It didn't take before the Obama administration backed down on a plan to tax Christmas trees this holiday season. Shortly after the USDA announced it had approved a 15-cent per tree fee, there was an uproar.
Disgraced American cyclist Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title, today was convicted in absentia by a French court "for his role in hacking into the computers of a French doping lab," The Associated Press reports. Landis was given a suspended sentence of 12 months.
Jeani Thomson has been pleading with New York state officials for more than 30 years to protect her neighborhood from the foul-smelling "blue fog" that settles in her yard. She has long suspected the source is an industrial facility about a mile from her house called Tonawanda Coke.
James Murduch, the son of Rupert Murdoch and his deputy CEO at News Corp., was defiant in his second appearance before British Parliament. Murdoch, whose company has been under fire after it was accused of hacking into the phones of royalty and victims of crime, said he did not know the extent of the illegal activity undertaken at his publications.
After NPR and Kaiser Health News reported yesterday on Wal-Mart's plans to become a big provider of primary care in the U.S., the retailer said its document that served as an invitation to partners for the effort was "overwritten and incorrect."
Alabama's Jefferson County has filed for what is the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The county commission voted 4-1 in favor of seeking bankruptcy protection on Wednesday after a debt-restructuring deal fell apart.
As The Birmingham News reports the history of the more than $4 billion in debt spans a decade and mostly involves a failed sewer construction deal fraught with corruption. Jefferson County is home to Birmingham, Alabama's largest city.
Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 3:27 pm
Texas Gov. Rick Perry was doing his best Thursday to limit the damage after he drew a blank at Wednesday's GOP candidate debate on his own plan to reduce the size of government.
Discussing the proposal, Perry said he would eliminate three federal agencies, but then could not name them all, despite being pressed by the moderator.
"Commerce, Education and the — what's the third one there? Let's see," the Texas governor said. Rival candidate Ron Paul suggested it might be the Environmental Protection Agency. "EPA, there you go," Perry responded — incorrectly.
Justice Department lawyers prosecuting a former CIA agent for leaking classified information allegedly lagged in turning over evidence that would help the intelligence operative with his defense, causing the judge to bar a pair of government witnesses from testifying.
Lucas Papademos was named prime minister of the new Greek interim government Thursday. His main task will be to implement the multibillion-dollar bailout that Eurozone leaders agreed to last month. But can he convince Greeks to swallow the austerity measures they hate? Steve Inskeep talks to reporter Joanna Kakissis, who is in Athens.
Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 3:30 pm
Lucas Papademos, a former vice president at the European Central Bank, was named Greece's new prime minister. George Papandreou, the former prime minister, was pressured to resign earlier this week amid an all-out European Union crisis.
In a statement, the country's president said Papademos' chief role will be to ensure swift passage of the terms of the European Union bailout.
The Obama administration put off a plan to collect a fee on Christmas trees. An industry group asked for the fee, 15 cents per tree. Conservatives denounced what they labeled a tax on Christmas trees. The White House defended the fee, saying it's not a tax at all. All the same, the administration says it will delay collecting the money.
Had Wednesday's first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System been a real alert, some may have been left in the dark. Instead of that irritating tone interrupting television and radio programming, some TV viewers heard Lady Gaga singing "Paparazzi." Others had their programming switched to QVC, a home shopping channel.