Australia´s central bank cut interest rates a quarter point to a record-matching low on Tuesday, stepping up efforts to safeguard the rich world´s most resilient economy from the risk of recession as a mining boom peaks. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut its main cash rate to 3 percent following its monthly policy meeting, bringing the easing since May to 125 basis points and matching the trough hit during the darkest days of the global financial crisis. "While the full effects of earlier measures are yet to be observed, the Board judged at today´s meeting
Comments: Hopefully, good news and works for our friends down-under. [I don´t understand economics].
Washington - Instead of sending suspected terrorists to Guantanamo Bay or secret CIA "black" sites for interrogation, the Obama administration is questioning terrorists for as long as it takes aboard U.S. naval vessels. And it´s doing it in a way that preserves the government´s ability to ultimately prosecute the suspects in civilian courts. (Snip) Questioning suspected terrorists aboard U.S. warships in international waters is President Barack Obama´s answer to the Bush administration detention policies that candidate Obama promised to end. The strategy also makes good on Obama´s pledge to prosecute
Bluffdale, Utah - A huge new data-storage facility for U.S. spying is plagued by chronic electrical surges that have prevented the center´s opening, documents and officials say. (Snip) But it hasn´t been able to because of 10 explosive meltdowns in the past 14 months that have destroyed close to $1 million in machinery, project documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal indicate. The meltdowns were described by a project official as "a flash of lightning inside a 2-foot box," the Journal said. Their causes are disputed, if not a mystery, some officials say and project documents indicate.
Washington - In the four months since former defense contractor Edward Snowden revealed the National Security Agency’s electronic data collection programs, the question of intelligence restructuring has been persistent in Congress. (Snip) Twenty-two standalone bills have surfaced on Capitol Hill since Snowden’s leaks in June, ranging from minor changes to massive policy overhauls for the NSA and its metadata collection programs. The sheer number signals a collective agreement from lawmakers that some kind of legislative response is needed to curb growing public concern over the nation’s
Sacramento, Calif. - Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have made California the first state in the nation to allow non-citizens who are in the country legally to serve on jury duty. (Snip) The bill had passed the Legislature on a largely party-line vote, with Democrats supporting the idea to expand the pool of prospective jurors. Republicans said the lack of available jurors in California courts is due to a shortage of funding, not due to an insufficient pool of jurors. The bill´s sponsor, Democratic Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski of Fremont, said in a statement that lawful immigrants
Law enforcement authorities on Monday night were looking for additional suspects or witnesses after a 35-year-old man was charged with attempting to kidnap two Compton teenagers. Ashley Price is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday at the Compton courthouse, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff´s Department. He is accused of trying to kidnap a 14-year-old girl on Oct. 1 as she walked to school near Compton Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue, authorities said. He allegedly tried to drag the girl into his car but a woman described by sheriff´s officials as a "good Samaritan" pulled the
For all the acrimony in Washington over Obamacare, there´s an intriguing consensus around one issue: the ratchet effect. Neither side uses the term, but both the right and left treat it as an article of faith. The term was coined by the libertarian economist Robert Higgs. In his book "Crisis and Leviathan," Higgs described how the state takes on massive new powers during a crisis, usually wars. When the crisis subsides, the state relinquishes some of those powers, but it never gives them all back. This is how the state grows over time. But the concept has broadened in recent
Sen. John Cornyn gives the Republican Party´s Weekly Remarks: Hi, I’m Texas Senator John Cornyn. Every day, Capitol Hill police officers protect Members of Congress, and our visiting guests, with courage, dignity, and professionalism. Their tireless efforts often go unnoticed; but whenever they’re called upon to act in a moment of crisis, we’re reminded of their tremendous commitment and bravery. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Capitol Hill police for all that they do to protect our collective safety and security. Like most Americans, I was disappointed when certain parts of the federal
President Obama´s weekly remarks: Good morning. Earlier this week, the Republican House of Representatives chose to shut down a government they don’t like over a health care law they don’t like. And I’ve talked a lot about the real-world consequences of this shutdown in recent days — the services disrupted; the benefits delayed; the public servants kicked off the job without pay. But today, I want to let the Americans dealing with those real-world consequences have their say. And these are just a few of the many heartbreaking letters I’ve gotten from them in the past couple weeks — including
The National Security Agency has made repeated attempts to develop attacks against people using Tor, a popular tool designed to protect online anonymity, despite the fact the software is primarily funded and promoted by the US government itself. Top-secret NSA documents, disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, reveal that the agency´s current successes against Tor rely on identifying users and then attacking vulnerable software on their computers. One technique developed by the agency targeted the Firefox web browser used with Tor, giving the agency full control over targets´
Just for the record, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said midway through a 27-minute criticism of California, he wasn’t in Anaheim to criticize California. (Snip) “The purpose of my visit is not to bash California,” he said on the first day of the state Republican Party convention. “This is a wonderful state with great innovative people.” But, he said, the very “future of the nation” depended on a blunt conversation about which course was best: California’s “big government, protectionist, nanny state” or Texas’ “limited-government, unsubsidized, freedom state.” Perry’s remarks centered on new jobs for
A new shape-changing metal crystal is reported in the journal Nature, by scientists at University of Minnesota. It is the prototype of a new family of smart materials that could be used in applications ranging from space vehicles to electronics to jet engines. Called a "martensite", the crystal has two different arrangements of atoms, switching seamlessly between them. It can change shape tens of thousands of times when heated and cooled without degrading, unlike existing technology. Currently, martensite metals are made of an alloyed mixture of nickel and titanium.
