- -07-17-13 Detroit Files for Bankruptcy (CBS News)
"Once the very symbol of American industrial might, Detroit became the biggest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy Thursday, its finances ravaged and its neighborhoods hollowed out by a long, slow decline in population and auto manufacturing." 07-13
- -07-10-13 Healthy Recipe Winners Honored (ABC News)
Provides video of "State Dinner" for kids who won in a national contest for healthy recipes. 07-13
- -07-10-13 Senate Fails to Agree on Reducing Student Loan Interest Rates (Time.com)
"Student loans currently account for roughly $1 trillion in debt in the United States, more than credit cards. If a deal is eventually struck, any future reduction in rates will likely be retroactive. And if a deal is agreed to before repayment begins on loans taken out at the current rate, students with new loans are unlikely to feel the impact. But the clock is ticking." 07-13
- -0001 Ways to Help Sandy Survivors (CNN News)
"The Red Cross had to cancel about 300 blood drives because of the storm and supplies are running low. Visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to schedule a donation appointment in your area. The New York Blood Center is also collecting blood donations in the New York/New Jersey area." 11-12
- -001 Editorial: How Obama Needs to Change Management (Time.com)
Joe Klein of Time magazine asserted that President Obama "neglected to mention the most vexing problem facing the federal bureaucracy (and the state and local governments as well): our antiquated civil service system. It is 130 years old this year, invented by Chester Alan Arthur to counter the near-universal impression that he was a hack politician, intent on handing out jobs to office seekers, as every President since Washington had done. It worked well at the time, and was a harbinger of the Progressive reform movement that changed the face of American government at the turn of the 20th century."
"The government is a different animal now, though. There are about 2.5 million federal employees. Some of them are brilliant at what they do–and they are drastically underpaid compared to their civilian counterparts; the vast majority, I would say, are competent. But there is a significant minority who are dreadful. Some try hard and are dreadful; others are dreadful by choice–there is no incentive for them to be anything more." 07-13
- -001 Nelson Mandela Has Died (Awesome Library.org)
Nelson Mandela, one of the most inspirational figures of the 20th century, has died. 12-13
- -01 Government Shutdown Ended and Debt Limit Lifted (Time.com)
"Both the Senate and the House of Representatives voted to reopen the federal government and lift the debt limit on Wednesday evening, after an 11th-hour agreement reached earlier in the day by Senate majority leader Harry Reid and minority leader Mitch McConnell. The Senate voted 81-18 in favor of the measure, while the House voted 285-144 in favor." 10-13
- -01 Milestone Agreement Reached on Iran's Nuclear Development (Time.com)
"Top diplomats from Iran and six major world powers said early Sunday that an agreement has been reached in Geneva to temporarily freeze the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in exchange for a relief in sanctions which have crippled its economy."
"The agreement between the Islamic Republic, United States, China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain marks the first time in more than a decade that Iran has agreed to curtail elements of its nuclear program." 11-13
- -01 Obamacare Starts (CBS News)
"If you have insurance already, CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger pointed out, the open enrollment will not affect you -- so you can do nothing."
"However, those that will be affected are uninsured legal U.S. citizens. They can begin shopping for health care coverage for coverage on Tuesday at HealthCare.gov."
- -01 U.N. Votes to Destroy Syria's Chemical Weapons (CBS News)
"The U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously to secure and destroy Syria's chemical weapons stockpile, a landmark decision aimed at taking poison gas off the battlefield in the escalating 2 1/2-year conflict."
- -01-12-13 Cancer and Chemical Dyes (New York Times)
"For the last five years I have been writing a history of the chemical industry’s egregious 60-year involvement in the New Jersey shore town of Toms River, which gained unwanted notoriety in the late 1990s thanks to a remarkably well-documented cluster of childhood cancer cases and a long history of often hidden industrial pollution." 01-13
- -01-12-13 Miss America's First Contestant with Autism (Time.com)
"When Alexis Wineman, 18, takes the stage at the 2013 Miss America pageant this Saturday in Las Vegas, the reigning Miss Montana will become the first autistic contestant to compete for the crown. Diagnosed at the age of 11, Wineman’s platform is to raise awareness about the developmental disorder." 01-13
- -01-12-13 Teacher Talks Armed Student into Stopping (CNN News)
"The teacher stood in the classroom, face-to-face with his 16-year-old student, who was holding a shotgun."
"Ryan Heber, 40, talked to the teen, trying to persuade him to end an armed assault in which one student had already been shot." 01-13
- -01-13-12 Congress Approves Deal to Avoid "Fiscal Cliff" (CNN News)
"The House of Representatives voted Tuesday night to approve a Senate bill to avert a feared fiscal cliff.The measure that sought to maintain tax cuts for most Americans but increase rates on the wealthy passed the Democratic-led Senate overwhelmingly early in the day."
"The legislation averted much of the fiscal cliff's negative near-term economic impact by extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the majority of Americans. It also extends long-term unemployment benefits that were set to expire." 02-13
- -01-16-13 President Obama Presents His Plan for Gun Control (CBS News)
"Setting the stage for what could be the most sweeping political battle over gun control in decades, President Obama today laid out a comprehensive package for reducing gun violence in America, a multi-part plan he says will not only 'help prevent mass shootings' going forward but also 'reduce the broader epidemic of gun violence in this country.' " 01-13
- -01-19-13 Gun Control and Mental Illness (NBC News)
"According to DJ Jaffe, executive director of the Mental Illness Policy Org, which advocates on behalf of the seriously mentally ill, all the talk of mental health and gun violence obscures a bigger issue – a nationwide struggle with how to care for the mentally ill."
" 'Most of the things they’re discussing are totally irrelevant to helping people with serious mental illness,' Jaffe said. 'No one wants responsibility for the seriously mentally ill.' " 01-13
- -01-21-13 President Obama Makes Climate Change a Priority (New York Times)
"President Obama made addressing climate change the most prominent policy vow of his second Inaugural Address, setting in motion what Democrats say will be a deliberately paced but aggressive campaign built around the use of his executive powers to sidestep Congressional opposition."
" 'We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,' Mr. Obama said on Monday at the start of eight sentences on the subject, more than he devoted to any other specific area." 01-13
- -01-23-13 Pentagon Lifts Ban on Women in Combat (New York Times)
"Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is lifting the military’s ban on women in combat, which will open up hundreds of thousands of additional front-line jobs to them, senior defense officials said on Wednesday." 01-13
- -01-23-13 U.S. House Postpones Debt Ceiling Crisis (Times.com)
"The House on Wednesday passed a Republican plan to suspend the U.S. borrowing limit until mid-May, postponing a fiscal standoff that could have torpedoed the U.S. economy and further damaged the GOP‘s brand." 01-13
- -01-25-13 President Obama Picks New Chief of Staff (NBC News)
"President Barack Obama formally introduced Denis McDonough as his chief of staff on Friday, describing his deputy national security adviser as not only a straight-shooter, but also a close friend." 01-13
- -01-28-13 Congress Passes Aid to Sandy (CBS News)
"Clearing the 60-vote threshold by two "yeas," the Senate tonight passed a $50.5 billion emergency aid package for superstorm Sandy relief and recovery, three months after the natural disaster ravaged coastal areas in much of the Northeast. The legislation now heads to President Obama's desk for his signature." 01-13
- -01-29-13 Farmers Blame Losses on Immigration Laws (Time.com)
"The Broetjes and an increasing number of farmers across the country say that a complex web of local and state anti-immigration laws account for acute labor shortages. With the harvest season in full bloom, stringent immigration laws have forced waves of undocumented immigrants to flee certain states for more-hospitable areas. In their wake, thousands of acres of crops have been left to rot in the fields, as farmers have struggled to compensate for labor shortages with domestic help."
“ 'The enforcement of immigration policy has devastated the skilled-labor source that we’ve depended on for 20 or 30 years,' said Ralph Broetje during a recent teleconference organized by the National Immigration Forum, adding that last year Washington farmers — part of an $8 billion agriculture industry — were forced to leave 10% of their crops rotting on vines and trees. 'It’s getting worse each year,' says Broetje, 'and it’s going to end up putting some growers out of business if Congress doesn’t step up and do immigration reform.' ""Roughly 70% of the 1.2 million people employed by the agriculture industry are undocumented. No U.S. industry is more dependent on undocumented immigrants. But acute labor shortages brought on by anti-immigration measures threaten to heap record losses on an industry emerging from years of stiff foreign competition. Nationwide, labor shortages will result in losses of up to $9 billion, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation." 01-13
- -01-29-13 Syrian President Assad's Wife (NBC News)
"Asma Assad, 37, was born in London to upper-class Syrians. She was an investment banker before leaving England for Syria, where she married Assad two months after he assumed the presidency in 2000. Before him, his father Hafez Assad ruled the country for 30 years."
