots Jews. Right?”
Child host: “You want to be like him?”
Child host: “Allah willing, when you grow up.”
Girl:“So that I can shoot Jews.”
[Nahul the bee claps his hands]
Child host:“All the Jews? All of them?”
Child host: “Good.”
UPI 5/8/2014 8:05:23 PM
Testimony from the American whistleblower and former NSA contractor was agreed to by all political parties in the investigative committee, said Martina Renner of the socialist Die Linke party. Since the German government will likely prevent Snowden from attending a hearing, he is expected to be questioned by either a video link, or a visit from a parliamentary delegation to Moscow, his current home. Read the rest of this entry »
AP 5/8/2014 7:44:07 PM
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Roman Catholic official in charge of the Vatican‘s properties in the Holy Land on Thursday urged Israel to safeguard Christian holy sites, following a number of vandalism attacks on churches and monasteries ahead of a visit by Pope Francis.
Vandals have recently scribbled anti-Arab and anti-Christian graffiti on several Christian holy sites and properties, including an attack this week on the Vatican’s Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem.
Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency says it fears there could be similar attacks as the pope’s visit approaches at the end of the month. He is scheduled to visit Jordan, the West Bank and Israel from May 24 to 26.
The “Custody of the Holy Land” issued a statement expressing concern about the attacks and said the uptick in violence appeared to be connected to the visit. It called on Israel to “work urgently against extremist elements” to ensure peace and safeguard Christian holy places. Read the rest of this entry »
The FBI video describes Chinese intelligence officers plying the young American with cash and luxury liquor, and appealing to his fascination with China.
For Quartz, Lily Kuo writes: Chinese state media are accusing an “unnamed foreign country” of recruiting spies at Chinese universities and through popular blogs and social media. This week, a series of news reports claim that unsuspecting Chinese, some of them as young as16 years old, are being lured into working for foreign intelligence agents.
“…an unnamed foreign country recruited at least 40 people in 20 provinces to give military secrets to an agent whose online alias was Feige or ‘Flying Brother.'”
The reports seem to be a response to a short documentary posted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigations last month, telling the story of a 28-year-old Michigan native, Glenn Duffie Shriver who says he was was recruited to spy for the Chinese while living in Shanghai, and was eventually caught by US authorities. The FBI video describes Chinese intelligence officers plying the young American with cash and luxury liquor, and appealing to his fascination with China. Read the rest of this entry »
For Businessweek, Joshua Green writes: Last year the conservative Heritage Foundation had more influence on the direction of the Republican Party than just about anyone else—and not necessarily for the better. Over the summer, the conservative think tank’s president, former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, teamed up with Texas Senator Ted Cruz and other lawmakers on a cross-country tour to convince party activists, and eventually GOP leaders, that they could stop Obamacare by refusing to fund it.
“We came to the realization that the mainstream media had really abdicated the responsibility to do the news and do it well.”
DeMint forced a showdown because he wanted Republicans to unify around his vision of an unapologetic hardline conservatism—a vision he thinks most Americans will support if given the chance. That led to a government shutdown, a collapse of conservative will, and plenty of angry recriminations from fellow Republicans.
“We plan to do political and policy news, not with a conservative bent, but just true, straight-down-the-middle journalism.”
— Geoffrey Lysaught
Now Heritage has a new plan to exert its influence and, its leaders hope, win converts to the cause. On June 3 it will begin publishing the Daily Signal, a new digital news site whose primary focus will be straight reporting. “We came to the realization that the mainstream media had really abdicated the responsibility to do the news and do it well,” says Geoffrey Lysaught, vice president of strategic communications at the Heritage Foundation, who will also serve as publisher. The site aims to rectify the conservative perception that mainstream news slants to the left. “We plan to do political and policy news,” says Lysaught, “not with a conservative bent, but just true, straight-down-the-middle journalism.”
