Hillary Clinton

The Boston Globe Calls Upon Elizabeth Warren To Run For President

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R). GETTY IMAGES

She’s definitely my preference but the reality is…she doesn’t have the political power that Hillary wields.

Hillary can win, Ms. Warren can’t…at least not in 2016.

Addicting Info

Elizabeth Warren has said that she isn’t running for president in 2016, but the Boston Globe is calling upon the Massachusetts Senator to do so for the good of the people and Democratic Party.

The Editorial Board of the Globe penned a piece outlining their desire to see Warren run and why she should do so.

Right out of the gate, the Globe explains that allowing Hillary Clinton to capture the Democratic primary unopposed would be a mistake because there are some serious splits among Democrats on certain issues that need to be debated. Of particular importance is how Warren has championed the fight against income inequality while Clinton has been more cautious on economic issues because she has Wall Street backing.

DEMOCRATS WOULD be making a big mistake if they let Hillary Clinton coast to the presidential nomination without real opposition, and, as a national leader, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren can make sure that doesn’t happen. While Warren has repeatedly vowed that she won’t run for president herself, she ought to reconsider. And if Warren sticks to her refusal, she should make it her responsibility to help recruit candidates to provide voters with a vigorous debate on her signature cause, reducing income inequality, over the next year.

Even in areas where the candidates agree, there are bound to be different priorities: It’s hard to imagine a President Clinton defending and enforcing the Dodd-Frank legislation with as much vigor as a President Warren, for instance.

Indeed, the big-picture debate on financial regulation and income inequality is what’s most at peril if the Democratic primaries come and go without top-notch opponents for Clinton. While she has a great many strengths, Clinton seems far more likely to hew to a cautious approach on economics. Her financial backing from Wall Street, her vote in the Senate to reduce bankruptcy protections, and her past reluctance to raise capital-gains taxes are no secret. Nothing about her record suggests much gumption for financial reform or tackling the deeply entrenched economic problems that increasingly threaten the American dream.

The Globe is 100 percent correct. The Democratic Party is prepared to crown Clinton as their nominee without much of a fight if any at all. Sure, there are other Democrats who are considering throwing their own hats in the ring, but Warren is a grassroots superstar who has mass appeal among the middle class and the poor. Her dedication to ending income inequality and the economic unfairness that has plagued the nation for over 30 years now is exactly what America desperately needs. And if Warren runs, her signature cause would take center stage.

As the Globe points out,

Seven years after the financial collapse, those challenges remain serious. To name just a few of the financial problems facing Americans: stagnant wages; ballooning student loan debt; exploitative payday lenders; shady subprime car loans; the proliferation of dubious for-profit colleges; inadequate retirement savings.

Unlike Clinton, or any of the prospective Republican candidates, Warren has made closing the economic gaps in America her main political priority, in a career that has included standing up for homeowners facing illegal foreclosures and calling for more bankruptcy protections. If she runs, it’ll ensure that those issues take their rightful place at the center of the national political debate.

Even if Clinton stills wins the nomination, she would be a stronger candidate precisely because of the competition with Warren. Clinton may also be forced to focus more on income inequality herself. Plus, a strong showing on the national stage, even in defeat, would propel Warren to greater national recognition and prominence, thus setting herself up as the frontrunner in 2020 if Clinton declines a second term, or in 2024 if Clinton loses or wins another 4 years in office.

If Warren runs and loses, she and Clinton would be better candidates for it. Clinton could potentially lay the groundwork for Warren to tackle income inequality head-on during her own future stint in the White House, but only if Warren forces Clinton to make the issue a major part of her campaign. That only happens if Warren throws her hat in the ring. And who is to say that Warren wouldn’t win? Just look at how the competition between Clinton and Obama in 2008 made Obama a stronger nominee. The same could happen for Warren in 2016. Republicans are already terrified of a Clinton presidency, but they are even more terrified of a Warren presidency and what it could potentially bring to the table.

The greatest single domestic issue in this country right now is income inequality and the people yearn for a leader who can end the vicious cycle that has placed so many in poverty as the rich get richer. Warren has populism on her side and she is the ideal Democratic candidate who can truly shape the party and finally bring it back to strongly supporting the economic values and principles it once championed from the 1930s through the 1960s when America was at the height of world respect and power. Senator Elizabeth Warren is the leader we need.

Democratic support for Hillary Clinton softens: Reuters/Ipsos poll

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks after being inducted into the Irish American Hall of Fame in New York, March 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks after being inducted into the Irish American Hall of Fame in New York, March 16, 2015. CREDIT: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID

Reuters

(Reuters) – Democratic support for Hillary Clinton’s expected presidential campaign is softening amid controversy over her use of personal email when secretary of state, but most Democrats are for now sticking by their party’s presumed candidate.

Support for Clinton’s candidacy has dropped about 15 percentage points since mid February among Democrats, with as few as 45 percent saying they would support her in the last week, according to a Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll. Support from Democrats likely to vote in the party nominating contests has dropped only slightly less, to a low in the mid-50s over the same period.

