CAMPAIGN 2016 Ben Carson delivered son in bathroom, used hair clip to cut umbilical cord: wife Dylan Stableford Senior editor January 5, 2016 The legend of Dr. Ben Carson continues to grow.In a newly published book, “A Doctor in the House: My Life With Ben Carson,” his wife, Lacene “Candy” Carson, writes that when she was pregnant with their second son, the now-retired neurosurgeon delivered him in the bathroom of their home after she went into premature labor — using a hair clip to cut the umbilical cord.“Ben dashed into the bathroom just in time to catch BJ before he fully emerged, holding the baby in one hand while he caught the afterbirth in the other,” she writes.MacGyver-like childbirthing aside, the book fills out other parts of Carson’s colorful biography:• As a student at Yale, where the two met, Carson was “obsessed” with foosball, developing a signature “lightning-fast shot” that fellow players named after him.• Carson was once carjacked by two men at a gas station. Ben chased down the car and confronted the thieves, who recognized him as the famed doctor from Johns Hopkins. According to the book, they stopped the car, shook his hand and gave him the car back, saying it was an honor to meet him.• The book also delves into the candidate’s troubled childhood, including an ill-fated suicide attempt with rat poison when he was in the third grade. “I’m looking for the best way to kill myself,” Ben told his older brother, according to Candy. “Something bad happened at school, and there’s no other way out of this.” His brother, though, talked him out of it.Dr. Ben Carson laughs as his wife, Candy Carson, waves to a crowd of supporters in Phoenix on Aug. 18, 2015. (Photo: Ross D. Franklin/AP)In November, the soft-spoken Carson said that, as a teenager, Carson “would go after people with rocks and bricks, and baseball bats and hammers,” and once “tried to stab someone” — a story he detailed in several of his own books.“One afternoon when I was fourteen, I argued with a friend named Bob,” Carson writes in 1996’s “Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for Excellence.” “Pulling out a camping knife, I lunged at my friend. The steel blade struck his metal belt buckle and snapped.”But other facts the 64-year-old Carson has shared about his formative years have been challenged during the campaign.In “Gifted Hands,” Carson’s better-known book that was also published in 1996, he claimed he was offered a full scholarship to West Point. But according to Politico, West Point had no record of Carson seeking admission to the academy, which doesn’t award scholarships to anyone. (Cadets agree to serve in the military for at least five years after graduation, and are given a free education in exchange.) Carson’s campaign subsequently clarified that he was not formally offered a scholarship, but met with ROTC supervisors who tried to recruit him.In the same book, Carson claimed that as a junior at Yale, he took a psychology course called “Perceptions 301.” According to Carson, the female professor informed the class that their final exams had “inadvertently burned,” requiring a new one to be administered. Carson recalled that the new exam was much tougher, and that all 150 students in class walked out — except him.“The professor came toward me. With her was a photographer for the Yale Daily News who paused and snapped my picture,” Carson wrote. “‘A hoax,’ the teacher said. ‘We wanted to see who was the most honest student in the class.’” But on Nov. 6, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Yale Daily News never ran a photo of Carson, and that there was never a “psychology course by that name or class number during any of Mr. Carson’s years at Yale.”And in an interview with SiriusXM Radio the same month, Carson said he had been held at gunpoint at a Popeyes restaurant in Baltimore in the early 1980s.“A guy comes in and puts a gun in my ribs,” Carson said. “And I just said, ‘I believe that you want the guy behind the counter.’ He said, ‘Oh, okay.’”The Baltimore Police Department later said it couldn’t find a police report matching Carson’s story.
