Boehner: House GOP files Obamacare suit

House Republicans filed a lawsuit regarding President Barack Obama’s “unilateral actions” on health care, Speaker John Boehner announced.

House Republicans have filed a lawsuit regarding President Barack Obama’s “unilateral actions” on healthcare, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Friday.

“Time after time, the president has chosen to ignore the will of the American people and re-write federal law on his own without a vote of Congress. That’s not the way our system of government was designed to work. If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to as well. The House has an obligation to stand up for the Constitution, and that is exactly why we are pursuing this course of action,” Boehner said in a statement.

The news came just minutes after Boehner spoke at press conference in Washington on Obama’s executive orders on immigration.

Boehner said he “will not stand idle as the President undermines the rule of law, ” but gave no specifics on how congressional Republicans would respond to the president’s executive action on immigration.

Obama mows down separation of powers and limits on executive power

Obama mows down separation of powers and limits on executive power:

President Obama, brandishing the same chainsaw as his predecessors, continues to clear-cut limits on executive power. Obama has been a one-man legislature when it comes to reshaping the Affordable Care Act into something less dysfunctional than the law he signed in 2010, and now he presumes to rewrite immigration law from the Oval Office.

Obama on Thursday night plans to announce an amnesty for about 5 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally. His order is based on no statutory authority, but is instead an expansion of the idea of “prosecutorial discretion” — the notion that federal government can’t catch all scofflaws, and so it must set priorities.

 

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Global warming proven by snow? Scientists make their case

“And we have seen winters warm somewhat since the 1970s, but what that’s going to lead to is generally less snow,” Spencer further explains. ” You can’t claim that global warming is causing more snow. It just doesn’t work that way. Yet those that promote the whole global warming fear-mongering point of view, they try to blame everything on global warming.”

–Dr. Roy Spencer, principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville 

You just can’t make this stuff up! Global Warming crowd make case for colder temps and more snow because of AGW. 

One example of the cold-weather-proves-global-warming argument comes from the The Los Angeles Times in a story published on Wednesday. That article focuses on the massive lake-effect snowstorm in Buffalo.

The Washington Post published a blog in January making a case for cold weather during global warming.

Atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe told OneNewsNow in 2014 that cold and snowy weather can occur in global warming.

She explained at the time: “When the earth gets warmer, more water evaporates into the atmosphere. Warmer air holds more water, and if you look around the planet, our humidity at a global scale has increased already by over four percent. So, there is more water up in the air. That’s why our rainfalls are often getting more extreme, especially in the warmer part of the country, because there is much more water in the air. Well, what happens when it’s below freezing? It gets dumped out as snow.”

Spencer tells OneNewsNow, however, that you can’t have it both ways.

It’s well known that if man-made global warming is happening, it’s happening slowly, he says, and it’s probably stronger during the winter months.

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Only 50% Of Scientists Blame Mankind for Climate Change In New Study

That 97% number was pulled out of a hat to begin with in order to give weight to bad data. 

Rather than claiming 97 percent of scientists believe in man-made global warming, hopefully now some media outlets will revise that number closer to 50 percent.

Contrary to the repeated insistence of both climate alarmists and the media, scientists do not all agree on the standard climate alarmism talking points.  A Purdue University scholar, surveying scientists in the agricultural sector including climatologists, found surprising disagreement on humanity’s role in climate change. These findings, though contrary to popular narrative on climate change, are unsurprising to anyone familiar with the prevalence of dissent in the scientific community.

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Is Obama At Loggerheads with The Constitution? | Boston Globe

The Boston Globe, not known for being a right-wing mouthpiece, thinks Obama’s doing a dicey end-run around Congress with immigration and climate change.

They give an overview of how Obama plans to sidestep Congress in his final two years in office to address his pet issues: global warming, minimum wage, immigration:

On his own, the president can’t change immigration law, but he can alter how existing laws are enforced. It’s a principle called prosecutorial discretion, and while it may sound pretty legalistic, it’s as familiar as everyday driving.

Technically, you’re not supposed to drive even one mile per hour above the posted speed limit. But police officers don’t spend a lot of time tracking down people doing 26 in a 25. There are just more important things for them to be worrying about.

Obama’s immigration plan is based on the same idea. It tells immigration authorities to focus their attention elsewhere and not to deport parents with US-born children. “Felons not families” is how the president put it in his address.

When the president introduced the DACA program in 2012 — that’s the earlier change in immigration law that limited deportations of people who came to the United States as children — he relied on the same rationale.

Are there limits to this approach?

