Category Archives: News

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Boehner To Obama: ‘All He Has To Do Is Call’

  • DANCING ON THE EDGE OF DEFAULT: House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said repeatedly in an interview yesterday with ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS that he does not intend to have the nation default on its debt. But he declined to guarantee that he’d bring a debt-limit bill to the floor of the House without concessions from Democrats. “The nation’s credit is at risk because of the administration’s refusal to sit down and have a conversation,” he said. “The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit. And the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us…. We’re not going down that path. It is time to deal with America’s problems. How can you raise the debt limit and do nothing about the underlying problem? ” Asked by Stephanopoulos whether that no negotiations means the country will default on its debt, Boehner responded: “That’s the path we’re on. Listen, the president canceled his trip to Asia. I assumed, well, maybe he wants to have a conversation. I decided to stay here in Washington this weekend. He knows what my phone number is. All he has to do is call.” http://abcn.ws/19rVocU
  • THE NOTE’S SHUTDOWN SONG OF THE DAY: House Speaker John Boehner’s seemed to be channeling singer-songwriter James Taylor when he told ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOSyesterday that he was “willing to sit down and have a conversation with the president” and “all he has to do is call.” Has the Speaker been listening to Taylor’s 1970′s-era hit, “You’ve Got A Friend”? “You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am / I’ll come running to see you again. / Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, / you’ve got a friend.” http://youtu.be/Q7RPCFfudmU
  • BOEHNER — NO ‘CLEAN’ VOTES ON REOPENING GOVERNMENT WITHOUT NEGOTIATIONS: Speaker Boehner yesterday flatly refused to schedule votes for full government funding or to raise the debt ceiling without concessions from Democrats, asserting that the House couldn’t and shouldn’t take either step without addressing problems with the new health care law and the nation’s debt crisis, ABC’s RICK KLEIN reports. Boehner said he does not know how and when the current standoffs will end. But he made clear that, in his view, President Obama and Democrats in Congress are to blame for both the government shutdown and the possibility that the United States will default on its debt. The speaker reiterated his demand for negotiations with the president to find a path forward on both fronts.  ”The American people expect in Washington when we have a crisis like this that the leaders will sit down and have a conversation. And I told my members the other day that there may be a back room somewhere, but there’s nobody in it,” said Boehner, R-Ohio. “We’re interested in having a conversation about how we open the government and how we begin to pay our bills. But it begins with a simple conversation.” http://abcn.ws/19rVocU


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10 things cruise lines won’t tell you

Navigating a sea of potential sickness, danger and debt

1. “Our ships might sink, but we won’t.“

It’s been a tough couple of seasons for the cruise ship industry. First, the Costa Concordia, a 3,800-passenger ship operated by a unit of Carnival Corp., ran aground off the coast of Italy in January 2012. Thirty-two people were killed, while images of the abandoned ship, lying incongruously on its side. beside a picturesque beach town, flashed around the world.

Carnival-Destiny-Cruise-Ship-1Then, just as the industry seemed ready to put that disaster behind it, another struck. The Carnival Triumph had an engine-room fire that disabled the vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. While no one was injured, thousands of passengers were stranded several days without power, running water or working toilets. Again photos were everywhere, this time portraying what looked like a shantytown — the ship’s deck obscured by rows of makeshift bed-sheet tents. As a result, Carnival, the industry leader with about $15 billion in annual revenue, announced in April that it would spend $300 million over the next two to three years to improve fire safety and back-up power on its ships. (“Safety is our No. 1 priority,” says a spokesman.)

 

Will these incidents dent the cruise businesses’ prospects in the long term? Not likely, say experts like S&P Capital IQ stock analyst William Mack. This is, after all, the industry that bounced back from the sinking of the Titanic. While Mack has cut his 2013 profit forecast for Carnival, he still rates the stock a strong buy. “My broad assumption is that this is a one-year impact,” he says.

Cruise ships remain a hugely popular getaway option. More than 16 million people sailed in 2011, the latest date for which statistics are available, a figure that has roughly doubled during the past decade, according to the Cruise Lines International Association, a trade group. The association’s members count more than 200 ships and 325,000 beds, both of which are expected to grow steadily through 2015.

There’s lots to like: Cruises often include all your meals in the price, so it doesn’t require a lot of planning; and it’s relatively affordable compared with taking a multicity trip on your own. Plus, for cruising’s many fans, there’s just nothing like pulling out of port. “When the horn is blowing, and people are waving, you really feel like you’re on vacation,” says Heidi Allison, editor at large for All Things Cruise, a consumer-oriented travel website. “It’s really nice.”


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Kimberly McCarthy, Texas Inmate, Set To Be First Woman Executed In U.S. Since 2010

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Kimberly McCarthy, Texas Inmate, Set To Be First Woman Executed In U.S. Since 2010.

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Texas is set to execute Kimberly McCarthy by lethal injection on Tuesday, the first woman to be put to death in the United States in more than two years.

The execution is scheduled to be carried out at the state prison in Huntsville, Texas after 6 p.m. local time.

Women are rarely executed in the United States. Only 12 female inmates were put to death since capital punishment was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

The last woman executed was Teresa Lewis in Virginia on Sept. 23, 2010, the information center said.

"Although women commit about 10 percent of murders, capital cases also require some aggravating factor like rape, robbery, or physical abuse," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the information center, adding that women usually have not committed a long list of prior felonies.

"It's unclear whether jurors or prosecutors may be more lenient in potential prosecutions of women, since there are relatively few," said Dieter.

McCarthy, 51, was convicted of entering the Lancaster, Texas home of her 71-year-old neighbor, Dorothy Booth, on July 21, 1997, under the pretense of borrowing some sugar. She then stabbed Booth five times, according to the Texas attorney general's summary of the case.

She also cut off Booth's left ring finger in order to take her diamond ring, which she later pawned.

McCarthy also was believed to be responsible for the murders of two other elderly women, one using a meat tenderizer as a weapon and another using a claw hammer, according to the Attorney General's summary.

McCarthy was found guilty in 1998 by a Dallas County jury of murdering Booth and sentenced to death. Her conviction was overturned by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 2001 because no attorney was present when she was questioned after the crime even though she had requested a lawyer, court documents show. She was tried a second time in 2002, was again found guilty by a Dallas County jury, and again sentenced to death.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 2004 agreed with the second conviction.

McCarthy would be the second person executed in the United States so far this year. Forty-three inmates were put to death in 2012. (Reporting by Corrie MacLaggan; Writing by Greg McCune)


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