March 25, 2012 |
The cigarette smoke hovers dense inside the neighborhood cafe. Young patrons knock back beers at greasy wooden tables. A heated debate rages about Syria's revolt. The rotund bar owner labels the rebels baltajiya , or bandits, who are ravaging towns and villages. Demonstrators want only change and freedom, replies a young man in a hooded sweat shirt. Others wrangle over the president and the uncertain future. It is a striking scene for a tightly controlled police state.
January 13, 2012 |
President Obama this morning will ask Congress to give him authority to significantly shrink the federal government by merging six agencies dealing with trade and commerce, a senior administration official said. Obama is seeking power to propose a sweeping consolidation of agencies with overlapping duties with an eye toward saving money and improving performance, the official said. The president is asking Congress to grant him authority held by no president since Ronald Reagan.
August 28, 2011 |
A septuagenarian anticorruption activist ended a 13-day hunger strike Sunday with a glass of coconut water after India's Parliament bowed to his demands, agreeing to create a powerful, independent lokpal , or ombudsman, with authority to go after high-level corruption. Whether or not the new agency has teeth or ultimately does much to stem endemic corruption remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that activist Anna Hazare ("Anna" is an honorific title meaning elder brother)
March 24, 2011 |
Thousands of people took to the streets in the southern city of Dara, chanting "Syria, Freedom," a day after a deadly crackdown on protests there, human rights activists said. The demonstrations Thursday occurred at the funerals for some of those killed when government forces opened fire on protesters the previous day. Initial reports put the death toll at 15, but Reuters news agency, citing a hospital source, said more than 25 people were killed. Video on YouTube purporting to show the assault included images of streets littered with bodies, some shot in the head.
February 25, 2011 |
Mohamed Albuflasa was different from everyone else taking the stage on the second day of Bahrain's protests. He was a Sunni Muslim. The 34-year-old Salafist favored government reform, and he believed he should speak at the rally to promote unity among the country's Shiite Muslim majority and Sunnis at Manama's Pearl Square. Within hours, a security agency had detained him, and he has not been seen since. Even as hundreds of political prisoners were freed this week by King Hamed ibn Isa Khalifa, Albuflasa remains jailed and his whereabouts a mystery.
December 8, 2010 |
Rep. Darrell Issa, the California congressman who has promised to closely scrutinize the Obama administration, will become chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the new GOP-controlled House of Representatives in January, it was announced on Wednesday. The appointment had been expected. Issa (R-Vista) is the ranking minority member of the committee in the current Congress. As chairman, Issa will be the leading voice in choosing what to investigate. A frequent Republican critic in the current Congress, Issa has said he wanted to seek new subpoena powers for dozens of federal agency watchdogs as part of a campaign to downsize government spending.