One problem with prosecutorial discretion is that there’s no clear line between changing how a law is enforced and actually nullifying that law. Imagine that the City of Boston lowered the speed limit on city streets to 25 miles per hour (as New York just did). Could the chief of police tell cops not to enforce the new limit, or would that be interfering with the city’s legitimate authority?

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New York Jets-Buffalo Bills game moved to Monday in Detroit – ESPN

Six feet of snow in Buffalo led the NFL to reschedule the Jets-Bills game to Monday in Detroit.

The NFL has moved the New York Jets-Buffalo Bills game to 7 p.m. ET on Monday at Ford Field in Detroit.

The game previously was scheduled for Sunday afternoon in Buffalo, but the NFL announced earlier Thursday that it would be moved as another storm brought the area’s paralyzing three-day snowfall total to at least 6 feet.

“Public safety resources in western New York must be fully available to deal with the recovery from the storm,” the NFL said in a statement.

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Charges seem unlikely for Ferguson cop, union official says | Fox News

Charges against Officer Darren Wilson are unlikely, according to a union official.

The suburban St. Louis police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown seems confident that he will not face criminal charges from a grand jury that has been investigating the case for several months, a police union official said Thursday.

Jeff Roorda, business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association, said he met Thursday with Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, who has remained secluded from the public eye since the Aug. 9 shooting that sparked tense and occasionally violent protests and drew national attention.

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AG pick Lynch may face grilling over seizing properties, experts say | Fox News

Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch boasted about being responsible for nearly a billion dollars in civil and criminal forfeiture in the last fiscal year.

A boast by President Obama’s pick to be the nation’s top law enforcement official could come back to haunt her in confirmation hearings before the Senate, where some members object to prosecutors’ rampant use of civil forfeiture, a controversial but legal process that can allow citizens’ assets to be seized without due process.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch, who Obama seeks to elevate to U.S. attorney general, replacing Eric Holder, announced in January that her office collected more than $904 million in criminal and civil actions in fiscal year 2013. While the policy generates funds used for other law enforcement efforts and offsets the burden on taxpayers, liberals and conservatives alike have questioned asset forfeiture as “an abuse of due process.” Experts say Lynch will likely have to defend the practice she once touted.

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Executive disorder

Executive disorder:

The executive order on immigration announced by President Obama on Thursday night has Republicans in Congress so mad they can’t think straight. But when they can, they will realize that the president cannot give effect to his words without their consent. Indeed, his speech will be remembered for making it harder to fix our immigration system so that it serves our economic interests, secures our borders, and offers recourse to millions of illegal aliens who are part of our communities.

The president has insisted more than a dozen times in the last several years that he has no legal authority to act unilaterally to suspend deportations. Last night, he made a far less convincing argument that he could not wait six weeks to work with a new Congress to fix a problem that he has not addressed in six years.

To many observers — not just Republicans — his actions are not nearly as aggravating as his cynicism. His decision to go it alone is a transparent provocation to Republicans who just won a sweeping electoral victory. It may be asking too much for the new Congress to be magnanimous and do the hard work on immigration that the president has left undone.

 

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Democrats also used secret Twitter profile to circumvent election laws, says report

No surprise here. Both the Republicans and the Democrats will skirt the law to win.

Earlier this week, the Republican party was discovered to have used Twitter to inform its fundraising groups of polling numbers during elections, potentially infringing on a rule that bars US political parties from “coordinating” with outside elements. But it appears that the GOP wasn’t alone in using Twitter to skirt regulations — according to The Huffington Post, the Democrats also used the micro-blogging service during 2012 elections to provide information on party ad campaigns to groups who weren’t technically allowed to receive the data directly.

The information appeared on the @AdBuyDetails Twitter account, with tweets mentioning a range of data, including the candidate for which the ads were purchased, the target age group it was aimed at, and the amount it cost. The information could have been used by nonprofits, political action groups, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure arm, all of whom are not allowed to see private ad data collected by the party’s various bodies. But while the anti-coordination rules mean candidates and their supporting staff can’t collaborate with outside groups on their ads, strategy, or messages, there’s an exception if the information used by such groups is obtained from “a publicly available source.”

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Shutting off NSA’s water gains support in Utah Legislature | The Salt Lake Tribune

The attempt to stop the NSA’s new data center in Utah continues. Legislators and activists began pushing a bill that would cut off the NSA’s water supply if it continued to gather data on American citizens.  

A Utah legislative committee on Wednesday asked a lawmaker to refine a bill that seeks to — eventually — shut off water to the National Security Agency’s data center in Bluffdale.

Committee members expressed some concerns with the bill but no outright opposition. They asked the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Marc Roberts, R-Santaquin, to better define who would be impacted by the bill.

