Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Congressman Michele Bachmann Thursday called the various scandals facing the White House “far worse than Watergate,” blaming the Obama administration for “direct actions taken against Americans who sought to exercise their free speech rights under the First Amendment.”
Bachmann, who ran for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination and currently chairs the Tea Party caucus, held a press conference on Thursday attended by various other conservative luminaries to criticize the administration not just for the IRS targeting Tea Party groups but the Justice Department seizing phone records of Associated Press reporters and the ongoing controversy surrounding last year’s deadly attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
The Minnesota Republican and her GOP allies suggested that if the White House wasn’t complicit in various cover-ups, at the very least, the administration is guilty of allowing the federal government to abuse its already massive powers.
As for the IRS singling out groups affiliated with the Tea Party and various other conservative causes, Bachmann expressed concerns that the White House might go to any lengths to impede the activities of anyone that doesn't march in lockstep with the president’s policies.
Asked whether she thought the various scandals are impeachable offenses, Bachmann measured her words, saying, “We also don’t want to jump to conclusions, we want to go where the facts lead us. We aren’t interested in creating our own facts.”
However, she promised multiple investigations to get to the bottom of the IRS scandal while chief executive Jordan Sekulow of the conservative American Center for Law and Justice said his group will bring a lawsuit against the IRS on Tea Party groups’ behalf next week.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- After a week of hearings in Washington and despite cloudy skies, President Obama is spending his Saturday afternoon on the golf course.
Obama's foursome included Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Senior Policy Advisor Sam Kass.
Obama has frequented the golf course often this spring, but until Saturday always with male golfing partners. Sebelius is the first woman to join the president on the golf course this year.
Sebelius was seen getting into the president's SUV before the motorcade left the White House.
Kass is also the executive director of Let's Move! and an assistant chef at the White House.
The president’s golf outing comes after the White House spent a week dealing with a series of political scandals, from the IRS targeting conservative groups seeking tax exempt status for extra scrutiny, to the administration’s release of a trove of e-mails about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last year, to the Department of Justice obtaining phone records of Associated Press reporters.
Patrick Smith/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama says he believes "the true engine of economic growth" is a "rising, thriving middle class." But in order to build on progress made over the last four years, he says in his weekly address, government should invest in three areas: jobs, skills and opportunities.
President Obama has been visiting cities across the country as part of his "Middle Class Jobs and Opportunities Tour" to highlight the innovations taking place in the U.S. to create jobs or teach skills needed to fill opportunities for middle class families. On Friday, the president wrapped up the tour's second stop in Baltimore, where he visited Ellicott Dredges, a factory that exports digging equipment abroad. Also in Baltimore, the president read with children and visited at a program that helps low-income earners get more training and guidance to find work opportunities.
"More than anything," President Obama says of the tour, "the American people make me optimistic about where we're headed as a nation. Especially after all we've been through the past several years. And that should encourage us to work even harder on the issues that matter to you."
Touting the Administration's progress -- lower unemployment, increased corporate profits, a "healing" housing market and "shrinking" deficits -- the president says both parties still need to continue to work to generate more jobs even faster.
"And I’m going to keep trying to work with both parties in Washington to make progress on your priorities. Because I know that if we come together around creating more jobs, educating more of our kids, and building new ladders of opportunity for everyone who’s willing to climb them – we’ll all prosper, together," he says.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Police in Great Britain said they have identified new leads in the case of Madeleine McCann, the British girl who went missing in Portugal six years ago at the age of three.
Several persons of interest, as well as "both investigative and forensic opportunities" in the case, have been identified by Scotland Yard, authorities said.
Metropolitan Police said they were working with Portuguese police to determine the next steps, even though the missing girl's case is closed in the country.
"Our investigative review is ongoing and we are encouraged by the progress we are making," Metropolitan Police said in a statement, according to the BBC. "We are reviewing a significant number of documents and continue to identify potential lines of inquiry."
