‘Pulled Out a Chunk [of] My Hair’: CNN Anchor Says She Was Mugged in Atlanta
Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:04 am by Erica Ritz
Atlanta police are investigating after a CNN anchor reported that her iPhone was snatched from her hand as she strolled down a street in the city’s midtown section.
Police tell WSB-TV that Carol Costello was talking on the phone while walking around 4:30 p.m. Thursday when two teenagers ran up behind her and grabbed the phone.
Costello said in a detailed post on her Facebook page that she “stupidly” struggled with one suspect as she tried to keep her phone, but he pulled out a chunk of her hair and she let go.
She described the assailant, according to WSB-TV, as a skinny black male with curly hair, standing around 5 feet 8 inches tall.
Here is the full text of Costello’s post:
Good Morning. In retrospect, what happened to me yesterday is insignificant in light of what happened in the Boston.
Still, I feel the need to vent. And isn’t that what friends are for?
I was robbed.
And I am angry.
I was walking down a beautiful, leafy Atlanta street, talking on my IPhone.
Guess what happened next?
Three teenagers ran up behind me. One of them grabbed my IPhone. Stupidly I struggled to hold on-to it. But, he was a big guy. And he pulled out a chunk my hair.
I let go.
As he ran down the street, laughing, I hurled a few expletives his way.
I felt no fear at the time, I was just angry. Now I’m angry, shaken and sad. What a lousy life those kids have ahead of them.
Turns out, according to ABC news: “cities across the country are on alert as officials warn of an uptick in stolen Apple products, dubbed “Apple picking.”
Thieves steal IPhones, wipe them clean, then sell them for up to one-thousand bucks.
So, a warning for you. Do not talk on your IPhone as you walk down the street.
Oh, and let go of the stupid device if someone tries to steal it…
According to police, no arrests have been made at this time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Wiki Weapons Fires First 100% 3D-Printed Handgun
Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:42 am by Liz Klimas
- Defense Distributed’s Wiki-Weapons project fired the “Liberator,” its .380 handgun that was created completely with a 3D printer.
- The 15 of the 16 parts created using the technology took just 24 hours to print.
- The blueprint for the Liberator has been posted online, free for anyone to download.
- Lawmakers have since renewed calls for bans on 3D printed firearms that could be undetectable by security sensors.
The Wiki-Weapons project by Defense Distributed, which has for months been striving toward its goal of creating a fully functional 3D-printed gun, has succeeded in the first tests of a firearm created using only a 3D printer.
Although much of the project up until now has been showing off plastic printed components for rifles and magazines, the gun tested last week was a .380 handgun, which Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson told TheBlaze in a phone interview Monday was always the goal to develop.
Meet the “Liberator.”
Wilson said that while they were waiting for their federal firearms license request to go through, something which was granted to them in March, they worked on printing the gun parts they legally could in the mean time. For weeks, the parts of the handgun were tested individually but on May 1 it all came together for its first shot.
As a safety precaution, it was test fired remotely at first.
“It was a big question mark. I was quite nervous, excited, giddy,” Wilson said.
After the remote fire was successful, Wilson said he felt comfortable allowing it to be fired by hand.
“I thought ‘oh my, this is going to work,’” he said.
When he fired it himself, he described it as feeling “pretty good.”
“The action felt smooth. It fit together tightly,” he said.
Watch Wilson fire the Liberator in this video:
Fifteen components of the 16-piece firearm were created using the 3D printer plastic. Wilson estimated that it took 24 hours to print all the pieces with the largest component taking 10 hours. The one piece that was not printed was the firing pin, which he said was a matter of getting the correct hardness.
“You need a fine, hard point,” he said of the striking component of the gun.
As Wilson has told TheBlaze in the past, much of the project, in addition to supporting the Second Amendment, is about protecting freedom of speech on the Internet.
“If we truly believe information should be free, that the internet is the last bastion of freedom and knowledge, and that societies that share are superior to societies that censor and withhold, then why not guns?” Defense Distributed stated on its website.
“There is a compelling feeling that you need to have it, to propagate it, to spread it,” Wilson said of the availability of the file.
Within hours of photos of the Liberator being posted by Forbes Friday, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) renewed his plea for the passage of the Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act.
“Security checkpoints, background checks, and gun regulations will do little good if criminals can print plastic firearms at home and bring those firearms through metal detectors with no one the wiser,” Israel said in a statement. “When I started talking about the issue of plastic firearms months ago, I was told the idea of a plastic gun is science-fiction. Now that this technology appears to be upon us, we need to act now to extend the ban on plastic firearms.”
New York Sen. Charles Schumer jumped on board Sunday calling the creation of undetectable firarms ”stomach-churning.” With this technology, Schumer said he believed people could ”open a gun factory in their garage.”
Wilson said as he understands the current bill — which would make it illegal to manufacture, own, transport, buy or sell any firearm, receiver or magazine that was undetectable by metal detectors or X-ray machines — it would not apply to licensed firearm manufacturers, which would make Defense Distributed exempt. But Wilson said he is worried about its potential passage in how it would impact the average citizen.
“It looks like they stand a fair chance of regulating 3D printing,” Wilson said, noting he is more concerned about provisions included that would ban people from making 3D printed components like rifle receivers and high-capacity magazines.
“It’s not about security,” Wilson said, continuing on in his perspective of the bill. It’s about making it more difficult for people to “quickly make 3D-printed gun parts.”
Forbes noted that Defense Distributed included a six-ounce, non-functional metal piece in the Liberator specifically so the firearm could be detectable.
As for Defense Distributed’s project going forward, Wilson said there is plenty of work to do. For the “Liberator,” Wilson said he thinks it’s a little overbuilt, meaning he is sure there are improvements they can make on the design to allow it to be printed on cheaper 3D printers. He also said he wanted to work on testing different barrel sizes.
- Now There’s a short Documentary Going Inside 3D-Printed Gun Operation “Wiki Weapons”
- Website to TheBlaze: People Rushing to Download Online Blueprints for 3D Printed Guns (Plus See Who From the Gov Is Visiting)
- Wiki-Weapons Shows 3D-Printed Gun Part Can Withstand 600 Rounds
- Have You Heard of the ‘Wiki-Weapons Project’ That Plans to Make 3D Printable Gun Designs Available to All?
Monday Morning Market Roundup: Here’s How We’re Looking
Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:33 am by Becket Adams
Here’s what’s shaking:
U.S. stock market futures are barely budging, as traders seem ready to pause after sending major indexes record highs following a positive jobs report last week.
With few major companies posting earnings and no significant economic data due Monday, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 1 point to 14,899. S&P 500 futures are down .50 to 1,608. Nasdaq 100 futures gained 3 points to 2,938.
The Labor Department said Friday that U.S. employers added 165,000 workers last month and many more in February and March than previously estimated. The 7.5 percent unemployment rate is the lowest in four years.
Overseas markets are mixed. Most Asian markets rode Friday’s U.S. momentum to close higher, but stocks in Europe gave ground after initially trading higher.
The price of oil rose sharply Monday as an increase in U.S. hiring raised the prospect of higher energy demand.
Benchmark oil for June delivery was up 72 cents to $96.33 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The contract jumped $1.62 to finish at $95.61 on Friday after U.S. employers added a surprisingly solid 165,000 jobs in April. That drove down the unemployment rate to a four-year low of 7.5 percent and suggested the U.S. economic recovery may be gathering pace.
Demand for oil also tends to increase when the economy picks up, as factories produce more, people drive more and businesses use more fuel to ship goods.
Brent crude, which is used to set prices of oil from the North Sea used by many U.S. refiners, was up 58 cents to $104.77 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Should Tamerlan Tsarnaev Be Buried on U.S. Soil? Funeral Furor Ensues Over Alleged Boston Terrorist
Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:14 am by Billy Hallowell
WORCESTER, Mass. (TheBlaze/AP) — A funeral director trying to find a cemetery to take the body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is going next to the city where Tsarnaev lived, but will run into another obstacle: It doesn’t want him. The debate has spawned an obvious question: Does the alleged terrorist deserve to be buried on U.S. soil?
Worcester funeral director Peter Stefan said he plans to ask the city of Cambridge to provide a plot because he hasn’t been able to find a cemetery in Massachusetts willing to accept Tsarnaev’s remains. He said if Cambridge turns him down, he will seek help from state officials.
Cambridge City Manager Robert Healy said in a statement Sunday that he is urging the funeral director and Tsarnaev’s family not to request a burial permit for the city-owned cemetery.
“The difficult and stressful efforts of the citizens of the City of Cambridge to return to a peaceful life would be adversely impacted by the turmoil, protests, and wide spread media presence at such an interment,” Healy said.
The dilemma over where to bury the 26-year-old suspect comes as a friend of his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev heads to court Monday for a bail hearing on charges that he lied to federal investigators after the bombings.
