Obama said it's possible Russia will try to sway U.S. elections. When WikiLeaks dumped tens of thousands of often embarrassing internal Democratic Party emails, it didn't take long for the finger to be pointed at Moscow. In many ways, that should hardly be surprising. The distinctly idiosyncratic dynamic between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin has long been a topic of fascination for pundits. Some of the Republican presidential candidate's approaches and statements - particularly questioning the U.S. commitment to NATO - are almost certainly appealing to Moscow. The Russian intelligence services have a largely deserved reputation for excellence when it comes to cyber-spying, not to mention dirty political tricks. And, perhaps most importantly of all, a growing number of Western officials and security experts are increasingly convinced that Russia is doing everything it can to politically destabilize the West. Getting through the smoke and mirrors to work out to what extent that is … [Read more...] about Is Vladimir Putin deliberately destabilizing U.S. politics?
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File picture shows a P-8A Poseidon before a flight to assist in search and rescue operations for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur March 18, 2014. Photo: AFP The top U.S. Navy officer said this week that Malaysia has offered to let the United States use one of its bases for a detachment of new maritime surveillance planes, but officials clarified on Friday that no such flights had been approved. U.S. surveillance flights from a country such as Malaysia would likely increase friction with Beijing. Malaysia and China have competing territorial claims in the South China Sea, and Beijing has been pressing the United States to halt flights near its coast after an incident in international air space last month. Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the U.S. chief of naval operations, said in remarks in Washington on Monday that "recently the Malaysians have offered us to fly detachments of P-8s out of ... East Malaysia," referring to the Navy's new anti-submarine and … [Read more...] about U.S. says Malaysia offers to host spy planes that irk China
Environmentalists, many of whom have zip-tied themselves to the fence of the White House in Washington, rally and call on U.S. President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline in this March 2, 2014 file photo. Billionaire Tom Steyer's take-no-prisoners stance on Keystone has raised questions about whether he might undercut the party's chance to retain control of the Senate. Billionaire Tom Steyer has rapidly become one of America's most visible environmental advocates, vowing to punish lawmakers who don't oppose climate change and pledging to spend up to $100 million to put the issue center stage in the November 4 elections. His in-your-face tactics have made him fierce enemies on the right who accuse him of hypocrisy and claim that he made much of his fortune through investments in fossil fuel energy at Farallon Capital Management, the San Francisco-based hedge fund he founded in 1986. Steyer, 56, stepped down as co-managing partner of Farallon in 2012 to devote himself to … [Read more...] about From black to green: U.S. billionaire’s ‘Road to Damascus’
U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on Monday afternoon visited his Irish ancestral home in Moneygall, central Ireland's County Offaly. Over 150 years ago, Obama's great-great-great grandfather Falmouth Kearney left Moneygall to begin a new life in America. An estimated two million people left Ireland during the great famine of the middle of the 18th century and Kearney was one of the many who boarded a ship bound for New York. Moneygall is a tiny village with a population of less than three hundred but the town has gained international fame since its connections to Obama were revealed. Obama and his wife Michelle stepped off the president's helicopter in a local sports field just before 3 p.m. before travelling in convoy towards Moneygall's main street. The U.S. president and his wife were greeted in the town by local politicians as well as Obama's distant relative Henry Healy, who received a hug from the president and his wife. Around 3,000 … [Read more...] about U.S. president Obama visits ancestral home in trip to Ireland
Late night comedian Stephen Colbert has dropped a fat hint that he is exploring a run in the Republican presidential primary in South Carolina, although the deadline has passed to get on the ballot. But that may not be the point. His announcement on Thursday's satirical "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central gave Colbert an avenue for poking fun at how well-funded political action committees, operating at arm's length from a candidate, can spend to support that candidate. The Republican presidential primary in South Carolina will be held on January 21, and political experts say it could help seal frontrunner Mitt Romney's hold on the nomination. To a cheering studio audience, Colbert joked on his show that "for over a day now" residents of South Carolina had been "crying out for someone who can restore our nation's former greatness to its current perfection." "Well America, that someone is now," he said. "I am proud to announce that I am forming an exploratory committee to … [Read more...] about Stephen Colbert mocks U.S. politics