‘It gets me mad’ – Obama acts alone on gun controlBy JOSH LEDERMAN 2 hours ago WASHINGTON (AP) — Tears streaking his cheeks, President Barack Obama launched a final-year push Tuesday to tighten sales of firearms in the U.S., using his presidential powers in the absence of tougher gun restrictions that Congress has refused to pass.The president struck a combative tone as he came out with plans for expanded background checks and other modest measures that have drawn consternation from gun rights groups, which Obama accused of making Congress their hostage. Palpable, too, was Obama’s extreme frustration at having made such little progress on gun control since the killing of 20 first-graders in Connecticut confronted the nation more than three years ago.”First-graders,” Obama said woefully, resting his chin on his hand and wiping away tears as he recalled the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. „Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad.”Obama’s 10-point plan to keep guns from those who shouldn’t have them marked a concession by the president: He’ll leave office without securing the new gun control laws he’s repeatedly and desperately implored Congress to pass..Scott Smith, a supporter of open carry gun laws, wears a pistol as he prepares for a rally in support of open carry …Although Obama, acting alone, can take action around the margins, only Congress can enact more sweeping changes that gun control advocates say are the only way to truly stem the frequency of mass shootings.”It won’t happen overnight,” Obama said. „It won’t happen during this Congress. It won’t happen during my presidency.” But, he added optimistically, „a lot of things don’t happen overnight.”The National Rifle Association, the largest gun group, panned Obama’s plan and said it was „ripe for abuse,” although the group didn’t specify what steps, if any, it will take to oppose or try to block it. Even Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat and gun-owner who co-wrote the bipartisan bill Obama supported in 2013, took issue with the president’s move.”Instead of taking unilateral executive action, the president should work with Congress and the American people, just as I’ve always done, to pass the proposals he announced today,” Manchin said.The centerpiece of Obama’s plan is an attempt to narrow the loophole that exempts gun sales from background checks if the seller isn’t a federal registered dealer. With new federal „guidance,” the administration is clarifying that even those who sell just a few weapons at gun shows, flea markets or online can be deemed dealers and required to conduct checks on prospective buyers.Whether that step can make a significant dent in unregulated gun sales is an open question, and one not easily answered.Millions of guns are sold annually in informal settings outside of gun shops, including many through private sales arranged online. But the Obama administration acknowledged it couldn’t quantify how many gun sales would be newly subjected to background checks, nor how many currently unregistered gun sellers would have to obtain a license.Easily reversible by a future president, the government’s guidance to gun sellers lacks the legal oomph of a new law, such as the one Obama and likeminded lawmakers tried but failed to pass in 2013. The Justice Department said online the guidance „has no regulatory effect and is not intended to create or confer any rights, privileges, or benefits in any matter, case, or proceeding.”What’s more, none of the steps would have probably prevented any of the recent mass shootings that Obama invoked in the East Room: Aurora, Oak Creek, Charleston, Newtown, to name some. But Obama defiantly rejected that critique, dismissing it as the tired trope of gun lobbyists who question „why bother trying?””I reject that thinking,” Obama said. „We maybe can’t save everybody, but we could save some.”Hoping to give the issue a human face, the White House assembled a cross-section of Americans affected by searing recent gun tragedies, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Mark Barden, whose son was shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School, introduced the president with a declaration that „we are better than this.”In this Dec. 14, 2012, file photo, Carlee Soto uses a phone to get information about her sister, Victoria Soto, …Obama readily conceded the executive steps will be challenged in court, a prediction quickly echoed by Republicans.Chuck James, a former federal prosecutor who practices firearms law at the firm Williams Mullen, said opponents are likely to challenge Obama’s authority to define what it means to be „engaged in the business” of selling guns beyond what’s laid out in the law. The White House asserted confidence Obama was acting legally, and said Justice Department and White House lawyers had worked diligently to ensure the steps were watertight.Other new steps include 230 new examiners the FBI will hire to process background checks, aiming to prevent delays that enabled the accused gunman in Charleston, South Carolina, to get a gun when the government took too long.Obama is also asking the government to research smart gun technology to reduce accidental shootings and asking Congress for $500 million to improve mental health care. Other provisions aim to better track lost or stolen guns and prevent trusts or corporations from buying dangerous weapons without background checks.Obama’s announcement carved a predictably partisan fault line through the presidential campaign.Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, both competing for the nomination from Obama’s party, pledged to build on his actions if elected. The Republican field formed a chorus of voices vowing to annul the whole package, with Marco Rubio claiming „Obama is obsessed with undermining the Second Amendment.””Rather than focus on criminals and terrorists, he goes after the most law-abiding of citizens,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican. „His words and actions amount to a form of intimidation that undermines liberty.”__Associated Press writers Kevin Freking and Nancy Benac contributed to this report.
