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Posts tagged ‘New York Post’

King: Malaysian Flight Possibly Downed in ‘Suicide Plot’.


There is a “growing consensus” that missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was crashed as part of a suicide plot by either its pilot or co-pilot, says Rep. Peter King, who chairs the House Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee.

U.S. authorities are coming to believe that one or the other of the pilots “wanted to get as far away and land in the farthest and deepest part of the ocean,” the New York Republican told the New York Post

The scheme, King said Sunday, could have been planned in the hopes that family members would be able to collect life insurance on the pilot or co-pilot, because if the plane isn’t found, “they can’t call it suicide.”

Malaysian police are denying reports that the family of the pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, moved from their home just days before the flight took off. Two different photos of surfaced of him. One shows him wearing a shirt with the words “Democracy is Dead” printed on it, while the other shows him holding a cleaver and standing with a bowl of meat.

He is also being described as an “obsessive and fanatical” follower of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, whom authorities sentenced to five years in prison for homosexuality in the hours before Flight 370 departed. 

The suicide plot scenario “makes the most sense,” King said Sunday. Authorities believe the plane headed south toward the Indian Ocean, one of the deepest in the world, after it went off course over the Gulf of Thailand.

“If there is any consensus now, it’s that it was a suicide by the pilot or co-pilot, and he wanted to go as far as he could into the Indian Ocean,” King said, expressing doubt that both pilots were involved in the plan.

“One or the other would have to kill or somehow silence the other,” King said. 

According to Malaysian Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar, authorities are still investigating all possibilities, including hijacking or sabotage. 

Last week, King told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV that the jet’s disappearance had the hallmarks of terrorism.

There’s “the fact that you have a two passengers flying on stolen passports, the fact that the plane just disappeared, that there was no communication whatsoever, the fact that Malaysia is known to be a hotbed of al-Qaida activity in the past.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Obama Voter Calls Obamacare ‘Unaffordable and Uncaring’.


A Tennessee woman who suffers from Lupus and attended last week’s State of the Union address as a guest of GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn says Obamacare has “made her life almost impossible.”

Emilie Lamb appears in ads funded by the conservative Americans for Prosperity, telling her personal story of how Obamacare has crippled her financially and medically.

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Lamb, who voted for Obama in 2012, also wrote in an op-ed piece in The New York Post Monday that four years ago she would have been cheering the passage of the Affordable Care Act, thinking it would help her by giving her better coverage and reducing her medical bills even more.

“But the real Obamacare has made my life a nightmare,” she wrote, noting that her monthly coverage before Obamacare cost her $57 and was “perfectly suited” for her medical needs and limited financial means.

But her plan has since been cancelled and her monthly premium has skyrocketed to $373 after a small subsidy, and all for a plan now with inferior coverage.

“All told, I’m likely going to pay more than $6,000 more each year for my medical care,” she laments.

In order to afford the coverage, Lamb, 40, has been forced to take a second job.

“Given my health problems, the physical and emotional drain that this puts on me is difficult to bear,” she wrote in her Post piece. “It’s also made it much more difficult for me to care for my ailing mother, who depends on me for help.

“For me, the impact of ObamaCare is a health plan that is both unaffordable and uncaring,” she adds, noting that for “a law named ‘The Affordable Care Act,’ this is both backward and perverse.”

Lamb goes on to take the president to task for making her already difficult situation worse, and for not being forthcoming about the impact of his signature healthcare legislation.

“When you were on the campaign trail, you promised that ObamaCare would help me with my medical problems,” Lamb wrote “You promised that people like me with pre-existing conditions would be better off. And you promised that if I liked my health-care plan, I could keep it.

“Mr. President,” she continued, “you’ve now broken all of these promises — and not just to me.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melissa Clyne

State Dept. Whistleblower’s Emails Destroyed by Hacker.


A State Department whistleblower’s computer has had four years of emails deleted by a hacker, including messages detailing alleged wrongdoing at the agency, according to the New York Post.

The Gmail account of Diplomatic Security Service criminal investigator Richard Higbie was hacked earlier this month, confirmed his lawyer Cary Schulman. And now Higbie has asked the FBI in Dallas, where he lives, to investigate the hack attack.

Schulman said that the e-mails included Higbie’s proof of misconduct by leading department officials, his correspondence with other potential whistleblowers at the agency, and his communications with members of Congress investigating the allegations.

“They took all of his e-mails and then they deleted them all,” said Schulman, adding that he had no evidence to suggest the hacker’s identity or whether he or she was working in collusion with anyone else.

Calling the hacking “sophisticated” and saying Higbie’s targeting was “alarming,” the lawyer added, “Obviously, somebody is not happy with something he’s doing and wanted to get that information and also cause him an inability in the future to have ready access to that.”