"Asma Assad had also become a controversial figure, with diplomatic wives around the world pleading with her to reason with her husband. Around the same time, a hacker had released thousands of emails from the Assads’ email accounts, revealing Asma Assad’s love for Chanel dresses and crystal-encrusted Louboutin shoes – and also her fierce loyalty to her husband and his hard-line approach." 01-13
- -01-31-13 Gabriel Giffords Testifies to Congress on Gun Control (ABC News)
"The hearing began with the dramatic statement by Giffords, whose congressional career was ended by a bullet wound to her head two years ago. Giffords, who is still showing effects from the wound, spoke slowly, enunciating each word carefully. The obvious effort gave the statement added force."
" 'Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important,' she told the panel chaired by Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt."
" 'Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something. It will be hard, but the time is now. You must act. Be bold, be courageous, Americans are counting on you. Thank you,' Giffords said before being helped out of the hearing room." 01-13
- -02-01-13 Is the Gun Lobby Following the Example of the Tobacco Industry? (EIN News)
"While scientists have welcomed President Obama's efforts to restart gun-violence research, many say that passing even modest gun-safety measures will be an uphill battle."
"That's because the gun lobby, researchers say, has followed a familiar and largely successful playbook: that of the tobacco companies." 01-13
- -02-02-13 The Administration Changes Its Rules on Funding for Contraception (New York Times)
"The Obama administration on Friday proposed yet another compromise to address strenuous objections from religious organizations about a policy requiring health insurance plans to provide free contraceptives, but the change did not end the political furor or legal fight over the issue." 02-13
- -02-05-13 Editorial: Obama Requests a Delay on Sequester (MSNBC News)
"Today, President Obama said he and Congress have already approved more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction, and get to $4 trillion 'with a balanced mix of spending cuts and more tax reform,' with the latter including changes 'so that the wealthiest individuals and corporations can't take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren't available to most Americans.' "
"Is there time for a major budget agreement and a tax-reform compromise? Of course not, which is why Obama suggested Congress pass 'a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would delay the economically damaging effects of the sequester for a few more months until Congress finds a way to replace these cuts with a smarter solution.' " 02-13
- -02-05-13 Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against Standard & Poor (Christian Science Monitor)
"With its civil lawsuit against credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, the US Justice Department is embarking on one of the most aggressive efforts yet to hold Wall Street accountable for the financial crisis." 02-13
- -02-05-13 The Cost of Pulling Out of Afghanistan (Time.com)
"One of the first considerations is cost: is it worth the trouble and expense to ship a given item home? A quick trip around the yard reveals hundreds of white four foot by four-foot cardboard containers called “kicker boxes,” each of which costs about $5,000. They are used to ship equipment back to the U.S. As Pagan rummaged through a random box, he pulled out several small pieces of gear worth about $20,000 each. Many of the boxes, he explained, can contain as much as $200,000 worth of equipment."
"After units close their bases in the Afghan countryside, many drive their vehicles to Bagram (for others who are farther out, the vehicles are hauled in by contracted truck drivers). Coming off the battlefield, most of the vehicles are filthy and stuffed with ammunition. Troops from the 401st clean the vehicles and check for ammunition four times, combing through the cracks and crevices with long metal tools and lipstick cameras, because if live ammunition is found later, it could shut down an entire port. At the end of January, the 401st estimated that it has shipped more than 400,000 pieces of equipment from the country: 1.3 million pieces worth $13.5 Billion were in use throughout the country, down from 1.7 million pieces worth $18 billion a few months ago." 02-13
- -02-06-13 Two Great Lakes at Lowest Recorded Levels (CBS New)
"Two of the Great Lakes have hit their lowest water levels ever recorded, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday, capping more than a decade of below-normal rain and snowfall and higher temperatures that boost evaporation."
"The low water has caused heavy economic losses by forcing cargo ships to carry lighter loads, leaving boat docks high and dry, and damaging fish-spawning areas. And vegetation has sprung up in newly exposed shoreline bottomlands, a turnoff for hotel customers who prefer sandy beaches."
"The corps' report came as shippers pleaded with Congress for more money to dredge ever-shallower harbors and channels. Shippers are taxed to support a harbor maintenance fund, but only about half of the revenue is spent on dredging. The remainder is diverted to the treasury for other purposes. Legislation to change that policy is pending before Congress." 02-13
- -02-10-13 Weapon of Choice Is Guns (NBC New)
"Guns are used in about seven out of 10 murders in the U.S., according to FBI statistics. The weapons of choice are guns, 68 percent; knife, 13 percent; fists or feet, 6 percent; other, 6 percent; and unknown, 7 percent." 02-13
- -02-11-13 Electing a Pope: The Process (CBS News)
"Pope Benedict XVI's resignation sets in motion a complex sequence of events to elect the next leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The timing of Pope Benedict's surprise announcement, coming days before the beginning of Lent - the 40 day period before Easter, the most important feast in the Catholic Church - presents a challenge to church officials who would like a new pope in place by March 24, the beginning of Holy Week." 02-13
- -02-11-13 Pope Benedict Announces Abdication (ABC News)
"The pope's decision makes him the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years. A conclave to elect a new pope will take place before the end of March. The 85-year-old pope announced the decision to resign in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals." 02-13
- -02-11-13 Text of Pope Benedict's Abdication as Pope (CBS News)
"I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is." 02-13
- -02-16-13 Editorial: Obama Has Aimed Low, Missing Greatness (Time.com)
"His State of the Union peroration calling for a vote on gun control was worthy too--but why didn't he mention the need to reform mental-health laws and programs so that more of our violently ill young people can be placed in secure settings, a goal perhaps more important and certainly more difficult to achieve." 02-13
- -02-16-13 Landmark Legislation Proposed for Reducing Climate Change (Sanders.senate.com)
"Comprehensive legislation to reverse climate change was introduced in the Senate on Thursday by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Barbara Boxer. She is chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He sits on that panel and the Senate energy committee. “The leading scientists in the world who study climate change now tell us that their projections in the past were wrong; that, in fact, the crisis facing our planet is much more serious than they had previously believed,” Sanders told a news conference in the environment committee hearing room." 02-13
- -02-17-13 President Obama Proposes $3 Billion in Brain Research (New York Times)
"The Obama administration is planning a decade-long scientific effort to examine the workings of the human brain and build a comprehensive map of its activity, seeking to do for the brain what the Human Genome Project did for genetics." 02-13
- -02-18-13 No Level l Trauma Centers for Chicago's South Side (CNN News)
"One bullet hit Foster in her back."
"There was a hospital only a few blocks away, but emergency services followed protocol. They took Foster instead to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, nearly 5 miles away. Advocate Christ is legally certified and better equipped to deal with trauma cases."
"Although the experts say such Level I trauma centers, as they are officially known, give gunshot victims better odds, there are no such centers on Chicago's violence-plagued South Side -- a part of the city where some say they are sorely needed."
"Foster didn't make it."
