US unemployment rate reaches 9.8%

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US unemployment rate reaches 9.8%
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Friday, October 2, 2009

Companies in the United States are shedding more jobs, pushing the country’s unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.8%.

The US Labor Department said on Friday that employers cut 263,000 jobs in September, with companies in the service industries — including banks, restaurants and retailers — hit especially hard. This is the 21st consecutive month of job losses in the country.

The United States has now lost 7.2 million jobs since the recession officially began in December 2007. The new data has sparked fears that unemployment could threaten an economic recovery. Top US officials have warned that any recovery would be slow and uneven, and some have predicted the unemployment rate will top 10% before the situation improves.

“Continued household deleveraging and rising unemployment may weigh more on consumption than forecast, and accelerating corporate and commercial property defaults could slow the improvement in financial conditions,” read a report by the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, predicting that unemployment will average 10.1% by next year and not go back down to five percent until 2014.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, said that “it’s a very fragile and tentative recovery. Policy makers need to do more.”

“The number came in weaker than expected. We saw a lot of artificial involvement by the government to prop up the markets, and now that that is starting to end, the private sector isn’t yet showing signs of life,” said Kevin Caron, a market strategist for Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.

Also on Thursday, the US Commerce Department said factory orders fell for the first time in five months, dropping eight-tenths of a percent in August. Orders for durable goods — items intended to last several years (including everything from appliances to airliners) — fell 2.6%, the largest drop since January of this year.

The US government has been spending billions of dollars — part of a $787 billion stimulus package — to help spark economic growth. There have been some signs the economy is improving.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday that spending on home construction jumped in August for its biggest increase in 16 years. A real estate trade group, the National Association of Realtors, said pending sales of previously owned homes rose more than 12 percent in August, compared to August 2008.

A separate Commerce Department report said that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, rose at its fastest pace in nearly eight years, jumping 1.3 percent in August.

Other reports have provided cause for concern. A banking industry trade group said Thursday the number of US consumers making late payments, or failing to make payments, on loans and credit cards is on the rise. A survey by a business group, the Institute for Supply Management, Thursday showed US manufacturing grew in September, but at a slower pace than in August when manufacturing increased for the first time in a year and a half.

Stock markets reacted negatively to the reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 41 points in early trading, reaching a level of 9467. This follows a drop of 203 points on Thursday, its largest loss in a single day since July. The London FTSE index fell 55 points, or 1.1%, to reach 4993 points by 15.00 local time.

Posted on January 12th 2019 in Uncategorized

KKE: Interview with the Greek Communist Party

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KKE: Interview with the Greek Communist Party
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wikinews reporter Iain Macdonald has performed an interview with Dr Isabella Margara, a London-based member of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). In the interview Margara sets out the communist response to current events in Greece as well as discussing the viability of a communist economy for the nation. She also hit back at Petros Tzomakas, a member of another Greek far-left party which criticised KKE in a previous interview.

The interview comes amid tensions in cash-strapped Greece, where the government is introducing controversial austerity measures to try to ease the nation’s debt-problem. An international rescue package has been prepared by European Union member states and the International Monetary Fund – should Greece require a bailout; protests have been held against government attempts to manage the economic situation.

Posted on January 11th 2019 in Uncategorized

Former US Senator Ted Stevens among five killed in Alaska plane crash

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Former US Senator Ted Stevens among five killed in Alaska plane crash
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Former US Senator Ted Stevens, 86, and former NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe, 54, were on an airplane that crashed in southwest Alaska, the Associated Press reports. A family spokesperson later confirmed that Stevens died in the crash, following earlier conflicting reports about his status. Both O’Keefe and his teenage son survived, according to a former NASA spokesperson.

In addition to the former Senator and former NASA chief, there were seven other passengers, The New York Times reports. Of those, five were reported to have died. The plane was heading to a fishing lodge near Lake Aleknagik when it crashed. Senator Stevens’ body has been recovered.

The Alaska National Guard was called in at 7:00 p.m. AKDT (0300 UTC) Monday, and arrived at the crash site about 7:30 a.m. AKDT (1530 UTC) Tuesday. Severe weather has made finding the crash site difficult for rescue personnel. The National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, said it was sending a team of investigators to the crash site, which is unusual for crashes of private aircraft.

As of 10:00 a.m. AKDT (1800 UTC), three of the survivors have been airlifted from the site by the United States Coast Guard.

