Though America may be the "land of opportunity," Switzerland will be the best place to be born in 2013 according to a quality-of-life index from the Economist Intelligence Unit. The EIU, a sister company to The Economist magazine, determines quality of life based on surveys of the population covering 11 factors including wealth, crime, family life, trust in government and the stability of the economy. (Snip) Back in 1988, the United States was in first place, with France in second, and West Germany in third. Zimbabwe was last, with Iraq second to last and Iran third to last.
The U.S. birth rate dropped to its lowest level since the beginning of the Great Depression, led by a drop among immigrants, according to a report data released Thursday by the Pew Research Center. In 2011, the overall birth rate was 63.2 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, the lowest since at least 1920, Pew reported, citing numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics. The birth rate reached 122.7 in 1957, the peak of the Baby Boom. After the mid-1970s, the birth rate stabilized at about 65 to 70 births per 1,000 women annually,
Europe´s once vibrant economy is slowly dying, robbing American companies of business and prompting calls for a new trade deal to revive the economic health of the continent. "Europe is in a slow decline," said Thomas Donohue, president of the Chamber. "We need to see them get stronger." Donohue, addressing the Chamber´s board of directors Thursday, said that the organization is pushing for new trade deals to open markets in Europe for U.S. products.
The portfolio of embattled United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice includes investments of hundreds of thousands of dollars in several energy companies known for doing business with Iran, according to financial disclosure forms.Rice, a possible nominee to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she steps down, has come under criticism for promulgating erroneous information about the September 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.
CNN made official Thursday morning its decision to install Jeff Zucker, the former chief executive of NBC, as the new president of CNN Worldwide. The announcement was the culmination of monthslong search to find a replacement for Jim Walton, who had led CNN to record profits even as ratings for its American network, CNN/U.S., hit record lows. The network announced in July that Mr. Walton would step down at the end of the year.
Afghan police arrest two men for allegedly beheading a 15-year-old girl after her father turned down a marriage proposal. According to BBC News, the two men who proposed the arranged marriage and attacked her are relatives of the girl. “Our investigation shows those who killed her were people who wanted to marry her,” a Kunduz province police official told the BBC.
The UN General Assembly meets for the vote to upgrade the Palestinians’ status at 3 p.m. today, which will almost certainly pass. But both the UN and the Palestinians have little to gain from a successful vote, and a lot to lose. Senator Orrin Hatch has already filed an amendment to the upcoming defense bill that would abolish UN funding if the status change is approved: Ahead of the vote, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch filed an amendment to a defense bill that would eliminate funding for the United Nations if the General Assembly changes Palestine’s status. “Increasing the Palestinians’
The U.S. birth rate plunged last year to a record low, with the decline being led by immigrant women hit hard by the recession, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center. The overall birth rate declined by 8 percent between 2007 and 2010, with a decrease of 6 percent among U.S.-born women and 14 percent among foreign-born women. (Snip) The overall birth rate is now at its lowest since 1920, the earliest year with reliable records. The decline could have far-reaching implications for U.S. economic and social policy. A continuing decline would challenge long-held assumptions
RUSH: I´m just saying that if the analysts are right and Obama´s worried about a legacy, and he does not want a recession in the second term, he does not want renewed unemployment, then stop talking to him. Let him own the disaster that is going over the cliff and find out if that´s indeed what he wants. Now, if you don´t like that, I have some other alternatives. If you would rather see the Republicans stay at the negotiating table, if you´d rather see the Republicans hang in there,
Speaking with Secure Freedom Radio host Frank Gaffney this week, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) alleged that the Obama administration has actively aided al Qaeda and follows the advice of the Muslim Brotherhood. Gohmert told Gaffney that anti-Muslim investigations are necessary because President Barack Obama made “horrendous decisions” in backing the “revolutions in Northern Africa and across the Middle East and to the Far East.” He chalked such decisions up to the administration listening closely to the advice of Muslim Brotherhood members.
A front-page "news analysis" Thursday by New York Times intelligence reporter Scott Shane, "Talking Points Overshadow Bigger Libya Issues," downplayed the seriousness of the controversy and attempted to reduce GOP criticism of UN ambassador Susan Rice, a possible Secretary of State candidate, into just more food for the partisan "meat grinder." Shane questioned why "four pallid sentences that intelligence analysts cautiously delivered are the unlikely center of a quintessential Washington drama, in which a genuine tragedy has been fed into the meat grinder of election-year politics."
Here’s the latest in the Hostess no more Twinkies saga: The company has asked the bankruptcy judge to approve $1.8 million in bonuses for its top executives for their part in liquidating the business, the Associated Press reported.The bonuses are needed to retain 19 managers to help with the process, the report said. Headline split by staff.
