US Nazi leader talks about Barack Obama, the economy and more
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US Nazi leader talks about Barack Obama, the economy and more

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The National Socialist Movement is, according to its website, the largest and most active Nazi party in the United States. Accordingly, it refers to itself as ‘America’s Nazi Party’ and aims to instigate major change in the US.

Wikinews was able to conduct an interview with the head of the party, Commander Jeff Schoep. Fresh back from a march in Missouri, Commander Schoep told Wikinews his views on Barack Obama, the economy and much more.

Read the full exclusive interview below:

Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico reported to have reached coast; offshore drilling ban announced by Obama administration
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Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico reported to have reached coast; offshore drilling ban announced by Obama administration
 Correction — August 24, 2015 This article incorrectly describes BP as ‘British Petroleum’. In fact, such a company has not existed for many years as BP dropped this name when becoming a multinational company. The initials no longer stand for anything. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

As reports came out yesterday that the oil spill caused by the explosion and sinking of an oil rig in Gulf of Mexico near Louisiana had reached the coast, the Obama administration announced a ban on all future offshore drilling at least until the investigation into the incident is completed.

Early Friday morning, the US Coast Guard received reports that oil from the spill had washed ashore, and while officials have not confirmed the reports, winds continue to push the slick northward towards land, and conditions are deteriorating, making cleanup of the spill increasingly difficult. The Coast Guard said it was planning to conduct a flyover of the slick to determine its extent sometime on Friday. According to the National Weather Service, strong winds and thunderstorms are predicted to continue through the weekend, hindering cleanup efforts.

Also early on Friday morning, a senior government official, White House advisor David Axelrod, said that the government was immediately banning all new offshore drilling until the investigation into the spill had been completed. His announcement came just after a month the administration relaxed restrictions of offshore drilling.

The operation to clean up the spill has accelerated in recent days, with the US Navy having joined the effort, as well as resources from the Coast Guard and British Petroleum (BP), the lessor of the rig at the time of the explosion. The total assets deployed in the operation are estimated to be around 1,900 people and more than 300 ships and aircraft. Additionally, six remotely operated submarines are trying to stem the leaks, which now number three, at the ocean’s floor.

On Wednesday, the estimated amount of oil spilling from the damaged well was raised to 5,000 barrels, or around 210,000 gallons, a day, five times the original estimate of 1,000 barrels a day. This figure was later revised upwards again to 25,000 barrels (1.05 million gallons) per day. So far, the cleanup operation has laid around 210,000 feet of containment booms to protect vulnerable wildlife refuges on the Gulf Coast, and an additional 66,000 feet of boom has been provided by the US Navy. Since the beginning of the operation, more than 18,000 gallons of an oil/water mix have been recovered from the ocean, and after a successful test burn of oil, plans are being made to scale the burns up. According to a BP official, “We believe we can now scale that up and burn between 500 and 1,000 barrels at a time.” The first test burned around 100 barrels of oil.

Despite the efforts, many are still worried about the potential consequences of the spill, and officials said that the damage could end up being more than that caused by the Exxon Valdez oil spill 20 years ago, which spilled 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound. One analyst said that he expected “that movement is going to continue to stress and fatigue the pipe and create more leaks,” adding that “this is not on a good trajectory.”

BP has developed two options to stop the flow of oil at the source, but both are expected to take at least weeks to complete. The first option is to lower large structures over the leak, which would allow the oil to be safely transported to the surface. BP is building one such structure, but it isn’t expected to be completed for at least several weeks. The second option is to drill a second well which would then plug the leak at the source. A well for this purpose will begin to be drilled within two days, although it could be up to three months before the leak is completely plugged.

China’s ‘Bandit King’ given life term in ‘massive’ bribery case
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China’s ‘Bandit King’ given life term in ‘massive’ bribery case

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lai Changxing, dubbed the Bandit King, has been given a life sentence for years of smuggling and corruption that added up to billions of US dollars or Pounds sterling. The Chinese court described the values as “massive”.

Lai smuggled goods worth more than £2 billion into Xiamen, bypassing more than £1 billion in import duty. He paid 64 local officials a total of almost £4 million in bribes, giving him effective control of the city from 1995 to 1999. He fled China after becoming a wanted man in 1999 and went to Canada via Hong Kong; the following year, Premier Zhu Rongji said “If Lai was executed three times over, it would not be too much”.

As head of the Yuanhua Group, Lai smuggled in cars, chemicals, oil, cigarettes, and other goods. He distributed bundles of cash to the poor, owned and played for his local football team, built stadia, owned a bulletproof Mercedes that once belonged to President Jiang Zemin, and attempted to construct a tower that would have been the nation’s tallest building. He attained local popularity for funding construction projects including schools, hundreds of tower blocks, and the local airport.

As well as money, officials were offered alcohol and prostitutes. Many were offered time at Lai’s seven-storey brothel, the Red Mansion, and feasted at a replica of the Forbidden City.

State TV has broadcast footage depicting a banquet table with a tiger skin laid upon it, cars given to officials, a young woman alleged to have been donated as a lover, and a sackful of gold rings. The case’s prominence was such that Liu Liying, boss of the national Central Discipline Inspection Committee, took charge of bringing Lai down.

Subsequent investigations have examined more than 1,000 suspects with police at one stage turning over an entire hotel to the probe, filling rooms with suspects. National newspaper The People’s Daily has suggested it is the most serious economic crime in modern Chinese history. He was the nation’s top car importer and one of the main traders in oil and imported cigarettes.

Hundreds of officials have been convicted and it is estimated hundreds more remain. Fellow life-sentence prisoners from the case include the city’s deputy mayor and its head of customs. The nation’s former vice-minister for security, Li Jizhou, has a suspended death sentence. Other suspects have killed themselves.

The sums involved are unusually large, and the details are extraordinarily serious

Upon his escape from the nation Lai became China’s most-wanted fugitive. Twelve years of negotiations ended with a Chinese promise Lai would be spared the death penalty, and Canada extradited him last year. Numerous lower-ranking members of Lai’s empire have already been given life imprisonment or death sentences. With execution off the table, the court gave Lai the highest sentence possible: in addition to the life term, he received fifteen years for bribery and had all his possessions confiscated.

The court justified the “double sentence” on the grounds “the sums involved are unusually large, and the details are extraordinarily serious”. “The crimes involve massive sums and particularly serious circumstances,” court officials told Xinhua. Lai had denied corruption at his trial, although he accepted exploiting loopholes to avoid import duty.

“I don’t have a good family background,” Lai said previously in a press interview. “I have to do things step by step by myself. That’s how people came to respect me. I never fussed about big money.” Lai was born as one of eight siblings in the midst of famine.

