The number of new claims for unemployment benefits jumped unexpectedly last week as heavy snows caused layoffs to rise. The number of new claims for unemployment benefits jumped unexpectedly last week as heavy snows caused layoffs to rise. In addition, many state agencies in the mid-Atlantic and New England regions that process the claims were closed due to the storms and are now clearing out backlogs, a Labor Department analyst said. The department said Thursday that first-time claims for unemployment insurance rose by 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 496,000. Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a drop to 455,000. Bad weather can cause job losses in construction and other industries sensitive to weather.
Obama has been criticized for his failure to deliver on his promise for the closure of the notorious Guantanamo prison. Human Rights Watch has blasted US President Barack Obama's change in "rhetoric" rather than "policies" as US transfers more Guantanamo Bay prisoners to Europe. Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, says that vows of change in the US administration have been limited to presidential rhetoric, US media said Wednesday.
Forty-something and unlettered, Sona Siddiqi never imagined she would become the most sought-after woman in her village of Ramzan Katiar. Here in the Union Council Gharo of Thatta district in Sindh province, some 125 kilometres from the southern port city of Karachi, Siddiqi is happily making a living by building earthenware stoves for the villagers
Over one million Iraqis have met violent deaths as a result of the 2003 invasion, according to a study conducted by the prestigious British polling group, Opinion Research Business (ORB). These numbers suggest that the invasion and occupation of Iraq rivals the mass killings of the last century—the human toll exceeds the 800,000 to 900,000 believed killed in the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and is approaching the number (1.7 million) who died in Cambodia’s infamous “Killing Fields” during the Khmer Rouge era of the 1970s.
Australia has delivered a stark diplomatic warning to Israel, demanding its full cooperation with an investigation into the reported use of three Australian passports by the alleged assassins involved in last month's killing of a top Hamas commander in Dubai. Speaking on Thursday after summoning the Israeli ambassador, Australia's foreign minister said he had warned Israel that if it was involved in the passport abuse, it would not be seen as a friendly act.
President Obama met on Thursday with the glitterati of Capitol Hill in a much-ballyhooed confab on health care reform, and more specifically, the health of his current health care reform proposal. I was supposed to use this space to describe the details of that conference, to get into the nitty-gritty details of who said what, who made the most sense and What It All Means in the end. My intention was to do another running diary on the actual proceedings, but I couldn't do that, and for one reason: I didn't tune in to C-SPAN. »
Kucinich jeers: Congress is 'complicit' in violating Americans' constitutional rights. In the wake of congressional Democrats' reauthorization and extension of the USA Patriot Act, few elected Democrats have been as vocal about the post-9/11 security measures as they were during the Bush administration.
The Washington Times is a newspaper that looks with favor upon the Bush/Cheney/Obama/neocon wars of aggression in the Middle East and favors making terrorists pay for 9/11. Therefore, I was surprised to learn on February 24 that the most popular story on the paper's website for the past three days was the "Inside the Beltway" report, "Explosive News," [By Jennifer Harper, February 22, 2010]about the 31 press conferences in cities in the US and abroad on February 19 held by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, an organization of professionals which now has 1,000 members. I was even more surprised that the news report treated the press conference seriously.
The Israeli occupation forces have been accused by a Palestinian Researcher of carrying out "thousands of experiments on Palestinian prisoners every year" which have lead to an increase in the number diagnosed with cancer. The specialist in Palestinian prisoners' affairs, Abdul Naser Ferwana, himself a former prisoner of the Israelis, claims that "more than five thousand experiments using serious drugs put prisoners' lives at risk". According to Ferwana's research, dozens of former prisoners have been diagnosed with cancer months and even years after their release; some have died while others are living with the disease. He believes that the experiments prisoners have been exposed to in prison are the direct cause of the high incidence of cancer in this section of the population. Deliberate medical neglect by the prison authorities also cannot be ruled out, he added.
Editors' Note: Counterpunches can be landed in a variety of ways. In November 2006, Kasatka, the Sea World Orca, attempted to drown her trainer. Yesterday, it was Tilikum’s turn—killing his aquarium trainer. This fall, Fear of the Animal Planet: The Hidden History of Animal Resistance, will be published by AK Press/CounterPunch Books. Below is a poignant excerpt from the book, which details the decades long struggle of two notable orcas: Nootka and Tilikum.
It was an exchange largely ignored by the corporate media. Rep. Ron Paul asked Fed mob boss Ben Bernanke about $12 billion in cash. Paul said “a lot of cash was passed through — and a lot of people suppose it was passed through the Federal Reserve — when there was a provisional government [in Iraq] after the 2003 invasion. That money was not appropriated by the Congress as required by law.”
You may not have noticed, but today is a very important day for US politics, world economic prospects and even for the global balance of power between Western democracy and benign dictatorship along Chinese lines. Why? Because today marks either the beginning of the end of Barack Obama’ presidency, or the end of the beginning.
Washington refused to endorse British claims to sovereignty over the Falkland Islands yesterday as the diplomatic row over oil drilling in the South Atlantic intensified in London, Buenos Aires and at the UN.
Private American security guards working for the US military in Afghanistan removed hundreds of handguns and automatic weapons from stores intended for the exclusive use of the Afghan police and used them on drunken shooting rampages that killed two Afghan civilians and injured at least two more.
A night-time raid in eastern Afghanistan in which eight schoolboys from one family were killed was carried out on the basis of faulty intelligence and should never have been authorised, a Times investigation has found.
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