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Errors in writing are a fact of life. They happen. But even though not many of us can cast the first stone, that doesn’t make some errors any less amusing. Such was the case during a Kansas City Royals baseball broadcast on TV on Thursday night.
Let’s play a little game. Can you spot all the errors in the graphic used during the fan interactive portion?
We’ll give you a few more chances.
Okay, let’s point them out:
Yahoo’s Big League Stew blog explains:
All you can do is chuckle. And hope someone’s boss isn’t having a bad day.
P.S. Any errors in this article are intentional. I swear.
P.S.S. My intentional error in the headline was lost on many. Alas, I’ve changed it.
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LUXOR, Egypt (TheBlaze/AP) — A mother and two daughters were allegedly killed by male relatives in southern Egypt who believed they’d had affairs, the latest apparent example of so-called “honor killings” in which women are slain for violating traditional Islamic morals in the conservative region, a security official said Friday.
Police believe the 10 men stormed the house of the women, strangling them and beating them with sharp tools, the official said, based on the alleged confession of one of the suspects. The men then wrapped the women’s bodies in blankets, weighted them with stones and throw them in the river Nile, the official added.
He said one of the men, who was arrested on Thursday, gave a detailed account of the killings and said they were intended to protect the family’s honor.
One woman’s body was seen floating on the surface of the Nile near the town of Esna close to the ancient city of Luxor, the official added. Police are searching for the two other bodies and nine remaining suspects.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
Egyptian papers frequently chronicle crimes in which fathers, brothers or even sons kill their female relatives on suspicions that they are having affairs outside marriage. The word “affairs” should be interpreted loosely in such cases — a glance perceived to be flirtatious can sometimes be enough to warrant the death of a young woman.
Such “honor killings” are especially common in the conservative south and in the countryside, where women’s actions are considered to bring shame on the family.
The practice is against Egyptian law, and perpetrators are prosecuted if they are arrested. Courts are sometimes sympathetic to the accused, though, and give lighter sentences.
Many times, however, the murder is not reported, or the gruesome deaths are spun as suicide.
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‘I Will Never Forget the Sheep in the Streets of London’: Beck’s Scathing Rebuke of Londoners Who Stood By During Terror Attack
A brutal terrorist attack in London shocked the world this week after an off-duty soldier who served in Afghanistan was publicly beheaded in the neighborhood of Woolwich.
The murdered soldier has been identified as Lee Rigby, reportedly known as “Riggers” to his friends. He leaves behind his wife and two-year-old son, and has been described as “larger than life,” “at the heart” of his unit, “experienced and talented,” and easily identifiable by the “huge smile” he always displayed, according to CNN.
Glenn Beck opened his radio program today in a state of shock at how Londoners have reacted to the brutal slaying.
Noting that world leaders have referred to the murder with words like “divisive” and “senseless violence,” Beck said with disgust that calling someone a “bitter clinger” or a “Marxist” is divisive.
“Chopping someone’s head off in the middle of the street is not divisive, it’s a terrorist act,” he said.
But what shocked him most was the reactions of those on the scene during the attack. If they did anything at all, it seemed only to be to reach for their camera phones.
“I started looking for the men in the crowd, and they were all standing there like sheep,” Beck said. “And I thought to myself, ‘Nobody? Nobody?’ Then I thought, let me go back to the greatest American generation…The British citizens weren’t mice, they were men! There’s no way a German would’ve walked in the streets in the 1940′s, taken a gun or a knife to a soldier during a war, and walked in the middle of the street and said, ‘Everybody film this! Everybody watch!’ There’s no way that guy would’ve ever, ever gotten away from the scene,” Beck said.
Maybe the people wouldn’t have been able to save the soldier, he added, but they certainly would’ve apprehended the murderer — they wouldn’t be standing around taking pictures.
But Beck noted that there was one person who confronted the murderer — a 48-year-old Christian woman, who said she was not scared because “better me [be the next victim] than a child.”
“Where were the rest of the sheep?” Beck demanded to know. “Why do you think these people are so bold? Because you have been taught to be silent!”
Beck said the scene paints a dangerous picture for the next generations, describing a world run by the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic extremists.
Describing flight 93, which crashed in a field on September 11, 2001 after the passengers stood up against the hijackers, Beck said: “I will never forget Todd Beamer’s name. I will never forget ‘Let’s roll.’ And I am ashamed to say I will never forget the sheep in the streets of London.”
