Israeli leader confronts White House over Iranian nuclear program
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel is sounding increasingly agitated over what it views as American dithering with economic sanctions too weak to force Iran to end its suspected drive toward nuclear weapons.
In a clear message aimed at the White House, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday criticized what he said was the world’s failure to spell out what would provoke a U.S.-led military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. The comments came in response to U.S. refusals in recent days to set "red lines" for Tehran.
With his strong words, Netanyahu is taking a bold gamble. He clearly hopes to rattle the U.S. into doing more, for fear that Israel might otherwise soon attack Iran on its own. But he risks antagonizing President Barack Obama during a re-election campaign and straining relations with Israel’s closest and most important ally. Relations between the two leaders have often been tense in the past.
Israeli officials say American politics do not factor into their thinking, but that the sense of urgency is so grave that the world cannot hold its breath until after the November election.
"The world tells Israel, ‘Wait. There’s still time,"’ Netanyahu said Tuesday. "And I say: ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran
National presidential tickets are devoid of Southerners, but the party machinery is not
ATLANTA (AP) -- For decades, Southerners put a firm imprint on national politics from both sides of the aisle, holding the White House for 25 of the past 50 years and producing a legion of Capitol Hill giants during the 20th century. But that kind of obvious power has waned as Democrats and Republicans in the region navigate the consequences of tidal shifts in demographics, migration and party identity.
This is the second consecutive presidential election without a Southerner on either major party ticket. That has happened in back-to-back elections only once, 1968 and 1972, since Franklin Roosevelt, a New Yorker, won four consecutive elections with overwhelming support across what was then Democrats’ solid South. (The 2008 candidates were Democrats Barack Obama of Illinois and Joe Biden of Delaware, and Republicans John McCain of Arizona and Sarah Palin of Alaska. This year, it’s Obama and Biden, and Republicans Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.)
Besides the national dearth, the South’s congressional power players are either aging icons -- black Democrats John Lewis of Georgia and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina -- or hail from the region’s periphery -- Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House GOP leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.
But Kentucky was a Civil War border state, while Virginia, for all its antebellum credentials, is increasingly racially, culturally and politically diverse. That puts both states outside the Bible Belt, Deep South core that, fairly or unfairly, has long defined the region on the national stage.
This is all new for a proud region that produced Presidents George W. Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, Bill Clinton of Arkansas and Jimmy Carter of Georgia. George H.W. Bush claimed Texas as well, despite his roots as an East Coast moderate, and he was a national figure by the time he was elected. Newt Gingrich of Georgia drove the 1994 Republican resurrection in the U.S. House, and Tom DeLay of Texas extended it. Trent Lott of Mississippi led Republicans in the Senate. Lott’s fellow Mississippian, Haley Barbour, helped fuel a GOP rise as national party chairman. Before them came a raft of speakers, floor leaders and notables.
Northwest burns after weekend storms as wildfire season extends into September
WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) -- A haze of thick smoke formed Tuesday over vast swaths of the West as wildfires forced more residents to flee their homes in several states.
Fire officials reported seven homes were destroyed and hundreds of people were evacuated near Casper, Wyo., where a wildfire has burned across almost 24 square miles. In western Montana, fire crews said there was no containment in sight for a blaze that has prompted an evacuation order for 400 houses west of Hamilton.
With winds dying down, fire crews in eastern Washington were hopeful they could gain ground on dozens of fires sparked by weekend lightning storms, but more evacuation orders were issued Tuesday as a wildfire continued to move in the hills west of Wenatchee, a fruit capital on the banks of the Columbia River.
Residents of nearly 120 homes were evacuated due to the fire burning about 140 miles east of Seattle.
About 160 firefighters from across the state gathered to help fight the blaze. Resident Shannon Grosdidier and her four daughters delivered oatmeal cookies to several stationed at the end of her street Monday night.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledges stock fall, says company has overcome hurdles before
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, acknowledging concerns about his company’s stock performance, said Tuesday that Facebook has survived troubles before.
He spoke to a standing-room-only audience at a tech conference in San Francisco in his first interview since the company’s rocky initial public offering in May. Facebook Inc.’s stock has lost half its value since the IPO.
Zuckerberg said the drop "has obviously been disappointing," but he said it’s a great time to "double down" on the company’s future.
"Facebook has not been an uncontroversial company," Zuckerberg said. "It’s not like this is the first up and down we have ever had."
Among other things, Facebook Inc. has repeatedly faced criticism and user rebellion over its policies and practices affecting data privacy.
Guantanamo prisoner who died had challenged his confinement, was rebuffed by Supreme Court
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- The latest prisoner to die at the U.S. base in Guantanamo, Cuba, was identified Tuesday as a Yemeni man with a history of mental illness who battled guards inside the prison and challenged his confinement all the way to the Supreme Court.
Adnan Latif spent more than a decade at Guantanamo, where he repeatedly went on hunger strike and once slashed his wrist and hurled the blood at his visiting lawyer. He also received mental health treatment at the detainee hospital, according to his lawyers and court records.
The government accused him of training with the Taliban in Afghanistan but he had never been charged and the military said there were no plans to prosecute him.
Latif was found unconscious in his cell inside the maximum security section of Guantanamo known as Camp 5 on Saturday and pronounced dead a short time later, according to a statement from the U.S. military’s Miami-based Southern Command. It said the cause of death remains under investigation. He was the ninth prisoner to die at Guantanamo.
His Washington-based attorney, David Remes, described Latif as a defiant prisoner.