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Column: GOP should force Obama´s hand
USA Today, by Glenn Harlan Reynolds    Original Article
Posted By: Not your typical New Yorker- 12/3/2012 7:20:02 PM     Post Reply
As we careen toward the "fiscal cliff," the House GOP faces a problem. Obama won´t offer his own detailed plan which will involve big tax increases, until they offer their own plan -- which, Obama says, must contain big tax increases or he won´t offer his. That´s a mug´s game. Some have suggested that the House GOP should just walk away and let the nation go over the fiscal cliff. But I have some better ideas. Truth is, Obama's not really a key player here. All that he can do is sign or veto whatever legislation comes to him. And since under the Constitution money bills originate in the House,

Pregnant Kate Middleton
Hospitalized for Hyperemesis
Gravidarum - Which Is What?
Forbes Magazine, by Melanie Haiken    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/3/2012 7:19:00 PM     Post Reply
Hot on the heels of the announcement that Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting the heir to the British royal throne came the news that Kate has been hospitalized with hyperemesis gravidarum. (Snip) So what is this illness so suddenly in the headlines? Attempting a rough translation from the Latin provides a basic description – it means serious vomiting, or acute morning sickness. Of course, this begs the answer, how can morning sickness be so serious? After all, 50 percent of all pregnant women experience queasiness, nausea, vomiting and lack of

Political Elites Keep Power
By Blocking Change
Investors Business Daily, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 12/3/2012 7:13:34 PM     Post Reply
Obama´s America: A couple of economists have determined that rulers around the world keep their subjects in poverty so they can maintain power. What does this impart to us about where our country is headed today? Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, an economist at Harvard, published a study in 2006 that found political elites tend to stand in the way of development because it suits their needs. "Political elites," they said, "will block beneficial economic and institutional change when they are afraid that these changes will destabilize the

  


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Questions surround $55 million
program to cut violence in Chicago
CNN, by Scott Zamost & Drew Griffin*    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/3/2012 7:00:56 PM     Post Reply
Chicago - On a chilly afternoon this fall, teenagers across Chicago´s South Side were busy at work, earning $8.75 an hour to hand out fliers with a message of non-violence. )Snip) A four-month CNN investigation found that not only did the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI) pay teens to hand out fliers promoting inner peace, it also paid these at-risk teens to take field trips to museums, march in a parade with the governor, and even attend a yoga class to learn how to handle stress. Earlier this year, state legislators passed a resolution demanding the state conduct an audit on the program.

Yahoo ordered to pay $2.7 billion
in bizarre Mexico lawsuit
CNN Money, by Julianne Pepitone    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/3/2012 6:50:57 PM     Post Reply
New York - It´s not often that Mexican yellow pages listings makes the headlines, but Yahoo has been ordered to fork over $2.7 billion in a legal dispute involving them. Yahoo released a short and cryptic press release late Friday about the case, which was brought by Mexico´s Worldwide Directories and Ideas Interactivas. The plaintiffs sued Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) and Yahoo de Mexico for "breach of contract, breach of promise, and lost profits arising from contracts related to a yellow pages listings service." A federal judge in Mexico City has ordered Yahoo to pay $2.7 billion,

Pentagon drops ´strategic communication´
USA Today, by Tom Vanden Brook    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/3/2012 6:41:00 PM     Post Reply
Washington - The Pentagon is banishing the term "strategic communication," putting an end to an initiative that had promised to streamline the military´s messaging but instead led to bureaucratic bloat and confusion, according to a memo obtained by USA Today. Strategic communication had aimed to synchronize the military´s messages with its actions. Instead, it led to creation of offices and staffs that duplicated efforts of traditional public affairs offices, according to the memo. In the memo, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs George Little wrote that over the past six years,

