Congressional lawmakers are debating a law that would permit U.S. citizens to sue foreign governments in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, like 9/11. Saudi Arabia, the nation of origin for the majority of 9/11 conspirators, opposes the bill, and is threatening to sell off American assets if the bill passes.
The Obama Administration opposes the bill, claiming it could lead to economic risks for the U.S., and clearly Saudi Arabia is a key strategic ally in the middle east. Obviously the Saudis are protecting their own economic interests: there are about three thousand 9/11 victims, so lawsuits could prove costly.
Though the government of Saudi Arabia was never officially linked to the terrorist attacks, one of the 9/11 conspirators, Zacarias Moussaoui, claimed members of the Saudi Royal Family were Al Qaeda supporters. (CNN)
Stacy Konwiser, a zoo professional and lead tiger keeper at Florida’s Palm Beach Zoo, died tragically on Friday in a tiger attack. Konwiser, 38, known respectfully as “The Tiger Whisperer,” was attacked by a 13-year-old male Malaysian tiger, as she worked inside the inclosure where the animals eat and sleep.
Emergency personnel weren’t able to reach Konwiser until the tiger was darted and sedated. She holds a master’s degree in conservation biology, and is known as a competent trainer with a great love of the animals she works with. She has worked at the Palm Beach zoo for the last three years. Her husband is also a trainer at the Palm Beach Zoo. (CNN)
Questions about Clinton revolve around her trustworthiness and credibility, while questions about Sanders focus on his likely effectiveness in office. Clinton has been plagued by scandals and concerns, particularly from the political right, regarding her actions in office as Secretary of State, including her management of the Benghazi Embassy attack, and her choice to use her own private mail server for official government business. In addition, Sanders is vigorously attacking Clinton on her campaign financing strategy, since she has taken large contributions from Wall Street operators, which is anathema to the Sanders campaign and the left-wing of the democratic party.
Sanders, on the other hand, faces mounting criticism about his platform of social and economic reforms, including a major health care overhaul, and his pledge to offer free tuition to students of state universities and colleges. Clinton and her supporters maintain that Sanders can’t deliver on his promises, especially since he would need to persuade large numbers of congressional leaders to vote for his policies. One of the key problems President Obama has had is his inability to pass significant legislation in the midst of a Republican-controlled congress, which won’t likely change for at least the first two years of a hypothetical Sanders administration.
Will the debates, like tonight’s battle of wills, help the American People decide between these two liberal rivals with different approaches to governance, or are they empty shows, offering little help to viewers trying to sort out the 2016 race? What do you think, dear reader?
Renowned theoretical physicist and Russian entrepreneur and scientist Yuri Milner are teaming up to promote a really exciting project: an interstellar probe to our nearest neighbor, the Alpha Centauri star system.
The pair are proposing to accelerate a tiny high powered electronic probe, about the size of a smart phone, to 20% the speed of light using an ultra high powered laser. The probe would take about 20 years to reach the neighboring star system, which is about 4.3 light-years away.
This is a proof of concept project, which could lay the groundwork for future, more elaborate star probes, going forward. It’s exciting to realize that the rudiments of star travel are within our technical grasp.