It looks like Congress and the White House may finally get the ball rolling on crafting an authorization for the use of force (AUMF) for the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq… only five or so months since said war began.
President Obama reiterated his call for an updated AUMF, tailored to the expected years-long campaign against ISIS, in his State of the Union, and Speaker John Boehner said in a 60 Minutes interview that “we will” pass such a measure.
And next week, as he tells Salon, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff will introduce an AUMF to the House — a version that puts important limits on the White House’s power, and could set up a clash.
Schiff, as other outlets reported, was planning on introducing his resolution Wednesday, but got a request from the White House to review the language first. Now he’ll hold off until early next week until he gets their feedback.
Apartheid-era death-squad leader Eugene de Kock, dubbed “Prime Evil” for his role in the torture and murder of black South African activists in the 1980s and early 1990s, was granted parole on Friday after 20 years in prison.
“In the interest of nation-building and reconciliation I have decided to place Mr. De Kock on parole,” Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha told a news briefing, adding that the date and location of De Kock’s release would be kept secret.
De Kock was sentenced to two life terms plus 212 years in prison for his activities as head of the infamous Vlakplaas police death squad targeting anti-apartheid activists.
The highly decorated former colonel confessed to more than 100 acts of murder, torture and fraud before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which was established in 1995 to consider amnesty for those who confessed their crimes during the apartheid period.
Japan and Jordan scrambled on Friday to find out what had happened to two of their nationals being held by Islamic State, after a deadline passed for the release of a would-be suicide bomber being held on death row in Amman.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said every effort was being made to secure the release of journalist Kenji Goto.
“We are gathering and analyzing information while asking for cooperation from Jordan and other countries, making every effort to free Kenji Goto,” he told a parliamentary panel.
Jordan’s army said state agencies were “working round the clock”.
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday rewrote the definition of high-speed Internet, and chances are, your connection isn’t up to snuff.
The FCC commissioners voted 3 to 2 in support of the change. They are (left to right): Ajit Pai, Mignon Clyburn, Tom Wheeler (chairman), Jessica Rosenworcel, and Michael O’Rielly.
The FCC, tasked with overseeing the rules that govern the Internet, raised the standard for broadband at 25 megabits per second from 4 Mbps, while raising the upload speed to 3 Mbps from 1 Mbps. The commissioners voted 3 to 2 in support of the change, though the dissenting Republican commissioners blasted the move as “overreaching.” The move comes as the FCC published its 2015 Broadband Progress Report, which is what Congress uses to assess the US broadband market.
The new definition effectively means that millions of Americans subscribing to Internet service that clocks in at less than 25 Mbps are no longer considered “broadband” subscribers. The average speed of service delivered in the US is 10 Mbps. Using this new threshold, the agency determined in its report that true broadband speeds are not being delivered in a timely fashion.
When Whitehouse first introduced this amendment a couple days ago, he made clear that by “climate change,” he was referring to “what our carbon pollution…is doing to our atmosphere and what it is doing to our oceans.” But the amendment didn’t literally say that, and the Senate’s most outspoken climate science denier saw this as an opportunity. James Inhofe—an Oklahoma Republican who has previously pointed to the Bible as evidence that human-caused global warming is a hoax—urged his fellow senators to support the amendment.
Addressing his Senate colleagues before the vote, Inhofe once again cited the Bible to argue that the climate does indeed change but that humans aren’t the cause. “Climate is changing, and climate has always changed,” said Inhofe, who chairs the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee. “There’s archeological evidence of that. There’s biblical evidence of that. There’s historic evidence of that.” He continued: “The hoax is that there are some people who are so arrogant to think that they are so powerful, they can change climate. Man can’t change climate.” You can watch the back-and-forth above.
Red Bull is now talking about the stunt performed by Will Gadd, the first man to ever scale the ice-covered Niagara Falls.
Gadd, a professional climber and one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year, was at the Horseshoe Falls on Tuesday to climb the ice formation while a TV crew looked on from Terrapin Point on Goat Island.
Gadd made his way up the 140-foot ice wall while 150,000 tons of water flowed at speeds of 70 mph next to him.
Everyone wants a Jeeves now, not just billionaire playboys with iron underpants.
YOU ARE HERE:GADGETS HOMELAPTOPSLAPTOPS NEWSBill Gates Reveals He’s Working on a ‘Personal Agent’ for Microsoft by NDTV Correspondent, January 29, 2015
Bill Gates, Co-Founder, former CEO and Chairman, and current Technology Advisor at Microsoft, on Wednesday in his third ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on Reddit revealed a few details about a mysterious project that he is currently working on for the Redmond giant.
Describing the project, Gates said on Reddit, “One project I am working on with Microsoft is the Personal Agent which will remember everything and help you go back and find things and help you pick what things to pay attention to.”
Gates without dwelling too deep into the topic, further added, “The idea that you have to find applications and pick them and they each are trying to tell you what is new is just not the efficient model - the agent will help solve this. It will work across all your devices.”
At a time of increasing scrutiny of procedures to open blocked heart arteries, cardiologists are turning to — and reaping huge payments from — controversial techniques that relieve blockages in the arms and legs.
Unlike heart procedures, which must be done in a hospital or outpatient facility, where oversight is typically more intense, the opening of the peripheral arteries and veins of the arms and legs can be done in a doctor’s office.
Medical experts are questioning the necessity of some of these treatments, and many believe the condition is more safely treated with drugs and exercise. Nonetheless, some of the nation’s most highly reimbursed cardiologists are making millions of dollars from Medicare for performing these procedures, as payments for relieving blockages in the heart have fallen.
Earlier this month, the Justice Department said it joined two whistle-blower lawsuits accusing one of these doctors of performing unnecessary procedures, including placing a stent in the leg of a patient who later died of complications.
Mississippi Wouldn’t Allow This Teacher to Show Kids How to Use a Condom. His Simple Solution Is Brilliant.
There are many reasons why we must increase trade with our neighbors in the Americas, but there’s one huge one.
Forget that it’s not comfortable being the shining city on the hill if everyone else is starving. Forget that our border with Mexico could be as boring and as little a concern as the Canadian one if we trade with them and create a burgeoning middle class as we’ve done in China and India over the past decades. Forget that our biggest security threats come from unstable regions of the world, forget that our security is based on their security. Also ask yourself why we enrich the last remaining large communist government on the planet instead of our more desperate neighbors to the South, and which makes more sense for our well being and security.
Think of just one thing and it should sell you on why we must trade more in the Americas: Every item that comes from China burns shipping diesel. Getting things from our closer neighbors would use less fuel, would put less carbon in the air. We could improve that fuel equation even more with high speed electric freight rail. It’s frankly stupid with what we know about Global Warming to freight junk across the Pacific when we could buy it much closer to home.
AS we were reminded last summer when thousands of unaccompanied children showed up on our southwestern border, the security and prosperity of Central America are inextricably linked with our own.
The economies of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras remain bogged down as the rest of the Americas surge forward. Inadequate education, institutional corruption, rampant crime and a lack of investment are holding these countries back. Six million young Central Americans are to enter the labor force in the next decade. If opportunity isn’t there for them, the entire Western Hemisphere will feel the consequences.
Confronting these challenges requires nothing less than systemic change, which we in the United States have a direct interest in helping to bring about. Toward that end, on Monday, President Obama will request from Congress $1 billion to help Central America’s leaders make the difficult reforms and investments required to address the region’s interlocking security, governance and economic challenges. That is almost three times what we generally have provided to Central America.