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  • Disturbing Video May Show the Last Video Message of Man Who Shot Himself Outside Fox HQ: ‘There Can Be No Righteous Cause Without a Sacrifice’
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 1:03 pm by Zach Noble

    Comments (133)

    A billion-dollar demand and a veiled threat of suicide.

    “Didn’t I tell you this was going to be a stunner?”

    So begins the final video posted by AvidFCPro, a YouTube account that may have been controlled by Phillip Perea, the man who shot himself outside Fox News headquarters in New York City Monday morning.

    The video was posted on the same morning that the suicide took place.

    “It’s unfortunate, but it would seem there can be no righteous cause without a sacrifice,” the narrator says, implying he would “leave behind” debt but never overtly stating that he would commit suicide.

    Image via YouTube

    Image via YouTube

    The video was posted the same morning that the suicide took place and was tweeted out by an account with the same name of the man that police have identified as the deceased.

    The Twitter account identifies the poster as Perea, whom the Wall Street Journal reported was a disgruntled former Austin, Texas, Fox affiliate employee. In previous videos, the narrator also identified himself using that name.

    The video series on YouTube is a long attack on Fox management, which the narrator says denied him due process during his firing — a firing that left him ruined, he said.

    The first video in the series, posted in July 2014, contains a recording of a purported conversation between Perea and his supervisor, identified as “Mike.”

    “I think you need to know that the people you work with, your co-workers, and there’s several, they’re starting to fear you,” Mike says in the first video, informing him that he’s suspending the narrator with pay. “They’re concerned about your behavior, your aggressiveness…you’re making people uneasy.”

    “I just want you to consider the ramifications that are coming your way if…you continue down this path,” the narrator responds, threatening legal action against the Fox affiliate.

    Throughout the video series, the narrator blames Fox’s corporate management for harming employees and ruining his life, and he dismisses various allegations of his own wrongdoing.

    In his final video, the narrator pushes drastic retribution against Fox management.

    “2014 was the worst year of my life, and with a new year, it is time for Fox to have the worst year of its existence,” the narrator says in his final video.

    The narrator calls upon the American people to stand up and post “We’re with Phil” on corporate websites.

    “Fox will compensate my two youngest sisters $1 billion,” the narrator demands, calling the payment a “penance,” before prohibiting Fox from laying off employees in order to fulfill his demand.

    Image via YouTube

    Image via YouTube

    “I am extremely ashamed that I leave debt behind,” he says as he notes some of Fox’s billion-dollar payoff must go to paying his credit card debt.

    He also demands that others not “copycat” his tactics — though he never explicitly says that he is going to kill himself.

    Image via YouTube

    Image via YouTube

    See the whole video below:

    Each of the videos on AvidFCPro’s page had only received a few hundred views before Monday morning — and if the videos are genuinely the work of the man who shot himself Monday morning, it could be likely that the video hosting service pulls them down soon.

    This story has been updated.

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • Christian Missionary Reveals How God Radically Changed Her Life — and Why She’s About to Do Something Completely Unprecedented in a Very Dangerous Place
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 1:02 pm by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (33)

    Christian missionary Kimberly Smith’s harrowing battle against human trafficking has led her on a life-altering journey toward discovering the true power that comes from living out one’s faith to the fullest.

    Smith, who started the organization Make Way Partners along with her husband Dr. Milton Smith, is saving the lives of scores of children through three orphanages they launched inside war-torn Sudan and South Sudan — and she’s preparing to build something else that’s unprecedented in the region: a hospital that will serve the physical, mental and spiritual needs of children.

    It’s a journey that Smith said she never thought she’d find herself on, describing the life she had before heading to Africa to save orphans.

    “If it had been left to my design, I would still be making $300,000 a year in corporate America, buying new houses every day … that was it. I thought I was a Christian and I thought I would do lots of good things,” Smith said on the Freefall podcast. “I would give away some money and I would go to church — and I served in soup kitchens. I had all the right things checked off of my list and I thought that was enough.”

    Despite those good deeds, she said she remembers feeling an “emptiness” that simply wouldn’t go away. Smith knew something was missing, yet she couldn’t quite put her finger on it — that is, until she said God showed her exactly what he wanted her to do.

    Eventually, she felt led to Sudan and South Sudan, where her ministry took form and, through a series of fascinating events, she launched homes and schools for orphaned children; now, she’s preparing to open the Faith, Love & Hope Hospital.

    Listen to her describe her journey below: 

    “We have three different orphanages, and each one is about 1,000 miles apart from the other,” Smith told TheBlaze. “We have a total of 1,500 orphans divided among those three orphanages. A hospital will be built… in our most secure location, which is in the south.”

    Smith explained that South Sudan is a war zone where disease runs rampant, noting that it is “also the number one country in the world for maternal death rates and for infant mortality.” Preventable and treatable diseases can very easily become deadly, meaning that her hospital project could make a major difference.

    The hospital will be special in that it won’t just deal with the physical needs of the children in the orphanages; it will also be tailored to their emotional and spiritual needs.

    “You have the traumatized caring for the traumatized, and you see the cycle of violence repeat because of that. And so one of the things that I’m most excited about in our Faith, Hope, and Love Hospital is that it will be a holistic care hospital,” Smith said. “We will be not only dealing with their physical wounds, but we are offering mental, emotional, and spiritual care through this hospital as well. Currently, in all of South Sudan, there is not one licensed counselor in the entire country.”

    Smith encouraged others to consider taking risks in their faith journeys as well, noting that there is more beyond the mere faith-based “checklist” some might learn about and develop in church. 

    “I have never heard a sermon where somebody said, ‘Don’t you settle for checklist Christianity, don’t you settle for living a clean life. That’s not enough,’” she said. “God designed you to fit a unique role in His kingdom. And if you don’t do it …  something drastic is missing.”

    Read Smith’s entire story in detail here and read more about the hospital. You can also read pieces written by Smith in TheBlaze’s contributor section.

  • After ‘Historic Victory,’ a Flag Was Raised on a Hill in Key Syrian Border Town — and It Wasn’t the Islamic State’s
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 12:58 pm by Jason Howerton

    Comments (38)

    BEIRUT (AP) — Jubilant Kurdish fighters ousted Islamic State militants from the key Syrian border town of Kobani on Monday after a four-month battle – a significant victory for both the Kurds and the U.S.-led coalition.

    The Kurds raised their flag on a hill that once flew the Islamic State group’s black banner. On Kobani’s war-ravaged streets, gunmen fired in the air in celebration, male and female fighters embraced, and troops danced in their baggy uniforms.

