Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah announced Saturday the large-scale involvement of his party in the war in neighboring Syria, saying his party’s fighting against Syrian rebels aimed at protecting the resistance group.
On Sunday, Syrian troops backed by Hezbollah fighters launched a massive offensive against the rebel-held town of Qusair near the border with Lebanon.
Nasrallah justified his party’s actions in Syria, citing the danger of the growing presence of takfiri groups in Syria, repeated threats from Syrian rebels and that his group would become a target of the United States and Israel should Assad fall.
Syrian government forces and the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah launched a fierce campaign to seize more rebel territory in the border town of Qusair on Saturday, sources on both sides of the conflict said.
Rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad said additional tanks and artillery had been deployed around opposition-held territory in Qusair, a Syrian town close to the Lebanese border.
“I’ve never seen a day like this since the battle started,” said Malek Ammar, an activist speaking from the town by Skype. “The shelling is so violent and heavy. It’s like they’re trying to destroy the city house by house.”
At least 30 people were killed in opposition-held areas on Saturday, most of them rebels, and dozens were injured, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Rebels are largely surrounded in Qusair, a town of 30,000 that has become a strategic battleground. Assad’s forces want to take the area to secure a route between the capital Damascus and his stronghold on the Mediterranean coast, effectively dividing rebel-held territories in the north and south.
(Reuters) - A French soldier patrolling a business neighborhood west of Paris was stabbed in the neck and injured on Saturday by a man who fled the scene and is being sought by police, President Francois Hollande said.
The 23-year-old was patrolling in uniform with two other soldiers as part of France’s Vigipirate anti-terror surveillance plan when he was approached from behind around 6 p.m. and attacked with a knife or a box-cutter.
A police union spokesman said surveillance footage of the attacker showed him as tall and bearded, aged about 35, possibly of North African origin and wearing a white Arab-style tunic.
Hollande, in the Ethiopian city of Addis Ababa, commented on the stabbing to say police were hunting for the attacker but did not provide any details about his identity or any possible motivation for the attack.
“We still don’t know the exact circumstances of the attack or the identity of the attacker, but we are exploring all options,” Hollande told journalists.
Three days after a British soldier was killed in a London street by two men who said they acted to avenge violence against Muslims, the attack near Paris raised questions about a possible copycat attempt to kill a French soldier.
Here we go again.
Two freight trains collided and derailed early Saturday in southeast Missouri, then triggered the collapse of a highway overpass when several rail cars struck a support pillar.
Seven people were injured, including two personnel on the trains and five individuals in cars on the overpass on Highway M near Scott City, about 120 miles south of St. Louis, NBC affiliate KSDK reported. All the injured were treated for minor injuries and released.
The collision occurred before dawn at a rail intersection.
One train T-boned the other one and caused it to derail, and the derailed train hit a pillar which caused the overpass to collapse,” Scott County Sheriff’s dispatcher Clay Slipis told Reuters.
ARGH!!British Ad Campaign Uses Image of Old Pregnant Woman to Scare Women Into Having Babies Younger
While pregnant teens are being shamed for making bad choices in the US, a new ad campaign in Britain is tackling the other side of the spectrum with an arresting image of a pregnant old woman. The campaign, sponsored by the pregnancy testing company First Response, purports to warn young women that their childbearing years are numbered.
The average British woman bears her first child at age 30, 5 years later than American women. In the name of “provok[ing] a debate about how old is too old to have a baby,” First Response Get Britain Fertile had make-up artists transform 45-year-old British TV presenter Kate Garraway into a cartoonishly ancient-looking pregnant woman.
Yet even as First Response claims there is a lack of awareness about the female biological clock, they tout a survey by YouGov finding 70 percent of British women believe having a baby in her 40s would be too old. Women were also quite clear about their motives to wait: two-fifths said they would delay having a child until they have financial stability, while over a third said the cost of childcare is a deterrent. Another third said they would wait until they found the right partner.