Clinton, NY - Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday derided the partial government shutdown, saying dysfunction and gridlock are emblematic of too many people in politics choosing "scorched earth over common ground." (Snip) Recalling shutdowns during the mid-1990s, Clinton noted that her husband worked with then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich to find a way to reopen the government. Neither side got everything it wanted, she said, but it led to a balanced budget and economic growth. Clinton said the stalemate could have repercussions around the globe, noting that the shutdown
I don´t expect America to be perfect, and I know America has made some mistakes. But boy do we know how to correct them. And we will self-correct from the mistake of electing Obama. The anti-American naysayers declare that we are all from somewhere else -- the inherent message being that America was stolen and none of us can lay claim to the land. They say that we invaded what is now America, attacked the Indians, then took their land and livelihoods. We forced them to live in squalid camps. Liberals say that we took their dignity. I admit that the Indians
Days after the launch of the federal government´s Obamacare website, millions of Americans looking for information on new health insurance plans were still locked out of the system even though its designers scrambled to add capacity.Government officials blame the persistent glitches on an overwhelming crush of users - 8.6 million unique visitors by Friday - trying to visit the HealthCare.gov website this week. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversaw development of the site, declined to make any of its IT experts available for interviews. CGI Group Inc, the Canadian contractor that built HealthCare.gov, is "declining to comment
Over the first four days the new online health insurance exchanges were open last week, more than 8 million people visited them, according to the Obama administration. At the very least, this casts doubt on the Republican claim that Americans hate Obamacare and want it repealed. It seems millions of people desperately want the coverage the law will allow them to get, regardless of their medical histories. Alas, the administration managed to turn the experience for most of those visitors into a nightmare. Websites crashed, refused to load, or offered bizarre and incomprehensible choices. Even though the system was shut down
Amid all the charges and countercharges in Washington over the government shutdown, there is at least one common theme: Barack Obama’s various charges always lead to a dead end. They are chaos, and chaos is hard to understand, much less refute. By that I mean when the president takes up a line of argument against his opponents, it cannot really be taken seriously — not just because it is usually not factual, but also because it always contradicts positions that Obama himself has taken earlier or things he has previously asserted. Whom to believe — Obama 1.0, Obama 2.0, or
While our president still enjoys his essential employees and locations: the White House chefs, Camp David, and a military golf course, there doesn´t seem to be any question that in mercenary pursuit of a political win, this White House is determined to unreasonably punish as many everyday people as possible. And this includes children sick with cancer. That might sound like hyperbole, but it is not. Although Barack Obama´s chefs have been deemed "essential," employees at the National Institutes of Health who offer last-chance experimental cancer treatments for children suffering from cancer have not. Worse still, House Republicans have offered to
On Friday evening, enraged at World War II veterans who had the temerity to move aside President Obama’s barricades to visit the World War II Memorial, HBO’s Bill Maher launched into a broadside against the brave veterans, labeling them dumb. "The other thing that apparently was so important for the Republicans to keep open was the World War II Memorial in Washington. That was closed, so a bunch of the World War II vets knocked down the barriers and stormed it,” Maher said, to the laughter of his audience.
The Very Rev. Gary Hall, chief ecclesiastical leader and executive officer of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., said in a sermon on Sunday that “homophobia” and “heterosexism” are sins. “In its wisdom, the church came to its senses and labeled both racism and sexism as sinful,” Hall said. “And now we find ourselves at the last barrier—call that barrier homophobia, call it heterosexism. “We must now have the courage to take the final step and call homophobia and heterosexism what they are,” Hall said. “They are sin. “Homophobia is a sin,” Hall said. “Heterosexism is a sin.
I was at a dinner recently where I happened to be seated at a table with new acquaintances of the liberal political persuasion. We went around the table introducing ourselves. As I said that I work for a "conservative website," a man at the far end of the table made his displeasure known by booing. He wasn´t kidding. These were professional, accomplished, senior members of the community. They had never met a conservative before. Their first reaction was hostile. No one chided the man who booed, or apologized on his behalf for his rudeness, or laughed to break the tension.
President Obama ordered the weekend raids that captured a top al Qaeda operative in Libya and failed to capture a senior leader of the al-Shabab terrorist network in Somalia, the White House said Monday. Presidential press secretary Jay Carney said the Libya raid, in which U.S. agents seized Abu Anas al-Libi, were carried out under authorization granted by Congress in 2001. It was a “rendition” of the kind that Mr. Obama railed against when he was a candidate for president. “This operation was made possible by the superb work and coordination across our national security agencies and the intelligence
WASHINGTON- The NFL is prepared to meet with an Indian tribe pushing for the Washington Redskins to drop the team´s nickname. Just not this week. As league owners gathered Monday in the nation´s capital for their fall meetings, the Oneida Indian Nation held a symposium across town to promote their "Change the Mascot" campaign. Oneida representative Ray Halbritter said the NFL was invited to attend. Instead, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, a meeting has been scheduled for next month - and could happen sooner. "We respect that people have differing views," McCarthy said.
Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney intends to buy a $9million Park City, Utah ski chalet to complement his family homes in California, Boston, and New Hampshire. The 8,730 foot vacation mansion is in the ski destination´s Deer Valley resort and, while it doesn´t have a $55,000 car elevator like Romney´s La Jolla home, the chalet does rest right on the slope and may be skied into and out of. The six bedroom home´s most noticeable features is its prevalence of wood. The lodge-like home features wooden floors, walls, and furniture that brokers call Utah rustic. The home was once featured
Top political strategist turned CNN anchor, Stephanie Cutter is pregnant with her first child at the age of 44. The Washington Post notes that there is no early word on who the father is and the blonde is thought to be single. A source told the publication that Ms Cutter, due in March, is ´very excited´ about the prospect of motherhood and otherwise, ´not dishing about the details of the pregnancy at all.´ Ms Cutter apparently announced the news of her pregnancy to her CNN colleagues on Monday. She will take maternity leave and return to Crossfire next spring.