“Choose today, what the future is you want your children to live under,” Beck concluded. “Freedom — where yes at times we can be divisive — or death, because that is your choice,” he concluded.
Watch Beck’s entire monologue below:
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Innovators are increasingly using 3D printing technology for everything from creating firearms (and bullets) to meat and veggies to custom prosthetics. On the medical side they’re working on printing body parts that include biomaterial to reduce rejection rates.
A baby born with a condition that frequently collapsed his windpipe has been saved thanks to 3D printing being able to make a custom splint out of a material that would eventually dissolve safely into the body.
Doctors at the University of Michigan were able to apply for an emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to make a tracheal splint for the then infant, Kaiba Gionfriddo.
Before receiving the splint, Kaiba would stop breathing frequently and would need to be resuscitated. Doctors said in his current state before the operation, even with some treatments, he “was imminently going to die.”
The splint surgically implanted into the now 20-month-old was sewn in such a way that it would expand the collapsed bronchus and give it the support it needed to grow properly and strong.
“It was amazing. As soon as the splint was put in, the lungs started going up and down for the first time and we knew he was going to be OK,” U of M associate professor of pediatric otolaryngology Glenn Green said according to the university’s website.
Not only that, but the material the splint was made out of – a biopolymer called polycaprolactone — is designed to be reabsorbed into the body over a period of three years, at which point Kaiba’s own bronchus should be fully functional.
“The material we used is a nice choice for this. It takes about two to three years for the trachea to remodel and grow into a healthy state, and that’s about how long this material will take to dissolve into the body,” professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering and associate professor of surgery Scott Hollister said, according to U of M. “Kaiba’s case is definitely the highlight of my career so far. To actually build something that a surgeon can use to save a person’s life? It’s a tremendous feeling.”
“He has not had another episode of turning blue,” Kaiba’s Ohio mother April Gionfriddo told the university. “We are so thankful that something could be done for him. It means the world to us.”
Watch U of M’s video about the innovative material that helped save Kaiba:
Publishing the success in the New England Journal of Medicine, the doctors believe the biomaterial they used to 3D print the custom splint could be used for a variety of medical functions, such as to help rebuild bones.
(H/T: Popular Science)
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The CBS network should apologize for a biased 60 Minutes segment that reeked of anti-Israel propaganda, a group of shareholders demanded at the network's annual meeting Thursday.
Don’t look now, but another debt ceiling showdown is quickly approaching Washington. After suspending the country’s legal borrowing limit at $16.394 trillion as part of a compromise in February, the debt ceiling automatically reset this past Sunday increasing $265 billion. The CBO estimates another debt ceiling increase can be avoided until October or November.
Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander says President Barack Obama needs to make a deal with Republicans sooner than later to avoid another political showdown and address the nation’s biggest issue: Debt.
“If we don’t fix the debt this country is going to be in deep, deep trouble — It’s our number one issue,” the former Tennessee governor said in an interview with TheBlaze contributor Mallory Factor
Alexander said Obama is speaking with Republicans on the debt in a way now that he wishes the president had done three or four years ago.
“The president needs to put a proposal on the table,” Alexander said in a video interview (below) from TheBlaze newsroom in New York. “If I were him I’d work it out with a few Republican senators so that when he does it he knows he has some support on our side of the aisle, then it needs to go through the regular process in the open light of day.
“This is the kind of presidential leadership we need, of the kind that President Johnson gave on civil rights, of the kind that President Nixon did on China, that President Carter did on the Panama Canal, that President Clinton did on welfare reform that President Reagan did on social security — it’s unpopular stuff,” Alexander continued. ”Particularly for President Obama to change the benefit structure for payments for medicare for his own party, but that’s why we have presidents.”
During the interview, Alexander elaborated on his support of the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would allow states to require online and catalog out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax. Civil libertarian groups have come out in strong opposition to the legislation.
Alexander explains he supports the act because “it’s a states rights bill,” and would be a tax on what’s already owed.
“I trust our Republican governor and legislature to make the decisions about Tennesee tax policy a lot more than I do Washington D.C.”
Over the last two weeks Alexander, has been calling attention to another scandal brewing within the Obama administration, this time at the Department of Health and Human Services.
