Monthly Archives: February 2012
By Peter Schroeder
Congress risks taking the economy over a “massive fiscal cliff,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned lawmakers on Wednesday.
In remarks that hit Wall Street stock prices, the central bank boss suggested the economy could hit a serious roadblock if Congress allows the Bush tax rates and a payroll tax cut to expire and $1.2 trillion in spending cuts to be implemented simultaneously in January.
“Under current law, on Jan. 1, 2013, there’s going to be a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases,” Bernanke told the House Financial Services Committee. “I hope that Congress will look at that and figure out ways to achieve the same long-run fiscal improvement without having it all happen at one date.
“All those things are hitting on the same day, basically. It’s quite a big event.”
read more at thehill.com
BRIGHT, Ind. – An Indiana father said his daughter is headed back to school, Thursday, after making attempts to remove blue Kool-Aid from his daughter’s hair. Tuesday she received a note stating she wasn’t allowed at school until the color was gone.
Rachel Neeley, 10 got permission to color her hair with Kool-Aid from her father during a weekend sleepover with some other girls.
Several days later her father says he’s tried every home remedy to get his daughter’s hair back to her natural color, but without success.
Charles Neeley says he got the shock of his life when he got home on Tuesday and learned his fifth grade daughter, Rachel Neely, had been suspended.
Sunman-Dearborn Intermediate School principal Chris Vennemeier told 9 News that Neeley wasn’t suspended stating a formal suspension carries with it documentation that goes on a permanent record.
After the sleepover blue streaks were still visible in her hair when she returned to school.
“When she got home from school today(Tuesday), the first thing she said was, ‘Dad, I’ve been suspended because of my hair.
read more at www.wcpo.com
PHOENIX, Ariz. – Poll after poll in recent months has indicated that Americans have a high level of concern over Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president, with one poll showing fully half of the nation wants Congress to investigate the question.
But reporters for the traditional media – networks, major newspapers, major news corporations and conglomerates – mostly have giggled when talk turns to the serious question of just what the U.S. Constitution requires of presidents.
Nevertheless, media organizations from all political persuasions are seeking admittance to a news conference to be held by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz.
The event is tomorrow at 1 p.m. Mountain Standard Time in Phoenix, 3 p.m. Eastern, and will be live-streamed by WND.
The topic of discussion will be an investigation by Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse into concerns about Obama’s eligibility. It’s the first time an official law enforcement report has addressed many of the allegations about the presumptive 2012 Democratic nominee for president. http://www.wnd.com/
Islamabad—In a welcoming development Iran has offered to supply 80,000 barrels of crude oil per day (BPD) to Pakistan on deferred payment along with credit line of $ 250 million for laying the portion of pipeline of IP gas project in Pakistan ’s territory.
Dr Asim Hussain told this to the media persons here on Tuesday. He said, Pakistan had asked for $ 500 million credit for materializing the IP project on time, but Iran facing economic sanctions by US has committed to give $ 250 million loan to complete the mega project.
The IP gas line project is scheduled to be operational by December 31, 2014.
The Special Assistant said that his ministry had sought opinion from central bank of Pakistan over the lucrative offer of Iran to provide 80,000 barrels of crude oil on three month deferred payment as the government wants foreign exchange forward cover by State Bank of Pakistan against the import of oil from Iran.
Meanwhile Iraq has also offered Pakistan crude oil supply on deferred payment and to this effect he may go to Iraq by mid of March to negotiate the import of oil.
read more at pakobserver.net
BENGHAZI, Libya (AFP) – Libyan authorities on Tuesday condemned the desecration of World War II graves in the eastern city of Benghazi by protesters angry over US troops burning the Quran in Afghanistan.
The interim government, in a statement, expressed ‘strong condemnation of the attack on non-Muslim graves by subversive elements who have no respect for religion or international law.’ ‘This action is contrary to the values of our Islamic religion and law,’ said the statement obtained by AFP.
The government vowed to find and put the perpetrators on trial. An unidentified group on Friday entered Benghazi military cemetery and shattered headstones of British and allied servicemen who fought in North African desert campaigns against the Nazi during World War II, according to local media reports.
The reports said the group comprised Salafists angered by the burning of the Quran at a Nato military base in Afghanistan earlier this month.
Saudi FM says Riyadh has already paid $500 million of its total commitment into Cairo’s Central Bank, is waiting for Egypt’s approval of memorandum of understanding to deliver second tranche of $1.45 billion.
RIYADH – Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday that it would honour a pledge of $3.75 billion in aid to Egypt, after complaints by the Egyptian premier that donor countries were failing to respect their commitments.
“The kingdom pledged to support Egypt in meeting the challenges facing its economy through a series of financial commitments totalling $3.75 billion,” Prince Saud al-Faisal was quoted as saying by the official SPA news agency.
Responding to remarks by Prime Minister Kamal Ganzuri on donor states’ failure to honour their pledges to support Egypt’s ailing economy, Faisal said Riyadh had already paid $500 million of its total commitment into Cairo’s Central Bank in May last year when the aid was promised.
