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Ron Paul addresses crowd of more than 10000 people at Minneapolis rally, counter-convention rivals RNC next door
MINNE- APOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) -- While Republicans pow- wowed in St. Paul, sup- porters of Ron Paul threw their own party in neighboring Minneapolis. "Freedom brings people together," Paul said before a sold-out crowd at Tuesday's Rally for the Republic.
Paul, who said he entered the presidential race reluctantly, told the roaring audience, "I lost my skepticism. I hope you lost your apathy." As the congressman stepped on stage, red, white and blue confetti fell from the ceiling during a two-minute standing ovation.
Paul said he entered the presidential race not because of what he wanted to do but because of what he did not want to do. "I did not want to run people's lives. I did not want to run the economy and I did not want to run the world. I didn't have the authority to do it, and I didn't have the Constitution behind me to do it," said Paul, who has served in the House of Representatives for more than 30 years.
Iraq Prime Minister Nouri Maliki pushes for firm withdrawal date, demands all foreign troops out by 2011
BAGHDAD — Days after top Iraqi and American officials suggested that a draft of the security pact between the countries was close, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki toughened his language, reiterating earlier Iraqi demands for a fixed date for the withdrawal of American troops. “It is not possible for any agreement to conclude unless it is on the basis of full sovereignty and the national interest, and that no foreign soldiers remain in Iraqi soil after a defined time ceiling,” Mr. Maliki said in a speech to Shiite tribal leaders in Baghdad’s Green Zone.
Impact of Iraq War: US weakened. EU distracted. Russia’s $18.9 bil trade surplus & troops deeper into Georgia - nations panic
Fears were raised as Russian troops opened a second front by pushing deep into the west of Georgia. Yesterday other former Soviet bloc countries warned that the Kremlin was becoming ever more aggressive and authoritarian and could try to restore control to more of its former territories.
Czech Republic foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg compared Russia’s incursion into Georgia to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 to crush the so-called Prague Spring uprising against Communist rule.
Schwarzenberg said the Czech Republic supports Georgia and added that “it is a sad coincidence” that the fighting in Georgia takes place at the moment when the country is marking the 40th anniversary of the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops in August 1968. And the presidents of Poland and three Baltic states, formerly members of the Soviet bloc, labeled Moscow’s approach “imperialist and revisionist.” read more »
Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop computer or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed. Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"The policies . . . are truly alarming," said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), who is probing the government's border search practices. He said he intends to introduce legislation soon that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches, as well as prohibit profiling on race, religion or national origin.
463,000 job lost this year, 1.7 million out of work for 6 months, unemployment rate hits 4-year high at 5.7%
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Employers cut jobs in July for the seventh straight month, while the unemployment rate hit a four-year high, according to a government report released Friday. The Labor Department reported a net loss of 51,000 jobs in the month. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had been forecasting a loss of 75,000 jobs in the latest report.
The latest report brought job losses this year to 463,000. The June job loss number was revised to 51,000. The unemployment rate rose to 5.7% from a 5.5% reading in June. It was the worst reading since March 2004, and slightly worse than economists' forecast of a 5.6% rate. The rate has now jumped a full percentage point from a year ago. But the 5.7% unemployment rate tells only part of the problem facing job seekers. It doesn't include those who have become discouraged from looking for work, or those who have accepted part-time jobs when they want to be working full time. Counting the unemployed or underemployed, the rate rises to 10.3%, the first time that measure has hit double figures since November 2003.
WASHINGTON - The White House predicted yesterday that President Bush would leave a record $482 billion deficit to his successor, a sobering turnabout in the nation's fiscal condition from 2001, when Bush took office after three consecutive years of budget surpluses.
The worst may be yet to come. The deficit announced by Jim Nussle, the White House budget director, does not reflect the full cost of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the potential $50 billion cost of another economic stimulus package, or the possibility of steeper losses in tax revenues if individual income or corporate profits decline.
The new deficit numbers also do not account for any drains on the national treasury that might result from further declines in the housing market. The White House forecast was prepared before passage of the huge housing assistance package that Bush has promised to sign. That legislation would put taxpayer money at risk in numerous ways, especially if housing prices continue to decline.
Supplies up, demand declines, oil trades near 7-week low - drops below $125 for first time in over 6 weeks
July 24 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil traded near a seven-week low after reports showed demand in the U.S. and Japan, two of the three largest oil consuming countries, fell as high prices crimp fuel consumption. U.S. fuel demand averaged 19.9 million barrels a day last week, the lowest since January 2007, the Energy Department said yesterday. Japan imported 0.7 percent less oil in June than a year ago, the first decline in nine months, the Ministry of Finance said today.
"Our overall view is that oil prices are at a point that will bring about demand-side adjustments that will ultimately cause prices to be at a lower level," said David Moore, a commodity strategist with Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd. in Sydney. "There seems to be an intangible factor here where sentiment has swung quite sharply in the past couple weeks."
Crude oil for September delivery was at $124.23 a barrel, down 21 cents, at 11:36 a.m. Singapore time on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Yesterday, oil dropped $3.98, or 3.1 percent, to settle at $124.44 a barrel, the lowest close since June 4. Futures have lost 5 percent this week. Oil prices also fell as the Energy Department report showed that gasoline supplies rose 2.85 million barrels last week. Stockpiles of distillate fuel, a category that includes heating oil and diesel, climbed 2.42 million barrels. Brent crude oil for September settlement was at $125.10 a barrel, down 19 cents, on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange at 11:34 a.m. Singapore time. It dropped $4.26, or 3.3 percent, to close at $125.29 a barrel yesterday, the lowest settlement since June 4.
Demand has declined for three straight weeks, the Energy Department report showed. U.S. fuel consumption averaged 20.3 million barrels a day in the past four weeks, down 2.1 percent from a year earlier, the department said. Refineries operated at 87.1 percent of capacity last week, down 2.4 percentage points from the week before, according to the department. It was the lowest utilization rate since the week ended May 9. Refineries were forecast to operate at 89.5 percent of capacity last week, unchanged from the week before, according to the median of analyst estimates in the Bloomberg survey. Crude-oil inventories dropped 1.56 million barrels to 295.3 million. Stockpiles were forecast to decline 675,000 barrels, according to the survey results.
Oil has tumbled 16 percent from a record $147.27 a barrel on July 11, as a stronger U.S. dollar limited the appeal of commodities as a hedge against inflation and high prices cut fuel consumption. Prices also fell the past two days as Hurricane Dolly moved away from oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
Energy companies evacuated some oil rigs as a precaution. That cut production in the Gulf by 4.7 percent, the U.S. Interior Department said yesterday. Companies that carried out evacuations include BP Plc, Noble Corp., Chevron Corp., Devon Energy Corp., Citgo Petroleum Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
Oil and other commodities may drop further and the dollar increase if the Federal Reserve boosts interest rates to curb inflation. Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser yesterday said higher mortgage costs and continued declines in house prices pose no bar to raising interest rates. Policy makers must increase borrowing costs before inflation expectations become "unhinged," Plosser said in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday.
The dollar traded at 107.74 yen at 11:11 a.m. in Singapore, after rising 0.5 percent yesterday, when it reached 107.97, the highest since June 26. The U.S. currency was at $1.5684 per euro, after rising 0.5 percent yesterday and touching $1.5670, the strongest since July 9.
Photos courtesy of AP/Energy Department, Bloomberg News and LA Times
Original Source: Bloomberg
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