Nevertheless, First Response has decided the solution to the trend of women waiting longer to have children is to criticize them, prey on their fears of aging, and exploit social disgust for even moderately sexual old women.
FitzSimmonds also told Tribbett that sex education has caused the spread of sexually transmitted diseases: “I believe that we don’t recognize the causal effect between the type of sex education that we’ve been giving and the spread of STDs. We focus on things like abortion, cause it’s a big pressure thing. I go into schools 15-20 times a year, I run a non-profit that goes into schools and talks to kids about sex. They’re all abortion and HIV. HIV’s kind of hard to catch. Abortion happens if you get pregnant. But we’re on the track for 50 percent of the American people to have Herpes by the time these kids are my age. And that is a profound — not only health but sociological crisis facing this country.”
FitzSimmonds posted on his Facebook page shortly after last November’s election, “When Obama is 90 years old and he dies and goes to Hell, he is going to say ‘This is all Bush’s fault.’”
The second-highest official in the Archdiocese of Newark is stepping down in the wake of a sex scandal involving a former priest accused of violating an agreement with law enforcement barring him from working with children.
Church officials say Monsignor John Doran resigned Friday as vicar general and will no longer hold a leadership position with the archdiocese. Doran signed the agreement the former priest had reached with prosecutors in 2007.
The move is among several changes the archdiocese says it’s implementing to protect children. The changes are noted in a letter from Archbishop John Myers, which will be read in parishes across the archdiocese this weekend.
Myers wrote that an outside review found “operational failures” in the handling of the Rev. Michael Fugee, who resigned this month. But he didn’t place the blame for lax oversight on Doran, who had been vicar general for six years.
One of the chief authors of the Senate’s Gang of Eight immigration bill is still hunting around for 60 votes in his chamber.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said in an interview set to be aired Sunday that the Gang of Eight does not have the votes necessary to break a potential filibuster on the Senate floor — at least right now.
If it gets past the Senate it must go to the GOP controlled House where Congressmen like Bachmann and King will get to vote will get to comment. “This will be great”.
Just don’t tell Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, or Matt Drudge.
In April, the Obama administration unveiled its 2014 budget proposal, which included $145.8 billion for agriculture, $520 million for the International Trade Administration, and a bunch of other stuff. It also included a $105-million initiative to lasso an asteroid, tow it toward Earth, place it into the moon’s orbit, and claim the space rock for the United States of America. The idea is to eventually have astronauts travel to the asteroid to conduct mining operations, test technology for missions to Mars, and research strategies for deflecting future world-ending asteroids.
On Thursday, NASA chief Charles Bolden got a good look at the progress being made. The Associated Press reports (emphasis mine):
Bolden checked on…the mission, which may eventually cost more than $2.6 billion. Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California and Glenn Research Center in Ohio are developing a thruster that relies on ion propulsion instead of conventional chemical fuel…NASA is under White House orders to fly humans to an asteroid as a stepping stone to Mars. Instead of sending astronauts to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, as originally planned, the space agency came up with a quicker, cheaper idea: Haul the asteroid close to the moon and visit it there…”If you can’t get to the asteroid, bring the asteroid to you,” Bolden said.
President Obama had previously established a goal of landing astronauts on a near-Earth asteroid by 2025. This plan bumps the date up to 2021. Last month, an administration official with knowledge of the mission filled in some of the details.
And the Republican field is likely to keep growing: state Sen. Joni Ernst, Secretary of State Matt Schultz and Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker have expressed interest in the race. Mark Jacobs, a wealthy former oil executive who heads an education nonprofit, has also popped up at local GOP events in recent weeks and met with the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Democrats, meanwhile, have closed ranks around a single candidate: fourth-term Congressman Bruce Braley, who raised over $1 million for his campaign in the first quarter of the year.
Republicans fear that a messy primary season will allow Braley to continue stockpiling cash while the eventual GOP nominee must spend down resources and run to the right in order to claim the party’s nomination.