Friday :: Jan 4, 2008

Meanwhile: Bush is still "president"

by Turkana

New York Times:

The Bush administration is imposing restrictions on the ability of states to expand eligibility for Medicaid, in an effort to prevent them from offering coverage to families of modest incomes who, the administration argues, may have access to private health insurance.

The restrictions mirror those the administration placed on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in August after states tried to broaden eligibility for it as well.

New York Times:

Job growth shrank significantly in December, the government reported on Friday, setting off renewed fears of a recession and all but assuring that interest rates will be lowered this month.

The economy added 18,000 jobs to nonfarm payrolls, the Labor Department said, the smallest monthly gain in more than four years. The unemployment rate rose to 5 percent after hovering near 4.7 percent since the summer.

“This is a far weaker report than we expected,” Jared Bernstein, an economist at the Economics Policy Institute, wrote in an e-mail message. “The uptick in the unemployment rate alone, which won’t be revised away, is flashing recession.”

Investors appeared to concur, sending stocks down sharply in the first minutes of trading on Friday. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index lost more than 1.1 percent, or 16 points, to 1,431.08, and the Dow Jones industrials fell 120 points, or 0.9 percent, to 12,936, as of 9:42 a.m.

Associated Press:

Iraqi authorities ordered a one-day vehicle ban in Baqouba on Friday in response to a series of deadly suicide bombings and other attacks by al-Qaida in Iraq against predominantly Sunni fighters that have allied with the United States.

The U.S. military also stepped up operations against al-Qaida cells and networks in Diyala province, of which Baqouba is the capital.

The U.S. military announced it had killed a local leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Muhammad Khalil Ibrahim, during a Dec. 28 airstrike in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, in an area known as the "Triangle of Death" just south of Baghdad.

Baqouba police chief Brig. Hasan al Obaidi said the ban was imposed because of the "increased violent events during last week." The ban in the city about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad also aimed to protect worshippers going to mosques for Friday prayers. It was to last until late afternoon.

Turkana :: 8:29 AM :: Comments (4) :: Digg It!