US AAA credit rating downgraded
Breaking: US AAA credit rating downgraded 05 Aug 2011 One of the top credit rating agencies, Standard & Poor's, has downgraded the United States' top-notch AAA rating. S&P cut the long-term US credit rating by one notch to AA+, citing concerns about growing budget deficits. As rumours swirled earlier about the downgrade, unnamed US officials had told US media that S&P's analysis of the US economic situation was flawed.
Breaking: Plane Is Evacuated in Philadelphia Over Threatening Note 06 Aug 2011 A US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Anchorage was evacuated at Philadelphia International Airport on Friday afternoon after a threatening note was found, the Transportation Security Administration and airline officials said. Flight 968 had 157 passengers and 6 crew members on board when, about 4:30 p.m., the security agency ordered everyone off the plane "out of an abundance of caution," the agency said in a statement. Valerie Wunder, a spokeswoman for US Airways, said the plane, a Boeing 757 that originated in Glasgow, was taken to a remote location.
Plane evacuated in Philadelphia over
unspecified threat 05 Aug 2011 A US Airways Boeing
757 with 157 passengers on board was evacuated on Friday at
Philadelphia International Airport because of what airline
officials called a "non-specific threat." US Airways
spokeswoman Liz Landau said the aircraft was preparing for
departure to Anchorage, Alaska, after having arrived from
Glasgow, Scotland, when Transportation Security
Administration officials ordered the plane evacuated and
moved to a remote location away from the terminal.
Obama wants Pentagon's top weapons buyer for Defense nominee 04 Aug 2011 When President Obama nominated former Raytheon lobbyist William J. Lynn III as deputy defense secretary early in his administration, critics railed that the move clashed with Mr. Obama's campaign pledge to close the revolving door between government and the defense industry. Now that Mr. Lynn is leaving, Mr. Obama wants to promote the Pentagon's top weapons buyer, Ashton Carter, to the job. Mr. Carter received $65,000 from the Mitre Corp., more than $100,000 from Global Technology Partners, $20,000 from Goldman Sachs, and $10,000 from Raytheon. ['He's just sort of a watered-down conservative.' --Chris Matthews on Barack Obama, 'Hardball,' 04 Aug 2011.]
'Ten explosions rock Libyan capital' 05 Aug 2011 Ten explosions have rocked southeastern suburb of the Libyan capital city of Tripoli as NATO continues its airstrikes against the North African country, reports says. The blasts took place early Friday as NATO warplanes targeted the city, AFP reported. According to Libyan state television, "Civilian and military sites" at the southeastern suburb of Khellat al-Ferjan had been targeted by "the colonialist aggressor." On Thursday, a NATO airstrike killed a mother and her two children in the coastal town of Zliten, said a Libyan local official.
'IDF troops shot at journalists covering W. Bank protest' 05 Aug 2011 An American-Israeli photojournalist on Thursday lodged a complaint with the IDF Spokesman's Office, the Government Press Office and the Foreign Press Association, alleging that IDF soldiers intentionally fired anti-riot projectiles at him and a fellow journalist while they were covering a protest in the West Bank village of Nabi Salih last Friday. "At the start of the weekly Palestinian protest in Nabi Salih, Alexandroni Brigade reservists and Border Police officers opened fire with riot-control weapons on a group of some 10 press photographers," Mati Milstein, 36, and originally from New Mexico, said in his complaint letter.
Former CIA Counter-Terror Chief: Al Qaeda
Will Go Cyber [LOL!] 04 Aug 2011 The former
head of the Central Intelligence Agency's Counter Terrorism
Center said today that a battered al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] will
likely focus more on a new front in their global jihad
against the West: cyberspace. Cofer Black, who spent nearly
30 years with the CIA and was head of the CTC during the
Sept. 11 terror attacks, said al Qaeda would likely fall
back into "small and agile" tactics, including online
attacks. "They will enter the cyber world because it's
comparatively remote, comparatively safer than strapping on
a bomb," Black said during his keynote speech at the Black
Hat Technical Security Conference in Las Vegas
Japan to sack top officials over nuclear disaster --Move follows series of scandals in which govt. officials in charge of safeguarding operations of nuclear power plants tried to influence public opinion on atomic energy 04 Aug 2011 Japan will replace three senior bureaucrats in charge of nuclear power policy, the minister overseeing energy policy said on Thursday, five months after the world's worst atomic crisis in 25 years erupted at Fukushima. The move comes as Prime Minister Naoto Kan calls for enhanced nuclear safety accountability and an overhaul of Japan's energy policy, with the aim of gradually weaning it off its dependence on nuclear power as public safety concerns mount.
