The United States strongly condemns the illegal disclosure of classified information. It puts people’s lives in danger, threatens our national security, and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems. So let’s be clear: this disclosure is not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interests. It is an attack on the international community – the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations,that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity. I am confident that the partnerships that the Obama Administration has worked so hard to build will withstand this challenge.
And today I’m proposing a two-year pay freeze for all civilian federal workers. This would save $2 billion over the rest of this fiscal year and $28 billion in cumulative savings over the next five years. And I want to be clear: This freeze does not apply to the men and women of our Armed Forces, who along with their families continue to bear enormous burdens with our nation at war. I did not reach this decision easily; this is not just a line item on a federal ledger. These are people’s lives.
At long last, we came to a realization that it no longer makes sense for us to anticipate that the North would abandon its nuclear program or its policy of brinkmanship on its own. The South Korean people now unequivocally understand that prolonged endurance and tolerance will spawn nothing but more serious provocations. Those who have so far supported the North Korean regime might now see its true colors. Only courage that defies retreat under any threat or provocation will bring about genuine peace. If the North commits any additional provocations against the South, we will make sure that it pays a dear price without fail.
Cyber Monday, the online retailer equivalent to Black Friday is now bigger than ever. 106 million Americans are expected to surf retailers’ websites today to take advantage of aggressive online promotions like free shipping, big discount and free gift cards. That’s up from 96 million last year. The National Retail Federation says a whopping 88% of all retailers are offering online deals today, the highest percentage ever. And all of these deals have resulted in higher Cyber Monday spending.
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