Wednesday, April 25, 2012
President Obama signed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act earlier this month, which was passed after a 60 Minutes investigation revealed that members of Congress were profiting from information they received in their official capacity. House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL), for instance, made nearly $30,000 trading on information he received during private briefings during the 2008 financial crisis.
The original version of the STOCK Act that passed out of the Senate included a provision that would have required Washington insiders who sell intelligence to corporate America to register as lobbyists. However, that provision was ultimately stripped from the bill by House Republicans. And according to an analysis by The Hill, it was Wall Street lobbying that proved the catalyst
Wall Street Lobbied Hard To Water Down Law On Congressional Insider Trading
at 11:44 AM |
Hospital patients waiting in an emergency room or convalescing after surgery are being confronted by an unexpected visitor: a debt collector at bedside.
This and other aggressive tactics by one of the nation’s largest collectors of medical debts, Accretive Health
Debt Collector is Faulted for Tough Tactics in Hospitals
at 11:39 AM |
Maine is the most peaceful state in America and Louisiana the least, according to rankings by an Australian think tank called the Institute for Economics and Peace.
The rankings are based on the prevalence of violent crimes, homicides, police employees, size of the prison population and small arms availability.
Overall, 2011 was the most peaceful year the United States has experienced in 20 years. Homicides and violent crimes both dropped by more than 3 percent last year, while the murder rate has plummeted a staggering 50 percent since 1991, when the survey first started. However, prison violence—which is not counted in the report—has risen dramatically as the number of people behind bars has also grown. (The United States has a higher percentage of its population incarcerated than any other nation.) Almost half of all forcible rapes occur in prison.
Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Utah were the top five most peaceful states. Louisiana was the least peaceful, followed by Tennessee, Nevada, Florida and Arizona.
at 10:19 AM |
That's guns are used for--killing the innocent:
A Florida couple was on a weekend camping trip that ended in an airlift to the emergency room.
Steven Egan, 52, was hunting with his girlfriend, Lisa Simmons, in the northern part of the state when he mistook her for a hog and shot her.
"He saw a hog and thought he shot it and went to look for it," Maj. Steve Clair of the Flagler County Sheriff's Office told ABC News. "He heard her and thought it was a hog and just shot."
Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reports that a woman starved to death after embarking on a spiritual diet that required her to stop eating or drinking and live off sunlight alone.
The Zurich newspaper reported Wednesday that the unnamed Swiss woman in her fifties decided to follow the radical fast in 2010 after viewing an Austrian documentary about an Indian guru who claims to have lived this way for 70 years.
Tages-Anzeiger says there have been similar cases of self-starvation in Germany, Britain and Australia.
Batteries made in America for America and backed by America. That's how politicians hailed Ener1.
The company tapped the country's top scientists at Argonne National Lab in Illinois, and U.S. taxpayers pledged up to $118 million in federal stimulus funds and $80 million in state and local incentives to help Ener1 produce cutting-edge battery technology for electric cars and the U.S. military.
"This is about the future. And the question is which nation is going to seize the future. Some nation is going to grab it by the throat. One of the nations of the world is going to lead the world in green energy and technology," Vice President Joe Biden said in January 2011 in a speech praising federal support for Ener1 at its facility in Indiana.
That nation, in this case, is Russia.
A little more than a year after Biden's visit to Ener1's Indiana manufacturing plant, the company is owned outright by Boris Zingarevich, a Russian businessman with ties to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a fact that concerns some technology experts in the U.S.
at 9:47 AM |
It's clear that the British authorities will not take on Rupert Murdoch. He should be prosecuted and thrown in jail for being behind the massive hacking scandal. And Murdoch should lose his TV license in the U.S.
News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch defended his globe-spanning, half-a-century long media career Wednesday, telling an official inquiry into U.K. media ethics that he never gave his editors orders on who to back or used his political sway for financial gain.
Speaking softly, deliberately and with dry humour, Murdoch parried one question after the other about the influence his dominant media operations had in lobbying lawmakers, setting the news agenda, favouring certain politicians and benefiting from allegedly sweetheart business deals.
"I've never asked a prime minister for anything," he said after being questioned whether he had asked then-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to support his bid for the Times newspapers in 1981.
Murdoch was being quizzed under oath before an inquiry run by Lord Justice Brian Leveson, who is examining the relationship between British politicians and the press, a key question emerging amid the phone hacking scandal that brought down Murdoch's News of the World tabloid.
Revelations of widespread illegal behaviour at the top-selling Sunday publication rocked Britain's establishment with evidence of media misdeeds, police corruption and too-cozy links between the press and politicians.
at 8:48 AM |