Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 9:51 am
Israel's top military intelligence official said Tuesday that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons repeatedly, and he criticized the international community for not taking tougher action against the Syrian leadership.
Israel and the Syrian opposition have on multiple occasions accused President Bashar Assad's government of using chemical weapons in the country's civil war, but have not offered much in the way of evidence.
Israeli Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, speaking at a security conference in Israel, gave the most definitive statement so far by an Israeli official.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 1:16 pm
Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, an influential red-state Democrat who helped craft Obamacare but bucked his party last week in voting against expanded background checks for gun sales, will retire in 2014, he announced Tuesday.
The chairman of the influential Senate Finance Committee, Baucus was expected to face a potentially tough race for a seventh term after four decades on Capitol Hill. He becomes the sixth Senate Democrat to announce his retirement, as Republicans look for an opportunity to retake Senate control in the midterm elections.
France is poised to become the latest nation to legalize same-sex marriage after its Parliament passed a bill that also legalizes adoptions by same-sex couples.
President Francois Hollande is expected to sign the bill quickly.
Authorities are bracing for the reaction from opponents. Correspondent Eleanor Beardsley tells our Newscast Desk that "supporters are planning a celebratory rally and opponents will stage protests across the country. Opposition in France to gay marriage has radicalized over the past month as far-right extremists have joined the protests."
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 3:22 pm
FIFA's efforts to rehabilitate its tarnished public image were dealt twin setbacks Monday when the international soccer federation's Twitter account was hacked and used to send messages joking about corruption. And a member of its reform committee quit, saying they were making no progress.
Update at 3:20 p.m. ET. FIFA Executive Resigns:
Paraguay's Nicolas Leoz resigned from FIFA's executive committee Tuesday, the same week an extensive report on bribery from the group's ethics investigator is to be released.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 12:22 pm
The young Austrian pianist Ingolf Wunder shines in Mozart, Jorge Federico Osorio reintroduces an intoxicating Mexican concerto and Elisveta Blumina reveals the gentle side of Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 3:09 pm
Jimmy Kimmel Live ran this rather remarkable segment in which, as the show explained it, people walking into Coachella were asked about bands that do not, in fact, exist. Nevertheless, these particular folks had strong opinions about the great "energy" of The Chelsea Clintons, and the album DJ Cornmeal, which one guy claims he used to play all the time at his community radio show.
Oh no, I thought, cracking open Brian Kimberling's debut novel, Snapper. It's a collection of linked stories. Starring an aimless birdwatcher. Who drives an ancient, glitter-encrusted pickup truck named Gypsy Moth and has a grand passion for an honest-to-God Manic Pixie Dream Girl with red hair, floaty dresses, a flute and a killer pancake recipe. And her name is Lola. Lola! I was braced for a thorough beat-down with the dreaded Whimsy Hammer.
Lots of people have been inquiring about the future of ScuttleButton. While I wish I had an answer — I don't, not yet — I'd like to suggest that you sign up for the Political Junkie/ScuttleButton mailing list. That way, I will be able to share the information once I have it (see info below).
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:59 am
Oblivion just might be the most expensive episode of The Twilight Zone ever made. The movie is a throwback to the days when on-screen science fiction was about speculative ideas rather than selling toys to tots.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 7:07 am
The Senate voted Monday to advance a bill that would allow states to force online retailers to collect state and local sales taxes. Currently, states can only require brick and mortar stores to collect the sales tax. This greatly benefits online shoppers, who save by not paying the tax.
Last spring, what NBC fondly refers to as "America's First Family" went through a very public divorce. Ann Curry, who spent more than a decade as a news anchor on the Today show and less than a year as a host, was unexpectedly axed. "For all of you who saw me as a groundbreaker," Curry said with emotion in her last morning broadcast, "I'm sorry I couldn't carry the ball over the finish line. But man, I did try."
Women hold up half the sky, China's Chairman Mao famously said. But in China, the one-child policy and the traditional preference for boys mean that 117 boys are born for every 100 baby girls. By one estimate, this means there could be 24 million Chinese men unable to find wives by the end of the decade.
As China's economy booms, the marriage market has become just that: a market, with new demands by women for apartments and cars.
But are women really benefiting from their scarcity?