China Seeking Advantages Against U.S. Forces

26 03 2009

China is seeking technology and weapons to disrupt the traditional advantages of American forces, and secrecy surrounding its military creates the potential for miscalculation on both sides, according to a Pentagon study released Wednesday.

The annual report from the Defense Department to Congress, “Military Power of the People’s Republic of China 2009,” catalogs efforts by China to supply its armed forces with weapons that can be used to intimidate and attack Taiwan and blunt the superiority of American naval and air power, at least near its territory.

Trasury Department Might Take Ownership Stakes in Banks

9 10 2008

Having tried without success to unlock frozen credit markets, the Treasury Department is considering taking ownership stakes in many United States banks to try to restore confidence in the financial system, according to government officials.

Treasury officials say the just-passed $700 billion bailout bill gives them the authority to inject cash directly into banks that request it. Such a move would quickly strengthen banks’ balance sheets and, officials hope, persuade them to resume lending. In return, the law gives the Treasury the right to take ownership positions in banks, including healthy ones.

US HoR Passes Rescue Plan Bill

4 10 2008

The US House of Representatives has passed a $700bn (£394bn) government plan to rescue the US financial sector.

The 263-171 vote was the second in a week, following its shock rejection of an earlier version on Monday.

The package is aimed at buying up the bad debts of failing financial institutions on Wall Street.

US President George W Bush praised lawmakers for their “spirit of co-operation” before signing the bill into law later on Friday.

The House adopted the new version after the Senate added about $100bn in new tax breaks to win Republican votes.

VP Debate Most Watched in History

4 10 2008

The nationally televised U.S. vice-presidential debate Thursday night has become the most-watched in history, Nielsen Media Research reported Friday.

With 66.9 million U.S. viewers, the debate between Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden and his Republican opponent Sarah Palin handily beat the previous record of 56.7 million viewers.

That record was set in 1984 by Democratic vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman on a major-party ticket, and the Republican incumbent at the time, George Bush.

The audience tally for the Palin-Biden debate also easily eclipsed the 52.4 million viewers who tuned in for the first faceoff between presidential nominees Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama last Friday.

Two more presidential debates are scheduled for Oct. 7 and Oct. 15.

Nuclear Deal with India Approved

1 10 2008

The Senate approved a controversial nuclear deal with India on Wednesday, clearing the way for the United States to export nuclear know-how to India after a ban lasting decades.

Presidential candidates Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain voted for the bill. President Bush urged the Senate to pass the bill in a statement released before the vote. The bill “represents a major milestone in the transformation of our nation’s important relationship with India,” the statement said.

One senator had anonymously been using parliamentary rules to prevent the bill from coming to a vote, but the leaders of the Senate announced Tuesday night the vote would go ahead. The House of Representatives passed the bill without debate on Saturday. The next step is for Bush to sign it into law.


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