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Old Talk Show Hosts Never Retire, They Just Move To Russian TV - Just Like Larry King

When Larry King announced "it's time to hang up my nightly suspenders" we really shouldn't have believed him. Three years after emotionally leaving CNN he has shocked America by signing up for the Kremlin-backed broadcaster Russia Today (RT).

King stepped down from CNN after the 25th anniversary of Larry King Live and a week in which he interviewed Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Lady Gaga and the basketball star LeBron James. "I can't top this," he said, promising he would spend more time with his kids (the 79-year-old has children of 13 and 14 by his seventh wife).

How desperate must he be to join RT? This is the English-language network that delights in riling Washington by giving a platform to the disparate fringe voices who question the American dream: the angry bloggers, the conspiracy theorists, the dispossessed. It's not what Larry King, or his audience, has been used to.

What a coup for RT! It has landed an American icon, someone who began his landmark CNN show during the Cold War in 1985. The RT version will be called Politics with Larry King, giving the old boy added gravitas.



Dangerous California Wildfire Explodes In Size

Updated 11:18 p.m. ET

LANCASTER, CALIF. A wildfire that destroyed at least six homes, damaged 15 others and threatened hundreds more grew quickly Sunday as it triggered evacuations for nearly 3,000 people and burned dangerously close to communities in the parched mountains north of Los Angeles.

The blaze had burned about 35 square miles of very dry brush in the Angeles National Forest mountains and canyons, some of which hadn't burned since 1929. The fire was growing so fast, and the smoke was so thick, that it was difficult to map the size, U.S. Forest Service Incident Commander Norm Walker said.

"This is extremely old, dry fuel," Walker said at an afternoon news conference.

The fire, which was 20 percent contained, appeared to be the fiercest of several burning in the West, including two in New Mexico, where thick smoke covered several communities and set a blanket of haze over Santa Fe on Saturday. Crews fighting the two uncontained wildfires focused Sunday on building protection lines around them amid anticipation that a forecast of storms could bring moisture to help reduce the intensity of the fires.

The fire raging in Southern California had crews fighting the fire on four fronts, with the flames spreading quickest northward into unoccupied land, authorities said. But populated areas about 50 miles north of downtown LA remained in danger, with more than 2,800 people and 700 homes under evacuation orders in the communities of Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth, sheriff's Lt. David Coleman said.



The Turkish Government Is Massively Underestimating Ongoing Nationwide Protests

On Sunday tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Turkey, clashing with riot police in the fiercest anti-government protests since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan assumed office in 2003.

Erdogan dismissed the protestors, whom he called "looters" and "bums," and The Washington Post reports that "Sunday brought moments of calm in Istanbul and Ankara."

But all signs point to deep civil discontent being stoked by a savage police crackdown.

More than 1,700 people have been arrested (though many have since been released). Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have condemned the excessive force employed by police.

"This park was just the ignition of all that," Yakup Efe Tuncay, a 28-year-old demonstrator in the park told CNN. "The Erdogan government is usually considered as authoritarian. He has a big ego; he has this Napoleon syndrome. He takes himself as a sultan. ... He needs to stop doing that. He's just a prime minister."



In Congress, Legislation and Scandals Vie for Attention

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers will return to the Capitol on Monday from a weeklong recess, facing a critical juncture on immigration legislation and controversies at the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department that will test Congress’s ability to balance its twin responsibilities of legislating and investigating.

For President Obama, how those competing priorities balance out could mean the difference between securing a landmark accomplishment — the first overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws since 1986 — or becoming consumed by charges of scandal.

Invigorated by the uproars, House Republicans are setting their sights more firmly this week on the I.R.S. and Mr. Obama’s embattled attorney general. After weeks of trying to leaven the House’s growing investigatory zeal with serious legislating, House leaders and committee chairmen appear to be giving themselves over to an expanding and aggressive oversight effort — on the I.R.S., the Justice Department’s targeting of reporters, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s statements to Congress on that targeting and the Sept. 11 attack on the United States Mission in Benghazi, Libya.

House leaders including Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio have acknowledged the risk if voters see the investigations as driven primarily by politics. But with the legislative season moving toward the routine task of passing spending bills, oversight appears to be the biggest splash that the House hopes to make.



Chuck Hagel Rebuked By Chinese General Over US Buildup In Asia

US defence secretary Chuck Hagel was challenged by a Chinese general Saturday to better explain the US military's Asia pivot, just moments after the Pentagon chief warned Beijing over cyberwarfare.

In a speech at a high-profile security conference in Singapore, Hagel said the US administration has concerns about "the growing threat of cyberintrusions, some of which appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military".

The rebuke – coming in China's backyard and in front of a Chinese delegation – was countered by questioning of America's intent in the region, following a reposition of its military strategy.

