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Feb. 4, 1789, George Washington was elected 1st president of America. 1989 Time cover saw Founding Father in tears

Time Cover Story (Oct. 23, 1989): The Can't Do Government

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Monday, Oct. 23, 1989, Time Magazine Cover Story: The Can't Do Government

After almost nine years of the Reagan Revolution, Americans may wonder whether the Government -- from Congress to the White House, from the State Department to the Office of Management and Budget -- can govern at all anymore. Abroad and at home, challenges are going unmet. Under the shadow of a massive federal deficit that neither political party is willing to confront, a kind of neurosis of accepted limits has taken hold from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other.

On this day, February 4 in 1789, 69 members of Congress cast their ballots to elect George Washington the first president of the United States. As the former leader of the Continental Army and chairman of the Continental Congress, Washington possessed the necessary credentials for the presidency, if not the enthusiasm. After months of appearing to sidestep, and even outright rejecting the idea of assuming the presidency, Washington reluctantly accepted Congress’ decision. Runner-up John Adams became Washington’s vice president.

portrait of George Washington by Rembrandt Peale  read more »

Economy in recession, Paris fashion in session - Haute Couture Fashion Week 2009

the couture shows started in Paris today

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PARIS – Looking at the shows that kicked off Paris' haute couture week on Monday, you'd never know the world was the midst of the most serious financial turmoil since the Great Depression.

models present creations by French fashion house Jean Paul Gaultier, Armenian fashion designer Veronique Nichanian in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009

Designers here delivered opulent, flamboyant collections that, instead of reflecting the gloomy economic reality, transported the viewer into a world of beauty and fantasy. "My job is to make women dream," Christian Dior designer John Galliano told The Associated Press. "Of course I'm aware of the credit crunch, but it is not a creative crunch - not at the house of Dior, anyway."

Haute Couture Fashion Week - Giorgio Armani Prive S/S 2009  read more »

"SOS Amazon": 1st action of Amazon tribes, sending message "Wake Up, World!" at 2009 World Social Forum in Brazil

while world leaders are gathering in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum, an alternative meeting is taking place in Brazil

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BELÉM, Brazil, Jan 27 (IPS) - A human banner made up of more than 1,000 people, seen and photographed from the air, sent the message "SOS Amazon" to the world, in the first action taken by indigenous people hours before the opening in northern Brazil on Tuesday of the 2009 World Social Forum (WSF).

gathering in Belém, a city at the mouth of the Amazon, for the six-day World Social Forum (WSF)

The mass message reflects "our concern about global warming, whose impact we will be the first to feel, although we, the peoples of the Amazon, have protected and cared for the forests," Francisco Avelino Batista, an Apurinán Indian from the Purus river valley in the Brazilian Amazon, told IPS.

September 1988, Rondonia State, Brazil: Newly cleared land. Soya farming is one of the primary drivers of deforestation in the Amazon  read more »

"SOS Amazon": every second we lose 1.5 acres of rainforests once covering 14% of earth land surface, now a mere 6%

SOS: save the Amazon

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The Disappearing Rainforests

We are losing Earth's greatest biological treasures just as we are beginning to appreciate their true value. Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.

June 1989, Brazil: The forest burns

* One and one-half acres of rainforest are lost every second with tragic consequences for both developing and industrial countries.

* Rainforests are being destroyed because the value of rainforest land is perceived as only the value of its timber by short-sighted governments, multi-national logging companies, and land owners.

left: walking leaves (Phyllidae) are closely related to stick insects. Crater Mountain, Papua New Guinea; right: only the inappropriate perch gives away these leaf bugs (Phromnia) in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar

* Nearly half of the world's species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next quarter century due to rainforest deforestation.  read more »

Obama takes office, calling to join him "in the work of remaking America." Future history will see: in which way?

Barack Obama, joined by his wife Michelle, takes oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts to become the 44th president of the United States at the US Capitol in Washington

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WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama was inaugurated yesterday as the 44th president of the United States, seizing the historic moment to invoke the "price and the promise of citizenship" and demand the participation of all Americans in restoring the country to greatness. He took the oath of office on Abraham Lincoln's Bible before a sea of more than 1 million people that stretched from the Capitol building to the Lincoln Memorial. He struck a solemn tone in warning of the challenges and sacrifices that lie ahead. Comparing the economic crisis and fight against terrorism to the trials faced by the Founding Fathers, Obama implored his fellow citizens to join him "in the work of remaking America."

President Barack Obama giving his inaugural address to the millions assembled spectators

"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord," Obama said, his voice reverberating throughout the National Mall. "Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end - that we did not turn back, nor did we falter."  read more »

China becomes world's third-largest economy with 13% '07 GDP growth, surpassing Germany & closing rapidly on Japan

China’s economic growth

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China has become the world's third-largest economy, surpassing Germany and closing rapidly on Japan, according to government and World Bank figures. The Chinese government revised its growth figures for 2007 from 11.9 percent to 13 percent this week, bringing its estimated gross domestic product to $3.4 trillion -- about 3 percent larger than Germany's $3.3 trillion for the same year, based on World Bank estimates. Beijing is expected to release its 2008 GDP figures next week.

Although the world's top economies, the United States and Japan, are in recession, the most pessimistic estimates for China's growth in upcoming years runs about 5 percent. That could allow China's GDP to overtake Japan's, currently $4.3 trillion, within a few years. The U.S. economy, the world's largest, was about $13.8 trillion in 2007.

during a news conference in Berlin, from left, Christian Social Union Party chairman Horst Seehofer, Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Peter Ehrlich, on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, after the German coalition government agreed on a multibillion-euro economic stimulus package to help the country out of recession  read more »

Art, space, but no benefactors? U.S. museums look inward for their own bailouts

Jan van Eyck’s ‘St. Jerome in His Study’ is among the renowned paintings at the Detroit Institute of Arts

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As the art world waited breathlessly for word on whether the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles would survive or go bust, a white knight, the billionaire art collector Eli Broad, rode to the rescue with a $30 million bailout plan. Some people cheered; others sneered. Few thought to point out that more venerable and vulnerable institutions across the U.S. are also struggling, but with no bailouts in sight.

Major art museums in Detroit, Newark and Brooklyn are prime examples. Forged a century ago or more from idealism and dollars, they are American classics, monuments to Yankee can-do. As latecomers to the culture game, American museums had to buy art fast and big, and they did. But times and fortunes - we all know the story - changed. Depression, recession and politics brought powerful cities to their knees. Populations shifted.

three weeks ago, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles ran through its savings, and the billionaire art collector Eli Broad rode to the rescue. But more venerable and vulnerable institutions across the country are also struggling to stay afloat, with no bailouts in sight  read more »

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