New Orleans officers guilty in Katrina shootings 05 Aug 2011 A federal jury found four New Orleans police officers guilty on Friday of civil rights violations over the shooting deaths of civilians in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina [blown levies] and a subsequent cover-up. But the jury stopped short of calling the shootings murder, declining to classify them as intentional. A fifth officer was also convicted of helping the others cover up the incident. The charges were linked to the New Orleans police shootings on the Danziger Bridge in 2005 that killed two civilians, 17-year-old James Brissette and 40-year-old Ronald Madison, and seriously wounded four others.
72 percent disapprove of way GOP in Congress handled debt ceiling negotiations --Tea Party viewed unfavorably by 40 percent of public and favorably by just 20 percent 05 Aug 2011 The debate over raising the debt ceiling, which brought the nation to the brink of default, has sent disapproval of Congress to its highest level on record and left most Americans saying that creating jobs should now take priority over cutting spending, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. A record 82 percent of Americans now disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job -- the most since The Times first began asking the question in 1977, and even more than after another political stalemate led to a shutdown of the federal government in 1995.
Poll: Debt deal bad for Boehner 04 Aug 2011 House Speaker John Boehner boasted this week that he got 98 percent of what he wanted out of the debt and deficit negotiations with the White House and Senate Democrats. But Boehner's apparent victory may be a Pyrrhic one. A new national poll not only finds record low approval ratings for Congress overall, but it also shows the American public disapproving of how congressional Republicans and the tea party handled the debt talks. Fifty-seven percent of Americans disapprove of the way Boehner is handling his job, according to a New York Times/CBS News survey released Thursday evening.
Kentucky to privatize management of Medicaid program By Ryan Rahilly 05 Aug 2011 Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D) is spearheading the privatization of Medicaid in the state, a move that will restrict services for the program's 815,000 enrollees. More than one in five residents in the state depend upon the health care program for the poor. Private companies will begin managing care for most recipients of Medicaid by October 1. Four private for-profit companies, including Passport, Kentucky's only managed-care company, will control the Medicaid plans.
Elderly Dallas Woman Dies From Heat After Air Conditioner Stolen 04 Aug 2011 A 79-year-old Oak Cliff woman succumbs to the North Texas heat and dies in her home just two days after reporting to police that her central air conditioner had been stolen. Dolores Grissom's home sits on a corner with the air conditioning unit is completely exposed; only protected by a cage with a lock. On July 14 Grissom reported that her $2,500 unit was stolen. On July 16 she was found dead. Just this week the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office completed their report that stated Grissom’s death was heat-related.
U.S. incomes fell sharply in 2009: IRS data 04 Aug 2011 U.S. incomes plummeted again in 2009, with total income down 15.2 percent in real terms since 2007, new tax data showed on Wednesday. The data showed an alarming drop in the number of taxpayers reporting any earnings from a job -- down by nearly 4.2 million from 2007 -- meaning every 33rd household that had work in 2007 had no work in 2009. Average income in 2009 fell to $54,283, down $3,516, or 6.1 percent in real terms compared with 2008, the first Internal Revenue Service analysis of 2009 tax returns showed.
Rough Week For Wall Street Ends With S&P Credit Downgrade 05 Aug 2011 The S&P credit rating agency has capped off a rough week on Wall Street with the United States' first downgrade from a rating of AAA to AA+. The news came hours after Wall Street investors rebounded from yesterday's stock freefall, as the latest jobs report showed a slight uptick in hiring. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 61 points by close, but traded in a huge range of 400 points. The S&P 500 fell a point and the Nasdaq was down 24 points. This close follows Thursday, which was the worst day on Wall Street since the financial crisis back in 2008.
US Stocks Plunge As Recession Fears Drive Worst Loss Since Financial Crisis --Dow down more than 11% from its April closing highs--putting index officially in correction territory 04 Aug 2011 Stocks plunged, driving the Dow Jones Industrial Average to close down more than 500 points, as investors appeared to lose faith in the ability of the world's policy makers to revive the global economy and stave off a rolling debt crisis in Europe. The Dow finished just off session lows with a 512.76-point decline, or 4.31%, to 11383.68, erasing all its gains for 2011. It was the measure's biggest single-day point loss since Dec. 1, 2008, when the Dow plunged 679.95 points at the height of the financial crisis, one of the market's worst days ever.
Japanese stocks join U.S. share meltdown 04 Aug 2011 Japanese stocks joined a massive equity plunge in early Friday trading, with export-focused firms leading the dive. The Nikkei Stock Average saw 3.8% of its value evaporate, falling to 9,295.08, while the Topix tumbled 3.6% to 797.01. Tech shares were punished hard after their U.S. peers dropped on global growth concerns.
Mountain lion killed in Connecticut had walked from S. Dakota 26 Jul 2011 DNA tests show that a 140-pound mountain lion killed last month on a Connecticut highway had walked more than 1,500 miles east from the Black Hills of South Dakota., state officials said today. The epic journey was the longest ever recorded for a mountain lion. "The confirmation of a wild mountain lion in our state was the first recorded in more than 100 years," said Daniel Esty, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.