DAILY BEAST TUMBLRS

11:53 AM, May 2nd, 2012

Frontpage: Wednesday, May 2nd

  1. Chinese Dissident in Medical Facility: Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who fled house arrest last month, has left the U.S. embassy and is at a medical facility in Beijing, a U.S. official said Wednesday—the first public acknowledgment by the U.S. that his whereabouts are known. 
  2. Hiring Slows in AprilA monthly report from the payroll giant ADP said Wednesday that U.S. hiring slowed in April, marking the second straight month that job growth disappointed forecasters. Companies hired 119,000 people in April after hiring 201,000 in March. 
  3. 11 Killed in Cairo ClashAt least 11 people were killed early Wednesday in Cairo and at least 160 injured in clashes when a group of armed “thugs” attacked protesters demanding an end to military rule. The violence comes just weeks ahead of Egypt’s first post-Mubarak campaign, and resulted in two Islamist candidates suspending their campaigns. “Where is the Army? Why are they not stopping these people?” cried one bystander during the violence.
  4. Watson Defends hacking Report: British M.P. Tom Watson, the man who has led the investigation into hacking allegations at News Corp., fired back Wednesday at critics of the findings that Murdoch is not “fit and proper” to run the media conglomerate. While some Conservative members of the committee have claimed Watson “hijacked” the report and made it “partisan,” Watson dismissed the criticism, saying “that’s exactly what they said when we did the report in 2009.
  5. Gingrich to Suspend CampaignIt’s not quite June, but Newt Gingrich is ready to call it quits. The onetime Republican hopeful will suspend his campaign on Wednesday, he announced in a video message on Tuesday. In his farewell video, Gingrich promised he will endorse presumptive nominee Mitt Romney. Tweet your idea for Newt’s next job with #NewtsNextAct.  

Photo: A trainer walks a horse off the track at Churchill Downs after a morning workout in preparation for the Kentucky Derby this weekend. (Charlie Riedel / AP Photo)

12:26 PM, March 28th, 2012

Frontpage: Wednesday, Mar 28th

  1. Few Alternatives for MandateThe Supreme Court heads into its final day Wednesday of arguments about the constitutionality of a mandate that requires all Americans to buy health insurance. If that portion of the law is struck down, it’s unclear how much of the 2010 health-care bill will survive. The justices will be examining the bill to find how much of it can survive without the mandate, which some lower courts have ruled cannot be separated from the bill as a whole—including politically popular portions.
  2. Pope to Meet with Raul Castro: According to a government website, Raul Castro said that he will be happy to meet with Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday as the pontiff prepares to celebrate an outdoor mass in Havana. 
  3. Iran Agrees to Nuke Talks: It’s time to sit down at the table, Iran’s foreign minister said Wednesday. With the international community concerned about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions, Iranian officials said that the country will reopen talks about its program April 13.
  4. Gingrich to Cut StaffBig changes abound in the Gingrich camp: a third of the staff will be laid off, Newt’s campaign schedule is shrinking, and his manager has been replaced. The presidential campaign has become so strapped for cash that it started charging supporters $50 for a photo. 
  5. NY Maid Launches Suit Against DSKA New York maid who accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault last year launched a civil lawsuit against him on Wednesday. Prosecutors dropped the charges last year against Strauss-Kahn after they said they had serious questions about the credibility of the accuser, Nafissatou Diallo.

Photo: Pope Benedict XVI says Mass in Cuba. More photos from the Pope’s trip

12:24 PM, March 14th, 2012

Frontpage: Wednesday, Mar 14th

  1. Twin Earthquakes Hit JapanTwo earthquakes rattled Japan on Wednesday, just days after the anniversary of 2011’s tragic tsunami. No damages or injuries have been reported from either incident. 
  2. Newt Vows to ContinueNewt Gingrich is sticking in the race, despite a disappointing second-place finish in Alabama and Mississippi. The GOP campaign is essentially a two-man race between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, with Gingrich representing a potential drag on Santorum. But the former speaker doesn’t see it that way. 
  3. Santorum: ‘We Did It Again’: Rick Santorum was met with huge cheers from his supporters as he exclaimed at the opening of his victory speech in Alabama, “We did it again,” foreshadowing his subsequent win in Mississippi.
  4. Panetta Visits Afghanistan: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in Afghanistan, pledging that the U.S. would not change its strategy, despite recent tensions. In a possible acknowledgment of tensions after a U.S. soldier allegedly massacred 16 Afghan civilians, Marines were asked to leave their weapons outside the tent before Panetta spoke.
  5. Goldman Exec Quits in NYT Op-Ed: Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith knows how to go out with a bang. “Today is my last day at Goldman Sachs,” he writes in a New York Times op-ed. He’s been at Goldman for 12 years, and says, “The environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.”