    The failure to capture Kobani was a major blow to the extremists whose hopes for an easy victory dissolved into a costly siege under withering airstrikes by coalition forces and an assault by the Kurdish militia.

    FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 file photo, smoke rises from the Syrian city of Kobani, following an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition, seen from a hilltop outside Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border. Syrian activists and Kurdish officials say the extremist Islamic State group has been nearly pushed out of the Syrian border town of Kobani. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)

    FILE – In this Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 file photo, smoke rises from the Syrian city of Kobani, following an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition, seen from a hilltop outside Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border. Syrian activists and Kurdish officials say the extremist Islamic State group has been nearly pushed out of the Syrian border town of Kobani. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)

     

    For the U.S. and its partners, Kobani became a strategic prize, especially after they increased the number of airstrikes against IS fighters there in October.

    “Daesh gambled on Kobani and lost,” said senior Kurdish official Idriss Nassan, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

    “Their defenses have collapsed and its fighters have fled,” he told The Associated Press from Turkey, adding that he would return to Kobani on Tuesday.

    Kobani-based journalis Farshad Shami said the few civilians who remained had joined in the celebration. Most of the town of about 60,000 people had fled to Turkey to escape the fighting.

    Several U.S. officials said they couldn’t confirm that Kurdish fighters have gained full control of Kobani, but added that they have no reason to disbelieve the claims.

    A senior U.S. official said the Kurds controlled most of the town and have consolidated control particularly in the central and southern areas. The official said Islamic State militants still have a considerable presence in outlying areas around Kobani and are still putting up stiff resistance to the Kurds in those pockets outside it.

    Kurdish officials and activists said Kobani was entirely in Kurdish hands, with only sporadic fighting on the eastern outer edges where the militants retained some footholds.

    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fighters of the main Kurdish militia known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, where searching houses in the eastern suburbs of the town and dismantling and detonating bombs and booby-traps left behind.

    Capturing Kobani would have given the IS militants control of a border crossing with Turkey and open direct lines for their positions along the frontier. Now, it is a grave psychological loss for the extremist group, which has been dealt a series of military setbacks in both Syria and Iraq, particularly at the hands of the Kurds.

    Last month, Kurdish fighters in Iraq retook the strategic town of Sinjar that had been home to many of Iraq’s minority Yazidis.

    Kurds wave the flags of outlawed rebel group of the PKK to celebrate in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, hours after Kurdish fighters backed by intense U.S.-led airstrikes pushed the Islamic State group entirely out of a key Syrian town on Monday, marking a major defeat for the extremists whose hopes for an easy victory when they pushed into Kobani last year dissolved into a bloody, costly and months-long siege.(AP Photo)

    Kurds wave the flags of outlawed rebel group of the PKK to celebrate in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, hours after Kurdish fighters backed by intense U.S.-led airstrikes pushed the Islamic State group entirely out of a key Syrian town on Monday, marking a major defeat for the extremists whose hopes for an easy victory when they pushed into Kobani last year dissolved into a bloody, costly and months-long siege.(AP Photo)

    The focus is now expected to shift to several hundred villages around Kobani still held by the militants. Kurdish activists said they expected the fight for those to be easier than for the town itself.

    In September, Islamic State fighters began capturing about 300 Kurdish villages near Kobani and thrust into the town itself, occupying nearly half of it and sending tens of thousands of residents fleeing into Turkey.

    But the once-nondescript town with few resources quickly became a centerpiece of the international campaign against the Islamic State group. TV crews flocked to the Turkish side of the border and trained their cameras on the besieged town, plumes of smoke rising from explosions. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declared it would be “morally very difficult” not to help Kobani.

    The U.S.-led air assault began Sept. 23, with Kobani the target of about a half-dozen daily airstrikes on average. More than 80 percent of all coalition airstrikes in Syria have been in or around the town.

    At one point in October, the U.S. air dropped bundles of weapons and medical supplies for Kurdish fighters – a first in the Syrian conflict. Dozens of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces joined their brethren in Kobani, bringing in heavy weapons that neutralized the Islamic State group’s artillery advantage.

    By early January, more than 1,000 Islamic State fighters had been killed and much of its heavy weaponry destroyed. The group continued to invest in resources, bringing in hundreds of reinforcements. Activists said these included many teenagers and even children, signaling a shortage in its forces.

    The group made a last stand in the past few weeks, unleashing more than 35 suicide attacks in recent weeks, activists said. But the advancing Kurdish fighters could not be stopped.

    Nassan said coalition airstrikes intensified in recent days, helping the Kurds in their final push toward IS positions on the southern and eastern edges of Kobani.

    The U.S. Central Command said Monday it had carried out 17 airstrikes near Kobani in the last 24 hours that struck IS infrastructure and fighting positions.

    Shami, the Kurdish journalist, said the remaining IS militants in eastern Kobani vacated quickly, leaving behind fresh food and heavy weapons.

    “Their morale collapsed,” he said by telephone as celebratory gunfire echoed in the background.

    Gharib Hassou, a representative of Syria’s powerful Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, based in Southern Kurdistan, said most of the militants fled to the IS-controlled town of Tal Abyad to the east.

    “There are a lot of dead bodies … and they left some of the weapons,” he said.

    Rami Abdurrahman, director of the Observatory, also confirmed Kobani was entirely in Kurdish hands. He said the Kurdish force was led by Mohammed Barkhadan, the Kobani commander of the main Kurdish militia known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG.

    Barkhadan, a well-known militia commander, led an offensive in 2013 that ousted Islamic militants from the northern Syrian town of Ras Ayn, Aburrahman said.

    Retired Marine Gen. John Allen, the U.S. envoy for the international coalition fighting the IS group, had predicted in November that Kobani would be a defeat for the extremists.

    The militant group “has, in so many ways, impaled itself on Kobani,” he said in an interview in Ankara with the Turkish daily Milliyet.

    There also was joy across the border in Turkey, where Kurds set off fireworks and performed a traditional folk dance to mark the victory by their brethren in predominantly Kurdish Kobani. In Istanbul, police used tear gas and pressurized water to break up pro-Kurdish demonstrations in the city.

    Shami said it was a triumph for the “entire world” that had come to Kobani’s rescue.

    “It is a historic victory, when a small town like Kobani defeats a formidable criminal force like Daesh,” he said.