Defense attorneys said in court documents filed Saturday that they will ask a federal judge to release Robel Phillipos of Cambridge from jail. They said he had nothing to do with the deadly bombings and isn’t a flight risk.
Phillipos, 19, was charged last week with lying to investigators about visiting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s college dorm room on April 18, three days after the bombings. Two other friends were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by taking a backpack with fireworks and a laptop from Tsarnaev’s dorm room. All four had studied at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Phillipos faces a maximum of eight years behind bars and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
The Tsarnaev brothers are accused of carrying out the April 15 bombing, which used pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails, ball bearings and metal shards. The attack killed three people and injured more than 260 others near the marathon’s finish line.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a gunfight with police on April 19. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured and remains in a prison hospital. He has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and faces a potential death sentence if convicted.
Healey said there has been no formal application for a permit or purchase of a cemetery plot for Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and that it would not be in the best interest of the city to execute a deed for a plot.
Healey said the families who have loved ones interred at the cemetery also deserve to have their deceased family members rest in peace. He said other federal agencies should take the lead in the burial.
Stefan did not immediately return a call Sunday night seeking comment on Healy’s statement.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, of Montgomery Village, Md., and three of his friends met with Stefan on Sunday and prepared to wash and shroud Tsarnaev’s body according to Muslim tradition.
Tsarni told reporters that he is arranging for Tsarnaev’s burial because religion and tradition call for his nephew to be buried. He would like him buried in Massachusetts because he’s lived in the state for the last decade, he said.
“I’m dealing with logistics. A dead person must be buried,” he said.
He said he was grateful to Stefan for agreeing to arrange the burial and to his friends for accompanying him to Massachusetts to aid with the funeral.
“These are my friends who feel for me … as I do understand no one wants to associate their names with such evil events,” he said.
Tsarnaev, who had appeared in surveillance photos wearing a black cap, was identified by authorities as Suspect No. 1.
Stefan said he has received calls from people criticizing him and calling him “un-American” for being willing to handle Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s funeral.
“We take an oath to do this. Can I pick and choose? No. Can I separate the sins from the sinners? No,” he said. “We are burying a dead body. That’s what we do.”
A half-dozen protesters gathered outside the funeral home Sunday holding signs and American flags and chanting “USA!” One sign read: “Do not bury him on U.S. soil.” Several people drove by the funeral home earlier Sunday and yelled, including one man who shouted, “Throw him off a boat like Osama bin Laden!”
The state medical examiner ruled that Tsarnaev died from gunshot wounds and blunt trauma to his head and torso, and authorities have said his brother ran him over in a chaotic getaway attempt. Stefan said Sunday that the family won’t request that an independent medical examiner perform a second autopsy, but representatives from the family’s legal team might photograph Tsarnaev’s body before it’s washed.
Tsarni has denounced the acts his nephews are accused of committing and has said they brought shame to the family and the entire Chechen ethnicity. The brothers are ethnic Chechens from Russia who came to the United States about a decade ago with their parents. Both parents returned to Dagestan last year.
Tsarni said Sunday that he hopes to eventually see Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at his prison hospital.
“This is another person left all to himself,” he said.
In other developments:
- The FBI on Sunday conducted a court-authorized search in Cambridge as part of its ongoing investigation into the bombings, said Jason Pack, a supervisory special agent in the FBI’s press office. He declined to elaborate further.
- The administrator of the charity One Fund Boston was to hold a public meeting Monday evening with victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. The fund has raised more than $28 million.
- Charity watchdog groups have warned the public that tens of thousands of dollars have been raised in online fundraising campaigns that some recipients knew nothing about and did not endorse. They urged people to be aware of possible scams or misuse of money.
What do you think? Should Tsarnaev be buried on U.S. soil? Take the poll:
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Has the NRA Had A Positive Influence on America?
Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:12 am by Politix
By Mary Noble, senior editor at Politix
Since the Newtown shooting, the NRA has come in for a lot of flak. Vice-President Wayne LaPierre was called a “gun nut” by the normally-right leaning New York Post and Obama claimed that the organization had “willfully lied” to defeat his background check bill.
All of that testifies that the NRA is influential, perhaps more so than ever before, and their membership rolls continue to increase. The group was instrumental in “getting the last few votes we needed to defeat Manchin-
Toomey,” according to Michael Hammond of Gun Owners of America, not to mention “responsible for how appallingly weak our gun laws are,” says Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
Given their influence it’s worth asking whether the NRA’s sway is positive, and whether they represent the views of most American gun owners. The group is either “hideous” or “a good ally” to gun owners, depending on your point of view.
64% of Americans believe the NRA has been a positive influence on America, according to an online poll with over 600 responses conducted by Politix.
But liberals, even liberal gun owners, maintain that the NRA speaks for only a tiny minority. “The NRA has 4 million members, so it represents only a tiny sliver of Americans,” says Dan Baum, a self-described liberal who loved guns and author of Gun Guys. “Only 4 percent of gun owners belong to the NRA.” He added, “the NRA is hideous.”
The group represents the gun industry and the far right, not average gun owners, says Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “When you look at what their revenue source is, an increasing source of their revenue is from the gun industry. As people buy guns the NRA prospers. They’re not even trying to hide that anymore.”
But the NRA gets less funding from the gun industry than from gun owners, points out Michael Hammond of Gun Owners of America. “As far as I know, they don’t receive much money from the gun industry…I think most of their money comes from their membership. The left has created that narrative.”
Even if they are mainly funded by members, they’re not speaking for those members, claims Everitt. “74% of NRA members support a universal background check, so the NRA is not even speaking for their own members on some issues. The NRA leadership is far more radical than average gun owners and even average NRA members.”
The group has moved to the extreme right, adds Everitt. “They have Glenn Beck as their featured speaker for 5th year in a row. They’re not even trying to reach out to mainstream Americans.”
Both pro-gun and gun control groups agree that the NRA has changed, but whether that’s for the better depends on which side of the gun debate you fall.
The group has become a better defender of gun owners after being burned by compromising with Democrats, says Hammond of Gun Owners of America. “After Columbine NRA endorsed 90% of Clinton’s gun legislation. After Virginia Tech they negotiated with Chuck Schumer…I think they learned from that, that for Chuck Schumer gun control is just a platform for more gun control.”
Gun Owners of America would say that, says Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The NRA has been “pushed from their right flank by even more radical groups like Gun Owners of America.” What that’s meant has been “radicalization” so that the NRA no longer represents ordinary gun owners.
When did the NRA move right? Gun Owners of America date the change to an epiphany in 2007, when the NRA realized compromise with Democrats was disastrous. The CSGV’s Everitt puts the change much earlier, in 1977.
“Prior to 1977 it was a much more moderate organization that was focused on the sporting aspect of shooting,” says Everitt. “Then you had this big schism in 1977 when the organization was going to build a new headquarters at Colorado Springs. The hardliners won control of the organization. The rest is history. Since then they’ve been a far right organization, more of a shock troops for the right wing.”
The NRA credits itself with teaching “freedom to future generations,” Jeremy Greene, the NRA’s director of marketing, told Politix in a statement. They’ve also had a positive role in promoting gun safety with programs like “Refuse to Be a Victim,” which teaches adults self-defense, and the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program which has taught gun safety to over 25 million kids.
More from Politix:
Ted Nugent Eviscerates ‘Soulless’ Media in Exclusive Backstage Interview: ‘I Will Continue to Go Piers Morgan on You — Know That’
Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:00 am by Jason Howerton
Legendary rocker and conservative firebrand Ted Nugent takes pleasure in, as he put it in his speech at this year’s NRA convention, “dancing on the skulls” of dishonest and hypocritical members of the media. In an exclusive backstage interview with TheBlaze on Sunday, the NRA board member savaged the “grossly unprofessional” and “sinfully biased” so-called journalism peddled by the mainstream media.
“They’ll never get it,” Nugent told TheBlaze in a dimly lit green room at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. “And that’s why I emphasize the soullessness–I’m pretty good with adjectives but I feel helpless coming up with one incriminating enough or descriptive enough to identify those who would hate freedom, hate the right to self-defense and smirk at the widow of a Navy SEAL for celebrating the freedom that all warriors dedicate and volunteer their lives to fight for.”
The “smirk” Nugent was referring to occurred in the press room during the NRA convention this weekend where an unidentified individual, presumably a reporter (he was wearing a media badge), told this author that it was “weird” that Taya Kyle, the widow of slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, would speak at the NRA event after her husband was killed with a gun.
“Make no mistake, my enemy looks and smells exactly what the enemy of freedom should look and smell like: Hygiene challenged Michael Moores, G-force lying Nancy ‘you don’t have to read it, you need to sign it’ Pelosis, deceptive scam artist like Dianne ‘I’ve got a .38, you don’t get one’ Feinstein,” a passionate Nugent told TheBlaze.
