San Francisco - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his San Francisco counterpart, Ed Lee, said at a news conference Friday that they are sponsoring a pair of technology summits over the next year. The mayors said the "digital cities" summits — one in New York in September and another in San Francisco early next year — will seek to find ways to use technology to solve problems the cities face. Some general areas the summit would address are immigration, office space and housing, and funding startups. The summit would consist of about two-dozen people from technology, business, and
Comments: Notice how "immigration" is a key to their hiring? The article makes no mention that this "summit" is probably due to the successful campaign of Gov. Rick Perry [TX] to woo some of the companies here to a far less taxed state. Oh, and cost of living is low here.
Anyone who’s ever gone on a diet is told to lay off the booze because it’s high in calories. And that, of course, must make it very fattening indeed. Go onto the NHS Direct website, and you’ll be told a glass of wine contains as many calories as a slice of cake. Or if you prefer beer, the British Nutrition Foundation reminds you two pints are roughly the equivalent in calories to a full glass of single cream. So you may be surprised to learn that there’s no scientific evidence whatsoever to support the idea that alcohol makes you on weight. That’s hugely counter-intuitive, I know, because alcohol certainly is said to contain lots of calories.
President Barack Obama sounded a nostalgic personal note Sunday night and offered a rare self-assessment while criticizing congressional Republicans as an "impediment" to governing during the start of a West Coast fundraising tour for the Democratic Party. Obama told donors the sight of Mt. Rainier illuminated by a setting sun was particularly special because it reminded him of his mother, who attended high school in the Seattle area. "I feel the spirit of my mom," he said. He also attempted to contrast himself with Republicans who control the House of Representatives, saying they are "more focused on positioning themselves for
Los Angeles - Rather than thanking a list of friends and colleagues, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis used their American Music Awards acceptance speech to send a message of tolerance on Sunday night. Ben Haggerty, the rapper known as Macklemore, accepted the award for favorite rap/hip-hop album, then quoted Martin Luther King Jr. in a live satellite feed from the rap group´s latest tour stop. "Due to the fact that we are in Florida tonight accepting this award I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids each year that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it," he said.
China and India’s success in weakening the latest global warming agreement created friction with other developing nations that are seeking to step up the fight against climate change. The two countries insisted on single-word changes for a deal at a United Nations conference involving 190 nations on Nov. 23. Instead of making “commitments” to roll back fossil fuel emissions, they signed up for “contributions,” a formulation that allows more flexibility in their action. Those last-minute revisions at a meeting that ran overtime by almost 30 hours underscored the reluctance of China and India to join in the sort of emissions
Washington - Hobby Lobby, a chain of crafts stores, closes on Sundays, costing its owners millions but honoring their Christian faith. The stores play religious music. Employees get free spiritual counseling. But they do not get free insurance coverage for some contraceptives, even though President Obama’s health care law requires it. Hobby Lobby, a corporation, says that forcing it to provide the coverage would violate its religious beliefs. A federal appeals court agreed, and the Supreme Court is set to decide on Tuesday whether it will hear the Obama administration’s appeal from that decision or appeals from one of
A historic agreement on Iran´s nuclear programme was made possible by months of unprecedented secret meetings between US and Iranian officials, in further signs of the accelerating detente between two of the world´s most adversarial powers, it emerged on Sunday. The meetings ran parallel to official negotiations involving five other world powers, (Snip) The Obama administration asked journalists not to publish details they had uncovered of the secret diplomacy until the Geneva talks were over for fear of derailing them. The Associated Press and a Washington-based news website, Al-Monitor, finally did so
Tokyo - Japan’s foreign minister on Sunday refused to recognize China’s newly claimed air defense zone over disputed islands, signaling that Japan would not back down as tensions increased in the maritime dispute. China on Saturday said its “air defense identification zone” would give it the right to identify and possibly take military action against aircraft near the islands in the East China Sea. The uninhabited islands are administered by Japan but claimed by China and Taiwan. China’s announcement appeared to be the latest step in what analysts have called a strategy to chip away at Japan’s claims of control of the islands.