Fannie, Freddie halt
foreclosures for the holidays
Money Watch, by Jason Henry McCormick    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/3/2012 6:31:40 PM     Post Reply
Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC), along with one of the nation´s biggest lenders, said Monday that they will suspend some foreclosures during the holidays. From December 19 through Jan. 2, 2013, Fannie will halt evictions of homeowners in a single-family property and in apartments with up to four units that are financed by a mortgage from the government-sponsored enterprise. Freddie, the nation´s other main provider of government-backed housing loans, will stop foreclosures for the same the type of homes from December 17 through Jan. 2, 2013. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) also is temporarily

  


  

SEC to take action against
´Big Four’ over China audits
Telegraph [UK], by Harry Wilson    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/3/2012 6:19:51 PM     Post Reply
The Chinese subsidiaries of Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and smaller player BDO are facing “administrative proceedings” by the Securities and Exchange Commission after allegedly refusing to produce audit information requested by investigators. The audit papers had been demanded by the SEC as part of an investigation into “potential wrongdoing” by nine Chinese companies that have shares listed in the US, according to the regulator. (Snip) The US authorities are particularly concerned at reverse mergers – whereby a company takes over the listing of an already

The pope joins the
twitterverse as @pontifex
Christian Science Monitor, by Nick Squires    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/3/2012 6:13:02 PM     Post Reply
Vatican City - After centuries of issuing theology-heavy treatises and ponderous papal bulls, the Vatican on Monday announced that the pope was embracing the most succinct of communications – Twitter. Benedict XVI is famously technology-averse – not surprising, perhaps, given that he is 85-years-old and a theologian by training – but the Vatican insisted that he would start tweeting regularly in English and six other languages Dec 12. The initiative is an attempt to take the fullest advantage of new media to spread the teachings of the Gospels, amid intense efforts by the Vatican to make its message

Pope Benedict XVI tightens church
control over Catholic charities
Religion News Service, by Alessandro Speciale    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/3/2012 6:06:02 PM     Post Reply
Vatican City - Bishops must exercise closer supervision over Catholic charities and ensure that their activities do not contradict church doctrine, according to new rules issued by Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday (Dec. 1). The new guidelines state that charities with links to the church must “follow Catholic principles in their activity” and may not “accept commitments” that could undermine those principles in any way. They also bar charities from accepting funding “from groups or institutions that pursue ends contrary to the church’s teaching” or for initiatives that are “not in conformity with the

Flu season hits U.S. early and hard
Los Angeles Times, by Michael Muskal    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/3/2012 5:56:35 PM     Post Reply
The flu season has gotten off to its quickest start in nearly a decade, a sign that it could be a bad year for the illness, officials said on Monday. Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urged people to get a flu shot to minimize the impact of the deadly disease’s spread. (Snip) The flu is caused by different strains and part of the test for scientists is trying to mix a vaccine that includes the strains that are most likely to be dominant in any given season. The current vaccine, which has been prepared in advance, seems well-matched for the strains that now working their

  


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Mars rover Curiosity finds
organic compounds, not life
Washington Post, by Brian Vastag    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/3/2012 5:48:16 PM     Post Reply
San Francisco - The Curiosity Mars rover has discovered something interesting in a scoop of ruddy sand, but NASA scientists say they’re not quite sure what it means. Sand that was shake-and-baked inside the car-size rover’s chemistry kit bubbled off traces of organic compounds, mission scientists said at a news briefing Monday at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. (Snip) But such compounds also could be contamination from the rover itself — or they may have rained onto the surface inside meteorites, said Paul Mahaffy, a mission scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight

NATO Plans Missile Defenses for Turkey
New York Times, by Michael R. Gordon    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/3/2012 5:37:41 PM     Post Reply
Brussels - NATO’s plan to buttress Turkey against potential attack from Syria calls for deploying American, German and Dutch Patriot missile-defense batteries under the operational control of the alliance’s military command, Western officials said Monday. The plan, which is expected to be endorsed by NATO’s foreign ministers when they meet in Brussels on Tuesday, would be the most direct action in the Syrian conflict yet by the alliance, which has remained cautious about intervention there. The move has been given added impetus by reports in recent days of increased activity at some of