" 'It's more than sad; it's really crushing,' said her cousin, Camiella Williams. At 25, Williams says, she's lost 20 people she's known to gun violence." 02-13
- -02-18-13 Selling of the Iraq War (MSNBC News)
"The talking points suggest Rumsfeld and his team were grappling with a tricky issue: 'How [to] start?' the war. In other words, what would the pretext be? Various scenarios were outlined: 'US discovers Saddam connection to Sept. 11 attack or to anthrax attacks?' reads one of them. 'Dispute over WMD inspections?' reads another. 'Start now thinking about inspection demands.' "
"These talking points make it clearer than ever that Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others were determined–probably from the moment they came into office–to invade Iraq. Paul Pillar–then one of the CIA’s top terrorism analysts—says in the documentary that the 9/11 attacks 'made it politically possible for the first time to persuade the American people to break a tradition of not launching offensive wars.' But to achieve the goal, secret intelligence was twisted, massaged, and wildly exaggerated. 'It wasn’t a matter of lying about this or lying about that,' Pillar says. 'But rather—through the artistry of speechwriters and case-presenters—conveying an impression to the American people that certain things were true.' But those things were not true. It’s worth watching to see how it was done." 02-13
- -02-18-13 Three Good Samaritans Jump onto Subway Tracks (ABC News)
"Three good Samaritans in New York City jumped onto subway tracks after a stranger fell, hoisting the man to safety before a train rolled into the station." 02-13
- -02-26-13 Consumer Confidence Rebounds (Time.com)
"Americans’ confidence in the economy rebounded in February, reversing three straight months of declines as shoppers began adjusting to a payroll tax hike last month." 02-13
- -02-26-13 Editorial: We Should Re-examine Violence Against Women (Time.com)
"Coker believes some of the VAWA funding now allocated to law enforcement should be redirected to prevention, job training and services that help women with the logistics of leaving their abusive partners. 'You look at the relatively miniscule amount of money going to transitional housing compared to criminal justice and it’s outrageous,' says Coker. Federal funds authorized through VAWA for transitional housing in 2012 were about one-fifth the total allocated for law enforcement action. Housing is by far the most common unmet need for victims." 02-13
- -03-08-13 Funeral for Venezuela's Leader (CBS News)
"With leaders from five continents on hand, Venezuela prepared for a day of distinctly different ceremonies -- first the formal state funeral of Hugo Chavez, then the controversial swearing in of his anointed interim successor, who the opposition charges has no constitutional right to the job." 03-13
- -03-08-13 How the Conclave for Electing the Pope Works (CBS News)
"On the first day of the conclave, the cardinals will hold no more than one round of voting, in the afternoon. Each round consists of two votes. They have already discussed the merits of each papal prospect during days of "general congregations" at the Vatican, but a deciding vote must see one name garner two-thirds plus-one vote to win -- that translates to support from 77 of the 115 cardinal electors. The now-retired Pope Benedict XVI himself committed that absolute majority rule into Church law just two days before he stepped down." 03-13
- -03-14-13 After the Sequester, What? (Christian Science Monitor)
"It happened: $85 billion in across-the-board cuts to defense (8 percent cut) and social programs (5 to 6 percent) took effect March 1. Officials from President Obama on down spent weeks warning about the dire effects of these reductions. The cuts must occur this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. Here's how things look." 03-13
- -04-05-13 Judge Overturns Age Limit for Plan B Pregnancy Prevention Pill (Time.com)
"In the latest volley over the contraceptive Plan B, a federal judge reversed the Department of Health and Human Services decision to restrict over-the-counter availability of the morning after pill to those 17 years or older." 04-13
- -04-09-13 Margaret Thatcher Dies (Time.com)
"As one of the most divisive and polarizing leaders in British political history – from her controversial closure of coal mines to the introduction of a poll tax and the push for privatization – it is no surprise that even in death she continues to divide the country." 04-13
- -04-13-13 Poll: Mood of the Nation at a Six-Year High (CNN News)
"As the stock market continues to show record highs, the number of Americans who say things are going well in the country has reached 50% for the first time in more than six years, according to a new national survey." 04-13
- -04-13-13 Senate Moves Forward on Gun Control Bill (CNN News)
"The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to overcome a Republican-led filibuster against tougher gun laws, clearing the way for a major congressional debate on a package of proposals sought by President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the Connecticut school massacre." 04-13
- -04-18-13 Two Dangerous Suspects Identified in Boston Attack (NBC News)
"The FBI has released video and photos of two 'armed and extremely dangerous' suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing and appealed for the public's help in identifying them." 04-13
- -04-19-13 Boston Attack Suspect Captured (NBC News)
"Gov. Patrick Deval praised local, state and federal agencies 'who brought their A-game' along with members of the public for their patience and participation in the case.' " 04-13
- -04-25-13 A New Test for the Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke (CBS News)
"A report published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine said red meat and eggs are linked to heart disease."
"That's no surprise. But what is surprising in this report is why. Turns out there is something inside the human body that may trigger ill effects." 04-13
- -04-25-13 White House: Small-Scale Chemical Weapons Used in Syria (NBC News)
"Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday that the U.S. believes "with some degree of varying confidence" the Syrian government has used chemical weapons -- specifically the nerve agent sarin -- against its own people."
"Hagel could not say whether Syria had crossed the 'red line' laid down by President Obama, who has said evidence that chemical weapons were used would be a 'game-changer' in whether the U.S. intervenes in the Syrian civil war." 04-13
- -04-26-13 George Jones Dies (Time.com)
Country stars remember George Jones. 04-13
- -05-08-13 Bangladesh Devastating Building Collapse (Lightbox.Time.com)
"Many powerful photographs have been made in the aftermath of the devastating collapse of a garment factory on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. But one photo, by Bangladeshi photographer Taslima Akhter, has emerged as the most heart wrenching, capturing an entire country’s grief in a single image." 05-13
- -05-16-13 Acting Chief of I.R.S. Forced Out (New York Times)
"President Obama announced Wednesday night that the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service had been fired, and he pledged that his administration would cooperate with Congressional investigations into the targeting of conservative groups." 05-13
- -05-22-13 Oklahoma's Dangerous Shortage of Storm Cellars (Time.com)
"The deadly tornadoes that struck outside Oklahoma City on Monday have a lot of people asking why there aren’t more storm cellars and safe rooms in the area, which would have enabled more residents to shelter safely." 05-13
- -05-23-13 Obama Speaks on Anti-Terror Strategy (CNN News)
"America prefers to capture, interrogate and prosecute terrorists, but there are times when this isn't possible, Obama said in a speech at the National Defense University in Washington. Terrorists intentionally hide in hard-to-reach locales and putting boots on the ground is often out of the question, he said." 05-13
- -05-24-13 Growth of the Elderly Population in the U.S. (PBS News)
"By 2050, more than 32 million Americans will be over the age of 80, and the share of the 80-plus generation will have doubled to 7.4 percent. Across the 34 OECD countries, the share of people over the age of 80 is projected to grow even faster, from 4 percent today to almost 10 percent in the same time period."
"While more and more elderly people will still enjoy active, healthy lives and contribute to society, many are likely to have at least one chronic condition. Today, three out of four Americans aged 65 years and older have to cope with health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer or chronic respiratory diseases."
"The biggest impact will be on their families. Across OECD countries, more than one in 10 adults over the age of 50 takes care of aging family members. Almost two-thirds are women, and their work is usually not paid." 05-13
- -05-25-13 Millions Protest Monsanto's Genetic Engineering of Food (ABC News)
"Two million people marched in protest against seed giant Monsanto in hundreds of rallies across the U.S. and in over 50 other countries on Saturday."
" 'March Against Monsanto' protesters say they wanted to call attention to the dangers posed by genetically modified food and the food giants that produce it. Founder and organizer Tami Canal said protests were held in 436 cities in 52 countries."
"Together with Seattle blogger and activist Emilie Rensink and Nick Bernabe of Anti-Media.org, Canal worked with A Revolt.org digital anarchy to promote international awareness of the event. She called the turnout 'incredible,' and credited social media for being a vehicle for furthering opportunities for activism. Despite the size of the gatherings, Canal said she was grateful that the marches were uniformly peaceful and no arrests have been reported." 05-13
- -05-25-13 Racial Profiling (ABC News)
"Sheriff Joe Arpaio has aggressively pursued local immigration enforcement. The sheriff has been accused of launching some immigration patrols based on letters from people who complained about people with dark skin congregating in a given area or speaking Spanish but never reporting an actual crime. Arpaio denies the racial profiling allegations, remains popular with voters and easily won re-election last year. His opponents are trying to recall him, but have had trouble finding enough signatures."
"The racial profiling lawsuit was decided by U.S. District Judge Murray Snow, not a jury. Snow previously barred Arpaio's deputies who are enforcing Arizona's 2005 immigrant smuggling law from detaining people based solely on the suspicion that they're illegal immigrants." 05-13
- -06-02-13 Obama: Student Loan Increase Like a $1000 Tax Hike (MPR News)
"President Barack Obama on Friday urged Congress to prevent student loan rates from doubling in a month, prompting a fight with House Republicans who accused him of playing politics instead of sitting down to work out small differences and avoid an increase." 06-13
- -06-03-13 Apple Charged With Price-Fixing of E-Books (Time.com)
"In a civil case where the words of Steve Jobs play prominently, the government and Apple Inc. are set to square off over allegations that Apple Inc. conspired with the country’s largest book publishers to make consumers pay more for electronic books." 06-13
- -06-04-13 New Jersey Senator Lautenberg Dies (New York Times)
"Mr. Lautenberg, a steadfast liberal who was New Jersey’s longest serving senator and the nation’s oldest senator, died of complications from pneumonia in Manhattan. He was 89 and had already announced he would not run for re-election next year."
"The death of Frank R. Lautenberg on Monday has left Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey with the kind of opportunity that politicians usually covet: the chance to give away a seat in the United States Senate. But the decision is fraught with pitfalls, none bigger than having to choose between improving his party’s fortunes in Washington and furthering his own political ambitions at home." 06-13
- -06-10-13 Senate to Pass half-Trillion Dollar Farm Bill (Time.com)
"The Senate is poised to pass a five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill Monday that would expand government subsidies for crop insurance, rice and peanuts while making small cuts in the food stamp program." 06-13
- -06-13-13 Supreme Court: Human Genes Cannot be Patented (NBC News)
"The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that companies cannot patent human genes, a ruling that patient advocates said would increase competition and lower the cost of screenings for cancer risk and other genetic tests."