He went on to say that people like CNN host Piers Morgan “don’t care about saving lives.”
“I know that’s a terrible thing to say, and it pains me to say it,” he clarified. “I’m in shock like you are and challenged to accurately describe the negative soullessness of people who would be against self-defense.”
Nugent went on further: “Those that would smirk at the widow of a Navy SEAL hero is a perfect representation of whose on the other side of the line drawn in the sand. I’m on the side with Glenn Beck and Chris Kyle and his widow. I’m on the side with the warriors and freedom lovers.”
The good thing about the media showing exactly who they are, Nugent explained, is that it makes it easy to tell if you are on the side of good or evil. “We are the good,” he added.
The rocker continued his scathing critique of the media, saying so many in the industry are “dishonest,” “grossly unprofessional,” and “sinfully biased.” To that end, he said there may be no hope in helping them at this point.
“Honesty and integrity, sense of decency and, especially in the media, dedication to accuracy is something that must come from within,” he said before addressing the media specifically. “Those you who violate the premise of honest journalism, you are so feeble and soulless you don’t even know it…I will continue to go Piers Morgan on you — know that. Brace thyselves.“
Nugent, undoubtedly one of the biggest supporters of the military and America’s veterans, also recapped a phenomenal moment that occurred on stage during his NRA address Sunday. Two veterans organizations, Operation Finally Home and the Military Warriors Support Foundation, gave two wounded veterans each a custom built home on the final day of the NRA convention to honor their sacrifice.
Nugent said most Americans understand that our freedom is provided by the “supreme sacrifices” of the nation’s U.S. military heroes. Sadly, veterans are severely mistreated by the government at times, he argued.
“But when it really comes down to it, [it] is we the people giving away free custom homes to the heroes who have sacrificed their legs and their arms,” he told TheBlaze. “And we’re fighting to stop the tragedy and the curse of increased suicide in the veterans of America by reaching out to them like we did today and giving away two custom homes to heroes of the United States military who need that help.”
But charitable acts like the one mentioned above happen “all the time,” Nugent said, adding that he hopes the media will cover the incredible show of generosity for veterans’ sake. “Because more and more Americans, as they learn that we can reach out to the military heroes…good Americans always do,” he concluded. “God bless those who give.”
For those of you who couldn’t make it to the NRA convention in Houston this year, here’s the incredibly long line that remained more than an hour after Nugent’s book signing began on Sunday:
Sex Offenders Can Carry Guns in Iowa — and Here’s How Authorities Are Responding
Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:23 am by Billy Hallowell
America’s gun debate has been at a fever pitch since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. While the grander discussion has centered on national laws that would more strictly govern who should be allowed to carry or even possess firearms, some more specific and complex local issues are emerging. In Iowa, for instance, state law allows sex offenders to obtain guns.
A two-year-old regulatory structure apparently permits misdemeanor offenders to carry in public, a loophole of sorts that has created quite a stir. With the current discussion about firearms reverberating from the nation’s capital to the state and local levels, it’s no surprise that some police and lawmakers are speaking out against this allowance.
As USA Today notes, prominent authorities have expressed safety concerns, as 50 offenders in Iowa have been granted permits. The debate that is unfolding is a confounding one that meshes together personal freedoms, crime prevention and gun control.
Steve Conlon, the deputy unit chief of the FBI Behavioral Science Unit’s Evil Minds Research Museum in Quantico, Virginia, told the outlet that the loophole allowing sex offenders to purchase and possess guns seems counter-intuitive. He also noted that the issue is relatively unique and that it hasn’t been talked about too fervently.
“It does seem to go contrary to what the whole point or the whole purpose [of a sex offender registry is],” said Conlon, who plans to speak with other officials about the issue. “I’ve never even heard of anybody looking into this arena. You’re in some unchartered grounds.”
Below, see an interview with a registered sex offender who carries a gun:
The issue at the center of the debate is a law that apparently changed in 2011. At that time and before it, sheriffs could deny weapons permits for sex offenders, however these authorities no longer have the ability to do so. In the end, this means, as USA Today notes, that those convicted of misdemeanor sex crimes are able to enjoy their Second Amendment rights.
There are some obvious fears and issues at hand here. While some would argue for the freedom of firearms for everyone (depending on the nature of a crime, of course), if registered assailants are repeat offenders, it’s concerning to consider the notion that these individuals would have access to guns — weapons that could be used to force victims into compliance.
This is the very point that Detective Rob Burdess, a Newton official, and the president of the Iowa State Police Association made in questioning the rationale of allowing sex offenders to carry guns in public.
“If they’re on the sex offender registry, they’re already a safety concern in one aspect,” he said. “Who’s to say they’re not a safety concern with weapons? They’ve already shown propensity to be sexually violent, so the escalation can be the use of weapons.”
Despite the dismay that some officials have shown at learning of Iowa’s lax gun regulation, it seems the state isn’t alone in allowing sex offenders to carry. USA Today has more:
However, a review of states surrounding Iowa found that some sex offenders can obtain permits to carry weapons even though authorities said they aren’t aware of a large number being issued. Those states — including Nebraska, Missouri and Wisconsin — have laws similar to Iowa’s that do not specifically exclude sex offenders from obtaining such permits.
Minnesota law, however, makes it a misdemeanor for a person required to register as a sex offender to carry a handgun.
Despite the push-back, some might argue that individuals found guilty of sexual crimes have a lower recidivism rate and, thus, are not as dangerous or as likely to relapse into crime. Still, considering that people with felonies or domestic abuse charges are generally exempt from gun ownership, critics and experts like Burdess wonder why sex offenders should be treated any different.
What do you think? Take the poll, below, and read more about this intriguing story here.
(H/T: Des Moines Register)
There Are More Answers (and Questions) as to the Identity of This Tiny, Alien-Like Skeleton
Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:57 am by Liz Klimas
Featured in a crowd-funded documentary about extraterrestrials and the advanced energy technology they supposedly possess is a 6-inch humanoid skeleton with what many would describe as alien-like features. People were surprised when Garry Nolan with Stanford University said, after “Sirius” aired in April, that the skeleton was likely human based on its DNA.
Now, Science Magazine is featuring a more detailed analysis from the director of stem cell biology at Stanford University’s School of Medicine in California. The ultimate conclusion from Nolan is that the skeleton “is human, there’s no doubt about it.”
“Sirius,” the documentary led by Steven Greer, dubbed the skeleton Ata because it was found in Chile’s Atacama desert. Nolan heard about the skeleton and offered to filmmakers to give it his scientific look.
Here’s more from Science Magazine regarding the skeleton’s abnormalities and hypothesized age (emphasis added):
Among the apparent abnormalities, Ata sports 10 ribs instead of the usual 12 and a severely misshapen skull. “I asked our neonatal care unit how you would go about analyzing it. Had they seen this kind of syndrome before?” Nolan says. He was directed to pediatric radiologist Ralph Lachman, co-director of the International Skeletal Dysplasia Registry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. “He literally wrote the book on pediatric bone disorders,” Nolan says. Lachman was blown away, Nolan recalls: “He said, ‘Wow, this is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.’ “
To study the specimen, Nolan sought clues in Ata’s genome. He initially presumed the specimen was tens or hundreds of thousands of years old—the Atacama Desert may be the driest spot on the planet, so Ata could have been preserved for eons. He consulted experts who had extracted DNA from bones of the Denisovans, an Asian relative of European Stone Age Neandertals. It turned out that their protocols weren’t necessary. “The DNA was modern, abundant, and high quality,” he says, indicating that the specimen is probably a few decades old.
Looking at Ata’s mitochondrial DNA, scientists confirmed its heritage as likely being from Chile as its mother was from the west coast of South America.
So, if Ata is of human origin and is only a few decades old, what caused it to have such an alien-like appearance?
Looking at the development of the skeleton, Lachman believes Ata’s age was between 6 to 8 years old. This gives them two options about Ata’s bizarre deformities, Nolan said. Either Ata had a severe form of dwarfism or it was really a 22-week-old fetus that had a disease causing it to age rapidly, like progeria, and died before reaching a full-term birth. Looking into both of these possibilities, Nolan didn’t find the genes for either condition.
Science Magazine reported Nolan saying he is researching other genetic mutations and toxins that could have led to such a skeleton.
Getting another opinion, Science reported William Jungers, a paleoanthropologist and anatomist at Stony Brook University Medical Center, saying he thinks Ata was a mummified human fetus or premature stillbirth. Nolan said this explanation wouldn’t account for the unusual rib number and other features.
Still think Ata might be a hoax? Nolan too said that based on his analysis “you just couldn’t fake it … unless you were an alien.”