As The Washington Post reported earlier this month, HHS Secretary Kathy Sebelius has been calling on health industry officials to make large financial donations to help implement ObamaCare after Congress repeatedly rejected administration requests for additional funding. Enroll America, a nonprofit group that the Post reports many of Sebelius’s calls have gone to, is led by a former White house staffer.
Alexander is the ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and has said Sebelius’s private fundraising with Enroll America may be in violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act, comparing the new HHS scandal to the Iran-Contra affair.
“Thats not allowed by the Constitution, and that’s illegal under a number of federal statutes,” Alexander told TheBlaze.
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Nora Craig, a pro-gun woman from Franklin Township, blasted the New Jersey Senate as they held hearings on gun control on April 30, 2013. He straightforward, no-nonsense approach in exposing the truth about what elected officials do when they respond with their feelings rather than uphold their oath of office is exactly what most of us think regarding the ability to keep and bear arms.
“I do not respect an oath breaker,” she said. “Anybody who is holding a public office has taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. That does not mean you put how you ‘feel’ feel first… how you emotionally react to a tragedy first.”
“Because you think it’s better that I will be safer,” she continued, “you abrogate my constitutional rights. That’s breaking your oath and I have no respect for that.”
Applause from those in attendance erupted at her statement.
One people had settled down, Craig continued.
“I’m a mom and there’s only one thing that I’m afraid of and that’s the people in elected office taking away my rights,” she said.
Craig continued on this point. “I’m not afraid of the crook that’s going to come to my door because if my dogs don’t get him, I will. It’s my job to defend myself.”
Again applause started to come from the people.
“It’s not your job to protect me,” she told elected officials. “It’s not your job to defend me. It’s your job to protect the Constitution and protect my rights to defend myself.”
I like Ms. Craig! I’ve got a feeling that there are a lot of us out here who think the exact same thing that she does and we’re going to hold on to our ability to protect and defend ourselves no matter what government may attempt to do to us.
The post NJ Senate Blasted By Pro-Gun Woman: “It’s Not Your Job To Protect Me!” appeared first on Freedom Outpost.
New House Homeland Security Chair’s Blunt Analysis: Obama Admin’s Narrative Is One of Biggest Security Threats
Five-term Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, the newly appointed chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, believes the greatest threat to national security can come from homegrown radicalization, cyber space and an unsecured border. But there’s another one that some might not recognize.
“Many (threats) are coming out of the Middle East but one of the bigger threats I talk about is the narrative being spun out of this administration that the war against Al Qaeda and radical Islam is over,” McCaul said in an interview at TheBlaze newsroom in New York. ”After bin Laden was killed, they want to close the case on al-Qaeda and radical Islam…The idea that somehow this is all over is really preposterous.”
McCaul cited the killing of the U.S. Ambassador and other citizens in Benghazi, which “was not an attack of terrorism according to them,” the 2009 shooting at Ft. Hood in Texas, which was called a case of ”workplace violence” and the Boston Bombings, which McCaul thinks the Obama administration treated like “a domestic event that we can sweep under the rug.”
“That kind of narrative and rhetoric is very dangerous because it underplays and undercuts the threat itself,” McCaul said in a video interview (below) with TheBlaze contributor Mallory Factor. “If you can’t identify the enemy, you can’t defeat the enemy.”
In the ongoing investigation of the events leading up to the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, McCaul said that as chair of his committee and a leading Republican examining the issue, he and his colleagues are trying to operate methodically and in a responsible way.
“If we get too inflammatory, I think people are going to question us on this,” he said.
McCaul noted the points he raised during the congressional hearing with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, when the secretary and State Department were scrutinized for not responding in a stronger way after they were briefed multiple times from the consulate about the need for more security before the attack. McCaul said he and his colleagues will continue to investigate who was involved in manipulating administration talking points on the issue from a political standpoint.
In defending against homegrown terrorism, like the Tsarnaev brothers responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings, McCaul told Factor that it becomes very important to leverage state and local law enforcement, to spot when people radicalize on a local level and stop them.
Given fears that increased homeland security measures could impact traditional American civil liberties, McCaul said there must be a balance between respecting those rights and national security.
