The Cutline
  • George H.W. Bush turned 88 on Tuesday, and the former president teared up during an interview with his granddaughter, "Today" show contributor Jenna Bush Hager, broadcast on the NBC morning show.

    "I never thought I'd get this part in chronology," the elder Bush said in the interview, taped over the weekend in Kennebunkport, Maine.

    "What's aging like?" Jenna Bush asked her grandfather.

    "Aging is all right," Bush replied. "Better than the alternative, not being here."

    The one-term president said it was a "terrible, awful feeling" to lose to Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential election.

    [Slideshow: Portrait unveiling for George W. Bush]

    "I really wanted to win and worked hard," Bush said. "Later on, people said, 'Well, he didn't really care,' which is crazy. I worked my heart out."

    The tears came when Bush 41 shared a letter he had written to the family reflecting on his life:

    Read More »from George H.W. Bush tears up during birthday interview with Jenna on ‘Today’
  • Bernstein and Woodward in the Washington Post newsroom in 1973. (AP)

    Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, arguably the two most famous newspaper reporters in American history, did something on Sunday they haven't done in 36 years: They shared a byline in the Washington Post.

    Woodward and Bernstein, who are on a mini-publicity tour surrounding the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-ins, published a joint opinion essay for the Post's Outlook section about what they've learned since first reporting on the scandal: President Richard Nixon, who was forced to resign in the wake of Watergate, was "far worse than we thought."

    "The Watergate that we wrote about in The Washington Post from 1972 to 1974 is not Watergate as we know it today," they wrote. "It was only a glimpse into something far worse."

    Today, much more than when we first covered this story as young Washington Post reporters, an abundant record provides unambiguous answers and evidence about Watergate and its meaning. This record has expanded continuously over the decades with the transcription of hundreds of hours of Nixon's secret tapes, adding detail and context to the hearings in the Senate and House of Representatives; the trials and guilty pleas of some 40 Nixon aides and associates who went to jail; and the memoirs of Nixon and his deputies. Such documentation makes it possible to trace the president's personal dominance over a massive campaign of political espionage, sabotage and other illegal activities against his real or perceived opponents.

    So what did Watergate mean? To Woodward and Bernstein, it was "Nixon's five wars":

    In the course of his five-and-a-half-year presidency, beginning in 1969, Nixon launched and managed five successive and overlapping wars--against the anti-Vietnam War movement, the news media, the Democrats, the justice system and, finally, against history itself. All reflected a mind-set and a pattern of behavior that were uniquely and pervasively Nixon's: a willingness to disregard the law for political advantage, and a quest for dirt and secrets about his opponents as an organizing principle of his presidency.

    Long before the Watergate break-in, gumshoeing, burglary, wiretapping and political sabotage had become a way of life in the Nixon White House.

    [Also read: Love letters reveal Nixon's sensitive side]

    On CBS' "Face The Nation" on Sunday, Bernstein said that the op-ed was, in part, an effort to put to rest the notion that the Nixon administration's cover-up of the Watergate scandal was worse that the crime.

    "The crimes were enormous, and that's what the tapes show," Bernstein said. "But what we found is, his White House became to a remarkable extent a criminal enterprise such as we've never had in our history."

    Read More »from Woodward and Bernstein share first Washington Post byline in 36 years
  • (Twitter.com)

    Twitter announced on Wednesday that it has eliminated all text, bubbled typefaces and the lowercase "t" versions of the company's logos, unveiling a simplified silhouette of "Larry," the bird (inspired by NBA Hall-of-Famer Larry Bird) that has long served as its symbol.

    "From now on, this bird will be the universally recognizable symbol of Twitter," Doug Bowman, Twitter's creative director, wrote in a post on the company's blog. "Twitter is the bird, the bird is Twitter."

    Bowman continued:

    Our new bird grows out of love for ornithology, design within creative constraints, and simple geometry. This bird is crafted purely from three sets of overlapping circles--similar to how your networks, interests and ideas connect and intersect with peers and friends. Whether soaring high above the earth to take in a broad view, or flocking with other birds to achieve a common purpose, a bird in flight is the ultimate representation of freedom, hope and limitless possibility.

