• President Barack Obama greets veteran Eilene Henderson at Arlington cemetery on Memorial Day. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)"Imagine this is you."

    The words have barely appeared on screen, over footage of what seems to be an American military convoy, when there's an explosion. "Your life is changed forever" the text reads, over images of two soldiers carrying a wounded comrade, followed by a picture of two artificial legs and a cane. "How long should you have to wait before the country you served provides the help it promised?"

    They fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now they're facing a different kind of enemy at home: the government's frequently shocking delays in processing veterans' disabilities claims. One frustrated advocacy group—Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America—has put together a new interactive tool to show the American public that "behind every piece of data is a person."

    The piece of data is this: The 1,768 veterans profiled on "The Wait We Carry" have waited an average of 546 days to get their benefits. The tool lets you narrow down the list by home state, conflict and other details.

    Read More »from Frustrated veterans plead for help with ‘the Wait We Carry’
  • President Barack Obama at a dinner hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Charlottenburg Castle in Berlin on June 19, 2013. (Michael Sohn/Reuters/pool)President Barack Obama's job approval rating slipped slightly to 49 percent in June despite controversies over National Security Agency surveillance and the IRS targeting of conservative groups, according to a new poll from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. Oh, and fewer Americans are using the word "socialist" now than in early 2009 as a one-word description for Obama, Pew found.

    Obama's job approval was 51 percent in May, Pew said. And the proportion of Americans disapproving of the job he's doing stayed steady at 43 percent in both May and June.

    While just 11 percent of Americans in 2012 said the economy was in excellent or good shape, that number has surged to 23 percent—the highest level since January 2008, Pew found. Thirty-five percent say the economy will get better one year from now, against 19 percent who say things will be worse. In March, more respondents said it would be worse (32 percent) than better (25 percent).

    Still, 64 percent of respondents said jobs are

    Read More »from Obama job approval unchanged, views of economy improve
  • Christine Quinn's memoir sold just 100 copies during its first week on sale. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

    Christine Quinn is vying to be New York City’s first female and first openly gay mayor, but even as polls suggest she still remains the candidate to beat, it appears Quinn will not add the title of “best-selling author” to her resume.

    The New York Times reports that Quinn’s memoir, “With Patience and Fortitude,” sold just 100 print copies during its week of release, according to Nielsen BookScan. That’s an embarrassing stat for Quinn’s campaign, which had hoped to use the book to boost her bid to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg when he leaves City Hall later this year.

    The number is somewhat surprising when you consider that Quinn is among the best-known candidates in the race. But while she remains atop the polls, a recent Marist College poll suggested she’s lost some ground to former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who jumped into the Democratic primary last month.

    Spokesmen for Quinn and for her book publisher, HarperCollins, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Even though

    Read More »from NYC mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn’s memoir so far sells just 100 copies

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  • AFTER A LOVED ONE'S PASSING, GRIEF CAN OUTLAST THE SUPPORT

    DEAR ABBY: My neighbor was very ill with diabetes and an amputee with other health problems. Her husband worked long hours to pay for her health care and keep food on the table. They also had custody of a 3-year-old granddaughter. I'm sorry to say this idea didn't occur to me until after the lady died suddenly, and her husband was left a widower with a small child to raise. Once the funeral is over and the church and neighbors move on, those left behind are often without support. They have funeral bills to pay, medical bills and their grief. ...

  • Obama's cool head in a crisis -- asset or growing liability?
    Obama's cool head in a crisis -- asset or growing liability?

    He doesn't bluster and he doesn't strut and President Barack Obama certainly isn't panicking, though he admits it feels like the world is falling apart. With world crises bursting around him and political opponents apoplectic, Obama has yet to lash out in response, and refuses to act on anyone's timetable but his own. With Islamic State radicals dug into a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, and Russian President Vladimir Putin's shadow ever lengthening over Ukraine, Obama is shrugging off a whirl of hostile news cycles and political attacks on his leadership. A burst of honesty on Syria put the president in a new fix —- and raised the stakes for his trip to the NATO summit and Estonia beginning Tuesday.

  • Ukraine seeks to join NATO; defiant Putin compares Kiev to Nazis
    Ukraine seeks to join NATO; defiant Putin compares Kiev to Nazis

    By Alexei Anishchuk and Richard Balmforth LAKE SELIGER Russia/KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine called on Friday for full membership in NATO, its strongest plea yet for Western military help, after accusing Russia of sending in armored columns that have driven back its forces on behalf of pro-Moscow rebels. Russian President Vladimir Putin, defiant as ever, compared Kiev's drive to regain control of its rebellious eastern cities to the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in World War Two. Speaking to young people at a summer camp, Putin told his countrymen they must be "ready to repel any aggression towards Russia." He described Ukrainians and Russians as "practically one people," language that Ukrainians say dismisses the very existence of their thousand-year-old nation. Kiev and Western countries say the reversal was the result of the arrival of armored columns of Russian troops, sent by Putin to prop up a rebellion that would otherwise have been near collapse.

  • Zaha helps Warnock mark Palace return in style
    Zaha helps Warnock mark Palace return in style

    Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha celebrated his return to the club with a stoppage-time equaliser as Neil Warnock began his second spell in charge with a dramatic 3-3 draw against Newcastle on Saturday. Warnock's first act after returning as Palace manager in midweek was to sign Zaha on loan from Manchester United and the England international quickly repaid that faith on his debut at St James' Park. Warnock, hired to replace Tony Pulis, rubbished those rumours when he re-signed Zaha and he received an instant reward when the winger came off the bench to strike in the fifth minute of stoppage-time.

  • Philippine troops pull 'greatest escape' in Golan
    Philippine troops pull 'greatest escape' in Golan

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Under cover of darkness, 40 Filipino peacekeepers made a daring escape after being surrounded and under fire for seven hours by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights, Philippine officials said Sunday, leaving 44 Fijian troops still in the hands of the al-Qaida-linked insurgents.

  • Judge finds Texas abortion rules unconstitutional
    Judge finds Texas abortion rules unconstitutional

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Tough new Texas abortion restrictions are on hold after a federal judge found Republican-led efforts to hold abortion clinics to hospital-level operating standards unconstitutional in a ruling that spares more than a dozen clinics from imminent closure.

  • Pro-Russia rebels confident after making gains
    Pro-Russia rebels confident after making gains

    STAROBESHEVE, Ukraine (AP) — As the survivor of a tank attack on a Ukrainian army truck was being carried into an ambulance, he was showered with verbal abuse by a rebel fighter.

  • Israel agreed Gaza truce to focus on jihadist threat: Netanyahu
    Israel agreed Gaza truce to focus on jihadist threat: Netanyahu

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel agreed to a permanent truce in its 50-day Gaza war with Hamas in order to keep focused on the threat from regional militants. "We fought for 50 days and we could have fought for 500 days, but we are in a situation where the Islamic State is at the gates of Jordan, Al-Qaeda is in the Golan and Hezbollah is at the border with Lebanon," Netanyahu said in an address on public television. He was referring to Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq -- both neighbours of Jordan -- Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front Syria rebels on the Israeli-annexed Golan and Lebanon's Shiite movement Hezbollah. "We decided not to get bogged down in Gaza, and we could have, but we decided to limit our objective and restore calm to Israeli citizens," Netanyahu added.

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