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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1 year 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

2 weeks ago

Seven Obamacare Bills That The New GOP Senate Majority Should Pass In 2015

Nov 5 2014 1:29am CST | Source: Forbes Real Time

Republicans have retaken the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections. As of this writing, Republicans will gain somewhere between 7 and 9 seats—depending on what happens in Louisiana and Alaska—for a total of 52 to 54. The new Republican majority will doubtless hold a symbolic vote to repeal Obamacare. But more importantly, Republicans will now be able make smaller changes to the health law that President Obama might actually sign into law. Here are some of the possibilities that have been ...
Source: Forbes Real Time   Full article at: Forbes Real Time
 

 
Update
10

2 weeks ago

Democrats Are Freaking Out After An Absolutely Disastrous Election Night

Nov 5 2014 12:58am CST | Source: Business Insider

Democrats knew they were in trouble on election night Tuesday when a Virginia Senate seat that was expected to be a blowout victory began to come in much closer than expected. "When you're cheering for an eke-out win in Virginia, not going to be a good night," one Democratic strategist told Business Insider.  Another Democratic insider summed up their impression of the evening's results in a rather blunt text. "F ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
Update
9

2 weeks ago

Capitol Report: Republicans retake Senate in wave election

Nov 4 2014 11:17pm CST | Source: MarketWatch

Republicans retook the Senate in Tuesday’s midterm elections, delivering a stinging blow to President Barack Obama’s party amid lingering worries over the economy and the president’s o ...
Source: MarketWatch   Full article at: MarketWatch
 

 
Update
8

2 weeks ago

U.S. midterm elections 2014: Republicans toast conquest of Senate but final results could take weeks

Nov 4 2014 11:05pm CST | Source: National Post

Republicans confidently toasted their conquest of the U.S. Senate Tuesday night, but with races too close to call everywhere from Alaska to Louisiana, it may take weeks of vote tallies and runoff elections before the United States electorate knows for sure. While the Democrats were able to hold onto key seats, early results indicated a definite shift towards the Republican Party. In Colorado, Republican Cory Gardner became the first to unseat an inc ...
Source: National Post   Full article at: National Post
 

 
Update
7

2 weeks ago

Republicans exploit bitter disappointment in Obama to take control of the Senate

Nov 4 2014 10:58pm CST | Source: National Post

Republicans exploited bitter disappointment with Barack Obama to seize full control of Congress Tuesday in America’s most expensive midterm election ever, teeing up what could be a tumultuous end to the president’s final term. The GOP were reported to have 52 seats — and a majority in the Senate — to the Democrats 44 seats, by the major news networks by 11.30 p.m. They could pick up more seats in the days and weeks to come as the final results are tallied. As expected, the Republicans also added ...
Source: National Post   Full article at: National Post
 

 
Update
5

2 weeks ago

Harry Reid Congratulates Mitch McConnell On Becoming Majority Leader

Nov 4 2014 10:52pm CST | Source: Business Insider

Current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid congratulated Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday night, after Republicans clinched wins in enough seats to retake control of the US Senate.  "I'd like to congratulate Senator McConnell, who will be the new Senate Majority Leader," Reid said. "The message from voters is clear: they want us to work together. I look forward to working with Senator McConnell to get things done for the middle class." Mc ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
Update
4

2 weeks ago

U.S. midterm election 2014: Republicans on track to make small House gain

Nov 4 2014 10:47pm CST | Source: National Post

Any ambition the Democrats may have had to regain control over the U.S. House of Representatives dimmed weeks ago when polling began to show that U.S. President Barack Obama’s party stood poised to lose the senate. Indeed, while much of the drama continued to play out among the 33 senate seats up for grabs on Tuesday evening, the Republicans were on track to make small gains in the House, as of press time. Republicans had flipped four seats and secured 180, compared ...
Source: National Post   Full article at: National Post
 

 
Update
3

2 weeks ago

Republicans win US Senate majority: TV networks

Nov 4 2014 10:34pm CST | Source: Business Insider

Washington (AFP) - Republicans captured a majority in the US Senate Tuesday in a sweeping midterm election victory that delivers a rebuke to President Barack Obama's Democrats.With a win in Iowa, the Republican party picked up at least six Senate seats to guarantee at least 51 members of the 100-member chamber, TV networks said, while projecting an increasing in the GOP m ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
Update
2

2 weeks ago

Republicans Have Taken Over The Senate With Victory In Iowa

Nov 4 2014 10:32pm CST | Source: Business Insider

Republicans appear poised to takeover the U.S. Senate after the Associate Press called the race in Iowa  for Republican Joni Ernst (R) over Rep. Bruce Braley (D) Tuesday night. The Iowa race was one of the most important ones in the country for Democrats, who had once expected to hold the seat of outgoing Sen. Tom Harkin (D) in a state twice won by President Barack Obama. This made the state one of two pickups in tossup states wi ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
Update
1

2 weeks ago

The Biggest Surprise Of The Night Is Happening In Virginia...

Nov 4 2014 9:28pm CST | Source: Business Insider

Republican candidate Ed Gillespie has mounted a surprisingly strong challenge to incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Warner in Virginia, a development that has stunned political observers in an election-night surprise.  As of 10:20 p.m. ET, according to The Associated Press, Gillespie was leading by just more than 7,000 votes with 96% of precincts reporting. The bulk of the votes left to be counted were in Fairfax County, which is expected to favor Warner.  ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 

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