A District man was cited by police Friday for flying a drone near the Washington Monument and landing it on the Ellipse adjacent to the White House, authorities said.
Sgt. Anna Rose, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Park Police, said the incident occurred about 1:30 a.m. Friday. She said police seized the drone and gave the suspect a criminal citation. A statement identified the suspect as Howard Solomon III of the District. His age was not provided.
Authorities had initially said that two people were cited, but the statement issued later Friday lists only one person charged. The person was not arrested but will have to appear in court.
U.S. President Barack Obama suggested that Russian airstrikes in Syria are a sign of the growing weakness of Russian leader Vladimir Putin in an interview on CBS News, of which an excerpt was released Friday.
Obama questioned whether Putin is defying U.S. leadership in the Middle East with his air attacks on Syria, which he described as an attempt to support at all costs a tottering Bashar al-Assad regime after four years of civil war.
“When I came into office…Syria was Russia’s only ally in the region,” Obama said in the interview, the complete version of which will air this Sunday.
“And today, rather than being able to count on their support and maintain the base they had in Syria, which they’ve had for a long time. Mr. Putin now is devoting – his own troops, his own military, just to barely hold together by a thread his sole ally,” he said.
Russia’s air force hit 60 Islamic State targets in Syria over the past 24 hours and killed around 300 militants, the Defense Ministry said on Friday, in Moscow’s most intense raids yet since it first launched strikes on Syria 10 days ago.
In the previous updates, the Moscow had been reporting hitting about 10 targets daily. The increased pace of attacks was aimed at preventing militants from re-grouping and dispersing in populated areas, the ministry said.
The ministry said in a statement that air force jets used KAB-500 precision guided bombs to destroy a headquarters of the Liwa al-Haqq militant group in Syria’s Raqqa province.
The ministry, citing intercepted radio communications, said the raid killed two senior Islamic State field commanders and some 200 militants there.
Liwa al-Haqq is not connected to Islamic State, so it was not clear what the two field commanders were doing at the group’s base.
Joe Biden has taken another step toward entering the Presidential race.
Representatives of the Vice-President held a meeting this week with Democratic National Committee staffers. They briefed Biden’s aides on arcane but crucial rules that the Vice-President would need to understand if he decides to run, according to a D.N.C. official.
It was the most significant sign the source had seen to indicate Biden’s intentions. “I think it means he’s running,” the source said.
The D.N.C. has held similar meetings for representatives from the five declared Democratic candidates: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, Martin O’Malley, and Lincoln Chafee. The D.N.C. offered the meeting to Biden earlier this year, and the party committee was scheduled to brief his aides back in June, but that meeting was cancelled.
One mother was outraged when she realized that a birthday gift for her son included a “racist” toy.
Ida Lockett told Sacramento’s local CBS station that a Playmobil pirate toy set given to her 5-year-old boy by his aunt included instructions that showed how to shackle one of the dark-skinned figures, who happens to be wearing tattered clothing and a metal collar and is shoeless.
“He was excited when he got it,” she said. “I spent the weekend putting it together,” and that’s when she realized what the toy came with. “You cannot have this specific accessory and call it anything else,” she said. “The fact that you can Google it, look it up, say what it is—it’s a slave collar.”
There is also a cargo cell below the deck of the ship, which Lockett believes is reminiscent of a slave hold. “It’s definitely racist,” she said. “It told my son to put a slave cuff around the black character’s neck, and then to play with the toy.”
A Playmobil spokesperson tells E! News in a statement that the toy set was made to have historical context, and was not meant to offend anyone.
“This piece is from a PLAYMOBIL pirate playset that is designed to depict life on a 17th-century pirate ship on the high seas. If you look at the box, you can see that the pirate figure is clearly a crew member on the pirate ship and not a captive. The figure was meant to represent a pirate who was a former slave in a historical context. It was not our intention to offend anyone in anyway”
A majority of Americans, 60 percent, believe that the government has too much power, according to a Gallup poll.
This marks the third year in a row that at least 59 percent of the public believe this while only 32 percent say the government has the right amount of power.
Americans have become increasingly more wary of government power during President Obama’s term. When Obama first took office in 2009, 51 percent of Americans were concerned with government power. That number grew to 59 percent after the federal government passed Obamacare in 2010.
“Overall, the average percentage who thought the government was too powerful during Obama’s first term—2009 to 2012—was 54%,” states Gallup. “This term, the average has risen to 60%.”
A Muslim advocacy group is angry with Fox News producer Jesse Watters over a recent video segment featuring interviews with residents of Dearborn, Michigan, with a spokesperson for the group appearing on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Thursday night to decry the clip.
Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations, told host Bill O’Reilly that he found the video both offensive and problematic.
“Well, the show that you had Bill just really shows old, tired and really bigoted frameworks about the community here in Michigan and Dearborn, in particular,” Walid said, accusing Watters of factual errors.
While O’Reilly conceded that there were clarifications that should have been made, he said that “Watters’ World” — Watters’ regular segment on the show — is known for being cheeky and for poking fun at a variety of groups, calling it light-hearted satire.
But Walid wasn’t having it.
“I don’t think it really was satire, especially when you have people making comments about honor killings,” he said, referencing what one interview subject said in the clip. “You are the head of this show and you allowed that to go on.”
In the end, O’Reilly said, “I think you’re overreacting.”
Longtime Hillary Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal allegedly sent her an email with the name of a CIA source, further casting doubt on her claim she never sent or received classified information on her private email address, according to the Republican chairman of the committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., provided this and other details Thursday, as part of a batch of new Clinton emails he says will shed light on Blumenthal’s complex role as unofficial political adviser to then-Secretary of State Clinton.
