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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Iranian forces have reportedly fired at and seized a US cargo ship with 34 sailors on board, according to Saudi Arabian state TV.

The vessel has been directed to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas on the southern coast, Al-Arabiya has reported.

It remains unclear why or if the ship was captured, and whether the shots injured anyone on-board, as neither US nor Iranian officials have confirmed the allegations. The US Fifth Fleet off the coast of Bahrain had no immediate comment on the report, according to Reuters.


While Japanese people may like the protection that the US alliance brings, they don't much like the US bases and tens of thousands of personnel that come with it.

Most will never get to see the 50,000 US military personnel stationed in their country. That's because most of the Americans are far away on the island of Okinawa. Read more


Kansas is in the midst of a grim experiment putting crackpot supply-side economic theories into practice. While these economic anti-reforms will have devastating results for poor people in the state, in other respects Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and his legislative allies have made the government more intrusive into the private lives of the state's citizens. April has provided some particularly egregious examples of this disastrous turn.

Read more


Boko Haram gunmen massacred residents who tried to jump into Lake Chad seeking safety and burnt others alive after overpowering soldiers in a weekend attack in the restive region, a witness said Monday.

The military and a local official in Niger had previously confirmed the April 25 raid by the Islamists on Lake Chad's Karamga island. Read more


What has 4 legs, a long trunk, and a thirst for ruining holiday makers' jacuzzi time?


Soon, Josh Sheehan will make history by attempting the first ever triple backflip. With the guidance and support of Travis Pastrana and the Nitro Circus, the stars are aligned for Josh. Construction engineers are working closely with Josh to make sure that every measurement is accurate to ensure a safe take-off and landing.

Check back daily for updates as the clock is winding down to one of the greatest historical events the action sports world has ever seen.


The next time any Republican accuses President Obama or the Democrats of not supporting our veterans, please point them in the direction of Republican senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama who, along with only two other Senators – both Republican – voted against the bi-partisan veterans bill which aimed to ease the healthcare delays for veterans by giving them more access to private care and allowing the Department of Veterans Affairs the funds to open more clinics and hire more medical staff. It passed the House of Representatives unanimously.

But Sessions wasn't feeling that bi-partisan "support the troops" facade that the GOP loves to paint:

"I feel strongly we've got to do the right thing for our veterans. But I don't think we should create a blank check, an unlimited entitlement program, now." Read more


The The NAACP developed a report that shows how fossil fuels play a significantly harmful role in the health of African Americans and other communities of color. Segregation and economic deprivation has forced generations of African American families to live in some of the least desirable areas. More than two-thirds of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal plant. This puts our community at a much greater risk for the health problems associated with exposure to the toxic chemicals these plants spew. African American children are three times as likely to be admitted to the hospital for, and twice as likely to die from, asthma as compared to white children. Read more


By Eli Lake

The top ranking Republican in Congress privately acknowledged this weekend that his party doesn't have enough votes to overcome a veto of any resolution disapproving the nuclear-weapons deal President Barack Obama hopes to reach with Iran. Read more


GOP budget dodges fights over entitlements, defense

Negotiators drop entitlement changes and protect defense money in a bid to shore up support for final deal.

Read more


Monday, April 27, 2015

The Supreme Court on Monday gave new life to a lawsuit challenging ObamaCare's contraception mandate, striking down a previous ruling in favor of the federal government.

The justices asked an appeals court in Cincinnati to reconsider a legal challenge that the Catholic ministries in Michigan and Tennessee filed against an ObamaCare provision that requires employers to cover birth control for all workers.

Read more


Concerned citizens confronted county and military officials Monday in Texas over the planned Jade Helm 15 training exercise that has ignited fears of a military takeover.

Elite forces from all four branches of the military will take part in the July 15-Sept. 15 operation in seven states across the southwest, where role players will stand in for hostile and less-hostile forces. Read more


WALLACE: Or the Russian company with close ties to Vladimir Putin. This is precisely the point that the Clinton campaign has hit back on hard, because CFIUS is a committee of nine agencies. Not just the State Department.

SCHWEIZER: Correct, yes.

WALLACE: Nine separate agencies and they point out there's no hard evidence, and you don't cite any in the book that Hillary Clinton took direct action, was involved in any way in approving as one of nine agencies the sale of the company?

SCHWEIZER: Well, here's what's important to keep in mind: it was one of nine agencies, but any one of those agencies had veto power. So, she could have stopped the deal. So, what's interesting about this, of all those nine agencies, who was the most hawkish on these types of issues? Hillary Clinton. She had a reputation going back to the Dubai Ports deal. At this time also in 2000 --


Has the digital transformation of our society put the future of recorded history in jeopardy? Many internet observers fear so. But why, and what do they mean? Read more


Don't mess with this monkey. Footage from a security camera is said to show a young man in Shimla, India, giving the finger to one of the area's famously belligerent monkeys. And as you might expect, the monkey is having none of it. It drop kicks the man right in the head, knocking him to the ground. The man, however, appears to be OK after the attack as he gets up and walks off. Read more


Sunday, April 26, 2015

In all the years I've been writing about Obama's drone killings, yesterday featured by far the most widespread critical discussion in U.S. establishment journalism circles. This long-suppressed but crucial fact about drones was actually trumpeted as the lead headline on the front page of The New York Times yesterday:

The reason for the unusually intense, largely critical coverage of drone killings yesterday is obvious: the victims of this strike were Western and non-Muslim, and therefore were seen as actually human.

Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar, who represents 150 victims of American drones and was twice denied entry to the U.S. to speak about them, told my Intercept colleague Ryan Devereaux how two of his child clients would likely react to Obama's "apology" yesterday: Read more


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