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Jul 15, 2010 An hour of work: What is it worth?

QUOTE: This week lawmakers in Hong Kong are debating if the city should institute its first-ever minimum wage. Most other parts of the world, including mainland China, have enacted laws requiring companies pay employees above a certain amount on an hourly, daily or monthly basis. However, despite calls dating from more than a decade ago to establish a minimum wage here, Hong Kong still has no pay floor.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Jun 25, 2010 In Deal, New Authority Over Wall Street

QUOTE: An overhaul of the nation’s financial regulatory system, reached after an all-night Congressional horse-trading session, will vastly expand the authority of the federal government over Wall Street in a bid to curb the free-wheeling culture that led to the near collapse of the world economy in 2008.

New York Times
Sep 09, 2009 South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson shouts, 'You lie' at Obama

QUOTE: Outburst came when Obama denied health care plan covered illegal immigrants.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Sep 08, 2009 U.S. in Delicate Spot Over Marred Afghan Vote

QUOTE: On Monday, as the vote-counting in Afghanistan was nearing an end, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was briefed by the American ambassador in Kabul, Karl W. Eikenberry.

Jun 11, 2009 Security Firm Is Pressed On U.S. Embassy Contract

QUOTE: Deputy Assistant Secretary of State William H. Moser told a Senate subcommittee on contracting oversight that the State Department... will renew its agreement with ArmorGroup North America (AGNA), despite lingering concerns about weapons shortages, the company's training programs and the poor English-language skills of some guards...

Washington Post
Jul 24, 2008 Italy to Jail Illegal Migrants: A new law makes undocumented migration a crime, punishable by up to four years in jail

QUOTE: According to media reports, the legislation will introduce a new criminal offence—"illegal immigration"—punishable by six to four years in prison. The law also states that property rented to an undocumented immigrant can be confiscated.The maximum period an immigrant can be kept in detention after illegally setting foot on Italian territory will be extended to 18 months—which is in line with EU-wide rules on returning non-EU nationals who do not or no longer fulfill the conditions for entry, stay or residence in a member state.

BusinessWeek
Jul 23, 2008 Report Says Pentagon Pressured, Intimidated Auditors

QUOTE: Auditors at an oversight agency of the Pentagon were pressured by supervisors to skew their reports on a major defense contractor's work, hiding wrongdoing and charges of overbilling, according to an 80-page report from the Government Accountability Office.

Washington Post
Jul 21, 2008 New Regulator in Rescue Plan Spurs Debate

QUOTE: While experts on the companies agree that the proposed regulator would be stronger than the existing one, housed in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, some contend that the legislation does not go far enough. These critics say that the measure tilts in favor of the companies, even as it tries to strike a balance between promoting affordable housing — a primary mission of the government-sponsored mortgage giants — and setting limits on them to diminish the risks they pose to the world financial system.

New York Times
Jul 20, 2008 Lawsuit Threatens Sarbanes-Oxley Act

QUOTE: A sideways challenge to the law is before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The question: whether the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, created by Sarbanes-Oxley to clean up the Enron-tainted auditing profession, is constitutional.

Washington Post
Jul 19, 2008 Felons Seeking Bush Pardon Near a Record

QUOTE: The requests are adding to a backlog of nearly 2,300 pending petitions, most from “ordinary people who committed garden-variety crimes,” said Margaret Colgate Love, a clemency lawyer. Ms. Love, who was the United States pardon attorney from 1990 to 1997, said the backlog was overwhelming the vetting system, meaning that many petitions might not reach Mr. Bush’s desk before he leaves office.

New York Times
Jul 19, 2008 A Veil Closes France’s Door to Citizenship

QUOTE: “I would never have imagined that they would turn me down because of what I choose to wear,” Ms. Silmi said... But last month, France’s highest administrative court upheld a decision to deny citizenship to Ms. Silmi, 32, on the ground that her “radical” practice of Islam was incompatible with French values like equality of the sexes

New York Times
Jul 19, 2008 U.S. Position Complicates Global Effort to Curb Illicit Arms

QUOTE: Diplomats from the world’s governments met throughout this week on agreements to cut the global illicit trade in small arms, but their work was curtailed in part by the near-boycott of the meetings by the United States.

