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Posts tagged ‘Huffington Post’

Russia Storms And Overtakes Ukrainian Airbase By Brute Force.

BELBEK AIRBASE, Crimea, March 22 (Reuters) – Russian troops forced their way into a Ukrainian airbase in Crimea with armored vehicles, automatic fire and stun grenades on Saturday, injuring a Ukrainian serviceman and detaining the base’s commander for talks.

Russia Takes Ukrainian Naval Base Belbek By Force

A Reuters reporter said armored vehicles smashed through one of walls of the compound and that he heard bursts of gunfire and grenades.

Colonel Yuliy Mamchur, the commander of the base, said a Ukrainian serviceman had been injured and that he himself he was being taken away by the Russians for talks at an unspecified location.

Asked if he thought he would return safely, he said: “That remains to be seen. For now we are placing all our weapons in the base’s storage.”

Belbek was one of the last military facilities in Crimea still under Ukrainian control following Russia’s armed takeover and subsequent annexation of the peninsula, which has a majority ethnic Russian population and is home to one of Russia’s biggest naval bases.

Earlier, the deputy commander of the base, Oleg Podovalov, said the Russian forces surrounding the base had given the Ukrainians an hour to surrender.

After the Russians entered, a Ukrainian officer who identified himself only as Vladislav said: “We did not provoke this, this was brute force. I do not know whether this base will be formally in Russian hands by the end of the day. source – Huffington Post

by NTEB News Desk

Reid Welcomes NSA Ruling, Is Open to Restrictive Legislation.

Joining other senators who welcomed a federal ruling that the National Security Agency’s cellphone snooping is likely unconstitutional, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he’s now open to legislation that would curb some of the agency’s data collection, two reports said.”We know that senators, both Democrats and Republicans, would like to change the law that relates to some of the collection activities,” Reid said Tuesday, according to Politico 
and the Huffington Post.

“I think that’s good, I think we need a good, public debate on this,” Reid said.

NSA critic Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., called Monday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon “a wake-up call to those who are supporting the status quo” that “puts at risk the liberties of the people and is damaging our economy.”

“I think our side is on the march,” he said, the Huffington Post reported.

But Reid said Leon’s ruling isn’t crystal-clear.

“All the rulings that have taken place on bulk collection, they don’t agree with what Leon said,” Reid said, the Huffington Post reported.

He’s not alone in his concern: Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein,D-Ca., one of the NSA’s biggest supporters, noted that a federal court decision last month ruled the NSA’s business records program constitutional, Politico reported.

But on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on Tuesday, Feinstein eased up on her insistence, in an op-ed piece she wrote for The Wall Street Journal in October, that the program “is necessary and must be preserved if we are to prevent terrorist attacks.”

“I’m not saying it’s indispensable,” she said Tuesday. “But I’m saying that it is important, and it is a major tool in ferreting out a potential terrorist attack.”

Feinstein said that “only the Supreme Court can resolve the question on the constitutionality of the NSA’s program . . . I am very eager to see the court take this case. We will know once and for all,” the Huffington Post quoted her as saying.

Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss criticized Leon’s ruling, calling it “very disturbing,” Politico reported.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Cathy Burke

Fox News Neutralized, Soros-Backed Group Declares Victory.

Image: Fox News Neutralized, Soros-Backed Group Declares Victory

By Sandy Fitzgerald

The liberal media-watchdog group backed by billionaire George Soros says its “war” on Fox News is over, claiming it has neutralized the right-leaning network and no longer sees it as a threat.

“It’s not just that it’s over, but it was very successful,” Media Matters Executive Vice President Angelo Carusone bragged late this week to The Huffington Post.

“To a large extent, we won,” he said.

This week Media Matters gave the Huffington Post a look at its internal strategic plan for the next three years.

Fox, which became the single focus of the activist group founded by bestselling author and journalist David Brock, has made key changes in programming that makes it no longer a worry to the left and the Obama administration.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

Media Matters also argues that Fox is not as influential as it once was because of the Internet and social media.

But while Fox News didn’t offer comment about the Media Matters so-called truce, polls show the highly rated network remains on top when it comes to viewer trust.

A recent poll showed Fox News to be the most-trusted source of information on Obamacare, with a 19 percent ranking that put the network ahead of President Barack Obama, other major news networks, and even members of respondents’ families.

Despite its overall ratings success, the network has made key programming changes in the wake of last year’s Republican electoral loss as audience numbers dipped.

And some of Fox’s more controversial personalities, such as Glenn Beck, have left while the network’s leading conservative, Sean Hannity, was demoted with a time slot change from his prime 9 p.m. perch to his current 10 p.m.

