Protesters held a really near the U.S. Capitol building today. The protesters want an end to the NSA's no-longer-secret surveillance program. Many of the protesters were carrying signs with Edward Snowden's photograph on it. The signs say, "Thank You Edward Snowden!!" Another sign said, "NSA The only government agency that really listens to the people." The protesters say Snowden - who leaked details about the NSA's snooping to The Guardian - is a hero. Some of the protesters were wearing Halloween costumes. Take a look:
Jon Stewart Discusses the Disastrous Rollout of Healthcare.gov
Jon Stewart took aim at the massive disaster that is healthcare.gov. The technical glitches have been overwhelming. Less than 10% of people who tried were able to sign up on the site. And those who did manage to enroll were subjected to massive errors, such as being enrolled in the wrong state, having someone else's medical history listed as their own and having spouses listed as children for purposes of coverage. Stewart also takes aim at the government's spin on the tech disaster. Take a look:
Interpol Issues International Wanted Alert for The White Widow
Interpol has issued an international wanted alert for British-born Samantha Lewthwaite for her role in the Kenyan mall attack. She has been dubbed the "White Widow." CNN reports that she is a suspected financier of the attack. Al-Shabaab has reportedly stated on a Twitter account that no women were involved in the horrific mall attack. Take a look:
Terrorism expert Peter Bergen doubts women were involved in the mall attack. He says the fact that they are misogynists makes it unlikely women would be executing the attack. He says they are happy to send women as suicide bombers, but finds it unlikely they would firing weapons alongside the terrorists. Take a look:
CNN's Tom Foreman Describes Possible Targets in Syria if U.S. Strikes
CNN's Tom Foreman describes possible targets in Syria if U.S. and allies decide to strike. The U.S. appears convinced Syria were behind the recent gas attack that killed hundreds in a Damascus suburb. UN inspectors are still investigating the attack.
Foreman says experts believe the Syrian military's chemical weapons are located in various places around the country. Possible targets include command bunkers, airfields and artillery batteries. Take a look:
President Obama and Hillary Clinton Have Lunch at The White House
President Obama and Hillary Clinton enjoyed a private lunch together outdoors at The White House. There is lots of speculation about the lunch, but The White House said it was a friendly lunch. CNN reports that the official word from White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest is that the lunch was an "opportunity for the two, who saw each other on a pretty frequent basis over the course of the last four years, to have the chance to catch up."
CNN says the idea for lunch came about at the event launching the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas. CNN also says President Obama and Hillary Clinton have had regular phone calls and emails since Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State ended. The menu included grilled chicken, pasta jambalaya and salad. Take a look:
Photo: Official White House photo by Chuck Kennedy
Former NBA star Charles Barkley criticizes the media's coverage of the George Zimmerman case in this CNN clip. He says, "Race to me is the perfect storm for the media. They love racial animosity." He says, "Race is the perfect storm" for the media. Barkley says it is sad because a kid lost his life, but says the media is really riding the Trayvon Martin story. In another interview, Barkley says he agrees with the Martin verdict. Take a look:
Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has announced plans to run for a U.S. Senate seat from Wyoming. She is running as a Republican and hopes to unseat Republican Senator Mike Enzi. Enzi is running for a fourth, six-year term in the Senate.
The New York Timesreports that the GOP is worried about a Republican vs. Republican race. Rand Paul has said he will do anything he can do help Enzi defeat Liz Cheney.
Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner Seek Post Scandal Comebacks
Former Governor Eliot Spitzer has announced the he plans to run for New York City comptroller. Meanwhile, Anthony Weiner is running for New York Mayor. Both politicians are trying to mount comebacks following scandals. Spitzer was caught in a prostitution scandal and Weiner embarrassed himself on Twitter. Spitzer says he hopes the public can forgive him. Take a look:
Egyptian President Morsi Overthrown as Christian Coptic Pope, Army and Muslim Leaders Address Country Live on TV
The Army Chief of the Egyptian military just announced on live
Egyptian television that Presient Morsi has been removed as president.
The country's unpopular pro-Islamist constitution has been suspended.
Chief Justice Adli Mansour has just been named as the
Interim President to Egypt. The army is laying out a roadmap for the
future of the country. President
Mansour will be president for now. There will be new elections
and a new constitution will be drafted. The army consulted with
the Christian Coptic Pope, Muslim holy leaders, secular leaders
and youth activist groups.The Christian Coptic Pope, Pope Tawadrus II, just spoke live on television explaining that
all groups will be represented in the new government. It looks like
a leader of each group will address the country to show harmony and
a sense of unity. Opposition Leader Mohammed El Baradei is now on television
explaining that there will be new elections and a new constiution
will be created to secure all citizens' rights.