New York Times
Jul 19, 2008 Failure to Fix Base Hazards Worried Pentagon Official

QUOTE: In a May 5, 2008, e-mail message, a safety official at the Defense Contract Management Agency, the Pentagon organization in charge of supervising defense contractors in Iraq, noted that the agency had failed to act after its own comprehensive safety survey in February 2007 found widespread electrical problems at American bases that had led to a series of deaths, injuries and fires.

New York Times
Jul 18, 2008 Anti-Energy Speculation Bill Stirs Fear

QUOTE: Financial industry executives are mustering on Capitol Hill to head off a Congressional effort to rewrite the rules for the nation’s energy markets, saying it could unsettle already nervous markets and push more energy trading abroad, beyond the reach of domestic regulators.

New York Times
Jul 18, 2008 Investigation of Iraq IG Ends With No Charges

QUOTE: The federal government has dropped two investigations into the office of the inspector general overseeing Iraq reconstruction projects, according to a lawyer for the IG. In a July 3 letter, federal prosecutors said they had closed the criminal investigation of Stuart W. Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, according to Bowen's attorney Bradford Berenson.

Washington Post
Jul 18, 2008 Congressman Seeks Ethics Probe of Fundraising: Money to Be Used for Center in His Name

QUOTE: Some ethics experts have called the entreaties troubling because some of the corporations and individuals the New York Democrat has approached, including insurance giant American International Group, have business interests before his committee. The panel has broad jurisdiction over tax and trade matters.

Washington Post
Jul 18, 2008 Universal Says DMCA Takedown Notices Can Ignore 'Fair Use'

QUOTE: Universal Music told a federal judge here Friday that takedown notices requiring online video-sharing sites to automatically remove content need not consider whether videos are protected by the "fair use" doctrine...The music company made the argument Friday as part of a lawsuit brought by a Pennsylvania woman whose 29-second video of her toddler dancing to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" was removed last year after Universal sent YouTube a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Wired
Jul 17, 2008 Report Finds Hazardous Conditions at Senior Centers (City Room)

QUOTE: “Simply stated, D.F.T.A.’s lack of follow-up is putting seniors at risk for injury,” Mr. Thompson said, referring to the city’s Department for the Aging, which awards contracts to provide groups to run the centers.

New York Times
Jul 17, 2008 Argentina Blocks Farm Export Tax

QUOTE: In a crushing defeat for Argentina’s beleaguered president, the Senate rejected increases in the agricultural export tax that have caused a farmer rebellion, with the vice president siding with farmers and casting the deciding vote. After nearly 18 hours of debate, the Senate voted, 37 to 36, on Thursday against the system of floating-rate taxes, which the government of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner imposed in March without consulting the Congress. The lower House narrowly approved the system, 129 to 122, after 19 hours of debate.

New York Times
Jul 17, 2008 Fund-Raiser Apparently Offers Access for a Price

QUOTE: The White House on Wednesday disavowed the actions of a Houston businessman and Bush campaign fund-raiser who was caught on videotape apparently trying to trade access to top administration officials — including Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — in exchange for six-figure donations to President Bush’s library foundation.

New York Times
Jul 17, 2008 Fed's Crisis Role Spurs Questions of Overreach

QUOTE: "The Federal Reserve has re-created itself," said Vincent Reinhart, a senior staffer at the Fed until last summer who is now a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. "And if you do more things, you set yourself up to have to choose among them and trade off. What happens when concern for housing finance conflicts with the need to pursue price stability?"

Washington Post
Jul 16, 2008 G.O.P. Resistance May Delay Housing Legislation

QUOTE: The reluctance by Republicans to embrace President Bush’s plan came as shares in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunged again on Tuesday, raising the chances that the federal government might need to take over the companies — a prospect that some fiscal conservative lawmakers likened to socialism. “When I picked up my newspaper yesterday, I thought I woke up in France,” Senator Jim Bunning, Republican of Kentucky, said at a banking committee hearing. “But no, it turns out socialism is alive and well in America.”

