11:16 AM, June 6th, 2012

Frontpage: Wednesday, June 6th

  1. Walker Wins Recall in WI: As numbers continue to be tallied, Gov. Scott Walker has been declared the projected winner in the Wisconsin recall election Tuesday night, beating out Democratic challenger Tom Barrett, whom he had defeated in the 2010 race.
  2. Greece: We’re Almost Broke: Greek officials said on Wednesday that despite the most recent bailout, they could run out of money as soon as July—shortly after the country’s pivotal elections.
  3. NATO Strike Kills Afghan Civilians: A local Afghan official said Wednesday that 17 civilians were killed in a NATO airstrike, although NATO officials said there were only two light injuries to civilians. The airstrike also reportedly killed six Taliban fighters.
  4. Clinton Backs Bush Tax-Cut Expansion: As if Democrats didn’t have a bad enough night, Bill Clinton gave the party some more headaches. The former president said on Tuesday he supports the extension of his successor’s tax cuts—a major break from President Obama’s position.
  5. Egyptian Protestors Return: Egyptian protesters returned to Tahrir Square on Tuesday night to protest the presidential candidacy of Ahmed Shafiq, former president Hosni Mubarak’s appointed prime minister during last year’s military crackdown.

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Photo via shortformblog:

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury: The “Fahrenheit 451” author, who wrote numerous other literary classics in his day, died Wednesday at 91. ”If I had to make any statement, it would be how much I love and miss him, and I look forward to hearing everyone’s memories about him,” Danny Karapetian, Bradbury’s son, said to io9. Sad news. 

Reblogged from ShortFormBlog
12:25 PM, June 5th, 2012

Frontpage: Tuesday, June 5th

  1. CIA Targeted Major Al Qaeda Leader: A CIA drone strike in Pakistan targeted al Qaeda’s second in command, Abu Yahia al-Libi, on Monday, though it was not clear if he was actually killed. Al-Libi took over as al Qaeda’s second-in-command after Osama bin Laden was killed and he reportedly runs day-to-day operations in Pakistan. U.S. officials said that the drone strike killed five people and that they were “optimistic” that al-Libi was one of them. 
  2. Wisconsin Recall in ‘Dead Heat’: Political eyes will all be focused on Wisconsin Tuesday as voters go to the polls to decide whether to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Walker’s challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, said the race is a “dead heat,” as most polls showed Walker has a narrow lead over his 2010 challenger.
  3. Merkel: Need ‘More Europe’: German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated on Monday that she will accept a grand bargain to give more support to some of the euro zone’s most troubled countries in exchange for more control over Europe’s spending. 
  4. Thousands Line Up for Jubilee: Thousands lined the streets of London on Tuesday for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, as she rode in a carriage to St. Paul’s Cathedral, where the Archbishop of Canterbury led a Service of Thanksgiving to her. 
  5. Clinton: Romney Would Be ‘Calamitous’: Former President Bill Clinton set the record straight on Monday night. After the Democrat praised Mitt Romney’s business record last week, calling it “sterling,” Clinton said at an Obama fundraiser in New York that a Romney presidency “would be in my opinion calamitous for our country and the world.” 

Photo via picturedept:

Diamond Jubliee Fashion

The Daily Beast has continuing coverage of the celebrations including a gallery of Jubliee fashion.