Democrats and Republicans are so far off in their expectations for the next steps of fiscal talks that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) claimed he cannot understand the Republican Speaker’s brain. Senate Democratic leaders are growing frustrated by what they say is the lack of a specific plan from House Republicans to raise tax revenues or cut entitlement spending. Democrats say the onus is on Republicans to provide a counteroffer to their plan to let the Bush-era tax rates on families earning above $250,000 expire. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has told reporters the ball
Time: You’re on the world stage now. President Mohamed Morsi: (In English) The world stage is very difficult. It’s not easy to be on the world stage. The world is now much more difficult than it was during your revolution. It’s even more difficult. The world. More complicated, complex, difficult. It’s a spaghetti-like structure. It’s mixed up. So we need to somehow take things, easily, so we can go together, the whole world — peacefully, peacefully, hopefully, all kinds of peace. I think you know that in general people like to say that we should keep peace peace by all means. I’m not talking about
President Obama´s second inaugural ceremony will be focused around the theme of "Faith in America´s Future," congressional organizers announced Thursday. The inaugural program will pay tribute to the nation´s "perseverance and unity," the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies said in a press release. And the ceremony will mark the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Capitol Dome in 1863. Construction on the dome was threatened during the American Civil War, but work continued despite a budget strained by the costs of the war.
Ahhhhhhh the good life. As lovingly recorded by the New York Times. Here´s the Lord of His Manor…. "A baseball cap perched on his head, his eyes sheathed in sunglasses" as he "sipped a Diet Coke and gazed across Lake Tahoe to California… in this most calming of places -- the glassine lake ringed by snow-dusted mountains, the late-morning quiet.… riding around the lake in his S.U.V., wandering a pristine beach, puttering around his office, and enjoying a long wine-soaked dinner as the sun set over the lake." And when this gentleman of leisure is at hard at work?
And the day just keeps going downhill for Lindsay Lohan. California prosecutors filed charges this afternoon against the troubled starlet for allegedly lying this summer to police, authorities said. The criminal complaint, by the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office, was filed hours after she was busted in New York following a nightclub brouhaha. Lohan, 26, was wearing handcuffs early this morning after getting into a fight at club Avenue in Manhattan, law enforcement sources said.
Jay, I hate to be a pedant, but, re Ira Gershwin’s favorite joke, the chorus girl (auditioning in London) actually sang, as Ira told it, “You say eyether and I say eyether”, not “You say eether and I say eether”. So there. I thought of that joke the other day when readers emailed me about Matt Lauer, at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, introducing “‘SWonderful”, the Gershwin song of romantic elision, as “Ess Wonderful“. Ira always hated singers who sang “It’s wonderful, it’s marvelous”, which he felt defeated the point of the number.
For many years, I went back and forth on the issue of “a historian,” “an historian.” There are people who feel very, very strongly about this. Some consider “an historian” a complete abomination. “You wouldn’t say ‘an house,’ huh, huh?” There came a time when I stopped going back and forth. The truth is, both ways are used, legitimate, and correct. You go by ear. That answer is unsatisfying to many — but it’s right, I believe. Most of the time, probably, I say “an historian,” and therefore write it. I would never say “an history of Greece.”
United Nations - The Palestinians are certain to win U.N. recognition as a state Thursday but success could exact a high price: Israel and the United States warn it could delay hopes of achieving an independent Palestinian state through peace talks with Israel. The United States, Israel´s closest ally, mounted an aggressive campaign to head off the General Assembly vote. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defiantly declared Thursday that the Palestinians would have to back down from long-held positions if they ever hope to gain independence. In a last-ditch move Wednesday,
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo — Televised comments made by Amb. Susan Rice shortly after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi have dominated the debate over her probable nomination for secretary of state. This is a bit surprising, since it´s clear that she played only a marginal role in the affair and appears to have just been reading from the briefing notes provided. It´s also unfortunate that the "scandal" has crowded out a healthy discussion of her two-decade record as U.S. diplomat and policymaker prior to Sept. 2012 --
“I believe the probability is we’re going over the cliff and I think that would be horrible,” President Clinton’s Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast meeting yesterday. “It would be insane to breach this fiscal cliff, yet I think there is only a one-third possibility we’ll actually get something done before December 31.” As gloomy as Bowles prediction sounds, it is, if anything, optimistic, if the latest reporting from Politico on the state of the negotiations between Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and President Obama is to be believed.
Sick children are being discharged from NHS hospitals to die at home or in hospices on controversial ‘death pathways’. Until now, end of life regime the Liverpool Care Pathway was thought to have involved only elderly and terminally-ill adults. But the Mail can reveal the practice of withdrawing food and fluid by tube is being used on young patients as well as severely disabled newborn babies. One doctor has admitted starving and dehydrating ten babies to death in the neonatal unit of one hospital alone. Writing in a leading medical journal, the physician revealed the process can take
Governor Mick Huckabee, now a TV and radio talk-show host, seems to be a nice guy. He is kind to everyone and seemingly wants everyone to like him. Unlike other media hosts, he regularly features as guests those with whom conservatives disagree. When The Iron Lady came out in 2011, Huckabee invited on actress Meryl Streep to discuss her performance of Margaret Thatcher. I recall her nervousness as she clearly feared being the guest of a well-known social conservative with whom she had profound disagreements. The governor quickly put her at ease,
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) says, “corporations control the patterns of thinking” in the United States and that the Bill of Rights to the Constitution should be amended so that the government is given the power to restrict freedom of speech. "We need a constitutional amendment to allow the legislature to control the so-called free speech rights of corporations," said Johnson. “These corporations, along with the people they support, other millionaires who they’re putting into office, are stealing your government. They’re stealing the government and the U.S. Supreme Court