GOP issues ´fiscal cliff´ counteroffer
USA Today, by Susan Davis    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/3/2012 5:32:55 PM     Post Reply
Washington - House Republicans sent a counterproposal to avert the "fiscal cliff" to the White House today outlining a $4.6 trillion deficit reduction proposal without raising tax rates on the wealthiest Americans. The proposal is based on a framework outlined last year by former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, who co-chaired President Obama´s debt commission, and included an increase in the eligibility age for Medicare benefits. Republicans did not offer specific language on raising the age in their proposal today, but Bowles has publicly supported raising the age to 67.

Stocks edged lower after
weak manufacturing report
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 12/3/2012 5:08:06 PM     Post Reply
Stocks are closed lower on Wall Street after a surprisingly weak manufacturing report heightened concern that fiscal deadlock in Washington is already hurting the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 60 points to close at 12,965 Monday. The Standard and Poor´s 500 index fell seven points to 1,409. The Nasdaq fell eight points to 3,002. The market opened higher but turned down at midmorning after the Institute for Supply Management reported that U.S. manufacturing shrank last month. Businesses expressed concerns about a series of sharp government spending cuts and tax increases

  


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Syria regime ´mixing chemicals
to make sarin gas´: report
Telegraph [UK], by Richard Spencer    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 12/3/2012 5:05:32 PM     Post Reply
On a day of turmoil in which a high-ranking Assad spokesman defected, and the United Nations announced it was withdrawing all non-essential personnel in Syria, American defence officials confirmed that activity had been reported at the regime’s known chemical sites, including movements of weapons components. Although previous activity has been reported, it was seen then as the regime seeking to secure stocks against possible rebel attack. This time, the White House spokesman, Jay Carney, went further. “We are concerned that an increasingly beleaguered regime may be considering the use

Federal Building Bombed, Tea Partier
Not Charged, Media Ignores
Brietbart's InstaBlog, by John Nolte    Original Article
Posted By: Oblio- 12/3/2012 4:38:51 PM     Post Reply
At 8:24 Friday morning -- that´s right, four days ago -- in the small town of Casa Grande, Arizona, the local Social Security Administration office was rocked by an explosion that charred the back wall and door. A nearby parked car was damaged and debris was strewn throughout the parking lot. No one was injured, but at the time of the explosion ten people were at work in the office. As someone who watches the media about as closely as anyone, why am I just learning about this now? My guess is that the name of the suspected bomber might answer that question: Abdullatif Aldosary, an Iraqi refugee.

Missing Pacific island riddle ´solved´
Telegraph [UK], by Jonathan Pearlman    Original Article
Posted By: markinalpine- 12/3/2012 4:22:11 PM     Post Reply
Sydney - The phantom island has been blamed on an error by the crew of a whaling ship from 1876, the Velocity, which originally recorded the land mass, known as Sandy Island, midway between Australia and the French-governed New Caledonia. Though the island has existed on maps for hundreds of years, a group of Australian scientists went searching for it in the Coral Sea last month and could not find it. Shaun Higgins, a pictorial librarian at Auckland Museum who was intrigued by the mystery, now believes he has solved the case. He says the ship’s master aboard the Velocity reported a series of

Photo appears to show Zimmerman
bleeding after Trayvon Martin killing
CNN, by Staff*    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 12/3/2012 4:19:54 PM     Post Reply
A photo posted online Monday shows George Zimmerman with blood on his nose and lips. His attorneys say it was taken the night unarmed teen Trayvon Martin was killed in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense. Martin´s attorneys say he was shot and killed "in cold blood." Prosecutors have charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder for the February 26 killing. The picture, posted Monday on Zimmerman´s defense website, was taken by a police officer, Zimmerman´s attorneys wrote. The state had previously provided a black-and-white copy of the image,

