Something important happened this week in the 2016 GOP primary contest. (Yes, as we say at CNN, it's really "Happening Now.") In case you're not glued to the candidates' stump appearances quite yet, allow me to parse their words for you.
Whooping cough commonly kills newborns but can be prevented through vaccination and avoiding infected individuals. Measles, which made the headlines recently with a large outbreak traced to Disneyland, is also deadly and similarly preventable with vaccination. But people are not vaccinating as they should be. While it's a matter of personal choice, it's also a serious matter of public health, and these preventable and deadly diseases are roaring back to life.
This Sunday, Super Bowl XLIX will be the biggest show in town with an audience likely to exceed 110 million viewers, many of them children. It's no secret that the ads are part of the entertainment. And the beer ads are likely to be among the most talked about on Monday morning, especially the Bud Light Pac-Man commercial released January 22 that links Bud Light with intensive partying and game playing.
It's hardly surprising that the recent crash of an unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, on the grounds of the White House has sparked debate about the future of the technology. But although this intrusion is the one that has made national headlines, it's far from the first over the past 12 months.
It's not up there with Iwo Jima. Okinawa. Hiroshima.
Pat yourselves on the back, readers!
So, are the Super Bowl's two head coaches a couple of caught-red-handed cheaters? Is Seattle's top running back a tight-lipped, lewd lout? Is a standout Seahawk defensive back a big-mouthed braggart? Is the superstar Patriot quarterback a dishonest dude or a scatterbrain? And what about that former New England pass catcher who's been charged with cold-blooded murder? Let's not forget about him.
In 2010, Marissa Alexander discharged a firearm in the direction of her estranged husband, Rico Gray -- a so-called "warning shot" that missed him by several inches. Their two children were present.
It was a very telling mini-scandal, the faux-fury over Michelle Obama's short visit to Saudi Arabia.
It's been a tough month for the "Islamic State." Its fighters were finally driven out of the Syrian border town of Kobani after more than 100 days of fighting against Kurdish militia; Iraqi government forces pushed ISIS back in Diyala province; the city of Mosul -- still under ISIS control -- is beginning to look vulnerable. And airstrikes have taken a toll on the group's infrastructure and field commanders.
"Oh please, mind your language, show some restraint: it was not a French September 11!" wrote Olivier Roy last week, in an otherwise nuanced article on the French Muslims and the emergence of extremists.
Here comes spendageddon!
On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee kicks off the confirmation hearing for Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama's nominee to replace Eric Holder as attorney general.
America's immigration debate has become red hot because President Obama's critics not only believe that he lacks the authority to act without the consent of Congress, but also that he must not change internal enforcement priorities before first "securing the border."
The start of 2015 has yielded a macabre bumper crop of high-profile cases, and they are all going to trial.
Yes, New York City got a lot less snow than forecast. Yes, if we had known there would be this little snow, things probably wouldn't have needed to get shut down as much as they were. But most of the complaining -- about either the forecast or the decisions by local and state governments -- is misguided.
One would expect that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the best interests of the public in mind, but its recent decisions have cast serious doubt upon this assumption.
Liberation 70 years ago today at Auschwitz-Birkenau was anything but a celebration for my mother, Rena Margulies, who as an 11-year-old prisoner was one of the very few children to survive the Nazi death factory.
For generations of Americans, the summer job has been a gateway from youth into the adult world of work.
It's been called "the sacred place where life begins."
I had to see the movie "American Sniper." Not because of the Oscar buzz but because of the vicious anti-Muslim and anti-Arab comments posted by some on social media after seeing the film.
Dear Mother Nature,
A small drone crashed onto the White House grounds on Monday. Described as a 2-foot-long quadcopter -- a drone with four propellers -- the event raises some troubling questions about the possibility that terrorists using armed drones could one day attack the White House or other tightly guarded U.S. government locations.
As a proud pro-Israel American, I am grateful that an Israeli prime minister has been invited to address Congress for a third time -- a high honor shared only by Sir Winston Churchill. Yet in the middle of an Israeli election and with a congressional battle over Iran sanctions looming, sometimes an invitation is more political gamesmanship than diplomatic honor.
As expected, the radical left party Syriza was the big winner of the Greek elections, coming only two seats short of an absolute majority in parliament. But it's unclear if new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will be able to effectively pursue his anti-austerity agenda and renegotiate the terms of the Greek bailout with creditors -- and he will surely need to make a number of concessions to its coalition partners, the Independent Greeks, a right-wing anti-immigration party.