Even Democrats who said they were not personally swayed one way or another by the email flap said that Clinton could fare worse because of it, if and when she launches her presidential campaign, a separate Reuters/Ipsos poll showed.

Democratic strategist Ben LaBolt, a former spokesman for President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, said that the email controversy has been a “galvanizing call for the Clinton campaign-in-waiting to build an organization,” by hiring top political communicators who can defend her record. Clinton, who ran for the White House in 2008 and lost to Obama, is expected to announce as early as April that she plans to seek the White House in 2016.

Former congressional and Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon, White House aide Jennifer Palmieri and Jesse Ferguson, who has handled press for Democratic congressional campaigns, are expected to be among the communications experts joining Clinton’s campaign. All three are highly respected in Democratic political circles.

“Democrats want to see Secretary Clinton work for the nomination, but with the string of hires her campaign has announced in the early (voting) states despite a weak field of competitors, every indication is that she plans to,” LaBolt said.

The online poll of 2,128 adults from March 10 to March 17 revealed that Americans, including two-thirds of Democrats, said they were aware of the controversy surrounding Clinton’s decision to use her personal email rather than a government account, along with a personal server, when she was the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013.

More than a third of Democrats and 44 percent of political independents agreed that the email issue has hurt the former secretary of state politically.

“I admire the fact that she has been so strong on a lot of different things, she stands up for what she believes in, but I do think the emails will hurt her, unfortunately,” said Patricia Peacock, 49, of Lewiston, Maine, who took part in the survey.

Clinton has tried to tamp down accusations that she used her personal email account to keep her records from public review, which would support an old political narrative that Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, are secretive and seek to play by a different set of rules.

Clinton told a packed room of reporters at the United Nations earlier this month that she used her personal email for official business for the sake of convenience, because it was easier to carry only one device.

Clinton’s office said she has since turned over paper copies of more than 30,000 work emails last year at the State Department’s request, but did not hand over about 32,000 that were private or personal records.

The cache included 300 emails related to a 2012 attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi that led to the death of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, which were subsequently handed over to a Republican-led congressional committee investigating the incident.

The panel has subpoenaed Clinton’s remaining emails and said they would like her to testify on the matter before April.

About half of the adults surveyed, including 46 percent of Democrats, agreed there should be an independent review of all Clinton’s emails to ensure she turned over everything that is work related.

More than half of Americans – and 41 percent of Democrats – said they supported the Republican-controlled congressional committee’s effort to require Clinton to testify about the emails, the Reuters/Ipsos poll showed.

About half of Democrats said they thought Clinton was composed during the March 10 press conference, but 14 percent found her evasive and 17 percent said she avoided answering questions directly.

Survey respondent Tom Trevathan, 74, a retired math professor from Arkansas, said he was “less than happy” with Clinton’s performance at the news conference.

“It reminds me of a history she has had not responding thoroughly to inquiries,” Trevathan said. “If she would be more open about the situation, and show more leadership in saying what she did and why, I think it would be better.”

To explore all the Reuters/Ipsos polling related to Hillary Clinton’s emails:polling.reuters.com/#!search/clinton%20emails

Hillary Clinton’s Republican Neighbor Is Trolling Her With This Sign (IMAGE)

Addicting Info

As news came in that Associated Press (AP) is suing the US State department for access to emails stored on Hillary Clinton’s personal hard drives, her Republican neighbor stuck the boot in with some trolling from the safety of his own yard.

Registered Republican Gary Murphy staged the stunt, placing a computer hard drive near Clinton’s Westchester home with a For Sale sign reading, “Used Email Server, Clean Hard Drive, 15 Old House Ln. — See Bill.”

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Murphy, who lives in Chappaqua and owns a house-cleaning business, said:

“I guess I wasn’t satisfied with the answers she gave.”

After an initial silence which even supporters felt was too long, followed by her dismissive assertion of “nothing to see here,” the former Secretary of State is coming under increasing pressure to provide a more satisfactory response on the issue.

Mrs. Clinton has defended her use of personal email accounts for state business by claiming it was simply a matter of convenience.

“I wanted to use just one device for both personal and work emails instead of two,” she said in a hastily called press conference after she spoke at the U.N. Conference on Women.

Mrs. Clinton went on to confirm that she handed 55,000 pages of email she deemed work-related to the State Department last year. However, she also stated she has deleted 32,000 emails she claims were personal.

It would appear the former First Lady is now check-mated, in a lose-lose situation. By continuing to evade the release of her emails, she lays herself open to rampant speculation. By capitulating, she suffers the potential indignity of her personal emails being opened up for public consumption. All the while, Republicans continue to score easy points from any course of action Clinton chooses to take.

With the news of the AP suit, any hopes in the Clinton camp that the matter may simply fizzle out have been dashed.

“After careful deliberation and exhausting our other options, the Associated Press is taking the necessary legal steps to gain access to these important documents, which will shed light on actions by the State Department and former Secretary Clinton, a presumptive 2016 presidential candidate, during some of the most significant issues of our time,” Karen Kaiser, AP’s general counsel, said on Wednesday as the legal action was confirmed.

AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll added:

“The Freedom of Information Act exists to give citizens a clear view of what government officials are doing on their behalf. When that view is denied, the next resort is the courts.”

10 things you need to know today: March 12, 2015

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The Week

1.Two police officers shot outside Ferguson’s police station after chief resigns
Two police officers were shot outside the Ferguson, Missouri, police station early Thursday during a protest hours after embattled Police Chief Thomas Jackson resigned. One of the officers was shot in the shoulder, the other in the face. Both were expected to survive, and an investigation into the shooting suspect is underway. Jackson was the latest of several officials, including city manager John Shaw, who have resigned since a scathing Justice Department report accusing city officials of unfairly targeting blacks with fines to raise money.

Source: The New York Times

2.AP sues for Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails
The Associated Press on Wednesday filed suit against the State Department demanding Hillary Clinton’s email records from her time as secretary of state, saying it was “in the public interest” to see what was in them. The lawsuit came a day after Clinton defended herself by saying she used her personal account for “convenience” to avoid using two accounts and two devices. The State Department says it will release Clinton’s work emails publicly after a months-long internal review.

Source: The Associated Press

3.Two other universities look into whether SAE frat members used racist chant
At least two new investigations are underway to determine whether a racist chant used by Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members at the University of Oklahoma had been used by students in chapters at other schools. The president of the University of Texas at Austin saidWednesday that the school is checking into “rumors” that members of the SAE frat there used the same song, and the national fraternity office in Evanston, Illinois, said a similar investigation was taking place at least one other college.

Source: ABC News

4.Apple online stores suffer outage
Apple experienced a 12-hour outage at its iTunes and App stores on Wednesday. Frustrated customers from around the world flooded social media sites with reports of receiving error codes when they tried to access the Apple sites. “ALL of my Apple products won’t accept my password,” one user wrote. “Life today is going to suck.” Apple issued a statement apologizing for the outages, saying it was “working to make all of the services available to customers as soon as possible.”

Source: Tech Times, The Associated Press

5.Search continues for survivors after Florida Army helicopter crash
Military officials said Wednesday some human remains had been recovered on the shore near where an Army Blackhawk helicopter crashed during a training mission in Florida Tuesday night. Search and rescue crews, hampered by fog, were looking for survivors, but the seven Marines and four Army reservists who were on board were presumed dead. The identities of the Marines, who were based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and the Louisiana National Guard soldiers were not immediately released.

Source: Pensacola News Journal

6.Utah House approves gay-rights bill
Utah’s Republican-dominated state legislature passed a bill Wednesdaynight banning discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, but giving religious institutions and charities some leeway if they object to homosexuality. Both the Mormon church and gay-rights groups back the bill, which is seen as a potential model for other conservative states looking to shield gays and lesbians from housing and employment discrimination. Gov. Gary Herbert (R) is expected to sign the bill into law Thursday evening.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, The New York Times

7.Obama approves non-lethal military aid to Ukraine
President Obama on Wednesday approved $75 million in non-lethal aid to Ukraine as its military contends with pro-Russian separatist rebels in the eastern part of the country. The assistance will include small reconnaissance drones, radios, and military ambulances. In a separate move, Obama also has approved sending Ukraine 30 armored Humvees, and as many as 200 unarmored ones in a show of U.S. support for “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” an anonymous official said.

Source: Los Angeles Times

8.Iraq takes back Tikrit from ISIS
Iraqi forces seized control of the strategically important city of Tikrit from the Islamic State on Wednesday, although sporadic fighting continuedThursday in pockets still held by ISIS. If the Iraqi military and allied militias can hold onto the city it will mark a significant victory for 30,000 pro-government fighters involved in the offensive against ISIS, and a big step in the effort to reclaim Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.

Source: Reuters, The Washington Post

9. Secret Service agents under investigation for crash at White House gate
The Obama administration is investigating reports that two Secret Service agents drove a government vehicle into White House security barriers following a night of drinking at a party last week. Officers on duty wanted to arrest the agents and give them sobriety tests, but were told by a supervisor to let them go home. The agents under investigation are Mark Connolly, the second-in-command on President Obama’s detail, and George Ogilvie, a senior supervisor in the Washington field office.

Source: The Washington Post

10.Bill Badger, hailed as hero for tackling Giffords shooter, dies at 78
Retired Army colonel Bill Badger, who helped tackle the gunman who shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson four years ago, died Wednesday of pneumonia. He was 78. Badger was wounded before he got to the shooter, Jared Loughner, and helped hold him down. Six people were killed in the attack outside a grocery store while Giffords was meeting with constituents. Thirteen, including Badger and Giffords, were wounded. Giffords called Badger “a hero,” saying his “selfless, brave actions” saved lives.

