Pages

Friday, August 1, 2014

Eric Holder: Obama’s Use of Executive Power Has Been Limited

Eric Holder: Obama’s Use of Executive Power Has Been Limited


Eric Holder: Obama’s Use of Executive Power Has Been Limited

Posted: 01 Aug 2014 10:39 AM PDT

Ahead of an expected lawsuit from the House of Representatives, Attorney General Eric Holder defended President Obama’s use of executive power and said it was a fraction of what other Presidents have done. Speaking to TIME on Tuesday, Holder said Obama had used executive orders far less than Teddy Roosevelt, and said that the Justice department had approved all his orders before hand for legality.

“I was looking the other day just at a list of presidents and Teddy Roosevelt issued about 1,000 executive orders,” he said. “So in terms of magnitude this president has not used this authority nearly as much as his critics would say.”

Holder also addressed his ongoing review of administration immigration policies, including consideration of expanding protection from deportation to include not just unaccompanied minors but adult undocumented immigrants as well. Holder also said he believes that westerners traveling to Syria and Iraq, where they can come into contact with skilled bomb-makers from al Qaeda offshoots, represent a grave threat to U.S. national security.

The interview has been condensed and edited for space.

Has there been actual direct contact between western Jihadis and terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq?

The short answer to that question is yes. We are seeing I would say an alarming rise in the number of American and European Union nationals who have been going to Syria to help extremist groups. I think it's just a matter of time before we put Iraq in that same category. We have opened dozens of investigations into Americans who have been traveling there. At this point we have eight open cases in various stages of people who have traveled to Syria.

I would characterize it as a grave threat to our security. Every morning I start my day going over the threat assessment for the previous 24 hours over at the FBI, and increasingly the topic of individuals traveling from the United States to Syria and Iraq—Iraq is starting to crank up—that has become a real issue. We estimate there are about 7,000 foreign fighters in Syria, from the EU, North Africa, and some from the United States. They go there, they can become radicalized, and they can return home with the intent to commit violence. And they have the know-how to do it on potentially a mass scale.

Is that your greatest worry on the national security front?

Core al Qaeda has really been weakened, there's no question about that. But these offshoots, even those organizations that have split from al Qaeda, are of great concern and the brew that is potentially in the mix there between these groups, getting together, sharing expertise, whether its Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the expertise they possess with regard to the creation of bombs, marrying them up with other groups. It's the combination of these offshoots plus these foreign fighters. Those are the things that really give me concern.

How much of your time do you have to spend worrying about, thinking about and addressing the pressure from the Hill to constrain the executive branch?

We'll have to see. There's a very tangible thing we're going to potentially have to deal with, which is the lawsuit that I think the House is going to file at some point. And the Justice department will obviously be involved in that. But in terms of the use of executive action, the president has appropriately used executive authority as other presidents have. He's used executive action, around 180 times, something like that. I was looking the other day just at a list of presidents and Teddy Roosevelt issued about 1,000 executive orders. So in terms of magnitude this president has not used this authority nearly as much as his critics would say. But when executive action is proposed it is something that is reviewed here by the appropriate components within the Justice department and a legal determination made that the President can act in that way.

Have you reviewed the issue of expanding the president's powers to grant reprieve from deportation proceedings for a broader number of people, not just children?

I'd say we're reviewing that. The president has asked me and Secretary Jeh Johnson from Homeland Security to look into a wide range of things. So I'd say that we are reviewing the specific one that you had mentioned, but we are more broadly looking at the whole immigration portfolio.

Do you take a position on the philosophical debate over the purpose of incarceration, whether it is for rehabilitation or for retribution?

The purpose of sentencing, there's a variety of factors: deterrence, punishment, rehabilitation. That's all a part of what a good sentence is all about. But when done well it tends to focus on looking at the individual. I was a judge for five years here in Washington, DC, and it’s a combination of art and science.

 

Sisters Make You Popular, According to Baboon Study

Posted: 01 Aug 2014 10:23 AM PDT

A study of dominance in female baboons reveals two keys to a high rank in primate society: a close bond with your mother and a circle of supportive sisters.

Duke University biology professor Susan Alberts and her colleagues studied a population of yellow baboons in Kenya, observing the rise and fall of females on the baboon social ladder.

“Daughters of high-ranking females generally mature more quickly, produce more offspring, and have better access to food and mates. It’s like being born with a silver spoon in your mouth,” said Alberts.

Baboon mothers often assist their daughters in competition for food and mates, helping establish their daughters’ position in the animal kingdom.

Researchers also discovered the power of sisterhood among baboons; female’s with many sisters were more likely to reach the rank of their mothers.

