Obama has turned Putin into the world’s most powerful leader

The baton was officially transferred Monday to the world’s new sole superpower — and Vladimir Putin willingly picked it up.

President Obama (remember him?) embraced the ideals espoused by the United Nations’ founders 70 years ago: Diplomacy and “international order” will win over time, while might and force will lose.

Putin, too, appealed to UN laws (as he sees them), but he also used his speech to announce the formation of a “broad international coalition” to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

“Similar to the anti-Hitler coalition, it could unite a broad range of forces” to fight “those who, just like the Nazis, sow evil and hatred of humankind,” he said.

And who’d lead this new coalition? Hint: Moscow has always celebrated the Allies’ World War II victory as a Russian-led fete.

Oh, and if anyone wondered which Syrian players the coalition would rely on as allies, Putin made it clear: “No one but President [Bashar al-]Assad’s armed forces and Kurd militia are fighting the Islamic State.”

That, of course, isn’t Obama’s view. America’s president said he opposed the “logic of supporting tyrants.” After all, Assad “drops barrel bombs on innocent children.”

But Putin has troops in Syria, is arming Assad to the teeth and signed a pact of anti-ISIS intelligence-sharing with Assad, Iran and the leaders of Iraq (the ones America fought to put in power).

And after meeting Obama for the first time in two years Monday, he spoke vaguely about future “joint air attacks on ISIS.” But no agreement on Assad was reached in the 90-minute meeting.

Meantime, if Obama has any realistic Syria plan of his own — beyond having Assad magically “transitioned” out of the country and simultaneously fighting ISIS — he failed to present it during his UN speech. Or any other time.

Instead, he scolded an “isolated” Putin for using force to annex Crimea and other parts of Ukraine. “Imagine if, instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy,” said Obama. “That would be better for Ukraine, but also better for Russia, and better for the world.” Continue reading “Obama has turned Putin into the world’s most powerful leader”

Obama Argues For Global Governance In Last U.N. Address

NEW YORK – In an apparent attempt to justify the retreat of the United States from international leadership, President Obama praised the United Nations Monday, arguing that global governance has helped spread democracy.

It was his last address to the world body.

“There are those who argue the ideals in the U.N. charter are out of date,” Obama said, rejecting arguments that “strong states must impose their will” or that “might makes right” and “order must be imposed by forced.”

“We can not look backwards,” he insisted, emphasizing that global integration is an agenda that transcends the narrowly defined interests of nation states. Continue reading “Obama Argues For Global Governance In Last U.N. Address”

Obama Warns Christians: Gay Rights More Important Than Religious Freedom

As Pope Francis flew back to Rome, President Obama issued a stern warning to Christians, warning them their attempts to assert their religious liberty to oppose gay rights would fail.

“We affirm that we cherish our religious freedom and are profoundly respectful of religious traditions,” he insisted during a dramatic speech at a LGTB fundraiser in New York City on Sunday night, praising the progress made on gay rights under his administration. “But we also have to say clearly that our religious freedom doesn’t grant us the freedom to deny our fellow Americans their constitutional rights.”

The fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee was specifically billed as an “LGBT gala” held in New York City in coordination with Obama’s trip to the United Nations Assembly.

During his speech, Obama asserted that his administration was respecting what he described as “genuine concerns” of religious institutions but suggested that Republicans were using the issue just to earn more votes, as they did in 2004. Continue reading “Obama Warns Christians: Gay Rights More Important Than Religious Freedom”

Unfriending is workplace ‘bullying’: Fair Work Commission

TEMPTED to delete that annoying co-worker from Facebook? Think again.

Employers around the country will be scrambling to update their social media policies after a decision by the workplace tribunal found unfriending someone on Facebook can constitute workplace bullying.

Rachael Roberts, an employee of real estate agency VIEW Launceston, went to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) in February this year alleging she was being bullied by sales administrator Lisa Bird and her husband James, the business owner.

Ms Roberts, a real estate agent for more than 10 years who joined the company in 2012, cited nearly 20 run-ins, primarily with Mrs Bird, in which she claimed she was “belittled and humiliated”.

Continue reading “Unfriending is workplace ‘bullying’: Fair Work Commission”

Pentagon: U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebels Surrender American Arms to Al Qaeda

U.S. defense officials have confirmed that military equipment issued by the United States to Syrian rebel fighters has been funneled to an al Qaeda offshoot, raising new questions about the ways in which the Obama administration is safeguarding U.S. arms in the war-torn Middle Eastern country.

A commander in the New Syrian Forces (NSF), a group being trained and equipped by the United States, was found to have distributed at least 25 percent of the force’s U.S.-provided hardware to the Nusra Front, a terrorist organization affiliated with al Qaeda.

The equipment, which included U.S.-issued ammunition and pick-up trucks, was “surrendered” to a Nusra Front affiliate in order to ensure that the rebel fighters could pass freely through territories controlled by the terrorist group, the Pentagon said. Continue reading “Pentagon: U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebels Surrender American Arms to Al Qaeda”

U.S. foreign-born population nears high

The foreign-born population living in the USA has increased so rapidly that it could break a 125-year-old record within the next decade, according to a Pew Research Center report out Monday.

The percentage of people living in the USA who were born outside the country reached 13.7% in 2015 and is projected to hit a record 14.9% in 2025, the report said. The country’s previous high of 14.8% was set in 1890, when waves of Irish, Italian, Polish and other immigrants were coming to the USA.

The findings come at a critical time in the presidential campaign as candidates from both parties debate the proper role of immigration in the country. The foreign-born population represents a growing share of the electorate that Democrats and Republicans court because that voting bloc is big enough to tip presidential elections.

Leading Republicans, including front-runner Donald Trump, say legal and illegal immigration have gotten out of control. Trump and others say the country needs to limit legal immigration, and all the GOP candidates  push for increased border security. Continue reading “U.S. foreign-born population nears high”

Israel will allow police to fire live ammunition at protesters

Israel‘s security cabinet has approved measures that allow police to open fire with live ammunition at Palestinian protesters throwing stones when officers believe that lives are in danger.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet late Thursday that police can and should open fire at stone-throwers in such circumstances, Israeli media reported.

Nasa scientists find evidence of flowing water on Mars

Liquid water runs down canyons and crater walls over the summer months on Mars, according to researchers who say the discovery raises the chances of being home to some form of life. The trickles leave long, dark stains on the Martian terrain that can reach hundreds of metres downhill in the warmer months, before they dry up in the autumn as surface temperatures drop. Images … Continue reading Nasa scientists find evidence of flowing water on Mars