Source: Arizona Daily Star

Hillary and Her Emails: Another View

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 03: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends the EMILY’s List 30th Anniversary Gala at Hilton Washington Hotel on March 3, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)

The Huffington Post ~ Joel Cohen (Criminal Defense Lawyer)

Public service is a noble calling. But at what price? It’s bad enough if historians pick over your bones for years after you’re dead and gone. But what about now — when you’re alive, well and trying to not only do your job, but do it in such a way that you will not be precluded from seeking higher office. In other words, do you want the world looking at every email, or “note-to-self” that you sent as an email, that you wrote before you went to sleep? Or those to staff members who screwed up, or when you screwed up? Should the world get to see the “first draft” of your every thought that you yourself had the sense to abandon once you reviewed the “draft” in the cool light of day? How valuable, ultimately, after all, is total transparency — given the direction in which the world is going?

Here’s the reality: thirty years ago, your “things to do” list, your “notes,” your “first drafts” shall we call them — they were kept on a note pad. It was on your night table when you slept so that you could quickly jot down your middle-of-the-night “brilliant” ideas to staff. You know, the ones that make no sense in the morning. Those notes got torn up, thrown out with your morning coffee grinds. Like a thought communicated verbally, they had no permanent, demonstrable afterlife.

But things are different today, and public servants know it. Emails, electronic notes sent via email — they are here and, frankly, it is difficult to do business without them. Particularly if your business spans every time zone. What do public servants do? Governor Cuomo directed an auto-delete of State government emails after three months. So, if his midnight ideas turn out to be unworkable, or just not well thought through, a prosecutor, a reporter and the public would only have 90 days to seize the moment. This assuming the prosecutor or FOIA requestor armed with a court order can’t get some computer archaeologist equipped with technology to dig up remains that somehow were not really deleted.

Secretary Clinton had a different idea; an idea that everyone she emailed with — including heads of state, congress, senators and the President (although he recently denied it — had to know about. She simply didn’t use the government system to send and receive emails. Now, to be sure, there’s a risk there; meaning, her official emails wouldn’t have the security of a State Department account. Putting aside whether she was breaching a regulation by, presumably, communicating sensitive State Department business on a non-secure computer line, her actions were likely not as egregious as the sins of CIA Director David Petraeus (showing “black book” documents to his girlfriend/biographer), CIA Director John Deutsch (taking and maintaining highly classified information on an unsecured computer after he left the government) or NSA Advisor Sandy Berger (removing and destroying a classified document about the Clinton administration’s record on terrorism). All of these men, incidentally, pleaded guilty to misdemeanors, notwithstanding their extremely valuable careers in public service.

We will likely never know from her the real reason why Secretary Clinton used a non-government email account. We can only presume she was trying to make sure that certain emails would never see the light of day in the first place, aside from the parties to the email communication. In other words, was she attempting to treat her emails as written notes she would have kept in olden days, i.e., before the internet?

And if that is what she was trying to do, who can blame her? Would you want the opposition party’s legislators bent on trying to tear you (and the President) down — as they have basically acknowledged — in a position to scavenge their way through every unfiltered government-related email you ever wrote or received during your tenure as Secretary of State, even if written in “short hand” or in haste, or in pique, without forethought? And what about those personal emails you may have written to your husband, forgetting to go to your private account in the middle of an over-the-top day? I mean, how many secretaries of state have a spouse with a security clearance? Which brings us to this — we are talking about Hillary Clinton; a woman who is a lightning rod. Unlike Madeline (Albright), unlike Condi (Rice) — Hillary is a former first lady with boundless ambition. And as first lady, she was no Jackie Kennedy. She is so loathed — perhaps, so feared — that when her husband cheated on her, she was lambasted for tolerating it as a career move!

But back to the emails. Clearly, the answer isn’t to conduct business over a non-secure line, in violation of government regulations and guidelines — the email account she used was a private account, although not one commercially available (which accounts can and should be used for personal communications). Parenthetically, or maybe not, Secretary Colin Powell reportedly used a non-State Department account, although the regulations appear to have not yet been existent during his tenure. ABC News reportsthat, in fact, John Kerry is the first in that position to rely primarily on a state.gov account; Kerry is also the first Secretary to sit since the Federal Records Act was amended in 2014 to now place explicit limits on using private email accounts.

Nor is the answer to have that public servant turn over the emails “she believes” are relevant after her tenure, as Mrs. Clinton did. So how do we get valuable people to yield the privacy of their electronic communications in the name of public service? Maybe, just maybe, we need to create a zone of privacy that will encourage public officials to communicate their candid thoughts over email while in office — given that conducting business without email is simply no longer a tenable option — by ensuring that the email exchanges will have some protection from publication.

How do we do that? Is it possible to turn back the clock — to allow government employees to be secure in the knowledge that one can give and receive candid advice without fear that the unfiltered comment won’t end up before a Senate committee or on the front page of a tabloid? Diplomats, heads of state and the Secretary of State without question cannot do their jobs well unless they can freely speak their minds. Indeed, in conducting diplomatic negotiations it may actually be necessary to tell one side one thing and the other side another. Imagine how that would play out in the public arena.