Seattle - Boeing´s ties to the Pacific Northwest date back more than a century, when William Boeing purchased a Seattle shipyard that would become his first airplane factory. In recent years, however, those ties have been fraying, first with the company shifting its headquarters to Chicago, (Snip) In the contract vote late Wednesday, The International Association of Machinists District 751 rejected the proposal with 67 percent of the votes. Union members who called for a no vote did so in protest of Boeing´s push to end a traditional pension plan and increase their health care costs.
"Character is what you do when no one is watching." It´s a bit of a trite saying, attributed to coaches, motivational speakers and fortune cookie authors (by the way, whose idea was it for fortune cookies to replace predictions with treacly aphorisms from the "Successories" reject pile?). Still, the expression´s popularity illustrates the power of the idea behind it. Character is what you do when the only controlling authority is your conscience. Because young people do not yet have fully formed characters, they often need incentives beyond exhortations to do the right thing.
Washington - Problems with the federal health insurance website have prevented tens of thousands of low-income people from signing up for Medicaid even though they are eligible, federal and state officials say, undermining one of the chief goals of the 2010 health care law. The website, HealthCare.gov, is primarily seen as a place to buy private insurance with federal subsidies, but it is also a gateway to Medicaid, which generally provides more benefits at less cost to consumers. That door has been closed for the last six weeks, with the federal government unable to transfer its files to state Medicaid
Corydon, Iowa - The hills of southern Iowa bear the scars of America´s push for green energy: The brown gashes where rain has washed away the soil. The polluted streams that dump fertilizer into the water supply. Even the cemetery that disappeared like an apparition into a cornfield. It wasn´t supposed to be this way. (Snip) But the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today. As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and
After dodging questions for months about video evidence said to show him using drugs, Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto stunned constituents and his own staff on Tuesday by telling a scrum of reporters, “Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine.” Video of Mr. Ford’s admission, during an impromptu news conference, showed him asking reporters to repeat the question they first raised in May, when journalists for Gawker and The Toronto Star described seeing video that appeared to show the mayor using drugs. When one reporter complied, asking, “Do you smoke crack cocaine?” the mayor admitted that he had done
Though the Obama administration said that individuals making under $45,960 would get Obamacare subsidies, low-income young people in most of America´s big cities who relied on that promise are discovering they will be ineligible for them. According to a CNN report, though young people are now required to purchase insurance under Obamacare or pay a fine, "many low-income younger Americans won´t get any subsidy at all" because, as the Obama administration claims, the "cost of insurance is lower than the government initially expected." In April, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "told a
The sounds of Christmas in the Obama White House mean James Taylor, Mariah Carey and Nat King Cole. “The kids tease me that they know it’s Christmas when I pull out my playlist,” First Lady Michelle Obama tells Ladies’ Home Journal. The holiday tunes are accompanied by hot chocolate and a fire in the Yellow Oval room as President Obama and his family decorate their tree. “Christmas has always been a special time in my household,” Michelle Obama says in the December/January issue. “Growing up, we lived in a little-bitty apartment, but my mom put her heart and soul into decorating that house.”
