When justifying the release of five vicious Taliban terrorists detained at “Gitmo” in exchange for U.S. soldier escort bayan Bowe Bergdahl, the president said, “We don’t leave our people behind.” He was subsequently accused of violating a law requiring him to notify Congress thirty days before releasing any Gitmo detainees.
Apparently breaking the law is no problem for the Obama administration. He has often bragged, “If Congress won’t act, I will. I have a pen and a phone.” In other words, he is willing to issue Executive Orders to dictate what he wants done.ADVERTISEMENTADVERTISEMENT
How can the White House claim the president is unaware of Sgt. Tahmooressis “unjust” and, “wrongful” deprivation of liberty in violation of ‘the rights of American citizenship?”
Earlier this year, in June, the Supreme Court decided there are some limits on the powers of our Chief Executive in deciding two cases – one on “recess appointments” when Congress is in session and a second suit on Obama-Care violations of the 1st Amendment to our Constitution.
And now, we have yet another example of presidential law-breaking. This one doesn’t require the courts to intervene – just “We The People” need to act. Here’s the law:
U.S. Code, Title 22, Chapter 23, Section 1732. It is entitled, “Release of citizens imprisoned by foreign governments.”
Whenever it is made known to the President that any citizen of the United States has been unjustly deprived of his liberty by or under the authority of any foreign government, it shall be the duty of the President forthwith to demand of that government the reasons of such imprisonment; and if it appears to be wrongful and in violation of the rights of American citizenship, the President shall forthwith demand the release of such citizen, and if the release so demanded is unreasonably delayed or refused, the President shall use such means, not amounting to acts of war and not otherwise prohibited by law, as he may think necessary and proper to obtain or effectuate the release; and all the facts and proceedings relative thereto shall as soon as practicable be communicated by the President to Congress.
One need not be a vaunted “Constitutional lawyer” or even a “Nobel Laureate” like our current head of state to see how this law relates directly to the case of U.S. Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi – now enduring his fourth month in a Mexican prison.
The facts as we know them have been well articulated – even demonstrated – by Greta Van Susteren, host of “On The Record” on Fox News Channel:
Sergeant Tahmooressi completed two combat tours and received two meritorious promotions for battlefield service in Afghanistan. This spring, the honorably discharged 26-year-old veteran was planning to relocate from his home in Florida to California.
Late on March 31, disoriented by poorly-lighted, graffiti-covered traffic signs, he inadvertently drove his pick-up truck, loaded with all his possessions – including three legally purchased firearms — into Mexico at the San Ysidro, Calif., Port of Entry crossing.
Realizing his error, the young Marine immediately dialed 911 on his cell phone and was connected to a dispatcher on the U.S. side of the border. Informed that no help could be provided to him on the Mexican side of the border he told Mexican authorities that he had three firearms in his truck. He was immediately taken into custody – where he has languished for nearly four months.
When I raised the issue of 22 USC, Sect. 1732 (above) with members of Congress and asked if the president was complying, I was told, “No. But he has an ‘out.’ The law says ‘Whenever it is made known to the President that any citizen of the United States has been unjustly deprived of his liberty by or under the authority of any foreign government, it shall be the duty…’ All Obama has to do is claim the case of American citizen Andrew Tahmooressi has never been made known to him.”
How can the White House claim the president is unaware of Sgt. Tahmooressi’s “unjust” and, “wrongful” deprivation of liberty in violation of ‘the rights of American citizenship?”
Members of Congress from Florida, California and elsewhere have written nearly a dozen letters to the president about Sgt. Tahmooressi. More than 100,000 Americans have responded to online petitions at WhiteHouse.gov; FoxNews.com, FreedomAlliance.org and AndrewFreedomFund.com, among others have written about his plight.
Our president has ignored them all. Apparently he’s been too busy with political fundraisers and vacuous speeches about the “Republican war on women,” economic injustice, and Congressional ineptness. There just hasn’t been time to pick up that famous phone and call Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
If Congress can’t get Obama’s attention on freeing an unjustly imprisoned Marine, We The People must. Join the effort to demand that our president obey the law. Otherwise the phrase “Leave no one behind,” is meaningless.Col. Oliver L. North (ret.) serves as host of the Fox News Channel documentary series War Stories with Oliver North. From 1983 to 1986, he served as the U.S. government’s counterterrorism coordinator on the National Security Council staff. North is the founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization providing college scholarships to the children of military personnel killed in the line of duty and author of the new nationwide bestseller, Counterfeit Lies, a novel about how Iran is acquiring nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them. Click here for more information on Oliver North.
