To show her support for American workers, President Obama's labor secretary, Hilda Solis, has junked the standard black limo and purchased a new Chevrolet Equinox to ride around Washington in. The problem: the crossover SUV is built and assembled in Canada from parts also made in Canada. Source!
The Framingham Police Department in Massachusetts just released Onyango Obama's mugshot photo. Mr. Obama, President Obama's uncle, was arrested by Framingham police last week and charged with a DUI. He is being held by ICE authorities, as he is an illegal immigrant from Kenya.
Mr. Obama's text: "The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up the national debt from 5 trillion for the first 42 presidents; number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back; $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic!"
Although students in Des Moines, Iowa, may have griped about school bus evacuation practices in previous years, they were glad for their training Monday when, on the way home from school their bus exploded.
Two students not on the bus busted out the back window to let the others out to safety. All 16 students on board and the driver got out alive.
Over the next 18 months, the Environmental Protection Agency will finalize a flurry of new rules to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants. Mercury, smog, ozone, greenhouse gases, water intake, coal ash: it’s all getting regulated. Industry groups such the Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned utilities, and the American Legislative Exchange Council have dubbed the coming rules “EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck.” The regulations, they say, will cost utilities up to $129 billion and force them to retire one-fifth of coal capacity. Given that coal provides 45 percent of the country’s power, that means higher electric bills, more blackouts and fewer jobs. The doomsday scenario has alarmed Republicans in the House, who have been scrambling to block the measures. Wisconsin, punished for Governor Walker's stand on public service unions, is one of 26 mostly 'Red' States being hit the hardest. Two state utilities said this week new federal pollution rules will lead to higher electricity costs.
Wisconsin Public Service Corp. of Green Bay said its residential customers can expect an increase of more than $4 a month next year, including about $2 linked to the new rules designed to limit air pollution from coal-fired power plants.
The utility said it would see higher costs of about $32.6 million in 2012 from the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule that was finalized recently by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That will result in rates going up by 6.8% instead of 3.4%, the utility said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last month finalized stronger regulations for Wisconsin and 26 other states aimed at curbing air pollution from long-distance sources.
The head of the Texas Public Utility Commission expressed concern Friday that a new federal air quality rule, set to take effect Jan. 1, will cause disruptions in electric service.
If implementation of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is not delayed, "I have no doubt in my mind that this rule will result in reliability issues and rolling outages in Texas," Donna Nelson said at the start of the commission's meeting.
The rule, issued in early July by the Environmental Protection Agency, would require substantial reductions in emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide at power plants in 27 states. Source!
Facebook said Friday it mistakenly removed a post in which Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer criticized a controversial policy decision by President Barack Obama's administration to limit deportations of illegal immigrants.
The Republican governor had said in a post Friday that Facebook censored the item she posted Thursday because it apparently violated Facebook's community standards.
Brewer didn't elaborate in her post, but she said Friday in an interview that an email she received from Facebook said the post was removed because of an included illustration.
The email, which she read aloud, didn't specify how the illustration violated standards.
"I'd like to know why it happens,'' she said of the removal.
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes responded to a query by The Associated Press by saying in a brief email that Brewer's post was removed in error and that Facebook was sorry. Source!
The Homeland Security Department said Thursday it will halt deportation proceedings on a case-by-case basis against illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria such as attending school, having family in the military or are primarily responsible for other family members’ care.
The move, announced in letters to Congress, won immediate praise from Hispanic activists and Democrats who had chided President Obama for months for the pace of deportations and had argued he had authority to exempt broad swaths of illegal immigrants from deportation.
“Today’s announcement shows that this president is willing to put muscle behind his words and to use his power to intervene when the lives of good people are being ruined by bad laws,” said Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, Illinois Democrat. Source!
It looks more like a police mortuary van than a symbol of hope arriving on your street.
US President Barack Obama has embarked on his first bus tour in office. But his vehicle for the trip through the rural parts of three Midwestern states looks like it really is heading for a battle.
