Frontpage: Friday, June 15th
1. More Accusers at Sandusky Trial: Three more accusers testified in the sex-abuse trial against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on Thursday, bringing to eight the number of accusers to take the stand in the trial’s first four days.
2. Egyptians to Protest Elections: Egyptians are calling for protests Friday after the country’s Supreme Constitutional Court ruled the Islamist-led Parliament invalid and to allow Ahmed Shafik, the last prime minister to serve under former dictator Hosni Mubarak, to run in a presidential-runoff election.
3. Russia Denies Giving Syria Choppers: Russia responded Friday to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s charges that Moscow was sending new attack helicopters to Syria, denying that any arms deal goes beyond “defensive” technology.
4. EPA Proposes Stricter Air Standards: The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing on Friday new air quality standards to lower the amount of soot that can be released into the air.
5. Obama Visits World Trade Center: President Obama visited the new 1 World Trade tower Thursday, hailing the rebuilding and signing one of the final steel beams that will be added to the building.
Video via Youtube, by BirdLoversOnly:
In keeping with our streak of animals-doing-cute-things videos, here’s a parrot that has a better taste in music than most kids these days and knows how to rock to the beat. Happy Friday!
Frontpage: Wednesday, June 13th
- Former Giffords Aid Wins Seat: It’s a fitting end to an inspirational saga: 66-year-old Ron Barber won the seat of his former boss, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Tuesday night after Giffords resigned to recover from a gunshot wound to the head.
- Yemen Continues U.S. Attack: Yemen on Wednesday pressed ahead with a U.S.-led offensive against Islamic militants in the southern part of the country, a day after it recovered control of two strategic cities.
- Car Bomb Kills 63 in Iraq: A wave of coordinated car-bomb attacks throughout Iraq on early Wednesday killed 63 people and injured dozens more—one of the deadliest attacks since U.S. troops withdrew from the country last year.
- Russia Defends Syrian Arms Sale: Russia’s foreign minister on Wednesday defended his country’s alleged sale of arms to Syria, and also accused the U.S. of supplying weapons to the rebels fighting the government.
- NASA to Launch Telescope: A powerful new X-ray telescope, dubbed the NuStar by NASA, will soon be on the prowl for supermassive black holes, the invisible remnants left when stars die.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
Dolores Walker leaves the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office after identifying the remains of her son, Joseph Briggs. Briggs, who recently turned 16, was shot and killed while sitting on a stoop in Chicago’s Marquette Park neighborhood. Read the full story here.
Frontpage: Wednesday, May 16th
- Mladic War Crimes Trial Begins: The trial of Ratko Mladic, the man accused of being responsible for the bloodiest genocide in Europe since World War II, began on Wednesday at The Hague, 17 years after the Bosnian conflict ended. Mladic is charged with 11 counts, including two counts of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity during the Bosnian conflict, including the massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica.
- Greeks Pulling Funds From Banks: Greeks are withdrawing euros from banks over fear of the country exiting the single currency and the rapid devaluation they would suffer as a result. In a meeting between Greek President Karolos Papoulias and political leaders, Papoulias spoke of the “fear that could develop into panic” at the country’s banks as the political parties failed to form a coalition government and a new election was announced.
- Romney Wins Nebraska, Oregon Primaries: And the winner is … Mitt Romney! The former Massachusetts governor had no problem running to victory in both Nebraska and Oregon on Tuesday night, winning nearly 70 percent of the vote in the Cornhusker State with three quarters of precincts reporting.
- Facebook IPO Could Top $16B: Facebook will increase the size of its initial public offering by 25 percent, a source told Reuters on Wednesday—meaning the company could raise as much as $16 billion before its shares go public on Friday. If the IPO is increased, it will be the third-largest initial share sale in history, after Visa and General Motors.
- Russian Cops Break Up Protest Camp: Russian police ousted political protesters from a campsite in Moscow early Wednesday morning, a day after a judge ordered the site be cleared because of complaints from neighborhood residents. Police had initially said they wouldn’t move in until noon against “OccupyAbai,” named after the statue of a 19th-century Kazakh writer in Chistye Prudy park, but instead swooped at 5:30 a.m.
Photo: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon attends a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 27, 2011. (Vincent Kessler / Landov) Read: “Dimon’s Unshakbale Hubris.”
Frontpage: Monday, May 7th
- Polls Open in Syrian Elections: Syria 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.
- 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.”
- EU Stocks Shake Election Hangover: German 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.”
- 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.
- 400 Arrested as Putin Returns: Hundreds 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.
Photo: A runner makes his way along a trail in view of the “supermoon” at Papago Park in Phoenix, AZ. (Darryl Webb, Reuters / Landov)
Frontpage: Monday, April 2nd
- Pakistan Jails Bin Laden Family: Osama bin Laden’s three widows and two eldest daughters have been sentenced to 45 days in jail and a fine of $114 each for living in Pakistan illegally. After their jail terms—in about two weeks, because they’ve already served a month of their sentence—they’re expected to be deported.
