Category: The Americas

Conservatives are so outraged at John Boehner for bringing a clean debt limit increase bill to the House floor that they are mounting a coup to overthrow the Speaker of the House.

The Club For Growth got the ball rolling by proclaiming that something was wrong with the House leadership, “When we heard that House leadership was scheduling a clean debt ceiling increase, we thought it was a joke. But it’s not. Something is very wrong with House leadership, or with the Republican Party. This is not a bill that advocates of limited government should schedule or support.”

The Heritage Foundation’s Heritage Action warned House Republicans that they are scoring tonight’s vote, Rather than suspending the debt limit again, Congress should “put the budget on a path to balance in order to avoid a much worse fiscal crisis in the future—before deciding how much more to borrow.” Heritage Action opposes S. 540 and will include it as a vote on our legislative scorecard.” [Read the full article]


David Kirkpatrick’s investigative piece in the New York Times about last year’s lethal attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi is well worth reading, though not because its conclusions ought to have been surprising to any disinterested observer of what was going on in Libya at the time.

Once dust from the confusion in the very first hours after the incident settled, the conditions that gave rise to the incident were fairly clear. One was widespread popular outrage, exhibited not only in Libya but also beyond its borders, from a scurrilous video that many Muslims found insulting to the founder of their faith. [Read the full article]


The New York Times has, kind of, admitted that it messed up its big front-page story that used a “vector analysis” to pin the blame for the Aug. 21 Sarin attack on the Syrian government, an assertion that was treated by Official Washington as the slam-dunk proof that President Bashar al-Assad gassed his own people.

But you’d be forgiven if you missed the Times’ embarrassing confession, since it was buried on page 8, below the fold, 18 paragraphs into a story under the not-so-eye-catching title, “New Study Refines View Of Sarin Attack in Syria.” [Read the full article]


Welcome to the first annual Slate Crime Blog Crime Awards, honoring the year’s most notable achievements in the field of crime, or, at least, the most notable criminal achievements that I have noticed. Fair warning: I am not very attentive, so if this list seems incomplete, it’s not you, it’s me. I’m only one man! [Read the full article]


(Reuters) – Afghanistan on Monday rejected as baseless a U.S. intelligence forecast that the gains the United States and allies have made in the past three years will be significantly rolled back by 2017.

The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate also predicted that Afghanistan would fall into chaos if Washington and Kabul failed to sign a pact to keep an international military contingent there beyond 2014.

President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman dismissed the U.S. forecast, reported by the Washington Post on the weekend, and suggested there was an ulterior motive for it. [Read the full article]


Tony Blair and George Bush exchanged voluminous correspondence prior to the start of military operations in Iraq. Now, the UK is moving to declassify details of the talks for an inquiry into Britain’s involvement in the conflict, British media reported.

The release, set for the upcoming year, is expected to include more than 100 documents, described as a collection of notes, records of 200 minutes of ministerial level talks, telephone conversations and private meetings between the British prime minister and American president, The Independent reported. [Read the full article]


Humanity’s faith in predictions was tested this time last year, when the floods, famines and other disasters predicted by the end of the ancient Mayan calendar failed to materialize.

But a look back at 2013 shows that the art of divination is alive and well.

As predicted by political analyst Michael Barone, Mitt Romney arrived for the presidential inauguration in January with a mandate for change, after having won the 2012 election handily. [Read the full article]


“Forward a few paddles…” Joe says in a soft but urgent voice. Three of us—Joe Riis, Neal Conan, and I—are paddling 92 miles down the Kobuk River through the northernmost boreal forest in Arctic Alaska. Five rapids are looming. We can hear them, and because we’ve been cold and wet for the previous three days, we want to make sure we get through without mishap.

We slip into an ever-narrower canyon that bends left. Where a rock wall shadows the water, only the sound of riffles is bright. Seven startled mergansers fly ahead of us. Then the five rapids come up fast. As the river foams and writhes, black spruce trees wave their arms: “Good-bye.” A sudden gust sends a shiver across the water. “Paddle hard!” Joe yells as the bow of our cumbersome raft pitches and bumps. The first four rapids were easy. The fifth is a class 4. Another bend and a wall of rock flies by. The rounded nose of the raft disappears in a gouged-out blue trough. I thrust my paddle down until the bow lifts. A standing wave hits my face, drains away. We laugh hard; we dig down with our paddles and slide through. [Read the full article]


Politicians defending the use of drones in Afghanistan have no idea what they’re talking about, former U.S. Air Force analyst Heather Linebaugh, who has seen innocent women and children incinerated by Hellfire missiles and soldiers killed because of drone failures, writes at The Guardian on Sunday.

“How many men have you seen crawl across a field, trying to make it to the nearest compound for help while bleeding out from severed legs?” she wants to ask elected defenders of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Predator and Reaper program. “How many soldiers have you seen die on the side of a road in Afghanistan because our ever-so-accurate UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] were unable to detect an IED [improvised explosive device] that awaited their convoy?” [Read the full article]

Related articles

As the year comes to a close, it’s a good time to look back at some Latin American startups that are geared up to make waves in 2014. After quietly gaining traction over the last few months and sometimes years, they are now ready to collect the fruits of their work and pop up on your radar more and more often.

It is important to note that we decided to focus on startups that are still exactly that: startups. In other words, you won’t find names such as Globant on our list, despite the fact that the company is expected to IPO early next year – which, on a side note, should be great news for Latin America. Nor will we highlight e-commerce giants such as Netshoes, Dafiti, Rocket Internet’s Linio and portfolio companies like real-estate site Lamudi, which are already beyond the early-stage phase. [Read the full article]


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