ABC News Blogs Mon, 03 Mar 2014 17:25:39 +0000 en hourly 1 Who Was Matthew McConaughey’s Mystery Co-Presenter at Oscars? Mon, 03 Mar 2014 15:42:18 +0000 GTY mcconaughey novak kab 140303 16x9 608 Who Was Matthew McConaugheys Mystery Co Presenter at Oscars?

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Twitter lit up with questions when Oscar presenter Matthew McConaughey appeared on stage with a companion that few people recognized. The unexpected presenter was in fact screen legend Kim Novak. The 81-year-old actress is best known for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 classic “Vertigo.”

Oscars 2014: Complete Winners’ List

Though Novak has never been nominated for an Academy Award, her presence along with 87-year-old Sidney Poitier was part of show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron’s attempt to reference Hollywood’s evolving history.

“We sought to include tremendous diversity of stars to represent not only this year’s nominees, but the legacy of the motion picture business as well,” the producers said, according to Deadline.

Novak and McConaughey delivered a trophy to “Frozen” for Best Animated Feature.


]]> 0
Obama Calls Afghan President’s Bluff on Complete US Troop Withdrawal Tue, 25 Feb 2014 21:11:11 +0000 Brendan Cullerton AP hamid karzai jt 131201 16x9 608 Obama Calls Afghan Presidents Bluff on Complete US Troop Withdrawal

Rahmat Gul/AP Photo

The leaders of the United States and Afghanistan haven’t been on the best of terms lately, and the relations got even chillier today with President Obama calling the bluff of President Hamid Karzai.

Obama warned Karzai that all U.S. troops will be pulled out of Afghanistan if the two countries do not reach an agreement on future U.S. involvement soon, White House officials said.

The president has already instructed the Pentagon to draw up a plan to remove U.S. troops and equipment in case the countries cannot reach a new bilateral security agreement (BSA), the White House said today.

“Absent a BSA, there will not be any U.S. troops on the ground beyond the end of the year,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today during a news conference.

The Afghan government is cooling off on the idea of signing onto the BSA despite having a part in crafting the proposal, Carney said.

“It is a simple fact that the bilateral security agreement was negotiated over a prolonged period of time, in good faith,” he said. “The agreement was reached. It was endorsed by the representatives of the Afghan people. It is not subject to renegotiation.”

Carney noted that it is still a policy goal of the Obama administration to keep some sort of presence in Afghanistan after 2014, but said the longer it takes to hammer out an agreement, the less manpower the United States will devote to the cause.

“And it’s not just troops. We’re talking about equipment and closing of bases,” Carney said. ” The mission beyond 2014, should a BSA be signed, would by necessity, if it happens late in year, be smaller in scale and ambition.”

The news comes a day after Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced proposed cuts to the military budget. Hagel noted pulling out of Afghanistan was a factor in drafting the “first budget to fully reflect the transition [the Department of Defense] is making after 13 years of war.”

Earlier this month, Afghanistan released 65 detainees that the U.S. military said are among the most dangerous men in the country, causing additional tension between the two countries.


]]> 0