Category:Iain Macdonald (Wikinewsie)/Aviation
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Category:Iain Macdonald (Wikinewsie)/Aviation
Aviation articles by Wikinewsie Iain Macdonald.
  • Rescue helicopter crash kills six in Abruzzo, Italy
  • UK Civil Aviation Authority issues update on Shoreham crash response
  • Nigerian jet attacks refugee camp, killing dozens
  • Fighter jet crashes during Children’s Day airshow in Thailand
  • Plane carrying 92 crashes into Black Sea near Sochi
  • Hijackers divert Libyan passenger jet to Malta
  • Pakistan International Airlines sacrifices goat, resumes ATR flights
  • Judge rules Air Canada Flight 624 victims can sue Transport Canada
  • PIA flight crashes near Havelian, Pakistan
  • Indonesian police plane crashes near Batam, fifteen missing
  • Investigators blame pilot error for AirAsia crash into Java Sea
  • New Polish government takes down findings on Russian air disaster
  • Pakistani female fighter pilot Marium Mukhtiar dies in jet crash
  • Investigators blame pilot error for deadly jet crash near Boston
  • Airshow collision kills one in Dittingen, Switzerland
  • Vintage plane crashes into road during Shoreham Airshow in England
  • Planes carrying parachutists collide, crash in Slovakia
  • Indian army helicopter crash kills two in Jammu and Kashmir
  • Divers retrieve 100th corpse from Java Sea jet crash
  • Taipei plane crash toll reaches 40
  • AirAsia disaster: Bodies, wreckage found
  • AirAsia jet vanishes over Indonesia, 162 missing
  • Inquiry finds proper maintenance might have prevented 2009 North Sea helicopter disaster
  • Ryanair sue Associated Newspapers, Mirror Group
  • Ryanair sack, sue pilot over participation in safety documentary
  • Ryanair threaten legal action after documentary on fuel policy, safety
  • US Marine Corps blame deadly Morocco Osprey plane crash on pilots
  • Kenyan helicopter crash kills security minister
  • Indonesians retrieve missing recorder from crashed Russian jet
  • Report blames New Zealand skydive plane crash that killed nine on overloading
  • Russian passenger jet crashes on Indonesian demonstration flight
  • European Commission clears British Airways owner IAG to buy bmi from Lufthansa
  • US Air Force upgrades F-22 oxygen system after deadly crash
  • Cypriot court clears all of wrongdoing in Greek air disaster
  • Boeing rolls out first 787 Dreamliner to go into service
  • Air France, pilots union, victims group criticise transatlantic disaster probe
  • South Korean troops mistakenly attack passenger jet
  • 27 believed dead in Indonesian plane crash
  • Russian police say Moscow airport bomber identified
  • ‘Unacceptable’ and ‘without foundation’: Poland rejects Russian air crash report
  • Serb pilots defend colleague in Air India Express disaster
  • Investigation into US Airways river ditching in New York completed
  • Reports issued after jets collided twice in same spot at UK airport
  • Final report blames London passenger jet crash on ice
  • Concorde crash trial begins
  • Iranian air politician blames pilot error for yesterday’s jet crash
  • US charges homeless man after plane stolen and crashed in Maryland
  • German jet bound for US searched in Iceland after suitcase loaded without owner
  • Mexican helicopter crash leaves soldier dead
  • Indonesian court overturns Garuda pilot’s conviction over air disaster
  • Zimbabwean cargo plane crashes in Shanghai; three dead
  • Italian Air Force transport wreck kills five
  • UK lawyer comments on court case against Boeing over London jet crash
  • Victims of London jetliner crash sue Boeing
  • Family seeks prosecution over loss of UK Nimrod jet in Afghanistan
  • British Airways and Iberia agree to merge
  • At least nine missing after Russian military plane crashes into Pacific
  • Search continues for nine missing after midair collision off California
  • Russian military cargo jet crash kills eleven in Siberia
  • Nine missing after US Coast Guard plane and Navy helicopter collide
  • Jet flies 150 miles past destination in US; pilots say they were distracted
  • Airliner crash wounds four in Durban, South Africa
  • Cypriot court begins Greek air disaster trial
  • Japan blames design, maintenance for explosion on China Airlines jet
  • Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi released on compassionate grounds
  • Lockerbie bombing appeal dropped
  • Australian receives bravery award for rescues in Indonesian air disaster
  • Fighter jets collide, crash into houses near Moscow
  • Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi moves to drop Lockerbie bombing appeal
  • Iranian passenger jet’s wheel catches fire
  • Tourist plane crash in Papua New Guinea leaves thirteen dead
  • UK’s BAA forced to sell three airports
  • Scotland denies bail to terminally ill man convicted of Lockerbie bombing
  • Pilot error blamed for July crash of Aria Air Flight 1525 in Iran
  • Plane carrying sixteen people vanishes over Papua, Indonesia
  • Airbus offers funding to search for black boxes from Air France disaster
  • 20 years on: Sioux City, Iowa remembers crash landing that killed 111
  • Two separate fighter jet crashes kill two, injure two in Afghanistan
  • Helicopter crash kills sixteen at NATO base in Afghanistan
  • U.S. investigators probe in-flight hole in passenger jet
  • Four Indonesian airlines allowed back into Europe; Zambia, Kazakhstan banned
  • Brazil ceases hunt for bodies from Air France crash
  • Airliner catches fire at Indonesian airport
  • Garuda Indonesia increases flights, fleet; may buy rival
  • False dawn for Air France flight; debris not from crash, search continues
  • US investigators probe close call on North Carolina runway
  • Spanish general, two other officials jailed for false IDs after air disaster
  • Indonesian court jails Garuda pilot over air disaster
  • Pilots in 16-death crash jailed for praying instead of flying
  • New Zealand pilots receive bravery awards for foiling airliner hijack
  • US, UK investigators seek 777 engine redesign to stop repeat of London jet crash
  • Schiphol airliner crash blamed on altimeter failure, pilot error
  • Marine jet crash into San Diego house attributed to string of errors
  • Fatal US Army helicopter collision in Iraq blamed on enemy fire
  • Brazil’s Embraer plans to cut around 4,200 jobs
  • Virgin Atlantic jet fire investigation finds faulty wiring in A340 fleet
  • Six indicted over jet crash at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport
  • Man arrested in India after mid-air hijack threat on domestic flight
  • British Airways plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 50% by 2050
  • US Airways jet recovered from Hudson River
  • Mount Everest plane crash blamed on pilot error
  • Cyprus charges five over 2005 air crash that killed 121
  • 20 years on: Lockerbie victims’ group head talks to Wikinews
  • US, UK investigators collaborating after US 777 incident similar to London crash
  • Brazil blames human error for 2006 midair airliner collision