- Not Zimmerman’s Screams on 911 Tape: The cries for help heard in the background of a 911 call from the night of Trayvon Martin’s shooting are not George Zimmerman’s, experts said Sunday. The experts said that the tests would be admissible in court, and that similar tests had recently been allowed into evidence in a murder trial. Screams and a single handgun report are heard in the recording.
- Syria Agrees to Deadline: Is this finally the end of violence in Syria? Kofi Annan has reportedly said that the nation—mainly President Assad—has agreed to a six-point peace plan. The plan specifies a UN-supervised ceasefire in which all soldiers and weapons will be removed from cities within 48 hours of an April 10 deadline.
- 12 Survivors in Russian Plane Crash: A dozen people survived the crash of a turboprop aircraft in Siberia and 31 were killed in an accident that Russian officials are now blaming on icing.
- Santorum Ad Compares Mitt with Obama: Rick Santorum’s latest Wisconsin ad asks voters if they would support a candidate who advocated for a health-care overall, a Wall Street bailout, and “job killing” cap-and-trade legislation. Behind the narrator is the image of President Obama, but then it’s revealed that the candidate she is talking about is actually Mitt Romney. See what you did there.
Photo: A surfer approaches Lake Ontario in near freezing temperatures as part of “the Freshest Wave” competition. (Mark Blinch / Reuters-Landov)
Frontpage Super-Duper Special Saturday Edition, Mar 10th
- Obama Strikes Back on Gas Prices: President Obama used his weekly radio address Saturday to hit back at Republican critics who say his energy policy is causing rising gasoline prices that look to be heading toward $4 per gallon. “We can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices—not when we consume 20 percent of the world’s oil,” Obama said, underscoring the importance of developing alternative energy and increasing fuel efficiency.
- Assad Plays ‘Terrorists Card’: U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday in Damascus in an effort to get the Syrian regime to end its yearlong crackdown on dissidents. But Assad told Annan that dialogue with the opposition will not work when “armed terrorist groups” are operating.
- Gaza Fires 90 Rockets at Israel: Violence along the Israeli-Gaza frontier escalated again Saturday after Israeli troops killed at least a dozen people over the last two days in attacks and airstrikes they say are aimed at weapons-manufacturing sites and at wiping out militants. Palestinians in Gaza fired some 90 rockets into southern Israel on Friday and Saturday, injuring at least eight people, one critically.
- Santorum Strong in Kansas: Rick Santorum looks set for a comfortable lead in the state of Kansas, which holds its caucuses Saturday with 40 delegates up for grabs. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have skipped the state to focus on Alabama and Mississippi, with their primaries on Tuesday.
- Russia Holds New Anti-Putin Protests: Some 20,000 people are holding fresh protests in Moscow against Vladimir Putin, who won a disputed election last weekend that’ll see him returned to the presidency for a third time. The opposition allege fraud, but the turnout for the rally was not as high as expected because organizers said they had failed to stop Putin securing another term.
Frontpage: Tuesday, Mar 6th
- Candidates Make Final Pitches: Today’s the day. The GOP candidates are spread across the country, vying for last-minute votes in the 10 states holding primaries today.
- Israel: We Can’t ‘Wait Much Longer’: Judging by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC Monday night, he wasn’t convinced by President Obama’s urging to be patient with Iran. Criticizing those who doubt Iran is building a nuclear weapon and invoking the Auschwitz death camp, he said, “None of us can afford to wait much longer” to act against Iran.
- News Corp. Troubles Extend to Russia: It may not have the name recognition of other past or present Murdoch properties, but News Outdoor Russia, a billboard company and former subsidiary of the News Corp. empire, has caught the eye of the feds as they continue an investigation of the company.
- Former Gov. Runs for Snowe Seat: Former governor of Maine Angus King says he’s going to run for Senate, announcing Monday that he’ll pursue the seat vacated by Olympia Snowe, who announced last week that she would not be running for reelection.
- Putin’s Chechnya Turnout: 107 Percent: Allegations of fraud abound in Russia’s recent election, but Chechnya is perhaps the most brazen case. Chechnya, the region that Vladimir Putin practically declared war on in 1999, voted for him by an astonishing number—by more votes, in fact, than there are people on the rolls.
Photo: Thousands of protesters took to the streets to challenge Vladimir Putin’s election victory in Moscow. (Thomas Peter, Reuters / Landov)
Frontpage: Monday, Mar 5th
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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)
Daily Pic: A moment from a 1995 performance called “The First Glove,” by the Russian artist Alexander Brener, in which he challenged Boris Yeltsin to come out and fight in Red Square. The image is in a survey of Russian performance art on display at the Mott Street “hub” of the Performa festival, which just launched in New York and runs for several more weeks. You can never really judge performance pieces by their documentation, but the show makes a pretty good case for performance as a central medium for art in Russia, since the revolution at least. A lot of what’s on view seems more direct and heartfelt, and less arty, than some Western versions. You can feel that the stakes there were often much higher. (Although Brener looks like he could take boozy old Yeltsin.)
In Soviet Russia, art performs you.
Rare groups of shy women in long flannel dresses enter the sea holding children by the hand; their long skirts and colorful hijabs immediately soak up salty water, like sponges. Bikinis? There are almost none.
Radicals in Russia have been bombing bikini-clad women to enforce Islamic dress codes.