Board Member-Elect Apologizes For Newtown Comment, A newly elected school board member in a Connecticut town neighboring the one where 26 people were killed at an elementary school has apologized for saying on Facebook that he’ll observe the anniversary of the Newtown shooting by distributing ammunition.
Gregory Beck of Brookfield was referring to a tribute known as “26 Days of Kindness,” which began Tuesday and runs through Dec. 14, the anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The social media campaign asks participants to donate to charity or give of themselves in other ways to remember the 20 children and six educators who were killed. Beck wrote on Facebook that his acts of kindness would be to distribute ammunition to friends who are gun enthusiasts on each of the 26 days.
Beck said Wednesday his comment was not intended to be malicious and that he recognizes it was insensitive and indefensible.
“It is said that hindsight is 20/20 and looking back I should never have even conceived of making the comment,” he said. “For this reason, I unequivocally apologize to the citizens of Brookfield, Newtown and all others who I have offended or hurt. I am sorry for my mistake and ask for your forgiveness, which I hope to earn over time.”
Obama’s ‘Success Story’ Tells Different Tale Now, Single mom Jessica Sanford says she can’t afford the president’s health plan and will go uninsured.,
A single mom from Washington State who was cited by President Obama as an Affordable Care Act success story now says she’ll go uninsured and calls the program a “treadmill of bureaucracy.”
Washington State Wire reports that Jessica Sanford, 48, discovered that she is no longer eligible for a large subsidy that would have lowered her monthly premium to $169 per month. Instead, Sanford would now be forced to pay nearly four times as much, $621, for coverage.
Sanford told the paper she believes the government should shut down the entire healthcare.gov site until the site’s issues are resolved. “In my opinion they ought to shut it down and just get all of it straightened out.”
$1.2M In Gold Found On Jet, A hidden stash of gold bars worth $1.2 million was found in a commercial jet’s bathroom on Tuesday, according to officials in India.
An aircraft maintenance crew found the 24 gold bars in two bags aboard a Jet Airways Boeing 737 while they performed routine end-of-day checks at Kolkata, India, airport.
“It was quite a surprise,” airport director BP Sharma told NBC News. “The bars were packed in bags so we did not immediately know what it was. The bags were inspected and found to be gold.”
The flight had traveled from Mumbai to Thailand’s capital Bangkok, before returning to Kolkata for the night.
‘San Antonio 4′ Tell Story, Vow To Fight On, They didn’t get to watch their children grow up into young adults. They missed saying goodbye to grandparents, and in one case, a father, before those loved ones passed away.
But three women who were released from prison on Monday after spending more than a decade behind bars – for crimes they say they didn’t commit – said they relished their new-found freedom and would continue fighting for their full exoneration.
“I got to meet my son for the first time since he was 4,” said Liz Ramirez, 39, who along with the other women spoke with NBC News on Tuesday in their first interview since their release. “It was an amazing feeling, being in his arms.”
Harvard Students Don’t Know Canada’s Capital, The school’s newspaper asks Ivy League students a simple question and gets baffling answers., What’s the capital of Canada?
Don’t know? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Students at Harvard University were asked the same question on camera by the Harvard Crimson, the Ivy League school’s newspaper. Their answers ranged from “I don’t know,” “I have no idea” and “Oh my God, it’s really bad I don’t know” to “Alberta – no, that’s not right,” “probably Vancouver or something,” “is it Toronto?” and “I’m sorry Canada.”
The correct answer is Ottawa, Canada’s fourth largest city and center of government as selected by Queen Victoria in 1857.
Just don’t ask Harvard kids to tell you that.
NSA Links Its Violations To Obamacare Woes, The intelligence community’s top lawyer compares the agency’s improper surveillance to the ACA website’s rollout., The intelligence community’s top lawyer on Tuesday defended the surveillance violations by staff of the National Security Agency by comparing programs that collect mass amounts of information on Americans to problems with the troubled health care website.
“Complicated technology systems frequently don’t work as they expect them to,” Robert Litt, general counsel for the Director of National Intelligence, told a conference at the Georgetown University Law Center. “Using the word ‘abuse’ in the context of the operation of the surveillance program is a little bit like saying the Department of Health and Human Services is abusing people because of the fact that the Obamacare websites don’t work properly. They are complicated.”
In 2011, after the government disclosed what it said were technical problems with its computer systems, a court found the NSA had violated the Constitution for three years. Litt’s statement on Tuesday could be read as significantly downplaying the constitutional violations cited by the court or as highlighting the politically sensitive problems with the health care website.
The Obama administration on Monday declassified another round of secret documents, showing that the NSA has made serious mistakes in collecting American communications records. The documents also show that agency reported those errors and took action to prevent future missteps.
Florida George Zimmerman Arrest, George Zimmerman was charged with assault Monday after his girlfriend called deputies to the home where they were living and claimed he pointed a shotgun at her during an argument, authorities said.
The girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, called 911 in the early afternoon to say that Zimmerman had smashed a glass table, threatened her with the shotgun and ultimately pushed her out of the house, according to an arrest report. After pushing her out, Zimmerman barricaded the door with furniture and refused to leave, saying that he would talk to police by phone, authorities said.
The arrest was the latest legal problem for Zimmerman since he was acquitted last summer of criminal charges in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen. The trial stoked a discussion on racial profiling across the country.
“You point your gun at my fricking face,” Samantha Scheibe is heard telling Zimmerman on a 911 call. “Get out of my house. Do not push me out of my house. Please get out of my house.”
Endless Afghanistan? Deal Would Keep Troops, While many Americans have been led to believe the war in Afghanistan will soon be over, a draft of a key U.S.-Afghan security deal obtained by NBC News shows the United States is prepared to maintain military outposts in Afghanistan for many years to come, and pay to support hundreds of thousands of Afghan security forces.
The wide-ranging document, still unsigned by the United States and Afghanistan, has the potential to commit thousands of American troops to Afghanistan and spend billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars.
The document outlines what appears to be the start of a new, open-ended military commitment in Afghanistan in the name of training and continuing to fight al-Qaeda. The war in Afghanistan doesn’t seem to be ending, but renewed under new, scaled-down U.S.-Afghan terms.