President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney will be with their respective families on the Fourth of July. But given the unmatched patriotic spirit the holiday brings with it, the two will also seek to connect with voters by participating in Independence Day events.
Obama, who spent the weekend at Camp David, Md., plans to host a naturalization ceremony for active-duty troops in the White House's East Room, followed by a picnic with military families as well as his administration staff and their families on the South Lawn, on Wednesday. And Romney, who is out on a family reunion at his New Hampshire vacation home, will take part in a Fourth of July parade in Wolfeboro, N.H.
Obama will speak at the naturalization ceremony, and will give the Outstanding American by Choice award, a recognition from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for "naturalized citizens who have made significant contributions to both their community and their adopted country." more >>
President Obama's election campaign is defending claims that rival Mitt Romney "outsourced" jobs as head of Bain Capital. The campaign has written a letter to Factcheck.org, which accused the campaign of making false statements about Romney's record.
The Obama campaign has been running ads in several important swing states accusing Romney of laying off workers in the United States and replacing them with workers in other countries. The ads also call Romney an "outsourcer" and "corporate raider."
"But," Robert Farley and Eugene Kiely wrote Friday for Factcheck.org, "some of the claims in the ads are untrue, and others are thinly supported." more >>
Queen Elizabeth and former Irish Republican Army commander, Martin McGuinness, have made history by shaking hands in peace. It was a long-awaited encounter symbolizing Northern Ireland's progress in achieving reconciliation after decades of violence. The Queen and McGuinness met privately in a Belfast Theatre during an arts event. McGuinness was the IRA's chief of staff when the outlawed group assassinated the queen's cousin, Lord Mountbatten, in 1979, one of the most high-profile victims of a four-decade conflict that claimed 3,700 lives. The IRA formally abandoned its campaign to force Northern Ireland out of the UK and disarmed in 2005. McGuinness' Irish nationalist party, Sinn Fein, had refused all contact with British royals until the Queen came to Belfast yesterday as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
MEANWHILE….In a separate confrontation Tuesday night, one Catholic man was hospitalized after rival Protestant and Catholic groups clashed on the hilltop overlooking Catholic west Belfast. The Protestants were trying to vandalize a massive political display erected by the Catholics featuring an Irish flag and a slogan rejecting the queen.
Gunmen raided the headquarters of a Syrian TV station, killing seven employees, kidnapping others and demolishing buildings. The government blamed terrorists and described the killings as a "massacre." An eyewitness talks about the raid….. more >>
Track star Lolo Jones recently qualified for the U.S. Olympic team, but the headlines that followed her Monday night interview with Jay Leno were focused primarily on what many perceive to be her romantic compatibility with New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow.
During the interview, the 29-year-old hurdler said she never thought she would get so much attention for simply revealing that she is still a virgin. While some of her Twitter followers offered their support for her decision to remain abstinent until marriage, Jones says she also received backlash from some when she made the announcement.
"Everybody's mad at a girl who doesn't put out," she told comedian Louis C.K., who was also a guest on the show. more >>
Egypt's new president-elect, Islamist Mohammed Morsi has been quoted by Fars News Agency in Iran as saying: he wants to "reconsider" the peace deal with Israel and build ties with Iran to "create a strategic balance" in the Middle East. Morsi , who just moved into the office once occupied by ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, won by a close vote against opponent Ahmed Shafik in a runoff that polarized Egypt. Most Christians preferred Shafiq and half of them ended up boycotting the runoff. Morsi was quoted as saying: "We will not allow Ahmed Shafiq or anyone else to impede our second Islamic conquest of Egypt," and that Christians need to convert or immigrate. Still Christians remain hopeful, because in a recent effort to rally support, Morsi vowed to appoint diverse deputies, including a woman and a Christian. But Morsi now faces a power struggle with the ruling military who dismantled the Islamist dominated parliament and is drafting the constitution.
The Eurozone's fourth biggest economy has become the latest member to ask for financial aid. Spain follows Greece, Portugal and Ireland by going cap in hand to the EU. The nation many regard as "too big to bail" is asking for up to 78 billion dollars to prop up its private banking sector. Spain is currently grappling with high borrowing costs and an unemployment rate of 25 percent.
The American Supreme court has struck down 3 out of 4 provisions of the Arizona Immigration Law. The provisions made it a crime for immigrants to look for work without work permits; and to not carry immigration papers. The one key provision upheld requires police officers to check the immigration status of those they suspect may be illegally in the country. However mandatory checks during routine stops is subject to challenge. Another decision faced by the courts is the part of Obama's health care reform law that requires almost all Americans to buy health insurance by 2014, or face financial penalties. The court could deem the law to be unconstitutional. Some say this is one of the most important appeals the court has considered in years. more >>
Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, two of the world's best male swimmers, will compete today for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
Swimming trials for the Olympic team began Monday morning in Omaha, Nebraska. The preliminaries began at 11 am and will play at 6:30 pm tonight on NBC before the final rounds begin.
Both Phelps and Lochte were seeded for the 400 Individual Medley, an event that requires the swimmers to swim each of the four strokes. Phelps completed the event first today, taking first place in his heat with the time of 4:14.72. While the time is low enough for the gold medalist to earn a spot on the Olympic team (he is currently in first), it is nowhere near where Phelps was when he broke the record for the 400 I.M. in the 2008 Beijing Olympics with the time of 4:03.84. more >>