  • NTSB continues investigation of near-collision in Pennsylvania, United States
  • Turbulence likely cause of Mexico jet crash that killed ministers
  • Bomb ruled out in Mexico plane crash that killed twelve
  • Afghan president Hamid Karzai opens new terminal at Kabul International Airport
  • Cyprus to charge five over 2005 plane crash that killed 121
  • India’s Jet Airways posts biggest quarterly loss in three years
  • Indian aviation sector hit by financial trouble; domestic traffic at five-year low
  • Spanish airline LTE suspends all flights
  • Spanair mechanics to be questioned under criminal suspicion over Flight 5022 crash
  • Oscar Diös tells Wikinews about his hostel within a Boeing 747
  • Preliminary report released on Spanair disaster that killed 154
  • Dozens injured by sudden change in altitude on Qantas jet
  • Soldier dies as military helicopters collide in Iraq
  • No evidence of engine fire at Aeroflot-Nord Flight 821 crash site
  • Indonesian parliament approves privatising of three major state firms
  • Controversy after leak of preliminary report into Spanair disaster
  • Researcher claims unmarked grave contains 1950 Lake Michigan plane crash victims
  • Interim report blames ice for British Airways 777 crash in London
  • Service held in Nova Scotia on tenth anniversary of Swissair crash that killed 229
  • UK government sued over deaths in 2006 Nimrod crash in Afghanistan
  • Four British Airways executives charged with price fixing
  • Unprecedented review to be held on Qantas after third emergency in two weeks
  • British Airways enters merger talks with Iberia
  • EU maintains ban on Indonesian airlines amid accusations of political motivation
  • US military confirms three deaths after B-52 crash off Guam
  • One-Two-Go Airlines cease operating over fuel costs as legal action begins over September air disaster
  • US FAA to make airliner fuel tank inertion mandatory over 1996 air disaster
  • British Airways give medals to Flight 38’s crew
  • Honduran capital’s main airport reopens six weeks after jetliner crash
  • Death toll in Arizona helicopter collision at seven as only survivor dies
  • Continental Airlines to face charges over Air France Concorde disaster
  • Nine oil workers die as helicopter crashes in Siberia
  • Boeing 767 cargo plane seriously damaged by fire at San Francisco
  • Cargo plane crashes near Khartoum; at least four dead
  • Cargo plane crash in Sudan leaves seven dead with one survivor
  • Air safety group says airport was operating illegally without license when Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 crashed
  • Sudan Airways grounded
  • Peacekeeping helicopter crash kills four in Bosnia
  • Report finds LOT Airlines plane was lost over London due to pilot error
  • Indonesian police hand over Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 report to prosecutors
  • US B-2 bomber crash in Guam caused by moisture on sensors
  • Silverjet ceases operations and enters administration
  • Nine killed as Russian cargo plane crashes in Siberia
  • Boeing pushes back 737 replacement development
  • Airliner hijacker found working for British Airways
  • Five of six accused over 9/11 to be tried; charges against ’20th hijacker’ dropped
  • British Airways Flight 38 suffered low fuel pressure; investigation continues
  • Ex-head of Qantas freight operations in US jailed for price fixing
  • Search for Brazilian plane with four UK passengers called off after seven days
  • Spectator killed and 10 injured in German airshow crash
  • Japan Airlines fined US$110 million for price fixing
  • Indonesia angered as nation’s airlines all remain banned in EU airspace
  • Airbus parent EADS wins £13 billion UK RAF airtanker contract
  • Final report blames instrument failure for Adam Air Flight 574 disaster
  • Indonesia grounds Adam Air; may be permanently shut down in three months
  • Adam Air hits severe financial problems; may be shut down in three weeks
  • Alitalia conditionally accepts joint bid by Air France and KLM
  • One year on: IFALPA’s representative to ICAO, pilot and lawyer on ongoing prosecution of Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 pilot
  • Adam Air may be shut down after string of accidents
  • Five injured as Adam Air 737 overruns Batam island runway
  • Northrop Grumman and Airbus parent EADS defeat Boeing for $40 billion US airtanker contract
  • Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 pilot released on bail
  • Concern as Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 pilot arrested and charged
  • 16-year-old arrested over alleged plot to hijack US airliner
  • 2007 was particularly good year for aviation safety
  • No injuries after Antarctica research station support plane crashes
  • Indian Air Force jet catches fire and crashes after refuelling at Biju Patnaik Airport
  • Cathal Ryan, early board member and son of co-founder of Irish flag carrier Ryanair, dies at 48
  • Indonesia’s transport minister tells airlines not to buy European aircraft due to EU ban
  • Indonesian air industry signs safety deal ahead of EU ban review
  • Australia completes inquest for victims of Garuda Indonesia Flight 200
  • Five injured as Mandala Airlines 737 overshoots runway in Malang, Indonesia
  • Calls made for prosecution in light of Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 report
  • Four killed as helicopter escorting Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf crashes
  • Dozens killed in Congo plane crash, transport minister fired
  • Death toll in One-Two-Go crash reaches 90
  • American Airlines MD-80 engine fire prompts emergency landing
  • Aircraft crashes during mock dogfight at Shoreham Airshow, United Kingdom
  • Adam Air ticket sales revive after post-crash slump
  • Comair Flight 5191 co-pilot, pilot’s widow sue FAA, airport, chart manufacturer
  • Four Boeing 737’s found with similar fault to China Airlines plane; inspection deadline shortened
  • Pakistan test fires nuclear-capable cruise missile
  • Black boxes retrieved from lost Indonesian airliner after eight months
  • EU bans all Indonesian airlines as well as several from Russia, Ukraine and Angola
  • Indonesia shuts down 4 airlines and grounds 5 others over safety concerns
  • Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission to review Pan Am Flight 103 conviction
  • European Union to fund scheme to reduce aircraft emissions and noise pollution
  • Air Independence and Libyan Airlines place orders for Bombardier aircraft valued at $190 million
  • Cessna to display seven aircraft and new cabin concept at Paris Air Show
  • Light plane flips over during landing at air show in Worcester, UK
  • Aeroflot negotiates purchase of 22 new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft
  • Aer Lingus buys twelve new long-haul Airbus jets
  • NTSB announces safety recommendations to be made in aftermath of Comair Flight 5191 disaster
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What Are Taxes?}