"DNA is 'a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated,' the court said. In something of a compromise, it ruled that genetic material created in laboratories is eligible for patent protection." 06-13
- -06-13-13 U.S.: Syria Has Used Chemical Weapons on Rebels (New York Times)
"American intelligence analysts now believe that President Bashar al-Assad’s troops have used chemical weapons against rebel forces in the civil war in Syria, an assessment that will put added pressure on a deeply divided Obama administration to develop a response to a provocation that the president himself has declared a 'red line.' " 06-13
- -06-13-13 UN: World Population to Reach 8.1 Billion in 2025 (ABC News)
"A new U.N. report is forecasting that the world's population will increase from 7.2 billion today to 8.1 billion in 2025 and 9.6 billion in 2050." 06-13
- -06-25-13 Army to Cut Brigades (CBS News)
"In a massive restructuring, the U.S. Army is slashing the number of active duty combat brigades from 45 to 33, and shifting thousands of soldiers out of bases around the country as it moves forward with a longtime plan to cut the size of the service by 80,000." 06-13
- -06-25-13 Home Prices Jump 12% (CNN News)
"The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index was up 12.1% in April, compared to a year ago, in the 20 top real estate markets across the nation. That was the biggest annual jump in prices in seven years. Prices climbed 2.5% from March, posting the biggest one-month rise in the 12-year history of the index." 06-13
- -06-26-13 The Woman behind the Texas Abortion Filibusters (Time.com)
"With just a few hours left before the end of its legislative session Tuesday, the Texas Senate was poised to pass one of the most sweeping abortion restriction bills in the country, banning the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy and potentially forcing the closure of a majority of the state’s abortion clinics. Then a determined woman in pink sneakers brought it all to a halt."
"State Senator Wendy Davis, a rising Democratic star in Lone Star politics, filibustered the bill into the night, and, for the time being, prevented its passage." 06-13
- -06-29-13 City Homicide Rate Drops Again in New York City (Time.com)
"The number of homicides on record in New York City has dropped significantly during the first half of the year — to 154 from 202 in the same period last year — surprising even police officials who have long been accustomed to trumpeting declining crime rates in the city." 06-13
- -07-02-13 Egypt Faces a Showdown (Christian Science Monitor)
"Egypt is facing a showdown in the streets as President Mohamed Morsi's supporters and opponents alike demonstrate their strength while the country waits to see how a standoff between the military and Mr. Morsi will be resolved." 07-13
- -07-02-13 Obama Administration to Delay Business Health Care Insurance Requirement (NBC News)
"The Obama administration has offered a one-year break to employers who were supposed to start offering health insurance to their workers next year."
"Saying the goal is to implement reform in 'a careful, thoughtful manner', assistant Treasury secretary Mark Mazur said the administration would spend the extra year finding ways to simplify the process." 07-13
- -07-03-13 Egyptian President Removed by the Military (New York Times)
"Egypt’s military moved forcefully to seize power from President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday, deploying tanks and troops in Cairo and other cities, restricting his travel and convening an emergency meeting of top civilian and religious leaders to devise an interim government and lay the groundwork for new elections."
"Security officials said the military’s intelligence service had banned any travel by President Morsi and senior Islamist aides, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohamed Badie, and his influential deputy, Khairat el-Shater." 07-13
- -07-03-13 Republicans Split on Reaction of Supreme Court's Ruling on DOMA (Time.com)
"The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act last week is opening a rift at the highest levels of the Republican Party, as potential presidential candidates try to balance its increasingly marginal position on gay rights with the tectonic shift in public opinion toward marriage equality." 07-13
- -07-04-13 New Egyptian Leader Not Well Known (NBC News)
"The man who will shepherd Egypt from four days of tumultuous political protests into its highly uncertain future is a little-known judge described by a colleague as fair, reserved and committed to cooperation."
"Adly Mansour, 67, who was chairman of the Supreme Constitutional Court before he was hurried into office Thursday, used his first moments as interim president to cast himself as a servant of the people who is interested in building an inclusive government." 07-13
- -07-09-13 Obama Administration Reports Shrinking Deficit (NBC News)
"The White House said Monday that the federal budget deficit for the current fiscal year will shrink to $759 billion. That’s more than $200 billion less than the administration predicted just three months ago."
"The new figures reflect additional revenues generated by the improving economy and take into account automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that the White House had hoped to avert." 07-13
- -07-11-13 U.S. House Rejects Food Stamps (NBC News)
"After an embarrassing failure to pass a farm bill last month, House Republicans on Thursday narrowly passed a modified version of the bill that stripped-out funding authorization for food stamps and nutrition programs." 07-13
- -07-13-13 Court Ruling: Apple Violated Antitrust Law (Business.Time.com)
"Apple suffered a major legal defeat this week when a federal judge ruled that the tech giant violated U.S. antitrust law by orchestrating a conspiracy with five big publishers to raise electronic book prices. Consumers won’t feel much immediate impact from the decision, however, because e-book prices have fallen sharply since the publishers agreed to settle the charges before Apple’s trial." 07-13
- -07-13-13 Editorial: Lessons of the Zimmerman Trial (Ideas.Time.com)
"Zimmerman’s family greeted the jury’s verdict as a full-on vindication. His brother insisted in a CNN interview that it meant that Zimmerman was 'innocent,' not merely 'not guilty.' The NAACP, for its part, said that the acquittal meant that 'justice failed.' That is not a debate that is likely to resolve itself anytime soon. In the end, however, the Zimmerman verdict offers up two important lessons: that criminal trials are not very good at deciding whether a defendant is actually innocent; and that they are equally bad at helping us to resolve the larger issues raised by a case."
"Are young black men being racially profiled? Are there too many guns in the hands of private citizens? Does the law give people too much leeway in using deadly force in self-defense? The Zimmerman trial was never going to answer any of those questions. But now that it is over, we should be able to find the time – and the right forum – to tackle them head-on." 07-13
- -07-13-13 Jury Ruling: Zimmerman Found Not Guilty (Time.com)
"Neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman was cleared of all charges Saturday in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager whose killing unleashed furious debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice."
"Zimmerman, 29, blinked and barely smiled when the verdict was announced. He could have been convicted of second-degree murder or manslaughter. But the jury of six women, all but one of them white, reached a verdict of not guilty after deliberating well into the night Saturday. The jurors considered nearly three weeks of often wildly conflicting testimony over who was the aggressor on the rainy night the 17-year-old was shot while walking through the gated townhouse community where he was staying." 07-13
- -07-14-13 Egyptian Economy in Free Fall (World.Time.com)
"As interim Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy works to fill out his fledgling Cabinet and return the country to something resembling stability, one of his most immediate challenges will be a task he, in theory, should be ably qualified to handle."
"Al-Beblawy, a career economist and former Finance Minister, has assumed the reins of a country in economic free fall." 07-13
- -07-14-13 Kepler's Efforts to Discover More Planets (NBC News)
"NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft should be able to achieve its primary mission goal regardKepler launched in March 2009 on a 3.5-year prime mission to determine how common Earth-like planets are throughout the Milky Way galaxy. That goal is likely already attainable, even if the spacecraft is unable to recover from the glitch that halted its exoplanet hunt two months ago, mission team members say.less of whether or not it can bounce back from a recent malfunction, researchers say."