New York Times
Jul 16, 2008 Problems Persist With Red Cross Blood Services

QUOTE: The situation has proved so frustrating that in January the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration attended a Red Cross board meeting — a first for a commissioner — and warned members that they could face criminal charges for their continued failure to bring about compliance, according to three Red Cross officials who attended the meeting and requested anonymity because Red Cross policy prohibits public discussion of its meetings with regulators.

New York Times
Jul 16, 2008 A 1913 Law Dies to Better Serve Gay Marriages

QUOTE: Massachusetts may have been the first state to legalize same-sex marriage for its residents, but when California last month invited out-of-state gay and lesbian couples to get married, the potential economic benefits did not go unnoticed here... The repeal, which passed with no objections on a voice vote, is expected to pass the House later this week. Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat and a supporter of same-sex marriage whose 18-year-old daughter recently disclosed publicly that she is a lesbian, has said he will sign the repeal.

New York Times
Jul 16, 2008 Rule Drafted for Carbon Trapping

QUOTE: The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Tuesday a first draft of a rule that will govern injecting carbon dioxide into underground storage. Development of such a rule is essential before companies can build power plants that will capture and store their carbon dioxide to limit the buildup of global warming gases.

New York Times
Jul 16, 2008 S.E.C. Unveils Measures to Limit Short-Selling

QUOTE: The Securities and Exchange Commission, under pressure to respond to the tumult in the financial industry, announced emergency measures on Tuesday to curb certain kinds of short-selling that aims at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as Wall Street banks. The chairman of the S.E.C., Christopher Cox, said the commission would institute an order to limit the ability of traders to bet against the shares of Fannie and Freddie, the mortgage finance giants, which plunged again on Tuesday.

New York Times
Jul 15, 2008 Court Backs Bush on Military Detentions

QUOTE: President Bush has the legal power to order the indefinite military detentions of civilians captured in the United States, the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled on Tuesday in a fractured 5-to-4 decision.

New York Times
Jul 15, 2008 Go Ahead, Annoy Away, Court Says (The Lede)

QUOTE: After asserting their right to annoy in defiance of a government ban, Australian protesters received Federal Court backing today. The court, in rejecting a recently adopted regulation against any acts of “annoyance” at an event headlined by Pope Benedict XVI, made this key ruling, according to The Sydney Morning Herald: There was “no intelligible boundary” on what “causes annoyance”.

New York Times
Jul 15, 2008 Congress Overrides Bush’s Veto on Medicare

QUOTE: President Bush cast a futile veto on Tuesday, rejecting a bill that would protect doctors from cuts in their Medicare payments. But hours later, the House and Senate voted to override the veto, making the Medicare measure the fourth bill to become legislation over Mr. Bush’s opposition. The president’s veto message to the House said that he objected to the bill because it was “fiscally irresponsible” and relied on “short-term budget gimmicks” that do not address the long-term fiscal soundness of the Medicare program.

New York Times
Jul 15, 2008 I.R.S. Aims to Give Teeth to a Program Meant to Counter Offshore Tax Avoidance

QUOTE: The Internal Revenue Service plans to tighten the rules for a multibillion-dollar program created to make sure offshore bank customers pay their United States taxes, top tax officials say. The little-noticed program has come under greater scrutiny amid a widening investigation into whether UBS, the world’s largest private bank, misused the program to help American clients evade federal income taxes through secret offshore entities.

New York Times
Jul 15, 2008 District Gun Bill Goes to Council: Officials Anticipate More Legal Action On Weapon Types

QUOTE: Within weeks, District residents could legally keep handguns in their homes under emergency legislation that goes to the D.C. Council today, as officials try to comply with the Supreme Court ruling rejecting the city's handgun ban. But District officials said yesterday that they are braced for the possibility of more legal wrangling as they try to respect the high court while maintaining the strictest controls possible.

Washington Post
Jul 15, 2008 Kurds Protest Iraqi Election Law

QUOTE: The entire bloc of Kurdish lawmakers walked out of Iraq’s Parliament on Tuesday to protest a proposed provincial election law, contending that part of it was unconstitutional. The walkout by roughly a fifth of Parliament’s 275 members delayed voting on the bill, which governs provincial council elections scheduled to take place across Iraq this fall. The dispute could yet be resolved quickly, but it introduced more uncertainty into preparations for the nationwide elections. Parliament will meet again on Thursday to discuss the bill, several members said, and talks are continuing in small meetings.