Reblogged from Picture Dept
11:08 AM, June 4th, 2012

Frontpage: Monday, June 4th

  1. Romney’s Getting More PopularMitt Romney is becoming a lot more popular lately—but he’s still not as well liked as President Obama. A new CNN/ORC International poll finds that Romney has gone from 34 percent favorability in February to 48 percent.
  2. US Defense Cuts Coming: A plan heavily favored by Republican leaders to cut 8 percent of the Pentagon’s budget effective Jan. 2 now has them scrambling to undo their own handiwork. The effects on the military as a result of the 10-year, $600 billion round of cuts remain unclear, but Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and other legislators have said that the belt-tightening measures, which would rein the defense budget back down to its 2007 level, would force the armed services to make choices that would affect local communities. “The soft underbelly that I’m trying to exploit is, what does this mean to your state?” Graham told reporters.
  3. Europe Ponders ‘Fiscal Union’: Hard times bring people together. That idea may be put to the test in Europe, as leaders in euro countries contemplate a transnational finance ministry—once thought a pipe dream—as stocks slipped for the fourth day in a row Monday.
  4. Car Bomb in Iraq Kills 18: Iraq’s Shiite religious-affairs office was the target of a brutal car-bomb attack Monday that claimed 18 lives and left dozens wounded. The explosion in the city’s capital came at about 11 a.m. local time and damaged surrounding buildings.
  5. More Deaths Feared in Nigeria Crash: A plane crash that claimed the lives of all 153 passengers Sunday outside a Nigerian airport may have caused deaths on the ground as well, rescue workers said Monday. “The fear is that since it happened in a residential area, there may have been many people killed,” said National Emergency Management Agency spokesman Yushau Shuaib. 

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Photo: Spectators watch the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames. Hundreds of rowboats, barges and steamers filled the river as Queen Elizabeth II sailed through London. (John Stillwell, AFP/Getty Images.) More Photos of the Day

11:59 AM, May 31st, 2012

Frontpage: Thursday, May 31st

  1. Syria Releases 500 Prisoners: The Syrian government released 500 political prisoners on Thursday, as shelling was reported in Houla, the site a deadly massacre less than a week ago.
  2. Ireland Votes on EU Treaty: Ireland went to the polls Thursday to vote on the European Union’s fiscal pact, the only country of the 25 pro-pact nations that has put the treaty to a vote among its people. The treaty needs to be approved by 12 of the 17 Euro Zone nations to ratify it, so the outcome of the vote could be meaningless for the Euro Zone, but if Ireland rejects the pact, the country could be barred from emergency EU funding when its current bailout package expires in 2013. 
  3. Suspect Kills Self in Seattle: The suspect in two Seattle shootings that left five dead fatally shot himself after a standoff with police Wednesday afternoon. Five other people died in the pair of shootings for which police believe the suspect was responsible. The shooter killed four people and wounded one other at a café in the university district in the north part of the city. 
  4. Obama, Romney Tied in Key States: The general election is off to a close start, with Mitt Romney and Barack Obama virtually tied in Colorado, Iowa and Nevada—three battleground states. According to a new NBC News/Marist poll, President Obama is leading in Colorado among independents, women and voters under 45, while Romney is the favorite among male voters and those over the age of 45.  
  5. Minister Testifies in Leveson InquiryThings are not looking so good for Jeremy Hunt. The embattled culture minister testified Thursday before the Leveson Inquiry about his role in Rupert Murdoch’s controversial—and doomed—bid to take over the British broadcaster BSkyB. Hunt had been the minister responsible for overseeing the regulatory process behind News Corp.’s BSkyB takeover and had the final say in approving the deal.

Photo via newsweek:

“At poolside Marilyn took off her blue bathrobe, hiding her body as she slid into the water. A few moments later, when she raised herself from the water, I could see that her panties were gone. She’d done it! And she was having a lot of fun.”

[Text excerpted from Marilyn & Me: A Photographer’s Memories (Nan A. Talese / Doubleday). Photo by Lawrence Schiller. More here.]