Major General Yao Yunzhu, director of the Center for China-America Defense Relations at the People's Liberation Army's Academy of Military Science, challenged Hagel to better explain America's military buildup across the region.

"Thank you for mentioning China several times," she said in the question-and-answer session after Hagel's speech.



Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) Opposes Equal Pay Laws Because Women Just Want To Be ‘Recognized’

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Sunday said that Washington should stay out of the business of ensuring equal pay because “what women want” is just to be “recognized.”

During a panel discussion on NBC about a recent Pew report that found women had become the primary source of income in 40 percent of U.S. households, Blackburn said that it was “up to companies to make sure there is a level playing field and that women are not shortchanged as they try to get on that latter to success.”

“How about pay equity laws to ensure that women are treated fairly in the workplace?” former White House senior adviser David Axelrod asked the Tennessee Republican.

“I think that more important than that is making certain that women are recognized by those companies,” Blackburn replied. “You know, I’ve always said that I didn’t want to be given a job because I was a female, I wanted it because I was the most well-qualified person for the job.”

“And making certain that companies are going to move forward in that vein — that is what women want,” she added. “They don’t want the decisions made in Washington.”



Push For FBI Internet ‘Wiretap’ Law Faces Tough Criticism From Civil Liberties Groups

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, June 2, 2013 7:24 EDT

The FBI is stepping up its effort to get broader authority to put “wiretaps” on the Internet to catch criminals and terrorists.

But the move is drawing fire from civil liberties groups, technology firms and others who claim the effort could be counterproductive, by harming online security and imposing hefty costs on makers of hardware and software.

US law enforcement has for years complained about the problem of “going dark,” or being unable to monitor Internet communications in the same manner as wiretaps, for which officials get a court order to tap into a local phone company.

President Barack Obama said in a May 23 speech his administration is “reviewing the authorities of law enforcement, so we can intercept new types of communication.”

FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann told a recent Washington forum it would be “a top priority this year” to get expanded authority to tap communications such as “Gmail, Google voice (and) Dropbox.”



Weather Agency Spared From Furloughs After Rash Of Tornadoes

Forecasters at the National Weather Service (NWS) will not be forced to take furloughs during the summer hurricane season following the recent destruction caused by tornadoes in Oklahoma, CNN reported on Saturday.

The NWS was part of the initial plan by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to impose as many as 20 mandatory days off without pay for its 12,000 employees in July and September, a move caused by federal budget cuts.

The cuts would have taken effect during what forecasters predicted would be an abnormally severe hurricane season.

But according to the Washington Post, Kathryn Sullivan, the NOAA’s acting administrator, did not discount future cost-cutting measures in an email sent to employees late Friday night.

“While this new plan allows us to avoid furloughs, sequestration remains an ongoing challenge,” Sullivan advised in her message. “We must all continue to scrutinize every expense and prioritize our most critical missions and essential operations.”



'Germany Backs Labels For Goods From Settlements'

German gov't document gives backing to EU efforts to put "Made in Israel" label only on products from within pre-1967 lines.

By JPOST.COM STAFF06/02/2013

The German government has given its tacit approval of European Union efforts to label products manufactured in Israeli-controlled territory beyond the Green Line, Army Radio reported on Sunday morning.

The IDF-run radio station said it obtained an official German government document that was produced in response to a parliamentary motion by opposition lawmakers in Berlin. The document reportedly enunciates Germany’s stance on the issue.

“In our view, it is permissible to label products with the ‘Made in Israel’ sticker only if those products are manufactured within the 1967 borders,” reads the document obtained by Army Radio.

The Jerusalem Post obtained a letter which confirms the Army Radio report.



'Iran Strike Won't Lead To Civilian Disaster'

Israeli expert challenges claim radioactive fallout from strike on nuclear sites will lead to humanitarian catastrophe.

An Israeli nuclear expert has challenged claims by an Iranian-American philanthropist and industrialist that a military strike on Iran will lead to an environmental and humanitarian catastrophe.

Ephraim Asculai, a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, published a response essay to a paper by Khosrow Bayegan Semnani, based in Salt Lake City, who claimed last year that radioactive fallout from military strikes on Iranian nuclear sites could leave up to 70,000 Iranians dead.

Asculai, who worked for the Israel Atomic Energy Commission for over 40 years, mainly on issues of nuclear and environmental safety, said the rubble produced by air strikes, combined with the fact that the targeted facilities are underground, would minimize damage to the site’s surroundings.

“Although it is not possible to foresee the consequences of direct hits on Iranian underground facilities, it is reasonable to assess that either the underground facilities will be penetrated and exploded from within, or hit, and collapse into the inner cavities and turn into piles of rubble, or with their innards at least gravely harmed. These piles of rubble would act as filters, with their greater surface areas holding onto or reacting with the materials released within, and thus preventing the major contents from escaping to the atmosphere and causing grave environmental harm,” Asculai said in his essay published last week.



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