22 May 13
Rand Paul: My colleagues just voted to arm the allies of al Qaeda
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blasted members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday, which voted overwhelmingly to arm elements of the Syrian opposition in a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). "This is an important moment," Paul said, addressing his Senate colleagues. "You will be funding, today, the allies of al Qaeda. It's an irony you cannot overcome."
Russia moves closer to jail terms for offending religion
Russian lawmakers on Tuesday took a step toward imposing jail terms for offending religious feelings, approving legislation proposed after punk band Pussy Riot performed a raucous protest song in Moscow's main Orthodox Christian cathedral.
Critics say the bill will give government-approved religious groups protection others lack and blur the line between church and state under President Vladimir Putin...
Unions break ranks on ObamaCare
Labor unions are breaking with President Obama on ObamaCare.
Months after the president’s reelection, a variety of unions are publicly balking at how the administration plans to implement the landmark law. They warn that unless there are changes, the results could be catastrophic.
US immigration bill passes Senate panel
A sweeping immigration bill that would offer a chance of citizenship to millions living in the US illegally has taken a stride forward in Congress.
A Senate panel voted 13-5 to back the measure, after a plan to allow people to sponsor same-sex partners for permanent legal status was withdrawn.
The full Senate will now debate the proposal next month.
Gay-Marriage Bill Faces Lords Hurdle as It Passes U.K. Commons
Prime Minister David Cameron won passage through the House of Commons of a bill legalizing gay marriage in England and Wales. It must next be approved by the upper unelected House of Lords before becoming law.
Top IRS official will invoke the Fifth Amendment in congressional hearing about tea party targeting program
The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday afternoon that Lois Lerner, who heads up the Internal Revenue Service's tax-exempt division, plans to invoke the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in a hearing Wednesday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Affairs.
The Fifth Amendment provides that U.S. citizens may not be compelled to offer testimony if telling the truth would incriminate them.
Iraq crisis: Fresh bombings kill at least 23
At least 23 people have been killed in new bomb attacks in Iraq, a day after a wave of bombings across the country left at least 70 people dead.
In Tuesday's bloodiest attack, a car bomb exploded near a Sunni mosque in the west of the capital, Baghdad, killing at least 10 people.
Japan's trade deficit hits $8.6B due to weaker yen
Japan's trade deficit widened to a larger-than-expected 879.9 billion yen ($8.6 billion) in April as its weakening currency accentuated surging import costs.
Exports rose 3.8 percent from the same month a year earlier to 5.78 trillion yen ($56.3 billion), while imports jumped 9.4 percent to 6.66 trillion yen ($64.9 billion), according to preliminary figures reported by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday. Japan's trade deficit stood at 362.4 billion yen in March, just over half the size of February's gap.
North Korean leader sends 'special envoy' to China
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un dispatched a high-profile official and close confidant to travel to China on Wednesday as a special envoy while Beijing is under pressure to rein in its belligerent neighbor.
Discovery of alleged Russian plot points to growing jitters
As Russia congratulated its forces for foiling an alleged Islamist plot on Moscow, the discovery of the plan also pointed to the growing security threat before the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Monday's killing of two suspected militants and arrest of a third in a sleepy town near Moscow was quickly followed by the killing of one of the leaders of an Islamist insurgency being waged in Russia's North Caucasus.
21 May 13
IDF Chief of Staff on tour at Syrian border: “If Assad impairs the situation in the Golan Heights, he will have to bear the consequences”
Lt. Gen. Gantz attended a conference marking the 25th anniversary of the University of Haifa’s defense program, and discussed the previous night’s gunfire coming in from Syria towards an IDF patrol in the Golan Heights. Lt. Gen. Gantz stated that “shots were fired three times from a Syrian patrol, so it had to be neutralized.”--Lt. Gen. Gantz warned that “if Assad impairs the situation in the Golan Heights, he will have to bear the consequences.''
Syria says destroys Israeli vehicle on its territory
Syria said its troops destroyed an Israeli vehicle that crossed into its territory from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday and warned that any attempt to violate its sovereignty would meet "immediate and firm retaliation".
Large earthquake strikes off coast of Chile
The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 has struck off the coast of Chile. The quake was recorded at 5:49 a.m. local time (EDT; 0949 GMT) Monday, at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), some 600 kilometers (370 miles) from the city of Puerto Quellon. No tsunami warning was issued.
5.3-Magnitude Earthquake Jolts Eastern Caribbean Islands
It said the quake's epicentre was located southwest of Barbuda, part of the Antigua and Barbuda federation. At the end of last month, a 5.1 degree temblor shook the Caribbean and tremors were felt in Trinidad and Tobago a few days ago.
Kerry to Mideast to advance struggling Syria plan
John Kerry is headed back to the Middle East to press his case for peace talks between Syrian rebels and President Bashar Assad's regime amid increasing signs the new U.S. strategy to halt the war is being undermined by Russia.
