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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45 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
11

6 hours ago

Civil disobedience, arrests planned in fast-food protests for $15 an hour, unionization

Sep 1 2014 4:46pm CDT | Source: Canadian Business Online

NEW YORK, N.Y. – McDonald’s, Wendy’s and other fast-food restaurants are expected to be targeted with acts of civil disobedience that could lead to arrests Thursday as labour organizers escalate their campaign to unionize the industry’s workers. Kendall Fells, an organizing director for Fast Food Forward, said in an interview that workers in a couple of dozen cities were trained to peacefully engage in civil disobedience ahead ...
Source: Canadian Business Online   Full article at: Canadian Business Online
 

 
Update
10

10 hours ago

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Sep 1 2014 1:09pm CDT | Source: National Post

Stephen Harper has been one of the toughest-talking leaders throughout the Ukraine crisis, yet newly released figures show National Defence is expected to face an even deeper budget hole in the coming year than previously anticipated. The ongoing reductions come as the prime minister is expected to resist pressure from allies at this week’s NATO summit to spend substantially more on the military. Annual spending on the military, when compared with ...
Source: National Post   Full article at: National Post
 

 
Update
9

11 hours ago

Kiev warns of 'great war' with Russia as its forces retreat

Sep 1 2014 12:02pm CDT | Source: Business Insider

Kiev (AFP) - Ukrainian forces ceded a strategic eastern airport to pro-Russian insurgents on Monday as the government in Kiev accused Moscow of launching a "great war" that could claim tens of thousands of lives.The sense of foreboding in Kiev came as European-mediated talks over the fast-escalating crisis opened in the Belarussian capital Minsk behind closed doors, attended by government, separatist and Russian envoys. The rebels have launched a major counteroff ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
Update
8

12 hours ago

Arab writers mock ISIS terrorists in cartoons and comedy programs aimed at ‘rejecting extremism’

Sep 1 2014 11:20am CDT | Source: National Post

The bumbling young militant first drops the rocket launcher on the toes of his boss before taking aim and firing toward a military checkpoint outside of an Iraqi town – not realizing he’s fired it backward at his leader. The “Looney Tunes”-style cartoon targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham comes after its militants have swept across large swaths of Syria and Iraq, declaring their own self-styled caliphate while conduc ...
Source: National Post   Full article at: National Post
 

 
Update
7

14 hours ago

Obama's Prospective CTO Megan Smith Once Raced A Solar Car 2,000 Miles Across The Outback (GOOG)

Sep 1 2014 9:21am CDT | Source: Business Insider

Megan Smith, VP of Google's secretive research lab Google X, might be the next CTO of the United States. If the 49-year-old is chosen, she will replace Todd Park, who stepped down from the CTO role to take over technology adviser for Barack Obama last week. She will be the first woman to take on the role. Here's how Megan Smith got to where she is now: In 1986, Smith began her studies in Massachusetts Institution of Technology. She holds both a bachelor's ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
Update
5

14 hours ago

British military chiefs accuse underspending NATO members of getting ‘free ride’ ahead of upcoming summit

Sep 1 2014 8:57am CDT | Source: National Post

NATO leaders this week will be asked to approve creation of a high-readiness force and the stockpiling of military equipment and supplies in Eastern Europe to help protect member nations there against potential Russian aggression, the alliance’s secretary general said Monday. President Barack Obama and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron will also tell their NATO allies to increase defence spending. They were backed last night by British milita ...
Source: National Post   Full article at: National Post
 

 
Update
4

1 day ago

Israeli army on high alert as UN hostage crisis in Syria raises prospects of Golan Heights operation

Aug 31 2014 6:34pm CDT | Source: National Post

Israel shot down a drone over its border with Syria Sunday as it faced the growing prospect of being drawn into the country’s civil war, prompted by the hostage crisis in which jihadists are holding dozens of UN peacekeepers. The capture of Fijian and Filipino troops in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) by the Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels Jabhat Al-Nusra last week has cast doubt over the future of the UN force on the disputed Golan Heights ...
Source: National Post   Full article at: National Post
 

 
Update
3

1 day ago

MITT ROMNEY: Obama's 'Mistakes' Led To The Rise Of ISIS

Aug 31 2014 10:42am CDT | Source: Business Insider

Mitt Romney suggested he would have been able to prevent the rise of the jihadist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) if he were elected rather than President Barack Obama in 2012 during a radio interview that aired Sunday. According to Romney, Obama's "mistakes" enabled Islamic State to gain power in both Syria and Iraq.  "Mistakes were made and now we have ISIS," Romney said in a pre-taped interview on billionaire John Catsi ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
Update
2

1 day ago

NYC Politicians Slam Ted Cruz For Bashing The Bronx

Aug 31 2014 8:27am CDT | Source: Business Insider

Local officials in New York City did not take kindly to comments Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) made about the Bronx on Saturday. In a speech at the the conservative group Americans For Prosperity's Defending The American Dream Summit in Dallas, Texas, the senator blasted Democrats and President Barack Obama for a long list of their policies. He implied the Bronx is a dangerous area when mocking Sen. Chuck ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
Update
1

2 days ago

Those with health coverage through Obama’s law may face a challenge in getting tax-return form

Aug 30 2014 2:27am CDT | Source: Canadian Business Online

WASHINGTON – If you got health coverage through President Barack Obama’s law this year, you’ll need a new form from your insurance exchange before you can file your tax return next spring. Some tax professionals are worried that federal and state insurance marketplaces won’t be able to get those forms out in time, creating the risk of delayed tax refunds for millions of consumers. The same federal agency that had trouble launching HealthCare.gov ...
Source: Canadian Business Online   Full article at: Canadian Business Online
 

 

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