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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Sunday December 7 2008 - (813)

Sunday December 7 2008 edition
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Obama Pledges Public Works On A Vast Scale
2008-12-06 16:25:11
President-elect Barack Obama committed Saturday to the largest public works construction program since the creation of the interstate highway system a half-century ago as he seeks to put together a plan to resuscitate the reeling economy.

With unemployment on the rise and no end to the recession in sight, Obama began highlighting elements of the economic recovery program he is trying to fashion with Congressional leaders in hopes of being able to enact it shortly after being sworn in on Jan. 20.

Obama’s remarks sought to expand the definition of traditional work programs for the middle class, like infrastructure projects to repair roads and bridges, while also pushing a federal effort to bring in new-era jobs in technology and so-called green jobs.

Although he put no price tag on it, he said he would invest record amounts of money in the vast infrastructure program, which also includes work on schools, sewer systems, mass transit, electric grids, dams and other public utilities. He vowed to upgrade computers in schools, expand broadband Internet access, make government buildings more energy efficient and improve information technology at hospitals and doctors’ offices.

“We need action - and action now,” Obama said in an address taped for broadcast Saturday morning on radio and YouTube.


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Oil Prices Drop To Four-Year Low
2008-12-06 16:24:44
Oil prices hit four-year lows Friday as employers cut the highest number of jobs in 34 years. The continuing decline in prices is so dramatic and so sudden that it is raising the prospect that gas prices could soon fall below $1 a gallon.

The worst jobs data in 34 years on Friday just added more fuel to the deepening global recession as U.S. employers slashed a far worse-than-expected 533,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate rose to a 15-year high of 6.7 percent.

A gallon of gasoline can be had for 50 cents less than it cost just last month, and people are starting to talk about $1 gas.

Granted, gas prices are a long way off from that magic number last seen in March 1999 when prices were at 97 cents a gallon, according to motor club AAA. Prices at the pump fell 1.6 cents overnight to $1.773 nationally, according to AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express.

Consider what has happened since July 11 when a barrel of oil hit a record $147.27 and a gallon of gas was $4.117 on July 17. In less than five months, oil has fallen 72 percent.


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India Police Arrest Two New Suspects In Mumbai Attacks
2008-12-06 16:24:12
The ongoing probe into last week's Mumbai attacks widened late Friday night as Indian police began investigating the possibility of local support groups with the arrest of two new suspects in New Delhi and the eastern city of Calcutta.

Police arrested two men identified as Tausif Rehman,28, and Mukhtar Ahmed Sheikh, 35, for buying cell phone cards using forged documents. Officials now want to investigate whether the gunmen in Mumbai used these cards to make calls during their attacks last week.

"We are questioning them about procurement of SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards used in Mumbai," Jawed Shamim, the deputy commissioner of police in Calcutta, told news agency Reuters. Mumbai police officials had earlier traced some of the SIM cards used in the Mumbai attack to the state of West Bengal, whose capital is the city of Calcutta.

At least 174 people were killed and 230 injured when ten gunmen struck India's financial capital of Mumbai and laid siege to two luxury hotels and one Jewish prayer center after attacking people at a restaurant and a train station.

Police on Saturday removed a bomb that was wrapped in a black plastic bag at a private hospital in Nagpur, a city 330 miles from Mumbai, after a doctor received a phone call that there would be an explosion.


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17 Killed In Dramatic Shootout In Philippines
2008-12-06 16:23:34
Gunmen armed with automatic weapons and grenades fired on Philippine police officers who were tailing them, leaving at least 17 people dead in a fierce shootout in a Manila suburb on Saturday.

Officers were following suspected members of a robbery gang when the gunmen sensed the surveillance and opened fire, triggering the gunfight late Friday near a residential subdivision in suburban Paranaque city, said metropolitan Manila police chief Leopoldo Bataoil.

He said the gunmen, some armed with M-16 rifles fitted with grenade launchers, thought they had been cornered and fired at everyone in sight.

"When they found out they were being trailed ... they went berserk," he said. "They fired all around, including at a flammable tanker beside a warehouse."

Among those killed were 12 suspected members of the gang and a police officer. Four people nearby, including a man and his 7-year-old daughter who were sitting inside their car, were also killed.