Higbie, the second-highest-ranking agent in the Dallas office, played a vital part in helping fellow whistleblower Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator for the department’s Inspector General, lift the lid earlier this year on a series of coverups by leading officials, the Post reports.

The alleged coverups included keeping an Inspector General investigation under wraps that confirmed members of then-Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton’s security detail had paid for hookers and that the Belgian ambassador had solicited underage prostitutes.

The Post says that several investigations by the service, which protects dignitaries and investigates crimes at the agency, were allegedly derailed by senior officials, including one case in which Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills allegedly interfered.

Higbie has claimed in an employment lawsuit against the department that it took revenge against him for being a whistleblower.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Drew MacKenzie

Cuomo Fighting de Blasio over NYC Council Speaker.


By Lisa Barron

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has apparently picked his first fight with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s by trying to stop his liberal pick for City Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito.

The Democratic governor has been trying to drum up support instead for Councilman Dan Garodnick, Councilwoman Mark-Viverito’s opponent in the race for the city’s second most powerful position, the New York Post reported Monday.

“It’s certainly not in Cuomo’s political interest to have another left-wing activist along with de Blasio running the city,” a Democratic city leader told the Post of Cuomo’s effort to upset de Blasio’s endorsement of Mark-Viverito. “The sense is that Cuomo wants to see de Blasio defeated on this one, so that he’ll start off as mayor weaker and not stronger, relative to the governor.”

Cuomo, first elected in 2010, has recently launched his 2014 re-election campaign, presenting himself as an economic moderate.

“The governor, who wants to run for president, doesn’t want to see the city turned into a People’s Republic of New York at the same time as he’s trying to make the state at least look like it’s business friendly,” a political observer told the Post, referring to .

De Blasio, who has called for higher taxes on the wealthy, endorsed Mark-Viverito, one of his strongest supporters in the mayoral election, for speaker earlier this month.

“The mayoral meddling in Council business was unsurprising but unseemly, especially from someone who used to accuse Speaker Christine Quinn of being too close to Mayor Michael Bloomberg,” wrote the New York Times Editorial Board on Sunday.

“Now we’re about to get a speaker with an enormous debt to the mayor, leading a legislative body that is supposed to be an independent counterweight to the executive.”

The Times editorial continued, “Meanwhile, there are 50 others in the council who need to remember that electing speaker is their decision, not any party boss’s or mayor’s. It is their institution whose role and reputation they are bound to protect.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

New Taxes Set to Kick In Under Obamacare.


Millions of Americans are facing hidden tax surcharges on their insurance premiums under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law as well as new health-related taxes on their income tax bills, the New York Post reports.

Some health insurance companies are not informing patients about the Obamacare taxes, instead deciding to quietly pass them on to its customers. But Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama has revealed the taxes on its bills with a separate line item for “Affordable Care Act Fees and Taxes.”

Editor’s Note: What you must know about ObamaCare fully explained in NY Times best-seller, ‘The ObamaCare Survival Guide.’

According to the report quoting Kaiser Health News, the surprise taxes on one customer’s bill was $23.14 a month, or $277.68 annually, which increased the monthly premium from $322.26 to $345.40 for that person.

The two percent tax on customers for every health plan is expected to net about $8 billion for the government in 2014 and increase to $14.3 billion in 2018.

There’s also a $2 fee per policy that goes into a new medical research trust fund called the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
As for insurers, they have to pay a 3.5 percent user fee to sell medical plans on the HealthCare.gov website.

The Post says Obamacare supporters may point out that federal subsidies for low-income families will cover the taxes and pay a large part of the actual premiums.

However, there’s also another Obamacare tax that people don’t know about. Americans who have to buy medical devices like pacemakers, stents and prosthetic limbs will have to fork over a 2.3 percent medical device tax.

Another hidden expense will affect Americans who have to pay out a large share of their annual income for medical costs. Currently, Americans are allowed to deduct medical expenses higher than 7.5 percent of their incomes. But that figure leaps to 10 percent under Obamacare, which will cost taxpayers $15 billion over 10 years, says the Post.

For some Americans there will also be an increase in Medicare tax. Individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and families earning more than $250,000 will have 0.9 percent surtax over the existing 1.45 percent Medicare payroll tax.

Editor’s Note: What you must know about ObamaCare fully explained in NY Times best-seller, ‘The ObamaCare Survival Guide.’

Furthermore, these high-earning Americans will also pay an extra 3.8 percent Medicare tax on unearned income, such as investment dividends, rental income and capital gains, adds the Post.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Drew MacKenzie

Greenwald, Others Denounce CBS “60 Minutes’ Story on NSA.


