Category Archives: Politics

Dragnet Shuts Boston; One Suspect Is Slain but Second Man Is on Loose

(From The New York Times)

The two suspects were identified by law enforcement officials as brothers. The surviving suspect was identified as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass., a law enforcement official said. The one who was killed was identified as his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26. The authorities were investigating whether the dead man had a homemade bomb strapped to his body when he was killed, two law enforcement officials said.

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Witness: ‘I saw blood everywhere’

(From CNN)

Linda Claire Willits crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon in a time of 3 hours and 34 minutes, setting a personal best in her 29th marathon.

No matter how many races one runs, there’s nothing like that euphoric moment of pushing through the pain to complete 26.2 miles. Willits soaked in the atmosphere along Boylston Street. People lining the road cleared a path when they saw she was a runner. They congratulated her and made her feel like a celebrity.

She texted a friend waiting down the street at the bar at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. “I’m on my way,” Willits said.

Her friend, Stephanie Douglas, prepared to celebrate.

Then, a small explosion went off, followed seconds later by a thunderous boom that tore through the area.

“It was so strong the bar filled up with smoke and chairs tipped over,” Douglas said. “I saw people — it was like they were on a trampoline literally flying through the air.”

Bedlam ensued. Smoke poured into the bar. People began shouting that another bomb had been found, and everyone scrambled to escape.

Outside, one man’s legs were blown off, and he kept trying to stand up.

Douglas fled, unable to contact Willits. Panic for her friend sunk in.

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Venezuela Gives Chávez Protégé Narrow Victory

(From The New York Times)

CARACAS, Venezuela — In an unexpectedly close race, Venezuelans narrowly voted to continue Hugo Chávez’s revolution, electing his handpicked political heir, Nicolás Maduro, to serve the remainder of his six-year term as president, officials said late Sunday.

But the thin margin of victory could complicate the task of governing for Mr. Maduro, emboldening the political opposition and possibly undermining Mr. Maduro’s stature within Mr. Chávez’s movement.

His opponent, Henrique Capriles Radonski, refused to recognize the results, citing irregularities in the voting and calling for a recount.

Mr. Maduro, the acting president, narrowly defeated Mr. Capriles, a state governor who ran strongly against Mr. Chávez in October. Election authorities said that with more than 99 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Maduro had 50.6 percent to Mr. Capriles’s 49.1 percent. More than 78 percent of registered voters cast ballots.

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Thatcher: A divisive force even in death

(From CNN)

In the week between her death and her funeral, Britons are having an awkward time coming to terms with the legacy of Margaret Thatcher, a prime minister who last held office 23 years ago — meaning no one under 40 could have voted for her, yet the mix of anger and admiration is spread across the generations.

The emotional outpouring in this famously undemonstrative nation is matched in recent memory only by the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, when flowers piled up outside royal palaces and Elton John’s mawkish “Candle in the Wind” surged to the top of the charts. But while Diana was mourned in unity by millions as the “people’s princess,” Thatcher’s death is being marked in widely different and unpredictable ways.

WATCH: Not everyone’s mourning Thatcher’s death

It has become an overused adjective in the media that Thatcher was “divisive.” Some countries might put aside political differences and unite to respect the passing of a leader — especially the first and only female PM, who won three successive general elections. But in the UK debate about Thatcher is raging almost as fiercely as it did in the 1980s over issues like the privatization of industries, the Falklands War, tax and social policy, her close relationship with American President Ronald Reagan and combative stance against the European Union.

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Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female PM, dead at 87

(From CNN)
Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron inside Number 10 Downing Street on June 8, 2010.
Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron inside Number 10 Downing Street on June 8, 2010.
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a towering figure in post-war British and world politics, and the first woman to become British prime minister, has died at the age of 87, her spokeswoman said Monday.

Thatcher served from 1979 to 1990 as leader of the Conservative Party. She was called the “Iron Lady” for her personal and political toughness.

Thatcher retired from public life after a stroke in 2002 and suffered several strokes after that.

She made few public appearances in her final months, missing a reception marking her 85th birthday hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron in October 2010. She also skipped the July 2011 unveiling of a statue honoring her old friend Ronald Reagan in London.

In December 2012, she was hospitalized after a procedure to remove a growth in her bladder.

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A Secret Deal on Drones, Sealed in Blood

(From The New York Times)

Nek Muhammad knew he was being followed.

On a hot day in June 2004, the Pashtun tribesman was lounging inside a mud compound in South Waziristan, speaking by satellite phone to one of the many reporters who regularly interviewed him on how he had fought and humbled Pakistan’s army in the country’s western mountains. He asked one of his followers about the strange, metallic bird hovering above him.

Less than 24 hours later, a missile tore through the compound, severing Mr. Muhammad’s left leg and killing him and several others, including two boys, ages 10 and 16. A Pakistani military spokesman was quick to claim responsibility for the attack, saying that Pakistani forces had fired at the compound.

That was a lie.

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North Korea is far from suicidal

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(From CNN)

North Korea is no laggard when it comes to bluster and vituperation.

For decades, the regime has issued threats of turning South Korea into a “sea of fire” or used choice words such as “human scum” or “political idiot” when denouncing South Korean and U.S. leaders.

But even measured against such standards, North Korea’s barrage over the past month, from threatening to launch an “all-out war” to “diversified precision nuclear strike” against Washington, “wipe out” a South Korean island, or hurling a sexist insult against Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s first female elected leader, to, most recently, warning of an imminent “moment of explosion,” is quite unusual.

And now, after saying that plans for merciless operation has been “finally examined and ratified,” Pyongyang is hinting at another long-range missile launch.

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