Perhaps, instead of the current FOIA protocol or the ability of legislative committees to demand full access, why not create a mechanism to ensure that the public official, in this case the Secretary of State, have a level of privacy in her communications, while at the same time ensuring that the other branches of government and the press (assuming security protocols are met) have access to what is relevant or of import. In other words, create the role of a “filter” — call him an ombudsman, or whatever — who when a legislative or FOIA request for government-employee emails is made, reviews the materials in the first instance to determine not only the relevance of the emails, but also their substantive value. Meaning, if the Secretary and her Chief of Staff were to have electronically communicated an idea or thought that is rejected and never implemented, does the world really need to know about it?

If we have a high ranking public official concerned that her emails are up for grabs because the opposition party seeks to undermine her and the president she works for, she will (perhaps should) do what is necessary to protect her immaterial, unfiltered thoughts that made their way into emails. But if she knows a responsible, non-political figure with the mindset of an impartial judge stands as a guardian against the release of those emails, won’t society be better served because thoughtful public officials will be willing to step into the breach knowing that their unfiltered, irrelevant words won’t be used against them in the future?

Looking back through history, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act, he acknowledged its pros and cons. Yes, it was important that secrecy be lifted so that the public could have information but, there were some secrets that were just as important: “Officials within Government must be able to communicate with one another fully and frankly without publicity. They cannot operate effectively if required to disclose information prematurely or to make public investigative files and internal instructions that guide them in arriving at their decisions.”

Perhaps these were the “secrets” Secretary Clinton (and apparently many before her) were trying to keep.

10 things you need to know today: March 9, 2015

The Week

1.Selma march over bridge marks Bloody Sundayanniversary
Thousands of demonstrators marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on Sunday to mark the 50th anniversary of the brutal assault of civil rights activists in the same spot. Many sang “We Shall Overcome” at the scene of the 1965 clash, known as Bloody Sunday and commemorated in the film Selma. The attack helped galvanize support for the civil rights movement that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, which Attorney General Eric Holder, speaking in Selma, said was “under siege” by new state voting laws.

Source: Los Angeles Times, The New York Times

2.GOP Benghazi investigation chief finds gaps in Hillary Clinton’s emails
The Republican chairman of a House committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attack said Sunday there were “huge gaps” in the emails then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton turned over to the committee. Clinton went to Libya after the attack, which left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead. “We have no emails from that day,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.). Clinton, under criticism for using a private email account instead of a government one, has asked the State Department to release all her emails.

Source: Reuters

3.Oklahoma fraternity closed over racist video
The national board of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity shut down its University of Oklahoma chapter after a video surfaced allegedly showing SAE members from the school riding a bus, chanting that “there will never be a n—er in SAE.” The board made the decision “with no mental reservation whatsoever that this chapter needed to be closed immediately,” SAE national president Brad Cohen said after an emergency board meeting Sunday night. The reaction came after The Oklahoma Daily student newspaper posted the video online.

Source: The New York Times, The Oklahoma Daily

4.Obama says the U.S. would “walk away” from a bad Iran nuclear deal
President Obama on Sunday said Iran must agree to stringent conditions in a potential nuclear deal or the U.S. will “walk away” from the negotiating table. For a deal to work out, the U.S. would have to “verify that they are not going to obtain a nuclear weapon, that there’s a breakout period so that even if they cheated we would be able to have enough time to take action,” Obama said on Face the Nation. “If we don’t have that kind of deal, then we’re not going to take it,” he added.

Source: CBS News, Voice of America

5.Protests continue in Madison over police shooting
More than 100 people protested in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sunday in the third day of demonstrations over the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Tony Robinson Jr. by a white policeman. Robinson, 19, was shot outside an apartment building after Officer Matt Kenny, 45, responded to a report of a man dodging cars in traffic and battering another person. The killing was the latest in a series of deaths of unarmed black men that have touched off nationwide protests of excessive force against African Americans.

Source: Reuters

6.Iraq closes in on Islamic State in Tikrit
Iraqi forces have dealt severe blows to the Islamic State fighters near the city of Tikrit a week into an offensive aiming to regain control over the city from militants, officials said Sunday. Government forces and allied militias, however, had not yet been able to enter the city. “It will still take days to completely liberate” the areas, said Ahmed al-Karim, head of the provincial council in the area. “There is resistance from [the Islamic State], but it is not at the level we expected.”

Source: The Washington Post

7.Apple to debut Apple Watch
Apple is unveiling its long-awaited Apple Watch on Monday in San Francisco. The iPhone and iPad maker’s CEO, Tim Cook, said in September that the company’s new wearable gadget would have features that included fitness tracking, messaging, and Apple Pay. The Apple Watch is expected to start at $349, but fans are still wondering about other details such as battery life and apps. The Apple Watch is the company’s first new device since the death of the company’s visionary co-founder, Steve Jobs.

Source: NBC Bay Area

8.Cosmos exhibition game to end Cuba sports embargo
The New York Cosmos will play the Cuban national soccer team in Havana this June in an exhibition match, ending a professional sports ban on the communist Caribbean island. The Cosmos will travel to Cuba during a break in their North American Soccer League schedule. The match will be the first pro sports exchange since the U.S. and Cuba announced renewed diplomatic relations in December. The last pro team to play in Cuba was the Baltimore Orioles, who beat Cuba’s national baseball team 3-2 in 1999.