Big, blocky, black, with painted-out windows, it looks more like a police mortuary van than a symbol of hope arriving on your street.
It is a ponderous business campaigning when you are president, all that need for protection and the weight of office on your shoulders.
Two years in, the problems you inherited are now the problems you own. Part of Obama's message is that it is not his recession, not his fault. It's the blame game.
In a nutshell, stripped of rhetoric, this is what he is saying on the campaign trail:
***President George Bush caused America's huge debt by running up the bills for two wars on credit~
***Growth is returning to the economy but America's recovery has been damaged by accidents, such as the Japanese earthquake, that no-one could have forseen or prevented~
***He has plenty of ideas to bring jobs back, but Republicans in Congress who put point-scoring before their country are blocking them~
U.S. scientists discovered a naturally-occurring agent that destroys the bacteria that cause meat, fish, eggs and dairy products to rot.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota reported the discovery of bisin, a naturally-occurring compound produced by some types of bacteria.
The agent reduces the growth of bacteria including E. coli, salmonella and listeria and could lead to sandwiches that stay fresh for more than a year, The (London) Sunday Times reported.
The discovery also means that opened wine and products such as fresh salad dressing could last much longer, in some cases for as long as several years. It could also lead to a reduction in the amount of food wasted and thrown away each year.
Bisin was discovered by University of Minnesota microbiologist Dan O'Sullivan.
"It [bisin] seems to be much better than anything which has gone before," O'Sullivan said. "It doesn't compromise nutrient quality. We are not adding a chemical -- we are adding a natural ingredient."
Because bisin is chemically related to nisin, which is used to keep processed cheese sterile and edible for decades, it does not need to be pharmaceutically tested and could be on the market within a year. Source!
Ministers are drawing up controversial plans to remove benefits from those convicted of taking part in the riots that engulfed England last week, in a move Liberal Democrats and independent experts have condemned as counter-productive and overly expensive.
Officials in Number 10 and the department for work and pensions are putting together plans for the harsh punishment of those found guilty of even the most minor infringements during the riots after a public petition calling for such a move gathered nearly 200,000 signatures. Source!
A hair-thin electronic patch that adheres to the skin like a temporary tattoo could transform medical sensing, computer gaming and even spy operations, according to a US study published Thursday.
The micro-electronics technology, called an epidermal electronic system (EES), was developed by an international team of researchers from the United States, China and Singapore, and is described in the journal Science.
"It's a technology that blurs the distinction between electronics and biology," said co-author John Rogers, a professor in materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
"Our goal was to develop an electronic technology that could integrate with the skin in a way that is mechanically and physiologically invisible to the user."
The patch could be used instead of bulky electrodes to monitor brain, heart and muscle tissue activity and when placed on the throat it allowed users to operate a voice-activated video game with better than 90 percent accuracy.
"This type of device might provide utility for those who suffer from certain diseases of the larynx," said Rogers. "It could also form the basis of a sub-vocal communication capability, suitable for covert or other uses."
The wireless device is nearly weightless and requires so little power it can fuel itself with miniature solar collectors or by picking up stray or transmitted electromagnetic radiation, the study said.
Less than 50-microns thick -- slightly thinner than a human hair -- the devices are able to adhere to the skin without glue or sticky material.
"Forces called van der Waals interactions dominate the adhesion at the molecular level, so the electronic tattoos adhere to the skin without any glues and stay in place for hours," said the study.
Northwestern University engineer Yonggang Huang said the patch was "as soft as the human skin."
Rogers and Huang have been working together on the technology for the past six years. They have already designed flexible electronics for hemispherical camera sensors and are now focused on adding battery power and other energy options.
The devices might find future uses in patients with sleep apnea, babies who need neonatal care and for making electronic bandages to help skin heal from wounds and burns. Source!
A Nevada judge on Wednesday gave ACORN, the defunct grass-roots community organization, the maximum fine for its illegal voter-registration scheme in that state.
