A massive crowd turned out for the conclusion of five days of public mourning over the death of Joseph Paterno. Roughly 10,000 attended the memorial event at the Penn State campus on Thursday, according to Reuters.
Paterno, a longtime football coach with the most wins in major college football, died of lung cancer complications at age 85 on Sunday.
His fans choose to focus on his legacy in college football rather than the recent child sexual abuse scandal involving Paterno’s assistant Jerry Sandusky. Paterno did not alert police to alleged rampant child abuse.
Sandusky released a statement following Paterno's death.
"This is a sad day! Our family, Dottie and I would like to convey our deepest sympathy to Sue and her family," Sandusky said in a statement. "Nobody will be able to take away the memories we all shared of a great man, his family, and all the wonderful people who were a part of his life."
Sandusky, who is awaiting trial, is facing 52 criminal counts. Prosecutors say he abused 10 children over a period of 15 years. He denies the allegations.
Sandusky's critics say the statement was ill-timed and inappropriate.
Reuters has more.
January 26, 2012
Two hostages freed in a U.S. military operation involving SEAL Team 6 arrived at a U.S. base in Sicily on Thursday.Read it all here.
The hostages, 32-year-old American Jessica Buchanan and 60-year-old Poul Hagen Thisted were working with the Danish Demining Group, a humanitarian aid organization, when they were kidnapped in Somalia in October 2011.
Buchanan and Thisted are at the Naval Air Station Sigonella, according to base public affairs officer Lt. Tim Page.
President Obama released a statement following the raid, which killed nine Somali pirates.
“On Monday, I authorized an operation to rescue Jessica Buchanan, an American citizen who was kidnapped and held against her will for three months in Somalia. Thanks to the extraordinary courage and capabilities of our Special Operations Forces, yesterday Jessica Buchanan was rescued and she is on her way home,” Obama said. [...]
January 17, 2012
The first thing one would notice about Lulu is her smile. “Hello, dear, when is your party?” Lucille “Lulu” Weinstein beams at me. “I need to decide what to wear. What are you going to wear to the party? A blue dress or a pink one?”Read it all here.
Lulu’s effervescent and undeniably sweet personality easily charms. She’s the kind of lady who wants to have a nice time and look good doing it. The 87 year old who likes to put on lipstick and pull back her hair into a neat twist suffers from Alzheimer’s. It’s a chronic disease marked by bouts of confusion and a rather frightening sense of losing one’s identity.
Alzheimer’s leads Lulu to jump from asking about the weather to discussing a party she’s made up in her head. Lulu, a patient at Carmel Board and Care, California, is lucky. She’s cheerful and gentle, and has been placed by her loving family in a top nursing facility whose employees care for all of her basic needs as well as her emotional ones. She has a constant stream of visitors and is generally happy.
Many Americans, those who cannot afford first-rate private care, are not so lucky.
Americans 65 years or older were numbered at 39.6 million in 2009, making up 12.9 percent of the U.S. population or about one in every eight Americans. That number will increase, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is estimated that about 72.1 million older persons will make up the 65 plus age bracket by 2030. With a rising aging population comes a growing demand for special care facilities. Living longer means that diseases become long-term and chronic, and services are more expensive as people spend more time in facilities. Not everyone will be able to afford private care and will eventually come to rely on social welfare—but can governmental services, city and federal alike, cope with demands?
January 12, 2012
John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has endorsed Mitt Romney’s presidential bid.
"Of all the candidates, Mitt Romney possesses the strongest vision for America's leadership role in the world, and I am proud to endorse him," Bolton said, according to a statement released by Romney’s campaign Thursday. "President Obama has sapped America's credibility abroad, weakened our military and failed to lead on issues vital to U.S. national security... Mitt Romney will restore our military, repair relations with our closest allies, and ensure that no adversary—including Iran— ever questions American resolve."
Bolton was the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush.
In a statement Romney welcomed Bolton’s support and said he looks forward to "consulting with him" during the campaign.
"John has been a staunch defender of U.S. interests and values, both while he was in and out of government," said Romney.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been touted as the candidate most likely to become the Republican candidate for the 2012 election.
Earlier this week Romney's campaign announced it has raised "more than $56 million so far in the primary," with $24 million raised in the fourth quarter.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta blasted the behavior of U.S. Marines who allegedly urinated on the bodies of dead Taliban.
"I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable,"Panetta said in a written statement Thursday. "This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military and does not reflect the standards or values our armed forces are sworn to uphold. Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent."
Officials from the Pentagon have not authenticated the video, which shows four Marines urinating on three bodies of Taliban fighters.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai "condemned the video, describing the men's actions as 'inhuman' and calling for an investigation," according to Reuters.
Diplomatic relations between Iran and Japan may get strained following Japan’s announcement that it is prepared to cut down its oil dependency on Iran.
"In the past five years, we have reduced... the amount of oil imported [from Iran]," said Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi during a joint press conference with US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. "We wish to take planned and concrete steps to further reduce this share, which now stands at 10 percent."
Iran is a major oil supplier to Japan, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. According to the BBC, Japan is urging Gulf Arab nations to boost oil exports in order to make up shortages.
Geithner praised the Japanese support for sanctions over Iran's nuclear program, which critics say is aimed toward the development of atomic bombs.
"We very much appreciate the support Japan has provided standing with us and the international community in support of this very important strategic objective," said Geithner, stressing that the U.S. is working closely with Euope and other allies to “substantially increase the amount of pressure” against the Iranian regime.
China, meanwhile, has called for cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
"To place one country's domestic law above international law and press others to obey is not reasonable," Liu Weimin, a Chinese ministry spokesman told reporters Wednesday.
Last Wednesday the European Union, in a bold move, announced a plan to ban Iranian oil imports, a move that experts say will further undermine the Iranian regime’s hold on power.
"The tide has truly turned over the past few months as evidenced by the U.S.'s move to sanction Iran's Central Bank, Chinese companies leaving Iran, and Europe's impending embargo of Iranian oil imports," said Ambassador Mark D. Wallace who heads United Against a Nuclear Iran, a non-partisan coalition, in a statement. "Just months ago these measures were being described as unlikely, yet intense public pressure, Iranian intransigence, and committed lawmakers have made them a reality."
January 3, 2012
Kelly Clarkson, the winner of the first ever American Idol, is seeing a surge in record sales after endorsing presidential hopeful Texas Rep. Ron Paul.Read it all here.
"I love Ron Paul," Clarkson wrote last Thursday on the social networking site WhoSay. "I liked him a lot during the last Republican nomination and no one gave him a chance. If he wins the nomination for the Republican party in 2012 he's got my vote. Too bad he probably won't."
Clarkson’s recent album, Stronger, rose 442 percent in Amazon sales to the number two spot within 24 hours of endorsing Paul. The artist’s digital sales rose to the sixth spot on the iTunes Charts.
Ron Paul’s supporters took to Amazon.com to thank the artist and pledge to purchase her records.
"Thank you for your brave and intelligent support of Ron Paul for 2012!" one commenter said on Amazon. "I'm going to buy your album now, and every album hereafter!"
Other comments left on Amazon decried the media, arguing Ron Paul’s popularity is surging but the media has failed to take notice.
The Texas congressman has been nicknamed the "intellectual godfather" of the Tea Party movement. Paul favors cutting $1 trillion from the federal government, slashing the corporate tax rate and removing taxes on capital gains and dividens. He also supports the elimination of five federal cabinet agencies and strongly opposes federal health care, making him popular with groups that favor limited government.
Paul has recently come under scrutiny for allegedly writing vitriolic comments in old newsletters. [...]