360° Coverage : US shutdown blues: From end of earth to outer space

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US shutdown blues: From end of earth to outer space
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US shutdown blues: From end of earth to outer space

Oct 16 2013, 8:24am CDT | by IANS

Washington, Oct 16 (IANS) The US government shutdown, now in its 16th day, has forced hundreds of thousands of federal workers to stay home and restricted many government services - from end of earth to outer space. And it has played real spoilsport for thousands of tourists from India and around the world.

Washington, Oct 16 — The US government shutdown, now in its 16th day, has forced hundreds of thousands of federal workers to stay home and restricted many government services - from end of earth to...

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49 weeks ago

US shutdown blues: From end of earth to outer space

Oct 16 2013, 8:24am CDT | by IANS

Washington, Oct 16 (IANS) The US government shutdown, now in its 16th day, has forced hundreds of thousands of federal workers to stay home and restricted many government services - from end of earth to outer space. And it has played real spoilsport for thousands of tourists from India and around the world.

Washington, Oct 16 — The US government shutdown, now in its 16th day, has forced hundreds of thousands of federal workers to stay home and restricted many government services - from end of earth to outer space. And it has played real spoilsport for thousands of tourists from India and around the world.

Outwardly the capital city of Washington does not look much different, though the morning traffic is a bit less chaotic, the metro trains are not that crowded and the White House lawns remain untended as President Barak Obama battles Congressional Republicans.

For them, it's a case of so near and yet so far as they walk or drive past the city's famed sites from the Washington monument to Lincoln memorial to Smithsonian museums, only to be greeted with boards proclaiming "Sorry we're closed because of Federal Government SHUTDOWN."

Smithsonian's Sackler Gallery has postponed the world premiere of "Yoga: The Art of Transformation", an exhibition on the 2000 year history of the ancient Indian practice expressed through rare masterpieces of art from around the world.

All national parks across America were closed when the shutdown began Oct 1 with the Congress' failure to pass a budget for the fiscal year beginning that date, but last week Obama administration allowed states to use their own money to reopen some of them.

Jumping at the chance, New York opened the Statue of Liberty, tourists returned Saturday to Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park and to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Utah too opened all five national parks in the state.

According to one estimate, some 700,000 people a day would have been visiting the parks if they were not closed and spending $76 million every day.

The shutdown has impacted Americans in other personal ways too with delays on things like getting home loans and income tax refunds and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention furloughing investigators who probe outbreaks of food-borne illnesses.

The shutdown has sparked protests in big cities and small towns, including one Sunday in Washington where a few hundred people at a rally called by the conservative tea party movement tore down barricades erected at closed

monuments on the National Mall.

Earlier protests brought out federal workers in cities like Chicago, Boston and Atlanta, and union members and citizens in Plano, Texas; Newton, New Jersey and Springettsbury, Pennsylvania. More demonstrations are planned for this week.

But snail mail continues to be delivered, federal air traffic controllers remain on the job and airport screeners continue to funnel passengers through security checkpoints.

The State Department also continues processing foreign applications for visas, and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services those for US green cards, or legal permanent residency.

But federal courthouses handling immigration cases are mostly shuttered and even the Supreme Court may shut its gates this week after the US runs out of cash with the country expected to hit its debt ceiling Oct 17.

The impact of shutdown has also reached the end of the world and outer space. The National Science Foundation has shut down its three stations in Antarctica and put research for the summer season that began Oct 1 on hold.

And With 97 percent of US space agency NASA staff furloughed, two American astronauts Mike Hopkins and Karen Nyberg aboard the International Space Station have been keeping in touch with the world via Twitter, according to VOA.

The shutdown has also spawned many a joke with David Letterman quipping:

"Even the NSA (National Security Agency) is out of business. And while they're closed, while the government is shut down, they are asking citizens to please spy on each other."

But for those hit hard by the shutdown, it's no joke.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

IANS

Source: IANS

 
Update
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Christie, Michelle Obama campaign in Wisconsin

Sep 29 2014 6:48pm CDT | Source: The Chippewa Herald

HUDSON — Wisconsin's tense race for governor got some political star power Monday, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie urging Republicans to step up their support for a potential pre ...
Source: The Chippewa Herald   Full article at: The Chippewa Herald
 

 
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PQ’s Péladeau compares repatriation of Canada’s Constitution to forced communism in East Germany

Sep 29 2014 6:01pm CDT | Source: National Post

QUEBEC — Quebec’s premier says Parti Québécois heavyweight Pierre Karl Péladeau should get a grip on reality after he compared the repatriation of the Constitution to the imposition of communist rule in East Germany. Philippe Couillard said he found Mr. Péladeau’s attempt to suggest parallels bizarre and pointed out that Canadians live in a democratic country. Mr. Péladeau made the comments on his Facebook page Sunday — a day after German President Joachim Gauck cam ...
Source: National Post   Full article at: National Post
 

