Yesterday, President Obama held the first ever White House Twitter Town Hall meeting. The president fielded questions from Twitter users (asked in the site's standard 140 characters or less). But the president's answers were anything but concise. In fact, he responded to participants' questions with the same long-winded, professorial rhetoric he's been criticized for throughout his presidency. Obama's ability to address his base and stimulate audiences was perhaps his greatest strength as a candidate in 2008. This begs the question: Why has President Obama failed to properly get his messages across to the American people since then?
After deliberating for 10 hours yesterday, the jury in the Casey Anthony trial reached a not guilty verdict. The Florida mother was accused of killing her two-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008. Ultimately, jurors rejected the prosecution's allegations that Anthony had suffocated her daughter with duct-tape and dumped her body in a wooded area. The case captivated the nation for three years and the methods news outlets used to cover the trial may have permanently changed they way the media will report on high-profile court cases in the future.
The arrest of fugitive mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger leaves yet another spot open on the top 10 Most Wanted list. Another spot disappeared early this year; Osama bin Laden’s death left a spot that hasn’t yet been filled.
The House of Representatives is set to vote on a resolution to scale back the US military intervention in Libya. House Republicans contend that President Obama violated the War Powers Act, which limits the president's ability to declare war without the consent of Congress. While the proposal will prevent the US military from engaging in direct combat operations in the Libya, it will allow it to continue to supply support and intelligence for our NATO allies.
Large protests are expected in Madison today in response to an upcoming vote on the state's budget bill, which might include the now famous collective bargaining bill. So far, that bill has been tied up in the courts, says Shawn Johnson, State Capitol reporter with Wisconsin Public Radio. However, Republican lawmakers say if the collective bargaining issue isn't resolved in the courts today, they may put the measure in the budget bill. Meanwhile, there are other issues in the budget that have attracted protesters, including major cuts to the state's schools.
The unemployment rate hovers at 9.1 percent. This means that nearly 14 millions are out of work and 2.2 have stopped looking for work, taking themselves out of the market. There is little indication that American companies will begin hiring in significant numbers anytime soon, despite the fact that the economy is producing as much as it was before the recession hit. In fact, many American companies have shifted their focus on growth in emerging markets overseas. Should businesses be doing more to get Americans back to work?
As the unrest in Yemen continues, several different parties are vying to fill a potential power vacuum in the country, including the US. Over the past month, Washington has expanded the number of air and drone attacks in Yemen in an attempt to prevent Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants from establishing a foothold in the country. Meanwhile, American and Saudi spies are reportedly ramping up intelligence collection efforts inside Yemen. Both countries have a strategic interest in preventing Yemen from becoming a failed state.
Over the past few decades, an incredible amount of time and money has been spent trying to remove populations of "non-native" plants. But according to a panel of ecologists, climate change, urbanization and other changes in land use have largely invalidated the theory that foreign plants are inherently harmful to their newly adopted ecosystems.
When Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh fled his country for Saudia Arabia last week due to wounds suffered in a raid on his presidential palace, his supporters said he'd be able to return to the country within a matter of days. But a US official says Saleh's injuries are more serious than initially reported. The President is reportedly in serious condition, with burns covering 40 percent of his body and bleeding inside his skull. His best case scenario for survival puts out of Yemen for several months. What does this mean Yemen's future and regional stability in the Middle East?
More American companies are going public on exchanges outside of the US. The number of IPOs in the US is reaching historically low levels, as more companies choose to sell their shares on exchanges in Hong Kong, Seoul and other foreign markets. This could affect the US's stature as the world's financial capital and possibly cost the country jobs.
Monday was the deadliest day for U.S. troops in Iraq in months as an insurgent attack killed five U.S. soldiers stationed in Baghdad. The country is still a dangerous place to be even as the United States prepares to begin the final withdrawal of American troops from the country. "There are people out there who are trying to kill you," says John Kamin, who was in the Army when he was deployed iwht the Louisiana National Guard in March, 2010. He says "to me it's reminiscent of the earlier days in the war." Kamin is a member and spokesman of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
It's been almost a year after Congress passed the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law and many of the legislation’s rules are behind schedule. Regulators have extended the comment periods on the rules under pressure from Wall Street and Congress. "You have a lot of people on Wall Street who are concerned that they need lots of time to put rules in effect," says Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for The New York Times. However, "the longer it takes for the regulations to go into effect, the longer the banks have to make money off of the derivatives." She details the need for the bill and the cause of the delays.
The Sky Express Bus Company was shut down by the U.S. government last week after one of its buses turned over on a Virginia highway, killing four people and injuring more than 50 others. Transportation Nation’s Jim O’Grady says that Sky Express may have defied the Feds' orders and continued to operate its buses under a different name. This is a common problem called "reincarnation." Bus companies are shutdown and reopen under a new name, selling the same routes and simply repainting the buses.
Sarah Palin has announced that she'll be spending her Memorial Day weekend on a bus tour along the East Coast. The high-profile announcement comes as speculation that the former Alaska Governor will enter the field for the 2012 Republican nomination increases. Jordan Fabian, staff writer for The Hill helps us shed some light on the 2008 Vice-Presidential candidate's future intentions.
A federal judge has found Jared Loughner unfit to stand trial. Loughner is accused of killing six people and shooting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The judge made his decision after an angry and confused outburst by defendant Jared Loughner; the ruling will postpone the Tucson shooting case indefinitely. "Buzz" Conover, senior political reporter at KUAT, Tucson's public radio outlet has the details of the trial. Clinical Professor of Law at Washington & Lee University David Bruck explains the next steps in this case.