A U.K. man who admitted he plotted to bomb passenger jets with explosives hidden in his shoes told a Manhattan federal jury he “brainstormed” with Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Saajid Badat, 34, testified today via a closed-circuit television hookup from an undisclosed location in the U.K. in the terrorism case of bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghayth. Prosecutors say Abu Ghayth, the most senior al-Qaeda member to be tried in U.S. civilian court, acted as a spokesman for the group and had advance knowledge of its plots to attack Americans by various methods, including detonating shoe bombs on commercial jetliners.
Badat’s testimony comes amid renewed scrutiny of potential terrorist threats against jetliners as authorities search for Malaysian Airline System Bhd.’s Flight 370, which vanished from radar screens on March 8 en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people. Two passengers used passports that were reported stolen by Austrian and Italian nationals in Phuket, Thailand, the Royal Thai Police said.
Western nations on Tuesday pressed ahead with plans to impose sanctions on Russia, with the French foreign minister saying they could kick in within days unless Russian authorities accept a U.S. proposal for discussions to end the crisis in Ukraine.
Western officials were set to meet in London Tuesday to hammer out details of the sanctions plan, which French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said could take effect this week and would likely include the freezing of individuals’ assets and the revocation of travel visas.
U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry has told Russian authorities that they need to halt their advance in Crimea and open a dialogue with Ukraine’s new government before he will visit Moscow for talks. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that the U.S. proposal was “unsatisfactory.”
Three astronauts returned from the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday, despite adverse weather condition in Kazakhstan that threatened to postpone their landing.
The Soyuz capsule carrying Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky of Russia and US astronaut Michael Hopkins landed at 9:24 am (0324 GMT) on the snow covered steppe amid strong winds and freezing temperatures, Russian media reported.
Russian news agencies reported Monday that because of the weather the return had been postponed to Wednesday.
Malaysia’s military believes it tracked a missing jetliner by radar over the Strait of Malacca, far from where it last made contact with civilian air traffic control off the country’s east coast, a military source told Reuters.
In one of the most baffling mysteries in recent aviation history, a massive search operation for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, now in its fourth day, has so far found no trace of the aircraft or the 239 passengers and crew.
“It changed course after Kota Bharu and took a lower altitude. It made it into the Malacca Strait,” the military official, who has been briefed on investigations, told Reuters.
The Strait of Malacca, one of the world’s busiest shipping channels, runs along Malaysia’s west coast. The airline said on Saturday that radio and radar contact with Flight MH370 was lost off the east coast Malaysian town of Kota Bharu.
Add another male lawmaker to the list of those who’ve made an eyebrow-raising rape comment.
Missouri state Sen. David Sater (R) is sponsoring Senate Bill 519, which would amend the current waiting period to have an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours. Left out of that bill is an emergency exception for cases of rape.
“If a woman decides not to go to the hospital and not get the ‘Plan B’, they’re making a decision to keep that child if they get pregnant,” Sater said, according to PoliticMo. “If the woman found out she was pregnant three or four weeks down the line, they had made the decision not to do some preventative things like Plan B.”
The Columbia Missourian adds that some Democrats see the abortion bill as a pure ideological battle, with state Rep. Stacy Newman (D) echoing that sentiment.
“It’s not about actual policy, it is about ideology,” Newman told the Missourian. “It’s saying that this procedure is uncomfortable to us.”
I mentioned this in the page on the American Spectator Article. Some quotes:
The film appeals particularly to white liberals who love feeling good about feeling bad about white Western society, and 12 Years a Slave certainly makes them feel bad about white society, while getting nowhere near to the heart of the matter at hand.
This Vincent Cooper character is the the kind of moron who should be writing for the Spectator, but is writing for the Commentator, a website of the Henry Jackson Society in the UK. He appears to be some kind of low-rent Melanie Phillips wannabe.
There’s a stunning disconnect between what the GOP says about our economy and its actual current condition. Put succinctly, the Republicans (virtually all of them, not just the tea sippers) are lying through their teeth about the state of the economy. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a country where facts mattered more than blind hatred? Where ignorance wasn’t something to be proud of? (And, of course, that applies to much of the right’s views…from evolution to climate change to the “coming any day now” end times.)
The news cycle is so punishing these days you might be forgiven for thinking the Obama era is over. But it isn’t. It’s at its peak in terms of impact, because policies, especially economic ones, take some time to have effect. Five years in, we have enough data - so reading through the Economic Report from the Council of Economic Advisers is therefore a helpful exercise. And it seems to me to be a rather impressive record - and utterly alien from the picture of gloom and dysfunction the Republicans are currently concocting.