District Court Judge Donald Mosley was blunt and unsparing in his criticism of the discredited activist group. Citing the long history of voter registration fraud allegations that engulfed ACORN across the country, he slapped the group with a $5,000 fine for violating Nevada election law during the 2008 presidential election.
Mosley, reading the pre-sentence report, listed a series of voter registration fraud allegations against ACORN workers. He said that if the claims have been true, then "It is making a mockery of our election process. If I had an individual in this courtroom...who was responsible for this kind of thing, I would put that person in prison for 10 years, hard time, and not think twice about it," he said. "To me this is reprehensible. This is the kind of thing you see in some banana republic, Uruguay or someplace, not in the United States." Source!
Unmanned Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 can travel from London to Sydney in less than an hour!
By the time you finish reading this sentence, the Falcon HTV-2, the fastest plane ever built, could have flown 18 miles. It would get from London to Sydney in less than an hour, while withstanding temperatures of almost 2,000C, hotter than the melting point of steel.At 3pm BST on Thursday , the US Defence Advance Research Projects Agency will launch the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 on the back of a rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. If all goes to plan, engineers will launch the Falcon HTV-2 to the edge of space, before detaching the plane and guiding it on a hypersonic flight that will reach speeds of 13,000mph (about 20 times the speed of sound) on its return to Earth.
The Falcon started life in 2003, part of a US military research project to build a plane that could reach (and potentially deliver bombs to) any part of the world in less than an hour. Source!
Eighty percent of Muslim Americans approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president, according to a newly released survey conducted by the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center, a partnership between Gallup and the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi.
According to the survey, 65 percent of Jewish Americans approve of the job Obama is doing; 60 percent of atheists, agnostics, and those of no religion approve; 50 percent of Catholics approve; 37 percent of Protestants approve and 25 percent of Mormons approve.
Although published this month, the survey of Muslim Americans was actually completed on April 9. (In Gallup’s overall polling in the week that ended April 10, Obama’s approval was at 45 percent, slightly higher than the 42 percent it hit last week.) Source!
The Obama administration may turn thousands of government-owned foreclosures into rental properties to help boost falling home prices.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency said Wednesday it is seeking input from investors on how to rent homes owned by government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration.
The U.S. government rescued Fannie and Freddie in September 2008 and has funded them since the financial crisis. The mortgage giants own or guarantee about half of the nation's mortgages and nearly all new mortgages.
At the end of last month, the government owned roughly 248,000 foreclosed homes, officials said. About 70,000 of those are listed for sale. But officials expect the number of foreclosures to soar in the coming months. Source!
Verizon Communications Inc. reported a dozen cases of sabotaged cable lines and warned of delays in repairs and customer service on the second day of a strike involving about 45,000 employees.
The telecommunications company said there have been 12 acts of sabotage to telephone lines and to Internet and television services in Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York since the strike began.
Fiber-optic lines were intentionally cut in Tewksbury and several other municipalities on the East Coast, the company said. (CAUTION, PROFANITY: Video!
Festering in Philadelphia, New York, Cleveland, Miami, Baltimore and Washington D.C.
London is reeling from three nights of rioting that's poured hundreds of people into the streets, leaving several local neighborhoods in shambles. One man is dead, dozens injured and arrested.
Two police cars and a large number of buildings were on Saturday set ablaze in north London following a protest over the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man in an armed stand-off with officers. The patrol cars were torched as dozens gathered outside the police station on the High Road in Tottenham.
The protests have now spread to other cities, with violence reported in parts of Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol.
Great Britain and other parts of the world are experiencing unrest at a time of global economic uncertainty and stock market volatility.
Here's a look at what's happening around the world and how economic downturns are bringing protestors into the streets.
Police in London say the violence began during a vigil for a man, Mark Duggan, who’d been killed by police. However, those on the streets say what's happening goes beyond one man's death.