"Kepler launched in March 2009 on a 3.5-year prime mission to determine how common Earth-like planets are throughout the Milky Way galaxy. That goal is likely already attainable, even if the spacecraft is unable to recover from the glitch that halted its exoplanet hunt two months ago, mission team members say." 07-13
- -07-17-13 Editorial: Making Whiteness Visible (Ideas.Time.com)
"If there is one hopeful note amidst all the anguish and recrimination from the acquittal of George Zimmerman, it’s that growing numbers of white people have come to appreciate whiteness for what it is: an unearned set of privileges. And as a result of that dawning awareness, it’s become possible to imagine a day when that structure of privilege is dismantled – by white people." 07-13
- -07-22-13 It's a Boy (Time.com)
"At 4.24pm on Monday, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth today to a baby boy in the presence of her husband, Prince William, royal officials announced as the sun began to go down in London on the hottest day Britain this year. The boy, who was born in the Lindo Wing of a central London hospital — St. Mary’s, Paddington — bumped his uncle, Prince Harry, down to fourth in line for the British throne and began a life of privilege, duty and a remarkable level of public scrutiny. The baby weighed 8 pounds and 6 ounces. Royal officials said the boy’s name would be made public in due course." 07-13
- -07-22-13 It's a Boy (Time.com)
"At 4.24pm on Monday, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth today to a baby boy in the presence of her husband, Prince William, royal officials announced as the sun began to go down in London on the hottest day Britain this year. The boy, who was born in the Lindo Wing of a central London hospital — St. Mary’s, Paddington — bumped his uncle, Prince Harry, down to fourth in line for the British throne and began a life of privilege, duty and a remarkable level of public scrutiny. The baby weighed 8 pounds and 6 ounces. Royal officials said the boy’s name would be made public in due course." 07-13
- -07-24-13 Justice Department to Challenge Texas Voting Law Changes (CNN News)
The Justice Department will " 'ask a federal court in Texas to subject the state of Texas ... to obtain "pre-approval" from either the department or a federal court before implementing future voting changes,' similar to a provision in the Voting Rights Act."
It is "the Justice Department's first significant response to last month's court ruling and seeks to address Texas' controversial redistricting law that Holder filed suit against in 2012."
"Holder said the state had a 'history of pervasive voting-related discrimination against racial minorities that the Supreme Court itself has recognized.' " 07-13
- -07-24-13 Poll: Views of Zimmerman Acquittal Polarized (CBS News)
"Ten days after a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin, a new poll out Tuesday shows that Americans are divided about the verdict."
"Forty-one percent of those surveyed approved of the verdict and 41 percent disapproved of the jury's decision, while the rest had no opinion, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll."
"However, 86 percent of African-Americans disapproved - with 84 percent, strongly disapproving - while 51 percent of whites approved of the verdict." 07-13
- -07-25-13 Editorial: How Manning's Aiding the Enemy Charge Could Change Journalism (Christian Science Monitor)
"If publishing sensitive government information online, even with the intent of exposing perceived wrongdoing, is 'aiding the enemy,' investigative journalism could be seriously affected."
"This application of 'aiding the enemy' is new, suggests Kevin Gosztola, a civil-liberties blogger for firedoglake.com. According to his research, in the handful of 'aiding the enemy' cases dating back to 1950, there has always been the proviso that the perpetrator had the specific intention of communicating information to America’s foes."
"The Manning trial could open the charge to virtually anyone who posts sensitive information online." 07-13
- -07-25-13 Editorial: New Student Loan Law a Potential Disaster for Students (Truth-Out)
"It's not officially the law yet, because the House of Representatives has to pass it (which it will), but the Republican orchestrated student interest rate bill passed out of the Senate on July 24th is a variation on the Wall Street sub-prime ballooning mortgage scam." 07-13
- -07-25-13 Mitchell's Tenacity Led to U.S. Oil and Gas Boom (ABC News)
"The technological breakthrough pioneered by George P. Mitchell, the billionaire Texas oilman and philanthropist who died Friday at age 94, reversed the fortunes of the U.S. energy industry and reshaped the global energy landscape."
"As Mitchell was doggedly pursuing the natural gas he and others knew was trapped in thin layers of sedimentary rock under several U.S. states, it appeared to most that the world was running out of oil and gas and what was left was found mostly in the Middle East."
"But after 20 years of trying, Mitchell finally learned how to combine horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing, a process together known now generally as fracking, to release natural gas at a rate fast enough to turn a profit. But the practice has also sparked powerful antagonism, especially in the Northeast, from residents and environmentalists opposed to increased industrial activity in rural areas and concerned that the fracking process or the wastewater it generates can contaminate drinking water." 07-13
- -07-25-13 Warren Introduces Bill to Make Student Loan Rates Same as Banks (Truth-Out)
"In her first standalone piece of legislation, [Senator Elizabeth] Warren wants to require that student loans are offered at the same rate that banks pay (currently 0.75 percent from the Federal Reserve)." 07-13
- -07-30-13 Editorial: The Dangerous Logic of the Bradley Manning Case (NewRepublic.com)
"Hard cases, lawyers have long known, make bad law. The unusual nature of Manning's case has led some to argue that his leaks are different than those we now celebrate as a bedrock component of accountability journalism: Daniel Ellsberg leaked specific documents that showed massive public deception in the prosecution of the Vietnam War. Deep Throat leaked specific information about presidential corruption during the Watergate investigation. Manning, though, leaked hundreds of thousands of documents, many of which were humdrum affairs; perhaps, some have argued, the sheer scope raises the risks." 07-13
- -07-30-13 Manning Found Not Guilty of Aiding the Enemy (Time.com)
"More than three years after U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was arrested for giving classified secrets to WikiLeaks, a military judge acquitted the former intelligence analyst Tuesday of aiding the enemy but convicted him of espionage, theft and computer fraud charges."
"Before Snowden, Manning’s case was the most high-profile espionage prosecution for the Obama administration, which has been criticized for its crackdown on leakers. The espionage cases brought since Obama took office are more than in all other presidencies combined." 07-13
- -08-02-13 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Leaves as President of Iraq (World.Time.com)
"The June election was won in a single round by the candidate who most emphasized the need to end Iran’s isolation, and on Saturday, Ahmadinejad will attend the inauguration of Hassan Rouhani, a man who is everything the departing incumbent is not: a cleric, worldly, educated abroad, fluent in English, and long a fixture of Iran’s ruling elite." 08-13
- -08-04-13 Big and Strategic Attack Planned (ABC News)
" 'The part that is alarming is the confidence they showed while communicating and the air of certainty,' the [security] official said, adding that the group — Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — appeared to have a media plan for after the attack."
"Authorities do not know the exact target of the planned attack, according to the official." 08-13
- -08-05-13 Third Baseman for the Yankees, A-Rod, Suspended (NBC News)
"Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was one of 13 Major League Baseball players who were suspended on Monday for receiving performance-enhancing drugs from a Miami wellness clinic, the league announced on Monday." 08-13
- -08-06-13 Editorial: The Tea Party's Move Against Immigration Reform (New York Times)
"The Tea Party has a new crusade: preventing illegal immigrants from gaining citizenship, which they say is giving amnesty to lawbreakers. Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, recently told Politico that his members were 'more upset about the amnesty bill than they were about Obamacare.' " 08-13
- -08-06-13 U.S. Justice Department Files Suit Against Bank of America (NBC News)
"The U.S. government has accused Bank of America Corp. of civil fraud, saying the company failed to disclose risks and misled investors in its sale of $850 million of mortgage bonds during 2008." 08-13
- -08-07-13 Bernie Kozen Tackles Shooter, Saving Neighbors (CNN News)
"Kozen huddled in a corner. As the shooter returned and approached with a handgun, Kozen sprang into action. 'I jumped him from behind,' Kozen told CNN in an exclusive interview Tuesday."
"Now, police are hailing the local parks director and another man as heroes. The gunman killed three people at the board meeting in Monroe County. But if Kozen and another man hadn't tackled the shooter, police say, there would have been even more casualties at the meeting in a small town about 70 miles north of Philadelphia." 08-13
- -08-07-13 The Real Lone Ranger (CNN News)
"More than a century before Johnny Depp wore a terrifying crow headpiece in new Disney film 'The Lone Ranger,' another hero of the Wild West was carefully arranging his own remarkable disguise."
"Sometimes he dressed as a preacher, at other times a tramp, and occasionally even a woman."
"But beneath the elaborate costumes was always Bass Reeves -- a 19th-century Arkansas slave who became a legendary deputy U.S. marshal, capturing more than 3,000 criminals with his flamboyant detective skills, super strength and supreme horsemanship." 08-13
- -08-12-13 Justice Department Opposes American Airlines Merger (New York Times)
"The Justice Department, along with the attorneys general of six states, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to block the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways.” 08-13
- -08-14-13 Egypt Declares a State of Emergency (World.Time.com)
"Early this morning, security forces raided two protest areas in Cairo to clear out supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi. At least 149 people have been reported killed and more than 1403 injured.” 08-13
- -08-14-13 Paralyzed Bride Walks Down the Aisle (ABC News)
"A woman from Ohio who's paralyzed from the waist down kept her vow to walk down the aisle at her wedding.” 08-13
- -08-18-13 Partner of Reporter Gaining NSA Leaks Detained (CBS News)
"The partner of a journalist who received leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden was detained for nearly nine hours Sunday under anti-terror legislation at Heathrow Airport, triggering claims that authorities are trying to interfere with reporting on the issue.” 08-13
- -08-19-13 Toy Barbie Responds to Political Debate (Time.com)
"Twice in the past two weeks, conservative leaders have turned her name—a name that has filled the fantasies for millions of girls—into an insult for Texas state senator Wendy Davis.”