Journalist Steven Brill has written a new book about our dysfunctional system of health care and it's getting a lot of attention. In "America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System," he describes the various struggles to implement the Affordable Care Act and dissects the ongoing opposition to the bill.
Social Security is often described as "the third rail of American politics" -- touch it and you'll get zapped.
The future of the United States lies in North America. This is not a geographic truism, but a strategic imperative. Generations of Americans, distracted by far-flung crises, have long taken our own region for granted. This must change if the 21st century is to be an American century. The United States, Canada and Mexico are bound by a shared economic, environmental, demographic and cultural destiny. How we move forward together is key to our success.
What can President Barack Obama realistically do in his final two years? Beyond executive action, his power to impact public policy is limited.
Forecasters are anticipating a major storm this week in the Northeast, and many schools are likely to be closed. And, if you are a parent like me, you have got to be thinking: Why? Of course, we all love our children and want to protect them, but why are certain storms viewed as severe enough to keep them home and others not?
In Paris on Thursday, fashion designer Rick Owens gave audiences quite a show when he sent male models down the runway wearing clothes with peepholes that offered a glimpse of the guys' formerly private parts.
On Tuesday President Barack Obama will visit Saudi Arabia to pay his respects to the family of the now-deceased King Abdullah and to his successor, King Salman.
India and the United States, the two largest democracies, seem like natural allies. The kinship between their leaders, however, has been a bit of a surprise.
It turns out there's a pesky little gremlin lurking around in the Patriots equipment room deflating footballs. Mystery solved. We should have known all along there was a logical explanation for the "Deflategate" scandal gripping the Sport Nation.
Alberto Nisman reportedly knew he had powerful enemies; enemies who might kill. Still, he persevered, raising damning accusations against Iranian officials, against Hezbollah, against Argentina's President, against people whose hands gripped political power and live ammunition.
Hopes that a peace process might take hold in Ukraine this year were quickly dashed by the resumption of heavy fighting last week around Ukraine's Donetsk airport.
As a guy with a Fred Flintstone physique, competing on the same runway with a Miss Universe contestant was never on my bucket list.
As Americans, we are fortunate to have the right to speak our minds. Filmmaker Michael Moore did just that with his attack on the use of military snipers in warfare just before the release of the Oscar-nominated and devastating war/anti-war movie "American Sniper," directed by Clint Eastwood.
In a dramatic warning to the world, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced Thursday that the iconic Doomsday Clock has ticked forward by two minutes. This new setting of three minutes to midnight indicates "the probability of global catastrophe is very high," said Kennette Benedict, executive director of the Bulletin, which was founded by former Manhattan Project physicists after the atomic bombing of Japan.
The Duke of York has said his piece and personally made his position clear.
During the 2004 presidential election, I spent time near Canton, Ohio, trying to turn out votes for John Kerry. I visited neighborhoods around the struggling Rust Belt town, knocking on doors and repeating a campaign-prepared script about Senator Kerry's plans to put the middle class back on track.
Well, the Senate says climate change isn't a hoax.
When Barack Obama heads to India this weekend to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he will be both the first U.S. president to attend as Chief Guest and the first U.S. president to visit India twice during his term of office.
President Obama's new tax plan includes some sensible ideas. Unfortunately, it would mean increasing taxes on saving and investment, which are key drivers of economic growth, according to various experts. On balance, I believe the plan moves in the wrong direction.
Polls taken since the Roe v Wade decision routinely show women in favor of abortion restrictions, and in slightly greater numbers than men. But how can this be? How can any woman want to scale back on the abortion license given them by the U.S. Supreme Court 42 years ago?
It now appears likely that Darren Wilson, the police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, who shot and killed Michael Brown, will never face criminal charges for his actions. The state grand jury declined to vote an indictment in November, and news reports indicate that there will be no federal charges against him either. Whether these decisions are correct or not, they underline the difficulty of using criminal prosecutions as vehicles for large-scale reform.
In case we need any reminder that gun politics can be over the top, there's the recent report that gunmaker PARA USA regrets supplying weapons to the action flick "Taken 3" and is calling for a boycott.
I operate the only abortion clinic in Wichita. For many of our patients, we are their last hope.
On the threshold of the 2016 election, the GOP is in a terrible fix over immigration. They've done such an effective job of alienating Hispanics over the years with their overall approach to immigration.
The demands by terrorists for ransoms in return for kidnapped hostages continues and grows -- and it is a brave (some would say heartless) government that chooses non-payment over the lives of its citizens.