North Korea successfully conducts nuclear testBy Ju-min Park and Meeyoung Cho 37 minutes agoA sales assistant watches TV sets broadcasting a news report on North Korea’s nuclear test, in Seoul, …By Ju-min Park and Meeyoung Cho Related Stories
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea said it had successfully conducted a test of a miniaturized hydrogen nuclear device on Wednesday morning, marking a significant advance in the isolated state’s strike capabilities and raising alarm bells in Japan and South Korea.The test, the fourth time North Korea has exploded a nuclear device, was ordered by young leader Kim Jong Un, state media said.”The first H-bomb test was successfully conducted at 10:00 (2030 ET) on Wednesday,” North Korea’s official KCNA news agency said.Last month, Kim appeared to claim his country had developed a hydrogen bomb, also known as a thermonuclear device, a step up from the less powerful atomic bomb, but the United States and outside experts were sceptical at the time.Some analysts questioned whether Wednesday’s test was indeed of a hydrogen device.A sales assistant watches TV sets broadcasting a news report on North Korea’s nuclear test, in S …”North Korea has made claims about its nuclear and missile programs in the past that simply have not held up to investigation,” said Melissa Hanham, a Senior Research Associate at the California-based James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.Yang Uk, a senior research fellow at the Korea Defence and Security Forum, added: „Given the scale it is hard to believe this is a real hydrogen bomb. They could have tested some middle stage kind (of device) between an A-bomb and H-bomb, but unless they come up with any clear evidence, it is difficult to trust their claim.”The United States Geological Survey reported a 5.1 magnitude quake that South Korea said was 49 km (30 miles) from the Punggye-ri site where the North has conducted nuclear tests in the past.North Korea’s last test, of an atomic device in 2013, also registered at 5.1 on the USGS scale.The claim of miniaturizing, which would allow the device to be adapted as a weapon and placed on a missile, would pose a new threat to the United States and its regional allies, Japan and South Korea.A sales assistant watches TV sets broadcasting a news report on North Korea’s nuclear test, in S …UN MEETING North Korea has been under U.N. Security Council sanctions since it first tested an atomic device in 2006 and could face additional measures. The Security Council will meet later on Wednesday to discuss what steps it could take, diplomats said.The White House said it could not confirm North Korea’s claims, but added the United States would respond appropriately to provocations and defend its allies.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan would make a firm response to North Korea’s challenge against nuclear non-proliferation, calling its test a threat to Japan’s security.South Korea said it would take all possible measures, including possible United Nations sanctions, to ensure Pyongyang paid the price after its fourth nuclear test.Japan Meteorological Agency’s earthquake and tsunami observations division director Yohei Hasega …”Our government strongly condemns North Korea ignoring repeated warnings from us and the international community and pushing ahead with the fourth nuclear test, which clearly violated the U.N. resolutions,” Cho Tae-yong, a senior security official at the South Korean presidential office said.The North’s state news agency said it will not give up its nuclear program as long as the United States maintained what it called „its stance of aggression”.It also said it will act as a responsible nuclear state and vowed not to use its nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty was infringed. It said it will not transfer its nuclear capabilities to other parties.While a fourth nuclear test had been long expected, the timing of Wednesday’s explosion came as a surprise.The test is bound to ratchet up tensions between the isolated country and its neighbors as well as Washington. China, North Korea’s main ally, has not commented on the test but is likely to be displeased at the increase in tensions in its neighborhood.”For the immediate term, expect further souring of relations with Seoul and, more importantly, Beijing,” said Sue Mi-Terry, Managing Director at Bower Group Asia and former Central Intelligence Agency analyst.(Reporting by Seoul bureau, Louis Charbonneau at the United Nations, Ayesha Rascoe in Washington and Takashi Umekawa in Tokyo; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
