Category Archives: Washington
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
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
WASHINGTON – US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has thrown Washington’s support behind the new austerity measures agreed by Greece and said the US backed the idea of a new IMF loan for Athens.
“We welcome the program of economic reforms agreed to by the prime minister of Greece and the coalition parties, and the public statement of support from the major economies of Europe,” Geithner said in a statement Sunday.
“This is a very strong and very difficult package of reforms, deserving of support of the international community and the IMF. The United States will encourage the IMF to support this agreement.”
The Greek parliament has approved a series of measures worth 3.2 billion euros in return for a second bailout deal that would write off 100 billion euros of debt and provide a loan of 130 billion euros to Greece.
Eurozone finance ministers are due to finalize the deal in Brussels on Monday in a bid to try to save Greece — which has already been granted a 110-billion-euro rescue package — from bankruptcy.
The International Monetary Fund, which in May 2010 gave Greece a 30-billion-euro loan as part of the first bailout, has remained silent in recent months on the idea of a new loan.
Its member states are divided on whether to continue financing a country that has not respected its financial commitments. The United States is the largest shareholder in the Fund and has enough votes to block any decision.
read more at www.chinapost.com
February 17, 2012
An email leaked by multiple active duty personnel shows that the military has issued a warning to troops encouraging them not to take part in the upcoming Veterans for Ron Paul 2012 march in Washington on Monday.
The email, posted to the group’s facebook event page and sent to organiser Adam Kokesh by several unconfirmed sources, lays out several directives on participation in political events by active and non active duty military.
Referring to the event as a “partisan political march”, the insinuation is clear – any active duty personnel, whether in uniform or not, and any reservists marching in uniform or otherwise deemed to be endorsing Ron Paul, could be reprimanded.