A second tranche of $1.45 billion, to finance a number of projects by the Saudi Development Fund, was the subject of a memorandum of understanding still awaiting the go-ahead from Egypt, he added.
The rest of the Saudi aid, including another transfer to the Central Bank and the purchase of treasury bonds, had also been held up by the Egyptian government, Faisal said.
Saudi Arabia has, in addition, supplied Egypt with 48,000 tons of liquefied gas and “will not hesitate to stand beside its Egyptian brothers,” he added.
By Hossam Ezzedine – RAMALLAH
Israeli troops raided two Palestinian television stations in the West Bank city of Ramallah overnight, seizing computers and broadcasting equipment, employees said on Wednesday.
The Israeli military confirmed the raids, saying the stations targeted had been broadcasting illegally, a charge rejected by the Palestinian telecommunications minister.
The two stations affected were Watan Television, a local private station, and Quds Educational Television, affiliated with the Palestinian Al-Quds University.
“They came at 2:00 am (0000 GMT) and took around 30 computers and all the transmitters. The station is totally shut down,” Watan’s editor in chief, Ali Daraghmeh, said.
By Andrew Quinn
WASHINGTON — The United States said on Wednesday that North Korea had agreed to a moratorium on nuclear tests and long-range missile launches and to allow nuclear inspectors to visit its Yongbyon nuclear complex to verify a halt to all nuclear activities including uranium enrichment.
The U.S. announcement paves the way for the possible resumption of six-party disarmament negotiations with Pyongyang and follows talks between U.S. and North Korean diplomats in Beijing last week.“To improve the atmosphere for dialogue and demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization, the DPRK has agreed to implement a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests, and nuclear activities at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities,” the State Department said in a statement.
“The DPRK has also agreed to the return of IAEA inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities at Yongbyon and confirm the disablement of the 5-MW reactor and associated facilities,” it said.
The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) is North Korea’s official name.
The State Department said that in return the United States was ready to finalize details of a proposed food aid package of 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance, and that more aid could be agreed based on continued need.
read more at news.nationalpost.com
- North Korea agrees to halt nuclear activities, missile launches: U.S. (news.nationalpost.com)
By Cecelia Hanley
(RNN) – A deadly storm that roared through the Midwest has killed at least 12 people and injured more than 100 across several states, leaving homes and businesses pummeled and without power in its wake.At least 40 percent of one Kansas town was damaged by the powerful storms. Emergency officials are assessing damage in Harveyville, KS, after the storm plowed through about 9 p.m. Wednesday.
The fast moving front that began Tuesday night in Kansas tore through southern Illinois just before sunrise Wednesday killing 10 people near Harrisburg, IL, according to KFVS. The Saline County Sheriff’s office has confirmed just three deaths, however.
The sheriff’s office said a tornado hit Harrisburg at 4:56 a.m., injuring 100, and damaging or destroying 250 to 300 houses and 25 businesses.
There are reports of tractor-trailers flipped over, power lines down, mattresses hanging from trees and windows and doors blown out at businesses. Harrisburg Middle School sustained damage and classes were canceled for the rest of the week.
Read more at www.fox19.com
WINTER PARK, Fla. –
A 26-year-old Seminole County woman was arrested Tuesday in the fire that destroyed the oldest pond cypress tree in the world — The Senator — at Big Tree Park in Longwood.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services arrested Sara Barnes on charges of intentional burning of land, a third-degree felony.
Barnes also faces drug charges from Seminole County Sheriff’s Office based on what was found during a search of her home. She is being charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The Senator, a historic, 3,500-year-old cypress tree, burned and collapsed in mid-January.
Two tips from Crimeline led the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to arrest Barnes, authorities said. Tipsters said Barnes had taken cellphone pictures of the fire in the progress and uploaded them to her laptop,officials said.
News has been dominated by the tragic and horrific stories of violence resulting from the burning of Korans by U.S. soldiers at a NATO air base in Afghanistan. As the military struggles to contain the fallout, a man here in America may be seeking to fan the flames. In the wake of the chaos, Florida-based fundamentalist Terry Jones is, again, threatening to burn Islamic holy books and images.
As you may recall, Jones first gained infamy when he called for copies of the Koran to be burned in response to the proposed Ground Zero mosque. He also attracted a small bit of attention when he announced his intent to run for the U.S. presidency.
Now, the fundamentalist pastor is stepping out, once more, and threatening to burn the holy book and pictures of the Prophet Muhammad if Iran continues its refusal to release Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. The Blaze has extensively covered Nadarkhani’s plight following his arrest on apostasy charges by Iranian authorities back in 2009.
Jones recorded a video that was uploaded to YouTube on Feb. 24. In it, he highlights his plans and makes overt threats to the Iranian regime.
This weapon could one day revolutionize warfare.