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Photo: Indian and U.S. army soldiers performed drills during a two-week joint military exercise in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. (Dinesh Gupta / AP Photo)

11:04 AM, March 13th, 2012
Frontpage: Tuesday, Mar 13th
Afghans Burn Obama in Effigy: There may be no “rush for the exits,” as President Obama said yesterday, but the administration is weighing changes to its Afghanistan withdrawal strategy, according to The New York Times. The plan was to end combat operations by the end of 2014, but with the recent Quran-burning scandal and last weekend’s massacre of Afghan civilians, the administration is debating whether to accelerate the process. Meanwhile thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Afghanistan to protest Sunday’s massacre, some burning Obama in effigy.
Newt Backer Sued for $375 Million: Sheldon Adelson—the Las Vegas billionaire known for bankrolling Gingrich’s presidential aspirations—is now facing down a $375 million lawsuit. Adelson and his family own Las Vegas Sands, a casino operator, which is being sued by former partner Asian American Entertainment for breach of contract regarding the company’s successful bid for a gambling license in Macau.
Rebekah Brooks Arrested Again: Rupert Murdoch’s flame-haired former deputy Rebekah Brooks is back in jail, part of a police sweep that took in five others in an investigation into phone hacking at News Corp. Brooks’s husband, horse trainer Charlie Brooks, was also taken in. 
Syria Laying Border Land Mines: Report: The forces of Bashar al-Assad have reached a new low, if a report from Human Rights Watch is true. The group says it has multiple accounts of land mines on Syria’s border with Lebanon and Turkey, along routes used by refugees to escape the violence. 
Ohio Bill Targets Viagra Users: A female Ohio legislator introduced a bill Monday that would require men to have medical tests and visit a sex therapist before getting a prescription for Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs. Ohio state Sen. Nan Turner said that if lawmakers want to put limits on women’s reproductive health, men’s reproductive health should also be examined. 
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Photo: Prince Harry playing polo. Prince Harry is killing it. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images)

Frontpage: Tuesday, Mar 13th

  1. Afghans Burn Obama in Effigy: There may be no “rush for the exits,” as President Obama said yesterday, but the administration is weighing changes to its Afghanistan withdrawal strategy, according to The New York Times. The plan was to end combat operations by the end of 2014, but with the recent Quran-burning scandal and last weekend’s massacre of Afghan civilians, the administration is debating whether to accelerate the process. Meanwhile thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Afghanistan to protest Sunday’s massacre, some burning Obama in effigy.
  2. Newt Backer Sued for $375 Million: Sheldon Adelson—the Las Vegas billionaire known for bankrolling Gingrich’s presidential aspirations—is now facing down a $375 million lawsuit. Adelson and his family own Las Vegas Sands, a casino operator, which is being sued by former partner Asian American Entertainment for breach of contract regarding the company’s successful bid for a gambling license in Macau.
  3. Rebekah Brooks Arrested Again: Rupert Murdoch’s flame-haired former deputy Rebekah Brooks is back in jail, part of a police sweep that took in five others in an investigation into phone hacking at News Corp. Brooks’s husband, horse trainer Charlie Brooks, was also taken in. 
  4. Syria Laying Border Land Mines: Report: The forces of Bashar al-Assad have reached a new low, if a report from Human Rights Watch is true. The group says it has multiple accounts of land mines on Syria’s border with Lebanon and Turkey, along routes used by refugees to escape the violence. 
  5. Ohio Bill Targets Viagra UsersA female Ohio legislator introduced a bill Monday that would require men to have medical tests and visit a sex therapist before getting a prescription for Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs. Ohio state Sen. Nan Turner said that if lawmakers want to put limits on women’s reproductive health, men’s reproductive health should also be examined. 

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Photo: Prince Harry playing polo. Prince Harry is killing it. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images)

9:54 AM, March 8th, 2012

Frontpage: Thursday, Mar 8th

  1. Justice Department Warns Apple Over eBooksApple didn’t get to bask in the glory of its new iPad for long. The Justice Department has warned the company—along with five of the biggest U.S. publishers—that it plans to sue them for allegedly colluding to raise the price of electronic books, sources tell The Wall Street Journal. 
  2. Newt Camp: Next Votes ‘Must Wins’: Gingrich is looking for hospitality in Southern states. Spokesman R.C. Hammond admitted that it’s going to be a long slog from here, telling reporters, “Everything between Spartanburg all the way to Texas, those all need to go for Gingrich.” 
  3. Syria’s Oil Minister Joins Opposition: In a YouTube video, Syria’s deputy oil minister says he’s leaving Bashar al-Assad’s government and joining the opposition, the most high-profile defection since the revolt began.
  4. Hate Groups on RiseThe number of hate groups operating in the United States continues to rise, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has tracked such groups for 30 years. Fed by dislike of President Obama, changing racial demographics, and the growing gap between rich and poor, the number of hate groups and antigovernment organizations grew to 1,018 last year. 
  5. Pat Robertson: Legalize PotThis is a shift from preaching conservative family values. Evangelist Pat Robertson’s newest cause is the legalization of marijuana. “I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol,” Robertson told The New York Times. 
  6. Utah Passes Anti-Sex Ed Bill: Utah’s sex-ed classes are about to get a lot shorter. The state’s legislature passed a bill that would ban public schools from teaching contraception as a way of preventing pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. The bill also prohibits teaching about homosexuality. 

