jeudi 29 novembre 2012
Combien de ces projets sont toujours dans l'ombre?
"You could easily skip by it in an archive search: a project titled "A Study of Lunar Research Flights." Its nickname is even more low-brow: "Project A-119."
But the reality was much more explosive.
It was a top-secret plan, developed by the U.S. Air Force, to look at the possibility of detonating a nuclear device on the moon.
It was hatched in 1958 - a time when the United States and the Soviet Union were locked in a nuclear arms race that would last decades and drive the two superpowers to the verge of nuclear war. The Soviets had also just launched Sputnik 1, the world's first satellite. The U.S. was falling behind in the space race, and needed a big splash.
"People were worried very much by (first human in space Soviet cosmonaut Yuri) Gagarin and Sputnik and the very great accomplishments of the Soviet Union in those days, and in comparison, the United States was feared to be looking puny. So this was a concept to sort of reassure people that the United States could maintain a mutually-assured deterrence, and therefore avoid any huge conflagration on the Earth," said physicist Leonard Reiffel, who led the project.
"President Bush has been in and out of The Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center being treated for complications related to his bronchitis," his office said in a statement. "He is in stable condition, and is expected to be released within the next 72 hours."
Bush has a form of Parkinson's disease that affects his legs and requires him to use a wheelchair. He is the oldest living former president and a World War II veteran."
"Cut through the fog, and here’s what to expect: Taxes will go up just shy of $1.2 trillion — the middle ground of what President Barack Obama wants and what Republicans say they could stomach. Entitlement programs, mainly Medicare, will be cut by no less than $400 billion - and perhaps a lot more, to get Republicans to swallow those tax hikes. There will be at least $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and “war savings.” And any final deal will come not by a group effort but in a private deal between two men: Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). The two men had what one insider described as a short, curt conversation Wednesday night — but the private lines of communications remain very much open.
No doubt, there will be lots of huffing and puffing before any deal can be had. And, no doubt, Obama and Congress could easily botch any or all three of the white-knuckle moments soon to hit this town: the automatic spending cuts and expiration of the Bush tax cuts, both of which kick in at the end of this year, and the federal debt limit that hits early next.
"While no decisions have been made, the administration is considering several alternatives, including directly providing arms to some opposition fighters.
The most urgent decision, likely to come next week, is whether NATO should deploy surface-to-air missiles in Turkey, ostensibly to protect that country from Syrian missiles that could carry chemical weapons. The State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, said Wednesday that the Patriot missile system would not be “for use beyond the Turkish border.”
But some strategists and administration officials believe that Syrian Air Force pilots might fear how else the missile batteries could be used. If so, they could be intimidated from bombing the northern Syrian border towns where the rebels control considerable territory. A NATO survey team is in Turkey, examining possible sites for the batteries.
Other, more distant options include directly providing arms to opposition fighters rather than only continuing to use other countries, especially Qatar, to do so. A riskier course would be to insert C.I.A. officers or allied intelligence services on the ground in Syria, to work more closely with opposition fighters in areas that they now largely control.
"The draft resolution calls on the United Nations General Assembly to upgrade the Palestinian Authority to a nonmember observer state. It is virtually certain to pass, despite the opposition of the United States and a handful of other nations.
On Wednesday, two senior American diplomats — William J. Burns, the deputy secretary of state, and David Hale, the special envoy to the Middle East — met at a hotel in New York with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, to register American concerns.
“No one should be under any illusion that this resolution is going to produce the results that the Palestinians claim to seek, namely to have their own state living in peace next to Israel,” Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokeswoman, said Wednesday. “We thought it was important to make our case one more time.”
A major concern for the Americans is that the Palestinians might use their new status to try to join the International Criminal Court. That prospect particularly worries the Israelis, who fear that the Palestinians might press for an investigation of their practices in the occupied territories.
Another worry is that the Palestinians might use the vote to seek membership in specialized agencies of the United Nations, a move that could have consequences for the financing of the international organizations as well as the Palestinian Authority itself. Congress cut off financing to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2011 after it accepted Palestine as a member. The United States is a major contributor to many of these agencies and plays an active role on their governing boards."
mercredi 28 novembre 2012
"Tens of thousands of people filled the central Tahrir Square on Tuesday afternoon in an outpouring of rage at President Mohamed Morsi’s attempt to claim expansive new powers and at the role in politics played by his party, the Muslim Brotherhood.
An attempt by Mr. Morsi on Monday to soften his edict, by reaffirming his deference to Egyptian courts, did little to constrain the crowd, which some estimates put at hundreds of thousands of people. In scenes that were reminiscent of the popular uprising against President Hosni Mubarak, and that signaled the country’s current widening divides, the protesters dusted off old taunts for Mr. Morsi, the country’s first freely elected leader.
“Leave,” they chanted. “The people want the fall of the regime.”
The president’s opponents turned out large numbers in several other cities, and clashed at times with his supporters, including in Mahalla el-Kubra in the Nile Delta, where more than a hundred people were reportedly injured. The Brotherhood also reported attacks on several of its political offices.