Five political stories to watch in 2016 Yahoo Politics Staff December 30, 2015President Obama delivers a statement at the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean, Va., Dec. 17, 2015. (Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters)A not-so-lame duck as Obama heads into his last year Late in their second terms, presidents often look to shore up their legacies by seeking victories in the foreign policy arena, where Congress has less power than it does over domestic affairs. But President Obama is heading into his last year in office ready, even eager, to scrap with Republicans and lock in his biggest achievements at home.He will also campaign aggressively for Democratic candidates around the country, including the party’s presidential nominee — the person most responsible to keep the GOP from rolling back the work he’s done over the last seven years.In 2015, the administration that built the 2009 stimulus package, enacted Wall Street reform and made Obamacare the law of the land reached a historic deal with Iran to curb that country’s suspect nuclear program and reopened the U.S. Embassy in Cuba. Obama also announced tough new emissions restrictions meant to curb greenhouse gases blamed for climate change and, after a years-long, politically fraught review, finally said no to the Keystone pipeline.But the president has labored to advance his six-year campaign to close the detention center for suspected extremists at Guantánamo Bay, releasing some prisoners to third countries but hitting domestic roadblocks in the form of legislation forbidding the transfer of detainees to U.S. soil. He has promised to keep transferring prisoners cleared for release to other countries, and said he will present Congress with a plan to shutter the notorious facility.“It will be an uphill battle,” he acknowledged at his year-end press conference. “Now, every battle I’ve had with Congress over the last five years has been uphill. But we keep on surprising you by actually getting some stuff done.”Several vexing foreign policy challenges are sure to stalk Obama into 2016. The military campaign against the so-called Islamic State, which carried out mid-November massacres in Paris that left at least 130 dead, still seems a long way from fulfilling his promise to degrade and destroy that terrorist army. Russia looks no closer to reversing its annexation of the Ukraine’s Crimean region or ending its support for pro-Moscow separatists in the country’s eastern areas.And Obama announced in October that the U.S troop withdrawal from Afghanistan would halt, extending what is already America’s longest war. At the same time, he has expanded the U.S. military role on the ground in Iraq and Syria.For the president who promised to get America out of Iraq and Afghanistan, it can’t be comforting to know that he will hand wars in both countries to his successor. —Olivier KnoxRepublican presidential candidates, from left, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Rand Paul take the stage during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., on Dec. 15, 2015. (Photo: Mark J. Terrill/AP)How long will the Republican primary last?Of course, the biggest story of 2016 will be the outcome of the November presidential election, but before the Republican primary has played itself out, there’s far too little information available to speculate knowledgeably on whether Hillary Clinton will be the next commander-in-chief. The most immediate obvious big question is whether the Republican nominee will be established by the end of March, or whether the process will go all the way to June, or even to the convention in July. It’s important to remember: Primaries don’t happen in one day. They play out over several months. For a few decades, states that voted after the first month or so haven’t really mattered. But that wasn’t always the case, and it may not be the case this year, because there are still so many candidates and because the stakes for the Republican Party are so high. If Donald Trump were to become the nominee, it would likely mean the end of the GOP as we know it, and could lead to the creation of a new third party. The sequence of which states vote when is incredibly important. The first four states have traditionally decided the contest. In 2016, they may be more of a first act, eliminating some candidates and leaving a few survivors to slug it out into the spring and summer. Iowa goes first on Feb. 1, followed by New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada in the three weeks that follow. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are battling for Iowa, but Cruz is a better match for the state’s large number of religious conservatives and looks primed to win there. If Trump places a strong second, it’s unlikely that would be much of a setback. But if he reacts badly to second place, he could lose the aura of invincibility. In New Hampshire, Cruz or Trump will have to beat whoever emerges as the establishment choice of that state’s more moderate electorate. Chris Christie looks strong, but Marco Rubio could emerge there, as could Jeb Bush. An open question in the Granite State is whether large numbers of Democrats cross over to vote in the Republican primary, which is allowed there, and if they do, whether they do so to stop Trump. South Carolina is very conservative, and is likely to be won by Cruz or Trump, while Nevada is a question mark. The biggest unknown about how that first month will play out is how much consolidation there will be. Will Cruz and Trump — whose support comes from similar types of voters — both continue into the second month of voting? It’s very likely they will. If the