Iran’s leaders react to sanctions; the Greek bailout is starting to unravel; Xi Jinping visits Iowa; unemployment applications continue to drop; Rick Santorum releases his tax returns, and Minnesotans protest voter ID laws. Elsewhere, Buzz Bissinger talks newspaper sales in Philadelphia; New Jersey will fly its flags at half staff in honor of Whitney Houston; and “The Colbert Report” is on temporary hiatus.
Aaron + Caitlin
Aggressive Acts by Iran Signal Pressure on Its Leadership, http://nyti.ms/wZuwW7
Iranian leaders are posturing after the West has tightened sanctions due to Iran’s nuclear strides and its terrorist attacks abroad. In response, Iran will immediately cut off a portion of oil supply to the EU. There has been recent speculation that Israel is prepared to use force in order to wipe out Iran’s nuclear program. Experts are saying that Iran’s recent actions indicate its willingness to fight back if Israel or the United States attacks.
8 Young Afghans Killed in Strike, NATO Acknowledges, http://nyti.ms/zx5IiU
Eight Afghan boys have been killed in a bombing in a remote mountainous region of Afghanistan. Afghan officials claim that the boys were unarmed civilians. The families of the deceased have stated that the boys were tending to goats outside of the village. NATO officials have said that they observed the boys with weapons acting in a tactical fashion. Both Afghanistan and NATO agree that there was a search for a weapons cache in the area nearby. According to some of the families, a few of the boys who died were 12 years of age or younger.
Doubting Greeks’ Resolve, Euro Zone May Hold Back Full Bailout, http://nyti.ms/wEQMvZ
The EU has yet to hand over the $170 billion that was agreed upon to bail out the Greece. The money was never going to be given in a lump sum because German officials feared that Greece would misuse it and cut back on the austerity measures they insisted on. German economists are voicing their concerns over whether Greek officials can be trustworthy with the bail out. As a result, Greek officials are making incendiary statements towards Germany while protestors burn German flags.
Xi Jinping visits Iowa, where the diplomatic equivalent of love is in the air, http://wapo.st/x01pzp
Future Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to return to Iowa, a state he visited as a lowly agricultural official in the 1980s. In 1985, he stayed in Muscatine, Iowa where, with a tiny budget, Jinping slept at the house of a Iowa couple, his bed surrounded by their son’s Star Trek figurines. The visit left a huge mark on Jinping, and he hopes to use his trip to Iowa to show how the US and China need to remain strong partners.
GM earns highest profit ever in 2011 at $7.6B; union workers to get $7,000 in profit sharing, http://wapo.st/x0GY57
Strong sales in both the United States and China are responsible for GM’s biggest profit ever in 2011, eclipsing its profits from the late 1990s boom in SUV and Truck sales. The profits have occurred 2 years after the US government bailed out the car manufacturer. However, not all is perfect for GM; the car giant lost money in both Europe and South America which has caused its stocks to not improve as much as it’d like. The US government has a large share of those stocks and is waiting for them to improve before selling them off to recoup money from the bailout.
Hundreds crowd state Capitol to oppose anti-voting rights amendment http://bit.ly/wQ3ZfH
Minnesotans are protesting a bill that would rid of same day registration and limit voting to those with who do not have a valid photo ID. According to Minnesota’s Secretary of State, this law would disenfranchise over 200,000 voters, many of whom are elderly, impoverished or homeless. The ruling against same day registration would affect over half a million people who register at the polls. 200 people protested the bill that would force many to cast provisional ballots and would delay many election results.
Voting rights group files suit over Texas registration practices http://bit.ly/wlgSOp
Voting for America has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Texas, alleging that they have suppressed voting. The suit centers around what Voting for America feels are illegal laws that limit who can vote. It also points out instances where voters have been asked for photo IDs even though the law has yet to be implemented. In Galveston, many voters were mistakenly listed as first time voters and then were incorrectly asked to present ID cards. Critics of this lawsuit allege that Voting for America is a front for the scandal ridden ACORN and say that it has ties to the White House.
Whitney Houston’s funeral to be broadcast online; Gov. Christie defends decision to fly flags half-staff, http://wapo.st/xBdnBk
Stephen Colbert’s show cancels taping Wednesday night, http://wapo.st/wzxQ5Y
REGGIE BUSH: I’m NOT Back with Kim Kardashian, http://bit.ly/wAb0E5
Black Thought and Questlove On Board for GrassROOTS Charity Concert in Philly, http://bit.ly/z57IiI
Big L Mourned 13 Years Later on Anniversary of Passing, http://bit.ly/wnYSLc