  • The Small Thing the Radical, New, Far-Left Greek PM Did After Being Sworn in That Glenn Beck Noticed and Is Calling a ‘Dangerous Symbol’
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 12:49 pm by Jonathon M. Seidl

    Comments (151)

    Over the weekend, the far-left in Greeze pulled out a victory over the country’s governing conservatives. While there certainly is plenty to be concerned about, it was the small thing the newly-sworn-in prime minister did as his first official act that had Glenn Beck worried.

    After being sworn in, Greece’s Alexis Tsipras laid flowers at the memorial erected to commemorate the Greeks killed by the Nazis. That may seem benign, but as Beck said, it was a “shot across the bow.”

    “Why is that significant?, Beck asked. “Because Germans are the ones that gave Greece their money. So when Greece needed a bailout, they went to the Bundesbank and said, ‘we need to borrow some money.’ The German bank gave them the money, underwrote their economy and now they’re controlled by the Germans.”

    “And the Germans wanted them to cut back on spending, they wanted austerity,” co-host Pat Gray added.

    “Right,” Beck replied.

    He then went to explain more from the German perspective:

    The Germans are like, ‘Look, you guys are living it up.  I mean, it’s irresponsible. You can’t pay us back if you were continuing to spend the way you are spending, so you can’t spend. And we’re the ones that — we gave you the money, now be responsible with it.’ And that’s called austerity: cutbacks. Well, the Greek people did not want to do it, because it’s hard. You’re not living the same life you’ve been living, and it’s going to get really, really hard. This, by the way, is coming to America. And it’s going to get really tough. And so the Germans are like, ‘Look, we aren’t going to continue to fund this. You have to cut back.’ So the first thing the new prime minister does is put flowers down at the place where they shot the Germans, as a shot across the bow to Germany saying, ‘We know who you are. You screwed us before, you shot and killed our people, and I want you to understand I know who you are and you’re not going to do that to us again.’

    “It’s a very dangerous symbol,” Beck concluded.

    Complimentary Clip from TheBlaze TV

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  • Obama Has Big Plans for Alaska, and the State’s Republicans Aren’t Happy
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 12:01 pm by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (196)

    Alaska’s all-Republican delegation to Congress is accusing President Barack Obama of attacking the economic health of their state by recommending that 12 million acres of land be designated as wilderness area, a move that would make the land off-limits for energy development.

    The Department of the Interior and the White House on Sunday announced its proposal to protect a huge chunk of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an area about as big as South Carolina that sits in the northeastern region of the state. The administration said only a portion of ANWR is protected, and that officially designating 12.28 million more acres would help protect it for future generations.

    Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 11.57.10 AM

    This photo shows Margerie Glacier, one of many glaciers that make up Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park. President Obama has plans to protect more of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but the state’s Republicans are calling it an attack on the state. Image: AP Photo/Kathy Matheson

    But Republicans, who have said it’s possible to drill for oil in ANWR in an environmentally sound way, said the move would be a crushing blow to the state’s economy. They also said it was announced without any significant consultation with Alaska’s representatives.

    “What’s coming is a stunning attack on our sovereignty and our ability to develop a strong economy that allows us, our children and our grandchildren to thrive,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R). “It’s clear this administration does not care about us, and sees us as nothing but a territory. The promises made to us at statehood, and since then, mean absolutely nothing to them.”

    “I cannot understand why this administration is willing to negotiate with Iran, but not Alaska,” she added.

    Newly elected Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) agreed. “This outrageous action confirms what most Alaskans have feared – that the Obama administration’s war against Alaska families and the middle class would only intensify under the final two years of President Obama’s tenure,” he said.

    “This callously planned and politically motivated attack on Alaska by the Obama administration is akin to spitting in our faces and telling us it’s raining outside,” said Rep. Don Young (R). “As if on command from the most extreme environmentalist elements, this president and his team of D.C. bureaucrats believe they alone know what’s best for Alaska, but this brazen assault on our state and our people will do the complete opposite.”

    Only Congress can designate wilderness area, but the Obama administration’s decision will offer some immediate protection for the land, and will may force Congress to act on the decision. Given the current makeup of Congress, Obama’s request for a formal designation is likely to go unheeded, and may even prompt legislation aimed at reversing the decision.

    In the meantime, Republicans said the Department of the Interior will immediately start managing 1.5 million acres of the coastal plain as wilderness, and said this would stop motorized access to the plain.

    “Designation as wilderness would protect and preserve the refuge, ensuring the land and water would remain unimpaired for use and enjoyment by future generations,” the department said Sunday. “Only Congress has the authority to designate wilderness areas and wild and scenic rivers.”

    John Podesta, a counselor to Obama, said that while Republicans have “clamored” to drill for oil in the coastal plain, that move “could irreparably damage this ecological treasure.”

    Gov. Bill Walker (I) reacted to the decision by saying it would likely force the state to step up efforts to explore for energy resources on land that’s still left under the state’s jurisdiction. Walker said his state’s finances would benefit from more oil production, and said Obama’s announcement is a “major setback toward reaching that goal.”

    “Therefore, I will consider accelerating the options available to us to increase oil exploration and production on state-owned lands,” he said.

  • Islamic State Spokesman Calls on Muslims in the West to Carry Out More Attacks
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 11:31 am by Associated Press

    Comments (63)

    BEIRUT (AP) — The spokesman for the Islamic State group called on Muslims living in Western countries to carry out more attacks, saying any loyalist who has the opportunity to “shed a drop of blood” should do so.

    Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, in a 9-minute audio recording released Monday, praised recent attacks in Australia, Belgium and France – where gunmen killed 12 people in an assault on the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo magazine. He also praised the gunman who shot and killed a soldier in October at Canada’s national war memorial and then stormed the parliament building before being killed by security forces, saying, “You all saw what one Muslim did in Canada and its infidel parliament.”

    Al-Adnani also made reference to the death last week of Saudi King Abdullah, saying Muslims “are happy for the death of the tyrant of the peninsula.”

    Monday’s recording did not mention the two Japanese hostages that his group threatened on Jan. 20 to behead unless Tokyo paid $200 million within 72 hours. That deadline has since passed without word on the hostages’ fate.

    “We repeat our call to Muslims in Europe, the infidel West, and everywhere to target the Crusaders in their home countries and wherever they find them,” al-Adnani said in the audio released by one of the group’s media arms, Al-Furqan. “We will be enemies, in front of God, to any Muslim who can shed a drop of blood of a Crusader and abstains from doing that with a bomb, bullet, knife, car, rock or even a kick or a punch.”