Photo: Hindu devotees celebrate Holi—the festival of color—at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, India. (Kevin Frayer / AP) 

9:54 AM, March 7th, 2012

Frontpage: Wednesday, Mar 7th

  1. Romney Ekes Out Ohio VictoryMitt Romney claimed the biggest Super Tuesday win in Ohio, barely eking out a victory with 38 percent of the vote to Rick Santorum’s 37. 
  2. Newt: ‘I’m the Tortoise’Newt Gingrich stepped out to address supporters at his Georgia headquarters after winning the state’s primary. Gingrich made his entrance to the song “Real American,” Hulk Hogan’s theme music and the same song President Obama jokingly walked out to after releasing his birth certificate. Lulz.
  3. Kucinich Out in Ohio Primary: Two longtime members of Congress were forced to face off in a heated battle in Ohio after district lines had been redrawn. Well-known Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who made bids for the presidency in 2004 and 2008, was beaten out in the Ninth District by fellow Rep. Marcy Kaptur, another Democrat.
  4. U.N. Chief Arrives in Syria: The United Nations’ humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, is in Damascus and on her way to the besieged city of Homs. Amos says her goal is to “urge all sides to allow unhindered access for humanitarian relief workers so they can evacuate the wounded and deliver essential supplies,” but Assad has blocked Red Cross aid convoys from entering the besieged city, citing security concerns.
  5. Netflix Mulls Cable Partnership: CEO Reed Hastings of Netflix has reportedly been meeting with cable companies to discuss partnerships that would involve tying online video streaming into existing cable services. I’d give them props if they called it Qwikster.

Photo: Taken in Steubenville, OH, March 6th by Charles Ommanney for Newsweek. See more of the gallery here

11:51 AM, February 28th, 2012

Frontpage: Tuesday, Feb 28th

  1. Ohio Shooting Victim Brain DeadA 17-year-old student has been pronounced brain dead one day after the high-school shooting that killed another 16-year-old and left three others wounded.
  2. Santorum Leads in Michigan PollRick Santorum may have gained some momentum in Michigan over the last week, but will it last? The latest data from Public Policy Polling indicates that Santorum holds a small lead over Mitt Romney—38 percent of Michigan residents polled favor Santorum and 37 percent say they like Mitt.
  3. U.N. Council Denounces Syria: The United Nations Human Rights Council is meeting Tuesday to issue its fourth condemnation of Syria and the regime of Bashar al-Assad. 
  4. Casino Mogul Gives More to Gingrich: Sheldon Adelson, the casino billionaire who already gave the former House speaker’s super PAC two $5 million donations, has anted up again, according to the Associated Press. 
  5. Stalled Cruise Ship Towed to SafetyAnother cruise nightmare: an Italian ship with more than 1,000 passengers and crew is being towed to safety by a French fishing vessel after a generator fire caused the luxury cruiser to lose power. 

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Photo: A Japanese Quince flower at the Central Park Conservatory Garden in New York City, shows the effect of the Northeast’s mild winter. (Stan Honda, AFP / Getty Images)

2:30 PM, February 2nd, 2012

theamericanprospect:

motherjones:

newtjudgesyou:

“Frankly, WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.”

You’re doing it all wrong, man.

Trying to get the swing vote. 

Reblogged from The American Prospect
11:43 AM, February 1st, 2012

Frontpage: Wednesday, Feb. 1

  1. Pakistan Helping Afghan Taliban: A classified NATO report obtained by the BBC, based on thousands of interrogations, concludes that the Taliban has widespread support among the Afghan people and is being directly assisted by Pakistan’s intelligence service.
  2. Rich Patrons Fuel Romney Campaign: Federal election filings released Wednesday show that over 60 corporations and wealthy individuals gave checks of over $100,000 to Mitt Romney’s super PAC, Restore Our Future. Without giving through the super PAC, each of the donors would only legally be allowed to contribute $2,500 to the campaign.
  3. Gingrich Refuses to Drop Bid: Newt Gingrich is vowing to continue his campaign despite his double-digit loss in Florida.
  4. Romney: “I’m Not Concerned About the Very Poor”: “We have a safety net there,” Romney said on CNN Wednesday Morning.
  5. Facebook Prepares $5B IPO: You know what’s cool? 