Source: The New York Times

9. Report says cycling officials went easy on Lance Armstrong
Cycling’s international governing body gave Lance Armstrong special treatment and delayed addressing rumors that the now-disgraced former Tour de France champion had been doping, according to a new report by the Cycling Independent Reform Commission. The report says officials at the International Cycling Union (UCI) “exempted Lance Armstrong from rules, failed to test him despite the suspicions, and publicly supported him against allegations of doping, even as late as 2012.” The UCI set up the commission to investigate the causes of the sport’s doping scandal.

Source: CNN

10.Solar plane starts historic flight
A solar-powered plane with a 236-foot wingspan took off from Abu Dhabi on Monday, with the goal of becoming the first plane to travel around the world without any fuel. The Solar Impulse 2 will be piloted by André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, who will alternate flying the single-seat aircraft. The journey is expected to take several months, and the pilots hope the plane will make it back to Abu Dhabi by late July or August. The first stop is Muscat, Oman, where Borschberg is expected to land late Monday.

Source: The Associated Press

10 things you need to know today: March 8, 2015

President Obama speaks from the Edmund Pettus Bridge –  Saturday March 7, 2015 | Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The Week

1.Thousands mark 50th anniversary of ‘BloodySunday‘ march in Selma
President Barack Obama spoke in Selma, Alabama, on Saturday afternoon, paying tribute to some 600 peaceful protesters who were attacked by state troopers while marching for voting rights 50 years ago this weekend. “If Selma taught us anything, it’s that our work is never done,” Obama said, adding, “the march is not yet over.” Thousands of people gathered in Selma over the weekend to mark the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, including civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who was beaten while participating in the march five decades ago.Source: The Washington Post
2.Two charged, five detained in murder of Boris Nemtsov
Russia on Sunday said it had charged two men in the murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. In addition to charging Anzor Gubashev and Zaur Dadayev, who were arrested Saturday, Moscow said it detained three more suspects for questioning. The 55-year-old Nemtsov was shot four times in the back, raising suspicions of a state-sponsored execution.Source: The Guardian, AFP
3.Boko Haram pledges allegiance to ISIS
The Nigerian militant group Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIS in an audio recording released Saturday. In the audio, which was posted to Boko Haram’s Twitter page but has not yet been verified by U.S. intelligence, a man claiming to be the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, swears “allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims.” Boko Haram had already begun to mimic ISIS’ propaganda tactics, but it is not clear how the oath will impact the relationship and potential coordination between the two groups.Source: BBC
4.Kentucky Wildcats complete undefeated regular season
The Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team on Saturday put the finishing touch on a perfect regular season with a 67-50 drubbing of Florida. The top-ranked Wildcats are the first team from a major conference to go undefeated since Indiana in 1976. (Wichita State, of the Missouri Valley Conference, went undefeated last season.) After the win, Kentucky coach John Calipari praised his team’s selfless play, saying, “In this society, instead of me, me, me, it’s us, us, us.”Source: Sports Illustrated, USA Today
5.Obama claims he learned last week of Clinton’s private emails
President Obama said Saturday that he was unaware until last week that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exclusively used a private email address during her tenure in his administration. In an excerpt of an interview with CBS, Obama did not say how he remained in the dark for so long, but said he was “glad that Hillary’s instructed that those emails about official business need to be disclosed.” Clinton’s use of private email has raised questions about whether the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate skirted ethics rules.Source: The New York Times
6.Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei makes appearance amid health rumors
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday made a rare public appearance amid rumors that he was near death due to health issues. Iranian state news aired images of the 75-year-old Khamenei meeting with environmental leaders in Tehran, saying the appearance should “put an end to the Israeli-driven rumors.” Last week, speculative reports surfaced claiming Khamenei had been hospitalized in critical condition, though Iran dismissed the claims as baseless attempts to undermine the ongoing nuclear negotiations.Source: CBS
7.John Kerry warns of ‘gaps’ in Iranian nuclear deal
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday said that while progress had been made in nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers, “there are gaps that have to be closed” before a final deal can be reached. “If we didn’t think that there was further to go,” Kerry said, “we’d have had an agreement already.” The U.S., France, Britain, China, Germany, and Russia are negotiating with Iran to limit Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for an end to sanctions against the country.Source: CNN
8.Protesters march in Madison after police kill unarmed teen
Protesters took to the streets of Madison, Wisconsin, on Saturday after police shot and killed an unarmed black 19-year-old. Several dozen protesters gathered outside police headquarters chanting “Black Lives Matter,” the rallying slogan of similar protests over police killings in the past few months of unarmed black men. Police said officer Matt Kenny was responding to a call Friday when he fatally shot Tony Robinson inside Robinson’s home.Source: NBC
9. Report on anniversary of MH370 disappearance offers no new clues
One year after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished, a comprehensive report into the disappearance painted a picture of normalcy of the doomed flight. The report revealed that the battery on the plane’s locator beacon expired more than a year before the plane went missing. But it found “no behavioral signs of social isolation, change in habits or interest, self-neglect, drug or alcohol abuse” among the plane’s captain and crew that could explain the mysterious incident.Source: CBS
10.Warm weather forces Iditarod to relocate
Perhaps this year, Iditarod sled drivers should shout “slush” instead of “mush.” That’s because unseasonably warm weather left parts of the race course treacherously slick or bereft of snow, forcing organizers to moveMonday’s starting point 225 miles north from Willow to Fairbanks. The ceremonial start of the race still went on as planned Saturday in Anchorage — but only because crews hauled in around 350 truckloads of snow to smooth the course.Source: The Seattle Times