Cast member Robert Downey Jr. poses at the premiere of Iron Man 3 at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood, California escort bayan April 24, 2013.Reuters
Los Angeles authorities say the 20-year-old son of actor Robert Downey Jr. is out on bail after being escort bayan arrested with what deputies believe was cocaine.
Sheriffs Sgt. Dave Valentine says Indio Falconer Downey was taken into custody Sunday afternoon escort bayan after a car he was in was pulled over in West Hollywood.ADVERTISEMENTADVERTISEMENT
Valentine says Downey was booked on suspicion of possession escort bayan of a controlled substance, believed to be cocaine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Two other people were in the car but only Downey was arrested.
Downey was released shortly after 9 p.m. on $10,250 bail. A court date is set for Aug. 29.
Downey appeared in the 2005 movie Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which starred his father.
Robert Downey Jr. struggled with drug addiction while in the spotlight for about five years. He got clean in 2001 after several drug-related arrests and one stint in jail.
The actor released a statement to TMZ about his sons arrest.
“Unfortunately theres a genetic component to addiction and Indio has likely inherited it. Also, there is a lot of family support and understanding, and we’re all determined to rally behind him and help him become the man hes capable of being, he stated. We’re grateful to the Sheriff’s department for their intervention, and believe Indio can be another recovery success story instead of a cautionary tale.”
Click here for more from TMZ.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Donetsk, Ukraine (CNN) — Masked men with metal rods and Molotov cocktails prowl the Russian flag-draped balcony, surveying the crowds below. Stacks of tires topped with ribbons of razor wire line a makeshift barricade around the main entrance.
Two days after smashing their way in, hundreds of protesters have transformed this government building in the industrial city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, into the self-declared Peoples Republic of Donetsk.
From the clumsily erected bulwarks to the lack of a leader or concrete plan, the scenes are similar to the pro-European rallies in Kievs Maidan Square in recent months, with one major difference: Many of these protesters say they want to join Russia and have called for a referendum on secession from Ukraine to be held by May 11.
The protesters who let us into the building are eager to show they are here entirely peacefully, but it is clear they are prepared for a fight. Doors have been locked and stairwells blocked at the top of the building to prevent the Ukrainian military from storming in from above. Theyve smashed the pavement outside the building to use as stones. A makeshift hospital and temporary cafe have been constructed, and locals are keeping the men and women inside stocked up on food and medical supplies.
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Some of the protesters inside the building are happy to see us; others seem ready to attack us with their bats at a moments notice. Some are aggressively anti-American. One of the older men asks us why Americans are sticking their nose into Ukrainian affairs.
Russia warns of civil war if Ukraine uses force to quell eastern revolts
One man tells us that hes from the Eastern Front, a new local group, and that help is on the way. He says there are 6,000 members of his group who stand ready to protect the fatherland. Others are hopeful that a vote to secede from Ukraine can be held sooner than protesters announced Monday.
When the power went out Monday night, many inside believed Ukraines special forces were coming to retake the building. But the Ukrainian military is nowhere to be seen, and the mood of the protesters is growing ever more defiant.
Donetsk is the hometown of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, whose pro-Russian government was toppled in a popular revolt in February.
Nobody knows for sure what role, if any, Russia is playing in this latest bout of unrest in Ukraine. Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov blames separatist groups coordinated by Russian special services for the revolts in eastern Ukraine, which he said echoed events leading to the Russian annexation of Crimea three weeks ago.
Since then, Russia has amassed thousands of troops on its border with eastern Ukraine. And Russias Foreign Ministry said reports that protesters are facing a crackdown by Ukrainian authorities are of particular concern.
We are calling for the immediate cessation of any military preparations, which could lead to civil war, it said in a statement on its official website.
Protesters say that local complaints, not Moscow, are driving anti-government sentiments here in Donetsk. One man, who calls himself Andre, says that Ukraines ongoing political crisis has hit his wages and that he can no longer afford to feed his family. He tells me that he has simply had enough.
Ukrainian officials say they wont storm the building for now. But the acting President says those who have seized buildings will be treated as terrorists and prosecuted with the full force of the law.
In the meantime, protesters say they will continue to fortify their makeshift fortress in Donetsk, and their tiny pocket of grievances and whims, despite its size, seems to now be on the front line of a massive struggle for the future of Ukraine.
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CNNs Nick Thompson and CNN Wires contributed to this report.
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Under FIFA laws, clubs are not allowed to sign international players under the age of 18 unless the player is moving within the European Union, is aged between 16 and 18 and moving with their parents or the club and the player both live within 50 kilometers of a shared national border.