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What are Taxes?

by

David Tang

There is a big demand for Boston accounting services and Boston payroll services, particularly now that Boston is becoming more and more industrialized. Companies and firms that offer such services also offer Boston Quickbooks support as well as auditing Boston taxes. For those who are not very familiar what taxes are and how they work, here are some useful information.

A tax is defined as a financial levy or charge that is imposed on a person or any legal entity or group. Taxes may also be imposed by subnational entities. It consists of direct tax and indirect tax, and can be paid in monetary form or its labor equivalent.

In the modern taxation system, taxes are given in money, although in-kind as well as corve taxation were usually the forms of pre-capitalist states.

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The system of taxation and expenditure of taxes collected is one of the highly debated issues in economics and politics. When an individual or legal entity fails to pay taxes, civil penalties like fines may be imposed, as well as being subjected to criminal penalties.

Funds raised through taxation are used by countries and states in carrying out various functions of the government. Some of the expenditures used from taxes raised are expenses on war, enforcement of public order, economic infrastructure like roads, public works, operation of the government, and social engineering.

Taxes are also used in funding public and welfare services like education systems, pensions for elderly, health care system, benefits for the unemployed, and public transportation. Public utilities like water, energy, and waste management also benefit from taxes raised. Colonial states also impose cash taxes in forcing reluctant subsistence producers.

There are different kinds and rates of taxes. Governments do this to distribute tax burden among classes of the population that are involved in taxable activities like business. This is also used to redistribute the resources between classes of the population. Modern security systems are designed in such a way to support the poor, disabled, or retired from taxes provided by people who are still working.