 

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Baltimore Police balk when pressed by judge on phone tracking capabilities – Baltimore Sun

They justify the use of Stingray devices (IMSI catchers/cell tower spoofers) by pointing out how great they are at catching criminals.

They justify the secrecy surrounding them by claiming the release of any details will compromise investigations.

And when they get caught violating the law, they pull the evidence.  

Baltimore prosecutors withdrew key evidence in a robbery case Monday rather than reveal details of the cellphone tracking technology police used to gather it.

The surprise turn in Baltimore Circuit Court came after a defense attorney pressed a city police detective to reveal how officers had tracked his client.

City police Det. John L. Haley, a member of a specialized phone tracking unit, said officers did not use the controversial device known as a stingray. But when pressed on how phones are tracked, he cited what he called a “nondisclosure agreement” with the FBI.

“You don’t have a nondisclosure agreement with the court,” Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams replied. Williams threatened to hold Haley in contempt if he did not respond. Prosecutors decided to withdraw the evidence instead.

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Gallup: Americans Rate Postal Service Highest of 13 Major Agencies

The U.S. Postal Service ranks highest of 13 government agencies according to Americans’ ratings of how well each is doing its job. Younger Americans, men and women alike, are more positive about the Postal Service than are older Americans.

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Obama Vows Immigration Action: No More Broken Families

Obama

Here’s a quick review of the President’s Executive Order on immigration.  

President Obama vowed executive action on immigration in a televised speech from the White House on Thursday night.

He began by criticizing House Republicans for failing to vote on a comprehensive immigration reform bill—necessitating the actions he is about to take.

“Had the House of Representatives allowed that kind of a bill a simple yes-or-no vote, it would have passed with support from both parties, and today it would be the law,” he said. “But for a year and a half now, Republican leaders in the House have refused to allow that simple vote.”

In lieu of legislation, the president announced additional resources for the border and an extended program for guest workers.

Most significantly, the president vowed to cease deporting illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria.

“We will take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who live within our country,” he said. “If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes—you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law.”

Obama stressed that the current policy constitutes de facto amnesty, since many immigrants evade deportation as it is.

“Tracking down and rounding up millions of people isn’t realistic,” he said. “Anyone who says otherwise isn’t being straight with you.”

He also expressed his preference for Congress to pass some sort of immigration law in the future.

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Saudi Arabia outlaws ‘tempting eyes’ | Metro News

Saudi Arabia has banned women from displaying “tempting eyes.” The country’s religious policewill now have the power to force women whose eyes they find alluring to wear a full veil that covers them.

A new law in Saudi Arabia banning ‘tempting eyes’ has become the latest example of female oppression in the country.

The law, which states that women with alluring eyes will be forced to wear a full veil, has been branded ‘stupid’ by dissenters and roundly criticised on social media, aina.org reports.

Sheikh Motlab al Nabet, spokesman of the Saudi Arabian Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, said they ‘had the right’ to force women to cover their face.

‘The men of the committee will interfere to force women to cover their eyes, especially the tempting ones,’ he said.

‘We have the right to do so.’

Many commentators wondered how the word ‘tempting’ would be applied.

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Fib & Fibber

NewImage

7 Feet of Snow in Buffalo

I’m guessing that New York State is praying for some global warming right about now. 

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12 Insane Photos of Wednesday’s Epic Buffalo Snowstorm
#Snowvember was pretty unbelievable.By Diana Bruk Share
Last night, a ferocious lake-effect storm slammed the Buffalo, New York area, leaving it buried under a record-breaking six feet of snow. While upstate New York residents are certainly no stranger to droves of snow-fall, this historic blizzard was so epic that housebound citizens took to social media to share pictures that need to be seen to be believed. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the most jaw-dropping portrayals of Mother Nature’s mighty force. 

As New Enrollment Period Starts, ACA Approval at 37%

 As New Enrollment Period Starts, ObamaCare Approval at 37%.

Trend: Americans' Views of the Affordable Care Act

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Every President’s Executive Actions In One Chart

mehta-datalab-executiveorders

The New York Times has a good roundup of the reaction, including quotes from Sens. John Cornyn (“I believe his unilateral action, which is unconstitutional and illegal, will deeply harm our prospects for immigration reform”) and Tom Coburn (“The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation”). The spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner has called the president “Emperor Obama,” implying that the executive action is an unlawful decree, and Sen. Ted Cruz said on Fox News that “the president is behaving in an unprecedented way.”