    Speaking about the ongoing airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition against IS positions in Iraq and Syria, the spokesman said they “made the holy warriors stronger, more steadfast and sure about victory.”

  • Does God ‘Play a Role’ in Picking the Winning Team in Sports?
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 11:27 am by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (86)

    A majority of Americans (53 percent) believe that God awards success and good health to faithful athletes — and one-fourth (26 percent) believe that the Lord even “plays a role” in picking the winning teams when it comes to competitive sporting events.

    These results come from a survey that was recently conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, which found that these proportions were slightly higher among self-professed sports fans (56 percent and 27 percent respectively) than the general population.

    While more than half of Americans believe that “God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success,” 45 percent disagree with this sentiment, according to the results. As for the Lord playing a role in selecting winning teams, 71 percent reject such a prospect.

    Public Religion Research Institute

    Public Religion Research Institute/RNS News Survey

    The poll, which was conducted in collaboration with Religion News Service, also asked Americans whether they are more likely to be in church of to be watching football on any given Sunday.

    While 25 percent opted for church, 18 percent said they’d be more likely to be watching football; additionally, 25 percent selected both options, with 32 percent stating that they’d be doing neither, according to Public Religion Research Institute.

    As TheBlaze previously reported, LifeWay Research recently asked a slightly different question, giving respondents a choice between watching football and attending church on Sundays.

    In that poll, only 15 percent of respondents said that they would “skip a weekly worship service” to watch their favorite football team on television. In contrast, 83 percent — and 68 percent strongly so — indicated that they would not be interested in skipping church to watch their beloved team play.

    The latest research from the Public Religion Research Institute comes just days before the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks are slated to play Super Bowl XLIX on February 1 in Arizona.

    Read the complete results here.

    What do you think? Does God play a role in picking the winning team? Take the poll:

    Front page image via Shutterstock.com

  • This Graph Shows Why You May Want to Think Twice About Going to Law School
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 11:21 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (42)

    The old conventional wisdom was that law school was a ticket to steady, high-paying work.

    The new conventional wisdom is that law school is more of a gamble, but if you can find a job after graduating, you’ll make buckets of cash.

    It turns out neither is exactly true.

    In a breakdown of law school graduates’ earning prospects Monday, Business Insider took a look at the huge divide between what graduates of top law schools make and what their colleagues from lower-ranked schools earn — and how the divide can skew reporting.

    Image via Business Insider

    Image via Business Insider

    As the graph above shows, law school grads don’t make an “average” salary near $100,000. They either nab a top job paying around $160,000, or they fall into a bigger clump of grads earning between $40,000 and $60,000 — which is right around the national $46,000 average for all workers.

    So is law school worth it? If you get into a top school such as Harvard, Yale or the University of Virginia, it may well be. But if you’re planning on going to an unranked school, be prepared to study for three years just to earn a salary you could have commanded without a law degree.

    Watch Business Insider’s breakdown below:

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • Embarrassing Blooper at Sunday’s SAG Awards Reveals Not Everything Is What It Seems
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 10:54 am by Mike Opelka

    Comments (80)

    If you were watching Sunday night’s Screen Actor’s Guild awards ceremony, you may have picked up on the fact that not everything about “live” awards shows is as it seems.

    A blooper from the show that exposed this reality is getting a lot of chatter on social media. The screw up did not come from the mouth of an actor, writer or producer. It was courtesy of someone in the control room who pushed a button on the canned applause a few seconds too early.

    The mistake happened after Reese Witherspoon announced the nominees for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.” As she was ripping open the envelope with the name of the winner and started saying, “And the actor goes to…” Witherspoon appeared to be stunned as thunderous applause was heard.

    Image: YouTube

    Image: YouTube

    The quick-thinking Witherspoon laughed off the error, looking around and asking, “What was that noise?” Adding, “It wasn’t me.”

    Watch the screw up, and the announcement of the eventual winner, J.K. Simmons:

    See the entire list of winners from the 2015 SAG Awards.

    (H/T: USA Today)

    __

    Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.

  • Police: Man Kills Himself Outside Fox News HQ (UPDATE)
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 10:31 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (104)

    Police said a man fatally shot himself outside Fox News’ New York City headquarters Monday morning.

    “An unidentified male sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest and was transported to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead,” an NYPD spokesperson told TheBlaze in an email, later confirming that the deceased was 41-year-old Phillip Perea of Irving, Texas.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, the man was a former employee of a Fox TV station in Austin, Texas, and was handing out fliers protesting his employer for having “ended his career” just before he shot himself in the chest.

    The New York Post reported that the man was discovered just before 9 a.m., slumped in front of the News Corporation building at Sixth Avenue and West 47th Street. A small-caliber pistol was found on the ground next to him.

    Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera tweeted that the man may have handed a security guard a note before shooting himself.

    The man may have been distressed over his recent firing from the Texas Fox affiliate, as a series of disturbing YouTube videos chronicles.

    This is a developing story and will be updated.

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • Clint Eastwood Reveals ‘Biggest Anti-War Statement’ That Can Be Found in ‘American Sniper’
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 10:23 am by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (215)

    Some critics have lambasted Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” for purportedly glorifying war, but the famed movie director recently revealed what he believes to be the “biggest anti-war statement” that can be found embedded in the record-breaking film.

    “The biggest anti-war statement is what [war] does to the families left behind,” Eastwood said at Saturday’s Producers Guild Awards nominees breakfast, according to Variety.

    Similarly, Yahoo! News quoted the “American Sniper” director as saying that the “biggest anti-war statement any film” can offer up is the “fact of what [war] does to the family and the people who have to go back into civilian life like Chris Kyle did.”

    In making the film, which tells the story of famed Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, Eastwood said that meeting the late military hero’s family members was important to the process for both him and actor Bradley Cooper, who portrayed Kyle on screen.

    So, the two went to Texas to meet Kyle’s wife, children and extended family members before filming “American Sniper.”

    “I thought I’d better meet the rest of the family and see what they looked like and that would probably dictate the casting and to see what Mrs. Kyle was like,” Eastwood said. “I went down there and met the mother and father and their grandkids. It was of great value to [Bradley] because he could get into the history of the family and their feelings about the whole situation. It was a very pleasant experience from beginning to end.”

    Screenwriter Jason Hall made similar comments earlier this month when he told Variety’s “PopPolitics” that the lives of Kyle and his fellow soldiers, as depicted in the film, counter any images that might be seen as glorifying war.