Fifteen years ago, the two of us made a bet.
For many kids, a trip to Disneyland is a dream come true. But for some of those kids and their families who visited "the happiest place on Earth" a few weeks ago, that dream has become a nightmare. In the past month, 36 people have come down with measles traced to an exposure at the theme park, including five employees of Disneyland.
The recent terrorist attacks in France and the rise of violent attacks by terrorist cells elsewhere using religion as their calling card have cast an additional hew of darkness upon an already darkening world.
Earlier this month, a 32-year old male gamer was found dead at a Taiwanese Internet cafe following a non-stop three-day gaming session. This followed the death of another male gamer who died in Taipei at the start of the year following a five-day gaming binge.
They may just have fled a war zone, but Syrian children on recess at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan aren't so different from kids elsewhere. Boys run around, wrestle and laugh outside a school comprised of tidy portable buildings on flat, rocky desert. Nearby, girls dressed in pink with bows in their hair hold hands and huddle around a book. Kids are resilient wherever they are.
Shame on me.
Suddenly, everybody cares about the poor in America. No longer are they stereotyped as lazy welfare queens who suck up your tax dollars, or those invisible humanoids who serve you burgers and fries, but instead are viewed rightly as people in need of a little help.
A friend of mine -- let's call him Pete -- works in the City of London. Has done for the best part of the last 20 years. He's done alright too. He has two homes, one in France, one in London, though for tax purposes he's based in the Channel Islands.
The horrific events in Paris and northern Nigeria have underlined again how troubled and fragmented our world is. Religious extremism and sectarianism is fueling terrorism and widespread conflict which has forced millions in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere to flee. Aggressive nationalism and politics based on prejudice and a false view of identity is on the increase in many countries. Disease and hunger continue to take a terrible toll.
CNN asked for views on President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night, in which he touted a reviving economy, laid out an agenda aimed at helping the middle class and appealed to Republicans to work across the aisle. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the authors.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed making community college tuition free for two years to boost college graduation rates and lift more people into the middle class.
The black-clad, masked British ISIS terrorist who has taken center stage in the group's hostage videos appeared in a new video on Tuesday threatening the lives of two Japanese hostages, Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa.
"American Sniper" stormed the box office this past weekend with $105 million in ticket sales. Not since the Rambo movies have so many farmers and ranch hands buddy-upped to the popcorn counter. As much as I adore Bradley Cooper, I won't be seeing the movie. I can't see it.
In the movie "Field of Dreams," Kevin Costner plays Ray Kinsella, a man who listens to a voice inside his head. The voice tells Ray to plow under his sole source of income -- his Iowa cornfield -- and build a baseball diamond for the ghosts of long dead Chicago Black Sox stars to come play in. The voice in his head says don't test out the idea, don't talk to anyone to see if it'll work, just build it, and they will come. Kinsella builds the field, the ghosts of the players arrive, and he's vindicated. That's how it works in the movies.
The recent deaths of two U.S. Ski Team members in an avalanche at a resort in the Austrian Alps have raised questions about the risks of these sudden snow slides. Since then, North America has settled into the skiing high season, with scores of skiers and snowboarders every day willingly participating in a sport fraught with risks of all kinds.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been speaking in London recently, and he startled quite a number of people in the House of Commons when he talked about "no-go zones" in Britain, places where Sharia law trumps British law.
"Did Patriots Tamper with AFC Championship Ball?" ? Monday's top headline on the Indianapolis Star's website
According to a new study released by Oxfam, the rich have made tremendous gains in the past several years -- to the point where, analysts predict, by 2016 the world's wealthiest 1% will control more than 50% of the world's wealth. The 80 wealthiest people in the world, alone, own $1.9 trillion.
Income inequality is like the weather: Everyone talks about it, but no one does much about it. Now comes President Obama in his State of the Union Address, hoping to do more than just talk about it.
After the Paris attacks by al Qaeda-aligned Islamic terrorists, much of the world -- even some Muslim world leaders -- seems united in the defense of free speech and freedom of religion.
Ladies, stop flaunting your sexuality. You're scaring people.
After the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo, which killed 12 people including the editor and four other cartoonists, and the murder of four Jews at a kosher supermarket shortly after, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared "a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity."
When racial conflict flared in Ferguson, Missouri, this summer it brought back terrible memories of what happened nearly 50 years ago, in the summer of 1965.
Today, as we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I know there are those who will ask, "How long will it take?" How long until the dream is fulfilled? How long until our destination is reached?