If you haven’t seen the trailer for the “Sirius” documentary that spurred the story of Ata to go viral, check it out:
Report: Benghazi Whistleblower to Allege Clinton Tried to Cut Out Anti-Terror Bureau in Wake of Attack
Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:35 am by Billy Hallowell
With the Benghazi, Libya, terror attack finding its way back into the headlines, some startling new allegations are coming to light. On Sunday, Fox News revealed that one of the whistleblowers with knowledge of the deadly assault will purportedly share a shocking claim about former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and her handling of the affair.
Daily Mail has more about the potential testimony — one that is sure to start a firestorm of controversy and debate:
One of the Benghazi ‘whistle-blowers’ will claim that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to chop the State Department’s own counterterrorism bureau out of the chain of reporting and decision-making in the aftermath of the attacks, it was revealed on Sunday.
On Wednesday, the three State Department officials will appear on Capitol Hill before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to talk about the September 11, 2012, assault on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Fox News reported on Sunday that witness Mark I. Thompson, who was once a marine, will make the allegations against Clinton and Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy.
The central allegation is that Clinton and Kennedy attempted to cut out the counterterrorism bureau as the government examined the events that unfolded in Benghazi. Thus far, representatives for the State Department and Clinton have flatly denied the allegations.
As previously reported Thompson will be joined by Gregory N. Hicks, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Libya at the time of the attack and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer, in speaking on Wednesday about the attacks.
Read more about the new developments in the Libya terror attack here.
(H/T: Daily Mail)
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America’s Immigration Debate: Everything You Need to Know About the Stats, History and Proposals for Reform
Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:55 am by Billy Hallowell
WASHINGTON (AP) — This may be the year Congress decides what to do about the millions of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. After years of gridlock, there are ideas whizzing all around Washington.
For now, all eyes are on an 844-page Senate proposal with the you-said-a-mouthful title of the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.”
Look for the Senate Judiciary Committee to take its first votes on the legislation on Thursday.
What’s in that bill? Is there a Plan B? And who are all these immigrants, once you get past the big round numbers?
A big dose of facts, figures and other information to help understand the current debate:
Major problems with U.S. immigration have been around for decades.
President George W. Bush tried to change the system and failed. President Barack Obama promised to overhaul it in his first term but never did.
In Obama’s second term, he’s making immigration a priority, and Republicans also appear ready to deal.
Why the new commitment?
Obama won 71 percent of Hispanic voters in his 2012 re-election campaign, and he owes them. Last year’s election also sent a loud message to Republicans that they can’t ignore this pivotal voting bloc.
It’s been the kind of breathtaking turnaround you rarely see in politics. Plus, there’s growing pressure from business leaders, who want to make it easier for the U.S. to attract highly educated immigrants and to legally bring in more lower-skilled workers such as farm laborers.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Talk about “comprehensive immigration reform” generally centers on four main questions:
-What to do about the 11 million-plus immigrants who live in the U.S. without legal permission.
-How to tighten border security.
-How to keep businesses from employing people who are in the U.S. illegally.
-How to improve the legal immigration system, now so convoluted that the adjective “Byzantine” pops up all too frequently.
WHAT’S THE GANG OF EIGHT?
A group of four Democrats and four Republicans in the Senate that crafted a bill to address all four questions. In a nutshell, this proposal would tighten border controls, allow more high- and low-skilled workers to legally immigrate, require employers to verify their workers have legal status, and create an opportunity for those who are in the U.S. illegally to eventually become citizens.
IS THERE A PLAN B?
And C and D.
Obama has his own backup plan in case congressional talks fail, but he’s given his support to the Senate bill as a worthy compromise.
In the House, Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the head of the House Judiciary Committee, says his committee will tackle the main immigration issues one by one, instead of starting with a single sweeping bill.
Separately, there’s a bipartisan House group working on legislation.
Obama says he will keep an open mind about the various proposals, but the final deal has to address all the big issues.
COMING TO AMERICA
A record 40.4 million immigrants live in the U.S., representing 13 percent of the population. More than 18 million are naturalized citizens, 11 million are legal permanent or temporary residents, and more than 11 million are in the country without legal permission, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a private research organization.
Those in the U.S. illegally made up about 3.7 percent of the U.S. population in 2010. While overall immigration has steadily grown, the number of immigrants in the U.S. illegally peaked at 12 million in 2007.
Twenty-nine percent of the foreign-born in the U.S., or about 11.7 million people, came from Mexico. About 25 percent came from South and East Asia, 9 percent from the Caribbean, 8 percent from Central America, 7 percent South America, 4 percent the Middle East and the rest from elsewhere.
The figures are more lopsided for immigrants living here illegally: An estimated 58 percent are from Mexico. The next closest figure is 6 percent from El Salvador, says the government.
California has the largest share of the U.S. immigrant population, 27 percent, followed by New York, New Jersey, Florida, Nevada, Hawaii and Texas, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a private group focused on global immigration issues.
California has the largest share of immigrants in the U.S. illegally, at 25 percent, followed by Texas with 16 percent. Florida and New York each has 6 percent, and Georgia has 5 percent, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Here’s one way to think about the ways immigrants arrive in the U.S: Some come in the front door, others the side door and still others the back door, as laid out in a report from the private Population Reference Bureau.
-Arriving through the front door: people legally sponsored by their families or employers. Also refugees and asylum-seekers, and immigrants who win visas in an annual “diversity” lottery.
-Side door: legal temporary arrivals, including those who get visas to visit, work or study. There are dozens of types of nonimmigrant visas, available to people ranging from business visitors to foreign athletes and entertainers. Visitors from dozens of countries don’t even need visas.
-Back door: Somewhat more than half of those in the U.S. illegally have come in the back door, evading border controls, Pew estimates. The rest legally entered, but didn’t leave when they were supposed to or otherwise violated terms of their visas.
IS IT A CRIME?
Simply being in the United States in violation of immigration laws isn’t, by itself, a crime; it’s a civil violation.
Entering the country without permission is a misdemeanor criminal offense. Re-entering the country without authorization after being formally removed can be felony.
Pew estimates that a little less than half of immigrants who lack legal permission to live in the U.S. didn’t enter the country illegally. They overstayed their visas, worked without authorization, dropped out of school or otherwise violated the conditions of their visas.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
There are varying and strong opinions about how best to refer to the 11 million-plus people who are in the U.S. without legal permission.
The last has generally fallen out of favor. Some immigrant advocates are pressing a “Drop the I-Word” campaign, arguing that it is dehumanizing to refer to people as “illegal.”
“Undocumented worker” often isn’t accurate because many aren’t workers, and some have documents from other countries. Homeland Security reports refer to “unauthorized immigrants,” but the agency also reports statistics on “aliens apprehended.”
-Legal permanent residents (LPRs): people who have permission to live in the U.S. permanently but aren’t citizens. They’re also known as “green card” holders. Most of them can apply for citizenship within five years of getting green cards. In 2011, 1.06 million people got the cards.
-Refugees and asylees: people who come to the U.S. to avoid persecution in their home countries. What’s the difference between the two terms? Refugees are people who apply for protective status before they get to the U.S. Asylees are people who apply upon arrival in the U.S. or later.
-Naturalization: The process by which immigrants become U.S. citizens.
Is there an actual green card? Indeed there is.
It’s the Permanent Resident Card issued to people who are authorized to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis. In 2010, the government redesigned them to add new security features – and make them green again.
The cards had been a variety of colors over the years. New green cards are good for 10 years for lawful permanent residents and two years for conditional residents.
PATH TO CITIZENSHIP
There’s a lot of talk about creating a “path to citizenship” for immigrants who are in the U.S. without legal status.
But there’s vigorous debate over what conditions these immigrants should have to satisfy to get citizenship – among them are paying taxes, fines and fees, and passing background checks.
Some legislators want to set additional conditions, such as improvements in border security and in tracking whether legal immigrants leave the country when required. Others want to limit immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally to some sort of legal status that stops short of citizenship.
But more than 60 percent of Americans think those who are here illegally should have a way to become citizens, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll conducted in April.
The Senate bill would allow those in the country illegally to obtain “registered provisional immigrant” status six months after the bill was enacted if they met certain conditions.
Additional border security improvements would have to go into place before anyone obtained green cards or citizenship.
It would take immigrants living here illegally at least 13 years to get all the way to citizenship. They’d have to pay taxes, fees and $2,000 in fines. No one who entered the country after Dec. 31, 2011, or had a felony conviction or more than three misdemeanors would be eligible.
Nothing stirs up a hornet’s nest like talk of amnesty for immigrants who are in the country illegally, although there’s a lot of disagreement over how to define the term.
