Somewhere in the Middle East, right now, Putin and Assad are sharing cigars and cognac around a roaring fire, with the melodious sound of laughter rising into the night sky as they high-five each other over an 8×10 glossy of Obama. ‘Red line’ indeed.
WASHINGTON — The ambitious U.S.-Russian deal to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, hailed as a diplomatic breakthrough just days ago, hit its first delay Wednesday with indications that the Syrian government will not submit an inventory of its toxic stockpiles and facilities to international inspectors by this weekend’s deadline.
The State Department signaled that it would not insist that Syrian President Bashar Assad produce the list Saturday, the end of a seven-day period spelled out in the framework deal that Washington and Moscow announced last weekend in Geneva.
Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, said Wednesday that “our goal is to see forward momentum” by Saturday, not the full list. “We’ve never said it was a hard and fast deadline.”
It wasn’t clear whether Syrian officials needed more time to complete a formal declaration of their chemical arms, or whether the disarmament deal itself was in trouble.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry had described the date as the first of several “specific timelines” that would indicate whether Syria is committed to the deal that he and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had worked out.
“We agreed that Syria must submit within a week — not in 30 days, but in one week — a comprehensive listing,” Kerry said Saturday. He said the U.S. would allow “no games, no room for avoidance, or anything less than full compliance.”
Senior Obama administration officials had praised Russia for persuading Assad’s government to relinquish its lethal chemical arsenal, one of the world’s largest, by mid-2014 in a deal to avoid U.S. missile strikes in retaliation for the Aug. 21 poison gas attack that the U.S. says killed more than 1,000 people.
But Moscow’s ability or willingness to push its ally in Damascus to meet the first deadline in the deal now is being questioned.
Kerry and Lavrov sought last weekend to portray the two powers as united. The gap between them, however, has become more apparent and is threatening to snarl efforts to craft a United Nations Security Council resolution that lays out how Syria is to meet its obligations.
The resolution needs to be complete before the first steps can be taken to impound and either remove or destroy Syria’s arsenal. Diplomats said Western countries split with Russia in a meeting Tuesday over Western demands for tough enforcement of the agreement.
Diplomats hope to complete the resolution by Friday, but if they fall short the work may be delayed further next week because of the meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an international body based in The Hague, is expected to take several days to complete its analysis of the Syrian “initial declaration,” and then will submit its report to the United Nations. source – LA Times
“And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.” Mark 8:10
Dateline Israel: A town dating back more than 2,000 years has been discovered on the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee, in Israel’s Ginosar valley.
The ancient town may be Dalmanutha (also spelled Dalmanoutha), described in the Gospel of Mark as the place Jesus sailed to after miraculously feeding 4,000 people by multiplying a few fish and loaves of bread, said Ken Dark, of the University of Reading in the U.K., whose team discovered the town during a field survey.
The archaeologists also determined that a famous boat, dating to around 2,000 years ago, and uncovered in 1986, was found on the shoreline of the newly discovered town. The boat was reported on two decades ago but the discovery of the town provides new information on what lay close to it.
The evidence the team found suggests the town was prosperous in ancient times. “Vessel glass and amphora hint at wealth,” Dark wrote in an article published in the most recent edition of the journal Palestine Exploration Quarterly, while “weights and stone anchors, along with the access to beaches suitable for landing boats — and, of course, the first-century boat … all imply an involvement with fishing.” [Photos: 4,000-Year-Old Structure Hidden Under Sea of Galilee]
The architectural remains and pottery suggest that Jews and those following a polytheistic religion lived side by side in the community. In addition, the researchers found that the southern side of the newly discovered town lies only about 500 feet (150 meters) away from another ancient town known as Magdala. source – NBC News
RELATED STORY: The Mark of the Beast and the Implantable RFID Microchip
The book of Revelation says that in the last days, the whole world is controlled by a ‘mark’ that goes inside your body and through it all buying, selling and any type of financial or personal transactions will controlled. The bible goes on to say that this mark will be connected with the worship of a man – the Antichrist. That man has yet to arrive, but say hello to his mark.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Revelation 13
CBS New York: Passwords, pin numbers, and credit cards could soon be a thing of the past. Soon, your heart and your body might be used to keep track of just about everything if new technology is able to unlock “pulse passwords”.
Your heartbeat reveals more about you than your health, Bionym chief executive officer Karl Martin explained.
