National / International News
The measure, first proposed in 2910, would shut down mines if owners fail to pay fines for safety violations.
Protesters took to the streets demanding justice, after a black man suffered a deadly injury to his spine after being arrested by police.
Fingerprints, facial and voice recognition — companies are investing in more secure methods to verify people. But even biometrics can be defeated, and they raise privacy concerns.
A couple of details on the likely demise of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal.
Item number one: Comcast isn't going to have to pay the usual breakup fee — the 2 to 5 percent of the sale price that the would-be acquire-er normally pays to the would-be acquire-ee if things go south. It just wasn't in the original paperwork, says Fortune Magazine.
Also, Time Warner Cable CEO Robert Marcus would have gotten an $80 million exit package if the deal had gone through. Or, to look at it another way: more than a million dollars a day for the 45 days from the time Marcus took over to the day the merger was announced.
Sorry about that, Mr. Marcus.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to build or preserve 200,000 affordable housing units over the next decade. And not a moment too soon. An estimated half of New York renters lack affordable housing, meaning they spend more than a third of their salaries on rent. That may be as many as 1 million people.
In unveiling his OneNYC plan this week, de Blasio said he'll attempt to lift 800,000 New Yorkers out of poverty.
His office called it one of the largest urban poverty initiatives in U.S. history, and affordable housing is likely to be one of the major proposals.
De Blasio has also called for the creation of 160,000 units of market-rate housing over the next decade, an acknowledgement, some say, that all New Yorkers are affected by a housing shortage.
On Thursday, the long-awaited acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Comcast was reported to be on the rocks.
But what's truly at stake for consumers in a $45 billion mega-merger between cable providers?
Peter Carstensen, emeritus professor of law at the University of Wisconsin, says they're not competing for broadband customers—but they are competing when they buy programming. A merger could have given them sizable market power, and Senator Al Franken says competing TV networks complained to him in private, fearing reprisals.
But industry analyst Ian Olgeirson at SNL Kagan says the effects on the end consumer of this merger — or any merger with Time Warner that takes place — are likely to be subtle.
A free-trade deal among the United States and 11 Pacific nations called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is wending its way through Capitol Hill. Opposition seems to deal has been largely united under the threat of currency manipulation.
Generally speaking, a country with a weaker currency is thought to have an advantage in trade, because their stuff is cheaper. So, currency manipulation is when a central bank buys or sells a lot foreign currency in an attempt to influence the exchange rate.
In practice however, Carl Weinberg , with the firm High Frequency Economics, says the threat posed by this kind of tinker tends to be over stated.
"Quite frankly, domestic monetary policy usually has more important things to do to help the economy than focusing on trade," Weinberg says.
While some countries such as Japan and South Korea may dabble in this area, Weinberg says the broader impacts of the Pacific trade deal outweigh the risk.
"The trade treaty has values and merits of its own, independent of anything that is happening on the currency side, at any exchange rate," he says.
The Treasury Department already has the ability to take action during cases of currency manipulation, which currency analyst Marc Chandler of Brown, Brothers Harriman says is an authority it rarely uses, even if some members of Congress think it should.
"The U.S. Treasury has not cited another country of currency-market manipulation in over a decade," Chandler says.
Free-trade agreements tend to be controversial, especially leading up to election years, and Chandler points out that if the Pacific deal does go through, together with NAFTA, roughly 40 percent of world GDP would be subject to free trade agreements.
And if it doesn’t?
"It would look like the U.S. is retreating from the global international leadership space."
China, the country that is most often accused of manipulation isn’t part of this deal, and the yuan has been gradually gaining against the euro and the dollar for some time.
Over the next two months, more than 300 draft and riding horses will be transported by ferry to Mackinac Island.