The US economy unexpectedly shrank at an annualised rate of 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012, initial official estimates indicate. If confirmed, it would be the first contraction logged by the US economy since the 2009 global recession. The world´s largest economy grew 3.1% in July to September. The fourth quarter period was dominated by the "fiscal cliff"--the spending cuts and tax rises that had been due to come into force from 1 January. These were avoided by a last-minute deal between the Republican-dominated Congress and the White House. However, economists warned at the time that
Naples, Italy — Bus service in the southern Italian city of Naples has ground to a halt after the city transport company ran out of money for fuel. Valeria Peti, of the ANM transport company, says only 30 of the usual 300 buses left the depot Wednesday morning, and they all had to return before their tanks ran dry. The company had announced overnight that service for the morning rush hour couldn´t be guaranteed. Naples´ municipal services have been in the news before, most notably when mountains of garbage have piled up.
Labor unions and Hollywood donors are open to bankrolling Organizing for Action, the outside group that has been formed in support of President Obama’s second-term agenda. Traditionally one of the biggest donors to Democrats, unions are considering putting their financial weight behind the group as it tries to harness the grassroots power of Obama’s reelection machine. “If Organizing for Action mobilizes or communicates on issues that are directly germane to or beneficial to the interests of professional firefighters, we would consider supporting the effort,” said Kevin O’Connor, head of governmental and political
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has tapped his former chief-of-staff William "Mo" Cowan to serve as interim U.S. senator until a special election to fill the seat left vacant by Secretary of State-designate John Kerry. Patrick says Cowan´s role in helping turn around the Massachusetts economy in recent years "has earned him the respect and admiration of people throughout government." He says the state will benefit from Cowan´s wisdom and good judgment. Cowan, a North Carolina native, says he is "honored and humbled" by the appointment. Cowan is the former chief of staff and chief legal counsel to Patrick.
A new creation has put a novel twist on what can sometimes become a tiring game of fetch for a dog owner. The Rogz Grinz ball, designed by Porky Hefer, features large grinning teeth so when the dog runs back with the ball, he will also greet his owner with a warm, toothy grin. Created by South African based company Rogz, the Grinz ball can be stuffed full of a dog´s favourite treats, ensuring even the laziest of dogs will go after the toy.[Snip]Mr Metelerkamp, 37, had to overcome a number of design issues to get the ball to become
A senior figure close to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi provoked outrage today after claiming the Holocaust was a myth invented by the United States. Fathi Shibab-Eddim, who is responsible for appointing editors of all the state-run newspapers, claimed the six million Jews killed by Hitler had actually been moved to America. His comments came as the world marked Holocaust Remembrance day on Sunday and little more than a week after it emerged that President Morsi himself had once described Jews as ´descendants of apes and pigs´. Shibab-Eddim said: ´The myth of the Holocaust is an industry that America invented.
By tarring conservatives as racist during the 2012 presidential campaign, MSNBC “essentially” mounted “a voter suppression campaign,” says the author of a new book on media bias. “Some of the quotes I have in ‘Spin Masters’– you might remember them if you watch a lot of MSNBC — still make me cringe,” David Freddoso, author of the recently released book “Spin Masters: How the Media Ignored the Real News and Helped Reelect Barack Obama,” told The Daily Caller. “For example, Chris Matthews asserting that conservatives were giving Romney a long leash (ideologically speaking)
A 15-year-old honors student who performed at President Obama´s inaugural events in Washington D.C. last week has been fatally shot in a Chicago park. Hadiya Pendleton had been let out early from school on Tuesday after an exam and was huddling under a canopy in a South Side park to escape the rain when she was shot in the back. A witness said around 10 students in the park scattered when a man opened fire. Hadiya and another teen collapsed a block away in front of one of the upscale homes lining Oakenwalk Avenue. The tragic death comes days
With the effects of her brain injury apparent through her slow speech, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords opened up the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on gun violence on Wednesday by saying, “Speaking is difficult but I need to say something important. Violence is a big problem.” “Thank you for inviting me here today,” she said. “This is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for Democrats and Republicans.” Without getting specific, Giffords called on Congress to do something about gun violence. “Too many children are dying,” she said. “Too many children. We must do something.
On Wednesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” the Center for American Progress’ Christie Hefner said that Chicago’s sky-high murder rate could be blamed — at least in part — on climate change. “Yes, last year we hit a record number of murders from guns [in Chicago],” Hefner, the former chairwoman and chief executive officer of Playboy Enterprises, said. “And this year we are already outpacing last year’s numbers. Now, there are contributing factors that are not under anybody’s control and may seem odd, but it is factually true.
According to national security expert Dr. James Carafano, the terrorist attack in Algeria shows that America is on the path to another 9/11, thanks to the Obama Administration´s foreign and military policy. Carafano is Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. He told me, “The warning lights are blinking red,” even while President Barack Obama pretends that things are under control. The terrorists, Carafano claims, showed in Algeria that they have the ability to threaten American interests. He pointed out that the attack on the Sahara Desert natural-gas complex demonstrated several elements of a
In an interview with Politico, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg displayed his own unique flair for eloquence and his amazingly self-serving view of the political scene around him. Referring to Joe Biden’s statements endorsing gay marriage that preceded Barack Obama’s public endorsement, Bloomberg opined: You know, Joe Biden — you can joke about him all you want, [but] he’s got a set of balls, and he says what he believes. And he forced the focus [on gay marriage]. I’m sure the president was evolving
Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas appeared on Fox News’ Hannity to discuss the court ruling against Obama on his National Labor Relations Board appointee: “It is part of the Constitution. I think one of the big legal ramifications that should come out of this is a class-action lawsuit by all of those who had him as a constitutional law instructor to get their money back. I think it would be a lay-down case for them.”