“I would argue anything on the public domain is fair use to look at” McCall said for investigating homegrown terrorism. If not, we need to look at Fourth Amendment protections and get a search warrant, but a lot is available in public domain,” he said.
In the case of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, McCaul said there were many signs when he came back from the Chechen region that he had become radicalized. From the Iman at his mosque wanting to throw him out, friends discussing his behavior to Tamerlan’s YouTube website, flags were all over the place, McCaul said.
McCaul also addressed the issue of improving U.S. border security and cyber security, comparing the budget cost of defense spending versus mandatory spending, and where he would like to see the Homeland Security Department three years from now.
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A Senate panel voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to send weapons to rebels fighting Syria's government, but it was not clear who would get the arms even if the bill succeeds. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 15-3 for legislation that would send arms to "vetted" moderate members of the Syrian opposition, the first time U.S. lawmakers have approved such military action in the two-year-old civil war. The measure will now be considered by the full Senate. Only three senators on the committee -- Republican Ron Paul and Democrats Tom Udall and Chris Murphy -- opposed the bill.
With 3 different problems jumping up at the same time it seems that President Obama is sounding more like Alfred E. Newman of Mad Magazine fame! “What? Me Worry?” How can a President not know a thing about what is going on in his administration? Is Obama really that out of touch with his people, or is he just way too tied up in campaigning to worry about the United States or those below him? Perhaps he is either incompetent or he’s outright lying.
The White House dumps e-mails that show just who had asked for changes in talking points, all done while 4 men had their very lives in the balance. Yet it was much more important to ask about talking points while men were being killed. Obama throws everyone else under the bus, while he keeps on saying that he had no knowledge in anything dealing with Benghazi. People in Obama’s administration are now being shoved out to the press so that it seems they are the ones that did what he says he had no knowledge of. Even with President Obama’s statements at a briefing on Thursday May 16, 2012, Obama clearly made it understood that he had no knowledge of what happened. Maybe we should change that concept to the most famous statements from one Sergeant Schulz, of the Television show Hogan’s Heroes, where Schulz would make the famous statement, “I know nothing!”
It seems that all of the e-mails sent back and forth to the White House from around 3 PM until much later were just concerning what was to be given as “talking points,” without any discussion as to what was going on at the Benghazi Embassy or what type of attack they were under or if anyone was hurt. Nope, it was all about the “talking points.” It seems that maybe Obama is throwing that out there with his release of some 94 e-mails to maybe try and alter the discussion as to why he seemingly just went to sleep while others were discussing the “talking points,” not to mention that Americans were being killed and their bodies being dragged through the streets of Benghazi. Now is that just some weird reason to ask questions that have yet to be answered? Questions like, just what did Obama do after he got the one call in the evening of September 11, 2012, a date when the entire diplomatic core should have been on double high alert or of a much higher level of security. Instead, our President seemingly went to bed while brave men died defending themselves in Benghazi.
Now let us take a brief look at an article or part of it that shows just what has happened and how much this single scandal has affected the Obama administration and how it may well have an effect upon the 2014 elections. We need only look at this article written by Tad Cronn.
Below is a small part of what has been disclosed just on Benghazi.
“The emails show heavy involvement by top Administration officials, particularly in Clinton’s State Department, in changing the talking points to blame a YouTube video and spontaneous street protests.”
President Obama did the same thing when it came to the IRS, saying he did not know anything until he saw it on the news reports. Once again it gives the idea of the old “Hogan’s Heroes” Sargent Schultz, “I know nothing!” However, this is the President of the United States. Is he supposed to know about this, or has he “shielded” himself in order to perform the Sargent Schultz impression when he is asked what he knew. Taking this into consideration, one has to begin to wonder just what does Obama do when he is not partying, not golfing, not playing basketball, or not doing what he was elected to office to do. Did the United States elect a man back into office that has abused the very office he holds? Was America, as Obama himself stated, “Hoodwinked,” by his own soothing voice that told us not to open the curtain because nobody was behind it? Guess what? Nobody was behind the curtain running our nation and by Obama’s own admission, he does not know anything about anything except when he has been given the speech prepared for him.
There are so many very important questions that have not been answered yet related to the 3 bothersome and questionable scandals that the Obama administration is involved in.