“It is curious Secretary Clinton took so much of her advice from someone who had never been to Libya, professed no independent knowledge of the country and who the White House blocked her from hiring,” Gowdy said in a statement Thursday.
He detailed the emails in a letter to the panel’s ranking Democrat, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings. He said he plans to release the emails on Oct. 12, but previewed them extensively in his letter.
An Environmental Protection Agency crew working at the Standard Mine above Crested Butte triggered a wastewater spill into a creek that flows into the town water supply — a small-scale repeat of the Gold King incident this year.
Only an estimated 2,000 gallons spilled Tuesday, amid efforts to open a collapsed portal. The impact on town water is expected to be minimal.
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton said the spill — while not a disaster like the EPA-triggered 3 million-gallon Gold King deluge that turned the Animas River mustard-yellow — raises questions about EPA procedures.
“They told us things were going to be different. Now we have a spill. … We’ve apparently got a real challenge with the EPA, not only with notification but their accountability and their ability to adequately execute these types of cleanup projects,” Tipton said. “They’ve got resources. They’re the ones in charge of the program. And they’ve had two spills in my district alone. Is there a better way to approach this?”
The nation’s pork producers are in an uproar after the federal government abruptly removed bacon, pork chops, pork links, ham and all other pig products from the national menu for 206,000 federal inmates.
The ban started with the new fiscal year last week. Observant Muslims and Jews are forbidden to eat pork, but the Bureau of Prisons, which is responsible for running 122 federal penitentiaries and feeding their inmates three meals a day, said the decision was based on a survey of prisoners’ food preferences: They just don’t like the taste of pork.
“Why keep pushing food that people don’t want to eat?” asked Edmond Ross, a spokesman for the prison bureau. “Pork has been the lowest-rated food by inmates for several years,” It also apparently got more expensive for the government to buy, although he did not provide specifics.
The National Pork Producers Council isn’t buying it. “I find it hard to believe that a survey would have found a majority of any population saying, ‘No thanks, I don’t want any bacon,’” said Dave Warner, a spokesman for the Washington-based trade association, which represents the nation’s hog farmers. […]
The prison system has long made accommodations for Muslims and Jews by providing alternatives to pork and halal and kosher foods. Ross declined to say whether there has been an increase in Muslim or Jewish inmates in recent years and whether that may have factored into the survey responses.
“In general we welcome the change because it’s facilitating the accommodation of Muslim inmates,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the country’s largest Muslim civil rights advocacy group. “We hope it’s not an indication of an increasing number of Muslims in the prison system.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Tuesday that Illinois residents would welcome the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to their state because of the “economic opportunity” their detention would provide.
“The people in Illinois were looking forward to having some people transferred there—they saw it as economic opportunity, as you may recall,” Pelosi said during her weekly press conference.
Democrats have been working to help President Obama fulfill his pledge to close the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The military has been told to speed up its review of the prison’s 114 detainees so they can be transferred elsewhere.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy abruptly withdrew his promising bid to become speaker Thursday as the married congressman was accused of having an affair with another married House member in an anonymous posting on Wikipedia.
Minutes before Republicans were to cast votes to make him speaker-elect, McCarthy stood and told his colleagues that a fresh face was needed to unite the party.
“And I’m not that person,” McCarthy said, according to one person in the room.
Members sat in surprise. At least one female House member started crying, said Rep. Peter King (R-LI).
“This was the shock of shocks,” King told The Post.
On Thursday, the Wikipedia entries for both McCarthy (R-Calif.), who has two children, and Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), who has a son, were changed to allege the two were having an affair. They were later taken down.
The Internet address from which the changes were made originated from the Department of Homeland Security in Springfield, Va., according to the Washington Free Beacon.
In response to the latest mass shooting during his presidency, President Obama is seriously considering circumventing Congress with his executive authority and imposing new background-check requirements for buyers who purchase weapons from high-volume gun dealers.
Under the proposed rule change, dealers who exceed a certain number of sales each year would be required to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and perform background checks on potential buyers.
As the president heads to Roseburg, Ore., on Friday to comfort the survivors and families of those killed in last week’s mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, the political calculus around his most vexing domestic policy issue is shifting once again.
A video allegedly leaked from a Muslim center in France shows an extremist imam preaching that all music is of the devil and those that listen to music are “kafir”, or infidels who will be “swallowed up by the earth” and “transformed into apes and pigs.” He then tells the impressionable children that all music, no matter what the language, is “haram”, meaning blasphemous to Islam. A transcript of his sermon reads:
When Allah speaks of music in the Koran he reminds us that music is the devil’s language. When did he remind us of this? So those who love music and listen to music, who are they listening to? The devil. They listen to the devil. There are people who disobeyed Allah and will listen to the devil. What did the prophet say about these people? He said, “They will be swallowed up by the earth.” And they will be transformed into apes and into pigs. So he risks being swallowed up by the earth. Second point: Allah will transform them into apes and pigs. Those who love music would love to be transformed into apes and pigs, you agree. No matter what the language of the music: Arabic, French, Turkish… never mind. If there is song and there are musical instruments, when you hear a violin, a drum, a synthesizer, or violin. If you hear instruments it is haram. And the one who likes haram will be with the devil. And he who likes music, is he loved by the devil or Allah? The devil! So choose your side. Empty your mp3 and transform it and replace it with the best words that exist: the Koran. If one says that musical instruments are haram and music is haram and that who listens or loves music risks being transformed by Allah into a pig, or will look like who? The Devil.