A 2007 effort to overhaul the immigration system, led by Bush, failed in part because Republicans were dismayed that it included a process to give otherwise law-abiding immigrants who were in the country illegally a chance to become citizens. Critics complained that would be offering amnesty.
All sides know it’s not practical to talk about sending 11 million-plus people back to their countries of origin. So one big challenge this time is finding an acceptable way to resolve the status of those who are in the country illegally.
Backers of the Senate bill stress that those who are in the country illegally would have a longer and more difficult path to citizenship under their plan than would immigrants who followed all the rules.
GETTING A REPRIEVE
While the larger immigration debate goes on, the government already is offering as many as 1.76 million immigrants who are in the country illegally a way to avoid deportation, at least for now.
Obama announced a program in June that puts off deportation for many people brought here as children. Applicants for the reprieve must have arrived before they turned 16, be younger than 31 now, be high school graduates or in school, or have served in the military. They can’t have a serious criminal record or pose a threat to public safety or national security.
Applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are averaging more than 3,000 a day. By mid-April, nearly 489,000 people had applied and more than 268,000 had been approved, with most of the rest still under consideration.
Applications have come from all 50 states, with the largest number coming from California and Texas. Nearly 75 percent of the applicants are originally from Mexico.
In some ways, the program closely tracks the failed DREAM Act, which would have given many young illegal immigrants a path to legal status. Obama’s program doesn’t give them legal status but it at least protects them from deportation for two years.
HISTORY: DOING THE WAVE
The U.S. is in its fourth and largest immigration wave.
First came the Colonial era, then an 1820-1870 influx of newcomers mostly from Northern and Western Europe. Most were Germans and Irish, but the gold rush and jobs on the transcontinental railroad also attracted Chinese immigrants.
In the 1870s, immigration declined due to economic problems and restrictive legislation.
The third wave, between 1881 and 1920, brought more than 23 million people to the U.S., mostly from Southern and Eastern Europe, aided by cheaper trans-Atlantic travel and lured by employers seeking workers.
Then came the Great Depression and more restrictive immigration laws, and immigration went into decline for decades.
The fourth wave, still underway, began in 1965 with the end of immigration limits based on nationality. Foreign-born people made up 1 in 20 residents of the U.S. in 1960; today, the figure is about 1 in 8.
HISTORY: HERE A LAW, THERE A LAW
Until the late 1800s, immigration was largely a free for all. Then came country-by-country limits. Since then, big changes in U.S. immigration law have helped produce big shifts in migration patterns.
Among the more notable laws:
-1965 Immigration and Nationality Act: Abolished country-by-country limits, established a new system that determined immigration preference based on family relationships and needed skills, and expanded the categories of family members who could enter without numerical limits.
-1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act: Legalized about 2.7 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, 84 percent of them from Mexico and Central America.
-1990 Immigration Act: Increased worldwide immigration limit to a “flexible cap” of 675,000 a year. The number can go higher in some years if there are unused visas available from the previous year.
-1996 Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. Expanded possible reasons for deporting people or ruling them ineligible to enter the U.S., expedited removal procedures, gave state and local police power to enforce immigration laws.
-Post-2001: In 2001, talk percolated about a new immigration plan to deal with unauthorized immigrants, guest workers and violence along the Mexican border. But the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks of 2001 put an end to that, amid growing unease over illegal immigration.
ABOUT LAST TIME. …
The last big immigration legalization plan, in 1986, took six years to get done.
The law, signed by President Ronald Reagan, had three main components: making it illegal to hire unauthorized workers, improving border enforcement and providing for the legalization of a big chunk of the estimated 3 million to 5 million immigrants then in the country illegally.
The results were disappointing on two central fronts: The hiring crackdown largely failed because there was no good way to verify eligibility to work, and it took a decade to improve border security. As a result, illegal immigration continued to grow, fueled by the strong U.S. economy.
What did work as intended: Close to 3 million immigrants living in the U.S. without permission received legal status. By 2009, about 40 percent of them had been naturalized, according to Homeland Security.
Census figures show that between 1960 and 2010, immigration from Europe declined while the numbers coming from Latin America and Asia took off. As the immigrants’ points of origin changed, so did their destinations. Concentrations shifted from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and West.
A few Census Bureau snapshots:
-In 1960, there were fewer than 1 million people in the U.S. who were born in Latin America. By 2010, there were 21.2 million.
-In 1960, 75 percent of foreigners in the U.S. came from Europe. By 2010, 80 percent came from Latin America and Asia.
-In 1960: 47 percent of the foreign-born lived in the Northeast and 10 percent in the South. By 2010, 22 percent lived in the Northeast and 32 percent in the South.
The fence between the U.S. and Mexico runs off and on for 651 miles along the 1,954-mile border. Most of it has been built since 2005. At some points, it’s an 18-foot-high steel mesh structure topped with razor wire. At others, it’s a rusting, 8-foot-high thing, made of Army surplus landing mats from the Vietnam War.
The fencing is one of the more visible manifestations of a massive effort over the past two decades to improve border security. The results of that effort are dramatic. Those images of crowds of immigrants sprinting across the border illegally while agents scramble to nab a few are largely a thing of the past.
Two decades ago, fewer than 4,000 Border Patrol agents worked along the Southwest border. Today there are 18,500.
Plummeting apprehension statistics are one measure of change: 357,000 last year, compared with 1.6 million in 2000. The numbers are down in part because fewer are trying to make it across.
The border isn’t sealed but it is certainly more secure.
The Senate bill would require the government to have even tougher border security plans before those who are in the country illegally could become legal permanent residents.
WHO’S HANGING AROUND
With tighter border security and years of economic difficulty in the U.S., it turns out that most of the immigrants who are in the U.S. without permission have been there for a while. Just 14 percent have arrived since the start of 2005, according to Homeland Security estimates. In contrast, 29 percent came during the previous five years.
At the peak in 2000, about 770,000 immigrants arrived annually from Mexico, most of them entering the country illegally. By 2010, the pace had dropped to about 140,000, most of them arriving as legal immigrants, according to Pew.
Mexicans, mostly. Since 1986, more than 4 million noncitizens have been deported. Deportations have expanded in the Obama administration, reaching 410,000 in 2012 from 30,000 in 1990. Most of those deported – 75 percent – are sent back to Mexico. Nearly half of those removed had prior criminal convictions. So far, the Obama administration has deported more than 1.6 million people.
TO NATURALIZE OR NOT
Lots of U.S. immigrants who are eligible to become naturalized citizens don’t bother. As of 2010, about two-thirds of eligible immigrants had applied for citizenship, according to the Migration Policy Institute. That lags behind the rate in other English-speaking countries such as Australia and Canada, which do more to promote naturalization.
What’s so great about citizenship?
Naturalization offers all sorts of rights and benefits, including the right to vote and run for office. Naturalized citizens are protected from losing their residency rights and being deported if they get in legal trouble. They can bring family members into the U.S. more quickly.
Certain government jobs and licensed professions require citizenship. Citizenship also symbolizes full membership in U.S. society.
In 2010, there was a 67 percent earnings gap between naturalized citizens and noncitizen immigrants, according to a report from the Migration Policy Institute. Even after stripping out differences in education, language skills and work experience, naturalized citizens earned at least 5 percent more.
Nearly two-thirds of the 5.4 million legal immigrants from Mexico who are eligible to become U.S. citizens haven’t done so, according to a Pew study released in February. Their rate of naturalization is half that of legal immigrants from all other countries combined. The barriers to naturalization cited by Mexican nonapplicants include the need to learn English, the difficulty of the citizenship exam and the $680 application fee.
How do immigrants who are in the U.S. without permission fit into the nation’s jobs picture?
In 2010, about 8 million were working in the U.S. or trying to get work. They made up about 5 percent of the labor force, according to Pew. Among U.S. farm workers, about half are believed to be in the country illegally, according to the Government Accountability Office.
Business groups want a system to legally bring in both more highly skilled workers and more lower-skilled workers such as agricultural laborers. The idea is to hire more when Americans aren’t available to fill jobs. This has been a sticking point in past attempts at immigration overhaul. Labor groups want any such revamped system to provide worker protections and guard against displacing American workers. Current temporary worker programs are cumbersome and outdated.
The Senate bill would establish a agriculture worker visa system and create more visa programs for high- and low-skilled workers. Farm workers already here illegally would be able to qualify for green cards after five years if they’d already worked in agriculture in the U.S. for two years and if they kept working in the industry.
Current law requires employers to have their workers fill out a form that declares them authorized to work in the U.S. Then the employer needs to verify that the worker’s identifying documents look real. But the law allows lots of different documents, and many of them are easy to counterfeit.
The government has developed a mostly voluntary employment verification system called E-Verify, which has gradually gotten better. But so far just 10 percent of employers are using it, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The system is now required in varying degrees by 19 states.