New York Times
Jul 15, 2008 Detainee’s Lawyers Make Claim on Sleep Deprivation

QUOTE: A week before what could be the first American war crimes trial since World War II, defense lawyers claimed on Monday that an accused detainee might have been subjected to a program of systematic sleep deprivation that they said would constitute torture.

New York Times
Jul 15, 2008 Group Calls for Inquiry Into Death of Detainee

QUOTE: “Lack of access to adequate medical care is among detainees’ chief complaints,” said the center’s executive director, Cheryl Little, an immigration lawyer. “The ICE detention system is designed to fail detainees like Valery Joseph.” United States immigration officials disagree. A division of the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently released a study it had done showing that the percentage of deaths per 100,000 detainees was “dramatically lower for ICE detainees than for U.S. prisons and jails and the general U.S. population as a whole.”

New York Times
Jul 14, 2008 Bush Lifts Drilling Moratorium, Prodding Congress

QUOTE: Mr. Bush said some experts believe that drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf could yield a decade’s worth of oil for the United States, and that exploiting it could be done unobtrusively, without damaging coral reefs or creating spills. He said Congress was “the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources.”

New York Times
Jul 14, 2008 86 Charged in Turkey Coup Plot

QUOTE: Eighty-six people, including writers, members of civil organizations and former military officers, were formally charged Monday with membership in an illegal ultranationalist organization and of plotting a coup to overthrow the Turkish government. Speaking at a televised news conference, the Istanbul chief prosecutor, Aykut Cengiz Engin, refused to give details of the case against the ultranationalist and hard-line secular organization, known as Ergenekon, citing prohibitions on public briefings before a case is formally accepted by the criminal court.

New York Times
Jul 14, 2008 South Korea Recalls Envoy to Japan

QUOTE: South Korea announced on Monday that it was recalling its ambassador to Tokyo to protest Japan’s renewed claim to a string of islets that have been the focus of a protracted territorial dispute.

New York Times
Jul 13, 2008 Sudanese Protest War Crimes Case Against President at Scripted Rally in Capital

QUOTE: Thousands of people took to the streets of Sudan’s tense capital on Sunday in a carefully choreographed protest against the expected request by the International Criminal Court to arrest President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on war crimes charges. Students and members of the ruling National Congress Party were bused to the center of the capital, Khartoum, where they waved banners denouncing the international court and the United Nations.

New York Times
Jul 13, 2008 Long-Term Fix Is Elusive in Medicare Payments

QUOTE: Congress has voted to block a cut in Medicare payments to doctors but has done nothing to solve the fundamental problem that caused the cut, and the issue will come back to haunt the next president and the next Congress, lawmakers and health policy experts say. Democrats and Republicans agree that the formula for paying doctors is broken, but fixing it would be phenomenally expensive, they say. So Congress provides temporary relief from year to year, the same way it takes care of the Alternative Minimum Tax, which snares more middle-income families every year.

New York Times
Jul 13, 2008 Political Satire, but Obama Isn’t Laughing

QUOTE: The cover of the magazine depicts Mr. Obama wearing a turban, while he offers a fist bump to his gun-toting wife. An American flag singes behind them in the fireplace. Asked about the drawing at a news conference here Sunday, Mr. Obama held his tongue, saying: “I have no response to that.” A campaign spokesman, though, was not so measured at a sketch that the magazine calls satirical. “The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama’s right-wing critics have tried to create,” the spokesman, Bill Burton, said in a statement. “But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive –- and we agree.”

New York Times
Jul 12, 2008 North Korea Blames South in Shooting

QUOTE: North Korea blamed South Korea on Saturday for the death of a South Korean tourist, who was shot by a North Korean soldier before dawn on Friday morning after wandering into a restricted military area. North Korea also refused to let South Korean officials enter its territory to investigate the shooting. The incident, in which a 53-year-old woman was killed after apparently wandering into a restricted military zone near the North’s Kumgang resort, added chill to already-frosty relations between the two Koreas.

