Sunday March 25, 2018 09:29 AM

  • Obama-Beyonce ‘affair’: W Post says No

    Obama-Beyonce ‘affair’: W Post says No

    Michelle and Beyonce are friends, reports CNNLeading US daily Washington Post has denied claims by a French celebrity photographer on Monday that the paper will publish a story on an alleged affair between President Barack Obama and pop queen superstar Beyonce.
    “It’s going out tomorrow in the Washington Post – and we cannot say that it is the gutter press – on an alleged affair between President Barack Obama and Beyonce,” paparazzo Pascal Rostain had said on a French radio programme.
    “I can assure you the whole world will be talking about this,” he added.

  • US military funds Mission Impossible ‘vanishing’ tech

    It is looking to develop a class of ‘transient’ electronics that can be destroyed by remote controlThe US military is funding a project to develop electronics that can self-destruct like the secret messages in the Mission Impossible TV show.
    Darpa, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has awarded computing giant IBM a $3.5m (£2.1m) contract to work on its Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR) project.
    It is looking to develop a class of “transient” electronics that can be destroyed by remote control.
    The kit could be used in combat zones.

  • US Jewish leader criticises Israel boycott drive

    His comments came just days after warnings by US Secretary of State John Kerry that Israel could find itself increasingly targeted by a boycott if it fails to reach a peace deal with the PalestiniansA top American Jewish leader on Thursday called on Western governments to combat the growing international campaign to boycott Israel over its settlement activities, saying the phenomenon is one of the greatest challenges facing Israel, reports Reuters.
    Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told The Associated Press that the drive masks a “politically correct” form of anti-Semitism and urged “zero tolerance” of the boycott.

  • Obama vows to flex presidential powers in speech

    After five years of fractious political combat, President Obama declared independence from Congress on Tuesday as he vowed to tackle economic disparity with a series of limited initiatives on jobs, wages and retirement that he will take without legislative approval, reports AP.
    He unveiled an array of modest executive actions to increase the minimum wage for federal contract workers and make it easier for millions of low-income people to save for retirement.

  • US man pleads guilty to sending ricin to Obama, two others

    Ricin is a highly toxic protein found in castor oil plants that can kill an adult human in tiny dosesA Mississippi man accused of sending poisoned letters to US President Barack Obama and two other public officials, and then pinning them on an Elvis impersonator, pleaded guilty in US court and agreed to a 25-year jail sentence, the Justice Department announced on Friday.
    James Everett Dutschke, 41, has been jailed since his arrest last April, when authorities accused him of sending ricin-tainted letters to Obama, US Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi and a local Lee County judge, Sadie Holland.

  • Pics of Marines burning bodies trigger US probe

    Pics of Marines burning bodies trigger US probe

    In a photo, a person in a Marine uniform appears to be pouring gasoline or some other flammable liquid on the bodies of insurgentsThe United States military is working to determine the authenticity of photos published by TMZ.com that purport to show Marines burning the bodies of what appear to be Iraqi insurgents, reports CNN.
    The photos were exclusively obtained by TMZ, who turned them over to the Pentagon last week, triggering the probe.
    The celebrity and gossip website said it has 41 photographs believed shot in Falluja in 2004. It published eight on Wednesday, saying the rest of the images were too graphic.

  • Greenwald: Snowden has more US-Israel secrets to expose

    Last month, several Israeli cabinet members and lawmakers said news of US spying on Israel was an opportunity to press Washington to free jailed Israeli agent Jonathan PollardFormer US spy agency contractor, also known as whistleblower, Edward Snowden has more secrets to reveal that relate to Israel, the journalist who first brought his leaks to the world’s attention said on Monday.
    Among allegations aired by Snowden last year were that the US National Security Agency and its British counterpart GCHQ had in 2009 targeted an email address listed as belonging to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and monitored emails of senior defence officials, reports Reuters.

  • New York state to ease Marijuana laws

    New York will soon allow the limited use of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients under a plan the state's governor will announce in the next few days, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

  • Coldest winter in decades in the US

    All public schools closed to protect children from deadly coldAs the Midwestern United States shivered through the region's lowest temperatures in two decades and forecasters warned that life-threatening cold was heading eastward, officials in Chicago and other districts said schools would be closed on Monday.
    Icy conditions snarled travel across the Midwest and thousands of flights were canceled or delayed, days after the Northeast was hammered by the first winter storm of the season.

  • Obama proposes new gun rules for mentally ill

    The rules come on top of a series of executive actions President Barack Obama announced after the Newtown massacre in 2012The Obama administration proposed two new federal gun control rules Friday to ensure more information about the mentally ill reaches background check databases, after a series of high-profile US shootings, reports AFP.