WEEKEND CME STRIKES
Over the weekend, a pair of CMEs hit Earth--one on May 18th (0100 UT) and another on May 19th (2250 UT). The impacts, especially the first one, rattled Earth's magnetic field and sparked Northern Lights visible as far south as Colorado.
How Hope and Change Gave Way to Spying on the Press
Much of the Fourth Estate shrugged when the Obama administration attacked Fox News, writes Kirsten Powers. But now it’s coming for them, too.
Meteor caught on camera over volcano
Amazing pictures have come out of Indonesia as a photographer snapped a photo of a meteor over a volcano.
In the distance of the picture, you can see Mount Bromo as the meteor streaks above. (video)
Yaalon: We destroyed Syrian Golan position. Damascus: We fired on Israeli patrol
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon shot back by saying: “Our policy is clear – we don’t interfere in Syria’s civil war, but neither will we let the fire spill over onto our territory. Last night,” he added, “we destroyed a Syrian army position on the Golan which fired at an IDF patrol.”
Obama and the IRS: The Smoking Gun?
President met with anti-Tea Party IRS union chief the day before agency targeted Tea Party. “For me, it’s about collaboration.” — National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley on the relationship between the anti-Tea Party IRS union and the Obama White House.
Vermont governor signs 'death with dignity' measure
With the strokes from three gubernatorial pens, Vermont on Monday became the fourth state in the country to allow doctors to prescribe lethal medication to terminally ill patients.
Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the measure in a state House ceremony in Montpelier, capping a decade-long effort on the issue in Vermont.
Vermont is the first state to pass such a law through the legislative process.
Anchorage Sets New Record for Longest Snow Season
232 days - it took over 30 years for Anchorage to set a new record for the longest snow season on record.
The National Weather Service measured 2/10ths of an inch just after 9 p.m. Friday and 1/10th Saturday morning - breaking the old record of 230 days set in 1981-1982.
Four Fireballs at Four in Last 24 Hours
In the last 24 hours the AMS has received confirmed reports about 4 unique fireball events all occurring near 4:00 AM UTC time. The most recent event occurred in Arkansas and Missouri on May 19th near 3:37 UTC. At the same time 3:37 UTC 4 witnesses reported a fireball in Arizona.
Bigotry against Jews and Muslims on the rise, says US
Discrimination against Jews and Muslims is on the rise around the world, according to an annual US Department of State report.
The findings for 2012 spoke of an increase in anti-Islamic sentiment in Europe and Asia.
It also said there was growing anti-Semitism, especially in Venezuela, Egypt and Iran.
Syria and Israel in exchange of fire
Israeli and Syrian forces have exchanged fire across the ceasefire line in the occupied Golan Heights.
Israel returned fire after one of its military vehicles was hit by shots from Syria, Israel's defence forces say. Media reports say no-one was hurt.
Syria says it destroyed an Israeli vehicle which it says crossed the ceasefire line into territory its forces control.
US and Chinese leaders to hold summit in California
The US and Chinese presidents will hold their first summit in California in June, both sides have announced.
Barack Obama and Xi Jinping will meet from 7-8 June at an estate in Rancho Mirage, a US statement said.
Topics on the agenda are likely to include North Korea, cyber espionage, tensions in the South China Sea and Syria.
Pound falls after surprise dip in inflation
The pound has fallen after lower fuel prices led to a lower-than-expected inflation rate of 2.4% for April.
This was down from 2.8% in March, according to the Office for National Statistics, and the first drop since September 2012.
Inflation as measured by the retail prices index (RPI) fell to 2.9% in April, from 3.3% the month before.
Oklahoma tornado: Dozens killed in Moore
At least 91 people, including 20 children, are feared to have been killed by a huge tornado which tore through Oklahoma City suburbs, officials in the US state say.
Worst hit was Moore, south of the city, where neighbourhoods were flattened and schools destroyed by winds of up to 200mph (320km/h).
About 120 people are being treated in hospitals.
20 May 13
On the Anniversary of the Nazi Invasion, This Is What Austrians Are Saying About Hitler
Forty-two percent said life was not all bad under Hitler, while 61 percent said they would be interested in a strong-armed leader who did not have to deal with democratic challenges like political opponents and elections. The survey, published this weekend, is getting prominent play in the media in Israel, which is home to some 250,000 Holocaust survivors. That’s half the number of survivors who arrived in the country since Israel was founded in 1948.
6.8 Chile earthquake strikes off the coast
The quake was recorded at 5:49 a.m. local time (EDT; 0949 GMT) Monday, at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), some 600 kilometers (370 miles) from the city of Puerto Quellon. No tsunami warning was issued. Chile's naval seismology office says it was not felt on land. U.S. seismologists originally estimated the magnitude at 6.8.