“There’s actually unique characteristics that relate to the size of the heart, the position of the heart, and the physiology surrounding the heart,” he said.
Our heartbeats are as unique to us as our fingerprints and now they are being used to replace passwords, key cards, and bank cards, CBS 2′s Kristine Johnson reported. “It’s like your personal pin number is your heartbeat,” Mashable.com’s Lance Ulanoff said.
The technology could allow you to open a door without a key or have tech gadgets like smartphones and tablets unlock the second that you walk into a room. It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, but experts say it is the wave of the future.
“It’s going to be a way for us to interact with the world around us without having to constantly identify ourselves,” Ulanoff explained.
Bionym, a Canadian company, developed a wristband to recognize the pattern of an individual pulse. The wristband transmits information that allows the user to do things like withdrawing money without a bank card.
“You don’t have to remember anything. You don’t have to do anything special,” Ulanoff said.
Bionym isn’t the only company developing concepts that use the human body as a form of identification. Motorola is working on a temporary tattoo that contains a computer chip and an antenna.
A pill that dissolves and turns the entire body into a transmitter is also in the works.
Security experts say traditional passwords don’t offer much protection from identity thieves. “If they’re alpha numeric, and usually they are because they have to be easy to remember, they’re also correspondingly easier to break into,” security expert Rohit Sethi explained.
The new technology could pose considerable roadblocks for hackers because heartbeats cannot be replicated.
“You’re not going to have a piece of paper in your pocket with your password. You’re going to have it as part of your body so that is safer,” Ulanoff said. Bionym’s wristband is so in tune with its owner that if somebody did steal it, it would not work. The wristband costs about $100 and is expected to hit stores in 2014. source – CBS News/New York
By now every driver knows the drill: The price of gasoline ratchets up, there’s an outcry among motorists who feel gouged at the pump and then things settle down as the higher price becomes the new normal.
Well, AAA has come up with a sobering statistic: the average price of gasoline will surpass $3 per gallon Tuesday for the 1,000th consecutive day. That’s never happened before, the motoring organization says.
In case you’re wondering, the current streak began on Dec. 23, 2010. Today, the national average for a gallon of regular is $3.52, according to AAA’s daily price tracking service. That’s a nickel a gallon less than the average so far this year. And unless there’s another recession, AAA forecasts that a price floor of $3 a gallon is basically here to stay.
“Paying less than $3.00 per gallon for gasoline may be automotive history for most Americans, like using 8-track tapes or going to a drive-in movie,” said Bob Darbelnet, CEO of AAA. “The reality is that expensive gas is here to stay.”
If there’s any good news here at all, it’s that with the prospect of U.S. attack on Syria diminished, gas prices could moderate, but they won’t fall below $3 a gallon, says Patrick DeHaan of the group-sourced gas price reporting site GasBuddy.com.
“The market took a chill pill and is reacting as I would expect to the prospect of a peaceful resolution,” he says. “I could see the national average in the very low $3 (a gallon range) by the time we’re talking about last minute Christmas shopping.” source – CNBC
WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday wearily lamented “yet another mass shooting,” this time in the nation’s capital where the debate that raged earlier this year over tightening firearms laws has stalled amid opposition from gun-rights advocates.
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The shooting at the Washington Navy Yard came a week after voters recalled two Colorado legislators who supported tougher gun measures, illustrating the strong political headwinds faced by lawmakers seeking to respond to the violence.
Obama, for one, has been powerless to get legislation passed despite a string of mass shootings during his presidency.
In the wake of the shooting at the Navy Yard, Obama spokesman Jay Carney said the president is implementing executive actions and reiterated his commitment to strengthening gun laws, including expanding background checks to sales online and at gun shows.
“The president supports, as do an overwhelming majority of Americans, common-sense measures to reduce gun violence,” Carney said.
Even as it was unfolding, the Washington shooting was reigniting talk about guns. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a leading advocate of gun control legislation, mourned “the litany of massacres” the country has suffered in the form of mass shootings.
“When will enough be enough?” Feinstein asked. “Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country. We must do more to stop this endless loss of life.”
But it was far from certain whether the shooting would actually influence the larger debate over gun control vs. gun rights, given that the already difficult politics of the issue have gotten only tougher since December’s shooting at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. That shooting, which killed 20 first-graders and six staffers, spurred Obama to propose stricter firearms laws to prevent future deaths.