Sisters are willing to gang up on rival families in order to boost their siblings’ rank. But when it came to competition within the family, that support drifted away; baboon sisters helped each other only as long as their own rank wasn’t in jeopardy.

The study, published in August’s issue of Animal Behaviour, suggests that the secret to the Kardashian family’s popularity might not be its reality show, but rather sisterhood. And that baboon theory could also explain why Kim is always the queen bee.

Bill Clinton Said The Day Before 9/11 He Could Have Killed Bin Laden

Posted: 01 Aug 2014 10:09 AM PDT

Chilling audio of former President Bill Clinton admitting that he turned down an opportunity to attack Osama bin Laden during his presidency was recently uncovered by Sky News Australia. The audio was recorded on September 10, 2001, one day before the 9/11 attacks which claimed nearly 3,000 lives and dramatically impacted the course of global history.

“I could have killed him, but I would have had to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children,” Clinton said. “And then I would have been no better than him.”

Sky News obtained this footage of the former U.S. President through former Australian politician Michael Kroger.

#AskTIME Subscriber Q and A: Simon Shuster

Posted: 01 Aug 2014 10:01 AM PDT

Welcome to TIME subscriber Q&A, with foreign correspondent Simon Shuster.

We will start posting questions and responses at 1 p.m. EST and stay online for about 30 minutes. We have been gathering reader questions all week but will also take questions in the comments below or on Twitter with the hashtag #askTIME.

If you are not a subscriber yet, it is not too late to sign up.

PaulDirks asks, When the news first broke of the civilian airliner being shot down, I imagined that Putin would regard this as his clients screwing up massively and that he would distance himself from them. Instead he has doubled down on his Dr. Evil routine. Am I crazy to think that he actually might care what the rest of the civilized world thinks of him?

Spitting Images: Biopic Actors and the Real-Life People They Played

Posted: 01 Aug 2014 09:48 AM PDT

Best Kale Dishes in the U.S.

Posted: 01 Aug 2014 09:46 AM PDT

In recent years, dark leafy kale has undergone a spectacular transformation from a humble, overlooked ingredient to the supergreen-of-the-moment whose popularity shows no signs of ebbing. Credit its unparalleled nutritional makeup—kale packs in plenty of vitamin A, folate and calcium—and its immense versatility. Crisp, pop-in-the-oven kale chips certainly smashed the green's once-staid reputation—and that was only the beginning. Now enterprising chefs are using kale in any number of ways, from ingenious salads (the sturdy leaves hold their texture well under heavy dressing) to an untraditional topping for pizza.

Chicago; Los Angeles and Santa Monica: Stella Barra

Mathematician-turned-pizzaiolo Jeff Mahin is no traditionalist when it comes to pie toppings; one favorite combination calls for crispy purple kale, young pecorino, roasted garlic and cracked black peppercorns.

Miami: Michael's Genuine

Menus change daily at this Miami favorite, but one recent fixture is its kale and farro salad, accompanied by always-varying shaved market vegetables that might include zucchini, radish and fennel, and dressed with a punchy buttermilk vinaigrette.

Fort Worth, Texas: Woodshed Smokehouse

Leave it to Texan chef Tim Love to give a meaty twist to kale salad. House-cured guanciale accompanies three varieties of kale, crisp celery greens, smokedpepitas and shavings of Manchego cheese. A lemony dressing made with rendered fat from the guancialeputs the salad over the top.

San Francisco: Bar Tartine

Chef Nicolaus Balla's tahini—which he prepares with toasted sunflower seeds instead of the traditional sesame—packs an umami punch to kale that's been quick-wilted in a sauté pan and tossed with torn pieces of the multi-seed-studded Rene's rye bread from Tartine. Thick house-made yogurt, plus a sprinkling of yogurt powder, add a pleasing tartness.

New York City: Betony

Chef Bryce Shuman gives crisp–fried black kale a sumptuous accompaniment: seared foie gras with smoked pork hocks plugged into its center. A hock-flavored consommé is poured over the dish tableside.

READ THE FULL LIST HERE.

More from Food & Wine:

2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek U.S. Help

Posted: 01 Aug 2014 09:44 AM PDT

(PYONGYANG, North Korea) — Two American tourists charged with “anti-state” crimes in North Korea said Friday they expect to be tried soon and pleaded for help from the U.S. government to secure their release from what they say could be long prison terms.

In their first appearance since being detained more than three months ago, Matthew Todd Miller and Jeffrey Edward Fowle told a local AP Television News crew that they were in good health and were being treated well. They also said they were allowed to take daily walks. The brief meeting was conducted under the condition that the specific location not be disclosed.