Photo: A Ron Paul supporter wore a sticker on his head at an event at Colorado State University.

Watch: Newsbeast: How the U.S. Gov’t Helped Create Mexico’s Drug Kingpin 

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11:43 AM, January 31st, 2012
For as long as I’ve been in politics, 14 years, journalists call me and ask if this is the most negative election ad atmosphere I’ve ever seen. And every year I say, ‘Don’t be ridiculous.’ But this year it’s true.
That’s Kenneth Goldstein, president of Kantar Media CMAG, which tracks content and targeting of political advertising, commenting on this year’s GOP primaries. As John Avlon notes, “A staggering 92 percent of the political ads run in Florida over the last week of the campaign have been negative." (For the record, Romney is outspending Gingrich 5 to 1.)
10:56 AM, January 27th, 2012

Frontpage: Friday, Jan 27th

  1. Romney Pummels Gingrich: In last night’s debate in the key state of Florida, Romney slammed Gingrich after Newt accused Mitt of being “anti-immigrant.”
  2. U.S. Economy Grows at 2.8 Percent: Its fastest rate in over a year and half. 
  3. UN Shrinks from Syria Sanctions: An advanced draft of a UN Security Council resolution obtained by Reuters shows the body will  not call for sanctions on Syria. 
  4. Candidates: Repeal Obama Health Plan: The four Republican candidates were all in agreement on the need to repeal Obama’s health-care plan at Thursday night’s Republican debate. 
  5. Ford Posts Profit for Third Year: The Detroit auto company reported a $20.2 billion profit for 2011, the third straight year it has made money.

Photo: Officials announced the UK economy shrank by 0.2% during the last quarter of 2011. (Matt Cardy / Getty Images)

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11:55 AM, January 25th, 2012

thedailyfeed:

Mitt Romney earned $21.6 million in 2010 — and paid just 14% in taxes, far less than Newt Gingrich’s 31.7% or Obama’s 26.3%.

In fact, the Romneys paid a higher tax rate to foreign countries, handing over 18 percent on the almost $375,000 that they garnered abroad. The former Massachusetts governor also shelled out almost $3 million to charity, roughly 16 percent of his post-tax haul.

Reblogged from The Daily
10:08 AM, January 25th, 2012

Frontpage: Jan. 25th

  1. Obama Pitches New ‘Buffett Rule’: In a populist State of the Union address last night, President Obama touted a revamped “Buffett Rule”— the idea that people making more than $1 million a year should pay at least 30 percent in income taxes.
  2. U.S. Raid Rescues Pirate Hostages: When President Obama stepped into the House to give the State of the Union last night, he pointed to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and said, “Good job tonight.” The reason? American commandos—the same team that carried out the bin Laden mission—had just dropped into Somalia by helicopter, killed nine pirates, captured several others, and freed two aid workers, including an American woman, who had been held captive for months. 
  3. Gingrich PAC Buys $6M More in Ads: Gingrich’s super PAC quickly spent all $5 million of a donation from the wife of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson on airtime in Florida. The ad accuses Romney of being identical to Obama. 
  4. GOP Response Knocks Obama: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels made Republicans gave a stern rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. “We do not accept that ours will ever be a nation of haves and have-nots; we must always be a nation of haves and soon-to-haves,” Daniels said after the speech.
  5. Marine Spared Jail for Iraqi MassacreMarine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich will not go to prison for the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians.

Photo: U.S. President Barack Obama greets Representative Gabrielle Giffords with a hug, before his State of the Union address. (Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg-Getty Images)

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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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10:08 AM, January 20th, 2012

Frontpage: Friday, Jan 20th

  1. Obama Sings Al GreenRick Santorum would not be pleased about this man-to-man singing.
  2. New Zealand Police Raid Megaupload Head: Kim Schmitz aka “Kim Dotcom”, head of the website Megaupload, had his fortified mansion raided Friday. A pink Cadillac and a sawed-off shotgun were  among the items seized.  
  3. Costa Condordia Rescue Halted Again: There are still 21 people missing from the sunken cruise ship Costa Concordia in Italy, but hopes of finding them alive are fading fast after rescue operations were suspended Friday for the third time due to weather. 
  4. France Threatens Afghan PulloutFrance on Friday threatened to pull all of its troops out of Afghanistan early after an Afghan soldier killed four French NATO personnel on the same day. 
  5. Gingrich Daughter Deny Open MarriageNewt Gingrich’s two daughters (from his first marriage) are defending their father from charges that he asked his second wife for an open marriage.

Video: Obama sings Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” to Al Green at a fundraising event. Bonus: Here’s the original.

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