Noel Ignatiev, a professor at Massachusetts College of Art, has for years advocated the total elimination of Caucasians. During his final lecture before retirement last Monday, he told his white male students "you don’t deserve to live. You are a cancer, you’re a disease." NOEL IGNATIEV: If you are a white male, you don’t deserve to live. You are a cancer, you’re a disease, white males have never contributed anything positive to the world! They only murder, exploit and oppress non-whites! At least a white woman can have sex with a black man and make a brown baby but what can a
Appearing on Arsenio Hall’s talk show over the weekend, ?Jesse Jackson defended both President Obama, who he said has faced heretofore unseen advsersity as president, as well as Jackson’s embattled son, who he said “had the best voting record in the Congress” before he was sentenced by unfair laws. On the president, Jackson praised him for “serving us well against the most hostility an American president has ever had” and “more attempts to derail his legislation then in the history of the country.” Between job creation and his efforts in Iraq, President Obama has “maintained a kind of dignity” without stooping
Bankrupt and hemorrhaging population, the city of Detroit is banking on greener pastures to lead its rebirth. A private company is snapping up 150 acres on the Motor City´s East End -- property where more than 1,000 homes once formed a gritty neighborhood -- and turning it into what is being billed as the world´s largest urban farm. Hantz Woodlands plans to start by planting trees, but hopes to raise crops and even livestock in the future, right in the midst of the once-proud city. “We are interested with moving into different types of agriculture,” Mike Score, president of Hantz,
Normally, I don´t traffic much in gossip, but the case of Valerie Jarrett is different. She may well be the most powerful woman in America, and almost certainly is the most powerful member of the Obama administration. The adjective "shadowy" definitely applies to this woman who enjoys her power through her relationship to the President, having never been confirmed by Senate hearings. Her title as "Senior Adviser" to the President barely scratches the surface of her real power. President Obama has time for his 150+ rounds of golf, his extensive television watching, and his expertise on March Madness bracketology because ValJar,
The Obamacare rollout remains a debacle, but now enough time has passed that smart people are beginning to dissect what went wrong. So far, the best take I´ve seen comes from Internet pioneer Clay Shirky, who notes that the politicians weren´t listening to the people doing the actual work. I was talking about this to my Administrative Law class not long ago. I had told them that there are few real secrets in D.C. because everyone sleeps with everyone else. A student then asked why both the administration and the GOP seemed to have been blindsided by the Obamacare website problems. "I guess nobody was sleeping with the techies,"
America has long had two embassies in Italy: One for the country, the other for the Holy See. Barbie Latza Nadeau on why soon there will be only one. Citing security concerns without naming a specific threat, the U.S. State Department is planning to shutter its embassy to the Holy See inside the lush Villa Domiziana overlooking the Circus Maximus and Palatine Hill in central Rome. The embassy, which has been in operation since 1984 when Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II signed an accord, will essentially be swallowed up by the larger, more influential U.S. embassy to Italy.
Located just 50 miles off the U.S. coast, north of New York City, sits Petra, a heart-shaped island that now belongs to Brad Pitt, after Angelina reportedly shelled out £12.2million to buy it for his 50th birthday. Pitt is apparently an architect fanatic, so when Jolie discovered that the island´s only two homes were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, she was sold. Pitt once said,“When I discovered Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Frank Lloyd Wright, it changed my life.” A source revealed that “as soon as Angelina heard the island was on the market she arranged a viewing. She was really impressed.
"I cannot tell a lie." That´s the signature line from a classic American story. When the nation´s first president was asked as a boy if he had chopped down his father´s cherry tree, he didn´t say "I can neither confirm nor deny those reports," or "it depends on what the meaning of the word ´is´ is." George Washington told the truth even if it got him in trouble. The moral of the story -- Washington was a great leader because he would not lie, and all presidents should be as honest as our founding father. Well, guess what? That story about
The Elders, an organization of elder statesmen, peace activists and human rights advocates that includes former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, welcomed the interim agreement reached in Geneva between the P5+1 groups and Iran early Sunday. “We are all aware of the risks involved,” said Jimmy Carter. “But I am convinced that, after 35 years of animosity and distrust, there is an historic opportunity to rebuild relations with the government and people of Iran on solid foundations of mutual respect.” Kofi Annan, the chairman of the Elders and former secretary-general of the UN, said he hoped the deal would be "swiftly followed up
ObamaCare may have backfired in its goal of making smoking so expensive that users quit, public health experts say, as sky-high insurance premiums force smokers to drop coverage altogether and lose smoking cessation programs along with it. "Tobacco surcharges are not proven to help tobacco users quit and there are major concerns that they will prevent people from getting health care coverage," the American Lung Association´s Jennifer Singleterry said. The ALA supports the Affordable Care Act, as does the American Cancer Society, but both oppose the tobacco penalty because they believe it makes insurance unaffordable for smokers. "Charging tobacco users