    “The cost is man, the toll is man, and it’s this man and every other soldier that fights,” Hall told the outlet. “If we understand that, maybe we won’t be so hasty into jumping into war, and if we understand that, maybe we’ll find a way of welcoming [veterans] home better.”

    Hall added that he personally didn’t entirely understand the Iraq War, but that he believes in supporting the troops once battle begins. The screen writer added that “soldiers don’t choose their war; war chooses them or their politicians choose the war.”

    Listen to Hall make these comments below:

    Emotions surrounding “American Sniper” — from support for the film to claims that it inaccurately portrays Kyle and the Iraq War — are complex and diverse, with some like filmmaker Michael Moore responding by issuing attacks.

    “Instead of being a sniper to protect our troops, I tried to save their lives by stopping Bush from sending them to their deaths in Iraq,” Moore tweeted over the weekend.

    (H/T: Mediaite)

  • Iranian Website Puts Netanyahu’s Sons in Crosshairs
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 9:55 am by Sharona Schwartz

    Comments (179)

    An Iranian news site linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard suggested targeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s sons in order to get revenge for the killing of an Iranian general in an attack last week attributed to Israel.

    Jerusalem Online reported that Iran’s Mashregh News ran an opinion piece and photos depicting Yair and Avner Netanyahu in a sniper’s crosshairs. It ran similar images of the sons of past prime ministers Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon.

    Mashregh News, a website linked with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, ran this photo of Netanyahu’s sons Yair and Avner in crosshairs, as if the targets of a sniper, posing next to their parents. (Image source: Mashregh News)

    Mashregh News, a website linked with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, ran this photo depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s sons Yair and Avner in a sniper’s crosshairs. (Image source: Mashregh News)

    The article included “a detailed text of intelligence plan” about the Netanyahu sons’ recent activities, but Jerusalem Online pointed out that it appeared to have been information lifted from Wikipedia.

    Last week’s airstrike on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights killed 12 Hezbollah and Iranian military officials, including Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Mohammed Allahdadi and senior Hezbollah commander Jihad Mughniyeh.

    It is unclear if Israel knew the Iranian general was in the convoy that was struck in advance of the attack.

    Israel’s Channel 10 reported that Israel sent a message to Iran through Russia indicating it was not interested in a wider escalation. Israel viewed the airstrike as self-defense, because Hezbollah was reportedly expanding its military infrastructure to the Golan to use one day against Israeli communities over the border.

    The Times of Israel quoted a report in Israel’s Channel 2 which said Hezbollah was setting up a “substantial” new terrorism infrastructure in the Golan that could be used for kidnappings and rocket attacks against Israelis. Until now, Hezbollah has launched its attacks on Israeli territory from Lebanon.

  • Archaeological Exploration Sparks Major Interest in Proving the Biblical Exodus and Moses’ Existence — but Is There Truly Evidence?
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 8:59 am by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (149)

    The demand was so high for “Patterns of Evidence: Exodus,” a documentary exploring historical evidence that the biblical Exodus actually unfolded, that the film is heading back to the big screen for an encore presentation this week.

    The movie — shown last Monday in more than 600 theaters across America for a one-night-only presentation — will be heading back to select theaters on January 29 at 7 p.m., according to a press release announcing the follow-up presentation.

    As TheBlaze previously reported, “Patterns of Evidence: Exodus,” produced by filmmaker Tim Mahoney, ”chronicles an in-depth archaeological investigation in Egypt as [Mahoney's] team attempts to corroborate the biblical text.”

    The documentary has been in the making for the past 12 years, with its release sparking new interest in Mosaic theology and the Exodus.

    Mahoney, who for more than a decade has been studying whether the Israeli people were truly delivered from slavery in Egypt under Moses’ leadership, told TheBlaze in an interview last week that he became especially interested in further exploring the paradigm when he heard that there could be new information worth looking at.

    And he said he found himself particularly stunned when he heard some critics state that the Israelis were never really in Egypt — a claim that, if true, would turn the Bible on its head.

    So, Mahoney set out to look for clues to finding the route the Israelis would have taken to exit Egypt and head toward the promised land. And after conducting extensive research and formulating it into “Patterns of Evidence,” Mahoney said he now has more confidence in the Bible.

    “Most of the people who say there’s no evidence [for the Exodus] are looking at a particular time frame,” he said. ”When they look at that time frame they don’t see any evidence of the Exodus and so the case is closed … and what the film does from talking to other scholars is say, ‘Wait a minute. This isn’t a closed case, this is a situation where people haven’t asked the right questions.”

    Mahoney continued, “It’s not easy to find a specific character like Moses in the investigation, but you can find the events that support the story of Moses and Exodus.”

    Read TheBlaze’s interview with Mahoney here and find out more about the film.

    (H/T: Christian Post)

  • ‘Our God Wins’: Stephanopoulos Pressed Bobby Jindal on Whether It’s the President’s Job to ‘Lead a Spiritual Revival’ — and Here’s How He Responded
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 8:13 am by Billy Hallowell

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    Just one day after headlining “The Response” prayer rally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Saturday, Gov. Bobby Jindal appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” where he explained why he believes that U.S. presidents and leaders should “turn to God for guidance.”

    During “The Response” event, which Jindal heralded as a religious and not a political gathering, the Republican governor called for a spiritual awakening and proclaimed that, in the end, “our God wins.”

    “We need a spiritual revival to fix what ails our country,” Jindal told the faithful. “It is like God has given us the book of life. He doesn’t let us see the pages for today and tomorrow. He doesn’t promise us everything will go the way you want, but he does let you see the last page of the book of life — and on the last page, our God wins.”

    It was these comments that led “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos to ask whether Jindal believes it’s the “job of the president to lead a spiritual revival.” He also asked the governor how he believes his “our God wins” comment was received by a spiritually diverse populace.

    Bobby Jindal (Photo Credit: AP)

    Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (AP) 

    “I was struck by the final line, ‘our god wins,’” Stephanopoulos said. “How do you think that lands in a country of 320 million people, of many different kinds of spirituality, many different kinds of faith, many who believe in no god at all?”

    Jindal doubled down and defended politicians who rely on a higher power, detailing the history of some American leaders who have done just that.

    “It is a time-honored tradition, going back to our nation’s founding, for our presidents, for our leaders to turn to god for guidance, for wisdom. George Washington did it, Abraham Lincoln did it, Harry Truman did it,” he said. “So, absolutely I think this idea of praying to God for wisdom and guidance is as old as our country.”