"Progressives did the same thing with the Sarah Palin 'Caribou Barbie' fiasco of the 2008 presidential election, just from the opposite side of the political spectrum."
"If there’s anything that Davis, Palin, and Barbie share, it is that there is a cost to rising quickly into the national consciousness, especially when you are one of America’s most famous and beautiful women. And, politics aside, Barbie could add 'social media advisor' to her growing list of careers. She tweets regularly from her @Barbie handle to her more than 180,000 followers. At least she could teach people like Erickson and Abbott a few social media best practices: When Barbie tweets, she inspires her sisterhood to achieve their dreams. She doesn’t use appearance as a way of belittling a woman’s success." 08-13
- -09-09-13 Administration Considering Proposal to Avoid a Military Strike (Time. com)
"The White House said Monday that the United States will take a 'hard look' at a proposal from the Russian government for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons stockpiles to the international community, a move Press Secretary Jay Carney said is a “potential avenue” forward, even as military planning for a strike continues." 09-13
- -09-09-13 Relationship Between Extreme Storms and Climate Change Revised (Time. com)
"The truth is that scientists aren’t really sure why there hasn’t been a hurricane yet this season, nor do they know why an intense hurricane — Category 3, 4, 5 — hasn’t made landfall in the U.S. since Wilma all the way back in 2005. (Sandy, for all the damage it did, was barely a Category 1 storm by the time it made landfall along the East Coast.) And as Andrew Revkin reported in the New York Times, leaked drafts of the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seem to reflect a reduced scientific certainty that global warming will make storms stronger and more frequent. In the 2007 report, the IPCC said that it was more likely than not — a greater than 50% certainty in the panel’s terminology — that human activity was contributing to an observed intensification of hurricane activity in some parts of the world. Now the IPCC — or at least the draft — says it has “low confidence” of that relationship, which means it believes that there is only a 2-out-of-10 chance of being correct. The estimated probability that the 21st century will see more intense hurricane activity has fallen as well." 09-13
- -09-12-13 Assad Agrees to Give Up Chemical Weapons (Time.com)
"Syrian President Bashar Assad told Russian TV earlier Thursday that the country would sign an international treaty banning chemical weapons according to a Russian-backed plan and begin transferring control of its own arsenal thirty days later. A spokesperson for the United Nations told CNN that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has received a letter from Syria declaring its intention to join the convention."
"United States Secretary of State John Kerry is rejecting Syria’s proposed timeline to hand over its chemical weapons, saying the country’s own assurances that it would follow a 30-day lead time “are simply not enough,” the Associated Press reports." 09-13
- -09-15-13 U.S. and Russia Reach Deal on Syria's Chemical Weapons (Time.com)
"A high-stakes diplomatic summit aimed at averting a military strike has yielded a plan between the United States and Russia to rid Syria of its chemical weapons and production capability by 'in the first half of 2014,' according to a framework agreement released by the State Department Saturday." 09-13
- -10-01-13 Editorial: A Third Group Responsible for Shutdown in Congress (Time.com)
"Republicans and Democrats in Congress are trading blame ahead of Tuesday’s government shutdown, but there’s another culprit in DC’s latest dysfunction whose offices are not to be found in the gilded suites of the Capitol, but in a drab, fluorescent-lit office five blocks away. There, a team of organizers, lobbyists and 20-something social media specialists are harnessing the power of the Tea Party to drive a wrench into Congress’ gears. Heritage Action for America, the political arm of the once esteemed Heritage Foundation, has been working day and night for years to bring about just the crisis now gripping DC." 10-13
- -10-07-13 Editorial: The Debt Ceiling Crisis Threatens Our Quality of Life (Time.com)
"The key reason that Americans are able to buy homes at low interest rates, travel abroad for spring break, have flat screen TVs in several rooms, and pay the same amount for groceries every year at Wal-Mart is that the credit of the U.S. is good. That’s what allows us to keep the dollar high and borrowing costs lower than our debt levels, growth prospects, and frankly, political competency, would otherwise allow. Once that trust is gone, it’s often gone for good—just ask Argentina, which is still paying through the nose to borrow money thanks to a default that happened twelve years ago."
"Unfortunately, the markets are already starting to price in the loss of trust in the full faith and credit of the US government. As politicians continue to wrangle over the shutdown, U.S. sovereign credit markets are increasingly worried about default. You can see it in the anxiety provoking little bump that reflects the interest rates paid out on U.S. Treasury bills. The lower the rate, the safer the bet is considered by the markets, and vice versa. Our bill bump is flat until about October 17th, when the government is expected to run out of money. It then starts to swell, and continues swelling into November—meaning the markets think that we’re more likely to default." 10-07-13
- -10-08-13 President Obama Challenges House Speaker to Take a Vote (New York Times)
"President Obama on Monday made an unscheduled visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in his latest bid to draw attention to the effects of the government shutdown and to challenge Speaker John A. Boehner’s claim that he does not have enough votes to pass a measure to finance the government." 10-13
- -10-08-13 Republicans Reject Doomsday Scenario on Debt Limit (ABC News)
"Catastrophic. Disastrous. Default. Those are just some of the doomsday terms being used to describe what would happen if Congress fails to raise the country's debt limit and isn't able to pay its debt."
"Not so, according to some–mainly Republicans—in Congress. Their reasoning seems to revolve around the same thread: if we don't know what's going to happen because the country has never been down this road before, how can we be sure it'll be so bad?" 10-13
- -10-14-13 Some Consequences of the Debt Ceiling Impasse (Washington Post)
"Experts on federal finances say that money might be enough to make payments for a few days, but certainly not for more than two weeks. In any event, they say, President Obama will have to make untested decisions about who and what to pay because daily tax receipts will make up only about 70 cents of every dollar of necessary spending."
"Economists roundly agree that no matter which course Obama chooses, a drop in federal spending that large would exert a huge drag on economic growth."
"Under the most alarming scenario, as soon as Friday, payments to Medicare and Medicaid providers, unemployment benefits, Social Security checks and tax refunds would be postponed for one to four days."
"With huge payments due in early November, the situation would become grimmer. Nearly $60 billion in Social Security checks, veterans benefits and pay for active-duty troops is due Nov. 1. Those could be delayed nearly two weeks, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center’s analysis."
" 'Right now, Grandma is getting a Social Security check. In a few weeks, unless we solve this, she won’t,' said Steve Bell, a former top Republican Senate staff member and a senior vice president at the policy center." 10-13
- -10-17-13 Gridlock Was Costly (New York Times)
"Even with the shutdown of the United States government and the threat of a default coming to an end, the cost of Congress’s gridlock has already run well into the billions, economists estimate. And the total will continue to grow even after the shutdown ends, partly because of uncertainty about whether lawmakers might reach another deadlock early next year." 10-13
- -10-26-13 More Fixes for Health Care Care Act Website (Time.com)
"Summarizing a week’s worth of intensive diagnostics, the administration acknowledged Friday the site has dozens of complex problems and tapped a private company to oversee fixes." 10-13
- -11-02-12 Staten Island Hotel Owner Gives Rooms Away (ABC News)
"After superstorm Sandy sparked quarrels over hotel rooms in New York City, one Staten Island hotel owner said he decided to 'do the right thing' by refusing to evict storm victims in favor of marathon runners with reservations." 11-12
- -11-03-13 U.S. Drone Strike Angers Pakistani Leadership (Time.com)
"Pakistan’s government has lashed out at the U.S. after a Nov. 1 drone reportedly killed the leader of the Pakistan Taliban hours before peace talks between the government and militant group were to get underway. At a Nov. 2 press conference, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan called the strike a direct attack on the peace process, and said Islamabad would be reviewing its rocky relationship with Washington." 11-13
- -11-04-13 Health Care Signups Increase (CBS News)
"Around 29,000 people signed up for private health insurance plans on HealthCare.gov Sunday and Monday, a source with knowledge of the process confirmed to CBS News."
"The unofficial tally for those two days is greater than the number of people who enrolled in the entire month of October, illustrating how much the user experience on the federal Obamacare website has improved." 12-13
- -11-12-12 Changes in Voter Habits Change Polling Requirements (New York Times)
"As Americans’ modes of communication change, the techniques that produce the most accurate polls seem to be changing as well."
