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4 weeks ago

Franken? Stewart? Cuban? Hillary's mock debate Trump remains a mystery

Who is playing Donald Trump in Hillary Clintons practice debates?

So far, the HillaryClinton campaign will only confirm that at least one real, live human being has accepted the role of the brash Manhattan businessman. But they wont say who it is, only who it isnt.

Also, that the person playing Trump isnt someone who makes a living as a comedian.

How about Al Franken, the comedy writer turned Minnesota Democratic senator?

Nope, not him, the campaign confirms.

If its a politician, maybe its a populist like Sen. Sherrod Brown? Or a New Yorker like Rep. Joe Crowley, who like Trump hails from Queens? Perhaps Jon Stewart?

4 months ago

Ticket to the White House or political oblivion? The challenge for Donald Trump as he seeks a running mate - Los Angeles Times

So who wants to be the apprentice?

Who do you like? Donald Trump recently quizzed supporters at a Tampa rally, cupping a hand to his ear as they suggested vice presidential running mates.

Newt!... Sessions! Condi Rice! came the cries, referring respectively to former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabamaand Condoleezza Rice, President George W. Bushs national security advisor and secretary of State.

Loud, undisciplined and often uncouth, the presumptive Republican nominee is a presidential candidate like no other, and whoever joins his ticket will be tested in ways no understudy ever has been.

The line of eager prospects typic

7 months ago

Why Did Anne Hathaway Name Her Baby Jonathan Rosebanks? The Meaning Is Tied To Family - Bustle

Oh happy day! Baby makes three for Anne Hathaway and husband Adam Shulman, as they welcomed their first child in March, a baby boy named Jonathan Rosebanks Shulman. Though he was welcomed to the world a few weeks ago, Hathaway and Shulman have done a very un-Hollywood thing by laying low and not announcing his arrival to the world for a little bit, which is generally how Hathaway rolls. She's probably one of the least "Hollywood" A-listers out there, so it actually makes sense that she'd pick a traditional name for her baby (sorry, Gwyneth and Kim!). But, why did Hathaway give her son that name? Turns out, the name has a very familial connection to the couple.

According to E! News, Jonathan's middle name pays homage to both sides of his family. "Anne's paternal grandfather was named Roseline, while Adam's mother's maiden name was Banks. To add to the mix, Adam's middle name is also Banks. So they're keeping it in the family," E! reported.

What a perfectly fitting way to honor important family members with their new bundle of joy. As for his first name, Jonathan, it's unclear if there are any special family members with the name, but that's not to say it doesn't have special meaning to Shulman and Hathaway.

Jonathan is a traditional Hebrew name, which makes sense considering Shulman's own Jewish heritage. And, according to several baby naming sites, Jonathan means "gift from God," which definitely could be how the new parents view their baby boy. But, whatever the meaning, it's a lovely name for the new blessing in their lives, and it seems that many people agree. Fans took to Twitter after Hathaway announced the birth to express praise to the star for choosing a traditional, "normal" name.

Shout out to Anne Hathaway for giving her baby a normal name! #YouGoGirl Welcome to the world, baby Jonathan.

Jodie White (@BlkHwkFan) April 8, 2016Anne Hathaway has baby boy, gives him normal name. See, Gwyneth, Zooey and Kim, it's not hard.

Len Stone (@Len1776) April 8, 2016Congratulations to Anne Hathaway for giving her baby boy a normal name instead of a douchey hipster "unique" name.

- kris (@YouStayClassy_) April 8, 2016A big shout out to Anne Hathaway for giving her baby a normal name with the usual spelling!

Marie (@marieclarkg12) April 8, 2016On a non-idol tweet (I know, surprising!) bravo to Anne Hathaway for choosing a normal baby name. :D I love her.

Cindy Moniz (@HelloImCindy) April 8, 2016Anne Hathaway just went up, like, three notches for such a nice, normal baby name.

Allison Winn Scotch (@aswinn) April 8, 2016give Anne Hathaway some love because she gave her baby a srsly normal name

Diana Pearl (@dianapearl_) April 7, 2016

Congratulations to Hathaway and Shulman on the new addition to their family!

11 months ago

British bombers strike Islamic State oil fields in Syria - Reuters

AKROTIRI, Cyprus/LONDON British bombers made their first strikes on Islamic State in Syria on Thursday, hitting oil fields that Prime Minister David Cameron says are being used to fund attacks on the West.

Tornado bombers took off from the RAF Akrotiri air base in Cyprus just hours after British lawmakers voted 397-223 to support Cameron's plan for air strikes, a Reuters witness said. They returned to base safely several hours later.

The four bombers used laser-guided bombs to attack six targets in the Omar oil fields in eastern Syria controlled by the Islamist militant group which British officials call Daesh, using an Arabic acronym that the group rejects.

"That strikes a very real blow at the oil and the revenue on which the Daesh terrorists depend," Defense Secretary Michael Fallon told the BBC.

"There are plenty more of these targets throughout eastern, northern Syria which we hope to be striking in the next few days and weeks," Fallon said. He said Britain was sending eight more warplanes to Cyprus to join the missions.

There was no immediate information about casualties.

The British contribution still forms only a tiny part of U.S.-led "Operation Inherent Resolve", which has been bombing Islamic State targets in both Iraq and Syria for more than a year with hundreds of aircraft. Previously, the small British contingent participated in strikes on Iraq but not Syria.

But although the British vote adds little additional military capability to the coalition, it has had outsized political and diplomatic significance since last month's attacks in Paris, as Europe's other leading military power wrestled with a decision to join France in expanding its military action.