In late June, half the public schools in Britain where closed by a massive protest over public pensions cuts, including three major teachers' unions, customs and immigration officers, and air traffic controllers. Some 750,000 people took part in the protest.
London's press has reported that discontent has been simmering among Britain's urban poor for years, in neighborhoods like Tottenham, where the riots started.
But as one man told NBC News about an economic protest two months ago, "There was not a word in the press about our protests. Last night (Saturday) a bit of rioting and looting and now look around you."
In response to the violence, Prime Minister David Cameron has said law and order will prevail in Great Britain and he's doubled the amount of police officers in the streets and instituted curfews for young adults.
Cameron's conservative government is under fire for spending cuts to social programs in order to help reduce the country's debt. Among those hit the hardest are large numbers of minority youths who have been at the forefront of the unrest.
Some 250,000 people took to the streets of Tel Aviv, Israel, on Saturday over the rising cost of living. Demonstrations actually began last month when a few people set up tents in an expensive part of Tel Aviv to protest rising property prices.
The protests have moved to other cities in Israel, where some 50,000 people rallied.
The demonstrations have turned into a major challenge for the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Polls released last week show his approval ratings have dropped while support for the protesters is high.
Netanyahu has announced a series of reforms including freeing up land for construction and offering tax breaks. But the reforms have only increased anger in the streets, according to reports.
Here are some of the demands from protestors, according to Reuters:
***Increase personal tax brackets for top earners
***Enshrine the right to housing in the law; introduce rent controls; boost mortgage relief
***Stop further privatization of things such as health facilities
***Provide free education for all from the age of three months
***Raise the minimum wage to 50 percent of the average wage
~~~Spain, Greece , Portugal~~~
All three of these European Union nations have experienced protests and rioting in reaction to government austerity programs and bad economic conditions.
Demonstrators shout slogans against government's recent austerity economy measures during a protest in Athens.
In late June, riots broke out in Athens and other parts of Greece as the country's parliament voted to approve severe cutbacks in government spending.
Dozens were hurt and businesses destroyed as police battled rioters with tear gas and night sticks.
Greek lawmakers made the cuts in order to receive more bailout money from the International Monetary Fund and European Union—or run the risk of defaulting on their debts.
In Spain, thousands of people turned out in late May to protest the country's 21 percent unemployment rate.
They also demonstrated against government corruption and austerity measures to reign in the country's debt. Hundreds of people set up tents in a Madrid square and spent a week there in protest.
Portugal saw massive strikes and protests last March in response to government spending cuts. At least 200,000 people gathered in Lisbon.
Thousand of workers took to the streets throughout the country in May of this year to march for higher pay. They demanded better wages in light of rising inflation, including higher oil prices.
They called on the government of President Benigno Aquino III to do more to help protect jobs.
In reaction, the government held job fairs as hundreds of workers have been laid off as the economy slumps. Workers say that effort has fallen far short of what they want.
Nearly 1,000 cab drivers in eastern China blocked traffic and protested on Aug. 1 over rising fuel costs. It was the latest sign of discontent about the country's surging inflation.
Inflation is hitting China hard, with food prices recently increasing 12 percent. Many Chinese officials are reported concerned that inflation, along with rising property prices, could lead to even more unrest.
This past June, thousands of workers battled for three days with police in the capital city of the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. They were protesting declining living standards.
The recent protests can be traced back to February of this year, in what was an attempt to copy the Arab Spring uprising. That's when calls through Chinese social networks were sent out for an uprising in several local cities.
However, reports say the turnout was small in comparison to the enormous police presence and there were more clashes between journalists and officials than demonstrators.
In another legacy from the Arab Spring, protests and riots in Syria against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad have been going on for five months.
Reports say at least 1,600 people have been killed by government forces.
The demonstrations are a combination of calls for economic as well as political changes. Assad's government has promised a package of reforms including higher wages, letting political parties exist, easing restrictions on the media, and a new anti-corruption drive. But so far, none of the measures has been set in place.