Fowle said he fears his situation will get much worse once he goes on trial.

“The horizon for me is pretty dark,” he said. “I don’t know what the worst-case scenario would be, but I need help to extricate myself from this situation. I ask the government for help in that regards.”

It was not clear whether they were speaking on their own initiative, or if their comments were coerced. The TV crew was permitted to ask them questions.

North Korea says the two committed hostile acts which violated their status as tourists. It has announced that authorities are preparing to bring them before a court, but has not yet specified what they did that was considered hostile or illegal, or what kind of punishment they might face. The date of the trial has not been announced.

Ri Tong II, a North Korean diplomat, declined to answer questions about the Americans at a news conference Friday at the United Nations. But when pressed in a follow-up question he said their cases were “legal issues” and they had “violated our law.”

Fowle arrived in North Korea on April 29. He is suspected of leaving a Bible in a nightclub in the northern port city of Chongjin, but a spokesman for Fowle’s family said the 56-year-old from Miamisburg, Ohio, was not on a mission for his church. Fowle works in a city streets department. He has a wife and three children, ages 9, 10, and 12.

“The window is closing on that process. It will be coming relatively soon, maybe within a month,” Fowle said of his trial. “I’m anxious to get home, I’m sure all of us are.”

Fowle also produced a letter he said he had written summarizing his experience in North Korea.

Less is known about Miller, or about what specific crime he allegedly committed.

North Korea’s state-run media have said the 24-year-old entered the country April 10 with a tourist visa, but tore it up at the airport and shouted that he wanted to seek asylum. A large number of Western tourists visited Pyongyang in April to run in the annual Pyongyang Marathon or attend related events. Miller came at that time, but tour organizers say he was not planning to join the marathon.

“I expect soon I will be going to trial for my crime and be sent to prison,” Miller said. “I have been requesting help from the American government, but have received no reply.”

North Korea has also been holding another American, Kenneth Bae, since November 2012.

Bae, a Korean-American missionary who turned 46 on Friday, told a Japan-based pro-North Korean news organization earlier this week that he felt “abandoned” by the U.S. government. He is serving a sentence of 15 years of hard labor for what North Korea has claimed were hostile acts against the state. However, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Thursday the agency is in regular contact with Bae’s family.

Last summer, authorities moved Bae from a work camp to a hospital because of failing health and weight loss. He was sent back to the work camp earlier this year, only to be taken again to a hospital less than two months later. His family says he suffers from diabetes, an enlarged heart, liver problems and back pain.

Bae’s sister, Terri Chung, said in a statement Thursday it was the first word the family has had of Bae since April.

“After months of silence, it is devastating to hear Kenneth talk about ‘feeling abandoned by the United States government,'” she said. “Although we acknowledge and appreciate all the efforts the U.S. State Department has been making behind the scenes to secure Kenneth’s release, the fact remains that after almost two years, Kenneth still remains imprisoned in North Korea.”

North Korea has in the past waited for senior U.S. officials to come to the country to secure the release of some American detainees. Both Fowle and Miller suggested that intervention from the highest levels in Washington — possibly a visit by a former president — might be needed to gain their release.

The U.S. has repeatedly offered to send its envoy for North Korean human rights issues, Robert King, to Pyongyang to seek a pardon for Bae and other U.S. detainees but without success.

Washington has no diplomatic ties with North Korea and no embassy in Pyongyang. Instead, the Swedish Embassy takes responsibility for U.S. consular affairs there.

Though a small number of U.S. citizens visit North Korea each year as tourists, the State Department strongly advises against it. After Miller’s detention, Washington updated its travel warning to note that over the past 18 months, “North Korea detained several U.S. citizens who were part of organized tours.”

North Korea has been strongly pushing tourism lately in an effort to bring in foreign cash. But despite its efforts to bring in more visitors — mostly from neighboring China — it remains highly sensitive to any actions it considers political and is particularly wary of anything it deems to be Christian proselytizing.

In March, North Korea deported an Australian missionary detained for spreading Christianity in the country after he apologized and requested forgiveness.

___

Associated Press writer Trenton Daniel at the United Nations contributed to this report.

REVIEW: Beck Makes a Bold Move on Song Reader

Posted: 01 Aug 2014 09:33 AM PDT

This post is in partnership with Consequence of Sound, an online music publication devoted to the ever growing and always thriving worldwide music scene.

The six years of Beck's career between Modern Guilt and Morning Phase would make for an amazing "How I Spent My Summer Vacation"-type essay. Besides putting out a few singles and playing the occasional festival, he recovered from a spinal injury, covered entire albums with Record Club, contributed original music for films and produced releases by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stephen Malkmus. But the most significant project of this era has to be Song Reader, the "album" of sheet music he released in 2012.