After 15 years in which hundreds of British troops died serving as the main battlefield ally of the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan, many in Britain are wary of more war in the Middle East.

The decision to extend bombing to Syria divided the opposition Labour Party, opposed by its leader Jeremy Corbyn but supported by its foreign affairs spokesman Hilary Benn in a passionate speech in parliament.

Russia is also bombing Syria outside the U.S.-led coalition. Moscow supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while the United States and its allies oppose him.

Cameron said the more than 4-year-old Syrian civil war could not be resolved by military action alone, but that the strikes would "degrade" Islamic State, a militant Islamist group which has declared a caliphate in large parts of Iraq and Syria.

"It is in Syria where they pump and sell the oil that does so much to help finance its evil acts," Cameron told parliament on Wednesday ahead of the vote.


Cameron has been criticized for stepping back from the world since he took the top job in 2010, particularly after he lost a 2013 vote in parliament on military action against Assad's government. The vote on Thursday for military action gives him a chance to restore some of Britain's global clout.

The news of the vote was met by howls of disgust by dozens of anti-war protesters demonstrating outside parliament.

But the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris that killed 130 people and were claimed by Islamic State have stiffened the resolve of many lawmakers. Just under a third of Labour members of parliament defied leftwing leader Corbyn to vote for military action.

"We must now confront this evil. It is now time for us to do our bit in Syria," Benn said in his impassioned speech, which drew applause from lawmakers across the House of Commons.

(Additional reporting by Limei Hoang; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Peter Graff)

11 months ago

Muslim rhetoric working for GOP - The Denver Post

Some leading Republican presidential candidates seem to view Muslims as fair game for increasingly harsh words they might use with more caution against any other group for fear of the political cost. So far, that strategy is winning support from conservatives influential in picking the nominee.

Many Republicans are heartened by strong rhetoric addressing what they view as a threat to national security by Islam itself, analysts say.

Because Muslims are a small voting bloc, the candidates see limited fallout from what they are saying in the campaign.

"I think this issue exists on its own island," said Steve Schmidt, a Republican political consultant who ran Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. "It's highly unlikely to cause a political penalty, and there is no evidence that it has."

Since the attacks that killed 130 people in Paris, GOP front-runner Donald Trump has said he wants to register all Muslims in the U.S. and surveil American mosques.

He has repeated unsubstantiated claims that Muslim-Americans in New Jersey celebrated by the "thousands" when the World Trade Center was destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001.

"Donald Trump is already very well known for being brash and outspoken and is appealing to a group of people a minority of American voters, but a large minority who seem to like that kind of tough talk," said John Green, director of the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron.


Rival Ben Carson said allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. would be akin to exposing a neighborhood to a "rabid dog." Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said, "I'd like for Barack Obama to resign if he's not going to protect America and instead protect the image of Islam."

Such statements appeal to Republicans who think Obama and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, have not done enough to fight jihadis, Green said. The sentiment also plays well for evangelicals concerned about violence directed at Christians in the Middle East and angered about restrictions their missionaries face in predominantly Muslim countries.

"There's a religious undercurrent here, aside from foreign policy issues," Green said.

Carson's campaign reported strong fundraising and more than 100,000 new Facebook friends in the 24 hours after he told NBC's "Meet the Press" in September, "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation."

Campaign manager Barry Bennett told The Associated Press, "While the left wing is huffing and puffing over it, Republican primary voters are with us at least 80-20."

"People in Iowa particularly, are like, 'Yeah! We're not going to vote for a Muslim either," Bennett said at the time. "I don't mind the hubbub. It's not hurting us, that's for sure."

1 year ago

Volkswagen Latest: U.S. Sales Stall, German Prosecutors Veer From Criminal Probe

Volkswagen sales slowed after it was revealed that the company had been cheating emissions tests by outfitting some diesel cars with "defeat devices." Markus Schreiber/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Markus Schreiber/AP Volkswagen sales slowed after it was revealed that the company had been cheating emissions tests by outfitting some diesel cars with "defeat devices." Volkswagen sales slowed after it was revealed that the company had been cheating emissions tests by outfitting some diesel cars with "defeat devices."

Markus Schreiber/AP

Following the emissions scandal that rocked Volkswagen in late September, the German car company reported less than 1 percent growth in sales for the month.

Reuters reports that Volkswagen sales "increased by just 0.56 percent to 26,141 vehicles, showing the effect of the halt in sales" of the four-cylinder diesel cars that were found to have been outfitted with "defeat devices" to pass emissions tests.

For comparison, General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Ford Motor Co. each posted double-digit percentage increases, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, German prosecutors, who announced Monday that they were beginning a criminal probe into former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, now say there is in fact no such investigation.

"There is currently no formal investigation of professor Dr. Winterkorn ongoing," the prosecutors office in Braunschweig, Germany, said, according to Esme Nicholson reporting for NPR. The investigation is focused on the auto maker broadly, not on any one individual.

Nicholson reports:

"Prosecutors say they regret any 'confusion' they may have caused with a previous press release, adding that they are conducting a 'preliminary investigation' into the company based on criminal complaints filed by citizens and by a complaint filed by Volkswagen itself."

She also says that the Volkswagen board announced Thursday it will "postpone the next shareholders' meeting until the company can provide well-founded answers to questions about the cheating scandal."

Meanwhile, owners of the affected Volkswagen cars are left in the lurch, waiting for engineers to announce a fix for the emissions problem.