Last week Assad sent troops and tanks to quell the mostly Sunni Muslim city of Hama in central Syria, and the army launched a similar assault on Sunday against Deir al-Zor.
Syria has cracked down with deadly force on protests in the past. In 1982 then-president Hafez al Assad—the father of Bashar al-Assad—sent troops into the Syrian town of Hama, killing between 10,000 and 40,000 people.
Syria's Arab neighbors as well as the United States have called for Assad to step down. He's ruled Syria for the past 11 years after succeeding his father. Assad says he has no intention of giving up his post as president.
Just 17 per cent believe U.S. government has consent of the governed!
Amidst riots in central Europe that have now spread to London and a debt downgrade that threatens to plunge the United States into a double-dip recession, Americans’ lack of confidence in their leadership is so crippled that they are now “pre-revolutionary,” according to pollster Pat Caddell.
A new Rasmussen poll shows that just 17 per cent of Americans believe that the U.S. government has the consent of the governed, an all time low. This dovetails with a record low for Congress’ approval rating, which stands at a paltry 6 per cent, while 46 per cent of Americans think most members of Congress are corrupt, with just 29% believing otherwise.
“The number of voters who feel the government has the consent of the governed – a foundational principle, contained in the Declaration of Independence – is down from 23% in early May and has fallen to its lowest level measured yet,” according to Rasmussen.
The poll was conducted before Friday’s U.S. debt downgrade, indicating that the figures could be even more dire in the aftermath of what some analysts believe is a precursor to a new great depression. Source!
A pregnant woman says Transportation Security Administration agents refused to allow her past a security checkpoint because she was carrying insulin for her diabetes and ice packs while boarding a plane.
The alleged incident occurred Thursday at Denver International Airport. The woman, a frequent flyer, did not want to be identified for news reports for fear of retaliation but recounted her experience to TheDenverChannel.com.
"He's like, 'Well, you're a risk.' I'm like, 'Excuse me?' And he's like, 'This is a risk ... I can't tell you why again. But this is at risk for explosives,'” the woman told the channel. (She eventually managed to sneak a small amount of insulin past security, she said.)
She told the channel that when she started to ask for TSA agents’ names, they “scattered” and “left me crying at the TSA checkpoint.” Source!
A military helicopter was shot down in eastern Afghanistan, killing 31 U.S. special operation troops, most of them from the elite Navy SEALs unit that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, along with seven Afghan commandos. It was the deadliest single incident for American forces in the decade-long war.
The Taliban claimed they downed the helicopter with rocket fire while it was taking part in a raid on a house where insurgents were gathered in the province of Wardak late Friday. It said wreckage of the craft was strewn at the scene. A senior U.S. administration official in Washington said the craft was apparently shot down by insurgents. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the crash is still being investigated. Source!
Witnesses tell Newsradio WTMJ of a mob of young black people attacking innocent fair-goers at the end of the opening night of State Fair, with some callers claiming a racially-charged scene. Milwaukee Police confirmed there were assaults outside the fair.
Witnesses' accounts claim hundreds of young black people beating white people as they left State Fair Thursday night.
Authorities have not given official estimates of the number of people involved in the attacks.
"It looked like they were just going after white guys, white people," said Norb Roffers of Wind Lake in an interview with Newsradio 620 WTMJ. Video!
A federal judge has ruled that former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld can be sued personally for damages by a former U.S. military contractor who says he was tortured during a nine-month imprisonment in Iraq.
The lawsuit lays out a dramatic tale of the disappearance of the then-civilian contractor, an Army veteran in his 50s whose identity is being withheld from court filings for fear of retaliation. Attorneys for the man, who speaks five languages and worked as a translator for Marines collecting intelligence in Iraq, say he was preparing to come home to the United States on annual leave when he was abducted by the U.S. military and held without justification while his family knew nothing about his whereabouts or even whether he was still alive. Source!