Ted Stevens was born on November 18, 1923 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He began serving as a US Senator for Alaska in 1968, and held the postition until 2009, when he was defeated in a reelection bid by Mark Begich. He was also facing corruption charges at the time, which were later dropped after an initial conviction when it was found that prosecutors had withheld evidence from Stevens’ defense attorneys. In 1978, Stevens survived a plane crash in Anchorage, although the incident claimed the life of his first wife, Ann.

Sean O’Keefe was nominated as a NASA administrator in 2001 by then-president George W. Bush, and led the space organization through shaky times, such as the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. He resigned in 2005 to become the chancellor of Louisiana State University.

Posted on January 11th 2019 in Uncategorized

Extremely Bad Credit? Loans Are Still Within Reach

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By Larry Donaldson

As you probably know by now, your credit score has a lot of power over your life. If your credit score is very high (say, over 700 or 750), you will be offered the lowest interest rates by banks and other lenders when you apply for a new auto loan, mortgage, or personal loan.

However, if you have a bad credit score (below 620), the opposite is true. You will be offered high-interest loans, regardless of to which lender you apply for a loan.

And, things can be even worse if you have extremely bad credit (a score under 550). If you are in this situation, it will likely be almost impossible to get a loan from most lenders. The only silver lining to this cloud is that you will be spared the high interest rates of a loan for someone with poor credit – since you will not have a loan! The bad news, however, is that you won’t get to borrow any money from most lenders.

If you do have extremely bad credit, loans can still be made available to you. There are, in fact, loans within your reach even if your FICO score is currently below 550. Here are the options available to you:

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1. Ask a family member or friend for a short-term loan: If you have extremely poor credit, you may want to consider asking a trusted family member or friend for a short-term loan.

Of course, borrowing from friends and family is not always possible. And, even when it is possible, it is not always advisable since it can result in hurt feelings or worse if the loan is not paid back in a timely manner. So, this option is not for everyone.

2. Find a way to raise your credit score in a short period of time: You may think this one sounds like a silly suggestion. After all, if you could raise your credit score quickly, you would not be in the current mess you are in now, right? But, think again. There are proven ways to raise one’s credit score by 50, 100 or more points in just a few months’ time. Once you come to really understand how your credit score is calculated and what factors are considered in determining your score, you will suddenly have the power to take quick and effective action to raise your score.

The only drawback to this option is that it can take 1-2 or more months to raise your score. This does not help if you absolutely need to get your loan today.

3. Contact a lender who specializes in extremely bad credit loans: If you have an immediate need for your loan but can’t borrow from someone you know, your best option is to find a lender who specializes in lending to people with extremely bad credit.

Similar to poor credit loans (described above), extremely bad credit loans will involve a high interest rate. But, if you are looking for a short-term loan that you will pay back quickly, that should not be a significant factor in your decision.

If you do decide to contact a lender who specializes in extremely bad credit loans, take the time to select the right lender. Make sure to compare at least 4-5 lenders before settling upon the best one.

About the Author: Get immediate access to resources that will help you to raise your credit score fast – as well as a current list of extremely bad-credit lenders – at: approve-my-loan.com.

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=501532&ca=Finances

Posted on January 11th 2019 in Loan Agreements

World’s largest package delivery service to cut 1,800 jobs

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World’s largest package delivery service to cut 1,800 jobs
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Saturday, January 9, 2010

United Parcel Service (UPS), the world’s largest package delivery service, has announced that it will cut 1,800 administrative and managerial jobs.

The firm, based in Atlanta, Georgia, is to reorganise its five regions into three, and slash the number of districts to twenty from 46, in addition to the job cuts. The company currently has 340,000 people in its employ.

Economic analysts are paying considerable attention to the financial status of UPS, as many see a large connection between the overall state of the US economy and the amount of parcels shipped.

“They’re not cutting sales jobs, they’re cutting back office jobs. They take out back office, they take out cost,” commented Helane Becker, an analyst for Jesup & Lamont Securities.

Posted on January 11th 2019 in Uncategorized

Six-year-old boy on vacation in Venezuela dies in plane crash

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Six-year-old boy on vacation in Venezuela dies in plane crash
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Six-year-old Thomas David Horne from the United Kingdom has died and eleven other British tourists were injured Friday when their plane crashed in Canaima National Park in Venezuela. They were on a sight seeing tour of the world’s tallest waterfalls, the Angel Falls.

The single engine, nine-seater Cessna 208 Caravan, lifted off shortly before the end of the runway, lost power, and then surged briefly before plummeting into the Venezuelan jungle in front of the 3,200 ft falls.

