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Figures & Facts
"Great Depression had Hoovervilles. 70's crisis snaking gas lines. Today's recession is about disappearing wealth"
(Above) Steve looks out over tent city as storm clouds gather above the makeshift community. The Great Depression had Hoovervilles. The energy crisis of the 1970s had snaking gas lines. But today’s deep recession is largely about disappearing wealth -- painful, yes, but difficult to see.
A tattered encampment of 200 men and women along the American River is a vivid symbol of a financial crisis otherwise invisible to most Americans. Officials say they will shut it down within a month.
Reporting from Sacramento -- The capital's tent city sprawls messily on a grassed-over landfill beneath power lines, home to some 200 men and women with nowhere else to go. It has been here for more than a year, but in the last three weeks it has transformed into a vivid symbol of a financial crisis otherwise invisible to most Americans.
Then this tattered encampment along the American River began showing up on Oprah Winfrey, Al Jazeera and other news outlets around the world. On Thursday, city officials announced that they will shut it down within a month. "We're finding other places to go," said Steven Maviglio, a spokesman for Sacramento's mayor. The camp is "not safe. It's not humane. But we're not going in with a bulldozer." read more »
Financial crisis deprives livelihood. Poverty sparks fury. Iceland, France, Russia, Greece..protests across Europe
Protests across Europe: Bosnia, Britain, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Ukraine...
(Reuters) - French unions staged a nationwide day of action on Thursday to denounce the government's economic policies and call for more measures to help consumers.
The global financial crisis has sparked protests in many parts of Europe this year:
BOSNIA -- Bosnia's Muslim-Croat parliament canceled a session on February 26 rather than confront protesters complaining about plans to cut benefits to narrow a big budget gap.
BRITAIN -- British workers held a series of protests at power plants against the use of foreign contractors on critical energy sites. They voted to end strikes on February 5 after French oil group Total agreed to hire more British workers at its Lindsey oil refinery.
Government of Canada marks International Polar Day on March 18, 2009 with "Oceans and Marine Life" event
OTTAWA, ONTARIO - "Oceans and Marine Life Polar Day", an International Polar Year (IPY) webcast event, took place on March 18, 2009, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the theatre of the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec. "Our Government has made a tremendous contribution to Arctic research during International Polar Year. Polar Days are a great opportunity to share the initial findings of this research with the public," said the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. To learn more about "Oceans and Marine Life Polar Day" events in Canada and around the world, as well as other national and international initiatives related to International Polar Year, we invite you to visit www.ipy.gc.ca. read more »
(Above:) Pakistani tribesmen stand beside coffins of the victims of a suspected U.S. missile strike in Zharki village, near Miran Shah, the main town of Pakistan's tribal area along Afghanistan border, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009. Suspected U.S. missiles killed 18 people on the Pakistan side of the Afghan border, security officials said Friday, the first attacks on the al-Qaida stronghold since President Barack Obama took office.
Pakistan urged President Barack Obama to halt U.S. missile strikes on al-Qaida strongholds near the Afghan border, saying Saturday that civilians were killed the previous day in the first attacks since Obama's inauguration.
Photos courtesy of AP Photo/Hasbunallah Khan and AFP
Original Source: Huffington Post
Vatican's rare step: Pope Benedict XVI admits errors, takes frank look at controversy over Holocaust-denying bishop
Pope Benedict XVI has made an unusual public acknowledgment of Vatican mistakes and turmoil in his church over an outreach to ultraconservatives that led to his lifting the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying bishop. In an attempt to end one of the most serious crises of his papacy, he said in a letter released Thursday that the Vatican must make greater use of the Internet to prevent other controversies.
The Vatican took the rare step of releasing the German-born pope's personal account of the incident addressed to Catholic bishops around the world. Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the letter — released in six languages — was "really unusual and deserving of maximum attention." read more »
Taxes, taxes, taxes: hard times mean a hard look at taxes - how much we pay, who skates through loopholes and more
Where the Money Comes From
How the cash flows into Uncle Sam's coffers.
Individual income taxes: 50.4%
Payroll taxes (FICA): 31.4%
Business income taxes: 14.6%
Excise and other taxes (tobacco, gas, etc.): 3.6%
Total tax revenue for 2007 = $2,709,798,000,000
One Family's Burden
How much a typical family in Philadelphia earning $50,000 paid the tax man in 2007.
Federal taxes: $6,007 (41%)
Sales tax: $803 (5%)
Property tax: $4,235 (29%)
State/local income tax: $3,361 (23%)
Auto tax: $231 (2%)
Total = $14,637 or 29.3% of income
Illustrations courtesy of Carlos Aponte / Reader’s Digest
Original Source: Reader’s Digest
When Einstein was born, his mother worried that his head was too large and his grandmother exclaimed that he was "much too fat." A few years later, when Einstein was four or five, he had his first scientific experience: his father showed him a pocket compass and the young boy marveled at the fact that regardless of where the compass was turned, the needle always pointed north. The needle's invariable northward swing, guided by an invisible force, profoundly impressed the child. The compass convinced him that there had to be "something behind things, something deeply hidden."
Einstein's formal education began at age six, when he enrolled in the Petersschule on Blumen- strasse, a Catholic elementary school in Munich. Since his parents were not practicing Jews, they cared more about the school's academic standards than its religious affiliation. Einstein did well in school, but he was a quiet child and kept his distance from his peers. He was uncomfortable with the principle of absolute obedience and the military drills that dominated the school's atmosphere. read more »
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