The concept was a fairly simple one that Beck had been kicking around for over a decade. Rather than recording the songs himself, he wanted to create something that other musicians could interpret, perform and share. Some critics questioned how many fans could actually read music and simply shrugged it off as another Flaming Lips-style album release. It only made sense, though, that an official recording would be the next step.

Song Reader isn't a Beck album, though, not really. Even though he wrote all of the songs himself and oversaw production, hardly any of them sound like what you might consider to be “Beck songs.” Sure, there are occasional oddball lyrics about "the corduroy boy in the killjoy shirt" or "fixing the spelling on a suicide note," but Song Reader is built to stand on its own without using its creator's iconic status as a crutch. It's a bold move that most established artists aren't willing to make, but it works.

But leaving that much of the initiative to almost two dozen different artists leads to an obvious issue. Song Reader can be inconsistent and a bit difficult to listen to straight through, which is why it's helpful to split it in half. The first 10 tracks are all fairly simple and straightforward, with most of the artists sticking to what they do best. Whether it's Tweedy keeping things mellow or Juanes flitting through his Spanish-language cover of "Don't Act Like Your Heart Isn't Hard," the arrangements are pretty faithful to the performers' own work. Jack White (who has to be kicking himself for not coming up with this idea first) does a great job of tapping into his inner Hank Williams for "I'm Down," but it can’t top Norah Jones’ carefree "Just Noise," the liveliest track on the album's first half. It comes just in time to prevent things from getting too drowsy.

Beck's lone contribution as a performer is on the dreamy "Heaven's Ladder," which owes so much to The Beatles that John Lennon and Paul McCartney probably deserve a writing credit. While it isn't quite as soul-baring as anything on Morning Phase, it's exciting to see Beck actually enjoying himself again and revisiting the psychedelic roots he explored on Modern Guilt. After Laura Marling's painfully sweet "Sorry," though, it's time for things to get weird.

Of course, you can't get much weirder than the dramatic, perpetually oversexed Jarvis Cocker, who kicks off the album's bizarre second half with a slithery cover of "Eyes That Say 'I Love You.'" Other highlights include New York Dolls frontman David Johansen (aka Buster Poindexter) snarling "Rough on Rats" like a campy Tom Waits, while Jack Black hams it up on "We All Wear Cloaks," taking the song deep into show tune territory. His appearance may seem unlikely, but Black's showmanship and over-the-top vocals make it a unique and interesting part of the project.

But not everyone is interested in branching out, which is the album's main shortcoming. There's nothing necessarily wrong with Tweedy or fun. sounding like themselves, but it feels like a missed opportunity to try something different. The unfortunate low point is Loudon Wainwright III's dull rendition of "Do We? We Do," which doesn't even sound half as inspired as the amateur covers on YouTube. Of course, that's the great thing about Song Reader. Think you can do these songs better? Go ahead. That's the point.

Essential Tracks: "Just Noise" performed by Norah Jones, "We All Wear Cloaks" performed by Jack Black, and "Heaven's Ladder" performed by Beck.

More from Consequence of Sound: Reddit’s List of the Top Albums of the 2000s Is a Lot Better Than GQ‘s List

More from Consequence of Sound: Jenny Lewis’ Top 10 Songs

Stuntman’s GoPro Video Shows What It’s Like to Jump Off The Roof of a Building

Posted: 01 Aug 2014 09:22 AM PDT

GoPro has posted a terrifying video of professional stuntman Ethan Swanson jumping off a roof in Chicago, Illinois. The build-up is suspenseful, but fast forward to the 1:10 mark if you want to cut to the chase. The clip has racked up nearly 2 million views on YouTube.

After this horrifying footage, Swanson’s second most viral stunt is his leap from one rooftop to the rooftop of a building across the street.

LIST: The Most Mind-Blowing GoPro Videos in 1 Minute

WATCH: Attaching a GoPro Camera to a Car Wheel Creates a Weird, Futuristic Kaleidoscope

Nike, Apple, and Coke: LeBron James is a Global Brand

Posted: 01 Aug 2014 09:21 AM PDT

From the very outset of his career, LeBron James has sought to be more than one of the world’s best basketball players — he has tried to be a global icon and a billionaire athlete.

He hasn’t yet achieved the latter, but there can be no doubt that LeBron James is a global brand.

This is how LeBron James the athlete partnered with a number of prominent companies like Nike, Apple, and Coca-Cola to earn cred as LeBron James, The Businessman.

 

 

0 comments:

Post a Comment