    Jindal noted, too, that America is a diverse country with a majority Christian population, but that “we don’t discriminate against anybody” and “we believe in religious liberty.”

    He went on to discuss the political landscape and the Republican Party, imploring leaders not to simply say “no” to Democratic proposals, but to also be a “party of solutions.”

    Watch Jindal’s comments below:

    (H/T: Mediaite)

  • Lockdown After Mystery Drone Lands Inside the White House Grounds (UPDATE)
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 7:40 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (132)

    UPDATE: The U.S. Secret Service is interviewing a “person of interest” connected to the crash of a quadcopter drone on the grounds of the White House early Monday morning, CNN reported.

    Authorities say that it appears the drone was a recreational device and did not pose a threat to the White House, though the incident is under continued investigation.

    A Secret Service official told CNN that the owner of the drone called in after seeing reports of the drone on the news.

    A small drone landed on the grounds of the White House around 3 a.m. Monday, sending the building into lockdown as security investigated the device, NBC News reported.

    News of the device’s discovery began spreading after President Barack Obama’s Press Secretary Josh Earnest mentioned it in a briefing during Obama’s ongoing trip to India.

    A U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division officer stands between the temporary barricade and the fence line of the White House in Washington, DC, October 23, 2014. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

    A U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division officer stands between the temporary barricade and the fence line of the White House in Washington, DC, October 23, 2014. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

    It was not immediately clear how or why the drone had been landed inside the White House grounds, but the landing comes mere months after a series of alarming security failures at the official residence of the president.

    This story has been updated.

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  • Dozens of Dogs Have Vanished in One Texas County and No One Knows Why
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 7:35 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (137)

    Is man’s best friend being hunted down in one Texas county?

    Dozens of dogs in Wise County, Texas, have gone missing over the past two months — but law enforcement has no idea where the pets are going, KXAS-TV reported.

    Image via KXAS-TV

    Image via KXAS-TV

    “I think it’s very suspicious that three very large, friendly dogs disappear from the same neighborhood at the exact same time,” Robin Lewis, whose black lab Jack is among the missing dogs, told KXAS.

    According to the Wise County sheriff, 40 dogs have gone missing since November.

    For families like Lewis’, the situation is tragic.

    “It’s been really difficult trying to explain Jack’s gone, and are we ever going to see him again?” said Lewis. “They’re heartbroken. I’m heartbroken. My husband’s heartbroken.”

    Watch the KXAS report below:

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  • Obama Seeks Bigger Wilderness Designation in Alaska’s Potentially Oil-Rich Wildlife Refuge
    Posted January 25, 2015 at 11:53 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (109)

    Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — President Barack Obama is proposing to designate the vast majority of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area, including its potentially oil-rich coastal plain, drawing an angry response from top state elected officials who see it as a land grab by the federal government.

    “They’ve decided that today was the day that they were going to declare war on Alaska. Well, we are ready to engage,” said U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and chair of the Senate energy committee.

    The designation would set aside an additional nearly 12.3 million acres as wilderness, including the coastal plain near Alaska’s northeast corner, giving it the highest degree of federal protection available to public lands. More than 7 million acres of the refuge currently are managed as wilderness.

    Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Image source: AP/Subhankar Banerjee, File)

    Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Image source: AP/Subhankar Banerjee, File)

    The refuge’s coastal plain has long been at the center of the struggle between conservationists and advocates of greater energy exploration in the U.S. Political leaders in Alaska have supported allowing for exploration and production within the coastal plain. They have opposed attempts to further restrict development on federal lands, which comprise about two-thirds of the state, including within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

    A resolution passed the state Legislature with bipartisan support last year urging Congress to allow for exploration and development on the coastal plain. A federal lawsuit brought by the state over the Interior Department’s refusal to consider a proposed exploration plan for the refuge’s coastal plain is pending. The state in 2013 proposed an exploration plan that it said was aimed at determining the true oil and gas potential in the refuge.

    The Republican congressional delegation, along with Alaska’s new governor, Bill Walker, sent out a joint news release Sunday morning calling the action “an unprecedented assault on Alaska.” Walker changed his GOP affiliation to undeclared in running for office last year.

    Walker told reporters in Anchorage that while he is not leaning toward litigation, the state is reviewing its options. He said this is one more example of a restriction that the federal government wants to put on Alaska. He wants to reach out to other governors in hopes of banding together to fight the proposal, Walker said.

    The federal government is taking Alaska’s economy away from it piece by piece, he said.

    In a White House video released Sunday, Obama said he is seeking the designation “so that we can make sure that this amazing wonder is preserved for future generations.”

    The Interior Department issued a comprehensive plan Sunday that for the first time recommended the additional protections. If Congress agrees, it would be the largest wilderness designation since passage of the Wilderness Act in the 1960s, the agency said.

    However, the proposal is likely to face stiff resistance in the Republican-controlled Congress. Murkowski said in an interview that Obama is going after something “that is not possible in this Congress.” She said she sees it as an attempt by the administration to “score some environmental points” and to rile passions ahead of another announcement by Interior in the coming days that Murkowski said she was told would propose putting off-limits to development certain areas of the offshore Arctic.

    Murkowski said she spoke with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Jewell’s chief of staff in the last few days.

    Interior Department spokeswoman Jessica Kershaw, responding by email Sunday, did not offer details, but she said a proposed five-year offshore drilling plan is forthcoming and that environmental reviews of lease areas in the Arctic waters off Alaska’s shores are underway.

    The department pegged the timing of Obama’s announcement in part to recent legislation proposed in Congress and talks involving potentially opening the refuge to development. Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, introduced a bill that would allow for development on the coastal plain. On Wednesday, in his first State of the State speech, Walker talked about working with the congressional delegation to tap oil within the refuge. Murkowski referenced the refuge — and the economic benefits that she said could come from unlocking a part of it — in an energy-focused Republican weekly address on Saturday.

    Murkowski, who chairs the Interior appropriations subcommittee, said Sunday that the days of Obama administration officials knowing they can call her and get a call back are done.

    Young, in a statement, called the proposed wilderness delegation a violation of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. “Simply put, this wholesale land grab, this widespread attack on our people and our way of life, is disgusting,” he said.

    Conservation groups hailed Obama’s announcement.

    David Houghton, president of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, said in a statement released by conservation and some Native organizations that the refuge’s coastal plain “is one of the last places on earth that has been undisturbed by humans, and we owe it to our children and their children to permanently protect this invaluable resource.”