McCann was 3 years old when she vanished on vacation with her parents Kate and Gerry McCann and twin siblings in the Algarve region of Portugal. The girl's parents say they found Madeleine missing after having left the children in the home unsupervised while having dinner less than 500 feet away.
The review into the McCann case was opened last year after Prime Minister David Cameron responded to a plea from the girl's parents.
Kate and Gerry McCann have maintained a website and a 24-hour tipline to keep their daughter's case in the public eye.
On May 3, 2013, six years after Madeleine went missing, Kate McCann posted on the "Find Madeleine" website that the family was there "for the long haul."
"We still worry about her, we miss her as much as we ever did," McCann wrote. "We remain as determined as ever to find her and to know what has happened."
Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- The South Korean Defense Ministry says that North Korea fired three short-range guided missiles into waters off its east coast on Saturday, raising concerns about the potential for more military provocation in the region.
Two KN-02 missiles were fired in the morning, followed by another in the afternoon, spokesman Min-seok Kim said.
Unlike the mid-range Musudan missiles which are believed to be capable of traveling more than 1,800 miles, within reach of Japan and South Korea, the missiles launched Saturday only have a range of 75 miles.
Kyodo News, citing an unnamed Japanese official, said the missiles never reached Japanese waters.
North Korea routinely tests short-range missiles, but the launches Saturday came amid signs that diplomacy may finally be cooling tempers on the Korean Peninsula after weeks of warlike threats from Pyongyang.
This past week, Glyn Davies, the State Department's senior envoy on North Korea, traveled to Beijing, South Korea, and Japan, to discuss all aspects of the North Korea issue. That trip was preceded by a surprise visit to Pyongyang by one of Japan's most experienced diplomats on North Korea, Isao Iijima.
During his four day trip, Iijima, an adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, met with senior officials, including North Korea's No. 2 leader Kim Yong Nam.
Abe has largely remained mum about the secret visit, aimed at restarting talks to bring home Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 80s, a key hurdle in normalizing bilateral ties.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula escalated to its worst in decades earlier this year, after North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in February.
Angered by UN sanctions, and joint US-South Korean military drills, Pyongyang threatened nuclear strikes on Seoul and Washington, and unilaterally pulled out of the 60-year-old war armistice that ended the Korean War.
In April, North Korea suspended operations at the jointly run Kaesong Industrial Complex, pulling out 53,000 workers.
US officials said North Korea withdrew two of their Musudan missiles earlier this month, but Pyongyang renewed threats of a nuclear war last week, following the arrival of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.
The ship was brought in to the southern port city of Busan for joint US-South Korea naval drills.
North Korea's state TV called the move an "extremely reckless" provocation, saying "The risk of a nuclear war in the peninsula has risen further due to the madcap nuclear war practice by the US and the South's enemy force."
AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) – In a breach of protocol, Russia has publicized the name of a man it says is the CIA station chief in Moscow.
In comments to Russian media Friday, a spokesman for Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB (the successor to the KGB), confirmed that Russia had complained to the CIA station chief in Moscow about efforts to recruit Russian officers as spies as far back as 2011. The name of the supposed CIA agent appeared in a quote attributed to the FSB spokesman in a Russian language article by Russia’s Interfax news agency. The man’s identity was removed from the quote in an English language version.
The name could not be immediately confirmed. A spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department said she had not seen the Russian reports.
The exposure comes on the heels of the latest spy scandal between the old Cold War rivals, and despite signs that the Kremlin was prepared to let that incident go.
Earlier in the week, Russia publicized the detention of an American diplomat they insist was really a spy attempting to recruit a Russian security officer as an informant. State-owned television quickly broadcast video of the man’s detention, as well as photos of his supposed spy kit. That kit included a pair of wigs, a map of Moscow, and a compass. It also included a letter instructing the potential spy how to communicate with his handlers.
The alleged spy, Ryan Fogle, is listed as a third secretary in the political section of the US Embassy in Moscow. According to Interfax, Fogle had been placed under surveillance when he arrived in Moscow two years ago, already suspected of being a spy. Interfax also reported that Fogle left the U.S. Embassy on Monday in the back seat of a car and wearing a wig. He changed wigs before going to meet his suspected contact, Interfax reported.