New York Times
Jul 12, 2008 Iraqi Forces Raid Mosque With Links to Sadrists

QUOTE: Government forces in the southern city of Diwaniya burst into a mosque attended by followers of the rebel Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr on Friday, arresting the imam and four worshipers, including another cleric, Iraqi security officials said. The raid on the Imam Ali mosque underscored the bitter, often violent feuding across southern Iraq between those loyal to Mr. Sadr and forces allied with the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.

New York Times
Jul 12, 2008 Former Analyst Sentenced to Prison in Chinese Spy Case

QUOTE: A federal judge on Friday sentenced a former Pentagon analyst to 57 months in prison for his role in providing China with classified defense information. The judge, Leonie M. Brinkema, rejected the prosecutor’s request that the former analyst, Gregg W. Bergersen, be sentenced to 87 months for having provided sensitive information to Tai Shen Kuo, a native of Taiwan who has lived in Louisiana for more than 30 years.

New York Times
Jul 12, 2008 Germany Denies Being Pressured on Obama: Reports Say White House Objected to Speech Site

QUOTE: The German government strongly denied Friday that it had been pressured by the Bush administration to discourage Sen. Barack Obama from giving an address in front of the landmark Brandenburg Gate during his upcoming European tour. Obama's campaign has declined to confirm the dates of his trip, but politicians here continued to squabble over where, exactly, to lay out the red carpet for the presumptive Democratic nominee, who, in contrast to President Bush, is very popular with the German public.

Washington Post
Jul 11, 2008 Rangel Rents Apartments at Bargain Rates

QUOTE: Mr. Rangel’s use of the fourth apartment as an office, in addition to his 2,500-square-foot residence, was especially troubling to some advocates, given the city’s chronic shortage of housing for low- and moderate-income residents. “Whether it’s an elected official or not, no one should have four apartments, especially when one is being used as an office,” said Michael McKee, treasurer of the Tenants Political Action Committee, who was not aware of Mr. Rangel’s situation when he was interviewed.

New York Times
Jul 11, 2008 China Deports British Citizen

QUOTE: Dechen Pemba, 30, who had lived in Beijing since September 2006 studying Mandarin and teaching English, held a work visa valid until November 2008. But on Tuesday morning, seven or eight police officers confronted her as she left her apartment. They forced her back inside, told her to pack a bag and, after searching its contents, escorted her to the airport.

Washington Post
Jul 11, 2008 Dutch court upholds U.N. immunity in genocide case: Plaintiffs plan to appeal, saying peacekeepers failed to protect their relatives in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

QUOTE: Is the United Nations responsible if its peacekeepers fail to prevent genocide? No, decided a Dutch court Thursday in a case likely to be appealed. At issue is Europe's only genocide since World War II: the killing of some 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica, Bosnia, 13 years ago this week. Last month, 6,000 plaintiffs filed a civil suit against the UN and the Dutch government in The Hague District Court. They argued that Dutch peacekeepers failed to protect their relatives in the 1995 massacre, which took place in a UN-declared safe zone.

Christian Science Monitor
Jul 11, 2008 Voice Seeking Answers for Parents About a School Collapse Is Silenced

QUOTE: A week later, plainclothes officers intercepted Mr. Huang on the street outside his home and stuffed him into a car. The police have informed his wife and mother that they are holding him on suspicion of illegally possessing state secrets. “They’ve been using this method for a long time,” said Zhang Jianping, a contributor to the Web site who has known Mr. Huang since 2005. Nobody knows the grounds for his arrest, but many people have the same idea. Mr. Zhang said, “It may be because the schools collapsed, and so many children died.”

New York Times
Jul 11, 2008 Book Cites Secret Red Cross Report of C.I.A. Torture of Qaeda Captives

QUOTE: Red Cross investigators concluded last year in a secret report that the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation methods for high-level Qaeda prisoners constituted torture and could make the Bush administration officials who approved them guilty of war crimes, according to a new book on counterterrorism efforts since 2001.

New York Times
Jul 11, 2008 Iraqis to Get Settlement From Britain Over Abuse

QUOTE: Britain’s Defense Ministry agreed on Thursday to pay compensation to the family of an Iraqi hotel receptionist who died in the custody of British troops in Basra in September 2003, and to nine other Iraqis detained with him who the ministry said suffered “substantive breaches” of their human rights.

New York Times

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