The Senate proposal would require all employers to implement it within four years.
FAMILIES VS. JOBS
A big question in the immigration debate centers on how much priority to give to the family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
Under current law, the U.S. awards a much larger proportion of green cards to family members than to foreigners with job prospects here. About two-thirds of permanent legal immigration to the U.S. is family-based, compared with about 15 percent that is employment-based, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The rest is largely humanitarian.
Some policymakers think employment-based immigration should be boosted to help the economy. Advocates for families want to make sure any such action doesn’t come at the expense of people seeking to join relatives in the U.S.
The Senate plan would prevent citizens from bringing in siblings and would allow them to sponsor married sons and daughters only if the children were under 31. It would raise the cap on visas for high-skilled workers, create a startup visa for foreign entrepreneurs, and set up a new merit visa that would award points to prospective immigrants based on their education, employment, length of residence in the U.S. and other factors.
For all the attention being devoted to immigration right now, it’s not the top priority for most people, even for most Hispanics. It ranked 17th on a list of policy priorities in a recent Pew Research Center poll. Among Hispanics, one-third said immigration was an extremely important issue to them, behind such issues as the economy and jobs, education and health care.
A VIEW FROM THE SOUTH
Is life actually better in the U.S.? A little more than half of Mexican adults think so, according to a 2012 Pew Global Attitudes poll. Thirty-eight percent said they’d move to the U.S. if they had the chance. Nineteen percent said they’d come even without authorization.
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Wild Vid: Justin Bieber Fan Rushes Stage, Guard Knocks Over Piano Catching Him
Posted May 5, 2013 at 11:43 pm by Erica Ritz
Justin Bieber was reportedly attacked by a crazed fan during his concert in Dubai this weekend, and the entire scene was caught on video.
Amid the hysterical female fans, one can be heard screaming: “Justin! Oh my God, Justin! AHH!!”
The U.K. Telegraph summarizes:
The 19-year-old was playing the piano when the man jumped onto the stage and grabbed him from behind.
In chaotic scenes, Bieber managed to free himself and run to the side of the stage while security guards tried to tackle the man.
During the melee the [piano was tipped over], according to the Dubai-based National newspaper.
He was eventually caught by security guards.
Video from audience-members showed security guards running across the stage as the piano lay upturned.
An accompanying tweet said: ‘Whoa. Crazy fan tackled @justinbieber and knocked the piano down the stage. Mayhem.’
While Bieber was shaken, he was unhurt, and the band finished the song while the fan was removed from the stage.
Watch the entire video via TMZ, below:
Rush Limbaugh Reportedly Considering Major Radio Shake-Up
Posted May 5, 2013 at 10:36 pm by Erica Ritz
A Sunday night POLITICO report claims Rush Limbaugh, host of the most listened to radio program in the country, is considering a major shake-up at the end of 2013.
Sources reportedly say he is considering ending his affiliation agreement with Cumulus Media, which would mean roughly 40 Cumulus-owned radio stations across the country would no longer be able to broadcast the program.
According to the source, Limbaugh is considering the move because Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey has blamed the company’s advertising losses on Limbaugh’s controversial remarks about Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student. In Feb. 2012, Limbaugh referred to Fluke as “a slut” because she had called on congress to mandate insurance coverage of birth control. The subsequent controversy over those remarks resulted in a significant advertising boycott.
The true extent of Limbaugh’s effect on Cumulus’s advertising revenue is not known. In an August 2012 earnings call, Dickey said Cumulus’s top three stations had lost $5.5 million, in part because of the boycott. In a March 2013 earnings call, Dickey said the company’s talk radio side had “been challenged… due to some of the issues that happened a year ago.”…
Cumulus Media, which has a contract with Limbaugh through 2013, declined to comment for this report: “Cumulus owns the premier talk radio distribution platform in the United States and doesn’t comment on negotiations with talent under contract,” Davidson Goldin, a Cumulus spokesman, told POLITICO. Clear Channel, which distributes the Rush Limbaugh Program through its Premiere Radio division, also declined to comment. [Emphasis added]
A similar report from the New York Daily News Sunday night implies Limbaugh might not be off all Cumulus-owned stations, just WABC.
The report reads:
Rush Limbaugh people are saying it’s not El Rushbo’s fault that ad sales have fallen at his flagship WABC — and he made it clear this weekend if the network’s boss keeps declaring it is, he just may pack up his megadittoes and leave.
In New York, that would very likely take him to WOR, which would create the biggest shakeup in city talk radio since WOR scooped up Bob Grant after WABC fired him in 1995.
Limbaugh’s contract with WABC expires at the end of the year.
Though it also says near the end of the article: “If Limbaugh leaves Cumulus, which now carries him on 40 stations in 36 markets, the source at [Limbaugh's] show confirms he would be looking for other stations in those markets.”
It’s very possible “El Rushbo” will address the rumors in his inimitable style when he returns to the microphone this week.
‘What Would You Have Done?’: Bill Ayers Reportedly Defends Weather Underground Bombings
Posted May 5, 2013 at 9:27 pm by Erica Ritz
In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, former domestic terrorist-turned university professor Bill Ayers was asked how the bombings he helped organize with the Weather Underground decades ago are any different than what happened in Boston.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal Online, Ayers responded by saying there is “no relationship at all” between the acts, and even defended his decisions.
“How different is the shooting in Connecticut from shooting at a hunting range?” the Weather Underground co-founder reportedly replied. “Just because they use the same thing, there’s no relationship at all.”
Ayers was a keynote speaker at the commemoration of the National Guard shootings at Kent State this weekend, and was asked the question after his remarks.
The Beacon Journal’s Jim Mackinnon continues:
The United States is the most violent country that has ever been created, Ayers said.
U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., committed daily war crimes in Vietnam “and I get asked about violence when what I did was some destruction of property to issue a scream and cry against an illegal war in which 6,000 people a week are being killed,” Ayers said. “Six thousand a week being killed and I destroyed some property. Show me the equivalence. You should ask John McCain that question … I’m against violence.”
“To conflate a group of fundamentalist people [in Boston] who are nihilistic in some way with a group of people who spent their lives trying to oppose the murder of 6,000 people a week … and still the killing went on. And still the killing went on. What would you have done?” Ayers said. “There’s no equivalence [with Boston]. Property damage. That’s what we did.” [Emphasis added]
This isn’t the first time Ayers has defended his role in the Weather Underground. In 2001 he said: “I don’t regret setting bombs…I feel we didn’t do enough.”
Both Hillary Clinton and John McCain noted President Obama’s connections to the radical in their presidential campaigns.
The Beacon Journal has more on Ayers’ remarks. Apparently he continued to attack John McCain, and spoke of the three friends he lost:
In his talk to the crowd, Ayers mentioned that in 1970, he lost three friends in the Weather Underground, including his lover, Diana Oughton. He did not explain in his talk how they died – they were killed when nail bombs they were making in a Greenwich Village townhouse blew up.
Telling the crowd the circumstances of those deaths would have been “inappropriate,” Ayers said afterward. “Everybody here knows,” he said.
Authorities said the bombs were intended to be used at a dance at the Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey.
“No one knows for sure but I think they were. And had they carried it out it would have been a catastrophe,” Ayers said. “But they didn’t and it didn’t happen. But what did happen is, on that same day John McCain murdered civilians. Do we have any responsibility for that? Should there be any reconciliation for that? Should he tell the truth about it?” [Emphasis added]
(H/T: Michelle Malkin)
Is That Occupy Portland Dancing Around a Golden Calf on May Day?
Posted May 5, 2013 at 8:19 pm by Erica Ritz
Dan Sandini at Daylight Disinfectant recently posted video from the “May Day” protests in Portland, Oregon, and one of them alarmingly shows a group of young individuals dancing around a golden calf.
Sandini’s description of the video reads:
Warning: Video can not be “unseen.” ”It is useless to resist it,” or so go the lyrics. On May 1 2013, Occupy Portland dragged an idol of a Golden Bull down to O’Bryant Square.
Dressed as Egyptian belly dancers they then proceeded to sing and dance about it. You just can’t make this stuff up folks. About three minutes 34 seconds of you life that you can’t get back.
Here are a few screen shots from the clip:
TheBlaze spoke with Sandini to get more information.
“I was kinda flabbergasted at it,” he said of the scene. “I really thought that it’s quite ironic that a lot of what we see going on around us now is not a very positive thing for society, and if you bring this back to the golden calf with Moses, I thought, isn’t that weird. I wonder if they see that in their own display, that they’re mimicking that.”
If you look closely at the calf, you can see that the logos of companies like Shell and Walmart are taped to its base. Coupled with the dollar signs on the dancers’ headdresses, it’s also possible they were trying to imply it’s the capitalists who are worshiping the golden calf.