It’s a new version of the railgun, and it packs an earth-shattering, hypersonic punch.
In the past, railguns have been high-tech but massive beasts that looked like only the largest naval ships could handle one. With continued testing and experimentation, that’s starting to change.
These amazing weapons are getting smaller, and inching closer to combat readiness.
Gizmodo lays out just how incredible this new weapon is, stating that ”it fires a 40-pound metal slug up to 5,600 miles per hour… slamming into its target with 32 times the force of a 1-ton car being thrust at 100 mph.”
Rail guns are designed to destroy basically anything, anywhere, on the land, sea, or in the air. The Navy may one day destroy the biggest, most expensive ships with nothing but a hunk of metal traveling really, really fast.
The military even hopes to use rail guns one day to shoot down incoming missiles.
Lead judge says court felt “uneasiness” as Washington exerts pressure on Cairo over case involving 16 US citizens.
All three judges in Egypt’s trial of 43 NGO workers have pulled out of the case, according to a court official.
The defendants, including 16 US citizens, are charged with using illegal foreign funds to foment unrest that has roiled Egypt over the past year.
The non-governmental organisations flatly deny the charges, and US officials have hinted foreign aid to Egypt could be in jeopardy because of the case.
Mohammed Shoukry, the lead judge in the case, said on Tuesday that “the court felt uneasiness” in handling the case, according to a court official. He did not elaborate.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said new judges would be assigned to the case.
The trial has so far only made it as far as its opening session, and would need to be restarted with a new panel of judges.
Combined with indications that the two countries are trying to find an acceptable resolution to the crisis, there is speculation that the case could be dropped.
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, told two senate panels on Tuesday that the US and Egypt, which has long been
Vintage Bentley ‘Blower’ that hit 137mph in 1931 set to fetch $8m and become the most expensive British car sold publicly
The 1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre, driven by British racing legend Sir Henry ‘Tiger Tim’ Birkin, set a lap record at the iconic Brooklands Outer Circuit in 1931 when it hit a staggering 137mph. Experts estimate the classic Bentley could fetch up to £5million – making it the most expensive British-built car ever sold publicly.
Armageddon 2040: Nasa identifies new asteroid threat which ‘could hit Earth’ in 30 years’ time – and UN teams are working out how to divert it
By ROB WAUGH
It is 460ft wide and soaring through space – on a possible collision course with Earth.
Nasa has identified a new asteroid threat to our planet
and calculated that it could potentially impact on February 5th 2040.
The 2011 AG5 has already attracted the concern of the UN Action Team on near-Earth objects, which has begun discussing ways to divert it.
They have put the odds of it hitting us at one in
Were the rock to land on a city it could cause millions of deaths, although mankind would live through it. 625, though that could change nearer the time.
The asteroid which wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was nine miles wide, compared to 460ft for the 2011 AG5.
Scientists have not yet been able to work out much more about it than its size as they have only been able to observe it for half its orbit.
But between 2013 and 2016 they will be able to monitor from the ground and will make a more detailed assessment.
In 2023 the rock will make a ‘keyhole pass’ of Earth, which is an area it passes through on the orbit before it would hit Earth.
According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, this will will be within a mere 0.02 astronomical units of our planet, or 1.86 million miles.
Missing hospitality exec found dead in office garage after police find letter about missing $900,000 in his office
The body of the missing hospitality association CEO was found in a garage this morning less than two weeks after $900,000 was discovered missing from the company’s accounts.
The president of South Carolina’s Hospitality Association Tom Sponsellor, 61, appeared to have shot himself in the head in a locked room where employees usually took smoke breaks.
Despite the garage being searched three times in the ten days since he disappeared, officers did not have the key to the room until today.Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott said a note found today in Sponseller’s office referred to a federal investigation into the association’s finances.
It emerged last week that more than $100,000 and possibly up to $900,000 was missing from the association’s accounts.
Investigators told The State newspaper that the association’s accounting director, Rachel Duncan, is a person of interest in the missing money case. However, she has not been charged at this stage.
Greg Harris, a defense attorney representing Duncan, 41, declined to comment on allegations of missing money.
Interpol has arrested 25 suspected members of the ‘
‘ hackers group in a swoop covering more than a dozen cities in Europe and Latin America, the global police body said on Tuesday.
“Operation Unmask was launched in mid-February following a series of coordinated cyber-attacks originating from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain,” said Interpol, based in the French city of Lyon.
The statement cited attacks on the websites of the Colombian Ministry of Defence and the presidency, as well as on Chile’s Endesa electricity company and its National Library, among others.
The operation was carried out by police from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain, the statement said, with 250 items of computer equipment and mobile phones seized in raids on 40 premises in 15 cities.
Police also seized credit cards and cash from the suspects, aged 17 to 40.
“This operation shows that crime in the virtual world does have real consequences for those involved, and that the Internet cannot be seen as a safe haven for criminal activity,” said Bernd Rossbach, Interpol’s acting director of police services.