    Robert Thompson, who lives within the refuge’s borders at Kaktovik and is chairman of the group Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands, worries that oil and gas development would displace Native subsistence activities. He said he was pleased with Obama’s action, even if it is symbolic.

    Associated Press writer Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report from Washington, D.C.

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  • NAACP Official: Cop Who Fatally Shot Armed Man Is Proof of ‘Shoot First and Ask Questions Later’ Culture
    Posted January 25, 2015 at 11:23 pm by Dave Urbanski

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    After reviewing body-cam video of a police officer fatally shooting an armed man, the president of a local NAACP said the incident is proof of a “shoot first and ask questions later” culture.

    Image source:

    Image source: KTUL-TV

    Pleas Thompson, president of the NAACP in Tulsa, Oklahoma, told KTUL-TV that a Muskogee police officer could have avoided shooting 21-year-old Terrance Walker on Jan. 17.

    The following is the order of events leading up to the shooting, according to the Daily Oklahoman.

    Pastor Andre Jones of the Old Agency Baptist Church told a 911 dispatcher that an armed man was threatening to kill a woman attending a wedding.

    “He’s here with a gun,” Jones said on the 911 call. “I need a police officer because I got to stop this. I got a whole bunch of people here, and I don’t need nobody hurt.” Witnesses reported to police that Walker told a woman at the wedding he “had a bullet with her name on it.”

    Officer Chansey McMillin’s body-cam video showed him approaching Walker in a parking lot and patting him down; suddenly Walker ran from McMillin and down a road. McMillin chased Walker, who dropped something on the ground; Walker stopped to pick it up and was facing McMillin, who then fired five times.

    Image source: Muskogee police

    Image source: Muskogee police

    Walker was pronounced dead at the scene. A loaded pistol with the hammer cocked was found near his body, police said.

    “It is our belief that the video clearly shows the suspect pointing the gun at the officer,” Muskogee police Sergeant Michael Mahan said.

    Image source: Muskogee police

    Image source: Muskogee police

    Pastor Jones noted on the video to arriving officers that McMillin “followed procedures” and “did everything right.” Later Jones added to KRJH-TV that “the officer knew (Walker) had a weapon. When he turned toward the officer, no question the officer felt threatened.”

    However the KTUL report indicated that Thompson of the NAACP said police could have instead surrounded Walker and arrested him.

    “Police, as well as elected officials, have to be more sensitive…there is this mentality out there of shoot first and ask questions later and I think emphasis should be placed on trying to take those people alive,” Thompson told the station.

    The interview with Thompson begins at the 5:25 mark:

    KTUL.com – Tulsa, Oklahoma – News, Weather

    (H/T: The Gateway Pundit)

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  • Federal Judge Stays Alabama Gay Marriage Ruling for Two Weeks
    Posted January 25, 2015 at 10:32 pm by Associated Press

    Comments (87)

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A federal judge late Sunday put a two-week hold on her decision that overturned Alabama’s gay marriage ban, but said same-sex couples should not be kept in a lengthy state of legal limbo

    U.S. District Judge Callie V. S. Granade refused the Alabama attorney general’s request to put her ruling on indefinite hold until the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the decision of gay marriage later this year. However, Granade did issue a 14-day stay to give the state time to appeal her decision to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Granade said it was inappropriate, in her view, to put the decision on permanent hold.

    “As long as a stay is in place, same-sex couples and their families remain in a state of limbo with respect to adoption, child care and custody, medical decisions, employment and health benefits, future tax implications, inheritance and many other rights associated with marriage,” she wrote.

    The latest decision was a disappointment to couples who had hoped to get married in the wake of the ruling.

    Tori Sisson and Shante Wolfe had camped outside the Montgomery courthouse on Sunday night.

    “It’s aggravating. The judge ruled and everybody got so excited and now, this,” Sisson said.

    The stay will expire Feb. 9 unless the court extends it.

  • Two Planes Evacuated in Seattle, Third Flight Diverted to Dallas
    Posted January 25, 2015 at 9:22 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (69)

    SEATAC, Wash. (TheBlaze/AP) — Two planes have been evacuated on arrival at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport due to what a spokesman called a “security concern.”

    Airport spokesman Perry Cooper says a JetBlue flight from Long Beach, California, and a regional SkyWest jet from Phoenix were the planes involved. The flights arrived late Sunday afternoon.

    Cooper said that out of an abundance of caution, passengers were bused to their gates from the airport’s third runway.

    Additionally, a Delta Air Lines spokesman says a flight from Los Angeles to Orlando was diverted to Dallas Sunday afternoon due to “a security concern.”

    Spokesman Morgan Durrant did not give specifics about the nature of the concern on Flight 1061, saying the company would defer to authorities on providing further details. He says passengers exited the Boeing 737-900, which was being examined by authorities.

    It was unclear if any of threats were connected.

    Sunday’s incidents came a day after NORAD fighter jets escorted a pair of planes to Atlanta’s main airport due to bomb threats. Affected Saturday were Delta flight 1156 from Portland, Oregon, and Southwest flight 2492 from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. No bombs were found.

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  • Top U.S. Senators Calling on Obama to Send More Special Ops Forces to Mideast Hotspots
    Posted January 25, 2015 at 8:26 pm by Dave Urbanski

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    Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Two influential senators are calling on President Barack Obama to send more U.S. special ops forces to hotspots around the Middle East.

    The suggestion by Republican John McCain and Democrat Dianne Feinstein is a direct challenge to the president, who has said he doesn’t want to increase the U.S. military presence in Yemen despite the deteriorating security condition in that country.

    McCain — a Republican who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee — and Feinstein tell CBS’ “Face the Nation” that special operations forces in particular may be necessary to blunt Iranian influence in various spots in the region.

    Feinstein, top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, says the U.S. needs more human intelligence in the region and so it won’t rely so heavily on intelligence gathered by technical means.

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  • John Boehner Reveals What He Stared at During Obama’s State of the Union Speech in Order to ‘Make No News’
    Posted January 25, 2015 at 8:08 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (120)

    Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

    WASHINGTON (AP) — How to behave when 30 million Americans give your political nemesis their undivided attention in a televised speech and your job is to sit quietly behind him?

    House Speaker John Boehner tells CBS’ “60 Minutes” that during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech he focused on the back of the president’s head, trying not to make news. The Ohio Republican can be seen throughout the hourlong speech listening politely but never smiling.