Back in 2011, Occupy Wall Street protesters also marched a likeness of a golden calf they called “greed” into Zucotti Park.
“It’s a false idol, just as much as the Wall Street bull has been a false idol for so many of us for so long,” protester Ed Needham reportedly explained.
Watch the complete video from Portland and let us know what you think, below:
Shocking: Historic Plane Crashes & Explodes as Thousands Gather for Spanish Airshow
Posted May 5, 2013 at 7:19 pm by Erica Ritz
MADRID (TheBlaze/AP) — A historic jet plane crashed into a hangar and exploded in a ball of fire at an airshow southwest of the capital Sunday, severely injuring its pilot who later died in the hospital, officials say.
A spokesman for Spain’s Defense Ministry said the pilot, Ladislao Tejedor Romero, 35, an experienced jet pilot and assistant to Defense Minister Pedro Morenes, died of his injuries in the serious burns unit of Getafe hospital.
Some 3,000 people were at Cuatro Vientos airfield watching a showcase of aerial acrobatics and vintage aircraft when the plane — one of the first jet-propelled planes to be manufactured in Spain — crashed, sending a fireball and thick black smoke into the air.
The plane, a HA-200 Saeta, was a built in the 1950s as an advanced jet trainer by Hispano Aviacion, ministry spokesman Alfredo Florenza said. It was later given an attack capability.
Florenza said the cause of the crash was not known.
State broadcaster RTVE showed images of a large plume of smoke rising above hangars Sunday and interviewed witnesses who described the plane diving and crashing into buildings. Spain’s airport authority AENA said no one other than the pilot was injured.
Europa Press news agency, however, reported quoting emergency services that two people, a rescue worker suffering from burns and a 57-year-old man suffering from an anxiety attack, believed to be the pilot’s father, were transferred to hospital. A third rescue worker suffering from smoke inhalation received first aid at the scene, the agency said.
Here’s purported video of the terrifying crash:
Family’s Old Cabin Holds Big Surprise: A 12-Foot Beehive With About 60,000 Live Bees
Posted May 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm by Erica Ritz
SALT LAKE CITY (TheBlaze/AP) — It was the biggest beehive that that Ogden beekeeper Vic Bachman has ever removed – a dozen feet long, packed inside the eve of a cabin in Ogden Valley.
“We figure we got 15 pounds of bees out of there,” said Bachman, who said that converts to about 60,000 honeybees.
Bachman was called to the A-frame cabin last month in Eden, Utah. Taking apart a panel that hid roof rafters, he had no idea he would find honeycombs packed 12 feet long, 4 feet wide and 16 inches deep.
The honeybees had been making the enclosed cavity their home since 1996, hardly bothering the homeowners. The cabin was rarely used, but when the owners needed to occupy it while building another home nearby, they decided the beehive wasn’t safe for their two children. A few bees had found their way inside the house, and the hive was just outside a window of a children’s bedroom.
They didn’t want to kill the honeybees, a species in decline that does yeoman’s work pollinating flowers and crops.
So they called Bachman, owner of Deseret Hive Supply, a hobbyist store that can’t keep up with demand for honeybees. Bachman used a vacuum cleaner to suck the bees into a cage.
“It doesn’t hurt them,” he said.
The job took six hours. At $100 an hour, the bill came to $600.
“The bees were expensive,” said Paul Bertagnolli, the cabin owner. He was satisfied with the job.
Utah calls itself the Beehive state, a symbol of industriousness. Whether this was Utah’s largest beehive is unknown, but Bachman said it would rank high.
“It’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I’ve never seen one that big.”
He used smoke to pacify the bees, but Bertagnolli said honeybees are gentle creatures unlike predatory yellow jackets or hornets, which attack, rip apart and eat honeybees, he said.
“They just want to collect nectar and come back to the hive,” he said. “Most people never get stung by honeybees – it’s a yellow jacket.”
Bertagnolli reassembled the hive in a yard of his North Ogden home, while saving some of the honeycomb for candles and lotions at his store. He left other honeycombs for the cabin owners to chew on.
“We caught the queen and were able to keep her,” Bertagnolli said. “The hive is in my backyard right now and is doing well.”
Dem. Strategist Calls Ted Cruz the ‘Most Talented and Fearless Republican Politician’ He’s Seen in Decades
Posted May 5, 2013 at 5:24 pm by Erica Ritz
Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) was showered with praise today on ABC’s This Week, one Democrat strategist even calling him the “most talented and fearless Republican politician” he’s seen in 30 years.
James Carville remarked, with no scorn or irony apparent in his voice:
I think [Ted Cruz] is the most talented and fearless Republican politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years. I further think that he’s going to run for president, and he is going to create something. I’m not sitting here saying he’s going to win, and I think Senator DeMint is right [that he inspires people across the country]. I’ve listened to excerpts of his speech in South Carolina. He touches every button, and this guy has no fear. He just keeps plowing ahead. And he is going to be something to watch.
And a lot of Republicans feel this way…and you hear this a lot: “If we only got someone who was articulate and was for what we were for, we’d win elections. And we get these John McCains and these Mitt Romneys and these squishy guys that can’t do anything.” Well, there’s one thing this guy is not — he ain’t squishy, not in the least.
The panel mentioned other rising stars in the Republican Party, like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, but Carville came back to Cruz.
If all the rising stars held a national debate, Carville asserted, Ted Cruz would “eat their lunch.”
“That guy, I’m telling you, he will out-debate,” Carville insisted. “I am just saying, he is a talent…I’m not rooting. I’m really sincere here…Now I don’t agree with him. I think he’s out there. But I’m telling you, he’s more talented than all of these other guys.”
Watch the entire segment courtesy of Newsbusters, below:
Obama to College Students: ‘Reject These Voices’ That Warn of Big Government & Tyranny
Posted May 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm by Erica Ritz
A year to the day after kicking off his re-election campaign at Ohio State University, President Barack Obama returned to the college campus and told graduates that only through vigorous participation in their “democracy” can they right an ill-functioning government and break through relentless cynicism about the nation’s future.
“I dare you, Class of 2013, to do better. I dare you to do better,” Obama said.
In a sunbaked stadium filled with more than 57,000 students, friends and relatives, Obama lamented an American political system that gets consumed by “small things” and works for the benefit of society’s elite. He called graduates to duty to “accomplish great things,” like rebuilding a still-feeble economy and fighting poverty and climate change.
“Only you can ultimately break that cycle. Only you can make sure the democracy you inherit is as good as we know it can be,” the president told more than 10,000 cap-and-gown-clad graduates. “But it requires your dedicated, informed and engaged citizenship.”
Obama also urged the students to “reject these voices” that warn of the evils of government, saying:
Still, you’ll hear voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s the root of all our problems, even as they do their best to gum up the works; or that tyranny always lurks just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule is just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.
We have never been a people who place all our faith in government to solve our problems, nor do we want it to. But we don’t think the government is the source of all our problems, either. Because we understand that this democracy is ours. As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government.
The cynics may be the loudest voices—but they accomplish the least. It’s the silent disruptors—those who do the long, hard, committed work of change—that gradually push this country in the right direction, and make the most lasting difference. [Emphasis added]
Invoking the end of the Cold War, 9/11 and the economic recession, Obama said this generation has already been tested beyond what their parents could have imagined. But he said young Americans have responded with a deep commitment to service and a conviction that they can improve their surroundings. He urged graduates to run for office, start a business or join a cause, contending that the health of their democracy “requires your dedicated, informed and engaged citizenship.”
Ohio State also bestowed an honorary doctorate on Obama, applauding his “unwavering belief in the ability to unite people around a politics of purpose.”
Obama’s other two commencement speeches this season will be later in May at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and at Morehouse College, an all-male school in Atlanta.
Watch video of President Obama’s speech courtesy of MSNBC, below:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Dan Rather: Obama’s Opponents Want to ‘Cut His Heart Out & Throw His Liver to the Dogs’
Posted May 5, 2013 at 3:49 pm by Madeleine Morgenstern
Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather said Sunday that President Barack Obama’s opponents want to politically “cut his heart out and throw his liver to the dogs.”
Rather’s descriptive analysis came during “The Chris Matthews Show” on NBC. Obama has been on a so-called “charm offensive” to try to foster better relations with Republicans.
“All of these things we’ve said about what the president could do, should do, might have, could have, but the central thing to keep in mind is his opponents — you talk about taking them out to dinner, making nice with them — these people politically want to cut his heart out and throw his liver to the dogs. That does make it very, very difficult to come on nice to them,” Rather said.
“Yeah, it causes indigestion over dinner don’t you think?” Matthews cracked.