Megyn Kelly has taken over Hannity’s slot and seen ratings grow. But she prides herself on her middle-of-the-road political take, telling NBC’s Jay Leno recently that she not a “conservative operative.”

“I’m a straight news anchor, I’m not one of the opinion hosts at Fox,” Kelly said

Kelly joins nighttime anchors such as Shepard Smith and Greta Van Susteren who tack left with Bill O’Reilly positioning himself as an independent.

Since the election, other key conservative contributors such as Bill Kristol, Newt Gingrich and Dick Morris did not have their contracts renewed.

Some conservative commentators are not happy about Fox’s new direction.

In September, popular syndicated radio host Mark Levin took aim at the network saying it had become establishment “Republican media” whose hosts have been “preaching accommodation, and surrender and moderation as conservatism.”

Since President Obama took office, Fox had been under unrelenting attacks from the White House. At one point the Obama administration considered banning Fox from the White House press corps.

Other press reports have indicated that the parent company of Fox, News Corp., has sought to cool the network’s political temperature as it faces an ongoing Justice Department probe that it violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) when its U.K. subsidiaries bribed police officials to get stories for its tabloid newspapers. The FCPA law prohibits U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials for purposes of influence and commerce.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Graham: Ryan’s ‘Leadership’ on Budget Shows He Can be President.

Image: Graham: Ryan's 'Leadership' on Budget Shows He Can be President

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Rep. Paul Ryan‘s bipartisan budget proposal may anger some fiscal conservatives, but South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said it may boost the Wisconsin Republican’s chances at the presidency in 2016.

“From my point of view, he’s showing leadership,” Graham said Tuesday, according to The Huffington Post. “I mean, if you want to become president, maybe instead of trying to please every faction of your party, maybe you should show the country as a whole, ‘I can actually work with the other side on something important.'”

Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, joined with Sen. Sen. Patty Murray, his counterpart in the Senate, in releasing their 2014 budget proposal that provides $63 billion in sequestration relief while increasing spending to $1.012 trillion. Fiscal conservatives immediately criticized the plan, saying they want to keep across-the-board sequestration cuts in place without trading off reductions in entitlement programs.

However, Ryan, the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2012 who has not yet announced his intentions for 2016, said he expects “great support” from his fellow Republicans. He called the plan “a step in the right direction.”

Ryan acknowledged Tuesday evening on Fox News’ “On the Record With Greta Van Susteren” that the new budget “isn’t the greatest agreement of all time.” But he insisted it holds to conservative principles, including deficit reduction and lower taxes.

The Wall Street Journal, in a review of the Ryan-Murray bill, called it the “least bad” of many budget options because it includes modest entitlement reforms and no new tax increases and possibly helps to avoid another government shutdown.

But the Journal noted that the two-year deal will break the 2011 Budget Control Act‘s discretionary spending caps that were set for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 by $63 billion over two years. The newspaper said spending would rise again in 2016 to the current $1.016 trillion, which the newspaper described as a victory for Senate Democrats in the budget negotiations.

Meanwhile, the new budget — and the controversy over it — is returning the spotlight to Ryan for the first time since his 2012 campaign with GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, CNN reports. Ryan was picked for the ticket last year because his ideas and work on curbing federal spending was well-known and widely applauded by his fellow Republicans. He had quickly become one of the most prominent GOP figures on the national stage.

But his budget proposal this time was not received as well as his previous proposals, especially by Republicans like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio who could end up challenging him for the party’s presidential nomination in 2016. Rubio was quick to say on Tuesday that he does not support the Ryan-Murray proposal.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Nelson Mandela Burial Planned For December 15 – Huffington Post.


JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africans erupted in song, dance and tears on Friday in public and emotional celebrations of the life of Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader who bridged this country’s black-white divide and helped avert a race war.

Fellow anti-apartheid leaders like retired archbishop Desmond Tutu called for the 51 million South Africans to adhere to the values of unity and democracy that Mandela embodied. The tributes to Mandela that came from people across the spectrum showed that he had affected people deeply.

Read more at the Huffington Post website 


Pope Francis May Be Sneaking Out of Vatican to Meet the Poor.

Image: Pope Francis May Be Sneaking Out of Vatican to Meet the Poor

By Lisa Barron

Pope Francis is known for his personal touch — calling people who have written him letters, washing the feet of juvenile detainees, and kissing a deformed man — but he also may be sneaking out at night in disguise to meet with the homeless.

Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the Vatican Almoner, who has the centuries-old job of distributing money from the Holy See to those in need, told reporters in Rome that Francis has elevated the position to make it part of his own personal charity, The Associated Press Reports.

