• 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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  • North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia: South Korea newspaper
    North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia: South Korea newspaper

    By Ju-min Park and James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper reported on Friday, citing an unidentified source. Yun Tae Hyong, a senior representative of North Korea's Korea Daesong Bank, disappeared last week in Nakhodka, in the Russian Far East, with $5 million, the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported. The Daesong Bank is suspected by the U.S. The newspaper said North Korea had asked Russian authorities for cooperation in efforts to capture Yun.

  • Don't mess with nuclear Russia, Putin says
    Don't mess with nuclear Russia, Putin says

    By Alexei Anishchuk LAKE SELIGER Russia (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia's armed forces, backed by its nuclear arsenal, were ready to meet any aggression, declaring at a pro-Kremlin youth camp that foreign states should understand: "It's best not to mess with us." Putin told the assembly, on the banks of a lake near Moscow, the Russian takeover of Crimea in March was essential to save a largely Russian-speaking population from Ukrainian government violence. He said continued fighting in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists launched an uprising in April, was the result of a refusal by Kiev to negotiate. Ukraine, and Western governments, accuse Russia of sending troops and armor to back the separatists in a conflict that has already killed over 2,000 people.

  • Miley Cyrus Is Not Wearing Clothes On Her Latest Magazine Cover
    Miley Cyrus Is Not Wearing Clothes On Her Latest Magazine Cover

    Miley Cyrus usually looks like she’s not wearing any clothes, but on the upcoming issue of V Magazine she is actually not wearing any clothes. She’s naked on top of a pile of stuffed animals on the magazine’s “Rebel Issue,” shot by Karl Lagerfeld, and the concept of it fits Miley perfectly.

  • Rob Ford resurgent in Toronto mayor race; but new claims emerge
    Rob Ford resurgent in Toronto mayor race; but new claims emerge

    By Alastair Sharp TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has gained ground on challengers heading into an election this fall, according to a poll released on Thursday, but the boost was coupled with fresh claims about inappropriate behavior. The city's Catholic school authority released documents alleging that Ford had threatened a teacher, turned up late and inebriated to an important practice, swore at his players and made them roll in animal feces while working as a volunteer head football coach at Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School. The allegations have not been proven in court and Ford did not immediately respond to a call and email seeking comment.

  • Couple Fined For Refusing To Host Gay Wedding Shuts Down Venue
    Couple Fined For Refusing To Host Gay Wedding Shuts Down Venue

    A Christian couple fined $13,000 for refusing to host a lesbian wedding on their New York farm has decided to close the venue rather than violate their religious beliefs. Cynthia and Robert Gifford decided not to host ceremonies anymore, other than those already scheduled, Alliance Defending Freedom attorney James Trainor told The Blaze. ”Since the order essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions, even though it will likely hurt their business in the short run,” he said. New Jersey couple Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin took the Giffords to court when they refused to host their 2012 wedding at Liberty Ridge Farm, where the Giffords host about a dozen weddings a year.

  • Man Utd reach agreement to sign Blind
    Man Utd reach agreement to sign Blind

    Manchester United announced on Saturday that they have reached an agreement to sign versatile Netherlands international Daley Blind from Ajax. "MUFC has reached agreement with Ajax to sign Daley Blind, subject to a medical and personal terms," United said in a statement on the club's official Twitter page. Blind, 24, was in United coach Louis van Gaal's World Cup squad in Brazil, where he helped Holland reach the semi-finals, and can play at left-back and as a defensive midfielder. Subject to agreeing personal terms and passing a medical examination, Blind is poised to become United's fifth close-season signing, as Van Gaal seeks to restore the club's flagging fortunes.

  • Iceland declares volcano eruption area safe for aircraft
    Iceland declares volcano eruption area safe for aircraft

    Iceland on Friday temporarily banned air traffic near its largest volcano after a lava field erupted overnight, threatening a repeat of the global travel chaos four years ago when another peak blew. The aviation "red alert" for Bardarbunga volcano was lifted in the late morning when it became clear that the eruption was minor and did not release large quantities of ash. During the alert, Iceland's airports remained opened with no disruption to flights, according to the national airport operator Isavia. In 2010, another Icelandic volcanic eruption caused the biggest closure of European airspace in peacetime, halting 100,000 flights and stranding eight million passengers.

  • Toronto Might Actually Reelect Rob Ford
    Toronto Might Actually Reelect Rob Ford

    Rob Ford, the Toronto Mayor who admitted to smoking crack and having an alcohol problem, is only down by three percentage points in the latest poll. A Forum Research poll shows Ford at 31 percent, compared to lead candidate John Tory's 34 percent. Equally surprising, the number of Toronto residents who want him to resign has dropped from 63 percent to about 50 percent. 

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