Lower Cancer Death Rate
USA TODAY — The number of new cancer cases and deaths are falling for both men and women for the first time since the government began compiling a report on long-term trends, researchers announced Tuesday. Overall cancer death rates decreased an average of 1.8% a year from 2002 to 2005. Researchers say they were particularly encouraged that the number of new cases also fell, by an average of 0.8% a year, from 1999 to 2005. From 1995 to 1999, the overall number of new cases in both sexes grew by 0.9% a year. Declining cancer rates are particularly impressive, given that the nation is aging. Researchers credit declines in smoking for much of this progress.
Miami Judge Rules against
MIAMI (AP) — A Miami judge has struck a blow against a
- Commentary: “No rational basis” will continue to be the mantra used to justify violating God’s absolute law. A world that exalts man’s reason above God’s wisdom will give rise to the end-time “lawlessness” the Bible prophesizes.
Big Easy has Highest Crime Rate
NEW ORLEANS (AP) —
- JJ Commentary: Most immoral, highest crime rate. Seems like cause and effect to me.
More Tunnels Found on Border
Billions Coming for Mortgages, Credit Cards, Student, Car Loans
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve on Tuesday unveiled $800 billion in programs designed to relieve severe pressures in financial markets, and ensure that mortgages, student loans, car loans and other forms of consumer credit remain available at reasonable prices. In the latest in a series of increasingly dramatic announcements, the Fed said it would purchase up to $600 billion in mortgage-related assets, including $100 billion in bonds or other debt issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks, and $500 billion in other mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by the government entities, including Ginnie Mae, which oversees Federal Housing Administration mortgages. The Fed and the Treasury Department also unveiled a program to lend up to $200 billion to securities dealers and other financial firms that hold Triple-A rated securities backed by "newly and recently originated" consumer loans, such as credit cards and auto loans. The program will also cover loans originated by the government's Small Business Administration. The Treasury will provide $20 billion from the recently enacted $700 billion financial rescue package to cover potential losses from the program. The first losses will be borne by borrowers under criteria yet to be determined.
A main goal of the sweeping initiatives is to reduce market risk so investors will be more willing to buy securities and consumers will have access to loans at levels closer to those in effect before the financial crisis took hold. The Fed noted that the level of asset-backed securities being issued "declined precipitously in September and came to a halt in October." At the same time, the interest-rate risk premiums for the products soared. A secondary effect of the programs is that they will pump more cash into the financial system, including increasing bank reserves. That could help inflate the economy at a time when officials are increasingly worried about possible deflation — a widespread fall in prices that can cripple economic activity. Officials said the larger reserves were a side effect of the program, however, not a central aim. The program will essentially be financed by having the government increase the money supply. The government issued revised data showed the economy contracted at a deeper-than-first-thought rate in the third quarter of the year, while a key measure of housing in 20 major markets found prices was down a sharper-than-expected 17.4% from last year.
- JJ Commentary: “Billions coming” but from where? From you and me, that’s who. And from the “air” as the government prints more money not backed by anything but debt obligations which theoretically would also be paid by us. This mountain of debt is already sliding downhill and will soon bury us.
Bailout Grows to $7 Trillion with Latest Pledges
WASHINGTON (AP) — Rolling out powerful new weapons against the financial meltdown, the Bush administration and the Federal Reserve pledged $800 billion Tuesday to blast through blockades on credit cards, auto loans, mortgages and other borrowing. Total bailout commitments, loans and pledges of backing neared a staggering $7 trillion. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who has been criticized for constantly revising the original $700 billion rescue program, said the administration is considering even more changes in its final two months in office.
FDIC Adds 54 more Banks to its 'Problem List'
Economic Indicators Point Down
WASHINGTON (AP) — A raft of economic reports Wednesday all pointed to a slowing economy. Consumer spending plunged 1% last month, the largest amount since the 2001 terrorist attacks and even worse than the 0.9% decline that had been expected. Orders to
Home Prices off 21.8% since Peak
Oil Futures Tumble and Gasoline Prices Keep Falling
Food Banks Can't Meet Growing Demand
USA TODAY — Donations to many of the USA's food banks are not keeping pace with growing demand as the sour economy forces more people to seek help, charitable organizations say. "We have seen a 100% increase in demand in the last year … and food donations have dropped precipitously," says Dana Wilkie, CEO of the Community Food Bank in
Obama Vows to Slash Wasteful Federal Spending
- JJ Commentary: Any organization comprised of people behaves like a living organism which not only seeks to survive but to grow and flourish. The bureaucracy wants to keep their manpower and budget while recipients of service have a sense of entitlement, a deadly combination.
Phoenix Slashing 1200 Jobs
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said today the city is eliminating 1,200 positions next fiscal year, part of its effort to slash the budget by $250 million because of the ailing economy and a drop off in tax collections. The mayor also said he and staffers in his office will be voluntarily working one day each month without pay - and he will be asking every city employee to do the same. And Gordon will be meeting with labor unions to request that employees forego pay raises for one year to avoid layoffs.
Iran Says it Now Runs more than 5,000 Centrifuges
CAIRO (AP) — For nearly 140 years it's been a vital shortcut between East and West, cutting days off the time ships must travel from Asia to Europe or
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Shipping officials from around the world called Monday for a military blockade along Somalia's coast to intercept pirate vessels heading out to sea.
Flooding and Landslides Kill 5, Force Evacuations in
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Five people died in flooding and landslides in western
Rain Coming, Some Urged to
YORBA LINDA, Calif. (AP) — Authorities are urging residents to consider evacuating areas of Southern California that were stripped by wildfires because an approaching storm could set off mudslides. Authorities also warned that the heavy rain on burned-over slopes could cause mudslides and slumping hillsides. Voluntary evacuation warnings were set to go into effect Tuesday in several areas charred by fierce wildfires earlier this month. Property owners in some areas have built sandbag barricades to channel storm runoff away from their homes.
Endangered Sea Turtles Killed by Cold Snap
Every year, endangered sea turtles wash up on the beaches of
- JJ Commentary: An ironic twist, don’t you think? It was global warming that was supposed to threaten extinction to endangered life forms.