The Russian government has abandoned an agreement with the US on fighting crime and the drugs trade, in an apparent sign of worsening relations. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the decade-long agreement no longer addressed "realities" and had "exhausted its potential". (Snip) Russia has been grappling for years with a huge heroin abuse problem, exacerbated by its proximity to drug-trafficking routes from Afghanistan. It has accused the US of failing to use its influence in Afghanistan to tackle the trade effectively.
The actor best known for playing the the character of Gomer Pyle on the ´The Andy Griffith Show´ has married his male partner of 38 years. Jim Nabors and his partner, Stan Cadwallader, traveled from their Honolulu home to Seattle to be married Jan. 15. The 82-year-old actor has publicly confirmed his is gay for the first time though he said he was open about his homosexuality with friends during his time in Hollywood. ´I´m 82 and he´s in his 60s and so we´ve been together for 38 years and I´m not ashamed of people knowing, it´s just that it
Today, John Kerry was confirmed 94-3 to be our next Secretary of State. With his seat vacant, former Republican Senator Scott Brown could make for another run for the U.S. Senate. Brown was ousted by left-winger Elizabeth Warren last November, even though his approval ratings remained high. According to TPMLiveWire on January 25: The latest survey from MassINC Polling Group showed Brown easily cruising in a hypothetical matchup against Markey. Fifty-three percent of registered Bay State voters said they would support Brown, compared with just 31 percent who indicated they would vote for Markey.
Just days after the November presidential and congressional elections which gave President Barack Obama a non-mandate of 50.6% of the popular vote and the demonstrated supported of less than 27% of all U.S. adults, NBC’s Brian Williams actually told viewers: With the election now over, it is once again safe to talk about the economy and jobs. Now that it is not a campaign issue, it’s back to reality. Still in Democrat-supportive campaign mode, Williams then introduced a report by correspondent Harry Smith about how “the idea that manufacturing in America is dead … is an outright falsehood.”
The silly season is upon us again, which is to say: Washington finds itself in yet another debate over “comprehensive immigration reform.” The core silliness could be heard in the arguments of Marco Rubio, one of four Republicans in the Senate “Gang of Eight” urging a deal that purports to ensure real immigration enforcement in exchange for legalization of status and an ultimate “path to citizenship” for millions of illegal immigrants. Earlier this afternoon, Sen. Rubio was interviewed by Rush Limbaugh. Sen. Rubio admirably insisted, “We need border security.
As a bipartisan group of US senators and President Obama lead a push to enact sweeping immigration reform this year, they are boosting the idea with a rationale that is economic as well as social. Reform isn’t just about reuniting families, better securing the border, or dealing pragmatically with immigrants who have been in the country for years but lack legal status, they say. It’s also, importantly, about helping the US economy continue to prosper in the years ahead. It’s an argument that many economists support. In fact, some policy experts say that welcoming more immigrants with advanced degrees
President Obama spent about nine hours aboard Air Force One Tuesday to give a perfunctory presentation of a standard 25-minute campaign speech. Aides described it as a new package of immigration reforms. But it wasn´t. It was a recitation of reform goals he has outlined often before. Worse, Obama´s ideas are pretty much the same as those seeping out of bipartisan Senate consultations. But he´s got a louder bully pulpit, so the Democrat is trying to look as if he´s driving the discussion.
There are cash-strapped governments and there are broke governments. And then there´s Zimbabwe, which, after paying last week´s government salaries, has just $217 left in the bank. No, we didn´t forget any zeroes to the end of that figure. Zimbabwe, the country that´s home to some of the world´s largest plutonium and diamond reserves, literally has the same financial standing as a 14-year-old girl after a really good birthday party. The country´s finance minister admitted as much in a press conference on Tuesday. "Last week when we paid civil servants there was $217 [left] in government coffers,"
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. economy shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession ended, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. That´s a sharp slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter. The surprise contraction could raise fears about the economy´s ability to handle tax increases that took effect in January and looming spending cuts.
Texas Governor Rick Perry on Tuesday called for returning excess tax money to taxpayers and tapping the state´s rainy-day fund for water and transportation infrastructure.(Snip) The Republican called for changing the constitution of the state, the nation´s second most populous, to allow the return of tax money to the people who paid it when the state brings in more than needed. "We´ve never bought into the notion that if you collect more, you need to spend more," Perry said in his state of the state address, which he delivered to a joint session of the Texas House and Senate.
There was a time when a public figure who wanted to get a “fair hearing” — i.e., get his message out without too much pushback or skepticism — sought out Larry King. I’ve never faulted Larry King for that. He was on the infotainment side of journalism, and that’s a fine place to be if you don’t pretend to be doing something different. He’d ask good, sometimes interesting, but usually easy questions, and then let his guests answer them pretty much as they wanted.
Of the octet of members that comprise the “Gang of 8? pushing for a comprehensive immigration reform bill, none has more to gain (or lose) than Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio is widely seen as a 2016 Republican presidential candidate and touching immigration, which remains a, well, touchy subject among the GOP rank and file, brings real risk with it. “This is going to be tough for Republicans and the recidivist elements in our party,” said GOP strategist Alex Castellanos, himself a Cuban-American.”It will all be fine until there is a GOP primary,
President Obama on Tuesday unveiled his plan to secure a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants already living in the United States, trying to build momentum for long-stalled immigration reforms. Looking to reverse what he described as the biggest failure of his first term, Obama´s reform plan would impose the most sweeping changes to the national immigration system in decades. Obama´s blueprint is similar to the bipartisan Senate