First president to give an enemy nukes.
Negotiators reconvened Sunday in Vienna in a final push toward a nuclear deal with Iran before a Tuesday deadline–the latest in a series of extensions aimed at keeping Iran at the negotiating table. As foreign ministers from the P5+1–the U.S., United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany–joined their Iranian counterparts, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Western powers had “collapsed” to nearly every single Iranian demand so far in the nuclear talks.
“[W]hat’s coming out of the nuclear talks in Vienna is not a breakthrough, it’s a breakdown,” Netanyahu said. He warned that the Western powers were about to sign a deal that put Iran on track to becoming a nuclear power, and that handed the regime billions of dollars to fund its terror operations around the globe, as well as its brutal war to defend the Assad regime in Syria. The emerging deal was worse than the North Korean agreement negotiated in the 1990s, Netanyahu concluded.
Save it for Cinco De Mayo.
A volunteer firefighter is under scrutiny after a photo of his firetruck flying a Confederate flag at a parade in Albert Lea, Minn. went viral. He has also been suspended.
Brian Nielson, 43, flew both the Confederate and American flags on the back of the Heartland Fire Department truck in the Third of July Parade. Nielson said he’s not for slavery, but did it because he was fed up with political correctness.
“It was my decision and I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal, but boy was I wrong,” Nielsen told The Associated Press.
Hartland Fire Chief Trent Wangen suspended him on Sunday pending an investigation. Nielsen said he thinks he’ll be “more than likely” asked to step down.
This comes in the heat of a nationwide debate regarding the appropriateness of displaying the Confederate flag after nine people were killed at a historically black church in South Carolina. The man who confessed to the killings posted photographs of himself on social media with the flag.
But Nielsen, who is white, told the Associated Press that he’s not racist.
“I don’t see race,” he said. “Black and white are the same to me. My belief is that `politically correct’ is going too far.”
HT: Puppy Momma
And not just Jews. Opposition tends to get gunned down or poisoned…
Just a year ago, Russian journalist Vladimir Yakovlev was one of Moscow’s most influential media figures.
Today, he lives a quiet life in Tel Aviv and has swapped his Russian passport for an Israeli one.
Yakovlev, the founder of the respected Kommersant publishing house and the Snob magazine, belongs to a new wave of disillusioned Russian Jews deserting their country for the relative stability of Israel.
“The big problem with Russia, and the main reason why I left, is the fact that our value system was destroyed,” he says. “Life in Russia has turned into Russian roulette. Every morning you turn the roulette wheel, you never know what is going to happen to you.”
Spooked by Russia’s actions in Ukraine and by the increasingly stringent punishments for anyone deemed critical of the Kremlin, Russians of Jewish descent have been fleeing in droves over the past 18 months.
Obama can reciprocate with one of the Mooch approved lunches.
Via The Daily Mail
President Barack Obama’s Kenyan grandmother, known as Mama Sarah, vowed Friday to cook a traditional meal for her grandson when he visits the East African nation, the birthplace of his father, later this month.
‘With regards to what food I will prepare for Barack on his visit, I will prepare all the traditional food available,’ she said, speaking her Luo language through a translator on a visit to Nairobi.
She tempted him with the offer of dishes including fish, chicken and maize porridge.
‘It does not matter whether Barack is a senator or a president,’ she added. ‘He will have what I have prepared for him.’
Mama Sarah was the third wife of US president’s paternal grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, and lives in the small village of Kogelo in western Kenya which is home to a number of the president’s relatives.
She said she had asked him to travel to Kogelo ‘to pay respect to his father’s grave’, but it was not clear if Obama was scheduled to travel outside the capital Nairobi.
Obama’s late father was born in Kogelo and grew up there before travelling abroad to study, where he met Obama’s American mother in Hawaii.
Although Mama Sarah is not a blood relative, Obama calls her ‘granny’ and has visited her in the past.
How to destroy a collectible.