Also, taxes are applied to finance military and foreign aid and to spur macroeconomic performance of an economy. Taxes are also used in modifying patterns of employment or consumption in an economy by enabling some classes involved in transactions attractive.

The tax system of a nation is usually a reflection of its shared values, or values of its leaders. In creating a scheme of taxation, a government should make tough decisions on distributing the tax burden. The government should decide on who will pay more taxes, and how much a particular individual or business will pay. Democratic nations usually have tax system reflective of public clamor, while in less democratic countries tax systems reflect the values of its leaders.

If you are ever in need of Boston accounting services, Boston payroll services or Boston Quickbooks Support for your company or individual needs or for computing your Boston taxes, you could try going online and do a search for the best companies.

Murphy & Co. ( http://murphyaccounting.com/index.htm ) believes that small-business owners deserve the same high level of accounting services typically reserved for larger companies. They know that small-business accounting is an important part of a company’s success. Joseph Murphy of Murphy & Co. understands this, and so he created an accounting firm specifically designed to help small businesses with Boston tax returns ( http://murphyaccounting.com/Tax-Returns.htm ), QuickBooks support, and payroll services.

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Obama announces US$3.8 trillion 2011 budget plan for US
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Obama announces US$3.8 trillion 2011 budget plan for US

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Barack Obama, the US President, has announced a budget plan worth US$3.83 trillion for next year. The budget includes additional spending for job creation, but cuts for other areas. The president also forecast that the national debt would reach $1.56 trillion in 2010.

Among the cuts proposed include scrapping the Constellation program, a plan to send astronauts to the Moon by 2020, and capping some domestic spending programmes for three years. Overall, the cuts are predicted to save $250 billion. There is also $100 billion in tax incentives aimed at hiring workers. US residents with incomes of over $250,000 per annum, however, would be given higher taxes, partially offsetting that.

Other increases in the proposed budget include; $48 billion for veterans’ medical care, or an increase of eight percent; $53 billion for homeland security; $310 million to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison. He also suggested freezing spending for some federal programs and departments and programs for three years, exempting Medicare, Social Security, and national security.

In order for the budget to take effect, Congress must approve it by the beginning of the fiscal year starting October 1.

When introducing the budget, Obama stated that “we […] continue to lay a new foundation for lasting growth. Just as it would be a terrible mistake to borrow against our children’s future to pay our way today, it would be equally wrong to neglect their future by failing to invest in areas that will determine our economic success in this new century.”

At the White House, he also commented: “It’s a budget that reflects the serious challenges facing the country. We’re at war. Our economy has lost seven million jobs over the last two years. And our government is deeply in debt after what can only be described as a decade of profligacy […] “It’s very important to understand,” the president said. “We won’t be able to bring down this deficit overnight, given that the recovery is still taking hold and families across the country still need help.”

The budget plan reads: “These estimates do not reflect any policy decisions about specific military or intelligence operations, but are only intended to indicate that some as-yet-unknown costs are anticipated.”

It will be impossible to bring the deficit down unless the economy is up. The budget the president is sending Congress today puts a priority on those objectives

“It will be impossible to bring the deficit down unless the economy is up. The budget the president is sending Congress today puts a priority on those objectives.” The president blamed the previous George Bush administration for the financial difficulties, saying: “Over the course of the past 10 years, the previous administration and previous Congresses created an expensive new drug program, passed massive tax cuts for the wealthy and funded two wars without paying for any of it, all of which was compounded by recession and by rising health care costs. As a result, when I first walked through the door, the deficit stood at $1.3 trillion, with projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade.”

“It will be impossible to bring the deficit down unless the economy is up. The budget the president is sending Congress today puts a priority on those objectives. It keeps one eye on the economy and the other on the deficit,” remarked Democrat Representative John Spratt from South Carolina.

