Friday, March 5, 2010

Article Spotlight 3.5.10

Obama signs Bill to Boost US Tourism Promotion: Breitbart
Looking for an edge in the global war for tourism dollars, US President Barack Obama Thursday signed into law moves to attract more overseas travelers. Obama signed the act "which establishes a corporation for travel promotion to encourage international travel to the United States" the White House said in a statement. The effort is to be funded through a matching program featuring up to 100 million dollars in private sector contributions and a 10-dollar fee on foreign travelers who do not pay for a visa, with no money from US taxpayers.

Feds Weigh Expansion of Internet Monitoring:
Homeland Security and the National Security Agency may be taking a closer look at Internet communications in the future. The Department of Homeland Security's top cybersecurity official told CNET on Wednesday that the department may eventually extend its Einstein technology, which is designed to detect and prevent electronic attacks, to networks operated by the private sector. The technology was created for federal networks.

Spy Chips Hidden in 2.5 Million Dustbins: 60 pc rise in Electronic Bugs as Council Snoopers Plan Pay-As-You-Throw Tax: Daily Mail
The growing threat of a stealth tax on the rubbish we throw away was exposed by startling figures yesterday. More than 2.5million homes now have wheelie bins fitted with microchips to weigh their contents. Under such schemes - which are likely to be hugely unpopular - families who put out more waste will pay higher taxes to their local council.

Payrolls fall by 36,000; U.S. jobless rate steady at 9.7%: Wall Street Journal
U.S. nonfarm payrolls declined for the 25th time in the past 26 months, falling by 36,000 in February to a seasonally adjusted 129.5 million, the Labor Department estimated Friday. The nation's jobless rate was steady at 9.7% as the number of people employed rose by 308,000, according to the household survey.

Federal Pay Ahead of Private Industry:
USA Today
Federal employees earn higher average salaries than private-sector workers in more than eight out of 10 occupations, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data finds. Accountants, nurses, chemists, surveyors, cooks, clerks and janitors are among the wide range of jobs that get paid more on average in the federal government than in the private sector.

Obama Looking to Give New Life to Immigration Reform: LA Times
Despite steep odds, the White House has discussed prospects for reviving a major overhaul of the nation's immigration laws, a commitment that President Obama has postponed once already. Obama took up the issue privately with his staff Monday in a bid to advance a bill through Congress before lawmakers become too distracted by approaching midterm elections.

Foreign Affairs:
Indonesian Students Protest Barack Obama's Visit: AP
Scores of Islamic students staged protests outside Jakarta's parliament and in at least three other major Indonesian cities on Friday against President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to this predominantly Muslim country. The students carried banners branding Obama as an enemy of Islam and an imperialist in downtown Jakarta as well as in the provincial capitals Padang, Yogyakarta and Surabaya.

Dozens Hurt in Clashes at Revered Jerusalem Mosque:
Israeli police and Palestinians clashed outside Jerusalem's flashpoint al-Aqsa mosque on Friday and at least 35 people were injured, Israeli police and Palestinian medical workers said. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israeli forces of "provocation" and "crossing red lines" in an effort to derail a resumption of peace negotiations expected shortly under U.S. mediation. In a statement, Abbas appealed to Washington to hold Israel back to prevent a "war of religion" in the Middle East.


Body Scanners Are Headed to 11 Major Airports: USA Today
Eleven major airports will begin using body scanners to screen passengers as the Transportation Security Administration launches a plan to buy 1,000 of the machines over the next two years. The scanners can look under passengers' clothing in order to detect weapons and explosives.

Parents of Pentagon Shooter Reportedly Warned Authorities About Him: Fox News
The Pentagon shooter had been behaving erratically, and his family feared in January that he had bought a gun, a law enforcement official said Friday. San Benito County Sheriff Curtis Hill told the AP the parents of John Patrick Bedell filed a missing persons report and were worried about his mental stability.

Controversies Big and Small Dog Oscars Contenders: Yahoo News
Anti-war, anti-imperialist, anti-semitic, anti-social, racist: this year's Oscars best picture contenders have faced a barrage of criticism from groups and commentators eager to exploit the media frenzy surrounding the Academy Awards to draw attention to their causes. While science-fiction blockbuster "Avatar" and Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker" have been battling criticism on a number of fronts, controversies have also attached themselves to best picture nominees "Precious," "District 9," "An Education," "The Blind Side" and "A Serious Man."

Movie Milestone 'Avatar' Eyes Oscars Gold: Yahoo News
Win or lose at the Oscars this weekend, "Avatar" is already assured of its place in Hollywood history, a 3-D milestone to rank alongside the arrival of sound in the 1920s or color in the 1930s. Director James Cameron's science-fiction blockbuster has already redefined the art of special effects on its way to becoming the highest-grossing film of all time, raking in more than two billion dollars worldwide since its release.

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