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White House Press Secretary Jay Carney wound up with egg on his face Monday as he told reporters that President Barack Obama first learned from a TV news report that his Veterans Administration was denying medical care to vets with secret off-the-books-waiting lists.
But new evidence emerged this morning that his transition team was notified five years ago about how VA medical centers’ official wait-list times bore little resemblance to reality and risked denying military heroes critical health care.
The Washington Times reported Monday that waiting times at veterans’ medical facilities were known to be wildly inaccurate at the end of the George W. Bush administration. By the time Obama’s transition team got a post-election briefing from the VA at the end of 2008, scheduling failures were already reaching a critical point.
The newspaper received a copy of that briefing through a Freedom Of Information Act request.
Obama has come under fire before for saying he was made aware of scandal-worthy shortcomings in his own administration by watching television, including the IRS tea party-targeting scandal that rocked Washington 12 months ago and the Operation Fast and Furious saga that has tainted his Justice Department for years.
Meriam Ibrahim, 26, who is eight months pregnant, was sentenced to death last Thursday after being convicted of apostasy. The court in Khartoum delayed carrying out the ruling until Ibrahim gives birth and nurses her newborn.
In the interim, she has been spending her days bound with shackles on her legs according to her husband, U.S. citizen Daniel Wani, a Christian, who was able to visit his wife for the first time on Monday.
“He originally was not allowed to see her until this week,” Tina Ramirez, executive director of Hardwired, a U.S.-based advocacy group against religious persecution, told FoxNews.com. “Once he was able to, she was shackled and her legs were swollen.”
Ramirez added that Ibrahim’s attorney is working on an appeal as international outrage over her persecution grows.
NEW YORK — Burger King is scrapping its 40-year-old “Have It Your Way” slogan in favor of the more personal “Be Your Way.”
The chain says the new tag line will roll out across its marketing in the U.S., including in a TV ad that will begin airing Monday night. The line made its first appearance in an online video last month.
Burger King says in a statement that the new motto is intended to remind people that “they can and should live how they want anytime. It’s ok to not be perfect … Self-expression is most important and it’s our differences that make us individuals instead of robots.”
It may seem odd for a fast-food company to champion individuality, but Burger King isn’t the only one trying to project a hip, non-corporate attitude to gain favor with customers. Since 2012, for instance, Taco Bell has been touting its “Live Mas” slogan, which means “live more” in Spanish.
Washington (AFP) – The White House has promised the United States will not use vaccination programs as cover for spy operations — after the move was attempted during the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
As Pakistan suffers a resurgence of polio, a top White House official pledged in a letter dated May 16 that intelligence agencies would foreswear the tactic, which is partly blamed for the spread of the crippling disease.
Islamic militant leaders are reluctant to embrace vaccination programs after Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi attempted to help the CIA track down the Al-Qaeda terror chief through a fake vaccine project.
President Barack Obama’s top White House anti-terrorism advisor Lisa Monaco told deans of 13 US schools of public health that CIA chief John Brennan had directed last year that agents would “make no operational use of vaccination programs.”
“Similarly, the agency will not seek to obtain or exploit DNA or other genetic material acquired through such programs.”
“This CIA policy applies worldwide and to US and non US persons alike.”
PORTLAND, Ore. (May 20, 2014) – A federal judge threw out Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban Monday, marking the 13th legal victory for gay marriage advocates since the U.S. Supreme Court last year overturned part of a federal ban.
State officials earlier refused to defend Oregon’s voter-approved ban and said they wouldn’t appeal.
The National Organization for Marriage sought to intervene, but both U.S. District Judge Michael McShane in Eugene and a federal appeals court rejected its attempts to argue in favor of the ban.
Many county clerks in the state began carrying out same-sex marriages almost immediately after Monday’s ruling, as jubilant couples rushed to tie the knot.
“It’s the final step to be truly a family,” said Patty Reagan, who waited in line in Portland to get a marriage license with partner Kelly. “Everyone else takes for granted that they have this right.”
McShane joins judges in seven other states who have overturned same-sex marriage bans, though appeals are underway. Lower-court judges have repeatedly cited last year’s Supreme Court ruling when striking down bans.
FINDLAY, Ohio (WTVN) – The University of Findlay is being forced to replace nearly all its grass after weedkiller was accidentally used instead of fertilizer.
“A lot of the grass still looks pretty sad. It’s pretty brown,” said university spokesperson Brianna Patterson.
The chemical was applied by a contractor during the last week of April. She says they are working to replace the grass, but it will take several weeks.
“Anyone who has done lawn care on their own lawn will agree with how easy it is to make this mistake,” Patterson said.
The name of the company wasn’t released, but Patterson says they are working with the company’s insurance provider to foot the bill. Patterson did not have an estimate of how much it could cost, but The Courier in Findlay reported the price tag could be around $2 million.
Patterson estimates about 70 to 75 percent of the university’s lawns were impacted.
The University of Findlay has received several awards in the past for the beauty of the plants on their campus.