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When A Job Disappears, So Does Health Care
2008-12-06 16:25:00
As jobless numbers reach levels not seen in 25 years, another crisis is unfolding for millions of people who lost their health insurance along with their jobs, joining the ranks of the uninsured.

The crisis is on display here in Ashland, Ohio. Starla D. Darling, 27, was pregnant when she learned that her insurance coverage was about to end. She rushed to the hospital, took a medication to induce labor and then had an emergency Caesarean section, in the hope that her Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan would pay for the delivery.

Wendy R. Carter, 41, who recently lost her job and her health benefits, is struggling to pay $12,942 in bills for a partial hysterectomyat a local hospital. Her daughter, Betsy A. Carter, 19, has pain in her lower right jaw, where a wisdom tooth is growing in. But she has not seen a dentist because she has no health insurance.

Darling and Wendy Carter are among 275 people who worked at an Archway cookie factory here in north central Ohio. The company provided excellent health benefits. But the plant shut down abruptly this fall, leaving workers without coverage, like millions of people battered by the worst economic crisis since the Depression.

About 10.3 million Americans were unemployed in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of unemployed has increased by 2.8 million, or 36 percent, since January of this year, and by 4.3 million, or 71 percent, since January 2001.


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Democrats, White House Near Short-Term Deal For Automakers
2008-12-06 16:24:30

Jolted by news of the worst job losses in more than 30 years, congressional Democrats were near an agreement with the White HouseFriday on a plan to speed at least $15 billion to the faltering Detroit automakers in hopes of averting the collapse of an industry that supports millions of U.S. jobs.

In talks with White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) dropped her long-standing opposition to tapping a loan program created by Congress to fund the development of fuel-efficient cars. Pelosi agreed instead to use the money to provide immediate cash to General Motors and Chrysler. Without government help, GM executives have said their company may not survive the month.

Pelosi is insisting, however, that money pulled from the loan program be "replenished in a matter of weeks so as not to delay that crucial initiative," she said in a statement. The White House has yet to agree to those terms, senior congressional aides said, but Democrats believe President bush would be unlikely to veto a bill over those provisions.

The apparent breakthrough comes as the House and the Senate prepare to return to Washington next week to respond to requests from the Detroit automakers for as much as $38 billion to help them survive the economic downturn. The auto executives appeared on Capitol Hill for a second day Friday, making a desperate plea for the funds. News that the nation had shed 533,000 jobs in November - the most since 1974 - added urgency to their appeal.

"Today's announcement of major job losses and findings from Congressional hearings from the last two days make it clear that Congress must work on a bipartisan basis to provide short-term and limited assistance to the automobile industry while it undertakes major restructuring," Pelosi said in a statement.


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Indicted Blackwater Guards' Lawyers Slam Government
2008-12-06 16:23:50

Attorneys representing five Blackwater security guards charged in a shooting that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead last year accused the government Saturday of overstepping its authority and engaging in unfair second-guessing of the contractors' actions in a war zone.

The five guards - a sixth is in plea negotiations - were indicted on Thursday by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., according to several sources familiar with the case. The indictment was sealed, and the exact charges are not known. The guards are expected to surrender to federal authorities Monday, said the sources.

Sources familiar with the case and the contractors' lawyers identified those indicted as: Evan Liberty, 26, of Rochester, New Hampshire; Nicholas Slatten, 25, of Sparta, Tennessee; Dustin Heard, 27, of Maryville, Tennessee; Donald Ball, 26, of Salt Late City, Utah; and Paul Slough, 29, of Sanger, Texas.

The guards' lawyers declined to discuss their legal strategy but said they will fight the the government on jurisdictional and factual grounds.


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1 Comments:

Blogger Mberenis said...

I think this is a great blog, and I would like to Post a Comment

There has been some recent news you might like to hear.Obama is making it better for us already! There has been an increase of money availability to everyone. Due to recession there is increased funding for all types of grants. Even lenders are bending over backwards to bail you out too. Regardless of statistics, there is people getting tons of cheap money for personal use, investments,start businesses, buy homes, pay off debt, and more. Bailout is for YOU

1:21 AM  

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