Golf star Bubba Watson paid $121,000 for the car at auction in 2012. He doesn’t say if he didn’t believe ‘all men were equal’ when he bought the car at that time. No word if he will rename the car so that it doesn’t bear the obviously racist name ‘General Lee’…
Girl Suicide Bomber Detonates In Christian Church In Nigeria, 200 Killed By Boko Haram In Last Few Days
Bring out the hashtag!
POTISKUM, Nigeria (AP) — A woman suicide bomber blew up in the midst of a crowded evangelical Christian church service in northeast Nigeria on Sunday and killed at least five people, witnesses said.
It is the latest bombing in a string of attacks blamed on Islamic extremist group Boko Haram that’s killed some 200 people in the past week.
Nearly 100 men and boys praying in mosques were gunned down on Wednesday, and a local official said Sunday that 21 more bodies have been recovered from burnt-out houses since then.
On Friday, the military said six women suicide bombers caused explosions that killed scores of people including a soldier at Zabamari Muna village outside Maiduguri, the biggest city in northeast Nigeria and the birthplace of Boko Haram.
Police Sunday rushed to the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Potiskum, the largest city in northeastern Yobe state. Wailing women and stunned men wandered around the wreckage of smashed bricks and twisted zinc sheets blown off the church roof. One congregant said the blast came from a woman in the congregation. She was too scared to give her name.
Not a mass shooting worthy of nationwide attention or use as a rallying cry to take down the Confederate Flag.
Via Chicago Tribune
A 7-year-old boy and two men were killed overnight and at least 27 other people were injured during an 8-hour stretch that started not long after dark.
Someone opened fire in the 1100 block of North Harding Street about 11:55 p.m., hitting the 7-year-old boy and a 26-year-old woman.
The boy was with his father after spending the day at his grandmother’s house at a July 4th celebration.
The boy was hit in the right side of the chest and was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition.
His grandmother, Vedia Hailey, said she learned about the shooting when she got a phone call from her daughter — Amari’s mother — who had spoken to his father.
“It’s crazy. Who would shoot a 7-year-old in the chest?” Hailey, 52, said in an incredulous tone as tears streamed down her face early Sunday outside Stroger Hospital. “Who would do that to a baby? When is it going to stop?”
He was later pronounced dead, according to police.
The woman was hit in the chest and was also taken to Stroger where her condition stabilized.
Police officers blocked off an intersection of Harding Avenue and Thomas Street with yellow and red tape. The crime scene extended half block on Harding north of Thomas.
Several neighbors gathered at each side of the scene, watching police officers.
Hollie Williams, 38, a nearby resident, walked up to the yellow tape, wondering if a friend who lived on the block was the one who got shot.
She said she was washing dishes in the kitchen when her 9-year-old son ran in, scared, saying he heard gunshots.
“I didn’t even hear anything with all the fireworks,” Williams said. “I was shocked he knew the difference between gunshots and fireworks.”
But we’ll be saving $2500 on premiums, right?
Via NY Times:
Washington- Health insurance companies around the country are seeking rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected. Federal officials say they are determined to see that the requests are scaled back.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans — market leaders in many states — are seeking rate increases that average 23 percent in Illinois, 25 percent in North Carolina, 31 percent in Oklahoma, 36 percent in Tennessee and 54 percent in Minnesota, according to documents posted online by the federal government and state insurance commissioners and interviews with insurance executives.
The Oregon insurance commissioner, Laura N. Cali, has just approved 2016 rate increases for companies that cover more than 220,000 people. Moda Health Plan, which has the largest enrollment in the state, received a 25 percent increase, and the second-largest plan, LifeWise, received a 33 percent increase.
The cheese and wine executives at NASCAR forgot where their roots are.
Steven Rebenstorf has numerous flags flying atop his canopy tent inside Daytona International Speedway.
The Confederate flag is front and center.
It’s been like that for years. And the 57-year-old Rebenstorf has no plans to take it down – not even if NASCAR decides to ban the embattled flag from its racetracks.
“They’d have to come and get it,” Rebenstorf said Saturday, pointing out that his American flag purposely flies a few inches higher than the rest.