Reblogged from Newsweek
10:36 AM, May 9th, 2012

Frontpage: Wednesday, May 9th

  1. Saudi Likely Created Underwear Bomb: A Saudi bomb maker is believed to be responsible for creating the “underwear bomb” that was a central part of an al Qaeda plot foiled by a CIA double agent, security experts and officials told Reuters.
  2. Obama ‘Disappointed’ in N.C. Vote: President Obama issued a statement late Tuesday that he is “disappointed” that North Carolina passed Amendment One, which will add a line to the state’s Constitution declaring that marriage between a man and a woman is the “only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized.” 
  3. Shareholder: News Corp. Takes a Hit: The second-largest shareholder in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. admitted on Tuesday that the company’s reputation has been harmed by the hacking investigation and that he “really hopes” the scandal is “behind us.”
  4. Greek Far-Left Leader Vows UnityThe leader of the Greek far left, who has been tasked with forming the country’s government, said that although he finds the European Union’s bailout terms “barbaric,” he will meet with pro-bailout parties on Wednesday. If the two sides fail to come to an agreement, Greece could have fresh elections in a few weeks. 
  5. Inmate Garners Votes Versus Obama: President Obama was dealt a stinging blow on Tuesday when he lost about 40 percent of the vote in West Virginia’s Democratic primary to a Texas inmate. Keith Judd, who is serving time at the Beaumont Federal Correctional Institute, didn’t get much campaigning done, but he was still able to win a significant chunk of the vote. 

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Photo: Supporters of North Carolina’s proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions demonstrated in Raleigh on April 20. John Avlon reports. (Allen Breed / AP Photo)

2:49 PM, May 7th, 2012

Frontpage: Monday, May 7th

  1. Polls Open in Syrian ElectionsSyria held elections Monday as violence continued in the country, where more than 9,000 people have died since a popular uprising began more than a year ago. The vote for seats in the country’s 250-seat Parliament was a sham, members of the opposition against President Bashar al-Assad said. 
  2. Al Qaeda Video Shows U.S. Hostage: A video showing Warren Weinstein, a 70-year-old American citizen who was kidnapped in Pakistan last year, surfaced on Islamist websites Sunday. “My life is in your hands, Mr. President,” the al Qaeda captive said in the video, addressing President Obama. “If you accept the demands, I live. If you don’t accept the demands, I die.” 
  3. EU Stocks Shake Election HangoverGerman Chancellor Angela Markel instilled a small measure of confidence in European investors Monday, saying she would welcome newly elected French President Francois Hollande with “open arms.” 
  4. Duncan Supports Gay Marriage: One day after Vice President Joe Biden expressed his support for gay marriage, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said he too believes couples of the same sex should be allowed to wed. 
  5. 400 Arrested as Putin ReturnsHundreds of opposition protesters were detained in Russia Monday as Vladimir Putin was sworn in as president after serving four years as prime minister. Outside, however, 20,000 people rallied in a demonstration against the former KGB spy that turned violent when protesters and police fought with batons and flagpoles. 

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Photo: A runner makes his way along a trail in view of the “supermoon” at Papago Park in Phoenix, AZ. (Darryl Webb, Reuters / Landov)

1:42 PM, May 7th, 2012


The Funniest Graph About Why the Euro Is Totally Doomed

If you spun a globe and stopped your finger 12 times on 12 random countries, they just might make more sense for a monetary union than the euro zone. 

That’s the conclusion from this awesomely clever chart showing the difficulty, and maybe impossibility, of the euro experiment.

Here is what this chart shows. Compared across more than 100 factors measured by the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report, from corruption to deficits, JP Morgan analyst Michael Cembalest calculates that the major countries on the euro are more different from each other than basically every random grab bag of nations there is, including: the make-believe reconstituted Ottoman Empire; all the English speaking Eastern and Southern African countries; and all countries on Earth at the 5th parallel north.

And here is your tweetable fact: A monetary union might make more sense for every nation starting with the letter “M” than it does for the euro zone. 

Read more.

Ottoman Empire FTW. 

