Slow Growth, Boehner Weeps, Icelandic Wind
Friday, January 4, 2013
Vol.2, No. 4
National: The economy added 155,000 jobs in December, slow but steady growth. Other signs point to economic growth, but higher payroll taxes as a result of the Cliff deal may slow recovery.
Congress: The 113th Congress was sworn in, including an historical high of 20 women Senators; 4 Republicans, 16 Democrats. White men are now a minority among House Democrats. And the weeping Speaker John Boehner was re-elected, stifling tears yet again as he addressed the body.
World: Indian authorities say they will seek the death penalty against five men accused of fatally raping and beating a 23-year-old woman on a private New Delhi bus. A sixth defendant will be tried as a minor. The case has sparked protest across India for what many believe to be the government’s cavalier attitude toward rape.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted citizenship to French actor Gerard Depardieu who said he’s giving up French citizenship because of high taxes. The actor has already registered as a resident of Belgium, which has lower taxes and better chocolate.
Gun World: The TSA reports 1500 guns confiscated by airport screeners in 2012, eighty-five percent of them loaded. That’s up from 1300 in 2011. The NY Times web page featuring this story had an ad for body armor.
Newtown: The children of Newtown, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook School went back to class yesterday, but in a previously unused school in neighboring Monroe, Ct.
Nanny State: A 15-year-old Iceland girl is suing the government for the right to use the name her mother gave her at birth. The girl, identified on official records as “Girl” was named “Blaer”, which means “light wind” in Icelandic. But Iceland has a registry of 3,565 officially approved names for males and females and “Blaer” is not on it. The name was also rejected on appeal because it requires a masculine article in Icelandic grammar.
Room for Cream?: Starbucks announced it will sell $1 re-usable cups in an effort to eliminate paper cup waste. Refills come at a 10- cent discount.
Airwaves: The familiar voice of Audie Cornish replaces Michele Norris as co-host of NPR’s “All Things Considered”. Cornish had been the replacement while Norris took a 15-month because her husband worked on the Obama campaign. She returns to NPR as a special correspondent.