  • Court approves bar license to man in US illegally

    The unanimous decision lets Sergio Garcia, who attended law school and passed bar exam while working in a grocery store and on farms, begin practicing law immediatelyThe California Supreme Court granted a law license Thursday to a man who has lived in the US illegally for two decades, a ruling that advocates hope will open the door to millions of immigrants seeking to enter other professions such as medicine, accounting and teaching, reports Associated Press.
    The unanimous decision means Sergio Garcia, who attended law school and passed the state bar exam while working in a grocery store and on farms, can begin practicing law immediately.

  • Former first lady Barbara Bush hospitalised in Houston

    Former first lady Barbara Bush has been hospitalised in Houston for treatment of early signs of a “respiratory-related issue,” her husband's office said on Tuesday, reports Reuters news agency.
    Bush, 88, one of only two women to be both the wife and mother of US presidents, was admitted on Monday to Methodist Hospital in Houston’s Texas Medical Centre, the statement said.

  • Four US military officials detained in Libya

    Earlier this month, an American teacher was gunned down during his morning jog in Benghazi in an attack blamed on Islamist extremists
    Four American military personnel have been detained in Libya and are being held by the government there, the US State Department said, reports AFP.

    “We can confirm that four US military personnel are currently being held in Libyan government custody,” Jen Psaki, State Department spokesperson, said on Friday.

  • Connecticut police to release Newtown massacre documents Friday

    Connecticut state police plan to release a trove of documents on Friday tied to their investigation of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year that killed 20 children and six adults, the agency said on its website, reports Reuters.

    The release comes about a month after the state Division of Criminal Justice released a report on the Newtown, Connecticut, massacre concluding that the gunman, Adam Lanza, 20, had acted alone, and that his motive may never be known.

  • Washington Post: Mission accomplished, says Snowden

    It was the first extensive face-to-face interview with Snowden since he arrived in Russia in June after being given temporary asylum there
    Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked extensive details of global electronic surveillance by the US spy agency, said in an interview published on Tuesday that he has accomplished what he set out to do, reports Reuters.

  • NSA phone surveillance likely unlawful, US judge says

    NSA phone surveillance likely unlawful, US judge says

    Snowden applauds the ruling
    The US government's gathering of Americans' phone records is likely unlawful, a judge ruled on Monday, raising “serious doubts” about the value of the National Security Agency's so-called metadata counter terrorism program.

    “I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen,” US District Judge Richard Leon, appointed by Republican President George W Bush in 2002, wrote in a 68-page ruling.

  • Prayers pour in for wounded Colorado student

    People offered prayers and left notes of support for Claire Davis at a fence at Arapahoe High School
    Support and concern for a 17-year-old girl critically wounded by a fellow student at a suburban Denver high school poured in Monday, both online and outside the school, reported AP.

    People offered prayers and left notes of support for Claire Davis at a fence at Arapahoe High School where white cups spelled out “Pray 4 Claire (heart)” A notebook and a Christmas stocking filled with pens hung from the fence, while others left stuffed animal horses because of her love of riding.

  • Report: US spied on 2010 global summit in Toronto

    The plans were ‘closely coordinated with the Canadian partner’
     Canadian authorities allowed the National Security Agency to spy in the country during the G8 and G20 summits in Ontario in 2010, CBC News reported late Wednesday, citing documents shared by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

    The national broadcaster's website said the documents show that the NSA used the US Embassy in Ottawa as a command post for a nearly weeklong spying operation while President Barack Obama and other foreign leaders were in Canada in June 2010.

  • World’s most expensive printed book sells for $14.2m

    World’s most expensive printed book sells for $14.2m

    Sotheby’s delighted to have set a new world record for any printed book at auction
    The first book written in what is today the United States of America fetched $14.2m in New York, becoming the world's most expensive printed book sold at auction.

    The translation of Biblical psalms "The Bay Psalm Book" was printed by Puritan settlers in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1640 and sold at a one-lot auction in just minutes by Sotheby's Tuesday.

    Bidding opened at $6m and closed swiftly at a hammer price of $12.5m, rising to $14.165m once the buyer's premium was incorporated.

  • Penny Lane: Guantanamo’s secret CIA double-agent facility

    Penny Lane: Guantanamo’s secret CIA double-agent facility

    The cottages were designed to feel more like hotel rooms than prison cells with private kitchens, showers and televisions
    A few hundred yards (metres) from the administrative offices of the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison, hidden behind a ridge covered in thick scrub and cactus, sits a closely held secret.

    A dirt road winds its way to a clearing where eight small cottages sit in two rows of four. They have long been abandoned. The special detachment of Marines that once provided security is gone.

    But in the early years after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks against the US, these cottages were part of a covert CIA program. Its secrecy has lasted a long time.

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