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Republican senators, however, criticised the plan, citing the proposed tax increases, and suggesting that the deficit is an indication Obama isn’t able to control government spending. “President Obama is submitting another budget that spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much,” said the House Minority Leader, John Boehner. “Serious fiscal responsibility requires more than a few cuts here and there at the margins. Republicans have proposed adopting strict budget caps that limit federal spending on an annual basis and are enforceable by the president.”

this budget provides a startling figure that should stop us all in our tracks

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell commented that “this budget provides a startling figure that should stop us all in our tracks. According to the administration’s budget, the interest on the federal debt is expected to be nearly 6 trillion dollars over the next decade. We’ve all heard about interest-only loans, but this is the equivalent of an average of $600 billion dollars in interest every year. That’s an astonishing number.”

Republican Senator Judd Gregg also was critical of the plan: “These circumstances call for a bold, game-changing budget that will turn things around, put in place a plan to restrain spending, reduce the debt and tackle the big entitlement programmes that are growing out of control. Instead, the president has sent us more of the same.” He described the financial situation as being a “quagmire”.

Obama’s proposal to pull the space plan also drew fire from Republicans. “The president’s proposed Nasa budget begins the death march for the future of US human space flight,” said Republican Senator Richard Shelby. Obama, however, described the Constellation programme as being “over budget, behind schedule, and lacking in innovation”, and said it was draining resources from other activities at NASA.

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“Bigoted woman”: controversial Gordon Brown remarks caught on air
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“Bigoted woman”: controversial Gordon Brown remarks caught on air

Thursday, April 29, 2010

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is now at the centre of controversy when, on Thursday, a live microphone caught him describing a voter he had talked to as being a “bigoted woman”.

The incident occurred after Brown, encouraged by his advisors to interact with ordinary people more often before next week’s parliamentary elections, went for a walkabout in the town of Rochdale, located near Manchester. There, he spoke with Gillian Duffy, aged 65, who challenged him on topics such as health and education, before asking about immigration: “All those Eastern Europeans what are coming in, where are they flocking from?” she asked him.

Brown responded by saying that “[a] million people come from Europe, but a million people, British people, have gone into Europe.” The prime minister, upon finishing the discussion, said it was “very nice to meet you” and returned to his car.

Unbeknownst to him, however, the Sky News microphone attached to his lapel was still turned on and picked up the conversation that followed inside the vehicle: “That was a disaster … they should never have put me with that woman,” Brown said. “Whose idea was that? It’s just ridiculous.” When an aide asked what Duffy had said, Brown responded: “Everything, she was just a bigoted woman that said she used to be Labour […] I don’t know why Sue [an aide] brought her up towards me.”

Whose idea was that? […] She was just a bigoted woman

The PM, upon being informed what had happened, returned to Duffy’s home to personally apologise. “Sometimes you do make mistakes and you use wrong words, and once you’ve used that word and you’ve made a mistake, you should withdraw it and say profound apologies, and that’s what I’ve done,” he said. During an interview with the BBC, Brown is seen with his head in hands as the comments were replayed.

Duffy, speaking to reporters immediately after having talked with the PM, described Brown as being “very nice”, but later said she was “very upset” when informed what Brown had said off-camera. “Why has he come out with words like that? He’s supposed to be leading the country and he’s calling an ordinary woman who’s come up and asked questions that most people would ask him,” she said in an interview with the BBC.

“[…] It’s going to be tax, tax, tax for another twenty years to get out of this national debt, and he’s calling me a bigot,” later adding: “I want to know why – them [sic] comments I made there – why I was called a bigot.”

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A spokesman for Brown said: “Mr Brown has apologised to Mrs Duffy personally by phone. He does not think that she is bigoted. He was letting off steam in the car after a difficult conversation. But this is exactly the sort of conversation that is important in an election campaign and which he will continue to have with voters.”

Some political analysts have said the gaffe may hurt Labour’s chances in the upcoming elections; the party had managed to narrow the Conservatives’ lead in recent opinion polls.

The Conservatives responded to the incident — dubbed by some media outlets as “Bigotgate” — with Shadow chancellor George Osborne saying that “general elections […] do reveal the truth about people.”

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, meanwhile said: “You should always try to answer the questions as best you can. He has been recorded saying what he has said and will have to answer for that.”

Andrew Russell, a politics lecturer for Manchester University, commented on the situation. “A politician in a stronger position could recover from this. What we know is that Gordon Brown is not in that position.”

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EPA block massive West Australian energy project
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EPA block massive West Australian energy project

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

The Western Australian (WA) Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has advised against the massive Greater Gorgon liquefied natural gas project off WA’s Pilbara coast. Proponents of the projects say Gorgon is one of Australia’s biggest export ventures, scheduled to provide up to 6,000 jobs and exports of up to $1.2 billion.