The Disciplinary Committee regarded the infringements as serious and decided to sanction the club with a transfer ban at both national and international level for two complete and consecutive transfer periods, together with a fine of CHF 450,000 ($508,000), read a FIFA statement.
Additionally, the club was granted a period of 90 days in which to regularize the situation of all minor players concerned.
The investigations concerned several minor players who were registered and participated in competitions with the club over various periods between 2009 and 2013.
The Spanish Football Federation has also been hit with a CHF 500,000 ($565,000) fine by FIFA. The Spanish Federation was not immediately available for comment.
The ban on Barcelona means the club will be unable to buy players during the summer transfer window which runs between June and August, and the January 2015 window.
In this respect, the Disciplinary Committee emphasized that the protection of minors in the context of international transfers is an important social and legal issue that concerns all stakeholders in football, continued the statement.
The Disciplinary Committee underlined that FIFA takes the protection of minors in football very seriously.
It is unclear whether the ban will affect transfers Barca have in the pipeline.
German goalkeeper Andre Ter Stegen has reportedly been linked with a move to Barca from Borussia Monchengladbach this summer, while highly-rated 17-year-old Alen Halilovic is set to arrive at the Camp Nou from Dinamo Zagreb.
This is not the first negative story that has threatened to derail Barcas season.
President Sandro Rosell resigned in January after a judge ordered a hearing to investigate the misappropriation of funds during the signing of Brazil star Neymar in 2013.
Neymar was on the scoresheet as Barca drew 1-1 with Atletico Madrid in Tuesdays European Champions League quarterfinal first leg.
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(CNN) — On a breezy spring day in 1835, a 13-year-old boy from the Jura region of eastern France set out for the glittering metropolis of Paris to seek his fortune.
He traveled the 292 mile road on foot, sleeping wherever he could find shelter and taking odd jobs to survive. It took him two years to reach the city, where he promptly became an apprentice to a box maker, and ultimately opened his own chest-making workshop.
His name was Louis Vuitton.
LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault tells CNNs Isa Soares whats the secret of Louis Vuittons longevity.
A century and a half later, the eponymous company he founded is among the most recognizable luxury brands in the world and, according to Forbes, is worth nearly $30 billion.
Its part of the LVMH consortium whose CEO (and Frances richest man), Bernard Arnault, spoke exclusively to CNN about the firms heritage, and the spirit of adventure which, he says, defined it from the start: The history of Louis Vuitton is linked to travel. We created luggage for explorers, and during the 20th century our products gradually evolved to reflect the lifestyle of the customer.
Louis Vuitton was one of the first luxury retailers to open boutiques in China and Mongolia and now the label is seeking new frontiers — looking towards unexplored markets in Indonesia and South America.
Luxury group LVMH CEO and Frances richest man Bernard Arnault
When I went to China in 1991 for the opening of the first Louis Vuitton shop, you hardly saw any cars on the streets of Beijing, only bicycles. In spite of that we opened a luxury boutique, and now we have more than 20 across the country says Arnault.
The company is ever keen to trumpet its craftsmanship ethos. Indeed, many items are still hand-made in its French factories – with some workers being trained between 18 months and two years. Mr Arnault credits this attention to detail with Louis Vuittons longevity on the luxury market.
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Staging a runway presentation remains crucial when it comes to capturing the imagination of customers and the media, even if some of the more outlandish designs dont make it from the catwalk to the stores: Fashion week is a moment in which designers can show their ideas to the world. On the catwalk you see pieces which are innovative and trigger the desire of the customer. From these ideas you can then create products which follow that direction, but in a more accessible way.
Spirit of entrepreneurship
Louis Vuittons parent company LVMH also owns French luxury giants Christian Dior, Givenchy and Dom Perignon, and Arnault travels the world at the helm of the consortium much like an ambassador of Gallic style.
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However, he also looks beyond the world of traditional, large companies, and is eager to apply the entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley to fashion establishments in Paris and London.
Today everybody, including myself, is interested in internet start-ups. But you also have start-ups in the designer world, and its fascinating to see how we can transform a small company into something very successful on a global scale he says.
And when it comes to his goals for the future? We want Louis Vuitton to still be the number one brand in ten years. In our business, the most important word is desire, so we want to continue creating desire.
Watch: Why is Paris Fashion Week so important?
(CNN) — The 2014 World Cup in Brazil has thrown up the chance for revenge and the opportunity for the apprentice to become the master.
While the Netherlands will have an early opportunity for payback by taking on Spain in a repeat of the 2010 final, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann will have the chance to lead his side against his native Germany.
