A Hellfire missile fired from an American drone killed Anwar al-Awlaki on Friday, ending a two-year hunt for a radical cleric who had called on his followers to attack the U.S. any way they could.
Some details of the strike are sketchy. U.S. officials and the Yemeni Defense Ministry both confirmed that a drone had fired on a convoy of cars that was carrying Awlaki in northern Yemen. They said it was a joint operation, but it is unclear what role the Yemeni military played in the attack.
With all the recent turmoil in the Middle East, one piece of news that has been overlooked is the revelation that the Obama administration approved the sale of 55 deep earth penetrator bombs to Israel in 2009.
The two-year-old transaction was recently reported by Newsweek. No U.S. officials have talked openly about why the bunker busters were provided to Israel but speculation falls most heavily on a single target.
Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 4:03 pm
A new analysis of 2010 census data by the Williams Institute shows how same-sex couples are distributed across the nation. Liberal enclaves are well-represented, of course. But so are some surprising pockets of the heartland and the South.
Abdel Hakim Belhaj (center left), a prominent militia commander, walks with Transitional National Council Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil in Tripoli on Sept. 10. The battle to oust Moammar Gadhafi produced a number of leaders who will have to work together to form a new government.
Libya's victorious militias are still fighting the last forces loyal to ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi, but as the military endgame draws closer, some are worrying about the political battles that are just beginning.
The question is an old one for revolutionaries: How to go from a military triumph to a civilian government?
In Libya, the problem is magnified because the fighting is still going on and the military consists of various regional militias that don't answer to a single commander.
The main ring of the Tevatron, seen in a time exposure. For a quarter century, the particle accelerator at a lab outside Chicago was the most powerful machine of its kind in the world.
Credit Reidar Hahn / Fermilab
Tiny particles of atoms, protons and antiprotons were sped up to nearly the speed of light and smashed together. The underground tunnel, above, was four miles around. Scientists sifted through the subatomic rubble for clues about hidden particles.
Alabama and Arizona have some of the toughest immigration laws in the country. Behind both states' laws, and many others, is Kris Kobach, a constitutional lawyer and the Kansas secretary of state.
Kobach has helped several other states shape immigration legislation, and he says there's more to come in 2012.
Many national stories have called the 45-year-old conservative a "movie star," handsome and loaded with charisma. He looked the part greeting some 60 guests during a recent address to the Pachyderm Club in Topeka, Kan.
Ryan Witmer (left) and Jhonmar Castillo wait with other couples to exchange vows in a civil union ceremony June 2 in Chicago's Millennium Park. New data from the U.S. census may reveal as much about changing attitudes as about changing numbers.
As bans on gay marriage and civil unions spread across the majority of America in the past decade, new U.S. Census figures reveal a starkly different trend: The number of same-sex partnerships skyrocketed even in the most prohibitive states.
Some 646,464 gay couples said they lived together in last year's census, an increase of 80 percent from 2000, according to revised figures released this week. Same-sex couples make up just 1 percent of all married and unmarried couples in the U.S., but as a group they nonetheless made large gains in every state.
Today, we've read nothing but bad economic news. The worst of which came from the Economic Cycle Research Institute, an independent forecasting group.
Lakshman Achuthan, the managing director of ECRI, was on CNBC this morning and he had the hosts cringing. After Achutan said "a vicious circle has started," and that "we're not going to escape" a double-dip recession, one of the anchors said, "A drink?"
Long before U.S. officials said he was one of the world's most-wanted terrorists, Anwar al-Awlaki was a Muslim cleric who U.S. media outlets would turn to during discussions about the post-Sept. 11 world.
The decision by Florida's Republican officials to move the state's presidential primary into January from March will have a range of effects, some foreseeable, some not.
By advancing its primary date to Jan. 31, Florida makes it virtually certain the four traditional early states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — will now move their caucuses and primaries to earlier in January to maintain their status as the earliest contests.
Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 9:11 am
In New Hampshire, where the state motto is "Live Free Or Die," college students don't take kindly to restrictions on their energy drinks.
After the food services folks at the University of New Hampshire moved to ban energy drinks as part of the school's drive to become the "healthiest campus community in the country by 2020," the president stepped in to reverse the decision.
Recently, The Salt had a chance to chat with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. He's held the top post at USDA since January 2009. As a former Iowa governor, he knows a thing or two about farm country and he's been open about his struggles with weight.
A customer uses a Bank of America ATM in Los Angeles. The bank plans to start charging a $5 monthly fee for customers who use their debit card for purchases starting early in 2012. ATM transactions would still be free.
Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 6:13 pm
Anwar al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico, educated in Colorado and spent years as a cleric in San Diego and suburban Washington, D.C. But in the past several years, he became a master al-Qaida propagandist whose sermons inspired jihadists worldwide before his death Friday by a U.S. missile on a desert road in northern Yemen.
Awlaki's journey from a childhood in Las Cruces, N.M., to the Arabian Peninsula placed him in the cross hairs of U.S. intelligence after he was linked to the failed "underwear bomber," the Fort Hood shooter and the foiled plot to bomb New York's Times Square.
Maybe it's something about this funky, rainy weather that has people chowing down on strange mushrooms. Regardless, for unlucky foragers who have consumed a poisonous mushroom, a drug still in clinical trials may avert potentially deadly consequences.
Doctors at Georgetown University Hospital have treated four people in the last month with the experimental drug silibinin after they ate toxic mushrooms picked in Virginia and Maryland. The first two men to check in for poisoning have recovered.