I’ll restrict myself to core facts that are not in dispute, rather than the arguments in the report. Take the economy. Despite unprecedented austerity at the state and local government level, it’s now clear that the US has recovered from the Great Recession better than any other economy:
At least we can say with certainty that the stimulus didn’t fail, despite the silly denial in the GOP. The massive debt overhang - always the biggest drag on growth - has also been substantially reduced:
The deficit has come down at a rapid pace, without tipping us back into recession. And a key indicator of future debt - the cost of healthcare - is looking much better than it once did (although the causes for it remain disputed):
Then this amazing chart:
If someone had suggested to me in 2009 that by 2014, after the worst recession since the 1930s and after the huge debt pile-up in the Bush years that the US would be growing steadily, gaining energy independence, and cutting its deficit deeply, I’d have been amazed. We’ve so easily forgotten the extraordinary crisis Obama inherited. We shouldn’t. This presidency was always going to be judged on whether it could return the US to normal governance after the economic calamity of 2007, and after the disastrous wars that were far from over. I fail to see how Obama has failed in any critical respect. Not that it gets him much praise these days. For that we may have to wait for history’s judgment.
For once I don’t have much to say about the story I’m posting, because I simply cannot imagine the pain Peter Lanza feels in having a son who was a mass murderer.
The father of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza has spoken publicly for the first time to make the startling claim that he wishes his son had never been born.
Giving a series of interviews to The New Yorker magazine, Peter Lanza dubbed his son Adam ‘evil’ for killing 20 children and six staff at the Connecticut school just before Christmas in 2012.
Explaining that his son spent his entire life troubled by mental illness, Lanza, a vice president for GE Energy Financial Services said that in his opinion he thought his youngest boy was an undiagnosed schizophrenic.
‘You can’t get any more evil. How much do I beat up on myself about the fact that he’s my son? A lot,’ said Lanza to The New Yorker.
Here’s the link to the article. If you wish, please comment after reading it.
The renewed death of Mr. Moreno, 40, whose nickname was “The Craziest One,” will surely add to his legend, particularly in Michoacán State, in western Mexico, where he was strongest and where those gangs have terrorized communities with killings, rapes, extortions and kidnapping.
Mr. Moreno secured a particular place among drug and organized crime capos for his affinity for Christian-style verse, collected in a “bible” that followers often carried. He often justified grisly violence, including beheadings, as acts of affirmation to his cultish code. He was often called El Chayo, a play on the nickname for Nazario and the Spanish word for rosary.
People in western Mexico, who have turned to vigilante groups in the absence of a competent police force, have been talking for the past few years about seeing Mr. Moreno here and there, alive and well and still inspiring awe and terror.
The vigilante groups have smashed shrines built in his honor as they take over policing town by town, with the support of a government bent on bringing them into the fold of federal forces.
While she was a sensation in Europe, American critics were absolutely appalled by Baker’s provocative, skin-baring routines. In 1936, she returned to the States to star in the Ziegfield Follies and the New York Times branded her a “Negro wench.” Heartbroken and shattered by the negative press, Baker went back to Europe. She served France in World War II as a spy and a sub-lieutenant in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. She also adopted a band of children affectingly referred to as “The Rainbow Tribe.” Baker’s political activism and her bohemian lifestyle were seen as mutually exclusive, yet it was her refusal to become a wilting flower that made her worthy of stardom. Later in life, the entertainer became the only woman to speak at the March on Washington.
Both Beyonce and Josephine Baker’s career are inevitably tied to race and therein lies the Catch-22 of their sexuality. Why is a woman’s appreciation for her body and her astronomical levels of self-confidence painted as indecency and immorality? We want to simultaneously frown upon and marvel at the exhibitionism of pop stars. Not only does Beyonce’s support of feminism lead to a backlash policing her choices as a woman, but as a black woman.
Recently, I was at a party and started talking with a young, liberal, middle-class white man about feminist politics and pop stars. He compared Beyonce’s scantily-clad dance routines to Sarah Baartman, claiming that her image was a modern, self-inflicted version of the “Hottentot Venus.” He was incredibly taken aback when I pointed out that Beyonce has something that Baartman never had: agency. Baartman was brought to the Western world as chattel, as a piece of property meant for public exhibition, like the main attraction at a freak show. English men and women marveled at her “unusual anatomy,” robbing Baartman of her rightful humanity, reducing her to her anatomy. His analogy completely dismissed the history attached to Baartman, as he equated the showing of skin as fetishization.