Doctor RevealsHealing Powers of Prayer 

“The Holy Father told me at the beginning: You need to get out of the Vatican. Don’t wait for people to come ringing. You need to go out and look for the poor,” said the 50-year-old Krajewski. “When I say to him ”I’m going out into the city this evening,’ there’s the constant risk that he will come with me.”

Asked if Francis had ventured out of the Vatican on his own, the Polish prelate just smiled and said, “Next question, please,” sparking rumors that the pontiff is going incognito into the streets to give alms, reports UCatholic

“That’s what he’s like,” Krajewski said, recalling that as archbishop of Buenos Aires, when Francis was known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he “would go out at night . . . not just to find people, talk with them, or buy them something to eat. . . . He would eat with them. He would sit with them and eat with them on the street.

“This is what he wants from me,” he said.

The rumors that Francis still is doing it himself may well be true, reports The Huffington Post, quoting a “knowledgeable source in Rome” saying that “Swiss guards confirmed that the Pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women.”

Krajewski himself acknowledged that he has enlisted the assistance of off-duty Swiss Guards, telling reporters that they often get called into duty, recently helping to box 27,000 rosaries that Francis handed out to the public one Sunday as “spiritual medicine.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Report: NSA Spied on Porn Habits of Islamic Radicals.

The National Security Agency gathered evidence on the porn-watching habits of six Islamic radicals as part of an effort to discredit them, reports The Huffington Post,  citing documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The document, dated Oct. 3, 2012, states that “Some of the vulnerabilities, if exposed, would likely call into question a radicalizer‘s devotion to the jihadist cause, leading to the degradation or loss of his authority,” according to the Post.

Among the vulnerabilities to be exploited are “viewing sexually explicit material online” and “using sexually explicit persuasive language when communicating with inexperienced young girls,” it said.

The Director of the NSA is reportedly listed as the “originator” of the document, which was sent to officials with the Departments of Justice and Commerce as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration.

None of the six individuals targeted by the NSA is accused of being involved in any terror plots, and the agency believes they all live outside the country, although it identifies one of them as a “U.S. person,” noted the Post.

Deputy Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Jameel Jaffer told the publication that the revelations raise new concerns about the NSA’s abuse of  power.

“It’s important to remember that the NSA’s surveillance activities are anything but narrowly focused. The agency is collecting massive amounts of sensitive information about virtually everyone,” he said.

“Wherever you are, the NSA’s databases store information about your political views, your medical history, your intimate relationships and your activities online,” Jaffer added.

“Hmm, what could be dangerous about the world’s most powerful spy agency using pornography viewing habits to discredit political opponents?” tweeted Ben Wizner,  director of the ACLU Speech Privacy & Technology Project on Wednesday.

The latest news also comes as the European Union is reviewing a commercial data-sharing agreement with the U.S., known as Safe Harbor, in the wake of the Snowden revelation, reports USA Today.

Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, is reportedly threatening to freeze the pact, maintaining that U.S. surveillance activities will have to comply with EU law and that Europeans whose rights may have been violated will have to be allowed legal recourse in American courts.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Lisa Barron

Limbaugh Uses Rape Analogy to Blast Filibuster Rule Change.

Image: Limbaugh Uses Rape Analogy to Blast Filibuster Rule Change

By Cathy Burke

Rush Limbaugh used a rape analogy Friday to criticize the Senate’s filibuster rule change that makes it easier for the majority party to confirm presidential nominees.

“The simple fact is, when the majority in any group of people, when the majority can change the rules at any time, then there aren’t any rules,” the bombastic radio talk-show host said to explain his point about the “nuclear option.”

He then went into a long rape analogy.

“Forget the Senate for a minute,” Politico said he told listeners

“Let’s say, let’s take 10 people in a room, and they’re a group. And the room is made up of six men and four women. Right? The group has a rule that the men cannot rape the women. The group also has a rule that says any rule that will be changed must require six votes of the 10 to change the rule.”

Then he said, according to a transcript of the audio on Huffington Post:

“Every now and then, some lunatic in the group proposes to change the rule to allow women to be raped. But they never were able to get six votes for it. There were always the four women voting against it and they always found two guys.

“Well, the guy that kept proposing that women be raped finally got tired of it, and he was in the majority, and he was one that [said], ‘You know what? We’re going to change the rule. Now all we need is five.’

“And well, ‘you can’t do that.’ ‘Yes, we are. We’re the majority. We’re changing the rule.’

