Israel slammed Gaza with a barrage of airstrikes overnight in what was the heaviest bombardment in the three-week conflict. At least 60 died in the strikes in Gaza overnight.
Symbols of Hamas control came under fire, including TV headquarters, government offices and the home of a top leader. Israel said it targeted more than 70 sites and hit 10 “terror operatives.”
The Gaza Strip’s only power plant was struck by a tank shell, hitting a fuel tank and causing the plant to shut down, the head of the power station told ABC News. Fire burned following the attack, with heavy smoke rising over Gaza City. Engineer Fatahi Khalil, from the electricity company, confirmed to ABC News that it will take a year to fix the power plant. The damage will be assessed at a later time, he said.
Last week saw an overflowing cornucopia of IT problems, challenges and failures being reported. From these rich pickings, we decided to focus this week’s edition of IT Hiccups first on a multi-day computer problem affecting the US Department of State’ passport and visa operations, followed by a quick rundown of the numerous US and UK government IT project failures that were also disclosed last week.
According to the Associated Press, beginning on Saturday, 21 July, the U.S. Department of State has being experiencing unspecified computer problems including “significant performance issues, including outages” with its Consular Consolidated Database [pdf], which has interfered with the “processing of passports, visas, and reports of Americans born abroad.” A story at ComputerWorld indicates that the problems began after maintenance was performed on the database. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told the AP that the computer problem effects were being felt across the globe.
The AP story says that a huge passport and visa application backlog is already forming, with one unidentified country already reporting that the backlog of applications had reached 50,000 as of Wednesday. The growing backlog has also “hampered efforts to get the system fully back on line,” Haff told AP.
The United States has concluded that Russia violated a landmark arms control treaty by testing a prohibited ground-launched cruise missile, according to senior American officials, a finding that was conveyed by President Obama to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in a letter on Monday.
It is the most serious allegation of an arms control treaty violation that the Obama administration has leveled against Russia and adds another dispute to a relationship already burdened by tensions over the Kremlin’s support for separatists in Ukraine and its decision to grant asylum to Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor.
At the heart of the issue is the 1987 treaty that bans American and Russian ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles capable of flying 300 to 3,400 miles. That accord, which was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, helped seal the end of the Cold War and has been regarded as a cornerstone of American-Russian arms control efforts.
Many fans know George Takei from his role as Mr. Sulu on the 1960s show Star Trek. But in the past decade, he has drawn followers who admire him because of who he is — not just who he has played. Now, the new documentary To Be Takei may interest more people in Takei’s life.
Takei’s personal story offers insights into a couple of key chapters of American political and cultural history.
After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, Takei and his family were among the 127,000 Americans of Japanese descent forced into internment camps. He was 5 years old.
“We were first taken to the horse stables of Santa Anita racetrack because the camps weren’t built yet and we were housed there … narrow, smelly, still was pungent with the smell of horse manure. And we were housed there for about three months while the camps were being built,” Takei tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “And then [we were] put on railroad cars with armed guards at both ends of each car and transported two-thirds of the way across the country to the swamps of southeastern Arkansas. There [were] barbed wire fences there — tall sentry towers with machine guns pointed at us.”
Last January Salma Jaffar was shot while she was going door to door in Karachi, giving children drops of the polio vaccine.
“Even when they took out the pistol, I couldn’t understand why he was taking out the gun,” Jaffar says of the two men who pulled up on a motorcycle and started shooting at the vaccination team.
“But when he opened fire, that is when I thought it was the end of the life,” she says. “My first thought was that I won’t be able to see my children again.”
Salma Jaffar was shot four times while vaccinating children in Karachi last January. She survived. But more than 60 polio workers have been killed in Pakistan over the past two years.
Jaffar was shot four times: twice in her arm and twice in her chest. She spent the next three weeks in an intensive care unit.
I hope the President is making it known to Turkey’s leader that this would be a really BAD idea. If he fails to do so, this will send the worst possible message to the world. Turkey is a NATO country and we are the leaders of NATO. Obama must do this one right.
With so many advancements in camera technology, there are more and more options and possibilities for the macro photographer. From expensive lenses to fancy equipment to help maximize depth of field, macro photography is made easier every day. That being said, it is still an art form. One that requires a creative eye, a willingness to experiment, dedication, and practice, especially if you can’t afford the fancy equipment. So what does the amateur macro photographer do? Professional landscape photographer Tim Cooper explains macro photography and provides some useful tips to get started:
Three-quarters of the money spent on behalf of Chris McDaniel’s failed bid for the Republican nomination for Senate in Mississippi came from outside political action committees (PACs). That money, from groups like the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, accounted for 36 percent of the funds spent by both sides combined.
We’re obviously a few miles down the road from the days when candidates for elected office stood on wooden platforms. But we are perhaps further than you might think. In fact, there is nothing in federal law that would prevent a super PAC or group of PACs from picking out a candidate and taking care of his or her entire campaign. And we’re starting to get a glimpse of what such a campaign might look like.
In order to win an election, you, first, need a candidate. You need to let people know about your candidate, so you need TV ads and radio ads and ads on Facebook. You need direct mail, and you need people to knock on doors and talk to voters. But, really, that’s it. With the right combination of those things, you can win pretty much any political race in the country.
SAN ANTONIO - A slew of anti-government groups — many of which participated in the standoff at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch — are recruiting armed volunteers to travel to the Texas-Mexico border as a citizen militia to participate in “Operation Secure Our Border,” which aims to stop the surge of immigrants into the country.
The groups, who identify themselves as “Patriots,” “Oathkeepers” and “Three Percenters,” are using social media, blogs and a 24-hour hotline to recruit and mobilize volunteers that will travel to Laredo, carry firearms and attempt to assist law enforcement agencies on the border.
However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they do not “endorse or support any private group or organization from taking matters into their own hands as it could have disastrous personal and public safety consequences.”
Chris Davis, a 37-year-old truck driver listed as commander for the militia group, told the San Antonio Express-News he believes law enforcement agencies welcome the help.
You might recall back in 2011, Florida passed a law that Doctors couldn’t ask patients about gun ownership or talk to them about gun safety. The legislature in Tallahassee felt these questions were not related to medical practice. (Because, as we all know nobody has ever had to go the the Hospital because of a firearms injury).
In a 2-1 ruling, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the state Legislature had the right to pass the law, which includes provisions restricting doctors and other medical providers from asking questions about gun ownership during medical visits.
These are the same people who reject the ACA on the grounds it supposedly places government between a patient and their physician.
Judge Gerald Tjoflat wrote. “In keeping with these traditional codes of conduct — which almost universally mandate respect for patient privacy — the Act simply acknowledges that the practice of good medicine does not require interrogation about irrelevant, private matters.”
Yeah, you know how it is with those pesky doctors. Always asking about what you eat, if you exercise, if you have trouble sleeping…whats up with that?
In a sharp dissent significantly longer than the majority opinion, Circuit Judge Charles Wilson said the law was an unconstitutional “gag order” that infringes on doctors’ rights.
“The holding reached today is unprecedented, as it essentially says that all licensed professionals have no First Amendment rights when they are speaking to their clients or patients in private,” Wilson said. “This in turn says that patients have no First Amendment right to receive information from licensed professionals — a frightening prospect.”
First amendment? Doesn’t he know only the Second Amendment counts in Florida.