The recent release about the “talking points” indicates that people in the Obama administration were much more worried about “talking points” than the lives of 4 men! Then we find out that the IRS was doing a more questionable search upon those who, like ourselves, question the government. Yet this would nearly imply a government that has made a drastic turn towards becoming more tyrannical every day. Keep in mind it was Barack Obama that said we should not listen to those who warn about tyranny.
Then we find out that the Department of Justice makes taps on a large amount of reporters without notifying them and the Attorney General removes himself from this because he may be. Yet, the President knows nothing? Is Obama about to call himself Sargent Schultz or will he admit that he has made several mistakes, but we doubt this since he continues to blame others, even going as far as to put out the e-mail which makes his own press secretary, Jay Carney, look like a fool. Carney’s boss has thrown him under the bus in order to keep from taking a direct hit.
We have to wonder just how long will the people of the United States remain loyal to a man who seems to be hiding so much that he is now entangled in 3 different scandals that would have brought Republican Presidents to the point of impeachment. Yet, with our nation we do not seem to care as long as we “respect” the first black president even if he is engaged in wrong doings that would be close to becoming treason, if nothing else.
The post Are Obama’s Scandals Indicating That He Has No Business Being In Office? appeared first on Freedom Outpost.
Guess How Baltimore City Schools Spent Some of Their Federal Stimulus Money (Hint: It Wasn’t for Education)
Dinner cruises. Fried chicken and biscuits. Theater performances. A mother/daughter makeover.
Such were activities that Baltimore City Schools spent using federal stimulus and Title I funds, a federal audit discovered.
WJZ13 spoke to Baltimore City Schools CEO Andres Alonso; he downplayed the “errors.”
“Anytime there’s an audit of Title I dollars, you’re going to see errors at the school level because schools spend money for what they need, and then sometimes they worry about if it fits the parameter of the grant later,” Alonso said.
“We’re talking $15 million out of $112 million, and what we see are school events to engage parents, but when the auditors came to look at it they said, ‘Wait a second. This should have been paid out of general funds, rather than Title I,” said Alonso.
The U.S. Department of Education is reviewing 2009 and 2010 expenses that showed more than $4,300 were spent on dinner cruises…
…more than $2,400 for fried chicken and biscuits at a PTA meeting to discuss the budget…
…$1,300 to attend a theater performance, and $500 on a mother/daughter makeover.
“I’m appalled this sort of stuff is going down because you can’t educate the children by taking things for your own pleasures,” said George Downs.
“It’s mismanagement. It’s negligent,” said Pat McDonough (R) of the Maryland House of Delegates.
The victims, according to state lawmakers, are Maryland taxpayers and Baltimore City school children.
“Funding for some of Baltimore’s neediest children was simply squandered and transparency requirements were completely disregarded. This abuse of tax dollars is one example of why many Americans mistrust government,” said Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger in a statement.
“Who’s responsible? There needs to be a serious investigation,” said McDonough.
“Of course we don’t want schools to make mistakes, but I think error is a little different than the way it’s being portrayed,” said Alonso.
Here’s the full report from WJZ13:
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Attorney General Eric Holder has no choice but to resign after signing off on a search warrant to seize a Fox News reporter's private e-mails, Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin asserted Friday.
On Wednesday Lois Lerner plead the 5th and refused to testify before congress. In her opening statement she said, “I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations and have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.”
Tim Brown reported on Wednesday:
Gowdy’s statement brought applause from some. However, Issa went on to dismiss Lerner.
Thursday brought a whole new round of surprises. As reported by Fox News:
Once again Americans are left with no justice and another hefty tab. Though it is Lois Lerner’s right to seek protection of the 5th amendment, she represents an agency that was admittedly not concerned with the rights of their targets. So why should we be concerned with her rights? Don’t answer that. It’s simply a case of doing what is right and following The Constitution. But it tends to make one angry when these people shred The Constitution and then hide behind it.
And as things go in Washington… Now she not only gets to keep her job, at least for now, she also gets a paid vacation.
According to The National Review Lois Lerner averaged $185,000 in salary from 2009 through 2012. If my calculator can be trusted (it’s not IRS approved) she should enjoy a fairly nice vacation on approximately $3557.69 a week.
In stark contrast, the maximum weekly unemployment benefit in Washington D.C. is $405 for 2013. If they are going to pay her at all, that is the rate she should be paid in my opinion. She is unemployed temporarily so why not?