“It started to take off and we sensed it was losing power. Then it seemed to get it back and lifted off just 200 metres before the end of the runway. Then it dived into the trees,” reported Makeli Freire, a park tour guide.

Three of the injured sustained serious injuries, while the others suffered mainly broken bones. Thomas Horne, who sustained serious head injuries, died on the way to a local hospital. The pilot, co-pilot and tour guide were among the injured. Everyone on board was flown to Ciudad Bolívar, the capital city of Venezuela’s Bolívar state, where they were treated for their injuries. Among the injured were Thomas’s mother and father Jane and David who were among those who had broken bones. They were British tourists finishing up a two week holiday to Venezuela.

“The young boy died as he was being flown to hospital. His parents are both physically OK but are completely distraught over the loss of their son,” said Maiker Puga, of the Ciudad Bolivar clinic.

Liz and her husband Keith Grainger and S. Phillips, also British tourists, were also injured in the crash. The names of the three other British tourists and the three person crew who were injured have not been released at this time.

The plane tour was offered by First Choice, a division of TUI Travel PLC who extended their “heartfelt sympathy to family and friends during this deeply sad time.” LTA airline has suspended further flights until the investigation is concluded.

June Holman, Thomas’s aunt who was not on holidays said, that “there is nothing worse than losing a loved one, especially not a young child with their whole life ahead of them. The thoughts of us all are with his parents Jane and Dave at this very sad time.”

Posted on January 10th 2019 in Uncategorized

Hidden treasure worth billions of dollars discovered in Indian temple

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Hidden treasure worth billions of dollars discovered in Indian temple
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Monday, July 4, 2011

Officials announced that a treasure containing sacks of diamonds and gold coins as well as golden idols, jewelry and other riches has been discovered in the secret subterranean vaults of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, in the southwestern state of Kerala, India. Estimates of its worth have been rising and it is now thought to be worth US$20 billion.

The Hindu temple was built in the 16th century by the kings of the then Kingdom of Travancore to serve as a royal chapel for the rulers of Travancore. The six vaults containing the treasure have been undisturbed for over a century. Assessment of the treasure began on June 27 after a lawyer concerned about the security of the treasure petitioned India’s Supreme Court, which then appointed a seven-member panel of experts to inventory the treasure. The panel does not have the power to determine to whom the treasure will belong. Estimates of the treasure’s worth are rising, provoking a heated debate as to how the treasure will be used in a country that has 450 million poverty-stricken people.

The chief minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy, announced on Sunday the treasure would remain with the temple, and security matters would be decided in consultation with the Travancore Royal Family, the temple management, and the temple priest.

The gold was offered to the lord. It is the property of the temple.

“The gold was offered to the lord. It is the property of the temple. The government will protect the wealth at the temple,” Oommen Chandy said. Meanwhile, hundreds of armed police have been deployed around the temple to protect the treasure.

However, the view that the treasure should remain at the temple has been disputed. Among the dissenters is eminent jurist V R Krishna Iyer, who said the treasure should be put in a national trust for the peoples’ benefit. “God’s wealth belongs to the people, not to the king. It’s meaningless to say that it belongs to Hindus or any particular religious community,” said Iyer. “A mechanism should be devised to ensure that the benefits of it reach the poor and the needy and not the rich.”

Five of the six vaults of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple have been inventoried.

God’s wealth belongs to the people, not to the king. It’s meaningless to say that it belongs to Hindus or any particular religious community.

On Saturday, reports leaked to the press revealed that the treasure, including a golden idol of Mahavishnu and a golden ‘anki’, were found in one of the vaults, estimated to weigh 30 kilograms, along with precious stones, silver, two coconut shells of pure gold and another golden idol as well as other jewels and valuable coins. The panel hopes to find more treasure when the sixth and final vault is opened, but the attempt was suspended on Monday because the iron door inside presented “technical problems” requiring further consultation before opening. This vault is thought to contain the bulk of the wealth.

Keralan officials in a preliminary estimate said that the treasure was worth over US$11.2 billion; those estimates have now risen to US$20 billion. Historians say that the temple’s location on a site through which passed lucrative trade routes support the higher evaluations.

“Traders, who used to come from other parts of the country and abroad for buying spices and other commodities, used to make handsome offerings to the deity for not only his blessings but also to please the then rulers,” said P.J. Cherian, the director of Kerala Council for Historic Research

Some suggest that the profit from the sale of the treasure would be enough to wipe out the entire public debt of Kerala and fund future Kerala projects such as seaports, airports and highways.