Rebenstorf and others staunchly defended their Confederate flags at NASCAR’s first race in the South since the racing series and its tracks urged fans to no longer wave the banner. Dozens were scattered throughout the vast infield all weekend leading to Sunday’s race.
“It kills me that NASCAR is jumping on the bandwagon,” said 55-year-old Paul Stevens of nearby Port Orange. “They should just let it pass, let everything die down. But NASCAR is too quick to try to be politically correct like everybody else.”
NASCAR took a stance on the Confederate flag after last month’s South Carolina church massacre. It backed Gov. Nikki Haley’s call to remove it from the Statehouse grounds and noted it doesn’t allow the flag on anything it sanctions. The series stopped short of banning fans from displaying the flag at its events, but Daytona and 29 other tracks asked fans to refrain from flying them.
Not everyone obliged. Daytona also offered to exchange Confederate flags for American flags this weekend, and track officials said a few made the swap Sunday morning.
“I think the voluntary exchange program for us right now was appropriate with the limited window that we had coming into this event weekend,” track president Joie Chitwood said. “And more importantly, I think it’s important to trust our fans, asking our fans to display a flag that we should all be proud of. Everybody should be proud of the American flag.”
Indeed, the American flag is prominently displayed all around Daytona – no surprise given the Fourth of July holiday and the patriotism that NASCAR routinely promotes.
But spotting a Confederate flag is easier than finding a souvenir shop, restroom or beer stand.
The first motorhome located inside the Turn 4 tunnel has one flying high above it, and it doesn’t take long to reach double figures when counting them on a stroll through the infield. They’re on clothing, coolers and cars, and even tattooed on skin.
Larry Reeves of Jacksonville Beach has a tattered Confederate flag on top of his motorhome. He initially thought NASCAR was banning the banner and didn’t display it this week. But once he saw some flying around him and asked a few questions, he realized it was voluntary and quickly sent his back up the pole.
Not once is Tillman identified as a Democrat.
Via The State
The Confederate flag is not the only racially divisive symbol that lawmakers have discussed removing from the State House grounds after nine African-Americans were shot and killed at a Charleston church last month.
But unlike the flag, which could be lowered by the end of this week, debate over whether to remove a State House statue of a white supremacist, for example, will have to wait until January, when lawmakers return for the 2016 regular session.
“Why is he up, by the way?” House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, said of the monument to “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman, a former S.C. governor, U.S. senator and member of an all-white, post-Civil War militia responsible for lynching African-Americans.
When lawmakers return to work Monday, they only can take action on Gov. Nikki Haley’s state budget vetoes and the Confederate flag – limitations they set in agreeing to continue working after the regular session ended June 4.
The flag is “where the focus should be,” said state Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston.
But that does not mean lawmakers will not debate, eventually, the public display of other controversial symbols.
Kimpson, for example, recently called for lawmakers to remove the Tillman statue. At some point, “a legitimate discussion has to occur about divisive symbols,” he said last week.[…]
At the State House
African-American Monument: Authorized as part of the 2000 compromise, which removed the Confederate flag from atop the State House dome and other flags from inside the capitol, to honor the contributions of African-Americans to South Carolina. The monument, dedicated in 2001, includes 12 panels that illustrate black history from the Middle Passage to the Civil War to the civil rights movement to today.
Bronze stars on the State House: Mark places where Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s army shelled the State House in 1865
Confederate battle flag: Moved to the State House grounds in 2000 from atop the State House dome, where it had flown since the 1960s
Hillary will rope the Chinese in.
Via Business Insider
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton accused China on Saturday of stealing commercial secrets and “huge amounts of government information,” and of trying to “hack into everything that doesn’t move in America.”
Speaking at a campaign event in New Hampshire, Clinton said she wanted to see the peaceful rise of China.
“But we also have to be fully vigilant, China’s military is growing very quickly, they’re establishing military installations that again threaten countries we have treaties with, like the Philippines because they are building on contested property,” said Clinton, who was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
Greece, great example of failure of socialism.
