More than one in five Americans lack a disposable income that can tide them through a recession and are more financially vulnerable, according to a report released Monday.Read it all here.
The report updates an Economic Security Index created by a Yale political science professor Jacob Hacker.
CNN Money has more:"More than 20% of the nation faced this condition in each of the three years spanning 2008 to 2010, a sharp increase from 14.3% in 1986. Some 62 million Americans faced economic insecurity last year.
Many of the people who suffered in the economic downturn are in the middle class.The middle class is facing much more instability and health care [cost] risk than a generation ago," Hacker said. The Great Recession is also prompting deep losses among the insecure, with the median drop in income for this group hitting a record 46.4% in 2009."
Hacker’s Economic Security Index considers major income loss, out-of-pocket medical expenses and lack of savings to determine insecurity. It also takes into account U.S. Census figures. A record 46.2 million Americans—1 out of every 6 people—are living in poverty, according to U.S. Census Bureau findings released earlier this year on income, poverty and health insurance released this month. [...]
November 29, 2011
November 17, 2011
California is the biggest luxury car market in the world. Los Angeles alone boasts an enormous car-buying market, so it’s no surprise that the LA Auto Show is bigger and better than other regional shows.Read it all here.
Visitors at this year’s LA Auto Show at the Convention Center, which commences Friday, will be treated to interactive displays featuring models ranging from compact electric cars to the fastest muscle cars. Of the more than 1,000 vehicles on display, 50 are debuts—which include the Chevrolet Spark and the Audi R8 GT Spyder.
Here’s a glimpse at what the show has to offer:
Audi – Look for the debut of the third wave of new performance models, the S6, S7 and S8. Audi A7 was named the winner of the first Vehicle of the Year award Wednesday evening at the show. "It was a close contest, but the 2012 Audi A7 managed to edge out the competition with its compelling combination of handsome styling, dynamic handling and advanced in-car technology," said Laura Burstein, president of MPG, the most prominent auto journalist association in North America.
Bentley – The British automaker showcases its updated Continental GTC Convertible. Also look for the Bentley Mulsanne, estimated at $350,000, which focuses on rear-seat passengers. The Mulsanne concept car is where technology meets luxury, boasting a 4G-connection router that allows passengers to use tablets and laptops as they’re chauffeured around. [...]
November 10, 2011
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is predicted to win the GOP 2012 presidential nominations, according to a Gallup poll of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. The poll, released Thursday, shows that 45 percent of those polled believe Romney will receive the nomination regardless of which candidate they perfer. Herman Cain and Texas Gov. Rick Perry came in second and third, respectively.Read it all here.
The survey was conducted after sexual harassment allegations against Cain surfaced. Cain is accused of harassment while he was the president of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. He has denied the allegations. Cain's popularity has taken a hit but he remains tied with Romney, each with 21 percent support as the candidate Republicans are most likely to support.
Tea Party supporters show a "slight preference” for Cain but are as likely as Tea Party non-supporters “to believe Romney will eventually win the nomination,” according to Gallup. [...]
Republican presidential contender Herman Cain’s defamation lawyer isn’t looking to scare or intimidate anyone but to monitor and respond to accusations, he told the Associated Press on Thursday.Read it all here.
“Mr. Cain is being tried in the court of public opinion based on accusations that are improbable and vague,” Lin Wood, an Atlanta attorney, told the Associated Press. “The media — bless your heart — you turn our system of justice into one of guilt by accusation.”
Cain is accused of sexually harassing employees while he was the president of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. He hired Wood on Monday after the one of his accusers, Sharon Bialek, went public.
Bialek and one more accuser, Karen Kraushaar, were planning to hold a news conference Thursday but changed their minds.
According to Kraushaar’s attorney his client has unsuccessfully been trying to reach two other accusers who have not gone public.
Cain vehemently denies the sexual harassment claims.
"The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations," Cain said at the Republican debate on Wednesday.
Cain’s attorney told Reuters that people should, in general, be careful about public accusations and consider the consequences. [...]
Italy is currently in the process of forming a new unity government and voting on austerity measures. It remains to be seen if the country will be able to avert a euro zone meltdown on its own or if it will need EU assistance to prevent disaster.Read more here.
Compared to Greece, Portugal and Ireland, Italy is an economic giant.
Italy’s debt is the second largest in the euro zone, leading many to question if the country is just too big to bail out. Italy’s debt is at $2.6 trillion (€1.9 trillion)—simply too much for the European continent to cover.
Gold holdings in Italy’s central bank are worth just a tenth of what the country would require for a bailout.
Investors are dumping Italian bonds. Interest rates on 10-year bonds are now over 7 percent—an enormous rate. Markets in the U.S. and Europe are reacting negatively to Italy’s fiscal crisis.
If Italy is unable to pay its massive debt it could mean a economic repercussions for Europe and the U.S. Banks in the U.S., in particular, are more affected by Italy than other countries in the EU. [...]