How does this help Heritage? The Daily Signal will also publish an opinion section aimed at a younger audience that isn’t thumbing through the editorial pages of theWall Street Journal. Heritage is betting that these readers, attracted to the Daily Signal’s news, will find themselves persuaded by the conservative commentary and analysis that will draw on the think tank’s scholars and researchers. Read the rest of this entry »
AP 5/8/2014 6:22:35 PM
ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — A strong earthquake shook the southern Pacific coast of Mexico and several states, including the capital on Thursday, sending frightened people into unseasonal torrential rains that were also bearing down on the coast.
The 6.4-magnitude quake in southern Guerrero state had an epicenter about 9 miles (15 kilometers) north of Tecpan de Galeana, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and was felt about 171 miles (277 kilometers) miles away in Mexico City, where office workers streamed into the streets away from high-rise buildings.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or major damage.
Tecpan, near the epicenter, shook ferociously, causing a “wave of panic” and some roofs to cave in, said Mayor Crisoforo Otero Heredia. But there were no injuries. Read the rest of this entry »
In a joint letter Wednesday, some 150 companies told the Federal Communications Commission its proposed rules over net neutrality would permit phone and cable firms to discriminate “both technically and financially” against companies providing online services.
“Instead of permitting individualized bargaining and discrimination, the commission’s rules should protect users and Internet companies on both fixed and mobile platforms against blocking, discrimination, and paid prioritization,” they said.
They said the regulations “should make the market for Internet services more transparent” and warned that fair rules “are essential for the future of the Internet.”
The letter challenged the FCC’s proposed rules on how Internet service providers — mainly a handful of telecommunications giants who control the transmission of data via cable and airwaves — can negotiate individual deals over access levels, speed and priority with online companies rather than keeping access completely neutral. Read the rest of this entry »
Being a government official in China is not for the faint of heart, the thin-skinned or the fragile of mind.
A recent state media report has reverberated online and in the Communist Party press by revealing that at least 54 Chinese officials died of “unnatural causes” in 2013, and that more than 40 percent of those deaths were suicides (in Chinese).
For some, those numbers raise questions about the burden placed on officials as a result of the Party’s anti-corruption crusade. But others see the recent rash of suicides as further evidence of the lack of political openness in China.
The latest victim was Xu Ye’an, the deputy chief of China’s national-level Bureau for Letter and Calls—the agency that handle petitions from disgruntled citizens. According to local media reports (in Chinese), Xu killed…
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Dwight Longenecker writes: One of the most tiresome misconceptions of the cynic in the street is his idea of myth. He uses the word “myth” to mean “useless fairy tale.” A myth is a fantasy, a fable or a fanciful fiction. At best it is a harmless children’s story. It might be a pretend story told for a religious purpose or at worst it is an intentional fabrication devised to hoodwink the gullible.
[Dwight Longenecker‘s book: The Romance of Religion: Fighting for Goodness, Truth, and Beauty is available at Amazon.com]
Yes, some ancient fanciful stories are called myths and have a religious dimension. This fact makes the definition of myth even more complex and therefore more easily misunderstood. Because ancient Greeks and Romans told stories about Zeus and Jupiter, and because they were fantasy stories, and because Zeus and Jupiter were gods, the cynic in the street concludes that all stories from ancient times that feature the supernatural must also be fanciful old time stories that may be somewhat entertaining, but which are all make believe.
To the scientific man a myth is a curious but valueless cultural artifact from a superstitious age. The worthlessness of myth is rooted in the work of several academics from the turn of the twentieth century. The Englishman E.B. Tylor is considered the father of “cultural evolutionism.” He considered myth and primitive religion as failed attempts at science. Myths, in his opinion, were the theories that primitive people devised to explain the world. Now that we have science we know better, and we should discard myth. Religion, Tylor thought, was a holdover from those primitive mythological times, the root and fruit of a backward, superstitious mindset. Read the rest of this entry »
Heather Mac Donald: The Supreme Court’s Schuette Decision Exposes the Absurdity of Racial-Preferences JurisprudencePosted: May 8, 2014
For City Journal, Heather Mac Donald writes: In a victory for common sense, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in late April that voters could require colorblind admissions to their state’s public universities without running afoul of the Constitution. Several of the justices arrived at this seemingly self-evident conclusion via tortured routes, however, and Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg rejected it. Their opinions reveal the counterfactual condition of race jurisprudence today, while also unwittingly providing a rationale for knocking down academic racial preferences entirely. Sotomayor’s long, impassioned dissent opens a disturbing window into her racialized worldview and offers an example of what might be called the black-studies-ification of elite discourse.