If it’s unprecedented, it’s because of the scope of the executive action, not the executive action itself. For decades, executive orders have been a fairly common tool for U.S. presidents. We looked at data from the American Presidency Project and found that the use of executive orders peaked in the era of the New Deal (FDR set the record) and has been on the decline since. In the past 100 years, Democrats have used them more than Republicans. Here’s every president’s tally per year that he served in office.

Of the executive orders since 1956 that addressed immigration, the most wide-reaching was President George H.W. Bush’s Family Fairness plan. As Danny Vinik said at the New Republic, conservatives are noting that Bush’s action expanded upon congressional intent, but Obama’s would be in defiance of it.

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Former Top NSA Exec Claims He Challenged The Bulk Phone Records Program… And Was Rebuffed

The AP has a big story out claiming that, back in 2009, a “now-retired” but “senior NSA official” found out about the Section 215 program collecting bulk phone records from the telcos and argued that it went too far and should be stopped:

Years before Edward Snowden sparked a public outcry with the disclosure that the National Security Agency had been secretly collecting American telephone records, some NSA executives voiced strong objections to the program, current and former intelligence officials say. The program exceeded the agency’s mandate to focus on foreign spying and would do little to stop terror plots, the executives argued.

The 2009 dissent, led by a senior NSA official and embraced by others at the agency, prompted the Obama administration to consider, but ultimately abandon, a plan to stop gathering the records.

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Even the Washington Post Warns that Obama’s Unilateral Action on Immigration Sets a Very Dangerous Precedent

Immigration

The editorial board of the Washington Post warned the president and his progressive pals of the danger inherent in trying to set immigration policy via fiat. The Post op-ed, “In Mr. Obama’s own words, acting alone is ‘not how our democracy functions’,” the editorial board sketched out this future scenario:

It is 2017. Newly elected President Ted Cruz (R) insists he has won a mandate to repeal Obamacare. The Senate, narrowly back in Democratic hands, disagrees. Mr. Cruz instructs the Internal Revenue Service not to collect a fine from anyone who opts out of the individual mandate to buy health insurance, thereby neutering a key element of the program. It is a matter of prosecutorial discretion, Mr. Cruz explains; tax cheats are defrauding the government of billions, and he wants the IRS to concentrate on them. Of course, he is willing to modify his order as soon as Congress agrees to fix what he considers a “broken” health system.

That is not a perfect analogy to Mr. Obama’s proposed action on immigration. But it captures the unilateral spirit that Mr. Obama seems to have embraced since Republicans swept to victory in the midterm elections.

Cops Throw Smoke Grenade Into Room With 2-Year-Old, Family Says They Warned Cops in Apparent Wrong Door Raid

Gang-related raid, Oxnard, November 2013

The Salinas family in Oxnard, California, filed a federal lawsuit against the city and its police department for a raid in April in which they say police threw a smoke bomb into a room with a 2-year-old in it despite the mother and the child’s older siblings warning police there was a 2-year-old was in the room.

The raid was part of a three-city operation targeting gang-related crime in which the Oxnard Police Department, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, the Ventura County District Attorney’s office, and the FBI participated. Oxnard police would not say whether the raid on the Salinas family was on the wrong house, but Courthouse News Service reports one of the suspects in Oxnard had previously lived at the Salinas address, before the family moved there four months ago.

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Colorado high school bans prayer meeting during ‘free time’

A Colorado high school senior is suing school officials after they told him he couldn’t meet with his Christian friends during a “free period.” The group had been peacefully meeting for over three years for encouragement, prayer, and singing when officials suddenly ordered the students to stop.

Chase Windebank has been informally leading a prayer meeting with fellow students since he was a freshman at Pine Creek High School, a 4A-school in Colorado Springs. Like many high schools across the state, Pine Creek has a 40-minute, non-teaching period built into the daily schedule, which the school calls “seminar.” After teachers take attendance and read school announcements, students are permitted to leave seminar on certain days to meet with counselors, tutors, or teachers if they need extra help or to take make-up tests. Seminar also “provides a forum for students to develop meaningful relationships that enhance academic achievement, encourage positive community involvement, provide character education, and increase connectedness with school,” according to the district’s parent guide.

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Nero, Palpatine, Obama? The significance of the president’s unilateral action on immigration

“Those who have received either a classical education or a Star Wars variant may hear echoes of Emperors Nero and Palpatine.”

If predictions are accurate, it’s not right to underplay the significance of the unilateral action the president apparently is taking. Tonight he will probably toss out words to distance a blatant overreach from what he himself warned against many times. But those who have received either a classical education or a Star Wars variant may hear echoes of Emperors Nero and Palpatine.