After Fogle’s arrest, Russian authorities revealed that another alleged American diplomat, identified by the Russians as Benjamin Dillon, was caught last December and expelled from the country in January.
Russian news reports have said that Fogle was attempting to recruit a source in the Russian security services with expertise in the North Caucasus, suggesting that he was attempting to gather information as part of the investigation in the Boston bombing suspects, who came from that restive region.
Fogle has been given until Monday to leave the country, according to RIA Novosti.
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- We’ve seen Michele Bachmann and a half-naked blogger wear Google Glass over the last couple of weeks.
But those images don’t warm your heart like a two-year-old with the connected glasses on. The toddler's review of the hot new tech device might be one of the cutest things you'll see on the Internet this week.
Chris Angelini, a writer and editor at tech site Tom’s Hardware, decided to put the glasses on his two-year-old son, Lucas. The result is an adorable video of Lucas telling people to “Look at my cool glasses!” Lucas only wears the glasses for 2 minutes and 42 seconds in the video, but that’s long enough for him to document the experience of getting some watered-down apple juice, show off his Lego collection and play catch with his dad.
It’s long enough for him to point out some of the bad things about Glass too. The video, shot in a low-light room, is hard to see at times, and at the end he adds, “They’re hot!” It’s true, the glasses do get fairly warm on the right side after shooting more than a minute of video or providing GPS navigation.
The video is extremely cute, but it has also inspired some thoughtful comments from its 100,000-plus viewers, many of whom point out that Lucas’s generation will grow up with this new wearable technology. Google, however, does say that the glasses shouldn’t be worn by anyone younger than 13 since it could harm developing vision. Angelini, 33, said he doesn’t plan on allowing his son to wear the glasses at length and that when they were on, he made sure the boy was looking around and not at the small display.
But Angelini himself plans to wear them a lot and take lots of footage of his son. “As a dad, you don’t have to be passive in the child-rearing process. It allows you to be so much more active,” Angelini told ABC News. “People are trying to record every minute but they aren’t in the moment, that’s the killer app for Glass — being able to participate more in what he is doing.”
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(PALO ALTO, Calif.) -- 19-year-old Indian immigrant Diwank Singh Tomer has an impressive resume. The accomplished hacker and startup founder who initially enrolled in college in India quickly decided he would learn more by moving here and immersing himself in the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial scene.
And one of the world's most famous entrepreneurs agrees with him.
For the third year running, Peter Thiel, Facebook's first investor and the co-founder and former CEO of PayPal, is giving about 20 teenagers $100,000 each to drop out of college and launch a business.
The German immigrant's Thiel Foundation mentors the young entrepreneurs during the two-year fellowship as they pursue new advances in everything from robotics to fashion. But there's a catch. The recipients cannot be enrolled in school or employed during that time without special approval from the foundation. The idea is for fellows to immerse themselves entirely in the world of innovation.
There are some skeptics who point out that not every one of Thiel's fellows succeed. Some fail miserably. But the beauty of the tech world and those who reside in it is the ability to iterate quickly. Failure and the determination to try again is a huge part of that.
And besides, Thiel would argue that many of his fellows do succeed in spectacular fashion.
In the past two years, the fellows have launched more than 30 companies and raised more than $34 million in outside funding. The new crop of fellows was selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants from nearly 50 nations.
"When we created the fellowship more than two years ago, our intention was to help a small number of creative people learn and accomplish more than they might have otherwise," Thiel said in a statement. "To their great credit, they have exceeded our expectations, and inspired people of all ages by reminding them that qualities like intellectual curiosity, grit, and determination are more important than a degree in determining success in life."
The idea that a college education is highly overvalued sounds controversial. Everyone from the Obama administration to high school counselors seem to push students toward a university degree. And study after study shows that college graduates make more money and advance further than people who don't attend college.
