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Entries in Osama bin Laden (8)

Tuesday
May012012

Osama Bin Laden Debate: Why Walmart Moms Won't Care

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Alex Wong/Getty ImagesANALYSIS
By AMY WALTER, ABC News Political Director


(WASHINGTON) -- If you want to know why Americans are frustrated and fed up with Washington, I present exhibit A: the debate between Democrats and Republicans over Osama Bin Laden.

Democrats suggest that Mitt Romney may not have had the guts to take out the Al Qaeda leader while Republicans sniff that the president’s public preening over the successful operation is unseemly.

Americans, meanwhile, have been very clear that they want the candidates to fix the economy, not one-up each other on their anti-terrorism credentials. In January of 2012, 51 percent of Americans polled by ABC/Washington Post said that the economy was the single most important issue in their choice for President. A paltry 2 percent picked the issue of terrorism/national security.

Eight years ago, in the first presidential campaign after the 9/11 attacks, 22 percent of Americans said terrorism was their top concern. And, while the economy was important to their vote, just 26 percent said it was their top issue in the 2004 campaign.

Today, it is the GDP, not OBL that is driving this election. And, many Americans feel that Washington doesn’t understand or appreciate just how tough this economy has been on them.

Nowhere is this frustration more evident than among a group of 29 moms brought together by Walmart for an online discussion about the economy and the upcoming election.

These “Walmart moms” – defined as a voter with kids under 18 living at home who shops at Walmart at least once a month – are a sought-after demographic. Even more important, the women engaged in this online discussion were from the key battleground states of Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The discussion was moderated by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling firm, and Momentum Analysis, a Democratic firm. What they found was that these women are hurting financially. Almost every one of them had a story about how she and her family had to cut back, go without, or sacrifice.

When asked to pick their most important issue, all picked the economy or “domestic issues.” Not one picked “foreign policy issues like Iraq, Afghanistan or the war on terrorism.” Moreover, these women expressed a deep frustration with the disconnect between what they experience in their day-to-day lives and what they see going on in Washington.

In a memo outlining the findings, Alex Bratty of Public Opinion Strategies and Margie Omero of Momentum Analysis writes: “Walmart Moms are frustrated with the state of the country, but they are skeptical about Washington’s ability to address the key issues that will have a positive, tangible impact on their household. These moms do not feel well represented. They see their elected officials and candidates running for office – whether for President or Member of Congress – as being elitist, out‐of‐touch and often focused on the wrong issues: arguing about social issues when they should be discussing ways to improve the economy, reduce gas prices and get the country back on track.”

So, while Democrats and Republicans bicker over the death of a terrorist leader killed over a year ago, these Walmart moms, and many just like them, are probably tuning them out.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May052011

Death of Osama Bin Laden Spurs New Cyber-Scams

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- The Better Business Bureau Thursday warned about a "slew of cyber-scams" that have appeared online in the aftermath of the death of Osama Bin Laden. 

Internet security firm Kapersky Labs reports malicious online scams targeting social media sites such as Facebook as well as Google Images searches. 

One example on Facebook features a video claiming to show the death of Osama bin Laden.  When Facebook users click on the malicious URL, warns the BBB, a virus could infect the users' computers.

Another scam involves the circulation of a letter seemingly written by a "soldier," asking for readers for help in transferring millions of dollars to a "trustworthy" U.S. citizen.

The BBB recommends several ways consumers can avoid these scams:

1.  Think before you click.  The BBB notes that no photos or videos related to Osama bin Laden's death have been released and consumers should "be extremely skeptical of links that say otherwise."

2.  Don't fall for the not-so-free "free" offer.  Web users should be wary of sites claiming to "celebrate" any sort of occasion with free offers or giveaways, particularly if you have not heard of the company before.

3.  Spread the word.  The BBB encourages consumers to discuss cyber-scams with friends or family who have access to the Internet.

4.  Know the red flags.  Scam emails and websites often are riddled with grammatical errors or spelling mistakes.  Cyber-scammers also may ask people to wire money to resolve various situations.  The BBB says these are red flags and Web users should look be skeptical when they come across them.

5.  Check with the BBB.  For more information on how to protect yourself from cyber-scams, visit BBB.org.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May052011

Former Navy SEAL's Book a Quick Bestseller

Howard Wasdin. ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Talk about being at the right place at the right time.

Former Navy SEAL Howard Wasdin has a new book coming out about his experiences entitled Seal Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper, co-authored with Navy veteran Stephen Templin.

The original publishing date was May 24.  However, with interest in the SEALs running high following the successful mission that killed Osama bin Laden, publisher St. Martin's Press is rushing the book to stores this week.

Demand is so great, in fact, that the print run was quadrupled to 70,000 and even that probably won't be enough.  Since Sunday, Seal Team Six has jumped on the Amazon sales ranking from number 20,000 to number five.

Movie rights are also being shopped for the book, which details "the world of Navy SEALS and Special Forces snipers" when Wasdin fought in the first Persian Gulf War and was also deployed in Somalia.  He retired 16 years ago.

As for the SEALs who killed the world's most wanted fugitive, Wasdin contends the best gratitude Americans can show is to respect their anonymity, since their lives and those of their family members are at risk.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May032011

Osama Bin Laden Found, But We're Still Searching

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Internet searches spiked after the death of Osama bin Laden.

Yahoo reports searches for the al Qaeda leader's name spiked almost 100,000 percent on Sunday. One quarter of those searches were by people younger than 24.