Morsi stubbornly refused to listen to the
millions of people protesting against him and the Muslim Brotherhood and
now he's out after serving only one year. The Muslim Brotherhood is reportedly
shocked at the outpouring of hostility towards them. Analysts are
shocked that the top army chief and the top two Christian and
Muslim leaders standing together on a stage, all agreeing that
Morsi needs to go and that a new government must be formed. It's an astounding turn of events. Crowds in Tahrir Square are celebrating at the news. Things are peaceful for now, and the army has informed Egyptians that no violence will be tolerated. You
can watch it unfold live, with commentary in English,
at Al-Jazeera here.
Former President George W. Bush Talks Edward Snowden
Former President George W. Bush talked with CNN's Robyn Curnow about Edward Snowden and his leaks about the government's massive Internet surveillance program called PRISM. Snowden is currently in Moscow, possibly still at the airport. The U.S. government has been trying to get Snowden sent back to the U.S.
Bush says, "I put the program in place to protect the country and one of the certainties is that civil liberties are guaranteed."
Bush says of Snowden, "I think he damaged the security of the country."
Bush was not asked specifics about PRISM, at least not in this clip from the interview. Bush says he doesn't care about the polls anymore. He says he is comfortable with the actions he took as president. Take a look:
Governor Chris Christie Kills Spider, PETA Calls it a Thoughtless Act
Governor Chris Christie posted a video on YouTube that shows him killing a spider during a visit to a fourth grade class. TPM reports that PETA called the incident a "thoughtless act."
PETA's Ingrid Newkirk issued the following statement: "He probably did it without thinking. Some people put the spider outside, but spiders are often scary to people, and that can prevent them from pondering their worth."
Christie could have spared the spider's life and carried it outside to safety, but at least he didn't "staple it" like a couple boys can be heard suggesting in the video Christie uploaded. Take a look:
Syria Used Chemical Weapons According to U.S. Intelligence
The Syrian government has used chemical weapons twice against rebel forces in the ongoing civil war according to U.S. intelligence, which is horrific news. Senator John McCain says the U.S. needs to help rebels in Syria by establishing a No Fly Zone and provide weapons. The White House says the intelligence is not solid enough for ground forces or a No Fly Zone. The White House wants the U.N. to investigate. Take a look:
Letter Sent to Senator Roger Wicker Contained Ricin
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker was reportedly the target of a letter tainted with ricin, a deadly poison. Politicoreports that the envelope of the letter tested positive for Ricin. Wicker has represented Mississippi in the United States Senate since December 2007.
CNN says the envelope tainted with ricin was intercepted at Capitol's off-site mail facility in Washington.
Politico says other senators are being briefed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and FBI Director Robert Mueller.
The CDC has a FAQ page about ricin here. Ricin is a deadly poison made from castor beans. The CDC says ricin can come "in the form of a powder, a mist, or a pellet, or it can be dissolved in water or weak acid."
The signs and symptoms vary depending on the type of ricing exposure - inhalation, ingestion or skin and eye exposure. The CDC FAQ says ricin is unlikely to be absorbed through normal skin. The CDC says "death from ricin poisoning could take place within 36 to 72 hours of exposure, depending on the route of exposure (inhalation, ingestion, or injection) and the dose received."
Sen. Wicker issued the following statement: "This matter is part of an ongoing investigation by the United States Capitol Police and FBI. I want to thank our law enforcement officials for their hard work and diligence in keeping those of us who work in the Capitol complex safe. Gayle and I appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers."
White House April's Fool's Joke Features Kid President
The White House shared this video on its YouTube channel with the message, "A Special Message From the President." Kid President appears at the official White House podium and says, "It looks like you were expecting somebody else. April Fool's on all of y'all. I'm Kid President and I hope everybody has an awesome day."
Secretary of State John Kerry talked about the problems with Syria. He says the longer the civil war lasts, the greater the damage is to the region. He said the potential of dangerous chemical weapons falling into the hands of extremists also increases. Recently there have been allegations of chemical attacks by both the Syrian regime and the rebels.
Kerry also warned of the growing refugee problem. Kerry says the U.S. is not standing in the way of other countries that have decided to provide arms to the rebels. Take a look: