The Washington Post on Thursday reports on U.S. spy agencies' $52.6 billion secret budget for fiscal year 2013, a document that reveals significant "blind spots" obscuring the intentions and motives of U.S. friends and foes alike.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 2:26 pm
The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified for safety reasons.
In a west Damascus neighborhood Thursday, a drumbeat all too rare drew people to their windows and balconies. Passersby stopped to investigate. Traffic came to a halt. Some drivers honked to the beat.
They were the drums of a wedding, a tradition known in Damascus as an arada. It involves a troupe of professional drummers, along with dozens of members of a wedding party, that picks up the groom from home.
A third friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has now been indicted on a charge related to what authorities say were attempts by the trio to mislead investigators or dispose of evidence that linked Tsarnaev to the bombings.
The office of the U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts posted this statement on Twitter early Thursday afternoon:
In perhaps the largest nationwide fast-food strike in history, the employees who make your 99-cent burgers and tacos were planning strikes in 50 U.S. cities Thursday. Workers are calling for a $15 minimum wage and hoping to raise attention to the fast-food industry's low pay and limited prospects. The current federal minimum wage standard is $7.25 per hour.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 6:58 pm
Federal prosecutors are being told by Attorney General Eric Holder to focus on cartels, criminal enterprises and those who sell the drug to children, not on casual marijuana users, a Justice Department official tells NPR's Carrie Johnson.
Holder today informed the governors of Washington and Colorado â€” two states that recently legalized the sale of marijuana for personal use â€” about the new guidelines for prosecutors, the official adds.
Bu the new guidelines will apply to all states, not just Washington, Colorado and those where "medical marijuana" is legal.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 1:41 pm
A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Thursday indicated that he's leaning in favor of a allowing American Airlines to emerge from bankruptcy, clearing a major obstacle to the carrier's planned merger with US Airways.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 1:45 pm
The NFL and more than 4,500 retired players have reached an agreement calling for the league to contribute $765 million to a fund that will pay "medical and other benefits, as well as compensation" to those who suffered concussions and related injuries during their careers.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 12:12 pm
The White House says President Obama will issue two new executive orders on guns â€” one to curb the import of military surplus weapons and another that closes a loophole allowing some felons to get around background checks.
The two actions â€” to be announced by Vice President Joe Biden at the swearing-in of Todd Jones, the new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives â€” will join 23 others that the president has issued in an effort to reduce gun violence.
They are part of a set of recommendations from the vice president unveiled in January.
The Tomatina Festival, the famous free-for-all in which partiers pelt one another with ripe tomatoes, was held in Bunol, Spain, Wednesday. The big party that has become an international sensation in recent years was smaller than usual in 2013 â€” for the first time, the town sold a limited number of tickets for 10 euros (about $13.25) to indulge in the huge food fight.