Stimulus bill plays a larger role in campaigns than in some voters’ lives
Many voters can’t see any direct benefit from the federal money, even when they live near a marquee infrastructure project. They see a static economy but differ on what that means for candidates.
By Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times
November 1, 2010
Reporting from Concord, Calif. – The upcoming election was far from cabinetmaker Kevin Rodriguez’ mind as he and his 5-year-old son watched a Halloween parade last week in a downtown plaza of this East Bay community.
Over the last two years as the nation slid into recession, the 46-year-old independent voter lost his business and was forced to sell his house. He has scraped together a living from side jobs, savings and unemployment benefits, which are about to run out. He even contemplated the once-unthinkable: applying for food stamps.
Spooky stuff from NASA
Did you know that NASA has a spokesman who talks to dead people? That’s not the only thing that’s spooky about the space effort. Halloween is the perfect time to touch upon the freaky side of the final frontier.
This week The Washington Post profiled Rob Gutro, the deputy news chief at Goddard Space Flight Center, who happens to be a meteorologist as well as a medium. When he wears his space-agency hat, Gutro deals with research into hurricanes and other types of storms. But in his other life, he tromps through haunted buildings, communes with spirits and snaps pictures of ghostly orbs.
Federal Reserve’s, Bernanke’s credibility on line with new move to boost economy
By Neil Irwin
Washington Post Staff Writer
The Federal Reserve is preparing to put its credibility on the line as it rarely has before by taking dramatic new action this week to try jolting the economy out of its slumber.
But should the Fed overshoot in its plan to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy, it could produce the same kind of bubbles in the housing and stock markets that caused the slowdown. Or the efforts could fall short and fail to energize the economy, leaving a clear impression that the mighty Fed is out of bullets – thus adding even more anxiety to an already dire situation.
Conservative Donors Lay a Base for 2012 Elections
By JIM RUTENBERG
Published: October 31, 2010
WASHINGTON – The midterm election campaign will end Tuesday, but one of its most marked developments – the emergence of outside groups, often backed by anonymous donations, that can direct waves of advertising into political battles – is just getting started.
Buoyed by the impact their blistering, anti-Democratic campaigns have had this year, two of the largest new conservative groups helping Republicans are planning to keep pushing their agenda in the lame-duck session of Congress that will begin in two weeks and are already laying the groundwork for a more aggressive campaign in the 2012 presidential race.
Priest abuse victims protest at Vatican
Victims of sex abuse by priests across the world took their calls for justice to Pope Benedict XVI’s door on Sunday, yelling “Shame!” at a Vatican official in an angry protest.
Published: 12:00AM GMT 01 Nov 2010
Around 60 protesters – victims of abuse and their families – gathered near St. Peter’s Basilica with banners and torches and shouted “Shame on you!” at Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s spokesman, when he appeared.
Victims from Australia, Belgium, The Netherlands and the United States held up banners saying “The Pope protects paedophile priests,” “Church without abuse” and “Pope on trial.”
“Enough is enough,” said Bernie McDaid, victim and co-founder of Survivor’s Voice, the US group behind the protest.
One in four voters support Austria’s freedom party
The Irish Times – Monday, November 1, 2010
DEREK SCALLY in Berlin
ONE IN four Austrian voters supports the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), a new poll has revealed, the level of support that helped the party into office a decade ago.
Boosted by a strong result in recent Viennese city elections, the FPÖ is reportedly working on plans to expand into Germany, as party head Heinz-Christian Strache finally steps out of the shadow of his predecessor and mentor, the late Jörg Haider.
The poll for Der Standard newspaper gave the FPÖ the same 25 per cent support as the conservative ÖVP, its one-time coalition partner.
Investigation falters as female bomber suspect is released
By Kim Sengupta, Defence correspondent
Monday, 1 November 2010
A 22-year-old Yemeni woman who was arrested on suspicion of sending bombs to American synagogues was released last night after the country’s officials admitted that they no longer believed she was responsible for the shipment.
Hanan al-Samawi, an engineering student at Sana’a University, had been arrested along with her 45-year-old mother, who was later released. At first police maintained that Ms al-Samawi’s mobile telephone had been traced in connection with the packages.
Hostages killed as Iraqi police storm Catholic church
November 1, 2010 – 8:24AM
Seven Christians were killed and at least 13 wounded in a rescue operation involving US and Iraqi forces to end a hostage drama at a church in the Iraqi capital, officials said.
All eight gunmen were also killed on Sunday when US and Iraqi forces mounted a joint operation to rescue worshippers held hostage in the Sayidat al-Nejat church in the Karrada neighbourhood.
The gunmen had stormed the church during evening mass after killing two guards at the nearby headquarters of the Baghdad stock exchange.
Burma’s regime prepares for victory despite poll boycott call
By Ambika Reddy in Rangoon Monday, 1 November 2010
The leader of Burma’s democratic movement, Aung San Suu Kyi, is due to be released from house arrest here on 13 November, but the governing junta has warned that she could be put on trial again if she continues to remind the public that they have the right to abstain from voting.
In a long article published on Sunday in the newspaper The New Light of Myanmar, which is the regime’s mouthpiece, the writer, Kyaw Myo Aung, said: “A voter can choose not to vote, but a person who is found guilty of inciting the people to boycott the election is liable for not more than one’s year’s prison term or a fine of up to 100,000 kyats [£9,700], or both.”
With wealth comes fat, China finds
Obesity becomes more common as the traditional diet of vegetables and rice is weighted down with meat, oil and sugary snacks. And why ride a bike when you can drive your car?
By Lily Kuo, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Beijing – Tian Ning shuffled unsteadily across his room at a weight loss clinic in Beijing, not exactly looking like the picture of health, but triumphant nonetheless.
In six months, Tian has gone from the unglamorous subject of a reality intervention television show called “Tian Weighs 462 Pounds, Beijing’s Fattest Man,” to a man eagerly approaching his ideal weight of 220. His meals are monitored and a machine jiggles his midsection for an hour of exercise each day at the Kelikexin International Weight Loss Club. For a bit of extra exercise, he goes for walks by himself.
Rousseff wins Brazil election
Ruling party candidate has defeated rival Jose Serra in vote and will become Brazil’s first female president.
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2010
Dilma Rousseff has won Brazil’s presidential election and will become the first woman to lead the Latin American economic powerhouse.
Rousseff was declared winner of Sunday’s poll by more than 10 percentage points, beating rival Jose Serra with 55.5 per cent of valid votes cast to his 44.5 per cent.
The 62-year-old former guerrilla leader will be sworn in as the country’s president on January 1 after running a campaign that highlighted her links to outgoing president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
In her first pledge as president-elect, Rousseff vowed to eradicate poverty affecting 20 million people in her nation.