Sequester deadline day is here, so what now?

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2013-05-2008

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It’s Friday, March 1, and that means the federal government has crossed the much-hyped and dreaded deadline for the fiscal reductions known as the “sequester.”

Bradley Manning pleads guilty to misusing classified data in WikiLeaks case

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2013-05-2008

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Army Private First Class Manning is escorted in handcuffs as he leaves the courthouse in Fort MeadeFORT MEADE, Maryland (Reuters) – The U.S. Army private accused of providing secret documents to the WikiLeaks website pleaded guilty on Thursday to misusing classified material he felt "should become public," but denied the top charge of aiding the enemy. Private First Class Bradley Manning, 25, entered the pleas prior to his court martial, which is set to begin on June 3, in a case that centers on the biggest leak of government secrets in U.S. history. "I believe that if the general public … had access to the information … …

Judge accepts soldier’s guilty plea in WikiLeaks case

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2013-05-2008

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FORT MEADE, Maryland (Reuters) – Military judge Colonel Denise Lind on Thursday accepted the guilty plea on 10 charges from U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning in his military court-martial for providing secret documents to the WikiLeaks website. Manning. 25, pleaded guilty to a series of 10 lesser charges that he misused classified information for which he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, although he pleaded not guilty to the top charge of aiding the enemy. (Reporting by Medina Roshan; Editing by Daniel Trotta)

"Milestone" reached in Iran nuclear talks: minister

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2013-05-2008

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VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran’s negotiations with world powers over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program reached “a turning point” this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Thursday, suggesting a breakthrough was within reach. “I call it a milestone. It is a turning point in the negotiations,” Salehi told Austrian broadcaster ORF in an interview during a visit to the Austrian capital for a United Nations conference. “We are heading for goals that will be satisfactory for both sides. …

Iran nuclear talks show progress, Western diplomat says

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2013-05-2008

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People wave Argentine flags as they attend a demonstration to protest against an agreement between Argentina and Iran outside the Argentine Congress in Buenos AiresBRUSSELS (Reuters) – Nuclear talks between Iran and world powers this week were more constructive and positive than in the past, but Iran's willingness to negotiate seriously will not become clear until an April meeting, a senior Western diplomat said on Thursday. The diplomat was more upbeat about the talks in Kazakhstan than other Western officials have been, suggesting there could be a chance of diplomatic progress in the long standoff over Iran's nuclear activities. …

House Passes Violence Against Women Act – On to President’s Desk

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2013-05-2008

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House Passes Violence Against Women Act - On to President's DeskThe House voted today to pass a Senate-approved version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act today, sending the bill to President Obama for his signature. An earlier vote on a controversial Republican version of the legislation was voted down. “The Violence Against Women Act has…

Analysis: From builders to managers: educating China’s leadership

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2013-05-2008

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File photo of Sun Zhengcai, then party chief of Jilin province attending a meeting held on the sidelines of the 18th National Congress of the CPC, in BeijingHONG KONG (Reuters) – Sun Zhengcai earned his PhD from China Agricultural University in 1997, experimenting with different fertilizers for crop rotation in northern China, according to his doctoral thesis. For the world's biggest grain grower and consumer, this type of research is crucial for improving yields. But it was an unlikely qualification for political leadership in China where engineers have traditionally held many of the top posts. Sun represents one of the more far reaching changes in Chinese politics. …

Algerian suspect in "Jihad Jane" case faces U.S. extradition

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2013-05-2008

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File photo of Ali Charaf Damache, also known by the alias "Black Flag," as he appears at Waterford District Court to be remanded into custody after being arrested on terrorism charges in IrelandDUBLIN (Reuters) – An Irish court on Thursday began extradition hearings against an Algerian man facing two terrorism charges in the United States connected to the so-called Jihad Jane conspiracy. Ali Charaf Damache is wanted by the FBI for conspiracy in a failed international plot to murder a Swedish cartoonist whose depiction of the Prophet Mohamed with the body of dog inflamed public opinion in Muslim countries. …

Blame game gets louder with budget cuts looking inevitable

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2013-05-2008

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Speaker of the House John Boehner speaks at news conference on Capitol Hill in WashingtonWASHINGTON (Reuters) – A day before sweeping budget cuts begin, the White House and Republicans blamed each other on Thursday for failure to prevent a fiscal crisis which the International Monetary Fund warned could slow the U.S. and world economies. Absent a highly unlikely last-ditch deal, the $85 billion in cuts across federal government agencies start on Friday. …

Senate Republicans filibuster Democratic sequester replacement

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2013-05-2008

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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) makes a point about his meeting with President Barack Obama regarding the country's debt ceiling, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington May 12, 2011.   REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst   (UNITED STA

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: “We believe we have this much responsibility to get anything done.”

A majority of United States senators voted this afternoon to replace the sequester with a combination of revenue increases and spending cuts, but thanks to a Republican filibuster, the legislation was blocked. Fifty-one votes were cast in favor of the measure. (Among the 49 no votes was Harry Reid, who voted no for procedural reasons.)

A Republican proposal also failed, but that gained just 38 votes. Meanwhile, House Republicans have failed to pass anything during the current Congress to address the sequester.

So, to wrap up, a majority of senators voted to avoid the sequester, but Republicans (joined by 3 Democrats who opposed the measure—Sens. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Mark Pryor (D-AR)) blocked them from taking action. Republicans did this despite failing to offer a plan of their own that could pass the Senate or the House. Their Senate plan got just 38 votes and the House Republicans did nothing.

Or, as Bob Woodward would say, it’s all Obama’s fault.

Please ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to reopen filibuster reform.