"In Tuesday’s presidential election, a number of polling firms that conduct their surveys online had strong results. Some telephone polls also performed well. But others, especially those that called land lines only or took other methodological shortcuts, performed poorly, showing a more Republican-leaning electorate than actually turned out." 11-12
- -11-12-13 Major Shift in Guidelines for Chloresterol (Time.com)
"Government officials say the site is fixed and ready to start signing people up for health plans for real this time." 11-13
- -11-14-13 Obama Offers Partial Fix on "You Can Keep Your Insurance" (Time.com)
"President Barack Obama announced an “administrative fix” Thursday morning to allow Americans with insurance plans that were supposed to disappear under his health care reform law to keep that coverage for another year, responding to a weeks-long maelstrom of cancellation notices that have rattled his presidency." 11-13
- -11-26-12 Editorial: What Should the Republican Message Be Now? (CNN News)
"Here's the next thing the Republican party needs to rethink. What does it say if and when the United States returns to prosperity?"
"Accelerating economic activity is rapidly reducing the budget deficit. The deficit has contracted since 2009 at the fastest rate since the end of World War II, faster even than during the late 1990s boom." 11-12
- -12-06-13 Nelson Mandela's Jailer Speaks (World.Time.com)
"Brand was 18-year-old fresh from the farmlands of the Afrikaner hinterland when, in 1978, he was sent to Robben Island as a prison warden. He had been warned he would be guarding the most dangerous of terrorists. To his surprise, Prisoner 46664, then aged 60, asked him about his family, his upbringing, his fears for the future. 'There was no color barrier between us,' said Brand, now 53 and a guide showing tourists around the cells where he was once a jailer. 'Like me, Mandela came from a farm. He was a human being. We understood that we shared the same sky and the same air.' ”
" 'When he was released, the prison was empty for me,' he said. 'He was very down to earth. And he was a person who loved children. When I had a problem, he would give me advice.' Even today, Brand said he still finds wondrous how Mandela was able to transform their relationship. 'He was my prisoner,' he said. 'But he was my father.' "
"Desmond Tutu once told me he believed prison was the making of Nelson Mandela. 'I often surprise people when I say this,' he said. 'Suffering can lead to bitterness. But suffering is also the infallible test of the openness of a leader, of their selflessness.' When Mandela had gone to jail, he had been 'one of the most angry,' said Tutu. 'The suffering of those 27 years helped to purify him and grow the magnanimity that would become his hallmark.' " 12-13
- -12-08-13 JP Morgan Under Investigations for Business Practices in China (New York Times)
"The S.E.C. and prosecutors are building their investigation around the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a 1977 law that makes it illegal for United States companies to exchange 'anything of value' with foreign officials to win 'an improper advantage' in obtaining business. Federal authorities have adopted a tougher stance in recent years, taking aim at American companies suspected of acting with 'corrupt intent,' or with an expectation of trading a job for government business."
"It is unclear whether JPMorgan ever reached an upfront agreement with Chinese government officials. And the records reviewed by The Times do not suggest that the employees were unqualified. According to documents and interviews with current and former employees, JPMorgan created the 'Sons and Daughters' program in 2006 with the expectation that the hires would receive heightened scrutiny."
"But by 2009, the 'Sons and Daughters' program was putting the job candidates on the fast track to employment." 12-13
- -12-11-13 Congressional Leaders Agree on Budget (New York Times)
"House and Senate budget negotiators reached agreement Tuesday on a budget deal that would raise military and domestic spending over the next two years, shifting the pain of across-the-board cuts to other programs over the coming decade and raising fees on airline tickets to pay for airport security." 12-13
- -12-12-13 Long-Term Unemployment Benefits May End at the End of December (NBC News)
"In little more than two weeks, 1.3 million Americans who have been without work long term will likely see their unemployment benefits stop."
"That's because a budget deal proposal in Congress fails to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program, which provides federal funds for those who have run out of state unemployment benefits." 12-13
- -12-13-13 2-Year Budget Bill Passed by House (Time.com)
"The House passed a budget bill Thursday that will reverse some automatic cuts and set spending levels for the next two years in an effort to prevent another embarrassing government shutdown." 12-13
- -12-15-13 China Lands Probe on the Moon (Wall Street Journal)
"China on Saturday successfully landed its first unmanned lunar probe on the moon, in the latest milestone for the budding superpower's space ambitions."
"The official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday that the Chang'e-3 lunar probe landed on the surface of the moon shortly after 9 p.m. Beijing time. The probe includes the lander and a lunar rover called Yutu, or 'Jade Rabbit' in English." 12-13
- -12-18-13 Congress Approves Budget (NBC News)
"In the waning days of a year marked by the 16-day government shutdown, the Senate has voted to send a modest two-year budget agreement to President Barack Obama’s desk." 12-13
- -12-21-13 Officials Declassify NSA Surveillance Program's Origins (Time.com)
"Documents declassified Saturday detail how the National Security Agency’s mass data collection was first authorized under President George W. Bush." 12-13
- -12-21-13 President Obama Admits NSA Spying Needs to Change (MSNBC News)
"Under pressure from Congress, the judiciary, and even his own advisory panel, President Barack Obama acknowledged that the National Security Agency’s telephone metadata program may need to change." 12-13
- -12-21-13 Who Is Buying in to Obamacare? (MSNBC News)
"After stumbling out of the gate in early October, the nation’s new health-insurance exchanges are picking up steam. On the eve of the December 23 deadline for securing coverage that starts January 1, more than a million Americans have completed the enrollment process, according to the Commonwealth Fund. Just over half of the new enrollees (621,000) have joined Medicaid programs, and 525,000 have purchased private plans through the marketplaces." 12-13
- -Glaciologist Warns of Rising Seas (RollingStone.com)
"In Box’s view, glaciologists have spent too much time thinking about the physics of how glaciers move but not enough time thinking about how they melt, and how meltwater – those beautiful turquoise pools in Greenland glaciers – seeps down into crevasses and flows along the base, carrying heat with it, and accelerating the disintegration of the glacier. 'Traditional glaciologists tend to be hard-ice guys,' says Box. 'They’re not used to thinking about the connection between the atmosphere and ice, and how small changes in temperature and reflectivity can amplify over time.' " 12-13
- -Must-Have for Cities: Bike Sharing (ABC News)
" 'The success of bike shares in cities like Washington DC, Boston, Montreal and Toronto makes it clear that for cities that want to be competitive and want to be providing better service for their citizens they will be offering bike share programs,' said Andrew Stober, the chief of staff for the Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities.' "
- 08-09-13 The New York Times Business Model for Newspaper Survival (Swampland.Time.com)
"It was inevitable, I suppose, that the Ochs-Sulzberger family, custodians of the New York Times, felt obliged to say that they have no interest in selling their newspaper after their peers at the Washington Post, the Meyer-Grahams, sold their family jewel to Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos." 08-13
- 08-12-13 Administration Found Guilty of Violating Law on Nuclear Waste Dump (Time.com)
"A federal appeals court says the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been violating federal law by delaying a decision on a proposed nuclear waste dump in Nevada.” 08-13
- 08-12-13 Editorial: Court Rules Against Stop-and-Frisk Program in New York City (New York Times)
"Judge Shira Scheindlin of Federal District Court in New York upheld the bedrock principle of individual liberty on Monday when she ruled that the tactics underlying New York City’s stop-and-frisk program violated the constitutional rights of minority citizens. She found that the city had been “deliberately indifferent” to police officers illegally detaining and frisking minority residents on the streets over many years.” 08-13
- 08-15-13 Republicans Vote to Bar CNN and NBC from Partnering in Debates (NBC News)
"The GOP’s governing body approved a resolution on Friday barring NBC News and CNN from partnering with the Republican National Committee in hosting 2016 presidential primary debates.” 08-13
- 08-19-13 British Guardian Editor Claims Authorities Destroyed Hard Drives (Time.com)
"In an article posted on August 19, Rusbridger described how the British government had recently attempted to persuade him to destroy the documents leaked by Snowden. When Rusbridger resisted, he says he was threatened with legal action before officials from Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) were sent to the Guardian’s London offices to destroy computers containing the documents themselves." 08-13
- 08-21-13 Bradley Manning Sentenced to 25 Years (Time.com)
"Bradley Manning, the Army private responsible for the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday by a military judge." 08-13
- 08-21-13 International Panel Finds That Climate Change Is Real (New York Times)
"An international panel of scientists has found with near certainty that human activity is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warns that sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace." 08-13
- 08-22-13 International Climate Panel Gives Warning (NBC News)
"A draft of the UN’s upcoming climate report states what scientists have been warning about for several years: that the main cause of long-term global warming is carbon dioxide emissions." Another finding is that, even if we stop burning fossil fuels now, climate change will continue for hundreds of years because of past human activity. 08-13
- 08-27-13 Editorial: A Military Strike Against Syria Would Be Unwise (Truth-Out.org)
"Given this depressing state of affairs, a decisive outcome for either side would be unacceptable for the United States. An Iranian-backed restoration of the Assad regime would increase Iran's power and status across the entire Middle East, while a victory by the extremist-dominated rebels would inaugurate another wave of Al Qaeda terrorism." 08-13
- 08-28-13 Martin Luther King Jr: "I Have a Dream" (CNN News)
" 'I have a dream this afternoon that my four little children will not come up in the same young days that I came up within, but they will be judged on the basis of the content of their character, not the color of their skin.' " 08-13
- 09-20-13 Iran-US Engagement (Christian Science Monitor)
"Iran has been sending a record flurry of signals that it wants to reengage with 'a changed world.' What are the key issues that the US and Iran must grapple with?"
