Current Events

October U.S. Jobs Report: +80,000 jobs and a six-month low 9% unemployment rate

November 4, 2011

“The U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly fell in October while employers added fewer workers than forecast, illustrating the “frustratingly slow” progress cited by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke this week.

The unemployment rate fell to a six-month low of 9 percent from 9.1 percent, even as the labor force grew. The 80,000 increase in payrolls followed gains in the prior two months that were revised up by 102,000, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington.”

Read the full article →

Obama, DNC have so far raised $15.6 million from the financial industry

November 4, 2011

“Obama’s links to financial companies don’t end with MF Global. The president has raised $15.6 million from the financial industry for his reelection effort and the DNC, according to a Washington Post analysis.

The third-largest source of cash for Obama is Chicago-based Chopper Trading, which employs a controversial high-frequency trading technique. The firm’s chief executive, Raj Fernando, held a fundraiser at his home with Vice President Biden and has raised at least $200,000 for the campaign and the DNC.”

Read the full article →

Obama and the Democratic National Committee have received donations totaling $108,650 from MF Global employees & over $500,000 from Corzine as a “bundler”

November 4, 2011

“The bankrupt financial company MF Global, now under federal investigation for possibly misusing clients’ money, is one of the top sources of contributions for President Obama’s reelection, complicating the campaign’s effort to turn public anger at Wall Street into a political advantage.

Employees of the company have given $108,650 to Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, according to federal records. MF Global’s chairman and chief executive, former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, has raised at least $500,000 for the campaign and the DNC as a “bundler,” or volunteer fundraiser.”

Read the full article →

Iowa Poll: Two-thirds of likely Republican voters earning less than $50,000 a year believe they would be better off under Cain’s 9-9-9 plan

November 4, 2011

“Two-thirds of likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers earning less than $50,000 a year believe they personally would be better off or in the same situation under Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan, The Des Moines Register’s new Iowa Poll shows. Research-group reviews of the plan have found that most families making $100,000 or less would pay thousands of dollars more each year.

“The larger point is that people don’t really understand what the 9-9-9 plan actually is, and they’re assuming incorrectly that they may not pay one or any of these taxes,” said Joe Rosenberg, a research associate for the Tax Policy Center, a group based in Washington, D.C., that bills itself as a nonpartisan economic research institute.

Cain’s plan would eliminate the current individual income tax, corporate income tax and payroll tax and replace them with a new 9 percent national sales tax, a 9 percent business tax and a 9 percent income tax. Estate and gift taxes would be eliminated.

The Tax Policy Center estimates that the three taxes combined would be the equivalent of a 25.38 percent national sales tax. Because lower-income families spend a larger percentage of their income on tangible goods, they would be affected disproportionately.

The bottom line: A family with an income level of $40,000 to $50,000 would pay $3,407 more a year in taxes, while families making $500,000 to $1 million a year would pay on average $80,315 less, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Read the full article →

Boehner’s very small concession: House Republicans will accept additional revenues in deficit-cutting deal so long as it coincides with ‘significant’ reforms to welfare programs

November 4, 2011

“The top Republican in the U.S. Congress, John Boehner, on Thursday said some additional revenue could be part of a deficit deal being negotiated by lawmakers, as long as it also includes significant reforms to benefits programs.

But the remarks by House of Representatives Speaker Boehner did not break the impasse over taxes as a congressional “super committee” struggles to reach a consensus on how to cut at least $1.2 trillion from deficits over 10 years.

An aide said Boehner was talking about non-tax revenues such as selling government land and other assets, increasing co-payments for healthcare and raising park admission fees.

Boehner repeated opposition to raising income tax rates, saying it would hurt economic growth.”

Read the full article →

Federal Judge dismisses former Governor Jesse Ventura’s lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security over the use of full-body scans and pat-downs

November 4, 2011

“A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura in which he sought to challenge the use of full-body scans and pat-downs at airport checkpoints.

Ventura sued the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration in January alleging that the scans and pat-downs violated his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizure.”

Read the full article →

DEA’s October 29th National Prescription Take-Back Day nets 188.5 tons of unwanted or expired prescription drugs

November 4, 2011

“The Drug Enforcement Administration says people turned in more than 188.5 tons of unwanted or expired prescription medications in the agency’s third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 29.

The DEA initiative that began 13 months ago has resulted in almost 500 tons of medications being taken out of circulation, with assistance from state, local and tribal law enforcement partners as well as community groups. For the most recent collection day, 5,327 sites were set up around the country.”

Read the full article →

Obama Administration has fails to meet 18 of the new health care law’s 30 deadlines

November 3, 2011

“The Obama administration has failed to meet more than half of the new health care law’s deadlines, from submitting plans for new, value-based Medicare purchasing programs to publishing criteria for determining the medically underserved.

A report requested by Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, indicates that the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies missed 18 of 30 deadlines since the Affordable Care Act was passed in March 2010.”

Read the full article →

Obama to the House Speaker on ‘wasting time’: “What have you guys been debating, John [Boehner]? A commemorative coin for baseball? You have legislation reaffirming that ‘In God We Trust’ is our motto.”

