National / International News
Alexis Tsipras, head of the far-left Syriza party, was sworn in as Greece's prime minister after winning a stunning victory in the general election over the weekend.
The new leader says he expects his victory to have resonance well beyond the borders of Greece. “Our future in Europe is not the future of austerity. It is the future of democracy, solidarity and cooperation,” Tsipras told the media on election night. To reach the widest possible audience abroad, he spoke in English.
Syriza is known for its plans to defy Brussels and Berlin, and roll back some of the budget cuts and economic reforms imposed on Greece in return for the country’s $280 billion bailouts by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
Syriza believes that when Greece throws off the yoke of German-inspired austerity, other heavily-indebted southern European countries will follow. “Change in Greece is going to be the beginning of a change all over Europe, starting, of course, from the South where the problems are bigger,” says John Milios, Syriza’s chief economist.
Syriza claims Spain, Portugal and Italy will also jump on the anti-austerity bandwagon. George Katrouglas, a member of the European parliament for the party, says: Don’t blame Greece if the EU falls apart. “It could break up, but not because of us, but because of the German insistence on policies that have clearly failed,” Katrouglas says.
Not everyone sees Syriza as a dynamic new force that's leading the charge against Germany’s crippling rigidity, nor as a new broom that will sweep away corruption and pork-barrel politics at home.
“They appear to be something new … but they’re not,” says John Loulis, a leading Greek political analyst who is not impressed with Syriza or Greek politicians in general. “The people who get involved in politics are the pits,” says Loulis. “If they were not involved in politics, they would be unemployed.”
Many Syriza activists come from the Greek public sector, he notes, which is not a guarantee of efficiency or dynamism. As the new government prepares to do battle over austerity on the European stage, millions of Greeks can only hope that, this time, Loulis is wrong.
Seattle is the first city in the nation to fine people for not properly sorting their garbage. The law took effect on Jan. 1 as a bid to keep food out of landfills and encourage composting instead.
The Department of Health and Human Services has announced a plan to move Medicare away from the current fee-for-service system and toward a quality-based payment system.
"By the end of 2016, 85 percent of its budgets is going to be tied to outcomes," says Dan Gorenstein, Marketplace’s Health Desk correspondent.
Monday’s announcement by HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell could have a much bigger impact on consumer healthcare spending.
"What Medicare does really sets the table for the entire industry," Gorenstein says. "So, oftentimes whatever the federal government does the private insurers, private industry usually follows."
Of those 64 Democrats who cast a key anti-abortion vote in November 2009, only 12 remain in the House today.
The strikes come just days after Yemen's the U.S.-backed government resigned in the face of an uprising by Shiite Houthi rebels, effectively leaving the country with no government.
In late 2014, Levi Bettwieser bought 31 undeveloped rolls of film at an auction in Ohio. They turned out to be photos from World War II.
"I knew that I potentially had something special just from the look of the rolls themselves and what was written on them," says Bettwieser. "But you never know what you’re going to get because obviously you have no idea what the condition of the images might be that are still on the film."
About two years ago, Bettwieser, a video producer and film photographer in Boise, Idaho, founded The Rescued Film Project to salvage undeveloped rolls of film from around the world.
The rolls had hand-written notes that hint at what they might contain, but most are labeled with various location names, like LaHavre Harbor, Lucky Strike Camp or Boston Harbor. "One was labeled 'Roll of French Funeral,' and so we were able to actually recover some funeral pictures of a French officer," Bettwieser says.
From the beginning, Bettwieser has funded the project with his own money.
"This is not my full-time job, I also have a full-time job sustaining myself," says Bettwieser. "I have spent thousands of dollars of my personal funds to fund the project just because I believe in it, and it’s a passion project. The cost does not make any difference to me – you can’t put a price on the value of saving these images."