 
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Sep 29 2014 6:00pm CDT | Source: National Post

The Islamic State of Iraq & Al-Sham made fresh advances in both Syria and Iraq Monday in defiance of the escalating U.S.-led bombing campaign against the jihadist group. For almost two months now, Tomahawk missiles and F22 Raptor jet fighters have bombarded the bases, strategic assets and front-line positions of ISIS. But the group’s encroachment on Baghdad is steadily progressing and it is also close to seizing a key Kurdish town on the S ...
Source: National Post   Full article at: National Post
 

 
Update
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Armed White House intruder made it much farther inside mansion than Secret Service said: reports

Sep 29 2014 4:59pm CDT | Source: National Post

The intruder who climbed a fence made it farther inside the White House than the Secret Service has publicly acknowledged, the Washington Post and New York Times newspapers reported Monday. The disclosures came on the eve of a congressional oversight hearing with the director of the embattled agency assigned to protect the president’s life. Citing unnamed sources – three people familiar with the incident and a congressional aide – the newspapers said Omar J. Gonzalez ...
Source: National Post   Full article at: National Post
 

 
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NETANYAHU: 'We Must Remove The Cancer' Of 'Militant Islam ... Before It's Too Late'

Sep 29 2014 12:58pm CDT | Source: Business Insider

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an unsparing speech at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly today, taking aim at a wave of "militant Islam" that he equated with the Nazis — and going after Iran for its nuclear program and support for terrorist groups. "We must remove this cancer before it's too late," he said in the opening segment of the speech. Netanyahu also opened by drawing an equivalence between the Islamic State and Hama ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
Update
5

9 hours ago

Incoming EU trade chief calls for fresh start, more transparency for free trade deal with US

Sep 29 2014 10:49am CDT | Source: Canadian Business Online

BRUSSELS – Acknowledging strong public skepticism in Europe over free trade talks with the U.S., the European Union’s incoming trade chief on Monday called for a “fresh start” and more transparency in the negotiations. Sweden’s Cecilia Malmstrom said she was “struck by the intense concern” the negotiations have sparked among citizens and officials, requiring greater transparency as the talks inch toward what would be the world’s single largest free trade deal. “We must demonstrate th ...
Source: Canadian Business Online   Full article at: Canadian Business Online
 

 
Update
4

10 hours ago

IS jihadists close in on key Syria border town

Sep 29 2014 9:43am CDT | Source: Business Insider

Damascus (AFP) - Islamic State group fighters closed in Monday to within only a few kilometres of a key Kurdish town on Syria's border with Turkey, despite continued air strikes by the US-led coalition.NATO member Turkey's government meanwhile said it would ask parliament to debate joining the coalition against the jihadists operating on the country's doorstep from as early as Thursday.The alliance carried out fresh raids against IS positions in Syria overnight, b ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
Update
3

12 hours ago

National It’s On Us campaign helps put sexual assault problem into the spotlight

Sep 29 2014 7:42am CDT | Source: The Badger Herald

Date rape drugs are quite the party favor — at least that’s what University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon assumed last weekend. The hosts of this party drugged their unknowing victims, young female college students, getting them so intoxicated they had to be taken to detox, with some not even remembering a thing. Mind you this is the same frat that had three sexual assault accusations marring their reputation last year. Coincidence? I think not. ...
Source: The Badger Herald   Full article at: The Badger Herald
 

 
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2

12 hours ago

Meet your next President

Sep 29 2014 7:20am CDT | Source: Canada Free Press

You know, the closer we get to the 2016 presidential elections, the more I fret the uncertain future which may lay ahead for our great nation, courtesy, if you will, of some of my fellow-Americans lackadaisical deportment regarding our decadent State of the Union; a paradoxical departure from everything that America stood for just prior to our president Barack Obama’s untimely election, as he claimed on October 30th, ...
Source: Canada Free Press   Full article at: Canada Free Press
 

 
Update
1

12 hours ago

Meet your next President

Sep 29 2014 7:20am CDT | Source: Canada Free Press

You know, the closer we get to the 2016 presidential elections, the more I fret the uncertain future which may lay ahead for our great nation, courtesy, if you will, of some of my fellow-Americans lackadaisical deportment regarding our decadent State of the Union; a paradoxical departure from everything that America stood for just prior to our president Barack Obama’s untimely election, as he claimed on October 30th, 2008, to being just five days away [election ...
Source: Canada Free Press   Full article at: Canada Free Press
 

 

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