Emerson unexpectedly resigns
her Missouri congressional seat
Kansas City Star [MO], by Dave Helling    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 12/3/2012 4:16:33 PM     Post Reply
Colleagues and congressional analysts expressed surprise and dismay Monday after learning U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri had decided to quit. Within minutes, though, the state’s politicians began pondering the race to replace her. Emerson, a 62-year-old Republican from Cape Girardeau, announced her retirement less than a month after southeast Missouri voters overwhelmingly elected her for the 9th time. She’ll become president and CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in March. “Our district has earned its reputation for commonsense above all else,

  



NYC subway train kills
man pushed off platform
USA Today, by Michael Winter    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 12/3/2012 4:13:30 PM     Post Reply
A 58-year-old man died Monday after he was pushed off a subway platform in Midtown Manhattan and hit by a train pulling into the station, according to news reports. Some witnesses reported the victim had argued with the suspect, estimated to be in his 20s, before being pushed, while others said the suspect had been talking to himself and the victim asked what was wrong. The New York Daily News described the suspect, who fled, as being "emotionally disturbed." Witnesses said the victim tried to climb back onto the platform about 12:30 p.m. ET as the southbound train on the N, Q, R line

´3 Cups of Tea´ co-author David
Oliver Relin dead: apparent suicide
Los Angeles Times, by Carolyn Kellogg    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 12/3/2012 4:05:47 PM     Post Reply
David Oliver Relin, Gregory Mortenson´s co-author on the bestseller "Three Cups of Tea," has died. The 49-year-old committed suicide last month in Oregon, the Multnomah County medical examiner announced late Sunday, saying blunt force trauma to the head was the cause of death. Relin´s suicide adds to the shadow cast on "Three Cups of Tea," which tells of Mortenson´s travels in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan and his work creating schools for the children, particularly girls, in those remote regions. The book was plunged into controversy in April 2011, when Jon Krakauer published an

The New York Times´ latest cutbacks:
Proof its digital strategy is failing?
The Week [Palm Coast, FL], by Ryu Spaeth    Original Article
Posted By: jackson- 12/3/2012 3:55:14 PM     Post Reply
The New York Times on Monday announced that it would offer buyout packages to 30 newsroom employees, and that layoffs would ensue if the 30 spots were not voluntarily filled. Citing a difficult "economic environment" that has led in recent years to a 60 percent staff reduction on the paper´s business side, Executive Editor Jill Abramson said, "There is no getting around the hard news that the size of the newsroom staff must be reduced." While the loss of 30 jobs pales in comparison to the ousting of roughly 100 newsroom staffers in 2008, it is the latest evidence that the Times continues to struggle

Boehner, House GOP
leaders offer ‘fiscal
cliff’ counterproposal
Washington Post, by Lori Montgomery    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 12/3/2012 3:35:00 PM     Post Reply
House Republican leaders endorsed a far-reaching plan Monday to rein in the national debt that would raise $800 billion in new tax revenue, slice $600 billion from federal health programs and apply a stingier measure of inflation to Social Security benefits. In a letter to President Obama, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and other senior Republicans suggested that the framework, first laid out by Democrat Erskine Bowles during last year’s budget battles, should serve as a starting point for budget talks aimed at averting the year-end “fiscal cliff.” “With the fiscal cliff nearing,

Obama willing to go over fiscal cliff,
according to White House leaks
Daily Caller, by Neil Munro    Original Article
Posted By: ragu- 12/3/2012 3:21:04 PM     Post Reply
White House sources are telling Democratic reporters that the president is willing to go over the so-called “fiscal cliff” if GOP leaders don’t agree to his demand for higher tax rates on the wealthy without substantive spending cuts. A political deadlock would mean an automatic tax increase for middle-class and wealthy Americans on January 1, and the opportunity for Obama and the Democrats to push a tax-cutting bill for middle-class voters in 2013, say the White House officials, who leaked the claim to two liberal columnists.Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner, say they are opposed

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