August 6, 2012 |
Here we go again. That strange coalition of neocons and liberal interventionists is clamoring once more for a more muscular U.S. approach to Syria. And, unsurprisingly, they're looking to blame someone for "losing" the country. Don't believe any of it. The time for guilting the United States into expensive, ill-thought-out military interventions has passed. The reasons to intervene in Syria — to defuse a bloody conflict and deal the Iranian mullahs a mortal blow — are just not compelling enough to offset the risks and unknowns.
July 19, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - The Taliban detonated a bomb on a fuel tanker Wednesday and then opened fire on other NATO supply trucks, destroying 22 vehicles loaded with fuel and other goods for U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan. Elsewhere in the country, a suicide bomber killed three Afghan soldiers at a checkpoint in the east, while militants killed nine more government troops in an ambush in the south. Three NATO service members were also killed in insurgent attacks. The violence comes as Afghan forces are taking charge of security in more areas across the country ahead of the planned withdrawal of the U.S.-led coalition's combat forces by the end of 2014.
July 4, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Israel's prime minister on Tuesday moved to contain the first crisis in his newly expanded coalition government after his most significant partner threatened to quit in a dispute over how to overhaul the country's military draft. Benjamin Netanyahu is rushing to meet an Aug. 1 court deadline to end a contentious system that has exempted tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews from serving in the army. The issue is threatening to drive Netanyahu's new coalition partner, Kadima, out of the government, although he would retain a narrow parliamentary majority if Kadima bolted.
June 28, 2012 |
The lure of thousands of jobs at a bigger Philadelphia International Airport has prompted a campaign by local religious congregations for preferential hiring for unemployed and poor Philadelphians. A controversial $6.4 billion airport expansion may not break ground for several years, but the push for City Council action on airport jobs is already well under way. A group of 36 congregations representing 27,000 Christians, Jews, and Muslims has been lobbying in public sessions and private meetings for preferential hiring, money for training programs, and increased minority enrollment in union apprenticeship programs.
June 21, 2012 |
ATHENS, Greece - Greece moved to end its protracted political impasse Wednesday, swearing in a new prime minister to lead a largely pro-bailout coalition tasked with saving the country's place in the eurozone and easing a European financial crisis with global repercussions. Antonis Samaras, 61, a U.S.-educated economist, became the fourth prime minister in eight months. "I know well the need to restore the dignity of the Greek people that has been wounded," he said. "I know the need for a quick recovery of the economy to restore social justice and social cohesion.
June 20, 2012 |
ATHENS - Top Greek political parties were close Tuesday to forming a coalition government to try to steer the country back to economic health and provide it with its first elected leadership in more than seven months. Talks continued on a power-sharing agreement in which Antonis Samaras, who led the center-right New Democracy Party to a first-place finish in Sunday's election, would become prime minister in alliance with traditional rivals from the Socialist Party and the smaller Democratic Left.
June 19, 2012 |
Greek election winner Antonis Samaras begins a second day of talks Tuesday to form a coalition after holding "constructive" meetings with two party leaders, racing to forge a government that keeps bailout aid flowing. Samaras secured initial agreement Monday from Socialist Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos, the former finance minister who negotiated the second rescue, and said he'd hold further talks Tuesday with Fotis Kouvelis, leader of the Democratic Left party. If those three team up, they will hold a majority of 179 seats in the 300-member Greek parliament.
June 7, 2012 |
Though natural gas is not being developed anywhere near Philadelphia, the Marcellus Shale Coalition on Wednesday launched an outreach effort to solicit questions from residents of Southeastern Pennsylvania about shale-gas extraction. The coalition, an industry trade group, launched www.AskAboutShale.org , an online forum that asks readers to list questions about drilling, which the trade group says it will attempt to answer in a "fact-based" manner. The site also surveys respondents about their support or opposition to drilling.
June 1, 2012 |
As cyclists whizzed by on the Schuylkill path, Mayor Nutter and a host of bike advocates announced a new coalition aimed at completing 750 miles of trails over the next 20 years in the Philadelphia region. About 250 miles of the bike and pedestrian roadways have been completed, and 50 more are "in progress," said Alex Doty, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia, a member of the new coalition. Finishing the remaining 450 miles of trails and connecting them to current routes is expected to cost $250 million, or about $12.5 million annually for 20 years, Doty said.
May 27, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - France's president defended his decision to pull the country's 2,000 combat troops out of Afghanistan two years early, telling French soldiers stationed in the east on Friday that "the time for Afghan sovereignty has come. " While Paris will still support Kabul and keep some trainers behind, France's decision to leave ahead of other NATO allies has spawned fears that more nations in the U.S.-led coalition will withdraw early. A speedy withdrawal by others nations would destabilize the plan for Afghan forces to gradually take charge of security over 21/2 years.