- 09-21-13 The EPA Releases Proposed New Standards for Power Plants (US EPA)
"On Sept. 20, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a new proposal for carbon pollution from new power plants. After considering more than 2.5 million comments from the public about the 2012 proposal and consideration of recent trends in the power sector, EPA is changing some aspects of its approach. EPA is proposing to set separate standards for natural gas-fired turbines and coal-fired units."
- 09-25-13 How a Government Shutdown Would Affect You (CNN News)
"If the Democrats and Republicans don't stop bickering and agree to how the U.S. should pay its bills, the federal government will shut down, come October 1."
- 09-25-13 U.S. Signs Global Arms Treaty (Time.com)
"The United States has joined more than 90 other nations in signing a treaty that regulates global arms trading. But there’s strong resistance in the U.S. Senate, which must ratify the accord."
- New Pope Announced (Time.com)
"Habemus Papam Franciscum came the tweet, the first official word from the @Pontifex account, just after the white smoke curled from the copper chimney watched by hundreds of thousands in St. Peter’s Square, by millions and millions on every imaginable 21st century technology around the world. And there it was, old and new, past and present, the arrival of a Pope who for the first time hails from “the most unequal part of the world,” as he once called Latin America, who cooked his own dinners and rode the bus and took his regnal name from the sainted champion of the least among us. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, brings to the throne of St. Peter a concern about the “spiritual sickness” that can afflict a church if it seems to care more for its priests than its people. “I want you to bless me,” he told the crowd, before it was his turn to bless them. He noted that his brother Cardinals had gone “to the end of the earth” to find the new Bishop of Rome. But there was a kind of subtle, rounded—perhaps divine—justice to it all. And by the time his brief debut was over, it was already clear that a profound change had occurred in an institution famously resistant to it." 03-13
- -02-01-13 Leading U.S. Cardinal Punished for Not Stopping Child Abuse (USA Today)
"One of the most powerful Catholic leaders in the USA, Cardinal Roger Mahony, the retired archbishop of Los Angeles, has been relieved of his public roles for covering up for sexually abusive priests — a role the current archbishop called 'evil.' " 02-13
- -Best Leaders (US News)
Provides articles on leadership in government and other fields and identifies persons that U.S. News editors believe are good leaders. 04-08
- -Editorial: Mexican Drug Cartels Operating in 230 U.S. Cities (Cafferty File)
"The Obama administration says it will send hundreds of federal agents and crime-fighting equipment to the Mexican border in an effort to prevent drug-related violence from spilling over into this country. It’s a little late — the Mexican drug cartels are already active in 230 American cities." 03-09
- -Editorial: Senator Sanders Asks Americans to Join Him (Senator Sanders)
Senator Bernie Sanders writes to President Obama and asks others to join him by signing his letter and sending it to the President. Senator Sanders says, in part:
"This is a pivotal moment in the history of our country. Decisions are being made about the national budget that will impact the lives of virtually every American for decades to come. As we address the issue of deficit reduction we must not ignore the painful economic reality of today - which is that the wealthiest people in our country and the largest corporations are doing phenomenally well while the middle class is collapsing and poverty is increasing. In fact, the United States today has, by far, the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on earth."
"Everyone understands that over the long-term we have got to reduce the deficit - a deficit that was caused mainly by Wall Street greed, tax breaks for the rich, two wars, and a prescription drug program written by the drug and insurance companies. It is absolutely imperative, however, that as we go forward with deficit reduction we completely reject the Republican approach that demands savage cuts in desperately-needed programs for working families, the elderly, the sick, our children and the poor, while not asking the wealthiest among us to contribute one penny."
"Mr. President, please listen to the overwhelming majority of the American people who believe that deficit reduction must be about shared sacrifice. The wealthiest Americans and the most profitable corporations in this country must pay their fair share. At least 50 percent of any deficit reduction package must come from revenue raised by ending tax breaks for the wealthy and eliminating tax loopholes that benefit large, profitable corporations and Wall Street financial institutions. A sensible deficit reduction package must also include significant cuts to unnecessary and wasteful Pentagon spending." 06-11
- -Editorial: Supreme Court Backs More Corporate Political Spending (Politico.com)
"The Supreme Court on Thursday opened wide new avenues for big-moneyed interests to pour money into politics in a decision that could have a major influence on the 2010 midterm elections and President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign."
"The long-awaited 5-4 decision overruled all or parts of two prior rulings by the court that allowed governments to restrict corporations and unions from spending their general funds on ads expressly urging a candidate’s election or defeat." 01-10
- -Editorial: The Damage Has Already Been Done to Our Standing (Time.com)
"We face downgrades and investor panic not because of our deficits but because we are behaving like deadbeats, refusing to pay our bills, pouting while the bill collector waits at the door." 07-11
- -Editorial: The Republican Strategy Was to Block Obama (Time.com)
"TIME just published 'The Party of No,' an article adapted from my new book, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. It reveals some of my reporting on the Republican plot to obstruct President Obama before he even took office, including secret meetings led by House GOP whip Eric Cantor (in December 2008) and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (in early January 2009) in which they laid out their daring (though cynical and political) no-honeymoon strategy of all-out resistance to a popular President-elect during an economic emergency. 'If he was for it,' former Ohio Senator George Voinovich explained, 'we had to be against it.' " 08-12
- -Editorial: U.S. No Longer the Clear Superpower (Christian Science Monitor)
"Two American icons, General Electric and Berkshire Hathaway, lost their triple-A credit ratings. Then China, America's largest creditor, called for a new global currency to replace the dollar just weeks after it demanded Washington guarantee the safety of Beijing's nearly $1 trillion debt holdings. And that was just in March."
"These events are the latest warnings that our world is changing far more rapidly and profoundly than we – or our politicians – will admit. America's own triple-A rating, its superpower status, is being downgraded as rapidly as its economy."
"In Iraq, despite efforts in Washington to make "the surge" appear to be a stunning US victory, analysts most familiar with the region have already declared Iran the strategic winner of the Bush administration's war against Saddam Hussein. The Iraq war has greatly empowered Iran, nurturing a new regional superpower that now seems likely to be the major architect of the new Iraq."
According to Robert Pape of the National Interest, " 'If present trends continue, we will look back at the Bush administration's years as the death knell of American hegemony.' " 04-09
- -Editorial: What About the Auto Workers? (MSNBC News)
"What will a solution look like? It will almost certainly have to involve major subsidies for the new industries to locate in the worst hit regions of the country (and that will mean making sure the new employers hire ex-union workers, as many new concerns have been unwilling to do). It will hopefully involve a real effort to transform major universities like the University of Michigan into tech-industry centers; they will never be Silicon Valley, but they can be small tech centers of the kind that have developed around Boston and Los Angeles." 03-09
- -Has the Majority of the "Missing" Mass of the Universe Been Found? (Time.com)
"As you might have heard if you pay attention to these things (and will be distressed to learn if you don’t) up to 80% of the matter in the universe is simply missing. The Milky Way spins so fast it would fly apart if the gravity of some invisible matter weren’t holding it together. Clusters of galaxies, buzzing around one another like angry bees, would similarly fragment and disperse. And when you run the gravitational numbers, the mysterious matter that keeps all that cosmic disintegration from happening should outweigh the familiar stuff by about four-to-one."
"Just as researchers working at Europe‘s Large Hadron Collider last year announced that they had bagged the Higgs Boson, so did investigators this week reveal that they’ve found compelling evidence for a type of theorized particle known as a WIMP—for weakly interacting massive particle—and that at least one form of it may be the dark quarry they’ve been hunting for 80 years." 04-13
- -07-20-13 Helen Thomas, White House Reporter, Dies at 92 (New York Times)
"Helen Thomas, whose keen curiosity, unquenchable drive and celebrated constancy made her a trailblazing White House correspondent in a press corps dominated by men and who was later regarded as the dean of the White House briefing room, died on Saturday at her home in Washington. She was 92." 07-13