[See Heather Mac Donald’s book: The Burden of Bad Ideas: How Modern Intellectuals Misshape Our Society at Amazon.com]
The roots of the recent decision, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights . . . By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), were planted in 2003, when the Court upheld the use of racial admissions preferences by the University of Michigan’s law school. Preference opponents responded with a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution, prohibiting Michigan’s government from discriminating against, or according preferential treatment to, any individual or group based on race, gender, or national origin. The campaign over the initiative, Proposal 2, was highly visible and hard-fought, focusing primarily on the measure’s effect on admissions to the state’s public universities. Proponents of preferences, led by BAMN, argued that Proposal 2 would drastically reduce minority enrollment at the University of Michigan and that it was a thinly veiled excuse for racism. Voters rejected those arguments and passed the initiative with 58 percent of the vote in 2006. BAMN then sued to overturn Proposal 2 as unconstitutional. The group lost in federal district court but won in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Proposal 2’s backers appealed to the Supreme Court. Read the rest of this entry »
Nisse Zetterberg – View from Södermalm, Stockholm, 1948
There’s no room in Long Island for this pregnant Virgin Mary
A 33-foot-tall bronze statue of a naked, pregnant woman that stands on real estate mogul Aby Rosen’s luxurious Old Westbury property has been covered in black after neighbors complained that the artwork was disrupting their “bucolic views.”
“It’s out of character with the neighborhood.”
— Mayor Fred Carillo
The immaculate piece was conceived by British artist Damien Hirst and features a walking woman whose skin has been ripped away from the right side of her body, exposing skull, muscles and her fetus.
Old Westbury Mayor Fred Carillo said residents were “up in arms” about the statue.
He’s received half a dozen letters of complaint about the statue, and the village is considering a new height restriction for statues that would boot Mary out of sight. Read the rest of this entry »
YOKOHAMA – A 27-year-old man who allegedly made handguns with a 3-D printer was arrested Thursday on suspicion of illegal weapons possession, the first time Japan’s firearms control law has been applied to the possession of guns made by this method.
“I can’t complain about the arrest if the police regard them as real guns.”
The suspect, Yoshitomo Imura, an employee of Shonan Institute of Technology in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, had the plastic guns at his home in Kawasaki in mid-April, the police said. No bullets for the guns have been found.
The police launched an investigation earlier this year after Imura posted video footage online of the guns, which he claimed to have produced himself, along with blueprints for them, according to investigative sources.
One of Imura’s postings carried a comment: “The right to bear firearms is part of basic human rights.”
Police searched Imura’s home last month and seized five guns, two which can fire real bullets, the sources said.
Imura, who purchased a 3-D printer for around ¥60,000 through the Internet, was quoted as telling investigators during the search, “I produced the guns, but I didn’t think it was illegal.” Read the rest of this entry »
…Among the 90 or so in attendance were Barbra Streisand, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Tom Rothman and James Brolin, according to a pool report. Guests had dinner under a tent in the Horns’ backyard. The event at the Horns’ Bel-Air home was to raise money for the House Senate Victory Fund, a joint committee set up for congressional candidates.
“I know you left Washington 6 hours ago, But I left Burbank seven hours ago.”
— Conan O’Brien
The Horns are longtime Democratic donors, although this is the president’s first visit to their home for a fundraising event, which also included House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). Cindy Horn introduced Obama…
Tickets to the event started $10,000 per person, including dinner and a photo op. Those donating $32,400 per couple got listed as “sponsors” and could take part in a VIP reception. Those donating $64,800 per couple were listed as “hosts” and could take part in a “VIP clutch.”