12:58 PM, July 11th, 2012

Frontpage: Wednesday, July 11th

  1. Spain Unleashes New Austerity MeasuresThe Spanish government is celebrating being granted a big bank bailout by the U.N. with a brand-new plan for austerity. Spain plans to tighten its belt even further through a new hike in sales tax on such things as cigarettes, cars, clothing, and telephone services, as well as public transportation, processed foods, and hotel and bar services. They’re also adding several more spending cuts in the hope of taking $79.85 billion off its total budget over the next two and a half years.
  2. Parliament: Diamond Misled UsBob Diamond may have resigned and agreed to testify in front of British Parliament when an interest-rate-fixing scandal within Barclays Bank, of which he was CEO, came to light. But now British lawmakers think Diamond misled Parliament during its inquiry into the Barclays scandal. 
  3. GOP: Stop Health Care Law, Stop Tax: House Republicans are on a mission to repeal President Obama’s health-care overhaul, and they’re latching onto the wording of the Supreme Court’s recent decision two weeks ago. The House of Representatives has voted at least 30 times to get rid of Obamacare in some way and will do so yet again on Wednesday, this time making the argument that by doing so, they’d be saving about 20 million Americans from paying an unnecessary tax. 
  4. Hillary Clinton Visits Laos: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a stop in Laos Wednesday while traveling through Asia, and was faced with several reminders of the Vietnam War. Her visit was the first by an American secretary of state in 57 years.
  5. Holder: Texas ID Law a Poll Tax: Embattled Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at the NAACP’s annual convention on Tuesday just after federal judges in Washington began hearing a lawsuit over Texas’s voter-identification law. “We will not allow political pretext to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right,” Holder declared before the crowd of 600 in Houston. The U.S. Justice Department, led by Holder, has opposed Texas’s photo-ID requirement for voters, finding it more harmful to minorities than helpful.

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Photo of The Day: July 10, 2012

President Barack Obama discusses middle class tax cuts with Jason and Ali McLaughlin at their home in Iowa.


Reblogged from Picture Dept
11:38 AM, July 10th, 2012

Frontpage: Tuesday, July 10th

  1. Annan: Iran Part of Syrian SolutionFollowing talks with the Iranian foreign minister, U.N. envoy to Syria Kofi Annan argued, in a press conference Tuesday, that Iran should be “part of the solution” to Syrian turmoil. “My presence here [in Tehran] proves that I believe Iran can play a positive role,” he said. 
  2. Not All Dems Stand With ObamaYesterday President Obama called on Congress to renew Bush-era tax cuts for just one year for Americans making under $250,000. He was expecting trouble from Republicans eager to keep the tax cuts for wealthiest Americans around forever, but he’s also getting some push-back from his own party. Embattled members of both the House and Senate, such as Sen. Claire McCaskill from Missouri, Senate hopeful Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Rep. Shelley Berkley of Nevada, say they’d either prefer to raise taxes on people making over $1 million per year, or permanently extend the Bush-era cuts for anyone making less than that. 
  3. Diamond Gives Up $31M in Bonuses: Former-CEO Robert Diamond is giving up $31 million in deferred bonuses. New insight into the Barclays Libor scandal reveals that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York may have known that the British bank was manipulating global interest rates as early as August of 2007. In 2008 the Fed even offered up some suggestions to British authorities on how to fix the system. 
  4. Ex-Israeli P.M. Cleared of CorruptionAfter three years as prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert resigned in 2008 amid a high-profile corruption scandal. Now Olmert has been cleared on two charges of corruption. He was convicted on a third, less drastic charge—of breach of trust—which he’s expected to appeal. 
  5. Egyptian Parliament Meets in CairoLegislators gathered in Cairo Tuesday for a meeting of Egypt’s now-dissolved Parliament, despite opposition from the senior military generals and high-court judges. During the short meeting, lawmakers approved a proposal by the speaker—a member of the Muslim Brotherhood—to appeal an earlier ruling that reviving the defunct Parliament went outside the law. 

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Photo of the Day: July 9, 2012

Potocari, Bosnia and Herzegovina. A Bosnian Muslim man prays near coffins prepared for a mass burial at the Memorial Centeron July 9, 2012. The bodies of 520 recently identified victims of the Srebrenica massacre will be buried on July 11, the anniversary of the massacre when Bosnian Serb forces commanded by Ratko Mladic slaughtered 8,000 Muslim men and boys and buried them in mass graves, in Europe’s worst massacre since World War Two.

photo: Dada Ruvic, Reuters / Landov


Reblogged from Picture Dept
11:44 AM, July 5th, 2012

Frontpage: Thursday, July 5th

  1. Fukushima a ‘Man-Made Disaster’: A parliamentary inquiry into last year’s nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant concludes that Japanese conformist culture and government-industry alliances were to blame. “It was a profoundly man-made disaster that could and should have been foreseen and prevented,” declared the report. 
  2. Barclay’s Scandal to Spread: It’s been a rough week for Bob Diamond. First he was forced to resign from his position as CEO of Barclays after the bank came under fire for falsifying interest rates and then, Wednesday, he was raked over the coals by parliament. But Barclays is hardly the only bank that will undergo investigation for manipulating the London interbank offered rate (Libor). Other banks also projected artificially low rates at the beginning of the financial crisis to give the impression that they were not suffering.
  3. Wikileaks to Release 2.4M Syrian EmailsUh oh Assad, you’ve got some explaining to do. WikiLeaks announced Thursday that it is publishing 2.4 million Syria emails, several from government accounts. An official said that the emails show a relationship between Assad’s government and Western companies.
  4. ECB Drops Rates to Record LowThe European Central Bank’s benchmark interest rate has dropped from 1 percent to 0.75 percent—its lowest level ever—in an effort to keep the euro from deteriorating any further.  The cut will likely be welcomed by politicians and economists alike. 
  5. Obama Going on Blue-Collar Bus TourNow that the Fourth of July celebration is over, President Obama is hitting the road. His first bus tour of the 2012 campaign will take him to several cities in battleground states like Ohio and Pennsylvania to court, specifically, male, blue-collar workers. 

Photo via picturedept:

Happy Birthday America

The 4th of July celebration in Washington DC, July 4th, 2007

(Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

Or watch San Diego’s firework show, which, due to a malfunction, went off all at once

Reblogged from Picture Dept
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