Most significant, though, was the turnout in Tahrir Square, where Egypt’s secular-minded opposition appeared to have momentarily overcome its divisions, bolstering its numbers with new allies among people implacably opposed to the Brotherhood, in an effort to muster a serious, visible challenge to Egypt’s Islamist groups.
It remained unclear whether Tuesday’s numbers signaled a new movement, or a moment. Islamists have repeatedly won at the polls since the fall of Mr. Mubarak, and the Brotherhood has shown its ability to turn out large crowds with little difficulty.
mardi 27 novembre 2012
Grover Norquist est cet influent lobbyiste (Americans for Tax Reform) qui exhorte les représentants républicains à respecter un serment par lequel ils s'engagent à ne pas augmenter les impôts. Cet position doctrinaire serait abandonnée par plusieurs dans les présentes négociations budgetaires.
"Machias Seal Island and nearby North Rock are the only pieces of land that the two countries both claim after more than 230 years of vigorous and sometimes violent border-making between them.
Except for the occasional jousting of lobster boats, this boundary dispute floats far below the surface of public or official attention, no doubt reflecting the apparent lack of valuable natural resources and a reluctance to cede territory, no matter how small.
But if we are unlikely to resort to arms anytime soon, the clashes in Asia have shown how seemingly minor border disputes can suddenly stoke regional and nationalistic tensions. Our relaxed attitude toward these remote rocks may well be a mistake.
While the United States and Canada have other maritime boundary disputes along their 5,525-mile border, the world’s longest, this is the only one left that involves actual chunks of land.
Machias Seal Island is a 20-acre, treeless lump that sits nearly equidistant from Maine and New Brunswick. It, and the even smaller North Rock, lie in what local lobstermen call the gray zone, a 277-square-mile area of overlapping American and Canadian maritime claims.
The disagreement dates back to the 1783 Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War. The treaty assigned to the newly independent 13 colonies all islands within 20 leagues — about 70 miles — of the American shore. Since Machias Seal Island sits less than 10 miles from Maine, the American position has been that it is clearly United States soil.
But the treaty also excluded any island that had ever been part of Nova Scotia, and Canadians have pointed to a 17th-century British land grant they say proves the island was indeed part of that province, whose western portion became New Brunswick in the late 18th century.
lundi 26 novembre 2012
Allez voir le vidéo:
"A Fox News interview ended rather abruptly on Monday after a guest took not one but two jabs at the network hosting him (see update below).
Co-anchor Jon Scott interviewed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Thomas Ricks, who has covered the military for decades, about his new book "The Generals." Scott asked Ricks weigh in on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and Sen. John McCain's criticisms of Amb. Susan Rice.
"I think Benghazi was generally hyped by this network especially," Ricks said. He added that he thought McCain seemed to be "backing off" from criticizing Rice since "the campaign [was] over."
"When you have four people dead for the first time in more than 30 years, how do you call that hype?" Scott said, pushing back against Ricks' characterization of the network's coverage.%% Ricks compared the situation to security contractors who were killed in Iraq. He described the attack in Benghazi as a "small fire-fight" and added, "I think the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political, partly because Fox is operating as the wing of the Republican Party."
At that point, Scott thanked Ricks for his time and ended the interview after about 90 seconds.
"There are now 166 men held at Guantánamo, 76 fewer prisoners than when Mr. Obama took office. Only a handful of those remaining have been charged with any crime or legal violation. About 86 of the inmates were identified more than two years ago for repatriation to their home countries or resettlement elsewhere by an Obama administration task force that reviewed each prisoner’s file.
Thanks to outrageous limits Congress placed on the transfer of Guantánamo prisoners beginning in 2010, the prisoners are still being held, with no end to their incarceration in sight. In September, a member of this stranded group, a Yemeni citizen named Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, killed himself after a federal judge’s ruling ordering his release was unfairly overturned by an appellate court. It was the kind of price a nation pays when it creates prisons like Guantánamo, beyond the reach of law and decency, a tragic reminder of the stain on American justice.
samedi 24 novembre 2012
vendredi 23 novembre 2012
Chris Christie, Gouverneur du New Jersey et possible candidat à la présidentielle 2016, avait publiquement remercié le Président Obama pour ses interventions après le passage de l'ouragan Sandy. Ses déclarations à la télé et dans les journaux ont été interprétées comme une rebuffade au candidat républicain Mitt Romney. Maintenant que la campagne est terminée, certains républicains croient que Christie est partiellement responsable de la défaite de Romney. La "lettre écarlate" réfère à la période coloniale dans les colonies puritaines du nord où on expiait un péché en portant la première lettre de ce péché sur ses vêtements (A pour adultère par exemple). La lettre était écarlate.
"The conflict that ended, for now, in a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel seemed like the latest episode in a periodic showdown. But there was a second, strategic agenda unfolding, according to American and Israeli officials: The exchange was something of a practice run for any future armed confrontation with Iran, featuring improved rockets that can reach Jerusalem and new antimissile systems to counter them.