10 things you need to know today: March 6, 2015

Rich Polk/Getty Images

The Week

1.State Department begins investigation of Hillary Clinton emails
The State Department is reviewing tens of thousands of pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails from her time as secretary of State to determine whether her use of a private email account violated security rules. A State Department official said Clinton’s use of personal email did not necessarily constitute a violation of the rules, but the review will determine whether she ever included sensitive information required to be handled using a secure government system.

Source: The Washington Post

2.Harrison Ford injured in plane crash
Actor Harrison Ford was injured Thursday crash landing his small World War II vintage plane on a golf course in Los Angeles. Ford’s son Ben, a chef, tweeted from the hospital that his father, who reportedly suffered gashes to his head, was “Battered but OK!” The 1942 Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR plane stalled on take-off and Ford had radioed the Santa Monica Airport control tower to report engine trouble and said he was immediately returning, but he only made it to the golf course, which is across a busy road from the runway.

Source: TMZ, BBC News

3.Michael Brown’s family plans lawsuit over his death
Lawyers for the parents of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last August, announced Thursdaythat they will file a lawsuit in his death. The wrongful death suit will name the city of Ferguson and former police officer Darren Wilson as defendants, attorney Daryl Parks said. The announcement came after the Justice Department accused Ferguson’s police department of routine racial discrimination but declined to charge Wilson in Brown’s death.

Source: The Associated Press

4.ISIS bulldozes ancient Nimrud archaeological site
The Iraqi government said Thursday that Islamic State militants had “bulldozed” northern Iraq’s Nimrud archaeological site in what UNESCO called an “appalling attack on Iraq’s heritage.” Meanwhile, thousands of people have fled the Iraqi city of Tikrit as Iraqi forces, Shiite militias, and Kurdish peshmerga conduct an offensive aiming to push ISIS fighters out of the city, United Nations officials said. ISIS forces reportedly set fire to oil fields in an attempt to slow the Iraqi military’s progress.

Source: Fox News, NPR

5.Delta jet skids off New York runway
A Delta Airlines jet skidded off a runway while landing at New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Thursday. The plane smashed through a fence and into a snowy embankment, stopping just a few feet from Flushing Bay. There were 127 passengers on board. Two people were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. Emergency escape chutes failed to deploy, so passengers had to scramble to the ground over the wing of the MD88 aircraft.

Source: USA Today

6.Jodi Arias avoids death penalty as jury deadlocks
Jodi Arias avoided the death penalty for the murder of her boyfriend when an Arizona jury deadlocked over her sentence on Thursday. This was the second jury to fail to reach a unanimous vote on the sentence. The jury first deadlocked two years ago after a trial laced with lurid testimony in which Arias was convicted of stabbing her on-off boyfriend, Travis Alexander, to death in 2008. Judge Sherry Stephens now will decide whether Arias will get life in prison or have the possibility for parole after 25 years. Capital punishment is off the table.

Source: ABC News

7.Economists expect jobs report to show continued gains
Economists expect the federal jobs report coming out Friday to show that the U.S. employment added 240,000 jobs in February, after gaining 257,000 in January. If the predictions are accurate, February will mark the 12th straight month of gains above 200,000 jobs, the longest such streak since 1994. Another month of improvement could help push down the unemployment rate and show that the economy is improving enough for the Federal Reserve to go ahead and start raising interest rates in June.

Source: Reuters

8.NASA scientists say Mars once had a massive ocean
Mars had a mile-deep sea 4.3 billion years ago that covered 20 percent of the Red Planet and was bigger than the Arctic Ocean, NASA scientists reported in an article published Thursday in Science magazine. A team led by Geronimo Villanueva of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center reached its conclusions by conducting a ground-based analysis of the water in Mars’ atmosphere, giving them what Villanueva called a “solid estimate of how much water Mars once had, by determining how much water was lost to space.”

Source: NASA

9. Former New York archbishop Egan dies at 82
Edward Cardinal Egan, who served as the Catholic archbishop of New York from 2000 to 2009, died Thursday of cardiac arrest. He was 82. Cardinal Egan served as archbishop of Bridgeport, Connecticut, for 12 years before becoming the ninth archbishop to serve New York’s 2.5 million Catholics. He was made a cardinal in 2001. Many people credited Egan with inspiring and soothing New Yorkers after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Source: New York Post

10.Ringling Bros. announces end to circus elephant acts
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus said it will get rid of elephant acts by 2018, citing growing public concern about the animals’ treatment. “Things have changed,” Kenneth Feld, president of the circus’ parent company, told AP. “How does a business be successful? By adapting.” The elephants will reportedly retire to the company’s Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida. Other circus animals, like camels, will continue performing.