In just two years, Bonita went from full-time work to a part of the new underclass of unemployed. The longer it's been since she was forced to leave her job with the Boston Housing Authority, the harder it gets to return to the ranks of the employed.
Truth and reconciliation.
The U.S. ocean, atmospheric and space agencies affirmed on Friday what the planet has been telling us every way it knows how: 2014 was the hottest year since record keeping began in 1880.
Boko Haram's murderous tactics have descended to a new barbaric low.
The difference between the scale of the European terrorist threat and the threat in the United States was underlined by Wednesday's arrest of Christopher Lee Cornell, a 20-year-old Ohio resident, who had been monitored by an FBI informant and was allegedly plotting an attack, inspired by ISIS, against the U.S. Capitol.
The popular Pope Francis is taking some hits himself after some lighthearted comments that included a pretend punch to a colleague. The comments came while trying to make the point that free speech should have some limits, including on the right to insult another's faith.
In matters regarding Nigeria, the international community seems to be learning from experience. Why galvanize support for a government that then exercises its sovereignty by not backing up that support? Why effuse sympathy on people who themselves seem to care so little?
"The Kingdom ... strongly condemns and denounces this cowardly terrorist act that is rejected by true Islamic religion as well as the rest of the religions and beliefs."
A best picture nomination is not exactly nothing. Many would argue that it's just about everything.
On what would have been the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 86th birthday, the Academy Awards decided to snub a beautiful film made about a seminal moment in his life.
Like anyone with an Instagram account, I've been captivated in recent weeks by the insane-and-pioneering efforts of two men attempting to free climb a vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park.
We have all seen a great deal of hypocrisy from politicians, pundits and the like. But there's a new king of hypocrisy: al Qaeda.
The Republicans have taken control of Congress, and with it ownership of health care reform. As long as the Republicans were in opposition, they could just complain. And they did, voting repeatedly ? and futily ? to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
I suppose we should have seen it coming, really. Back in the fall, when Romneyworld was buzzing about another candidacy, the storyline was this: It's in the realm of the "truly hypothetical," I was told, with a strong suggestion that Mitt Romney would only run as part of a late-entrant party-savior scenario. "A lot of people ...are rooting for him to get in," said one inside source. "Romney's not one of them."
What have you made of the response from French officials, and indeed other European nations, to the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo?
For a week now, Charlie, an atheist magazine, has accomplished more miracles than all the saints and prophets together. That of which we are the most proud is that you have in your hands the magazine that we have always produced, in the company of those who have always produced it.
As parents, we want to be careful to protect our children from the wrong influences. Just because someone is famous and has a following among a certain segment of society doesn't mean they're a good role model for youth. One group in particular comes to mind. They're essentially minimally talented narcissists who are starved for public attention, and they will say and do shocking and inappropriate things to get it. Truth be known, many of them are not the best people in the world.
The latest Charlie Hebdo cartoon, produced after last week's horrific attacks on the Paris magazine's offices, literally adds insult to injury. Admittedly a portrait in mixed messages, the cover reads "All is forgiven" above a drawing of the Prophet Mohammed, who is holding a "Je suis Charlie" sign. Who, exactly, is supposed to be doing the forgiving and who must be forgiven is not clear.
Jurors will get to see Aaron Hernandez's trophy case when they visit his home during the former New England Patriots star's murder trial, a judge ruled last week.
If there were an annual prize for the "World's Most Hopeful Economy," it would likely go to India. After years of disappointing returns, the world's largest democracy rediscovered vigor in 2014. Stocks rose by a third; foreign investment grew by a quarter; the economy at one stage expanded at its fastest pace in two years. Beyond economics, the public mood seemed to lift: There was new hope for a young and tech-savvy India, unburdened by the failures of the past.
The horrific twin attacks in Paris last week have sent shockwaves throughout Europe. Political leaders from across the EU joined millions of French mourners on Sunday, and Europeans-at-large continue to pay tribute with public vigils, flowers and candles, and minutes of silence.
Although most of us worry about other things, climate scientists have become increasingly worried about the survival of civilization. For example, Lonnie Thompson, who received the U.S. National Medal of Science in 2010, said that virtually all climatologists "are now convinced that global warming poses a clear and present danger to civilization."
In one month Nigerians will vote in what may be the country's most competitive and contentious elections yet. But this important process will take place in the shadow of a worsening threat -- Boko Haram, the Islamist insurgent group otherwise known as Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, which killed as many as 2,000 people in the northeastern town of Baga on January 3.