EPA chairman Dr Wally Cox said the Gorgon project operators (Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell), had made an effort on flora and fauna issues but in its present state, the Gorgon proposal was “unacceptable.” Gorgon LNG general manager Colin Beckett said that Gorgon was a world-class gas field and that the joint venture partners were confident that the decision would be reversed.

Environment Minister Mark McGowan said there was a definite process to be followed. The Minister says he will make a final decision on the Gorgon proposal after considering the EPA report – and any subsequent report from the Appeals Convenor. The EPA recommendations on the Gorgon proposal are subject to a two-week appeals period.

The EPA’s Dr Cox said that joint venture had “not been able to demonstrate that impacts from dredging, the introduction of non-indigenous species and the potential loss of fauna could be reduced to acceptable levels.”

In September 2003 the WA government provided “in-principle agreement” to the Gorgon joint venturers subject to a number of conditions. Dr Cox said that the Environmental Review and Management Programme had further highlighted the terrestrial and marine conservation values of Barrow Island and the adjacent waters.

Flatback turtles in particular would be put at risk from the proposal with two of the most important nesting beaches located adjacent to the proposed LNG processing plant site and the materials off-loading facility,” Dr Cox said. “There is very little science available on the life-cycle, behaviour and feeding habits of Flatback turtles and as a consequence it is not possible at this time to identify management measures that would ensure ongoing survival of this Pilbara Flatback turtle population.”

Dr Cox also said that the Proponent had not been able to demonstrate that risk could be reduced to satisfactory levels in the areas of: Impacts on the marine ecosystem from dredging; The introduction of non-indigenous species; Potential loss of subterranean and short range endemic invertebrate fauna species. “As a result, the proposal in its present form cannot meet the EPA’s environmental objectives and is considered environmentally unacceptable,” Dr Cox said.

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Romanian VAT to remain at 19 percent
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Romanian VAT to remain at 19 percent

Monday, February 28, 2005

[[w:Bucharest, Romania|Bucharest, Romania]] — The Romanian Finance Minister Ionu? Popescu has responded to public fears of a rise in value added tax (VAT) by saying that Romania’s VAT will remain at 19% and will not increase. He rejected rumours that the value added tax, which is applied to most goods and services, will increase due to negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and a need to boost government revenue.

After introducing a low flat tax rate of 16% on January 1, 2005, which applies to both personal income and corporate profits, the government has had to fund the tax cuts through alternative means, including increases in other types of taxation, to avoid running a high budget deficit. For example, from April 1, the government will increase excises as well as a range of other taxes. Despite the increase, Romania continues to have one of the lowest fiscal burdens in Europe due to the new 16% flat tax rate.

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Fred Thompson’s ‘exploration’ causes confusion on USA election rules
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Fred Thompson’s ‘exploration’ causes confusion on USA election rules

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The day after Fred Thompson’s “exploratory committee” announced that it raised just over US$3 million dollars, the type of fundraising is causing “confusion” over Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules for the “exploratory” status.

CQ Politics reports, “Friends of Fred Thompson” also is registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a “527” political organization, so named because it is regulated under Section 527 of the tax code.” Once Thompson decides to become a candidate, he must then meet FEC disclosure requirements. CQ Politics noted, “two issues — whether Thompson has raised more money than could be expected to be used for exploratory activities, and whether his months of ‘testing the waters’ have been a ‘protracted period of time’ as outlined by federal law as qualifying someone as a candidate — Thompson could have trouble.” According to Paul Ryan, FEC program director for the Campaign Legal Center, “Reasonable minds could disagree.”

The Washington Post noted, “Campaign finance experts said yesterday that if Thompson were to wait until Sept. 6 to launch a campaign, he would be legally permitted to delay filing a finance report with the Federal Election Commission until Jan. 31.” Nonetheless, “Thompson campaign officials stressed his commitment to disclosure.”

In addition to the personnel changes previously reported, today a top fundraising consultant, Kim Kaegi, resigned from the Thompson campaign. According to the AP, “Kaegi called it a ‘stretch’ to speculate that her departure was related to lower-than-expected totals.”

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