No Sign of Ending Funding Stalemate to Avert Partial US Government Shutdown

December 17, 2018 by · Comments Off on No Sign of Ending Funding Stalemate to Avert Partial US Government Shutdown 

There were no public signs Monday of ending a stalemate over U.S. government spending that threatens to partially shut down federal agencies at midnight Friday. The White House gave no indication of what funding plan it might accept to avert closing about a quarter of U.S. operations, a dispute that centers on President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to thwart illegal immigration. Trump has called for a $5 billion down payment for the $20 billion wall, but his plan is adamantly opposed by Democrats and some Republicans, leaving its fate in doubt.Democrats have offered a maximum of $1.6 billion, for enhanced border security, not specifically for the wall. On Monday, Trump attacked Democratic opposition to the wall.

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Pistol-Packing Teachers Becoming More Common in Arkansas

December 16, 2018 by · Comments Off on Pistol-Packing Teachers Becoming More Common in Arkansas 

Dale Cresswell keeps his gun on his hip at all times: in his classroom, at sporting events, whenever he’s at school. Cresswell, head coach to the senior boys’ track and cross-country teams, is one of a small, but growing group of teachers around the United States who are volunteering to carry a weapon. His employer, Heber Springs School District, just came online this semester. “It was a no-brainer. I have a daughter still in school,” said Cresswell of his decision, acknowledging that he might know any potential shooter. “I see it as, I’m protecting more than one person. I’m protecting all the other students.”


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Court: Trump Can’t Let Companies Deny Birth Control Coverage

December 14, 2018 by · Comments Off on Court: Trump Can’t Let Companies Deny Birth Control Coverage 

A divided U.S. appeals court Thursday blocked rules by the Trump administration that allowed more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control. The ruling, however, may be short lived because the administration has adopted new rules on contraceptive coverage that are set to take effect next month and will likely prompt renewed legal challenges. Thursday’s ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concerned changes to birth control coverage requirements under President Barack Obama’s health care law that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued in October 2017.

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Iran’s Parliament: More Low-Income Iranians Fall into Poverty

December 13, 2018 by · Comments Off on Iran’s Parliament: More Low-Income Iranians Fall into Poverty 

The Iranian parliament’s research center says a worsening domestic economy means a broader range of Iranians are living in poverty, based on their monthly incomes. In a report released Tuesday, the parliamentary researchers said the poverty line for a family of four living in the capital city of Tehran rose to a monthly income of 27 million rials in the June to September quarter, or $650, according to Iran’s official exchange rate of 42,000 rials to the dollar. A poverty line indicates that everyone earning a monthly income up to that level is living in poverty.The report said the $650 poverty line for June  to September represented a 22 percent increase from the same quarter in 2017. The increase means that Tehran-based families of four with monthly incomes up to 22 percent higher than the previous year’s poverty line have fallen into poverty themselves, according to the researchers. The rial’s sharp depreciation against the dollar on the unofficial market this year has caused dollar-denominated imports to become significantly more expensive, making it difficult for more low-income Iranians to buy basic necessities such as food and medicine. website that tracks Iran’s unofficial exchange rates showed the rial trading at 105,500 to the dollar on Wednesday.

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Egypt Probes Images of Naked Couple Atop Pyramid

December 12, 2018 by · Comments Off on Egypt Probes Images of Naked Couple Atop Pyramid 

Egyptian authorities have launched an investigation into images said to show a naked couple who scaled the Great Pyramid that has sparked outrage in the conservative Muslim country, an official said Tuesday. In a video titled “Climbing the Great Pyramid of Giza”, Danish photographer Andreas Hvid appears to scale the 4,500-year-old tomb on the outskirts of Cairo at night with an unidentified woman who is later seen taking off her top. Hvid says the video was taken in late November but it was published on YouTube on December 8. A photograph released by Hvid appears to show the couple completely naked on top of each other while looking in the direction of a nearby pyramid with the horizon illuminated. “The public prosecution is investigating the incident of the Danish photographer and the authenticity of the photos and video of him climbing the pyramid,” Mostafa Waziri, the secretary general of Egypt’s supreme antiquities council, told AFP.

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Female Veterans Quietly Struggle With Sexual Harassment, Suicide

December 9, 2018 by · Comments Off on Female Veterans Quietly Struggle With Sexual Harassment, Suicide 

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Is End of Russia Probe in Sight?

December 5, 2018 by · Comments Off on Is End of Russia Probe in Sight? 

The Russia probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller appears to be entering a new phase in the wake of last week’s guilty plea by Michael Cohen, who had long served as President Donald Trump’s personal attorney. Now, legal analysts are debating whether the Russia investigation is moving toward a conclusion, and if so, what the stakes could be for the president and for the country. Last week in New York, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress to mislead lawmakers about Trump’s interest in a building project in Russia while he was running for president. Cohen, who once famously bragged he would “take a bullet” for Trump, told investigators in August that then-candidate Trump had ordered him to illegally arrange payments to buy the silence of two women who claimed affairs with Trump prior to the 2016 election. A short time after Cohen’s plea last week, Trump told reporters at the White House that Cohen was lying to get a better deal from the special counsel.

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China-US Tariff Truce is Opportunity with Tight Time Frame

December 3, 2018 by · Comments Off on China-US Tariff Truce is Opportunity with Tight Time Frame 

China and the United States have agreed to put tariffs on hold and give negotiations a chance. But the short 90-day period the two have to finish negotiations, which includes major holidays both in Washington and Beijing, will require quick steps, analysts say. China’s pledges to purchase what the White House calls “substantial” amounts of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products are relatively straightforward. What will be more difficult are the other items that Washington said the two agreed on.
 Those include the pledge to immediately begin negotiations on structural changes such as forced technology transfers, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber theft, services and agriculture. Raymond Yeung, a senior economist of Greater China at the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group said that despite the tariff truce, resolving the differences between the two countries and making progress would not be easy. “Markets should not be too happy too early,” he said. “If you look at the White House statement there is still a lot of structural issues that the Chinese have to fulfill for the U.S. not to increase the tariffs.”

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۱۹۹۱ Gulf War Looms Large Over Bush’s Mideast Legacy

December 1, 2018 by · Comments Off on ۱۹۹۱ Gulf War Looms Large Over Bush’s Mideast Legacy 

On the outskirts of Kuwait City, the love Kuwaitis have for former U.S. President George H.W. Bush could be seen in 2016 on a billboard one Bedouin family put up to announce their son’s wedding. That son being Bush al-Widhan, born in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War that saw U.S.-led forces expel the occupying Iraqi troops of dictator Saddam Hussein.
 “He was a real man, a lion,” said Mubarak al-Widhan, the father of the Kuwaiti Bush, of the American president. “He stood for our right for freedom, and he gave us back our country.” With Bush’s death , his legacy across the Middle East takes root in that 100-hour ground war that routed Iraqi forces. That war gave birth to the network of military bases America now operates across the Persian Gulf supporting troops in Afghanistan and forces fighting against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
 However, Bush ultimately would leave the Shiite and Kurdish insurgents he urged to rise up against Saddam in 1991 to face the dictator’s wrath alone, leading to thousands of deaths. That mixed picture only extends to the presidency of his son, George W. Bush, who ordered the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that overthrew Saddam, whom he once famously described as “the guy who tried to kill my dad one time.”

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Trump Cancels Putin Meeting Over Moscow Seizure of Ukrainian Ships

November 29, 2018 by · Comments Off on Trump Cancels Putin Meeting Over Moscow Seizure of Ukrainian Ships 

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