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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47 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

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4 hours ago

US-led military exercises due to begin in western Ukraine

Sep 15 2014 12:17am CDT | Source: Business Insider

Donetsk (Ukraine) (AFP) - US-led military exercises involving 15 countries were set to begin in Ukraine Monday, as fighting rumbles on in the restive east between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in violation of a ceasefire.Heavy fighting erupted around the rebel stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, piling further pressure on a precarious nine-day-old truce between the government and separatist fighters.Large clou ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
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8 hours ago

 
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15 hours ago

Briton's beheading boosts resolve of anti-IS coalition

Sep 14 2014 1:07pm CDT | Source: Business Insider

London (AFP) - The Islamic State's beheading of another Western hostage has strengthened the resolve of a US-led coalition ahead of a Paris conference Monday on how to jointly eliminate the jihadist group. Prime Minister David Cameron vowed on Sunday Britain would hunt down the killers of British aid worker David Haines, an act he described as the "embodiment of evil".Britain was prepared to "take whatever steps are necessary", he said, after Haines became the third ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
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17 hours ago

Lindsey Graham Freaks Out At Obama's ISIS Strategy

Sep 14 2014 11:01am CDT | Source: Business Insider

US Sen Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday said the idea that the US will never have ground troops in Syria is a "fantasy," while ripping President Barack Obama's strategy to defeat the extremist group calling itself the Islamic State (ISIS). Graham, one of the most prominent foreign-policy hawks in the Republican Party, said on "Fox News Sunday" that Obama's strategy of ramped-up airstrikes with support of shaky ground forces in both Iraq and Syria wa ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
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17 hours ago

North Korea Sentences 24-Year-Old American To 6 Years Hard Labor

Sep 14 2014 11:00am CDT | Source: Business Insider

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea's Supreme Court on Sunday convicted a 24-year-old American man of entering the country illegally to commit espionage and sentenced him to six years of hard labor. At a trial that lasted about 90 minutes, the court said Matthew Miller, of Bakersfield, California, tore up his tourist visa at Pyongyang's airport upon arrival on April 10 and admitted to having the "wild ambition" of experiencing prison life so that ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
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18 hours ago

David Cameron vows to hunt down ISIS ‘monsters’ who executed British aid worker David Haines

Sep 14 2014 9:59am CDT | Source: National Post

Prime Minister David Cameron said Sunday that the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham group poses a “massive” security threat that cannot be ignored after a video showed the terrorists executing a British aid worker. “They are not Muslims, they are monsters,” Cameron said after an emergency meeting of his military and security chiefs. He said the U.K. will take “whatever steps are necessary” to confront ISIS and hail ...
Source: National Post   Full article at: National Post
 

 
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19 hours ago

Obama: Assad Shooting At American Planes Would Lead To His Overthrow

Sep 14 2014 9:12am CDT | Source: Business Insider

President Barack Obama would seek to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad if American planes were attacked upon entering Syrian air space, Peter Baker of The New York Times reports. If Assad's troops fired at American planes entering Syrian airspace, "Obama said he would order American forces to wipe out Syria’s air defense system," Baker reports. "He went on to say that such an action by Mr. Ass ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
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22 hours ago

President Obama’s Broad Coalition of One

Sep 14 2014 5:33am CDT | Source: Canada Free Press

With great fanfare and a nationwide, prime time presidential address to the American people,  President Obama announced the formation of a “broad coalition” that would wage war together to destroy the Islamic State also known as ISIS or ISIL. Although few other details were given about the coalition, a senior administration official said on Wednesday “we are very confident that this will be a broad-based coalition with countries from the Arab world, from Europe, but also other key ...
Source: Canada Free Press   Full article at: Canada Free Press
 

 
Update
2

22 hours ago

President Obama’s Broad Coalition of One

Sep 14 2014 5:32am CDT | Source: Canada Free Press

With great fanfare and a nationwide, prime time presidential address to the American people,  President Obama announced the formation of a “broad coalition” that would wage war together to destroy the Islamic State also known as ISIS or ISIL. Although few other details were given about the coalition, a senior administration official said on Wednesday “we are very confident that this will be a broad- ...
Source: Canada Free Press   Full article at: Canada Free Press
 

 
Update
1

1 day ago

SARAH PALIN: 'I Owe America A Global Apology'

Sep 13 2014 8:46pm CDT | Source: Business Insider

Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said she owes America "a global apology" for her and John McCain's 2008 loss in the presidential race against then-Sen. Barack Obama. In an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity which aired after President Obama announced his four-part strategy to fight against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria, Palin said as she watched the speec ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 

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