Posted on January 10th 2019 in Uncategorized

Saturn moon Enceladus may have salty ocean

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Saturn moon Enceladus may have salty ocean
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

NASA’s Cassini–Huygens spacecraft has discovered evidence for a large-scale saltwater reservoir beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. The data came from the spacecraft’s direct analysis of salt-rich ice grains close to the jets ejected from the moon. The study has been published in this week’s edition of the journal Nature.

Data from Cassini’s cosmic dust analyzer show the grains expelled from fissures, known as tiger stripes, are relatively small and usually low in salt far away from the moon. Closer to the moon’s surface, Cassini found that relatively large grains rich with sodium and potassium dominate the plumes. The salt-rich particles have an “ocean-like” composition and indicate that most, if not all, of the expelled ice and water vapor comes from the evaporation of liquid salt-water. When water freezes, the salt is squeezed out, leaving pure water ice behind.

Cassini’s ultraviolet imaging spectrograph also recently obtained complementary results that support the presence of a subsurface ocean. A team of Cassini researchers led by Candice Hansen of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, measured gas shooting out of distinct jets originating in the moon’s south polar region at five to eight times the speed of sound, several times faster than previously measured. These observations of distinct jets, from a 2010 flyby, are consistent with results showing a difference in composition of ice grains close to the moon’s surface and those that made it out to the E ring, the outermost ring that gets its material primarily from Enceladean jets. If the plumes emanated from ice, they should have very little salt in them.

“There currently is no plausible way to produce a steady outflow of salt-rich grains from solid ice across all the tiger stripes other than salt water under Enceladus’s icy surface,” said Frank Postberg, a Cassini team scientist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

The data suggests a layer of water between the moon’s rocky core and its icy mantle, possibly as deep as about 50 miles (80 kilometers) beneath the surface. As this water washes against the rocks, it dissolves salt compounds and rises through fractures in the overlying ice to form reserves nearer the surface. If the outermost layer cracks open, the decrease in pressure from these reserves to space causes a plume to shoot out. Roughly 400 pounds (200 kilograms) of water vapor is lost every second in the plumes, with smaller amounts being lost as ice grains. The team calculates the water reserves must have large evaporating surfaces, or they would freeze easily and stop the plumes.

“We imagine that between the ice and the ice core there is an ocean of depth and this is somehow connected to the surface reservoir,” added Postberg.

The Cassini mission discovered Enceladus’ water-vapor and ice jets in 2005. In 2009, scientists working with the cosmic dust analyzer examined some sodium salts found in ice grains of Saturn’s E ring but the link to subsurface salt water was not definitive. The new paper analyzes three Enceladus flybys in 2008 and 2009 with the same instrument, focusing on the composition of freshly ejected plume grains. In 2008, Cassini discovered a high “density of volatile gases, water vapor, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well as organic materials, some 20 times denser than expected” in geysers erupting from the moon. The icy particles hit the detector target at speeds between 15,000 and 39,000 MPH (23,000 and 63,000 KPH), vaporizing instantly. Electrical fields inside the cosmic dust analyzer separated the various constituents of the impact cloud.

“Enceladus has got warmth, water and organic chemicals, some of the essential building blocks needed for life,” said Dennis Matson in 2008, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

“This finding is a crucial new piece of evidence showing that environmental conditions favorable to the emergence of life can be sustained on icy bodies orbiting gas giant planets,” said Nicolas Altobelli, the European Space Agency’s project scientist for Cassini.

“If there is water in such an unexpected place, it leaves possibility for the rest of the universe,” said Postberg.

Posted on January 9th 2019 in Uncategorized

News briefs:July 26, 2010

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News briefs:July 26, 2010
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Posted on January 7th 2019 in Uncategorized

Strong earthquake near Solomon Islands, tsunami reported

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Strong earthquake near Solomon Islands, tsunami reported
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Sunday, April 1, 2007

A magnitude 8.1 undersea earthquake triggered a tsunami that has killed at least fifteen people, including six children, in the Solomon Islands. Tsunami warnings have been issued for parts of Australia as well.

According to the US Geological Survey, the magnitude 8.0 quake struck Sunday, April 1, 2007 at 20:39:56 (UTC) about 45 km (25 mi) south-southeast of Gizo, New Georgia Islands, Solomon Islands, at a depth of 10 km.

Contents

  • 1 ‘Disaster’ declared in the Solomons
  • 2 Region on alert
  • 3 Related news
  • 4 Sources
Posted on January 7th 2019 in Uncategorized