That would make too much sense. Common sense can not be trusted in Washington D.C. We have to rely on IRS officials like Lois Lerner who admits, “I am not good at math.”
Does anyone else see a problem here?
The post IRS Official Lois Lerner Refuses To Resign – Gets Paid Leave Of $3,557.69 A Week appeared first on Freedom Outpost.
By: Melanie Hunter Obama: 'Misconduct of a Few' Erodes 'People's Trust in Their Government'
CBS News’ White House correspondent Mark Knoller tweeted this morning that President Barack Obama did not return a salute to a Marine before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn:
Indeed, the press pool report notes the same thing:
Here’s a photo sequence of the president’s departure Friday morning:
Now, you might be confused by the second photo in the sequence, as it does show the president offering some sort of salute. Even the Associated Press caption to the photo says, “President Barack Obama salutes at the top of the step as he boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House.”
So what’s that about? We contacted the journalist – Rick Dunham of the Houston Chronicle — who filed the report and he told us while the president may have offered some salute at the top, he definitely broke with normal and accepted procedure.
In fact, video of the series of events seems to show that the salute was offered to someone already on the chopper. Watch via ABC’s footage of the event:
That all raises the question: Even if the president did completely forget to return a salute are they obliged to even do so? Is this even a potential protocol gaffe like the controversy that surrounded Obama recently requesting two Marines hold umbrellas during a White House press conference, which some said put them at odds with uniform code (we showed that the president can make such requests, by the way)?
In 2008, David Alexander with Reuters reported that presidents saluting is actually a “thorny debate.” Alexander wrote that the military has long had a practice of saluting the commander in chief, but the president saluting back didn’t start until President Ronald Reagan.
“Dwight Eisenhower, a former five-star general, did not return military salutes while president. Nor had other presidents,” Alexander noted.
Carey Winfrey, the editor of Smithsonian magazine who was in the Marine Corps, has more on the history of military salutes in a 2009 New York Times article. The piece discusses whether presidents should salute as Marines are taught never to salute out of uniform and he didn’t quite regard the president’s suits a uniform. Ultimately, Winfrey called the president’s salute “impeccable in every way.” Here’s more on Reagan’s salutes that started it all:
Alexander for Reuters noted historian John Lukacs writing in 2003 that the president saluting “represents an exaggeration of the president’s military role.”
Let us know what you think of presidents returning salutes by taking our poll:
Update 1: The latest round of press pool report notes states that Obama did salute a group of the Marines before heading back onto Marine One for his return trip to D.C. after delivering the commencement address to the graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy.
Update 2: The press pool report’s latest update states that when the president touched down around 1 p.m. ET, Obama again made sure to salute the Marine waiting for him at the bottom of the choppers stair’s.Related:
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By: Penny Starr
Females are up to 40 percent more likely to develop a mental health condition than males, according to a new study to be published by Oxford University Press. Research finds that women are nearly 75 percent more likely than men to have suffered from depression and approximately 60 percent more likely to report an anxiety disorder. "There is a pattern within -ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ women tend to suffer more from what we call 'internal' problems like depression or sleep problems," researcher Daniel Freeman told The Guardian. "They take out problems on themselves, as it were, where men have externalizing problems, where they take things out on their environment, such as alcohol and anger problems."
Terror Fears Stoked By Trend Of Young Muslims From U.S., Europe Fighting With al-Qaeda in Syria, Africa
A growing trend of young muslims traveling from the U.S. and Europe to Syria, as well as Africa, to train and fight alongside al-Qaeda is pushing Western intelligence agencies to heighten surveillance at airports, harbors and border crossings amid fears that these trained fighters will return home to launch terror attacks.
Those fears were highlighted Wednesday when two Islamic jihadists slaughtered a British soldier in the streets of London and the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon by Chechen born Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan. These terrorist attacks have left investigators – on both sides of the Atlantic – with more questions than answers. Were these groups acting alone or were they following orders from al-Qaeda central, or one of its fringe groups?
One thing is certain: this will not be the end of these seemingly random and difficult to predict terror attacks, say U.S. officials. And with the war escalating in Syria and Islamic extremists groups gaining momentum in Africa, Western law enforcement will have to contend with more trained fighters returning from these war zones to the U.S. and other European nations.
