The end of the American empire has long been foretold. But it's not hubris or hostile action that brings it low. It's a lack of readies, meaning unpaid, high-interest, foreign-owned debt, and an unaffordable lifestyle. And unlike the postwar period, when a Europe with common interests, a broadly similar political outlook, and shared values passed the security baton to the US, America has no like-minded, amicable successor to turn to as its own power fades. Quite the opposite, in fact.
According to a study from the nation's largest food bank operator, the number of Americans in need of food aid has jumped 46 percent in three years, including a 50 percent jump in the number of children needing food assistance, and a 64 percent increase in hunger in senior citizens' homes.
The study, Hunger in America 2010, found that 37 million people, or roughly one in eight US residents, received food aid in 2009. That's a 46 percent jump from a similar survey carried out in 2006.
A Detroit-area imam who died in a shootout with the FBI in October was shot 21 times -- at least once in the back -- and found by police lying down with his wrists in handcuffs behind him, says a local Detroit news report.
The medical examiner's report is scheduled to be released this week, but had been delayed for months after Dearborn police, who are investigating the FBI in the matter, filed a court affidavit requesting the document be kept sealed.
Alleging a plot to tamper with phones in Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans, the FBI arrested four people Monday, including James O'Keefe, 25, a conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos at ACORN field offices severely damaged the advocacy group's credibility.
The ban, which would apply to drivers of interstate buses and commercial vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds, will go into effect immediately.
From 2002 through 2007, nuclear programs got $6.2 billion for research and development, twice as much as fossil fuel programs received, according to the Government Accountability Office. "Clean coal" may have garnered more headlines under Bush, but R and D money for nuclear programs grew by 59 percent, while money for fossil fuels stayed flat, the GAO reported.
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A federal judge has dismissed AT&T customers' lawsuit over wiretapping conducted under former President George W. Bush, a challenge the judge had allowed to proceed before Congress intervened.
To establish the right to sue, a private citizen must demonstrate a "direct, personal stake in the outcome" and cannot merely claim "a right to have the government follow the law," Walker said. Because the AT&T customers have no evidence that they were personally wiretapped, he said, they cannot differentiate themselves from "the mass of telephone and Internet users in the United States."
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