Archives for FUBAR

FCC looking for ways to protect consumers from pay-TV disputes

Federal regulators will explore whether they can do more to protect consumers from losing their television signals because of disputes over the fees that subscription-video providers pay broadcasters for their programming. Wednesday’s announcement by the Federal Communications Commission comes on the heels of a high-profile spat between Cablevision Systems Corp. and News Corp.’s Fox network. That impasse left 3 million Cablevision subscribers in the New York area without Fox programming for 15 days — including through two World Series games — after the broadcaster pulled its signal in October. Cablevision had called on the FCC to prohibit Fox from withholding
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Expect at least three more years of housing problems

The housing market will remain depressed, with record high foreclosure levels, rising mortgage rates and a glut of distressed properties dampening the market for years to come, industry experts predicted on Tuesday. “We don’t see a full market recovery until 2014,” said Rick Sharga of RealtyTrac, a foreclosure marketplace and tracking service. He said that he expected more than 3 million homeowners to receive foreclosure notices in 2010, with more than 1 million homes being seized by banks before the end of the year. Both of those numbers are records and expected to go even higher, as $300 billion in
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Immigration landmines threaten Democrats

The chance for hundreds of thousands of foreign-born youngsters brought to the country illegally to gain legal status is dwindling as time runs out on the Democratic-controlled Congress. Senate Democratic leaders will try Wednesday to advance legislation that would pave the way for legalizing the young immigrants, over opposition by most Republicans and several in their own party. The so-called Dream Act is a top priority of Democrats and politically active Hispanic groups, who call it a crucial down payment on a broader immigration overhaul. Critics regard the measure as backdoor amnesty for lawbreakers. With the GOP taking control of
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Visa suspends payments to WikiLeaks

Visa says it has suspended all payments to WikiLeaks pending an investigation of the organization’s business. Visa’s decision is a powerful blow to the loosely knit organization, which relies on online donations to fund its operations. Popular online payment company PayPal, Inc. has already severed its links with WikiLeaks. Visa’s decision to pull the plug on WikiLeaks leaves the website with one fewer source of revenue. Swiss authorities closed Assange’s new Swiss bank account Monday.
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Court weighs constitutionality of gay marriage ban

A line of questioning at an appeals court hearing over California‘s gay marriage ban suggested the three judges could issue a decision that would legalize same-sex marriage in that state but leave intact bans in other western states under the court’s jurisdiction. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard nearly three hours of arguments Monday during a televised hearing that reached a nationwide audience anxious for a final decision on whether voter-approved Proposition 8 and similar same-sex marriage bans violate the U.S. Constitution. The judges appeared troubled over whether they could recognize marriage as a civil right for all
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Oh, wow…Sarah goes camping with Kate Goslin

Kate Gosselin is not a happy camper. On this week’s edition of “Sarah Palin‘s Alaska,” she and her brood make a much-anticipated guest appearance. But don’t expect it to reveal her inner Daniel Boone. “How would you like to go camping with Kate and her eight kids — that TV show you watch?” Sarah Palin asks her daughter, Piper, at the start of the episode. Piper squeals with delight at the idea of hanging with these stars of another TLC series. As things develop, the camping trip in the Alaskan wilds will be no day at the beach for Kate.
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Student visa abuse a growing danger in America

Lured by unsupervised, third-party brokers with promises of steady jobs and a chance to sightsee, some foreign college students on summer work programs in the U.S. get a far different taste of life in America. An Associated Press investigation found students forced to work in strip clubs instead of restaurants. Others take home $1 an hour or even less. Some live in apartments so crowded that they sleep in shifts because there aren’t enough beds. Others have to eat on floors. They are among more than 100,000 college students who come to the U.S. each year on popular J-1 visas,
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So much for the Christmas spirit

Mike Babick’s display of Christmas spirit in Prarie Village, Kansas, has grown too popular for some neighbors, who complain his expanding array of lights and holiday figures draw some unwelcome gawkers. Babick’s passion for the holiday has driven him to adorn his modest one-story home in this Kansas City suburb with more than a thousand figures housed in display cases that go up to his rooftop. Babick, 69, said his display requires a month to set up and draws some 250,000 visitors each year based on a vehicle-counter he installed on his street. “It’s a gigantic Christmas present to everyone
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Another death in Disney town

Authorities in Florida are investigating another death in the town that Disney built. This time it’s a man who apparently killed himself after shooting at deputies. An Osceola County Sheriff’s Office report says 52-year-old Craig Foushee barricaded himself in a home in Celebration on Thursday for more than 14 hours. Authorities say he shot at deputies several times. Deputies entered the home early Friday and found him dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. No deputies were injured. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Twis Lizasuain says there is no connection between Foushee and Matteo Patrick Giovanditto, who was found slain in a condominium
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