Archives for News

It’s a bird, no it’s a plane, no it’s a spy bird!

  You’ll never look at hummingbirds the same again. The Pentagon has poured millions of dollars into the development of tiny drones inspired by biology, each equipped with video and audio equipment that can record sights and sounds. They could be used to spy, but also to locate people inside earthquake-crumpled buildings and detect hazardous chemical leaks. The smaller, the better. Besides the hummingbird, engineers in the growing unmanned aircraft industry are working on drones that look like insects and the helicopter-like maple leaf seed. Researchers are even exploring ways to implant surveillance and other equipment into an insect as
Read More

OK, so Bernanke’s plan worked: Now what?

Nearly everything is going according to the plan Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke hatched six months ago. During a speech in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Aug. 27, Bernanke outlined an effort to spur economic growth, prevent prices from falling and push markets higher through the purchase of government bonds. Since then stocks have soared, the unemployment rate has dropped and Americans have started to spend more. “It’s been a success,” says Bill Gross, who manages the world’s largest mutual fund at Pimco. Gross had skewered Bernanke’s attempt to boost the economy, comparing it to a Ponzi scheme. “It’s hard to
Read More

Shutdown may be averted, but bitterness remains

A deal to avert a government shutdown took shape in Congress on Monday, but the short-term spending measure would do nothing to resolve the bitter debate over federal spending. Budget-cutting Republicans pressured President Barack Obama’s Democrats to accept a proposal to trim $4 billion over the next two weeks by eliminating programs that Obama has also targeted. “This week, Democrats will have an opportunity to show that they’ve gotten the message,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said. “They can show they agree the time has come to change the status quo.” Senate Democrats indicated they may go along with the
Read More

Threats don’t deter Wisconsin Democrats

Wisconsin state Sen. Chris Larson packed just his toothbrush and one extra shirt when he and 13 fellow Democrats fled the state last week, to avoid near-certain passage of the Republican governor’s plan to strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights. “That tells you, I didn’t think it would take this long,” Larson said by telephone from somewhere in Illinois, which he declined to disclose. Nearly a week later the stalemate persists at the Capitol in Madison, and the pro-union protests that began there have spread to other states — including Indiana, where labor legislation and other GOP proposals
Read More

House looks at stopgap spending bill

  Republicans controlling the House are moving quickly to pass stopgap legislation to avoid a partial shutdown of the government when temporary funding runs out Friday. Tuesday’s measure would keep the government running for two weeks to buy time for the Republican House, the Democratic Senate and the Obama White House to try to reach agreement on longer-term legislation to fund the government through the end of the budget year. It’s a relatively mild volley in a party-defining spending battle that promises to go on for months or years. Republicans want to slash a whopping $60 billion-plus from agency budgets
Read More

Wisconsin governor gives Democrats ultimatum

MADISON, Wisc. (Reuters) – Republican Governor Scott Walker on Monday gave absent Democratic lawmakers an ultimatum to return to Wisconsin within 24 hours and vote on a proposal to reduce the power of public sector unions or have the state would miss out on a huge debt restructuring. Read the full story.
Read More