But it's not necessarily for everyone, the Thiel Foundation argues, particularly with many students racking up student debt to pursue degrees that may never be worth the expense.
Thiel Foundation Vice President of Grants Mike Gibson said he can see technical certificates that confirm someone knows how to code, for example, being valuable. But this idea that a college degree makes someone qualified or that someone cannot be qualified without one, is bogus.
He had been at college in India for less than a month when he decided "he had nothing to lose" by dropping out. He'd already launched a startup to help people learn to code, and the computer science major knew he could continue to teach himself how to code.
So, he bought a ticket to San Francisco, hopped on a plane and only called home to tell his parents he'd left for the United States when he landed.
"To drop out in India means failure," he said. But failure doesn't scare Tomer. In fact, he thinks it's an important part of the growing process.
The key to learning, he said, is to ask lots of questions, something he doesn't think traditional schools promote.
"Schools force you to appear smart," he said. "It's bad to ask questions."
People learn best, he said, when they have access to mentors and the ability to learn in a way that suits them. The Thiel Foundation is big on mentors - each fellow meets with them throughout the two-year fellowship.
In Tomer's case, that approach has produced something interesting. The biking enthusiast is using his foundation funding to launch a new interactive learning environment based on his earlier coding venture.
He wants to launch a site that will allow people to learn about different topics - he's focused on coding and applied sciences - at their own pace with the help of his program. He's developed an algorithm that will respond to the user's actions. If someone wants to learn about a small area of coding and then do a deep dive into it before moving on, the program will prod the user in that direction by taking cues from the ways they interact with the site. If someone wants to get a breadth of knowledge before focusing on depth - Tomer's preferred style - that's fine too.
He thinks he'll need to hire a couple of engineers and a designer, but says his ability to code means he's capable of remaining at the helm.
Although he's only been in the Bay Area about eight months, Tomer plans to stay for good. He lives in a "hacker house" in Palo Alto with a bunch of other like-minded young people looking to strike entrepreneurial gold.
Tomer wouldn't say so himself - but he's an example of what a young entrepreneur with perseverance and a high tolerance for failure can accomplish by taking an unconventional path. The worst thing that can happen is that he has to go home and back to college. With that knowledge, Tomer said, coming to the hotbed of innovation was worth every bit of risk.
JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Google didn’t show off all of the fun features of Hangouts, the company’s new multiplatform text and video chat service at this week’s big I/O conference. If you’ve been thinking your chats have been a little too text-heavy, you can now decorate them with some animated animals.
In the chat window, you can now punch in codes to add some fun animations. For instance, typing “/streamponies” into the chat window in the web interface and hitting “enter” will prompt dancing ponies to appear.
“Some of you may [have] already figured out the hidden Easter Eggs in the new Hangouts … Keep in mind that those codes only work with Hangouts on Google+ and the Chrome Extension. Not in video calls or mobile,” Google employee Moritz Tolxdorff wrote on his Google+ page.
Tolxdorff posted a cheat sheet listing all the codes and commands to pull up different animations and chat window tweaks. In addition to the stampeding ponies, there’s a shy dinosaur (/shydino), an angry, charging pitchfork mob (/pitchforks), and you can even change the chat background by inputting a variation of the Konami “Contra Code” with your keyboard.
Maybe these bits of fun will appease those users who are disappointed by the current lack of SMS, or text messaging, support in the new Hangouts service. Though another Google employee recently mentioned on her Google+ page that SMS was “coming soon” to Hangouts, she later made an edit to the same post, saying, “Oops! We actually have nothing to announce at this time. My apologies.”
Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Paramount Pictures released a new teaser trailer for the highly-anticipated sequel to the 2004 film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy on Saturday.
Anchorman: The Legend Continues is currently being filmed in New Orleans, and is tabbed for a December release.
The teaser, just over one minute long, features the movie's stars, Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner on a lighted stage. In a similar vain to the previous teaser, the actors, all in character improvise a handful of one-liners.
