- see all the photos -> http://thechive.com/2013/12/01/smiles-so-bright-they-could-light-up-a-room-36-photos/
- source thechive
(Reuters) – Consensus may be hard to find in Washington these days, but many corporate executives and economists seem to agree on one point: the biggest risk to the world’s largest economy may be its own elected representatives.
Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/17/us-usa-fiscal-economy-analysis-idUSBRE99G05T20131017
By Richard Cowan and Thomas Ferraro
WASHINGTON, Oct 14 (Reuters) – U.S. senators said they were closing in on a deal Monday that would reopen the government and push back a possible default for several months, though many hurdles remained as a Thursday deadline drew near.
The Senate’s top Democrat and top Republican both said they hoped they could soon reach an agreement that would allow them to avert a looming default and end a partial government shutdown that has dragged on for 14 days so far.
Lawmakers are racing against the clock, with U.S. officials estimating that the federal government could run out of borrowing capacity on Oct. 17.
The plan under discussion would raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling by enough to cover the nation’s borrowing needs at least through mid-February 2014, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
Read more : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/14/senate-fiscal-impasse-deal_n_4098767.html
Six of the world’s top 10 universities are in America, the U.S. has the most gold medals, and Americans make the most money per year, notes BuzzFeed. But if you want the fastest Internet speed around, you’ll need your passport to go overseas. While some countries make Internet access a right and speed a priority, Internet speeds in the U.S. rank anywhere from ninth to 27th in the world. So, where can you find the fastest connections?
Most observers agree Hong Kong has the fastest Internet connections. Its average speed is reported to be as high as 64.6 megabits per second (mbps) – three times faster than the world average. There’s some variety among the lists that rank nations by Internet speed, but all agree Asian nations are doing quite well. Japan (44.2 mbps), South Korea (48.8 mbps) and Singapore (30.7 mbps) deliver faster Internet connections than the U.S.
Smaller European Nations Deliver Fast Connections
Several smaller European nations also appear on top 10 lists, including Romania, Latvia, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria. In Northern Europe, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Sweden offer super-fast Internet speeds. Unlike the Asian nations, these are not countries particularly noted for high tech dominance. So why are they leaving the U.S. behind?
Private Internet Access Versus Public Support
Simply put, Internet service is sort of like healthcare. It needs sound support and maybe some nudging from government to work for more, if not most, people. Plus, the U.S. is much larger than the top 10 nations, making access and speed far more challenging.
Many of the top 10 nations consider Internet access an actual right of the people, an intriguing view on democracy. Their governments encourage Internet Service Providers to enter local markets and compete with one another on price and speed. And these nations have far less geography to cover than the U.S.
Internet Speed and Global Competition
Remember the last time you dealt with a slow Internet connection? Think about how this impacts a large global business. Could slow Internet kill some business opportunities? Would a high-tech or financial powerhouse prefer South Korea, which offers faster and cheaper Internet speed, to the U.S.?
If we really want faster Internet connectivity, perhaps we need something similar to the 1935 Rural Electrification Act that brought electricity and telephone service to 98 percent of all Americans, as Internet specialist and former Obama advisor Susan Crawford suggests. In fact, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided $7.2 billion to support broadband improvements.
The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a nonprofit that researches ways for technology to support the economy, suggests that internet service providers should focus on to delivering moderate speed Internet to private homes, rather than try to meet the high-speed service for which businesses have a stronger need.
Richard Bennett, an analyst with the Foundation, also points out that American consumers and businesses are accustomed to wireless Internet access, and recommends focusing efforts here, as well. Mobile platforms developed by cell phone providers are growing steadily and increasing in speed. “The battle,” he notes, “isn’t just about faster networks, it’s about more kinds of networks that let us do more things.”
In the meantime, can anyone recommend a nice Internet cafe in Hong Kong?
Creative Commons image of Hong Kong by Zachary Baumgartner
The 32-year-old rocked loose-fitting and comfortable-looking clothes — and we have to say, we really like the look.
Hilary Duff doesn’t hold back when it comes to fashion, even when she’s running errands.
Duff stepped out in a pair of teeny leather shorts, a denim shirt and suede booties to take her dog to a Sherman Oaks, Calif., veterinarian on Thursday (Sept. 5). The 25-year-old was spotted heading to her car with pup and 1-year-old son Luca in tow. The paparazzi snapped her photo as she loaded the two into her Mercedes SUV.
The former “Lizzie McGuire” star seems to be a fan of short shorts for these dwindling days of summer. Last week, Duff sported a pair of mini denim cutoffs when she took Luca to Coldwater Canyon Park in Beverly Hills.
* Republican supporter of strikes says Obama made ‘hash’ of argument
* White House chief of staff appears on five Sunday news shows
By John Whitesides and Rachelle Younglai
WASHINGTON, Sept 8 (Reuters) – The White House pressed its case on Sunday for military action in Syria but faced an uphill fight in Congress, where several prominent lawmakers said they have not been persuaded to approve strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
With a crucial test vote planned in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough made the rounds of five Sunday talk shows to argue that a limited strike in response to Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons would send a message of deterrence to regional foes.
But Mike Rogers, Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a supporter of the strikes, said President Barack Obama had made “a hash” of his argument for military action to punish Assad.
“It’s very clear he’s lost support in the last week … The president hasn’t made the case,” Rogers said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Obama’s plan faces significant resistance from Republicans and his fellow Democrats in Congress, with many lawmakers worried military strikes in Syria could lead to a prolonged U.S. commitment there and spark broader conflicts in the region.
“I am asking where is the national security issue? Make no mistake about it, the minute that one of those cruise missiles lands in there, we are in the Syrian war,” Democrat Loretta Sanchez of California said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program.
“For the president to say this is just a very quick thing and we are out of there, that’s how long wars start,” said Sanchez, who described herself as “leaning no.”
Michael McCaul, Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Obama’s plan was “irresponsible.”
WASHINGTON — Overcoming reservations from the left, the right and the American public, a Senate committee Wednesday passed a resolution to bomb Syria in retaliation for President Bashar Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons.
In a delayed markup of a resolution to authorize the use of military force, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10 to 7, with one present, to let President Barack Obama mount a bombing campaign aimed at the Syrian regime’s weapons of mass destruction for up to 90 days, albeit within a more limited scope than Obama had requested. Specifically, the committee included language that would prohibit the use of U.S. troops on the ground “for the purpose of combat operations.”
Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) voted for the resolution.
Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) voted against the authorization, while Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) voted present.
The committee also voted 14-5 to table an amendment from Paul that would clarify the president’s constitutional authority to use military force in the event that Congress voted against intervention in Syria. Paul’s amendment would include language in the resolution to specify that if the authorization failed to pass Congress, the president “would be in violation of the Constitution” if he ordered a military strike against the Syrian government anyway.
In arguing for his amendment, Paul said that his fellow lawmakers should dispense with the Obama administration’s claim that such a action would be short of war. “This will indeed be a war,” he said.