America’s Founders, because they understood man’s tendencies to lord it over others, created a system of checks and balances. They did not like monarchy because it could lead to tyranny. They did not like aristocracy because it could result in feudalism. They also didn’t want democracy by itself, because it could lead to “mobocracy,” rule by crowd psychology and the passions of the moment.

They created a mixed government featuring a separation of powers. They made the president like a constitutional monarch. They created a Senate they thought would be an aristocracy. They created the House of Representatives as the voice of democracy.

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Australian Government Rebukes Obama’s Climate Claims

 

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop criticises US president Barack Obama for a speech in Brisbane last weekend in which he claimed climate change threatened the Great Barrier Reef. It is highly unusual for an Australian foreign minister to openly criticise a US president. Ms Bishop also said Australia currently had no intention of committing extra forces or resources to the mission against Islamic State, even though the White House had discussed it with the Abbott Government. –Radio Australia, 20 November 2014

Gallup: Majority Say Not Gov’t Duty to Provide Healthcare for All

For the third consecutive year, a majority of Americans, 52%, say it is not the government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare. Prior to 2009, a majority of Americans took the opposite view.

Trend: The Role of the Federal Government in Ensuring Americans Have Healthcare Coverage

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The biggest reason for income inequality is single parenthood

This won’t make the progressives and champions of all things left happy. 

Wilcox and Lerman document how the shift away from marriage and traditional family structures has had important consequences for family incomes, and has been correlated with rising family-income inequality and declines in men’s labor force participation rates. Using data from the Current Population Survey, the authors find that between 1980 and 2012, median family income rose 30 percent for married parent families, For unmarried parents, family incomes rose only 14 percent.

These differential patterns of changes in family income have exacerbated family-income inequality. Since unmarried parent families generally expand the ranks of low-income families, while high-income, high-education adults increasingly marry partners from similar socioeconomic backgrounds, inequality trends are worsened. Comparing the 90th percentile families to the 10th percentile families in 2012, the top 10 percent had incomes that were more than 11 times higher than the bottom 10 percent. However, if we restrict the sample to married families with children, the ratio drops to nearly 7, suggesting that within married families, income inequality is less stark. The authors estimate that approximately 32 percent of the growth in family-income inequality between 1979 and 2012 is associated with changes in family structure. Other research, studying the period 1968-2000, finds that the changing family structure, accounted for 11 percent of the rise widening of the income gap between the bottom and top deciles.

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Obama Playing With Constitutional Fire on Immigration

Earlier this week, President Obama made it clear that he will soon offer some form of limited amnesty to about five million foreign nationals who are currently living illegally in the United States. He will do so by issuing an executive order to federal officials who oversee immigration directing them to undertake a course of action that, if complied with individually by all persons whom he designates as eligible, will cause the federal government to remove the threat of deportation from those who meet the standards he will lay down. Can he legally do that?

To address that question, we need to start with the principle that a presidential action may be lawful at the same time that it is unconstitutional, writes Andrew Napolitano. The president has the legal power to defer deportations. The power is called prosecutorial discretion. But if the president nullifies deportations on such a grand scale that the effect is the nullification of federal laws, notes Napolitano, then he has violated his oath to “faithfully” execute his presidential obligations.

 

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Ebola Response in Liberia Is Hampered by Infighting: NYTimes

“The global response to the Ebola virus in Liberia is being hampered by poor coordination and serious disagreements between Liberian officials and the donors and health agencies fighting the epidemic, according to minutes of top-level meetings and interviews with participants.”

The global response to the Ebola virus in Liberia is being hampered by poor coordination and serious disagreements between Liberian officials and the donors and health agencies fighting the epidemic, according to minutes of top-level meetings and interviews with participants.

Even now, three months after donors began pouring resources into Liberia, many confirmed cases still go unreported, countries refuse to change plans to erect field hospitals in the wrong places, families cannot find out whether their relatives in treatment are alive or dead, health workers sent to take temperatures sometimes lack thermometers, and bodies have been cremated because a larger cemetery was not yet open.

The detailed accounts of high-level meetings obtained by The New York Times, the most recent from Monday, lift the veil on the messy and contentious process of running the sprawling response to Liberia’s epidemic, one that now involves more than a hundred government agencies, charities and donors from around the world.

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After 13 years, 2 wars and trillions in military spending, terrorist attacks are rising sharply – The Washington Post

Last year saw the highest number of terrorist incidents since 2000, according to the latest Global Terrorism Index released by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Worldwide, the number of terrorist incidents increased from less than 1,500 in 2000 to nearly 10,000 in 2013. Sixty percent of attacks last year occurred in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria.

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