Daily Archives: August 20, 2010

Daily News Summary 08/20/2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

BLOOMBERG

Russia will switch on Iran’s first nuclear power plant tomorrow as the government seeks to bolster its global influence by acting as a power broker between the U.S. and its European allies and the Persian Gulf nation.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said U.S. regulators won’t succumb to Wall Street efforts to weaken financial-market oversight as they implement the biggest rules overhaul since the Great Depression.

Increased aid to Pakistan’s flood victims, including $180.5 million pledged at the United Nations yesterday, will help to keep terrorists from capitalizing on the crisis, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said.

Belgian consumer confidence improved for a third straight month in August, reaching the highest level in almost 2 1/2 years, as concerns about rising unemployment eased and the economic outlook brightened.

France’s government cut its forecast for economic growth next year as President Nicolas Sarkozy prepares for the biggest budget squeeze in at least two decades.

A Thai court ruled that accused Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout can be extradited to the U.S. to face terrorism charges after two years in detention, a decision officials in Moscow called “political.”

Brazil’s consumer prices unexpectedly fell for a second straight month, pushing the annual inflation rate below the government’s target for the first time since January.

The cost of living in Canada climbed less than forecast in July, prompting investors to pare bets the Bank of Canada will raise interest rates again as early as next month.

AP Top Stories

An unattended campfire and a suspicious forest ranger led to the arrest of two of the most wanted fugitives in the U.S., ending a three-week nationwide manhunt that drew hundreds of false sightings, authorities said.

An al-Qaida in Iraq front group on Friday claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing this week that killed 61 Iraqi army recruits in the deadliest single act of violence in Baghdad in months.

Pakistani courts have yet to convict a single person in any of the country’s biggest terrorist attacks of the past three years, a symptom of a dysfunctional legal system that’s hurting the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida at a critical time.

North Korea appears to have added Facebook to other social networking sites it recently joined to ramp up its propaganda war against South Korea and the U.S.

In the wake of news about a spike in new applications for unemployment benefits comes another potentially troubling sign: A record number of workers made hardship withdrawals from their retirement accounts in the second quarter.

Australia could have its first minority government in 70 years, a worst-case scenario for investors, with an election-eve poll showing the ruling Labor party drawing level with the conservative opposition.

BBC     

A state of emergency has been declared in Bolivia as forest fires spread across the country. Almost 25,000 fires have destroyed about 3.7m acres of land and more than 60 houses.

A UN report says the Israeli military has increasingly restricted Palestinian access to farmland in the Gaza Strip and fishing zones along its shore.

More helicopters are urgently needed to deliver aid to the millions of Pakistanis still cut off by devastating floods, says the UN’s food agency.

WorldNetDaily

The superintendent of the Arizona Department of Public Education says his agency will consider a refusal by the school district in Tucson to videotape its “Raza studies” classes as evidence the district is “deliberately” concealing its agenda.    The state had asked Tucson, in view of a new state law that takes effect at the end of this year that bans promoting to students “the overthrow of the United States government” and other issues, to record its “Raza” classes this fall to document what is being taught.

Twenty-two states are now in the process of drafting or seeking to pass legislation similar to Arizona’s law against illegal immigration. This is occurring despite the fact that the Obama administration has filed a lawsuit against the Arizona law and a federal judge has ruled against portions of that law – a ruling that is now being appealed.

On each side of a towering West Texas stretch of the $2.4 billion border fence designed to block people from illegally entering the country, there are two metal footbridges, clear paths into the United States from Mexico. “Technically speaking it’s not a bridge, it’s a grade control structure,” said Sally Spener, spokeswoman for the International Boundary and Water Commission, which maintains the integrity of the 1,200-mile river border between the U.S. and Mexico. The structures under the spans help prevent the river — and therefore the international border — from shifting.

The organizers of a Lebanese ship aiming to break Israel’s Gaza blockade said Thursday that they plan to set sail from Lebanon on Sunday.  Samar al-Hajj says the ship, the Mariam, named after the Virgin Mary, will be carrying medicine for the seaside strip. Al-Hajj said all the passengers will be women activists.

Academic scientists are challenging the Obama administration’s assertion that most of BP’s oil in the Gulf of Mexico is either gone or rapidly disappearing — with one group Thursday announcing the discovery of a 22-mile “plume” of oil that shows little sign of vanishing.

With the sluggish economy holding down revenues and the federalgovernment still spending lavishly, the national deficit will hit$1.3 trillion this year — second only to last year’s record,Congress’s chief scorekeeper said Thursday.

1st Muslim college plans grand opening. Zaytuna College, located in the college town of Berkley, California, is set to be the first accredited institute of higher education in the US that defines itself as Muslim.