It is Iran, of course, that most preoccupies Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama. While disagreeing on tactics, both have made it clear that time is short, probably measured in months, to resolve the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.
And one key to their war-gaming has been cutting off Iran’s ability to slip next-generation missiles into the Gaza Strip or Lebanon, where they could be launched by Iran’s surrogates, Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, during any crisis over sanctions or an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
jeudi 22 novembre 2012
"There’s a simple lesson here, according to veterans of past administrations and presidential historians: Having political allies control Congress doesn’t mean that there’s necessarily any interest in the White House agenda, and just taking the oath of office a second time doesn’t provide any presidential superpowers. And unlike Bush, Obama is facing a House controlled by the opposite party — Republicans who’ve beaten him before, and who can play a longer political game than the president can afford to. So far, Obama has avoided setting many concrete, long-term goals. That includes major foreign policy objectives that have defined previous second terms and big topics such as tackling climate change — the kind of ambitious goal that a second-term president who’s popular around the world might seize the lead on. While Obama spoke at length about climate change during his news conference last week, he made no specific promises or demands.
Topo très intéressant: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/84159_Page2.html
"Mexico's president is making one last attempt to get the "United States" out of Mexico – at least as far as the country's name is concerned. The country's formal name is "The United Mexican States," but few people use it. President Felipe Calderon wants to make it simply "Mexico." Calderon says the name was adopted in 1824 to imitate the country's northern neighbor, The United States of America. Calderon said Thursday Mexico doesn't need to emulate anyone. The constitutional reform would have to be approved by both houses of Congress and a majority of the country's 31 state legislatures. However, Calderon leaves office on Dec. 1."
"Jimmy Carter's grandson was tired of hearing the ex-President used as GOP punchline — and his act of revenge has hobbled Mitt Romney’s campaign.%% In an odd twist of fate and history, it was James Carter 4th who unearthed the secret video of Romney at a Florida fund-raiser in which the Republican nominee demeaned the “47%” of Americans who are “dependent upon the government, who believe that they are victims.”
Carter, a freelance researcher, had been trolling the Internet for damaging videos and quickly realized the fund-raiser clip was his chance to get even with Romney for assaults on his family.
“I’ve gotten a lot of Twitter messages from people supporting me and saying that it’s poetic justice that it was a Carter that uncovered this,” the younger Carter told The Associated Press. “I agree with that sentiment wholeheartedly.”
Jimmy Carter reveled in the discovery. “James: This is extraordinary,” the former President emailed his grandson. “Congratulations! Papa.”
mercredi 21 novembre 2012
À compter 3 min 22sec.
Même les pros s'émerveillent...
"James, of the NBA champion Miami Heat, and the Lakers' Bryant took plenty of notice of the Grinnell guard's record 138 points in only 36 minutes of playing time in a 179-104 victory over Faith Baptist Bible in Grinnell, Iowa. The Heat called their intern -- the day's designated shooter during a defensive drill for the team -- "Taylor" all morning during practice, and after the session, James was among those weighing in on the significance of the feat.
"It's unbelievable, honestly," James said. "I would like to see the game. I want to see the game."
Hard to believe, but after one record shooting night, a three-time NBA MVP like James was putting Taylor in the same breath as all-time superstars like Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain. By the end of his night, Taylor was 52-for-108 (27-for-71 from the 3-point line).
"I watched Kobe's game when he had 81," James said. "I watched some of the greatest games ever played when guys scored big numbers. There's two games that I would love to see: One was Wilt, when he had 100, and this kid, I want to see him, too. Sir Jack."
"Much of the documentary's support for the claim that Rogers killed Simpson and Goldman came from statements he purportedly made to his brother. Glen Rogers was a drifter in 1994 when he arrived in Los Angeles after the Northridge earthquake to work on a repair crew, according to the film. One job took him to Simpson's house as a painter, it said. "Glen told me, when he called, 'Guess who I'm partying with? Nicole Simpson,'" Rogers said, describing a call he said happened just a few days before the killings. "Actually, what he told me, he says, 'They got money, they're well off and I'm taking her down.'"
The brother also claims that Glen Rogers took a gold angel pin off of Simpson's lifeless body and mailed it to his mother in Ohio the next day. Their mother wore the pin, at her son's request, at one of his murder trials,
Rogers said. Criminal profiler Anthony Meoli, who exchanged dozens of letters with Glen Rogers and visited him on death row, said Rogers explained to him that O.J. Simpson had hired him to break into his ex-wife's condo to steal diamond earrings he had given her. "Glen told me that O.J.'s instructions were that 'You may have to kill the bitch,'" Meoli said. "Those were his exact words." Simpson told him about a spare key to the condo hidden outside the door, according to Meoli's description of Rogers' account. The attack happened on steps outside, though, when Goldman unexpectedly arrived, he said."