“We know young men are leaving London, U.S. and other parts of Europe with medical bags, tactical gear and other supplies to Syria, and some are heading to Africa to fight in places like Somalia, Algeria and Mali,” said a Western official, with direct knowledge of the terror investigations. “Unfortunately, the rebel groups they are fighting with have strong ties to al-Qaeda and other extremist groups. This is where they will be indoctrinated – what happens when they come home trained, ready to fight and hating the west?”
The problem is that many of these fighters are skilled enough not to be detected by law enforcement “and therefore slip through the cracks – Syria isn’t the only country we’re concerned with,” the official added.War on Terror
In President Obama’s speech on Thursday, he narrowed the definition of the “war on terror” saying “beyond Afghanistan, we must define our effort not as a boundless ‘global war on terror’ – but rather as a series of persistent, targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America.”
Steven Bucci, a former a deputy assistant defense secretary under Donald Rumsfeld, said a major problem is that the Obama Administration downplays the seriousness of the threat.
The administration explains many of these incidents as “lone-wolf” actions and Obama’s speech Thursday, reiterated the administration’s inability to understand the capabilities of the enemy.
“He is totally delusional about “winding down the war,” Bucci said. “I don’t know if he noticed that the bad guys don’t want to stop – think about London (Wednesday.)”
In London, one of the men, identified in British news reports as Adebolajo, told a bystander who witnessed the attacks that “he swears by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you,” as he held a meat cleaver in his blood soaked hands.
The men hacked into the British soldier like a “piece of meat,” stunned bystanders told the media.
A U.S. military official, with direct knowledge of terror networks in Afghanistan and Africa, said military officials are aware of the growing trend of young Western Muslim jihadists traveling to the front lines in Syria and Africa.
“It is extremely concerning when these extremists eventually return home with skills that bring the battle zone to our front door and endanger our way of life,” the military official said. “It’s overseas where they gain the knowledge to build bombs, use weapons, connect with leaders in the jihadist movement. It’s not a matter of if we’ll see terror attacks at home but when.”
Since 2008, FBI officials have been monitoring the travel of Somali men who have left the U.S. to fight alongside rebel forces in their former homeland. Some of these young fighters were used as suicide bombers, while others were taken under the wing of Somalia’s al-Qaeda affiliate, Al-Shabaab Mujahideen.
FBI Spokeswoman Kathleen Wright acknowledged that law enforcement is aware of the threat, referring to testimony given to Congress by FBI Director Robert Mueller in March, where he explained why radicalization in the U.S. is more prevalent now than in the past.“First, American extremists appear to be attracted to wars in foreign countries,” Mueller told a House Appropriations subcommittee. “We have already seen a number of Americans travel overseas to train and fight with extremist groups. The increase and availability of extremist propaganda in English perpetuates the problem.”
In 2010, the FBI and DHS were closely monitoring the U.S. Mexico border when information that 23 Somalis, some with ties to Al-Shabaab, were plotting to illegally enter the United States after being mistakenly released from custody by Mexican officials, a confidential federal law enforcement report said.
U.S. officials don’t have a number on how many young men may have left the U.S. to fight alongside Syrian rebel groups but in Europe hundreds of young men have gone to their homeland to fight, according to European intelligence officials and news reports from the region.Recruiting Terrorists
Al-Qaeda groups work together in war zones overseas – sharing information and recruiting new members, according to U.S. Intelligence officials who spoke to The Blaze and Bucci.
Claims by Obama that al-Qaeda is “disseminated,” gives power to the terrorists here at home and lowers the guard of Americans and Europeans who are the group’s primary targets, Bucci said.
“To say al-Qaeda is diminished, and try to be so specific you have sound bites for it, is disingenuous,” said Bucci, who is now director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation. “These AQ fringes work together in Mali, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Iraq and make connections with followers all over the world. They are transnational terrorist groups who swap expertise and narratives.”
“Every time they succeed in an attack, regardless of the regional venue, it makes their job more successful to radicalize people here.”
Read more stories from TheBlaze
The Central Intelligence Agency will no longer be responsible for undertaking terrorist manhunts and drone strikes in the Middle East under a plan outlined by President Barack Obama Thursday, shifting authority for the anti-terrorism program to the Pentagon.
A new plan to give independent oversight of drone strikes will give a new layer of accountability says Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the bill's sponsors.
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