    The six-year-old social

    Read More »from Twitter changes logo to a simplified bird

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  • Polish president warns Germany of Putin's 'empire' ambitions

    Polish President Bronis law Komorowski said that Vladimir Putin is trying to build a new Russian empire for Moscow and that the region now had to choose whether it wanted "a Cossack Europe or a democratic one". "Russia has carried out an invasion in Ukraine," the Polish head of state told German public radio, according to excerpts of an interview to be broadcast later on Saturday. Komorowski said Putin was quite open about his ambitions to "rebuild the empire". The Polish president, whose post is largely ceremonial but does give him a say in foreign policy, is an ally of Prime Minister Donald Tusk from the centrist Civic Platform (PO).

  • Rebuilding Gaza will take 20 years, group says
    Rebuilding Gaza will take 20 years, group says

    JERUSALEM (AP) — An international organization involved in assessing post-conflict reconstruction says it will take 20 years under current levels of restrictions to rebuild the Gaza Strip's battered and neglected housing stock following the war between Hamas and Israel.

  • UN says detained peacekeepers in Syria are 'safe'
    UN says detained peacekeepers in Syria are 'safe'

    UN officials have received assurances that 44 peacekeepers detained by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights are safe and in good health, a UN spokesman said. Syrian armed fighters, including some linked to the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, stormed a Golan Heights crossing on Wednesday, taking 44 troops from Fiji who were forced to surrender their weapons. The rebels surrounded another group of 72 soldiers from the Philippines serving in the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) that is tasked with monitoring a ceasefire between Syria and Israel since 1974. The United Nations did not say whether the 44 Fijian soldiers had been released, but a statement suggested progress was being made in negotiations to secure their freedom.

  • UK's Cameron 'delighted' with new EU chief's reform pledge

    By Adrian Croft and Jan Strupczewski BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron said he was "delighted" with a promise from Polish premier Donald Tusk, newly elected to a top European Union post, to address his demands for reforming the EU to keep Britain in the bloc. Two months after suffering a severe and very public setback when he failed to block the appointment of another EU leader whom he judged hostile to his reform drive, Cameron was upbeat about the choice of the Polish center-right leader as head of the European Council, the body representing the 28 EU governments. Immediately after being appointed by EU leaders at a Brussels summit on Saturday, Tusk held out an olive branch to Britain, saying he was prepared to compromise on British concerns in order to keep the country in the EU. "I am delighted obviously with what Donald Tusk has said about the importance of reform in the EU and addressing the concerns that Britain has in the EU and I look forward to working with him in the months and the years ahead," Cameron told reporters as he left the meeting early on Sunday.

  • US launches air strikes on IS rebels near Mosul dam: Pentagon
    US launches air strikes on IS rebels near Mosul dam: Pentagon

    The US military launched fresh attacks on Islamic State forces in Iraq, using fighter aircraft and drones to carry out strikes near the Mosul dam, the Pentagon said on Saturday. "The strikes destroyed an ISIL armed vehicle, an ISIL fighting position, ISIL weapons, and significantly damaged an ISIL building," a US Defense Department statement said, referring to the IS forces also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The statement put out by US Central Command, based in Tampa, Florida, said the strikes were conducted to support Kurdish and Iraqi troops, "as well as to protect critical infrastructure, US personnel and facilities, and support humanitarian efforts." The statement said that US Central Command so far has conducted a total of 115 air strikes across Iraq.

  • Intelligence nightmare: Extremists returning home
    Intelligence nightmare: Extremists returning home

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The case of Mehdi Nemmouche haunts U.S. intelligence officials.

  • Syrian rebels attack peacekeepers in Golan Heights
    Syrian rebels attack peacekeepers in Golan Heights

    BEIRUT (AP) — Clashes erupted between al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebels and U.N. peacekeepers in the Golan Heights on Saturday after the militants surrounded their encampment, activists and officials said, as the international organization risked being sucked further into the conflict.

  • Surly 2014 electorate poised to 'keep the bums in'
    Surly 2014 electorate poised to 'keep the bums in'

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A surly electorate that holds Congress in even lower regard than unpopular President Barack Obama is willing to "keep the bums in," with at least 365 incumbents in the 435-member House and 18 of 28 senators on a glide path to another term when ballots are counted Nov. 4.

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