Conspiracy theory overload
When you add up the numbers, a very disturbing picture of Obama’s presidency begins to unfold. He was elected as the “racial uniter”, the Nobel Peace Prize president who was going to “stop the rise of the oceans” and “heal our planet.”
Yet his 4 and one half years of occupying the desk at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue hide a sinister statistic – America has had 15 mass shootings since he became president, and today’s massacre at the Navy Shipyard now brings that total to 16. And since this is a list of shootings only, it does not include the Boston Bombing Massacre that Obama used to roll out martial law for a 24-hour period in Boston.
How do you explain that?
A list of the 15 American mass shootings since 2009:
1). December 14, 2012 — Newtown, Conn. – 27 dead (including gunman). The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday was the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, leaving 27 dead — including 20 young children. President Obama gave an emotional address, calling for “meaningful action”
2). September 27, 2012 — Minneapolis, Minn. – 7 dead (including gunman), 2 injured. Andrew John Engeldinger, a recently laid off employee of Accent Signage Systems, entered the office building and opened fire. (No public comments from the president.)
WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers have failed in dozens of attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but a new USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll shows just how difficult they have made it for President Obama’s signature legislative achievement to succeed.
As the health care exchanges at the heart of the law open for enrollment in two weeks, the public’s views of it are as negative as they have ever been, and disapproval of the president’s handling of health care has hit a new high. Confusion and misinformation about the law haven’t significantly abated, especially among the law’s main targets.
Among the 19% polled who are uninsured, nearly four in 10 don’t realize the law requires them to get health insurance next year. Among young people, whose participation is seen as crucial for the exchanges to work, just 56% realize there’s a mandate to be insured or face a fine.
And in the states that have refused to participate in the insurance marketplaces — defaulting instead to the federal exchange — knowledge about the Affordable Care Act and support for it are notably lower than in states that are setting up their own exchanges.
MORE: Pew poll
“There has been a full-court press from Day One from the opposition to characterize and demonize the plan,” says Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution, who wrote about the GOP efforts in a 2012 book about Washington he co-authored, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks. “The campaign against the law after it was enacted, the range of steps taken, the effort to delegitimize it — it is unprecedented. We’d probably have to go back to the nullification efforts of the Southern states in the pre-Civil War period to find anything of this intensity.”
Opponents say the law’s own shortcomings are responsible for its travails. “This program is not ready for prime time,” says Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., chief sponsor of a bill passed by the U.S. House last week to delay the exchanges until additional anti-fraud measures are put in place. (Like dozens of previous House-passed measures on Obamacare, it isn’t expected to pass the Senate.)
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When Obama signed the law more than three years ago, supporters predicted Americans would embrace it as some of the most popular provisions went into effect, including measures that have helped seniors pay prescription costs, protected children who have serious medical conditions and enabled young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26.
But that turnaround in public opinion hasn’t happened, at least not yet. Now the biggest test for the Affordable Care Act looms in two weeks, when the marketplaces for the uninsured are scheduled to open for enrollment on Oct. 1.
In the USA TODAY/Pew poll:
Opposition hits new highs: 53% disapprove of the health care law, the highest level since it was signed; 42% approve. By an even wider margin, intensity favors the opposition; 41% of those surveyed strongly disapprove while just 26% strongly approve. Fifty-three percent disapprove of Obama’s handling of health care policy, an historic high. And Democrats have lost their traditional advantage on the issue. For the first time in polling that stretches back more than two decades, Americans narrowly prefer Republicans in dealing with health care policy, 40%-39%.
A boost in approval for the law that followed the Supreme Court decision in July 2012 upholding most of its provisions, to 47% approve-43% disapprove, has disappeared.
Confusion continues: Only one in four say they understand the law’s impact on them and their families well while one-third say they have little or no understanding about how the law will work. Despite increasing education efforts by the administration, advocacy groups and some states, the percentage of Americans who don’t understand the law has declined only modestly, to 34% from 44%, since it was passed.
Expectations are downbeat: Most haven’t seen much impact from the law, but they are inclined to expect bad news down the road. Forty-one percent predict in coming years the effect on themselves and their families will be negative; just 25% think it will be positive. Even more, 47%, say the law will have a negative impact on the country as a whole; 35% expect a positive impact.
The poll of 1,506 adults was taken Sept. 4-8. The margin of error is +/–3 percentage points. source – USA Today