Journalist Glenn Greenwald, to whom National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden disclosed many of the agency’s surveillance secrets, joined other journalists and viewers Sunday night to denounce CBS for its “60 Minutes” profile on the NSA.

The 25-minute segment aired Sunday night was reported by senior correspondent John Miller, who offered a disclaimer that he is a former employee of the director of National Intelligence and has worked with the FBI. His disclaimer was followed by interviews with NSA officials, who dismissed any concerns that their surveillance programs are out of control, despite stunning revelations still being disclosed by Snowden.

“60 Minutes forgot to ask about how James Clapper & Keith Alexander routinely lied to Congress & FISA courts,” Greenwald complained on Twitter Sunday in a series of tweets protesting the segment.

“That 60 Minutes access-for-uncritical-reverence NSA propaganda piece was a new low for US journalism,” he messaged at one point.

Greenwald wasn’t the only journalist complaining about the NSA story.

Dan Gillmor, director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University‘s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, commented, via, Twitter: “Hey, young people: Believe it or not, “60 Minutes” once stood for solid, deep, important journalism. I know, that sounds absurd now.”

“I take it for granted that NSA chiefs will exaggerate and lie. I still can’t take it for granted when a once-great journalism org buys it,” he said.

There were no NSA detractors included in the 25-minute segment, Gizmodo’s Jamie Condliffe noted in a column on Monday. Instead, he said, the piece consisted of NSA officials dismissing the scandal and “showing off their gadgetry” to the CBS news cameras.

Miller, who the New York Post reports is leaving CBS for a position with the New York Police Department under new commissioner Bill Bratton, dismissed Snowden during the broadcast as being a “20-something-year-old high school dropout contractor,” a statement that drew anger from watchers.

Miller said the NSA agreed to the “60 Minutes” interview because the agency believes it has “not told its story well.” But critics said the resulting story painted a too-glowing picture of the NSA and how it’s responding to disclosures about phone and email surveillance.

“There was lots of rhetoric about ‘not collecting everybody’s email . . . not collecting everybody’s phone things,’ complained Condliffe. “But then, the NSA was never accused of listening in to phone calls. It did, however, collect metadata from every phone call placed within the United States, a follow-up point conveniently not raised.”

Miller, however, insisted in a follow-up interview with “60 Minutes Overtime” producer Ann Silvio that he didn’t want the segment to be a “puff piece” and that he thinks “we asked the hardest questions we could ask,” reports The Poynter Institute.

Miller told Silvio that the American public has “heard plenty from the critics. We’ve heard a lot from Edward Snowden. Where there’s been a distinctive shortage is, putting the NSA to the test and saying not just, ‘We called for comment today,’ but to get into the conversation and say, ‘That sounds a lot like spying on Americans,’ and then say, ‘Well, explain that.’”

The latest criticism against the “60 Minutes” just a few weeks after the television news magazine was lambasted on social media and by experts for its piece about Amazon’s plans to use drones for small package deliveries.

That segment aired the night before Cyber Monday, leading critics to complain that Amazon owner Jeff Bezos was able to get the news program to feature what was, in essence, a 14-minute “free ad” for the nation’s largest online retailer, reports The Huffington Post.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Sandy Fitzgerald

CBS Newsman Miller to Join New NYPD Chief.


Veteran newsman John Miller is planning to quit CBS News to rejoin New York’s new police commissioner Bill Bratton, according to the New York Post.

Miller, who produced and reported the “60 Minutes” investigation into the National Security Agency on Sunday night, has worked under his old friend Bratton twice before.

He became Bratton’s deputy commissioner for public information when Bratton was New York’s police chief for two years until resigning in 1996 after a falling-out with former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Miller then headed the Los Angeles Police Department‘s counterterrorism and criminal intelligence units when Bratton became that department’s police commissioner.

For the past two-years, Miller has been a senior correspondent and the primary reporter on national security issues, as well as on crime stories, for “CBS This Morning” and on the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.”

Last week New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio named the 66-year-old Bratton, who has also been Boston’s police commissioner, as the city’s next police chief.

During his tenure in L.A., Miller created the Automated Critical Asset Management System, a terror-target risk-assessment program now employed by several states. He also enrolled in the L.A. police academy and was sworn in by his buddy Bratton after seven months.

“It was the proudest day of his life,” Bratton recently told Men’s Journal.

Starting in 2005, Miller worked for six years with the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In 2011, he returned to broadcast journalism with CBS.

According to the Post, Miller is expected to take over a top intelligence position or counterterrorism role with Bratton, who will assume his duties as police chief in January.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Drew MacKenzie

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