Germany, coached by Klinsmanns former assistant Joachim Low, and the U.S. are in Group G along with Portugal and Ghana.
Klinsmann led Germany to the semifinals in 2006 where it was beaten by eventual winner Italy.
But the 49-year-old faces a difficult task to steer the U.S. through the group with Cristiano Ronaldos Portugal and a tricky Ghana side also in contention.
December 6, 2013
Its a tough group no doubt about that, Hodgson told reporters.
Weve almost got two number one seeds in our group, with Italy and Uruguay.
Our great advantage is being based in Rio – meaning that weve only got that one really long trip.
Im very positive, you just never know. You dont win football matches on paper, you go out on each occasion 11 vs. 11. If youre well prepared youve got a chance to win all three of the games.
While Hodgson might be positive, England Football Association chairman Greg Dyke was rather more downbeat.
When Englands name was pulled out, Dyke drew his fingers across his throat in a cut-throat gesture.
Former Nigeria international Sunday Oliseh believes his country has every chance of making it through to the last-16 after being drawn in Group F with Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran.
The Nigerians are ecstatic, myself included, because we have Iran in the group — with all due respect to them I think we should be able to negotiate this encounter, he told CNN.
Weve also got Bosnia, who are playing for the first time in the World Cup finals as a nation. Our chances are pretty bright and its looking interesting.
Ask many Brazilians who is the greatest footballer of all time and their answer will be simple: Pele. The striker won three World Cups with Brazil between 1958 and 1970 and is his countrys leading goalscorer with 77 goals from 92 caps.
The Brazil team of 1970, which beat Italy 4-1 in the World Cup final in Mexico, is widely regarded as the greatest of all time. Pele is seen here leaping on his teammates.
Pele told CNN that his most memorable moment as a player was winning the 1958 World Cup when he was just 17.
Brazil also won the title in 1962 in Chile, but Pele did not play in the final after being injured in Brazils second game.
Pele told CNN that his ideal final for 2014 would feature Brazil and Uruguay — so his country can win revenge for 1950s heartbreaking Maracana defeat in the deciding match between the two South American teams.
Aerial view of the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Corcovado Hill, overlooking the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The famous arena will host the 2014 World Cup final on July 13.
In November 2013, two people were killed when a falling crane created a partial collapse of a World Cup stadium in Sao Paulo.
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Nigerias toughest assignment looks set to come against Argentina and Lionel Messi at Port Alegre on June 25.
Oliseh, who played at the 1994 and 1998 World Cup, says Nigeria will have to be at its very best to stop Messi from running riot.
Messi is one of the best to have ever played football, he said.
He can do everything except head the ball. The question is how do you stop him?
You cant really if hes on a good day. What we need to worry about is Messi going to be healthy come 2014? If he is healthy, we have a problem. But we have nothing to fear — for the first time in a long time we feel we have nothing to lose.
Argentina, which won the tournament in 1978 and 1986, will be favorites to top the group and will play Bosnia in Rio de Janeiro in its opening match on June 15.
In Group H, Belgium will be confident of qualifying for the next stage after being drawn alongside Algeria, Russia and Korea.
The Belgians finished fourth in 1986 but have not appeared in the tournament since 2002.
Belgium is highly-fancied to reach the later stages this time around and will meet Algeria in its opening game in Belo Horizonte on June 17.
Colombia is in Group C where it will take on Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan.
France, which qualified through the playoffs, will take on Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras.
Didier Deschamps, who won the World Cup with Les Bleus in 1998, believes his side can go far in the tournament after seeing off Ukraine in the European playoffs.
It could have been more complicated, lets be honest, he told reporters.
Well have our Swiss neighbors, one South American team and Honduras playing a similar style.
First game is against Honduras, its the most important one, winning it would put us in the best position. No opponent is easy, we need to be ambitious but reasonable. Before and after the draw our objective is the same: Round of 16.
Former England, Manchester United and Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves says France and Argentina are the big winners following the draw.
He told CNN: France, being the lowest-ranked European team going into the draw, will be thrilled. Colombia have a favorable group as well.
Argentina are clear favorites in their group and I think Bosnia will finish in second place and make it into the next round.
2014 World Cup draw:
Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon.
Group B: Spain, Netherlands,Chile, Australia.
Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan.
Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy.
Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France,Honduras.
Group F: Argentina, Bosnia, Iran, Nigeria.
Group G: Germany, Portugal,Ghana, USA.
Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, Korea.
Read: World Cup draw as it happened
Read: Pele promises fantastic 2014 World Cup
Read: Who will win the World Cup?