Source: The Associated Press

10 things you need to know today: March 5, 2015

(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

The Week

1.U.S. ambassador to South Korea injured in knife attack
A leftist activist slashed U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert with a knife early Thursday during a breakfast seminar in Seoul. Lippert was rushed to a hospital bleeding profusely with wounds to his face and wrist. The alleged assailant, 55-year-old Kim Ki-Jong, was apprehended. Kim told reporters that he was angry over ongoing annual U.S.-South Korea military exercises. North Korea called the attack “righteous punishment” against the U.S.

Source: The Korea Herald, ABC News

2.Hillary Clinton asks the State Department to release her emails
Hillary Clinton said late Wednesday that she had asked the State Department to release her emails. “I want the public to see my email,” Clinton said via Twitter in her first public response to reports that she had used a private email address during her years as secretary of State. A State Department spokeswoman said the department “will undertake this review as quickly as possible. Given the sheer volume of the document set, this review will take some time to complete.”

Source: Fox News, Reuters

3.Senate Republicans fail to override Obama’s Keystone pipeline veto
The Republican-led Senate on Wednesday fell five votes short of the 67 needed to override President Obama’s veto of legislation to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The 1,179-mile pipeline would carry Canadian tar-sands oil to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Obama vetoed the bill over unanswered questions about its environmental impact. There also is a court challenge to the pipeline’s proposed route in Nebraska. Republicans say the project should go forward because the construction phase would create thousands of jobs.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

4.No civil rights charges against ex-Ferguson-cop Darren Wilson
The Justice Department reported Wednesday that it would not file federal civil rights charges against Darren Wilson, the white former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen Michael Brown last year. Prosecutors found no evidence countering Wilson’s assertion that he fired to protect himself. The case touched off months of protests of police treatment of African Americans. The Justice Department separately found that Ferguson needed to completely overhaul its approach to policing to correct discrimination that stoked racial tensions.

Source: CNN, The New York Times

5.High court hears arguments in ObamaCare challenge
Supreme Court justices heard arguments Wednesday in a legal challenge to President Obama’s health-care law, with the court’s conservative and liberal wings sharply divided. The conservative plaintiffs argued that the law says insurance subsidies are available to those buying coverage on exchanges “established by the state,” so people buying insurance on the federal exchange should lose their subsidies. Potential swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy said there was a “serious constitutional problem” with that logic.

Source: Reuters, The Washington Post

6.Liberia releases its last Ebola patient
Liberia released its final Ebola patient from a Chinese-built hospital in the capital, Monrovia, on Thursday, according to Tolbert Nyenswah, the head of the country’s Incidence Management System. The recovered patient is the last known case of Ebola in Liberia, and if no new cases emerge in the next 42 days, the country will be declared Ebola-free. Almost 10,000 people have died since the world’s worst Ebola outbreak started a year ago, and Liberia shouldered the highest number of deaths.

Source: The Associated Press

7.Sweet Briar supporters rally to keep the college from shutting down
Students and alumnae of Sweet Briar College in Virginia united on social mediaWednesday, vowing to keep the 114-year-old private women’s college open. The surge of support came after the school’s board of directors voted to close the 3,250-acre campus on Aug. 25, citing financial reasons. A website was launched aiming to raise $250 million to keep Sweet Briar alive. The remote school’s annual tuition is $47,000, but it has had to offer deep discounts to slow declining enrollment.

Source: The Associated Press

8.Alabama judges stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples after state high court order
Judges across Alabama stopped issuing marriage licenses to gay couples after the state’s Supreme Court ordered them to respect a state same-sex marriage ban. The Alabama high court’s ruling directly defied a federal court ruling overturning the ban. Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed, the first in the state to announce he would issue licenses to gay couples, said he was obliged to obey the state high court “whether I agree with it or not.” The U.S. Supreme Court could be called on to resolve the stand-off.

Source: Montgomery Advertiser

9. Possible GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson apologizes for comments on homosexuality
Potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson ignited controversyWednesday when he claimed that homosexuality is “absolutely” a choice, contrary to what the American Psychological Association and most of the medical community says. “A lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight, and when they come out they’re gay,” the neurosurgeon told CNN. He said that “thwarts” the argument that being gay was not a choice. Carson later apologized for his “hurtful and divisive” words, saying he only meant that the science was not definitive.

Source: CNN

10.Scientists unearth jawbone of earliest known human
Scientists have found a fossilized jawbone they say belonged to one of the first humans, according to a pair of papers published Wednesday in the journalScience. The broken left mandible, with five intact teeth, was found in volcanic ash and sediment in an East African hillside. It is 2.8 million years old, about 400,000 years older than any previously known fossil from the human genus, Homo, closing the gap between the first humans and the more ape-like Australopithecus genus that included the 3 million year-old “Lucy.”

Source: Los Angeles Times