NewsBusters flagged the clip:
The Remarkable 107-Year Life of a Nazi Concentration Camp Survivor
Posted May 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm by Dave Urbanski
While time has taken Leopold Engleitner at the age of 107, the oldest-known male survivor of Nazi concentration camps leaves behind a remarkable legacy of standing up to oppression and the indomitable will to survive.
He lived through a bout with the Spanish flu in 1918 during the worldwide pandemic, reports say.
A devout Jehovah’s Witness, Engleitner faced religious intolerance and persecution at the hands of Austrian fascism in the 1930s, and then when Adolph Hitler occupied his country during World War II.
After refusing to renounce his faith and sign a document swearing allegiance to Hitler and the Third Reich, Engleitner was sent to three concentration camps and endured forced labor between 1939 and 1945.
“I will not die here,” he recalled declaring at the time in a TV interview. Still, he kept a suitcase with him throughout his imprisonment in anticipation of his eventual liberation.
Once a Nazi guard kicked him in the testicles so hard that Engleitner said the rupture prevented him from becoming a father later in life, reports say.
Engleitner was imprisoned in Buchenwald, Niederhagen, and then weighed about 60 pounds upon his release from the Ravensbrueck camp in 1943 after he agreed to work as farm slave laborer. Later ordered to report to Hitler’s army, Engleitner—a conscientious objector—hid in the Austrian countryside until after the war ended.
Engleitner carried on his missionary in post-war Europe as well as working jobs, including a spell as a nightwatchman in a soap factory, a Reuters report said.
Engleitner became a public figure after Austrian author and film producer Bernhard Rammerstorfer published his biography and a documentary about his life in 1999, both titled Unbroken Will. Engleitner toured Europe and America many times since to share his experiences and raise awareness about the Holocaust.
Unbroken Will was translated into English in 2004.
Check out this fascinating news report of Engleitner’s visit to the U.S. a few years back:
Austria’s Mauthausen Committee, which tracks tracks the fate of Nazi concentration camp inmates, said Engleitner died April 21, though the news wasn’t reported until a few days ago.
The oldest known survivor of the camps is Alice Herz-Sommer, 109, who lives in London. She was confined in the camp in Terezin, or Theresienstadt in German.
Here’s a longer look at Engleitner’s experiences:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Former Top U.S. Official: I Thought Benghazi Was Terrorism ‘From the Get-Go’
Posted May 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm by Madeleine Morgenstern
The former No. 2 U.S. diplomat in Libya said he thought what happened in Benghazi was terrorism from the start.
“I thought it was a terrorist attack from the get-go. I think everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning,” Gregory Hicks told congressional investigators, according to interview excerpts obtained by CBS News.
Hicks was the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya under Ambassador Christopher Stevens at the time of the September 2012 attack. He is slated to speak publicly for the first time before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday. Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice stated on television several days after the attack that what had transpired was a reaction to protests in Cairo in response to an anti-Islam video. The Obama administration ultimately characterized what happened as terrorism, but Hicks — who was not in Benghazi at the time — said there had been no indication of a protest or demonstration.
“For there to have been a demonstration on Chris Stevens’ front door and him not to have reported it is unbelievable,” Hicks said, according to CBS. “I never reported a demonstration; I reported an attack on the consulate. Chris — Chris’s last report, if you want to say his final report, is, ‘Greg, we are under attack.’”
Hicks said he personally knew one of Rice’s staff members and could easily have provided accurate information before she went on TV.
“I could have been called…the phone call could’ve been, ‘Hey Greg, Ambassador Rice is going to say blah, blah, blah, blah and I could have said no, that’s not the right thing.’ That phone call was never made,” he said.
Limo Bursts Into Flames, Killing 5 Women Trapped Inside
Posted May 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm by Madeleine Morgenstern
SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) — A limousine traveling on a major bridge in the San Francisco area burst into flames, killing five female passengers who were trapped inside and injuring four others who escaped, authorities said Sunday.
The limo was carrying nine female passengers and a male driver when it caught fire late Saturday on the San Mateo bridge, California Highway Patrol officer Art Montiel told The Associated Press.
Five occupants became trapped, while four others suffered injuries but managed to get out after the vehicle came to a stop on the bridge, the patrol said. The driver escaped uninjured.
Montiel said that the victims were all in their 30s. Authorities said the names of the dead would be released once families have been notified.
The blaze occurred around 10 p.m. on westbound lanes of the bridge, which connects San Mateo and Alameda counties, about 20 miles southeast of San Francisco.
The patrol said that smoke started coming out of the rear of the limo, and the driver pulled over as the vehicle quickly became engulfed in flames. Officers were trying to determine the cause of the blaze, which wasn’t the result of an accident.
“We have no idea right now where they were going or where they were coming from,” CHP officer Amelia Jack told KGO-TV.
Two of the women who escaped were taken to Stanford Hospital and the two others were taken to Valley Medical Center in San Jose. All four are being treated for smoke inhalation and burns.
The westbound lanes of the bridge were closed as officers investigated the cause of the deadly fire, but the patrol said one lane of traffic reopened early Sunday.
Dem. Congressman: Susan Rice’s Benghazi Talking Points ‘Absolutely’ False
Posted May 5, 2013 at 12:09 pm by Madeleine Morgenstern
Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) on Sunday said the talking points United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice used in the wake of the Benghazi, Libya attack were “absolutely” altered and incorrect.
In the days following the assault, Rice said what happened was a response to protests in Cairo over an anti-Islam video. But as the Weekly Standard detailed, the Obama administration had been informed that Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists were involved in the attack. Rice’s talking points, however, contained no mention of Islamic extremists.
“Were the talking points the administration put out in advance of Susan Rice’s appearance on those Sunday shows, were those talking points scrubbed?” “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace asked Lynch.
“They certainly weren’t accurate,” Lynch said. “I don’t know what the process was there, but absolutely, they were false, they were wrong. There were no protests outside the Benghazi compound there, this was a deliberate and strategic attack on the consulate there.”
Lynch is a member of the House Oversight Committee, which will hold a much-anticipated hearing on Benghazi on Wednesday in which whistleblowers are expected to testify.
Editor’s note: This headline has been changed to indicate Lynch said Rice’s talking points were “absolutely” “false,” rather than Wallace’s word, “scrubbed.”
(h/t Drudge Report)
What Piece of Seemingly Benign Advice From an NRA Speaker Has Liberal Sites Up in Arms?
Posted May 5, 2013 at 11:23 am by Madeleine Morgenstern
A speaker at the National Rifle Association convention advised parents to keep an extra gun safe in their children’s room — a suggestion that quickly made its way around the liberal blogosphere.
Rob Pincus, the owner of self-defense training company I.C.E., told the audience at his seminar on home defense Saturday that if they hear an intruder, their first instinct will be to run to their kids. Therefore, that’s where their gun should be as well.
“In the middle of the night, if I’m in the bathroom or getting a glass of water or I’m in the bedroom or watching TV in the living room, if that alarm goes off and the glass breaks and the dog starts barking, what’s the instinct that most people are going to have, in regard to, ‘am I going to run across the house to get the gun, or am I going to run over here to help the screaming kid?’” Pincus said. “And if I’m going to go to the kid anyway, and I have an extra gun and an extra safe, why not put it in their closet?”
The left-leaning website ThinkProgress posted video of Pincus’ comments with the headline, “NRA ‘Home Defense’ Course Instructs Audience To Store Guns In Kids’ Room.” It was quickly picked up by the Huffington Post, Raw Story and elsewhere. Those sites cited statistics about child deaths from accidental shootings and from gun violence.
In the video, Pincus acknowledged the “emotional pushback” to his suggestion, but said there is “absolutely nothing wrong with staging the gun where you’re most likely to barricade.”
“If you have to run across the house to check on the kids, there’s no reason to take them out of that room and move them to some other room when the bad guy might be wandering around in your house,” he said. “If you’re all there together, if you’re all there safe, stay there.”
The Amazing Moment Boston Double Amputee Jeff Bauman Received a Hero’s Welcome at Bruins Game
Posted May 5, 2013 at 9:57 am by Madeleine Morgenstern
Right before the Boston Bruins took the ice against Toronto in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Saturday, bombing victim Jeff Bauman received a hero’s welcome from the crowd as the team’s honorary banner captain.
The gory images of Bauman, who lost both of his legs in the blast, became some of the most recognizable from the April 15 terror attack. He was later instrumental in helping authorities identify the bombing suspects.
On Saturday, Bauman emerged in a wheelchair, waving not a Bruins flag but one that said “Boston Strong” in the team’s colors.
“I want to thank everyone for their amazing support for me and all those injured and their families,” Bauman said in a statement. “I’m making great progress and I thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. Please continue to respect our space at this time. I want to thank the Bruins players and organization for the generosity and support for all those impacted. Like all those in Black and Gold, I can’t wait to see them on another quest for the cup. Go Bruins!”
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