November 1, 2011
Greece’s Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou has the unanimous backing of his cabinet over the latest plan to pull the country out of a colossal debt crisis following speculation that his government is on the verge of collapse.
"The referendum will be a clear mandate and strong message within and outside Greece on our European course and our participation in the euro," Papandreou said.
On Wednesday Papandreou will meet with European leaders in France.
Here’s more from Bloomberg:
Papandreou will fly to France today to face European leaders surprised by his decision to put the bailout plan to a national vote and call a confidence vote in parliament. His grip on power weakened after a lawmaker from his socialist Pasok party defected, leaving him with 152 deputies in the 300-seat chamber, while another, Vasso Papandreou, called for the formation of a national unity government.
Papandreou faces increasing criticism from his own party over rigid austerity policies in EU's bailout deal for Greece.
Austerity measures have been protested—even violently—by the Greek public. A recent poll shows that more than half of Greek voters are against the austerity package.
A Republican candidate from Hillsborough County in Florida is the subject of criticism over an email in which he argued Islam is not a religion but a totalitarian ideology "littered with human rights violations."Read it all here.
Scott Barrish, the GOP candidate, sent an email to Hassan Shibly, Tampa’s executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). The email was apparently in response to Shibly's piece, "U.S. Muslims are not the enemy."
"Dear Hizballah Apologist," wrote Barrish, referencing the terror group, "I have done my research and can see right through your feeble attempts at promoting Islam as a religion of peace and under persecution by non-believers."
Barrish signed the email identifying himself as a member of the Hillsborough County Republic Party executive committee, prompting criticism from the county party’s chairwoman.
"He was absolutely in error using his title as a member of our committee – he does not speak on behalf of the Republican Party or Republicans across Hillsborough, and I have told him that," said Chairwoman Debbie Cox-Roush, according to Tampa Bay Online.
An attorney for the Dodgers and its owner, Frank McCourt, told ESPN that the Dodgers franchise is not responsible for the brutal beating of San Francisco Giants fan Byran Stow last March.
"One of the things the jury will be asked to do is to determine what percentage of fault various individuals have for this event," Jerome Jackson, McCourt's attorney, said in an interview with ESPNLosAngeles.com. "You’re saying to the jury, 'They (the Stow family) are saying we're 100 percent liable. But does that mean (Marvin) Norwood and (Louis) Sanchez, who beat this guy up, have no liability? And, does it mean Mr. Stow himself has no liability?'"
Jackson filed a civil complaint naming the two men charged in the Stow’s beating, according to ESPN.
"I've been doing these cases for 23 years and I have never seen one yet in which it didn't take at least two people to tango," Jackson told ESPN, suggesting jurors may decide Stow is also to blame for the attack. "So stay tuned and stand by."
Stow, who has been moved to a long-term rehabilitation center, suffered critical brain injuries and was in a coma for several months after the March 31 attack. According to his family he still requires around-the-clock care despite significant improvement.
A senior Libyan official said Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Libya’s late dictator Muammar Gaddafi, attempted to arrange a flight from his refuge to the Hague war crimes court.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, 39, has “taken refuge among Sahara nomads and is seeking a safe haven abroad,” according to Reuters. Muammar Gaddafi's fugitive son is wanted for arrest by the International Criminal Court.
Here’s more from Reuters:"Saif is concerned about his safety," the source said. "He believes handing himself over is the best option for him."
The younger Gaddafi, once seen as a potential liberal reformer but who adopted a belligerent, win-or-die persona at his father's side this year, was looking for help from abroad to fly out and take his chances at The Hague, where there is no death penalty…
Libya’s National Transitional Council said they would prefer to try suspects based on Libyan law.
Muammar Gaddafi’s family is reportedly planning to sue NATO in the International Military Court. Gaddafi’s family cited “war crime charges” which they believe led to the late leader’s death last Thursday, according to the Agence France-Presse.
Muammar Gaddafi was buried in a secret location somewhere in the Sahara Desert on Tuesday.
President Barack Obama’s latest job approval rating shows a modest gain from recent weeks, with the latest Gallup Daily tracking based on an Oct. 24-26 poll indicating the president's approval is at 43 percent.
Obama’s job approval “has been at or above 42% in each of the last seven days,” according to Gallup. In the last two weeks the president’s approval has been at or below 40 percent. Here’s more from Gallup:More broadly, Obama's approval rating averaged 40% from Oct. 1-19, but 43% since Oct. 20.
The increase in Obama's approval rating could be tied to two recent major foreign policy events -- the death of Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi and Obama's announcement that virtually all U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Iraq by Dec. 31. Additionally, the U.S. stock market has shown gains this month, particularly in the past week.
Although Obama’s approval rating has shown a modest increase, more Americans are reportedly dissatisfied with the direction the country is headed. In an Anderson Robbins Research poll for Fox News 76 percent of those polled said they were dissatisfied with the direction of the country—an increase from 69 percent in April and 61 percent in January.