04 21 2015
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  • When should we use military to enforce US goals? NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Rand Paul lashed out Saturday at military hawks in the Republican Party in a clash over foreign policy dividing the packed GOP presidential field. Paul, a first-term senator from Kentucky who favors a smaller U.S. footprint in the world, said that some of his Republican colleagues would do more harm in international affairs than would leading Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. "The other Republicans will criticize the president and Hillary Clinton for their foreign policy, but they would just have done the same thing — just 10 times over," Paul said on the closing day of a New Hampshire GOP conference that brought about 20 presidential prospects to the first-in-the-nation primary state. "There's a group of folks in our party who would have troops in six countries right now, maybe more," Paul said. Foreign policy looms large in the presidential race as the U.S. struggles to resolve diplomatic and military conflicts across the globe. The GOP presidential class regularly rails against President Barack Obama's leadership on the world stage, yet some would-be contenders have yet to articulate their own positions, while others offered sharply different visions. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose brother, President George W. Bush, authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, declined to say whether he would have done anything different then. Yet Jeb Bush acknowledged a shift in his party against new military action abroad. "Our enemies need to fear us, a little bit, just enough for them to deter the actions that create insecurity," Bush said earlier in the conference. He said restoring alliances "that will create less likelihood of America's boots on the ground has to be the priority, the first priority of the next president." The GOP's hawks were well represented at the event, led by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has limited foreign policy experience but articulated a muscular vision during his Saturday keynote address. Walker said the threats posed by radical Islamic terrorism won't be handled simply with "a couple bombings." "We're not going to wait till they bring the fight to us," Walker said. "We're going to bring the fight to them and fight on their soil." South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham addressed the question of putting U.S. troops directly in the battle against the Islamic State group militants by saying there is only one way to defeat the militants: "You go over there and you fight them so they don't come here." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suggested an aggressive approach as well. "The way to defeat ISIS is a simple and clear military objective," he said. "We will destroy them." Businesswoman Carly Fiorina offered a similar outlook. "The world is a more dangerous and more tragic place when America is not leading. And America has not led for quite some time," she said. Under Obama, a U.S.-led coalition of Western and Arab countries is conducting regular airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also has hundreds of military advisers in Iraq helping Iraqi security forces plan operations against the Islamic State, which occupies large chunks of northern and western Iraq. Paul didn't totally reject the use of military force, noting that he recently introduced a declaration of war against the Islamic State group. But in an interview with The Associated Press, he emphasized the importance of diplomacy. He singled out Russia and China, which have complicated relationships with the U.S., as countries that could contribute to U.S. foreign policy interests. "I think the Russians and the Chinese have great potential to help make the world a better place," he said. "I don't say that naively that they're going to, but they have the potential to." Paul suggested the Russians could help by getting Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave power. "Maybe he goes to Russia," Paul said. Despite tensions with the U.S., Russia and China negotiated alongside Washington in nuclear talks with Iran. Paul has said he is keeping an open mind about the nuclear negotiations. "The people who already are very skeptical, very doubtful, may not like the president for partisan reasons," he said, and "just may want war instead of negotiations."
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BIG BUDGET FILMS

The Expendables 2 (R for pervasive graphic violence) Bombastic beefcake sequel features a reunion of the crack team of mercenaries for a death-defying adventure to avenge the murder of one of their own at the hands of a bloodthirsty rival (Jean-Claude Van Damme). Matinee idol ensemble includes Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Liam Hemsworth and Yu Nan. 

The Odd Life of Timothy Green (PG for mature themes and mild epithets) Fanciful fairytale about a young boy (CJ Adams) who miraculously sprouts out of the ground in the garden of a childless couple (Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner) desperate for a baby. With Rosemarie DeWitt, Odeya Rush, Dianne Wiest, David Morse, Ron Livingston and Common. 

ParaNorman (PG for scary action, mature themes, rude humor and mild epithets) Animated adventure about a misunderstood ghoul whisperer (Kodi Smit-McPhee) whose ability to communicate with the dead comes in handy when witches, ghost and zombies descend on his quiet hometown. Featuring voice work by Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, John Goodman, Tempestt Bledsoe and Jeff Garlin.

Sparkle (PG-13 for violence, profanity, drug use, smoking, mature themes and domestic abuse) The late Whitney Houston makes her final screen performance in this remake of the musical drama, set in the Sixties, about three sisters (Jordin Sparks, Tika Sumpter and Carmen Ejogo) whose singing group becomes Motown's latest sensation only to have sudden fame tear their close-knit family apart. With Mike Epps, Derek Luke, Cee-Lo Green and Omari Hardwick.  



INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

The Awakening (R for violence, nudity and sexuality) Haunted house horror flick set in the wake of World War I at a British boarding school where a professional skeptic (Rebecca Hall) summoned to debunk recent ghost sightings as a hoax instead gets the surprise of her life when she encounters real supernatural phenomena for the first time. With Dominic West, Imelda Staunton and John Shrapnel.  

Beloved (Unrated) Romance drama about a pretty Parisian hooker (Ludivine Sagnier) who falls head over six-inch stilettos for a dashing doctor (Radivoje Bukvic) only to learn that he has a wife back in Czechoslovakia. With Milos Forman, Catherine Deneuve and Paul Schneider. (In French, English and Czech with subtitles)

Brother, Can You Spare a Dollar? (Unrated) Unsentimental retrospective celebrates the guts and glory of the Depression Generation while speculating about the prospects of America's post-industrial economy.

Chicken with Plums (PG-13 for drugs, smoking, sensuality and violent images) Maudlin, character-driven drama, set in Teheran in the Fifties, about an inconsolable violinist (Mathieu Amalric) who loses the will to live after his wife (Golshifteh Farahani) destroys his beloved instrument during a heated argument. Cast includes Edouard Baer, Maria de Medeiros and Eric Caravaca. (In French and English with subtitles)

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (Unrated) Sci-fi comedy about the cross-species romance between a shy, greeting card store clerk (Lisa Haas) and a woman she has no idea might be from another planet (Susan Ziegler). With Jackie Monahan, Cynthia Kaplan and Dennis Davis.

Compliance (R for profanity, sexuality and nudity) Fact-based drama about a prank caller (Pat Healy) pretending to be a police officer who tricks the manager (Ann Dowd) of a fast food restaurant into conducting a strip search of a cashier (Dreama Walker) unfairly accused of stealing. With Bill Camp, Philip Ettinger and James McCaffrey.

Cosmopolis (R for violence, profanity, graphic sexuality and frontal nudity) David Cronenberg directed this adaptation of the Don Delillo novel of the same name chronicling a very eventful day in the life of a miserably-married, self-destructive billionaire (Robert Pattinson) With Paul Giamatti, Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton and K'naan.

Robot & Frank (PG-13 for profanity) Unlikely-buddy comedy about a retired cat burglar (Frank Langella) who comes out of retirement to pull one last heist with the help of the cyborg (Peter Sarsgaard) purchased by his children (James Marsden and Liv Tyler) to look after him. Support cast includes Susan Sarandon, Jeremy Strong and Bonnie Bentley. 

Why Stop Now? (Unrated) Road comedy about an aspiring piano prodigy (Jesse Eisenberg) who finds his car commandeered by his mother's (Melissa Leo) miffed drug dealer (Tracy Morgan) on the day of his big audition. With Isiah Whitlock, Jr., Sarah Ramos and Tanya Wright.

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