Published June 18, 2013
June 18, 2013: A general view of Taliban office in Doha before the official opening in Doha, Qatar. In a major breakthrough, the Taliban and the U.S. announced Tuesday that they will hold talks on finding a political solution to ending nearly 12 years of war in Afghanistan as the Islamic militant movement opened an office in Qatar. American officials with the Obama administration said the office in the Qatari capital of Doha was the first step toward the ultimate U.S.-Afghan goal of a full Taliban renouncement of links with Al Qaeda. (AP)
June 18, 2013: Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a ceremony at military academy on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. Karzai announced at the ceremony that his country’s armed forces are taking over the lead for security nationwide from the U.S.-led NATO coalition. (AP)
Representatives from the United States and the Taliban will engage in Afghanistan peace talks Thursday in an office that has opened in Qatar, senior U.S. administration officials say.
The officials say detainee exchanges will likely be among the topics discussed in the Doha office, which opened Tuesday after months of delays. Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s High Peace Council is expected to follow up with its own talks a few days later.
June 15 , 2013 Last updated at 15:50 ET
Mr Rouhani had a surge of support after endorsement by reformists
Reformist-backed cleric Hassan Rouhani has won Iran’s presidential election, securing just over 50% of the vote and so avoiding the need for a run-off. Crowds gathered in Tehran to hail Mr Rouhani, who said he had achieved a “victory of moderation over extremism”.
Some 72.2% of the 50 million eligible Iranian voters cast ballots to choose the successor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The US said it was “ready to engage directly” with Iran over its disputed nuclear programme.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei congratulated Mr Rouhani on his victory. “I urge everyone to help the president-elect and his colleagues in the government, as he is the president of the whole nation,” he said.
Published June 13, 2013
Feb. 2, 2012: FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)
Following revelations about the federal government’s surveillance programs, FBI Director Robert Mueller defended the government’s collection of millions of U.S. phone records, emails and other information that people transmit online as vital to the nation’s national security. Mueller told a House Judiciary panel Thursday that law enforcement must stay “a step ahead of criminals and terrorists” while still heeding Americans’ civil liberties.
Early in the hearing, Mueller tried to make the case for the National Security Agency surveillance programs and said that law enforcement “must stay a step ahead of criminals and terrorists” while still heeding the civil liberties of Americans.
Mueller, who is stepping down from his post in September, says that if the metadata collection program had been in place before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, they would have identified one of the 9/11 hijackers in San Diego and most likely derailed the plot.
June 07, 2013
Neil Munro, White House Correspondent
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A clear majority of independents, and even a plurality of Democrats, believe high-ranking IRS officials were aware of the agency’s harassment of conservatives’ political organizing, according to a new Gallup poll.The poll’s results are risky for Obama, whose political approval rate has remained relatively high, despite the lousy economy, because of his relatively high personal ratings.
Sixty-two percent of adults disapprove of his handling of the IRS scandal, said the Gallup poll. Only 32 percent of adults approve of his reaction to the scandal.
If his approval ratings falls, he’ll have even more difficulty accomplishing his top political goals. Those goals include passage of an immigration bill and winning a Democratic majority in the House.
Fifty-seven percent of independents say high IRS officials were “aware of conservative targeting,” said the Gallup poll, released Friday. Only 23 percent believe the “knowledge [was] limited to IRS employees in one office.”
WND reported game-changing shipment 2 weeks ago
Published: May 30, 2013
Aaron Klein | Email | Archive
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TEL AVIV – The Syrian government already has received a first shipment of S-300 air defense missiles from Russia and is waiting for more, stated President Bashar al-Assad in a television interview today.
Assad told Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television station that Syria “has got the first batch of Russian S-300 missiles” and “the rest of the shipment will arrive soon.”
Citing Arab intelligence sources two weeks ago, WND was first to report that S-300 missile batteries had reached Syria.
Israeli security sources said two weeks ago there was no information to support the Arab claim.
Dr. Anthony Levatino, former abortionist turned pro-life activist
(CNSNews.com) – A former abortionist who said he had performed some 1,200 abortions before his conversion to pro-life activist, said Thursday at a House subcommittee hearing that abortion causes pain to unborn babies.
“If anybody thinks that ripping off arms and legs and crushing these children the way we’re doing during these procedures isn’t painful, they’re just kidding themselves … badly kidding themselves,” Dr. Anthony Levatino said at a hearing on the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
Levantino was one of four witnesses at the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice hearing to discuss fetal pain and the bill, H.R. 1797, which would ban abortion after 20 weeks across the nation.
Published May 23, 2013
Republican Rep. Darrell Issa declared Thursday that the embattled IRS official who refused to testify Wednesday had no right to do so, and is now looking to haul her back before his committee.
The chairman of the House oversight committee made the call after consulting with attorneys about IRS official Lois Lerner’s bizarre appearance before the panel on Wednesday. Lerner, the head of the exempt organizations division which oversaw the controversial targeting of conservative groups, caused confusion Wednesday morning when she pleaded the Fifth and refused to answer questions — but also delivered an opening statement in which she asserted her innocence.
Though Issa dismissed her from the hearing room, he questioned at the time whether she had waived her rights by delivering the statement. A spokesman told Fox News on Thursday that Issa had reached a decision.
“After consulting with counsel, Chairman Issa has concluded that Ms. Lerner’s 5th amendment assertion is no longer valid,” spokesman Ali Ahmad said. “She remains under subpoena, the Committee is looking at recalling her for testimony.”
Issa, citing the concerns over Lerner’s comments, never actually adjourned the hearing — where other current and former Treasury and IRS officials testified. He only called it into recess. The thinking among Republicans is that they can still call her back to testify.
Posted: April 26, 2013
By Todd Beamon
The Boston Marathon bombing suspects made an impromptu decision to drive to New York City and detonate their remaining explosives in Times Square, New York City officials said on Thursday.
“Last night, we were informed by the FBI that the surviving attacker revealed that New York City was next on their list of targets,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at an afternoon news conference.
Bloomberg was referring to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, who was captured on Friday in suburban Watertown, Mass., after an intense manhunt by authorities. His brother, Tamerlan, 26, was killed in a fierce overnight shootout with police earlier on Friday.
“He told the FBI apparently that he and his brother intended to drive to New York and detonate additional explosives in Times Square,” Bloomberg added. “They had built these additional explosives — and we know that they had the capacity to carry out the attacks.”