hardcore anti-Washingtion wing of the GOP is split, this will represent an opportunity for the more moderate wing of the GOP, but only if they can cohere around Rubio, Christie or Bush. The chances of that happening are not good. March will be a huge month for the primaries. On the first of the month, 12 states will hold primaries or caucuses, and seven of them are below the Mason-Dixon Line. The heavily Southern tilt to that day’s results will work in favor of a Cruz or Trump candidacy, but the results will not be unequivocal for whoever wins the popular vote in each state. Delegates will be awarded to multiple candidates based on what percentage of the popular vote they got, or on which congressional districts they won. One advantage for the GOP establishment is the fact that some of the states with the biggest number of delegates are some of the more moderate states, like New York, New Jersey, California, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and those states award all or most of their delegates to the winner of the popular vote, either in the second half of March or later in the spring. That is likely to help an establishment consensus candidate, assuming one has emerged. There’s a real possibility, of course, that if Cruz and Trump fight over the base and Rubio and Christie and Bush fight over the rest of the voters, nobody wins the 1,236 delegates needed to secure the nomination (out of 2,470) and the nominee has to be chosen at the convention. If TV executives are wishing for anything this Christmas, it’s for that scenario to come to pass. —Jon Ward
Obama Had the Perfect Response to Critics Who Say He Doesn’t Understand Second AmendmentBy Liz Rowley 11 hours agoNews Yahoo News Live: President Obama takes gun control executive action During a public address from the White House on Tuesday, President Barack Obama laid out a comprehensive plan to enact tighter gun control laws in the U.S. Core to the debate of gun control is the second amendment, which the president evoked more than once during his speech. „I believe in the second amendment, that guarantees a right to bear arms,” Obama said in the televised address. „I believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the second amendment.” He continued by reminding his audience that as a former teacher of constitutional law, he knows „a thing or two” about it. Beyond that, Obama said he believes in and is fighting for „ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the second amendment.”Reacting to the news on Twitter, many came out in support of both Obama’s statements and his approach to mention of the second amendment, among them democratic frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.Others reacting on Twitter, among them conservative politicians, discounted and rejected the president’s statements outright.In his opening remarks, Obama mourned the sheer number of times he’s had to address the nation in response to a mass shooting, evoked Gabby Gifford and shared that fact that each year, more than 30,000 Americans „have their lives cut short by guns,” as a result of gang violence, accidents, domestic abuse or other affronts.”Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost brothers and sisters,” Obama said on Tuesday. „Many have had to learn to live with a disability. Or learn to live without the love of their life.””A number of those people are here today,” he added. They can tell you some stories.”The president continued by acknowledging that the U.S. is not the only advanced country in the world that’s suffering from mass gun violence, but said that the frequency of mass gun violence in America is higher than elsewhere.”Somehow we’ve become numb to it and we start thinking this is normal,” Obama said. „Instead of thinking about how to solve the problem this has become one of our most polarized partisan debates.”Source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesObama pointed to past presidents and lawmakers, across political parties, who have supported things like background checks, and argued that requiring background checks for firearms does not equate a dismantaling of the second amendment. Perhaps as proof of partisanship and the complexity of the debate regarding tightening fun legislation, Obama quoted the 40th president of the U.S., Ronald Reagan, who, in 1991, expressed his support for the Brady Bill, a piece of legislation that would have increased gun laws at the time, saying that even if the bill’s passage were to reduce the level of gun violence in America minimally, „it would be well worth making it the law of the land.”Reinforcing his position on Tuesday, Obama said inaction and excuses for heightened gun violence in America were not longer tolerable.”People are dying and the constant excuses for inaction no longer do, no longer suffice,” Obama said, adding, „I reject that thinking.”From the White House, here’s a summary of today’s policy announcement on tightened gun control, which include a plan to develop and update gun tracking technology much like what’s currently available for tracking mobile devices and tightening background check standards and regulations.