“And then they vote. Can the women be raped? Well, all it would take then is half of the room. You can change the rule to say three. You can change the rule to say three people want it, it’s going to happen. There’s no rule when the majority can change the rules, there aren’t any.”

Limbaugh said the only reason behind the Senate’s invoking the “nuclear option” is that President Barack Obama “can’t get what he wants democratically.”

Senate Democrats took the dramatic step Thursday of eliminating filibusters for most nominations by presidents — a power play they said was necessary to fix a broken system, but one that Republicans said will only rupture it further.

Politico reported that Limbaughs analogy triggered a flurry of sharp rebukes on social media.

Ana Marie Cox, a political columnist for The Guardian, wrote on Twitter, “Limbaugh using a rape analogy to explain the filibuster really takes mansplaining to a level I never imagined.” founder Hilary Sargent then tweeted “rape-splaining.” 

Media Matters research fellow Oliver Willis tweeted, “rush limbaugh really games out how you could theoretically vote to rape women. hes just throwing it out there folks,” while Media Matters colleague Todd Gregory called it  “dumb, glib” and “such a perfect encapsulation of rape culture, it should be put in a museum.”

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Justin Barasky posted this tweet: “my goodness will someone tell him to [shut] up. Seriously?” and “I’m sure Rush’s comments were actually made my a ‘junior staffer’ right folks?”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Moderate Republicans Express Anger as Conservatives Block Bill to End Shutdown.

Image: Moderate Republicans Express Anger as Conservatives Block Bill to End Shutdown

By Melanie Batley

Moderate Republicans are reeling after tea party lawmakers and conservative lobbying groups Tuesday night rejected a last-ditch proposal by House Speaker John Boehner to end the government shutdown and avert a default on the nation’s debt.

“This party is going nuts,” Rep. Peter King of New York told The Huffington Post.

“So many people I run into who are normal people — and I hate to use that term — they just can’t understand what’s going on. On this one they can’t even see both sides. They just think Republicans are crazy. That’s it. They see no justification for any of this,” he said.

The House leadership proposal would have reopened the government through Dec. 15, and extended the nation’s borrowing authority through February 7. It also called for an end on the medical device tax under Obamacare, and would have required members of Congress, the president, vice president, and Cabinet officers to enroll in Obamacare.

But the proposals on Obamacare didn’t go far enough for conservative lawmakers, who want to see the law completely defunded or repealed. The final nail in the coffin came when the conservative Heritage Action for America group headed by former South Carolina GOP Sen. Jim DeMint, sent out an email blast urging Republicans to vote no because the House bill “will do nothing to stop Obamacare’s massive new entitlements from taking root,” The Washington Post reported.

Soon after, Boehner cancelled the scheduled vote, realizing he didn’t have enough support within the Republican Conference to get the plan passed.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington echoed King’s comments.

“Nothing positive will be achieved by prolonging this shutdown any longer, or crossing the debt limit threshold,” Herrera Beutler said in a statement Tuesday, according to The Huffington Post. “It’s time for my colleagues to face reality.”

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House GOP Conservative-Moderate Rift Boils Over

Obama: Boehner ‘Can’t Control His Caucus’

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Senate Democratic Staffers Returning to Work.

Some Senate Democrats are bringing furloughed staffers back to work, more than a week after the federal government shut down began to help deal with a “workload” buildup.

David McCallum, deputy chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, notified Democratic senators by email Wednesday that his office is staffing back up to deal with the “accumulating workload” that the shutdown has incurred, reports Politico. He acknowledged, however, that the staffers would not be paid until the standoff over spending and the debt ceiling is resolved.

Unlike the executive branch, members of Congress can decide for themselves how many staff members to keep working through the shutdown. Some members have sent workers home, while others, including nine senators, have kept their staffs working, assuming that they will likely be paid retroactively as part of an eventual budget deal, according to Politico.

The House has already passed a measure guaranteeing that furloughed federal workers receive back pay after the shutdown is resolved. But the measure was delayed in the Senate when Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas complained that it was “premature to do it right now,” according to The Huffington Post.

In his email, McCallum wrote that “certain Republican senators are preventing us from obtaining a path to voting on this legislation in and expeditious manner.” But he added, “We are confident that at some point the government will reopen and that retroactive pay will be part of any agreement.”

“We are all aware that those who have been furloughed would rather be working for their paycheck than receive a paid vacation,” McCallum said in the email, “so in light of this pending legislation, this might be a good time to re-examine staffing assignments and determine whether you want to bring additional staff back to work.”

The pay question has not been an issue for many Hill staffers, who told Politico that they simply don’t like being away from their jobs at such a critical time.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Lisa Barron

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