Editors note: Bill Palmer, an Airbus A330 captain for a major airline, is the author of Understanding Air France 447, an explanation of the details and lessons of the crash of that aircraft in June 2009.
(CNN) — Those trying to draw conclusions from the information trickling from the investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 should go carefully.
It is plausible that, as Malaysias Prime Minister asserted, the planes flying for hours after losing contact with air traffic control was consistent with deliberate action, but its not the only logical explanation of the airplanes bewildering trajectory.
Statements that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System was intentionally disabled, for example, leave out the fact that the ACARS is required to send the satellite contact requests (so-called handshakes) that, according to news reports, were reported to have occurred for hours after the flights disappearance.
The plane has multiple functions and channels connected to the ACARS and at least some of it must have still been working.
For example, one part of this communications system is used for messages between the airplane and air traffic control (clearances, position reports, etc). Another is used to communicate, essentially with text messages, between the airplane and the airline. Messages can also be sent automatically for maintenance functions such as reporting faults and sending routine engine data. The range of functions that would have been available for someone to disable is not yet clear.
And at least one news report described altitude excursions between 45,000 feet and 23,000, which one pilot suggested might have been done willfully to render passengers unconscious. But this strikes me as behavior that would also be consistent with the airplane flying completely unattended with the autopilot off. Though these oscillations are larger than I might expect, it would be a natural behavior for the airplane to fly relatively large but gentle pitch oscillations.
This would be true especially if the airplanes auto-throttles were also for some reason disabled. There have been statements made that such changes could only be made by a skilled aviator, but what skilled aviator cannot hold altitude within 20,000 feet?
Incapacitation or something else that could prevent the crew from controlling the plane — fire, collision, explosive depressurization — could also be indicated, which wouldnt necessarily mean the cockpit was breached by anyone.
The airplane reportedly made suspicious turns. However, it is the nature of those turns that will reveal if it was deliberate heading (directional) changes or if nobody was flying the airplane at all. If the autopilot was off and the airplane was essentially flying on its own, I would expect a variety of heading changes. These changes could be initiated by turbulence during flight.
If the airplanes routes were controlled intentionally by selecting the heading or by programming the flight management computer, the flight path would be very straight, then a turn that would last usually from 10 to 30 seconds, followed by more straight flight.
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While a close-up analysis of the flight path would be required to determine the case, it seems that officials are not even sure if the flight path headed northwest toward Pakistan or southwest into the vast Indian Ocean.
On the technical side, the Boeing 777-200ER is a fly-by-wire airplane — that is, movement of the controls is converted into electrical signals that interact with flight-control computers and instruct the planes control surfaces on the wings and tail. Its characteristics may be able to explain much of the airplanes behavior.
With the autopilot off, the airplane will adjust the pitch (the up or down movement of the nose of the plane) to maintain a speed set by the pilot. It will pitch up if its going faster than the desired speed and pitch down if slower. This is called pitch trim. Anyone who has flown even a small aircraft will be familiar with this concept. Therefore, when disturbed, it will fly a series of pitch changes as it settles down on the trimmed airspeed.
Pitch protections built into the system ensure that the airplane never goes too fast or too slow. Temporary input on the control wheel, or changes in the airplanes weight as it burns off fuel, temperature and other normal atmospheric changes along the course can initiate the altitude changes as the airplane continues to seek its trimmed speed.
Heading changes are also what I would expect to see in an autopilot-off situation. The 777s fly-by-wire roll control law controls the tilt of the wings. The airplane would be subject to atmospheric disturbances that could act to tip a wing up every now and then, but built-in protections prevent the plane from exceeding bank angles in excess of 35°. While a conventional airplane would tend to spiral down in that situation, the 777 incorporates automatic pitch compensation, so the airplane could easily hold its altitude in these turns.
The fly-by-wire control system on the 777 makes it a very stable airplane, capable of flying for hours with the autopilot off without crashing.
If the flight path can be shown to be very straight lines with neat turns followed by another straight line, then I would throw out the autopilot-off theory, but it seems as though officials cant even determine where the plane was heading, much less the nature and cause of some heading changes.
The consistent theme in the mystery of this flight has been very little data, and the exact nature of that scant data is vague and changing.
Whatever exact scenario can account for the possible incapacitation or deliberate actions of the crew, the loss of the transponder and other communications and the airplanes mysterious flight path is likely to be a situation we have not seen before.
I would urge that we not jump to conclusions based on inconclusive evidence. The evidence we have may be consistent with deliberate acts, but it is also consistent with other explanations as well.
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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bill Palmer.
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