(LAS VEGAS) -- Star-studded collaborations are on tap for Sunday night's Billboard Music Awards, airing live on ABC from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Fans will see solo artists like Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars perform, of course, but they'll also enjoy some musical collaborations during the telecast, which starts at 8 p.m. ET.
Justin Bieber is actually doing double duty Sunday night: he'll sing his song "Take You" solo, and then team up with Will.i.am for their collaboration, "#thatpower." Pitbull is also doing double duty: he'll perform "Live It Up" with Jennifer Lopez, as well as "Feel This Moment" with Christina Aguilera and an unannounced "special guest." We're betting that special guest will be A-ha, the Norwegian '80s pop group whose song "Take On Me" is sampled in "Feel This Moment."
Other collaborations include David Guetta, Ne-Yo & Akon, who'll perform the song "Play Hard," and Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, who'll perform "High School."
Solo performers on the show include Swift and Bruno Mars -- debuting his new single "Treasure" -- as well as Ed Sheeran, Selena Gomez, Chris Brown, Miguel, The Band Perry, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Icona Pop and even music legend Prince, who will receive the Billboard Icon Award during the telecast.
Other stars who'll appear on the show include Madonna, who'll receive a special award for her top-grossing MDNA tour; and presenters Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Ke$ha, Carly Rae Jepsen, Miley Cyrus, PSY, Kid Rock, Cee Lo Green and Alanis Morissette.
As for the actual awards, Taylor, fun. and Maroon 5 are the leading nominees. Because there are so many different Billboard charts, it's impossible to list who's nominated in every single category, but Taylor, fun. and Maroon 5 are finalists in 11 different ones. Taylor and Maroon 5 also are both competing for the night's big honor: Top Artist of the Year. The other nominees in that category are Rihanna, Justin Bieber and One Direction.
Speaking of Rihanna, she's nominated in 10 different categories, while Carly Rae Jepsen's represented in nine, thanks to the success of "Call Me Maybe." One Direction is represented in eight categories.
Here are the nominees in a few of the biggest Billboard Music Awards categories:
Top 100 Song "Some Nights" "Somebody That I Used to Know" "Call Me Maybe" "Payphone" "One More Night"
Top Billboard 200 Album 21 Babel Red Up All Night Take Me Home
Top Duo/Group Coldplay Maroon 5 fun. One Direction Mumford & Sons
Top New Artist Gotye Carly Rae Jepsen The Lumineers One Direction PSY
Top Pop Artist Maroon 5 Bruno Mars Adele Justin Bieber One Direction
James Devaney/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- If the reports are correct, Beyonce's having another baby. Multiple sources have confirmed to E! that the singer is pregnant.
ABC News has reached out to reps for both Bey and her husband, Jay-Z, for comment; so far, there's been no response.
Rumors that they are expecting their second child began swirling earlier this month when Beyonce showed up to the Met Gala in New York City wearing a belly-concealing Givenchy gown. The buzz intensified when the singer postponed a Belgium concert earlier this week, with her publicist citing "dehydration and exhaustion."
If the news of Beyonce's pregnancy is true, then the timing might come as a bit of a surprise, what with her Mrs. Carter Show world tour under way. Then again, Beyonce revealed in an exclusive interview with ABC a couple of weeks ago that she "would like more children," explaining that she thinks her daughter, Blue Ivy, "needs some company."
Well, now it looks like a new sibling may be coming to Blue, who was born January of last year.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Many people suffer from depression as a complication after suffering a stroke, however, a new study shows that depression may be a risk factor for future strokes.
Researchers studied women born between 1946 and 1961, surveying the participants every three years between 1988 and 2010. Women were asked to self-report their depression, medication use and diagnosis or treatment. They also self-reported any stroke they may have suffered. Additionally, stroke deaths were identified using a national database.
Over 10,000 women participated in the survey, the results of which were published in the journal Stroke.
The data determined that women who were depressed were more than twice as likely to suffer a stroke than those who were not depressed.
The researchers believe that improvement in the diagnosis and treatment of depression could play a role in limiting stroke risk later in life.
Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Over the past ten years, the rate of mental health disorders in American children has been rising, according to a new study.
Between 13 and 20 percent of children have experienced a mental disorder, says the study, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Those figures were based on surveillance data from a number of federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control, gathered between 1994 and 2011.
The data from 2010 showed that the second leading cause of death among children between the ages of 12 and 17 was suicide. Additionally, mood disorders were the most frequent diagnosis for hospitalized children in the United States.
Among the most prevalent mental disorders in American children were ADHD, behavioral or conduct problems, anxiety and depression.
The CDC concluded that comprehensive surveillance is needed to prevent mental disorders and promote mental health for children.
Statistics from 2010 showed that children were hospitalized for mental disorders at a rate of 17 hospital stays per 10,000 population, up 80 percent from 1997.
Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Seventy two hours after Elissa Bantug's mastectomy, she felt broken. She was only 25 years old, but she had lost both breasts and her strawberry blonde hair to cancer. Drainage tubes still hung from her chest to remove excess fluid from the operation.
In that moment, she just wanted to have sex with her boyfriend.
"I just needed something to make me not feel so broken," said Bantug, who is now 31. "Anything to make me feel beautiful."
But instead of responding to her advances, Bantug said, her boyfriend pushed her off of him and told her it was crazy for her to have sex when she was so sick -- and so obviously in pain.
"It was awful," said Bantug. "It ended in a screaming match with doors being slammed."
Bantug said it was just one of the instances in which she and her boyfriend -- to whom she is now married -- didn't communicate well during her cancer experience. He had a hard time figuring out when he was supposed to let Bantug make decisions and when he was supposed to help her decide what to do. He didn't tell her how afraid he was.
When they did have sex, Bantug's boyfriend didn't know where to put his hands or whether putting them certain places would draw attention to Bantug's scars and upset her. He thought he should sleep in the guest room because he thought she needed the space to heal, but that made her worry that he was pulling away.
Now, Bantug knows better than to stay silent about these things, and it's her job to make sure cancer patients at Johns Hopkins Medical Center do, too. She runs the hospital's Breast Cancer Survivorship Program, where it's her job to answer the questions cancer patients and their spouses feel silly asking their oncologists.
Couples want to know about what to eat and how to tell their children about the diagnosis, but they also want to know about nipple sensitivity, body image and whether cancer patients will be able to have an orgasm again, she said.
Even though breast cancer is primarily about the woman fighting it, psychologist Jennifer Wolkin said conversations about relationships inevitably come up in her sessions with patients.
In addition to finding themselves thrust into the unfamiliar role of emotional supporter, men feel they need to deny their own feelings to be stoic, said Wolkin.
"They give off an air of self-assuredness to protect women, but, ironically, it comes off as rejection," said Wolkin, who works at the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women's Health at NYU Langone.
She said men often lack support centers and have to journey through cancer alone. If they show their feelings, they worry it somehow makes them weak. Sometimes, a man's libido can even drop -- not so much because he's no longer attracted to his wife, but because of the uncertainty associated with the situation and her body.
But it doesn't have to be that way. Men and women just need to communicate and ask for help when they need it.
"Mastectomy is horrific, but I think it has potential to offer this place where a man and woman could really significantly grow in their relationship," Wolkin said.
It's important for both partners to be as informed as possible about what's going to happen during breast cancer treatment and recovery, said Lynn Erdman, the vice president of community health for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Erdman, a nurse who specializes in oncology, said men have their own set of concerns and emotional issues when it comes to having a spouse with breast cancer, but they often don't feel comfortable talking about them because they think it makes them selfish. She said many hospitals now offer support groups for men as a safe place for them to ask questions that would otherwise seem taboo.
"What we hear a lot of times is, 'What's the breast going to feel like after the implant is in and the tissue in it has been removed?'" Erdman said. "'If I hug her, is it going to hurt her?' 'Will it change our sex life?'"
"I've seen it often bring couples much closer together," she said."It's part of going through the cancer battle together."