Daily Archives: October 22, 2012

Views from the Solar System (75)


Sea Ice Off Eastern Greenland
NASA – The MODIS instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Sea Ice off eastern Greenland on October 16, 2012. Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team

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Once-listless presidential race attracts intensity in closing weeks


SLIDE SHOW (34)

By Justin Sink – The 2012 presidential race, once viewed as a dreary grind of a contest, has picked up a surprising amount of intensity this month.

Just a few weeks ago, the race was perhaps most remarkable for how unremarkable it was.

“The first debate was clearly a watershed moment,” said Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons. “It brought home a number of Republicans who might have been on the fence. And for Democrats, it’s shaken us out of our overconfidence stupor, and people realized this is going to be a tough fight.”

“Americans like winners,” Republican strategist Ford O’Connell said. “There is no better cure for a lack of enthusiasm than instilling the belief in voters that a candidate can win.” more> http://tinyurl.com/8opl7yv

Bank debt possibilities left open by Merkel’s ambiguity


By John McManus – SO NEAR, yet so far. Just when a transformational deal on Ireland’s historic bank debts was within our grasp, the German chancellor seems to have dashed our hopes.

Or has she?

Finding a Germany-friendly way to deal with the other €30 billion odd of bank-related debt is a little trickier. This is pure Irish sovereign debt, even though the money was ploughed into AIB, Bank of Ireland and Irish Permanent as equity to shore up their capital.

The plan here seems to be for the new rescue fund to take equity stakes in the so-called pillar banks. The Government would then use the cash to repay sovereign debt. more> http://tinyurl.com/9vckvkq

ITU: Draft of the Future International Telecommunications Regulations


International Telecommunications Union, Geneva.

International Telecommunications Union, Geneva. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ARTICLE 19 – One of the key questions that will be examined at WCIT is whether or not ‘ICTs’ or the Internet should fall within the scope of the ITRs.

As the ITU has traditionally operated under a very closed-up, top-down decision-making process, civil society groups are concerned that the ITR review process might be used to fundamentally change the multi-stakeholder model that has been the hallmark of Internet governance up until now. There is also a concern that this process will have a detrimental impact on the open Internet, freedom of expression and access to information. more> http://tinyurl.com/93zcyuc

U.S. companies take aim at pension risk with lump-sum offers


By Jilian Mincer – Corporate America is finally ready to deal with a monkey on its back: massive pension obligations.

AT&T Inc on Friday (Oct 19) said it plans to contribute a $9.5 billion stake in its wireless business to its underfunded pension plan. Earlier this week, Verizon Communications Inc moved to unload $7.5 billion in pension obligations to insurer Prudential Financial Inc.

But by far the most common trend in corporate America is to offer lump-sum payouts to thousands of retirees now – these voluntary buyouts could cost companies millions of dollars upfront, but they eliminate the risk of obligations soaring out of control in the future. more> http://tinyurl.com/9dy7gbs

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CONGRESS WATCH Meehan Presents Long Overdue Medals to World War II Army Veteran, US Congress Meehan Questions State Department Witnesses on Security Failures in Benghazi, YouTube [VIDEO 9:52] Meehan Discusses Libya Security Failures on Huckabee, YouTube [VIDEO 5:27] Fox News: … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCH No Budget, No Pay (House), No Labels