Reblogged from The Atlantic
11:09 AM, March 5th, 2012

Frontpage: Monday, Mar 5th

  1. Tight Races in Ohio, Tennessee: It’s going to be a tight race Tuesday, at least in Tennessee, where a recent poll shows Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum within just a few percentage points of each other. The results of a recent Ohio poll are almost exactly the same, but in reverse: Romney is leading Santorum among Ohio voters 34 percent to 31 percent.
  2. More Advertisers Abandon Limbaugh: It’s unclear whether Rush Limbaugh’s apology will be enough to keep his advertisers. The conservative radio host has now lost seven of them, with flower company ProFlowers being the latest. 
  3. Deepwater Drilling Roars Back to Life: Nearly two years after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, deepwater drilling has regained momentum in that region and around the world. Now that the yearlong drilling moratorium has been lifted, many oil companies, including BP, have resumed drilling in the area, often in waters out of American control, but where an accident would still impact the United States.
  4. Police Surround Moscow: A day after he choked up celebrating his “clear victory” over his rivals, Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin ordered 12,000 police to prepare for protests.
  5. EU Eyes Quota for Women: The European Union is considering legislating mandatory quotas for the number of women on corporate boards, Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding warned businesses Monday after European firms failed to back a voluntary pledge. 

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Photo: Fifteen thousand skiers start the 88th Vasaloppet cross-country marathon, one of the oldest, longest and biggest ski races in the world in Mora, Sweden. (Jonathan Nackstrand, AFP / GETTY IMAGES)

11:22 AM, March 2nd, 2012

Frontpage: Friday, Mar 2nd

  1. Poll: Romney Ahead in Virginia: After sweeping Tuesday’s primaries in Arizona and Michigan, Romney holds a strong lead in the big prize of Virginia, despite voter skepticism in the Super Tuesday state.
  2. Activists Allege Executions in Homs: Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are engaging in scorched earth tactics, staging executions and destroying buildings in Homs, according to Syrian activists. The UN puts the death count at 7,500, but activists say it’s significantly higher. 
  3. Iranians Vote for New Parliament: Iranians went to the polls Friday in a new parliamentary vote, the first in the country since the disputed 2009 reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mass protests and crackdown that ensued. More than 48 million people are eligible at the 47,000 polling stations set up, but some of Ahmadinejad’s supporters are reportedly asking voters to stay away.
  4. EU Signs Fiscal TreatyAll but two of the European Union’s leaders met in Brussels on Friday to sign a new fiscal treaty in an attempt to prevent the region from running up huge debts like those that prompted bailouts in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. 
  5. Obama: ‘I Don’t Bluff’ on IranDays before his upcoming talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama warned that the U.S. could take military action to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. “I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don’t bluff,” Obama said in an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg. 

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Photo: ”At 33 years old, St. Ford is a former member a gang. Though nearly impossible to leave a gang, occassionally deals are made.” Part of an amazing series of photos from Port-au-Prince by Paolo Marchetti, taken in in August of 2010— seven months after the terrible earthquake. More from Haiti here.

12:39 PM, February 15th, 2012

But there are growing signs that Greece, like some drug-addicted relative who lies endlessly, spends recklessly and endangers people foolishly, has worn out its welcome in the euro zone family. And the family has been moving to defend itself. The threat that a financial implosion in Greece would spread instantly to the weak economies of little Portugal and Ireland, then the big economies of Spain and Italy until the whole euro zone and Europe went up in financial flames spreading outward to the feebly reviving American economy and even the slowed-down Asian ones—well, that’s still possible. But it’s less likely.

Christopher Dickey says that Europe is getting fed up with Greece

10:18 AM, January 23rd, 2012

Frontpage: Monday, Jan 23rd

  1. Obama to Go Populist in SpeechIf President Obama’s third State of the Union address sets the tone for his campaign, expect to hear a lot more about jobs, class struggle, and equality.
  2. Newt Opens Up Lead in Florida Poll: Looks like Gingrich has some solid momentum going into Florida— a new poll puts him 8 points ahead of Romney. 
  3. Syria Rejects Arab League PlanSunday, the Arab League called on Syria’s President Assad to peacefully resign and hold elections for a national unity government. Syria immediately rejected the plan. 
  4. EU Adopts Iran EmbargoIn the latest attempt to step up pressure on Iran, the European Union adopted an oil embargo against Iran and froze the assets of the country’s central bank.
  5. Blackberry CEOs Step Down: Just get an iPhone already. 

Photo: Chinese folk artists in Beijing prepare to celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Dragon. (Feng Li / Getty Images)

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