    President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address on January 20, 2015 in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. On the left is Vice President Joe Biden; on the right is House Speaker John Boehner. (Image source: Pool/Getty Images)

    President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address on January 20, 2015 in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. On the left is Vice President Joe Biden; on the right is House Speaker John Boehner. (Image source: Pool/Getty Images)

    When asked if he practiced his scowl beforehand, Boehner said no.

    He said, quote, “This is the president’s night, and so I sit there and try to make no news. Although, inside, I’ve got a lotta things rollin’ through my mind.”

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  • White House Chief of Staff Utters One Name Too Many During TV Interview
    Posted January 25, 2015 at 7:26 pm by Dave Urbanski

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    White House chief of staff Denis McDonough mentioned the first name of an American woman held hostage by the Islamic State during a TV interview Sunday — an action the White House has asked news organizations to refrain from doing, Politico reported.

    McDonough uttered the hostage’s name during an interview with “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos; the pair had been discussing the Japanese hostage situation when the name — which isn’t publicly known — made it past McDonough’s lips.

    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    “As it relates to our hostages, we are obviously continuing to work those matters very, very aggressively. We are sparing no expense and sparing no effort, both in trying to make sure that we know where they are and make sure that we’re prepared to do anything we must to try to get them home,” McDonough said. “But [redacted] family knows how strongly the president feels about this, and we will continue to work this.”

    National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan told Politico, “We don’t have anything to add, other than to request again that you not use the name of the individual.”

    (H/T: Mediaite)

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  • How ‘Potentially Historic’ Could Coming Northeastern Blizzard Be? It Might Top a List Going Back to 1872
    Posted January 25, 2015 at 6:40 pm by Dave Urbanski

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    Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

    NEW YORK (AP) — A winter that has largely spared the Northeast thus far is about to arrive with gusto: A storm the National Weather Service called “potentially historic” could dump 2 to 3 feet of snow from northern New Jersey to Connecticut.

    A blizzard warning was issued for New York and Boston, and the National Weather Service said the massive storm would bring heavy snow and powerful winds starting Monday and into Tuesday.

    “This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at a news conference Sunday.

    De Blasio held up a piece of paper showing the city’s top 10 snowstorms and said this one could land at the top of a list that goes back to 1872. “Don’t underestimate this storm. Prepare for the worst,” he said as he urged residents to plan to leave work early Monday.

    Boston is expected to get 18 to 24 inches of snow, and Philadelphia could see 14 to 18 inches, the weather service said Sunday.

    A weekend storm that had brought snow and slush to the Northeast — the first real snow of the season for many areas — was just a warm up.

    “Looks like our luck is about to run out,” said John Paulsen as he gassed up his sport utility vehicle in New Jersey. “I can’t complain too much since we’ve had a pretty mild winter, but I don’t know if I’m ready for a foot or so of snow all at once.”

    The storm system driving out of the Midwest brought snow to Ohio on Sunday and was expected to ultimately spread from the nation’s capital to Maine.

    Lesser totals were forecast for the Washington area — a coating or a bit more — with steadily increasing amounts expected as the storm plods its way north. The storm promised treacherous travel by both land and air throughout the busy northeast corridor.

    At New York’s Penn Station, Cicero Goncalves was waiting for a train to Vermont, where he’s going snowboarding, because he expected the flight he had hoped to take would be canceled.

    But the 34-year-old flight attendant from Queens counted himself and his travel partner as lucky. “We’ll get there before it snows, and we’re coming back when the storm is over, on Thursday,” he said.

    Preparations large and small were in effect elsewhere in New York. A Manhattan Home Depot store sold about twice as many shovels over the weekend as it normally does while transit officials hoping to keep the subways running smoothly planned to use modified subway cars loaded with de-icing fluid to spray the third rail that powers trains.

    Farther north, a blizzard warning was issued for Boston from Monday night through early Wednesday. Wind gusts of 60 mph or more are possible on Cape Cod, forecasters said.

    Wyatt Baars, manager of the Charlestown Ace Hardware in Boston, sold out of his bags of ice-melting pellets. But he said a New Hampshire distributor is helping him and delivering more.

    “Everybody is preparing for the storm,” he said. “When we have something this big on the horizon, everybody comes in for the ice melt, snow shovels, snow brooms.”

    Snow plow driver Al Laplant expected to be out clearing roads of Simsbury, Connecticut this week, just as he has for more than two decades.

    “We’ll be out there until the storm’s over and then at least three hours after cleaning up,” he said as he attended a home show in Hartford. “We’ll be out there through the whole storm.”

    But even for a plow driver, the snow is no cake walk.

    “It’s kind of exhilarating,” he said. “But at the same time, I’ve been doing it for 27 years, so I’m kind of tired of it myself.”

    Associated Press writer Pat Eaton-Robb in Hartford, Connecticut; Bruce Shipkowski in Trenton, New Jersey; and Deepti Hajela in New York contributed to this report.

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  • Duke Basketball Coach’s Historic Victory Places Him in a Class by Himself
    Posted January 25, 2015 at 6:03 pm by Dave Urbanski

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    Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

    NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Krzyzewski earned his 1,000th career win Sunday, making him the first NCAA Division I men’s coach to reach the milestone, when No. 5 Duke surged past St. John’s in the second half for a 77-68 victory at Madison Square Garden.

    Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski celebrates with his players after his 1,000th career win in an NCAA college basketball game against St. John's at Madison Square Garden in New York, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. (Image source: AP/Kathy Willens)

    Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski celebrates with his players after his 1,000th career win in an NCAA college basketball game against St. John’s at Madison Square Garden in New York, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. (Image source: AP/Kathy Willens)

    Tyus Jones scored 22 points and the Blue Devils (17-2) went on an 18-2 run down the stretch to put Krzyzewski in four figures on his first try.

    Jahlil Okafor had 17 points and 10 rebounds, combining with Jones and Quinn Cook (17 points) to fuel the decisive spurt after Duke trailed by 10 with 8 1/2 minutes remaining.

    Duke players hold a sign that celebrates head coach Mike Krzyzewski's 1,000th career win after an NCAA basketball game against St. John's, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 in New York. (Image source: AP/Seth Wenig)

    Duke players hold a sign that celebrates head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s 1,000th career win after an NCAA basketball game against St. John’s, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 in New York. (Image source: AP/Seth Wenig)

    When the final horn sounded, Blue Devils players engulfed Krzyzewski in front of their bench, and he received a bear hug from assistant Jeff Capel. Players were given T-shirts that read “1,000 and Kounting.”

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