A July 18 bombing in the Syrian capital of Damascus dealt the most powerful blow to the regime of Bashar al-Assad since the Western-backed armed uprising against his rule began more than a year ago. Syria’s Defense Minister, the dictator’s brother-in-law, and the chief of “crisis management” were killed in the attack, and other top officials were injured. Two separate groups — the establishment-backed opposition “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) and an Islamist terror group dubbed the “Lord of the Martyrs Brigade” — both claimed responsibility for the attack.
As a contentious “farm” bill rages in Congress, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) argued Tuesday that unemployment insurance and food stamps (which are included in the legislation) are the two “most stimulative” measures to boost economic growth.
After an appeal hearing for jailed Border Patrol agent Jesus “Chito” Diaz, Jr., supporters of the former officer are speaking out and demanding that he be immediately released and reinstated to his job protecting the U.S. border. And after the federal judge presiding over the appeal indicated that the government may have gone overboard in the case, hope among his supporters remains.
Another Muslim “student” from abroad has been sentenced to a lengthy term in prison. This time, it is a 22-year-old native of Uzbekistan, one of the many “stan” countries northeast of Iran and south of Russia. He landed in the United States June 19, 2009 on a student visa, but became an illegal alien because he did not leave the country when the government revoked his visa after learning that he did not re-enroll in school.
A Georgia school district is being targeted by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation over what the group claims is the district’s continued violation of the First Amendment’s supposed ban on religious expression in government institutions. The FFRF's assault on the Houston County, Georgia, school district began in June after a number of individuals supposedly complained that the graduation ceremony at Veterans High School in the community of Kathleen included prayer and religious music, reported Georgia Public Broadcasting. Later, more complaints surfaced about similar content during the graduation ceremony at nearby Perry High School.
Last week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney made a bold assertion: President Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus law is “widely recognized to have broken the back of the recession.” The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law on February 17, 2009, had an original cost estimate of $787 billion, but has since been revised by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to an elevated tune of $831 billion.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's motorcade faced a barrage of tomatoes, shoes, and protesters in her visit to Cairo, Egypt July 16. Some Egyptian protesters charged that the U.S. government had supported the Muslim Brotherhood in the Islamic nation's recent presidential election, though it's unclear if the Obama administration did provide support for any party.
A drone being used by the United States Special Forces has the potential to remain airborne indefinitely if engineers can get the science right. Using lasers beamed from the ground to the unmanned aerial vehicle, the military could send a continuous source of power to the drone allowing it to fly without landing for refueling.
When Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke appears tomorrow before the House Financial Services Committee, he’ll be facing, for the final time, his nemesis, Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), author of End the Fed.
Monday's report from the California Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) contained two numbers that are spelling out the death spiral of that plan: too little money making too little returns. How bad are the returns? According to the report, the plan made a paltry one percent in the past year (July 2011 - June 2012), far below what's needed for the plan to be able to keep its promises to its beneficiaries