The Upshot
  • Jerry Brown apologizes for Lewinsky jokes

    Jerry Brown answers a reporter's question.BrownJerry Brown is running for the 2010 California governorship, but he's spent much of the last week reliving the politics of the 1990s. And Brown's unfortunate lurch into the past culminated Monday with an apology to former President Bill Clinton for taking shots at Clinton's conduct during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

    "Bill Clinton was an excellent president," Brown, the state attorney general, said Monday at a news conference. "It was wrong for me to joke about an incident from many years ago, and I'm sorry."

    [Photos: Jerry Brown images]

    Brown's 1990s mystery tour began early last week when his GOP opponent Meg Whitman aired an ad reviewing Brown's harsh attacks on Clinton when both men were vying for the 1992 Democratic presidential nomination.  In an effort to wave off that attack, Brown floated a couple of Lewinsky asides in a campaign speech Sunday. Addressing an audience of supporters, Brown said: "I mean, Clinton's a nice guy, but whoever said he always told the truth?" Brown then mocked Clinton: "I did not have taxes with this state," Brown said, clearly referencing Clinton's now-infamous denial of the Lewinsky affair, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

    Read More »from Jerry Brown apologizes for Lewinsky jokes
  • mcconnell boehnerJohn Boehner's apparent new conciliatory mood notwithstanding, not all Republicans on Capitol Hill are as willing to compromise on the so-called Bush tax cuts.  A day after the House GOP leader hinted he'd vote to extend tax cuts without a provision for the wealthiest Americans, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced legislation Monday to continue all of the Bush-era tax cuts indefinitely.

    McConnell's strategy is based, in part, on the simple headcount in his Senate caucus. Few Senate Republicans are willing to consider passing just tax relief for the middle class — a compromise that President Obama has pushed over the last week. McConnell and his counterparts are looking to continue the tax cuts permanently, arguing Americans cannot afford to pay higher taxes at a time of economic peril. By introducing the bill, McConnell is trying to put pressure on Senate Democrats, some of whom have been openly concerned about the idea of raising taxes, even on the wealthy.

    Read More »from Splitting with Boehner, McConnell pushes to renew all Bush tax cuts
  • Protest at Islamic center and mosquepark51protestTwo Islam-related controversies — an abortive Quran-burning and a dispute over a proposed community center and mosque in Lower Manhattan — combined to lead the news cycle during the week of Sept. 11, according to a study from Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

    Terry Jones, the fringe Florida pastor at the center of the Quran-burning controversy, became a regular on network morning shows last week before deciding Saturday not to go through with his stunt. Several national media figures spoke out against lavishing unwarranted attention on Jones, but that didn't stop reporters from flocking to Gainesville -- or their networks from carrying his Thursday news conference live.

    The Jones ordeal — included by Pew under the category "anti-Muslim sentiment" — was the second-biggest story across all media platforms, filling 15 percent of the news hole from Sept. 6 to 12. The fourth-biggest story that week was the debate over construction near ground zero, which clocked in at 4 percent. Combined, the two controversies topped even "the economy," which accounted for 17 percent of news coverage across television, online and newspapers.

    But looking at just television news, the anti-Islam storyline led both broadcast (21 percent) and cable networks (24 percent).

    Read More »from Islam controversies dominate week of Sept. 11

Pagination

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  • Syrian Kurds in Turkey recount Islamic State terror
    Syrian Kurds in Turkey recount Islamic State terror

    Mursitpinar (Turkey) (AFP) - They look like mere shadows under the trees, but then the red dust clears and the huddled shapes reveal themselves as a handful of the tens of thousands of Kurds fleeing the Islamic State group in Syria.

  • In US, huge grain crops spell headache for farmers
    In US, huge grain crops spell headache for farmers

    New York (AFP) - US corn and soybean crops could break records this year, but for farmers the bounty has a dark side: falling prices and a logistics nightmare getting crops to market.

  • Exclusive: Iran seeks give and take on Islamic State militants, nuclear program
    Exclusive: Iran seeks give and take on Islamic State militants, nuclear program

    By Parisa Hafezi and Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Iran is ready to work with the United States and its allies to stop Islamic State militants, but would like more flexibility on Iran's uranium enrichment program in exchange, senior Iranian officials told Reuters. The comments from the officials, who asked not to be named, highlight how difficult it may be for the Western powers to keep the nuclear negotiations separate from other regional conflicts. Iran wields influence in the Syrian civil war and on the Iraqi government, which is fighting the advance of Islamic State ...

  • At a Glance: the business dealings of Jeb Bush
    At a Glance: the business dealings of Jeb Bush

    Jeb Bush entered the Florida governor's mansion in 1999 with a net worth of $2 million, a relatively modest fortune compared with others in the Bush family. After eight years, his wealth had dipped to roughly $1.3 million.

  • NASA Mars Orbiter Arrives at Red Planet Tonight: Watch It Live
    NASA Mars Orbiter Arrives at Red Planet Tonight: Watch It Live

    A NASA spacecraft built to study the atmosphere of Mars like never before will arrive at the Red Planet tonight (Sept. 21) and you can watch it live online. After 10 months in deep-space, NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft is expected to enter orbit around Mars and begin a one-year mission studying the planet's upper atmosphere. You can watch the MAVEN spacecraft arrive at Mars on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV, in a live webcast that runs from 9:30 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. EDT (0130 to 0245 GMT). If all goes well, MAVEN will enter orbit around Mars at 9:50 p.m. EDT (0250 GMT), according to NASA officials.

  • 32 structures destroyed in California wildfire
    32 structures destroyed in California wildfire

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Light rain and cooler temperatures helped firefighters makes advances Sunday against a huge Northern California wildfire that has destroyed nearly three-dozen structures.

  • Ghani named Afghan president-elect after deal to end election dispute

    By Hamid Shalizi and Jessica Donati KABUL (Reuters) - Former finance minister Ashraf Ghani was named Afghanistan's president-elect on Sunday after he signed a deal to share power with his opponent, ending months of turmoil over a disputed election that destabilised the country as most foreign troops prepare to leave. The announcement withheld the final election numbers, apparently as part of the political deal between Ghani and rival Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister who claimed the process was rigged against him. "The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan declares Dr. ...

  • Chinese warships in first call at an Iran port
    Chinese warships in first call at an Iran port

    Two Chinese destroyers have arrived at Iran's Gulf port of Bandar Abbas, in an unprecedented visit attesting to a new rapprochement between the two countries, Iranian media reported Sunday.

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