Searches for "September 11th" were up more than a thousand percent.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May032011

Risk for Cyber Scams Up with Osama Bin Laden's Death

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The death of Osama bin Laden may not just mean an increased risk of terror attacks across the country, but the possibility of more cyber scams on the Web.

Following the news that bin Laden had been killed and buried at sea, computer researchers said cyber scammers were quick to set online traps for people searching for and sharing information about the terrorist leader.

In the day following the big news, Kurt Baumgartner, a senior security researcher for Kaspersky Labs, a security firm, said cybercriminals started using top search results related to bin Laden in Google Images to redirect people to pages filled with malware.

Baumgartner said if they searched for "Osama bin Laden" in Google Images, one of the highest results on the page could have taken them to a malicious website ready to infect their computers. Some poisonous pages try to convince users that their computer is already infected with a virus, and then prompt them to pay for and download fake anti-virus software.

Facebook users looking to share links and "like" stories and video face a different kind of risk.

Ads on the social network may promote offers celebrating bin Laden's death -- such as those for free tickets or free sandwiches -- but by clicking on the ads, users are just redirected to scam-filled pages that prompt them to turn over personal information, Baumgartner said.

As they "like" the ads or click on the fake links, they give online criminals a way to reach their Facebook contacts and spread the scam to their friends. They also help the crooks collect email addresses or other valuable information.

Security researchers at Sophos Labs said a "death video" scam related to bin Laden was spreading virally on Facebook. Messages leading to the video link claim there is banned video of bin Laden's final hours. But by "liking" and sharing the link (which doesn't actually point to video at all) Facebook users give cyber criminals access to their contacts while helping them collect money (Sophos says they get paid per click).

"People should understand on Facebook that when there are these great offers, usually the offers are too good to be true," Baumgartner said. "And just because something has been posted on a friend's wall it doesn't mean it's from them." 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May022011

Gas Prices Reach Highest Springtime Level Ever

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Crude oil prices fluctuated Monday following President Obama's announcement that U.S. Navy SEALs had killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Prices first fell, then rose, then fell again, landing at a four-day low: $113 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The U.S. Department of Energy reported late Monday that gasoline prices at the pump averaged $3.96 a gallon nationwide, up a little over eight cents from a week ago. The price hit $4 a gallon or higher in 12 states, plus the District of Columbia. AAA and other market watchers said they expect $4 to become the norm nationwide by the end of this week.

Petroleum expert Andrew Lipow, speaking with ABC News, said the price of crude fell by two dollars immediately following the president's announcement, then, by mid-morning, had climbed 50 cents. He attributed the initial drop to concerns that al Qaeda might stage reprisals.

Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston, said he expects the effect of bin Laden's death to be mostly positive. "It's good news that the threat of terrorist action against oil producing, refining and transportation facilities around the world now seems to be reduced," he said. Longer-term, he thinks there will be little if any relation between bin Laden's death and what consumers pay at the pump.

"Markets are rallying and people are saying they see better times ahead. With greater optimism, however, comes increased petroleum demand. Demand around world is at a record level. We're seeing huge growth of demand in China, and after that, in India, Saudi Arabia and Brazil. While U.S. petroleum demand might be stagnant, the rest of the world needs more."

Also putting upward pressure on prices, he says, is the fact that Libya, wracked by civil war, for now has suspended oil production. The country exports its crude primarily to Europe, not to the U.S. But Libyan crude, made into gasoline in Europe, is then exported to the U.S. eastern seaboard. Indirectly, says Lipow, "We get 10 percent of our gasoline from Libya. Their oil will continue to be off the market for some time." Meantime, he said, many of oil-producing regions of North Africa and the Middle East remain in turmoil.

Lipow predicts gasoline will peak at $4 a gallon over the next couple of weeks, then slowly work its way down in price. Barring further turmoil in producing nations, "by the end of the year it might come down 25 cents a gallon -- but you really would need today's turmoil to resolve itself."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Monday
May022011

'Obama Got Osama': T-Shirts Commemorate Osama Bin Laden Death

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Looking for ways to commemorate the death of one of the world’s most wanted terrorists?  Some enterprising businessmen hope so.

Dozens of specialty T-shirts celebrating the killing of Osama bin Laden have begun appearing for sale online and on U.S. street corners less than 12 hours after news broke.

“Hot off the press! Get your shirts here, guys,” one vendor yelled from a park outside the White House in Washington, D.C.  His “Obama Got Osama” screen print shirts were selling at $10 apiece.

“It took Obama to catch Osama,” the shirt reads, above a caricature of Obama scouting a robbed bin Laden with his hands raised inside a cave. “1,461 day of Obama term as president,” it says.  

Other designs found online include a silhouette face of bin Laden with such slogans as “Osama got Obama’d” and “Rest in Piss.”  Another features bin Laden’s likeness with the line “Rest in Pieces.” 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May022011

Stock Market Futures Up Amid News of Bin Laden's Death

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Following news that Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Special Forces in Pakistan Sunday, global stock markets are on the rise Monday.

The dollar has strengthened and oil prices have dropped below $113 a barrel, easing off two-and-a-half year highs.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei index closed up 1.6 percent overnight.  It is now at its highest level since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan.  European markets are also up.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., stock futures are making more gains and are poised for an up opening on the first trading day of May.  April was the best month of the year for stocks.  Year to date, the Dow is up nearly 11 per cent.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio