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It’s easy to be a cynic these days. The world doesn’t just appear to be falling apart — it is. That’s because our leaders are incompetent, and that’s because our institutions don’t work, and that’s…
politics  society  usa 
7 hours ago by jeffhammond
Like ‘House Arrest’: Flooded Roads and Swamped Bridges Strand Nebraskans
For Justin Cash, a plumber whose house in Fremont became an island when floodwaters raced down his street, commuting to work now requires a hike, an airboat and two off-road vehicles.

For Mary Snowdon, a substitute teacher who lives just outside Niobrara, Neb., traveling four miles from her family’s ranch to buy gas and groceries now means a two-hour detour through South Dakota to avoid a bridge that disappeared when a dam burst.

And for Buck Wehrbein, a feed lot owner who lives west of Omaha, the last several days have felt like “house arrest” — the only road out of his development has vanished underwater.

Record floodwaters have ravaged Nebraska, but as they begin to recede, an alarming reality has come into view: Hundreds of miles of highway remain impassable, bridges have been wiped out and routine drives have become treacherous ordeals. In a vast, largely rural state where people rely on two-lane highways and aging bridges to go about daily life, the devastation of basic infrastructure promised to be an expensive and long-term challenge
infrastructure  economics  usa  climatechange  nebraska 
8 hours ago by jtyost2
The Fed’s Rate-Raising Days Are Over. Wall Street Couldn’t Be Happier.
Money has finally started to chase this year’s stock market rally, which has been driven largely by the Fed’s sharp turn away from last year’s steady rate increases.

Just three months ago, investors were in a panic over the idea that the Federal Reserve might push borrowing costs too high and tip the United States economy into a recession.

Now, Wall Street is toying with the idea that the central bank could actually be cutting interest rates by the end of the year.

Those forecasts are evident in the market for interest rate futures, where the odds of another interest rate increase in 2019 have fallen to zero, from about 30 percent in December, while the chance of a decrease in rates has risen to more than one in five.

One reason for the changing forecasts? The Fed’s own signal to be more patient as it evaluates whether or not to keep raising interest rates. Since the central bank’s chairman, Jerome H. Powell, first spoke about this newfound patience, stocks have soared more than 15 percent.

“It’s been a night-and-day difference, the outlook for stocks going from December into the first quarter this year,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York. “And I think you could say that Federal Reserve policy was very important in underpinning the stock market rally.”

The Fed could add more fuel to this rally on Wednesday, when the central bank concludes its latest monetary policy meeting. It is expected leave interest rates untouched and further emphasize that it is in no hurry to lift them.
economics  economy  usa  federalreserve  interestrates  business 
8 hours ago by jtyost2
US air strikes killed Somali civilians - Amnesty - BBC News
US air strikes have been killing civilians in Somalia, in a possible violation of international humanitarian law, Amnesty International says.

The rights group said it had recorded 14 civilian deaths in five recent air strikes on territory held by jihadist al-Shabab militants.

The US has stepped up its air war in Somalia, carrying out 110 strikes in the past two years.

It says the strikes killed more than 800 people, none of them civilians.

According to the US military, its drones and manned aircraft carried out 47 air strikes in Somalia in 2018. They have already conducted more than half that number of strikes in the first three months of 2019.
usa  military  drone  legal  humanrights  warcrimes  somalia 
8 hours ago by jtyost2
Patrick Shanahan: Pentagon chief's ties to Boeing investigated - BBC News
The Pentagon has launched an inquiry into acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan for alleged favouritism to his ex-employer, Boeing.

The Defence Department's inspector general will look into the matter following a complaint from a watchdog group.

Mr Shanahan is accused of frequently praising Boeing in meetings about government contracts and acquisitions.

Mr Shanahan, who denies any wrongdoing, spent 30 years at Boeing.

He rose through the ranks to become a senior executive at the world's biggest planemaker.

Last week Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the Pentagon inspector general about Mr Shanahan.
military  DeptOfDefense  usa  politics  government  ethics  boeing  PatrickShanahan 
8 hours ago by jtyost2
Trump spooks markets with China trade tariffs warning - BBC News
US stocks have fallen after President Donald Trump said his administration was considering leaving tariffs on China for a "substantial period".

Mr Trump said that a trade deal with Beijing was "coming along nicely", but his comments dampened hopes a deal would be reached soon.

US negotiators are due to visit China next week to resume talks.

Wall Street baulked at Mr Trump's comments, with the benchmark Dow Jones falling almost 1%.

The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 also fell.

Mr Trump said: "We're not talking about removing them, we're talking about leaving them for a substantial period of time because we have to make sure that if we do the deal with China that China lives by the deal."
china  tariff  trade  economics  economy  usa  business  diplomacy  DonaldTrump  politics 
8 hours ago by jtyost2
USS Constitution - Wikipedia
USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy named by President George Washington after the United States Constitution.
ship  usa  history  boston  oak  wood 
10 hours ago by javagar
Facebook won’t let employers, landlords or lenders discriminate in ads anymore — ProPublica
Facebook advertisers can no longer target users by age, gender and ZIP code for housing, employment and credit offers, the company announced Tuesday as part of a major settlement with civil rights organizations.

The wide-ranging agreement follows reporting by ProPublica since 2016 that found Facebook let advertisers exclude users by race and other categories that are protected by federal law. It is illegal for housing, job and credit advertisers to discriminate against protected groups.

ProPublica had been able to buy housing-related ads on Facebook that excluded groups such as African Americans and Jews, and it previously found job ads excluding users by age and gender placed by companies that are household names, like Uber and Verizon Wireless.

“This settlement is a shot across the bow to all tech companies and platforms,” said Peter Romer-Friedman, a lawyer with Outten & Golden in Washington who represented the plaintiffs along with the ACLU. “They need to understand that civil rights apply to the internet, and it’s not a civil rights-free zone.”
facebook  legal  civilrights  discrimination  employment  housing  business  advertising  humanrights  usa 
19 hours ago by jtyost2
Alice Barbe - OBAMA SCHOLAR @ SINGA - Obama Foundation | LinkedIn
Co-founder of platform that helps improve refugee-host nation populations
linkedin  refugee  host  entrepreneur  platform  19eyz  bullsi  europe  usa  francais 
20 hours ago by csrollyson

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