Via Daily Mail:
Greece in teetering on the brink of ruin – and it is hard not to feel sympathy for the pensioners crying in the street and the mothers facing empty supermarket shelves.
Yet those reading a new book may find themselves feeling a little less compassionate towards the Greeks. It reveals an eye-popping catalogue of benefits scams and tax avoidance schemes that have robbed the public purse.
James Angelos’ The Full Catastrophe: Travels among the New Greek Ruins lays bare the corruption which filtered through all levels of society – from the islanders who pretended to be blind, to the families who forgot to register their parents’ death and the doctors who ‘earn’ just €12,000 a year – yet live in Athens’ most exclusive neighbourhood.
In the interest of the national pastime, they will be granted political asylum.
Ahead of Friday night’s game between the USA Collegiate National Team and the Cuban Senior National Team at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, two Cuban baseball players have defected while in the United States.
Heriberto Suarez Pereda, commissioner of baseball in Cuba, confirmed the defections to WRAL. He said that while it is a huge loss for the team in terms of talent, it is also a very personal decision for the players.
Third baseman Luis Yander La O and outfielder Yadiel Hernandez each left the team while on tour in the United States in preparation for the Pan Am Games in Toronto.
The U.S. and Cuba opened their 2015 summer Friendship Series in Cary Wednesday night and played again at DBAP Thursday. Team USA won each game 2-0. The series will conclude in Charlotte over the weekend.
Really says something about the security, if this is true. They have no idea what is going on inside the building, according to this guy?
Before the White House was bathed in rainbow light to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide, a secret gay wedding was conducted in the building by former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett.
Lovett, who worked for Obama during his first term, reveals that he used his White House privileges to sneak in a pair of gay men under the guise of giving them a tour, then performed a wedding ceremony in the Rose Garden without the knowledge of the president.
“We were very nervous. They were nervous because they were getting married. I was nervous because I snuck into my boss’ house to perform a wedding against his wishes in his backyard,” he said. “You can say what you will about the first same-sex marriage at the White House, at the very least, it was quite rude.”
Lovett revealed the secret wedding of “Justin” and “Steve” during an Aspen Ideas festival feature of “The Moth Radio Hour” podcast over the weekend, according to Mike Allen’s Playbook. The episode has not yet aired publicly.
After the ceremony, Lovett says the gay men “kissed modestly” and he filed the paperwork with the address 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – the official evidence that the ceremony took place.
Feds overwhelmed with the influx of illegal aliens.
Frodo lived in fear for nine years.
He knew when two men showed up at his front door to threaten him in 2006 that his family would continue living in danger because of the three years he spent as an interpreter for U.S. forces in Iraq, including some of the most violent years of the war.
“[Militants] said to my parents and my family that we know your son was in the U.S. forces so when we catch him we will kill him,” Frodo said. “I worried about my kids and my family and I had a lot of nightmares that they’d come and catch me and my family and they kill my family.”
Frodo chose to go by this nickname to protect his identity from those who threaten his life.
Although the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad recognized Frodo as facing a “serious threat” and gave him “chief of mission approval,” the first step of the visa process, in August 2011, it wasn’t until a month ago that he finally got approval to travel, with his family, to the United States.
During the time his application remained in “administrative processing” his country was devastated by a new war that saw thousands more deaths and the rise of the Islamic State.
Frodo is not alone. Long wait times and a shortage of available visas for a huge backlog of applications remain major issues for the U.S. government’s Special Immigrant Visa program intended to ease entry to the United States for Iraqis and Afghans who served as interpreters or performed other duties for the United States in each country. While waiting, they remain targets for terrorist operatives from al Qaida or the Taliban.[…]
Although the State Department and Congress have made changes to the program in hopes of speeding the issuance of visas – requiring, for example, that background checks be completed within nine months of an application’s completion – the program’s problems persist.
Since fiscal year 2008, the U.S. government issued 11,599 visas under the special immigrant program for Iraqis and Afghans employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government. But thousands of visas that could have been issued between 2009 and 2013 weren’t – about 6,500 for Afghans and about 19,000 visas for Iraqis.