November 3, 2011

“President Obama on Wednesday attacked House Republicans for failing to pass jobs growth measures and instead voting on commemorative coins and a resolution reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto.

“What have you guys been debating, John?” Obama said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “A commemorative coin for baseball? You have legislation, uh … reaffirming that ‘In God We Trust’ is our motto,” said the president.

Obama’s attacks were not reserved for House Republicans, saying that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) supports infrastructure improvement.

“ ‘Roads and bridges are not partisan in Washington’, that’s a quote from him,” Obama said.”

Read the full article →

Iran warns Israel, United States it may retaliate against a strike on its nuclear program in a “surprising way”

November 3, 2011

“Iran would cause serious damage to the United States and Israel should Jewish state strike the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, Iran’s top military official said on Wednesday.

The “Zionist regime’s military attack against Iran would lead to heavy damages to the US as well as [to the] Zionist regime,” Iran’s Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Hassan Fayrouz Abadi said.

Iran would attack Israel in a “surprising” way, he was quoted by Army Radio as saying.”

Read the full article →

U.S. “Kill Team” in Afghanistan that treated Afghani people like “savages” facing court martial

November 2, 2011

“The so-called “kill team” led by Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs was “out of control,” prosecutors added as grisly photos of soldiers posing with a corpse were shown in court. Gibbs, who sat expressionless in a tiny courtroom where the week-long case is being heard, also allegedly brandished fingers cut off dead bodies in a failed attempt to silence members of his team. The 26-year-old faces life in prison if convicted on charges including three counts of premeditated murder, in a scandal that has threatened Abu Ghraib-style embarrassment for the US military.

Gibbs, the fourth member of the rogue unit to face court martial, is accused of staging killings between January and May 2010 to make them look like legitimate combat casualties. Jeremy Morlock, described as Gibbs’ “right hand man,” said his former boss had frequent conversations about “drop weapons,” or weapons found on the battlefield which could be planted on a body.

“He had a general disdain for Afghans, and called them savages,” Morlock — who agreed to testify against Gibbs as part of a deal in which he pled guilty in March — told the court martial, expected to last a week. Morlock told how Gibbs took over the platoon, stationed in volatile Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan, in November 2009, after its previous leader suffered serious injuries in a roadside bomb attack.

“We talked about payback,” Morlock said, adding that the first “opportunity” took place on January 15, 2010 during a patrol of a village called La Mohammad Kalay. Morlock said he and another soldier, Private Andrew Holmes, came across a teenage farmer alone in a field. They waved him over, and when he approached Morlock threw a grenade, and Holmes opened fire to make it look like a real firefight. Photographs of the boy’s bloody corpse were shown to the jurors, a five-member military panel. One of the pictures showed Morlock posing with the lifeless body.”

Read the full article →

Iran dismisses renewed dialogue offer by Secretary Clinton over “contradictions”

November 1, 2011

“Iran on Saturday dismissed a renewed US offer of dialogue by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying the “contradictions” of pursuing talks at the same time as threats undermined the proposal. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi made the comment at a joint media conference in Tehran with the visiting leader of the autonomous Kurdish regionin neighbouring Iraq, Massud Barzani.

Salehi was responding to remarks Clinton made on Wednesday to Farsi-language programmes on BBC Farsi and Voice of America (VOA) in which she said Washington was “prepared to engage” with Iran, even as it maintains sanctions. Salehi was quoted by Iran’s state television website as saying: “We have heard such remarks a lot but unfortunately they are full of contradictions.”

Read the full article →

Syrian President Assad warns the West that actions against Syria would cause an “earthquake” that would “burn the whole region”

November 1, 2011

“Western countries “are going to ratchet up the pressure, definitely,” he said. “But Syria is different in every respect from Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen. The history is different. The politics is different. “Syria is the hub now in this region. It is the fault line, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake … Do you want to see another Afghanistan, or tens of Afghanistans? “Any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region.”"

Read the full article →

13 Americans killed in suicide bombing in Afghanistan

October 29, 2011

“At least 13 Americans were killed Saturday when a suicide bomber struck an armored military bus in Kabul, in the single deadliest attack on U.S. citizens in the Afghan capital since the war began a decade ago. [Updated, at 11:40 a.m., Oct. 29, 2011: NATO officials said that five troops and eight civilian contractors were killed in the attack.] The attack represents a propaganda coup for the Taliban, which claimed responsibility in text messages to news organizations, saying it packed a four-wheel-drive vehicle with at least 700 pounds of explosives.”

Read the full article →

U.S.-based Blue Coat Systems internet filtering devices used by Syrian government to censor web activity

October 29, 2011

“Blue Coat Systems Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., says it shipped the Internet “filtering” devices to Dubai late last year, believing they were destined for a department of the Iraqi government. However, the devices—which can block websites or record when people visit them—made their way to Syria, a country subject to strict U.S. trade embargoes.”

Read the full article →
Page 202 of 205« First...102030...200201202203204...Last »