The Most Important News....

The radiation level in the ocean near the Fukushima nuclear plant keeps rising. It is now 4,385 times above what is considered normal. This is a significant increase from the yesterday’s report that the I-131 isotope found in the water was 3,355 times the regulatory limit.

The consistently high levels of radiation found in the sea outside Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear plant complex may mean that radiation is leaking out continuously, Japan's nuclear watchdog said on Thursday.

Workers who have been fighting to bring the reactors under control at Japan’s strick nuclear plant expect to die from radiation sickness, according to the mother of one of the men.

The loss of two nuclear power plants means the Tokyo region will face the summer peak demand with a loss of about 20% of capacity, the plant's owner said Thursday.

There is no health risk from consuming milk with extremely low levels of radiation, like those found in Washington state and California, experts said Thursday, echoing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Is the nuclear crisis in Japan going to continue for months or even years?

Barack Obama signed a secret order a few weeks ago authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, according to government officials.

It is being reported that before any no fly zones, NATO involvement or UN resolutions, US and British intelligence and special forces were on the ground inside Libya, coordinating the uprising against Gaddafi and waging a covert war.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said today the alliance was opposed to arming the Libyan rebels fighting against Muammar Gaddafi.

Mussa Kussa, the Libyan foreign minister who flew to Britain Wednesday and said he was defecting from the Tripoli regime, is described as a “master of international terrorism” and the man responsible for exporting Muammar Gaddafi’s revolution.

Today, in Libya, a ragtag group of rebels fight a seesaw battle against Muammar Qaddafi's better-equipped forces, and a debate rages over whether to provide them arms and training. However, whispers are growing that al Qaeda may already be among them, complicating the current debate over arming the rebels.

Is the U.S. headed for a "worst case scenario" is Libya?

Following a closed briefing for members of the House on the U.S. military operation in Libya, Democrat Rep. Charlie Rangel said that he would “like to believe” members of Congress are looking into whether or not the attack on Libya without congressional approval is an impeachable offense.

Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized president of the Ivory Coast, on Thursday declared a curfew in Abidjan as forces loyal to him moved closer to taking control of the city.

In the first economic metric since the Japanese earthquake struck, Japanese manufacturing activity slumped to a two-year low in March and posted its steepest monthly decline on record, confirming all the worst fears about supply chain disruptions and production operations.

Toyota may delay the production of at least 500,000 vehicles in Japan because of a shortage of parts and electricity after the nation’s record earthquake, said an analyst at Advanced Research Japan.

U.S. consumers face "serious" inflation in the months ahead for clothing, food and other products, the head of Wal-Mart's U.S. operations warned Wednesday.

Hershey has announced a nearly 10 percent price increase across its line of candy products to cover rising raw material costs, fuel and transportation.

Corn prices are spiking dramatically after a bleak forecast was released by the USDA.

Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose to 4.86% from 4.81% the previous week.

The U.S. had 1.8 million distressed homes in January that had yet to be listed for sale, a “shadow inventory” that is expected to weigh on home prices for years.

J.P. Morgan Chase and other banks are trying to recoup approximately $30 billion a year in lost overdraft fee income by testing $5 ATM fees, Consumer Action spokesman Joe Ridout told CNBC.

Is the next financial crisis going to wipe out large numbers of U.S. banks?

New orders for manufactured goods in February, down following three consecutive monthly increases, decreased $0.4 billion or 0.1 percent to $446.0 billion.

The Federal Reserve is now purchasing 70% to 80% of all new U.S. Treasuries.

The Federal Reserve is naming the banks that drew emergency loans during the financial crisis, offering information on its oldest lending tool for the first time in the central bank’s nearly 100-year history.

When news broke that Pimco's Total Return Fund had slashed its U.S. Treasury holdings to zero, investors were left wondering why the world's biggest bond fund would bail out of the safe haven.

In his latest investment outlook, Bill Gross warns that America will default, thanks to trillions in entitlement obligations.

Political instability and a potential EU financial rescue package for Portugal that will increase interest rate burdens pushed rating agency S&P to downgrade the country’s debt status for the second time in a week to BBB-, only one notch above junk status.

The head of General Electric on Thursday defended the conglomerate's zero tax rate in 2010, and called for reform of the U.S. tax code.

The chief U.S. tax collector said Thursday that budget cuts proposed by Republicans would have "potentially devastating" impact on the nation's tax system, including a drop in enforcement revenue by $4 billion for the rest of this year.

Tea Party supporters who rallied on Capitol Hill today didn't sound too impressed with a tentative deal to cut about $33 billion from the federal budget and avoid a government shutdown.

Israel’s efforts to rally countries against Palestinian Authority plans to ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines are hindered by the fact that Israel has not presented any plan of its own, diplomatic officials said Tuesday.

State and local governments are slashing their budgets by roughly $110 billion this year.

How in the world did two kids in their 20s win a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm America's allies in Afghanistan?

It turns out that our cell phones are tracking our every move.

The recorded impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on wildlife may have severely underestimated the number of deaths of whales and dolphins, according to a new report.

A series of undercover phone calls contacting 30 Planned Parenthood clinics in 27 states revealed that the organization does not offer mammograms, contrary to claims made on national TV by Cecile Richards, the group’s CEO.

A surge in Satanism fueled by the Internet has led to a sharp rise in the demand for exorcists, the Roman Catholic Church has warned.

Lastly, Delaware police and DOT officials — armed with a front-end loader and a massive dump truck — recently ripped a basketball hoop out of a family's front yard and carted it away, despite the protests of the angry parents.

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Rebel forces on Monday fought their way to the doorstep of Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, a key government stronghold guarding the road to the capital Tripoli, their rapid advance built on powerful international airstrikes that have battered Gadhafi's air force, armor and troops.

Libya rebel official says rebels in "active discussions" to have sanctions lifted on purchases of crude from rebel-held east Libya.

The Libyan rebels in Benghazi said they have created a new national oil company to replace the corporation controlled by leader Muammar Qaddafi whose assets were frozen by the United Nations Security Council and have formed a central bank.

Libyan rebels say they have signed an oil contract with Qatar to export oil from rebel-held territory.

Russia said on Monday attacks on forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi amounted to intervention in a civil war and were not backed by the U.N. resolution authorizing no-fly zones.

In the first 24 hours of the Libyan attack, US B-2s dropped forty-five 2,000-pound bombs. These massive bombs, along with the Cruise missiles launched from British and French planes and ships, all contained depleted uranium (DU) warheads.

Syrian security forces flooded the restive cities of Daraa and Latakia on Monday, patrolling the streets, protecting government buildings and in at least one case clashing with protesters, according to witnesses.

On Sunday, Lieberman said that he would support military intervention in Syria if its president, Bashar al-Assad, resorts to the kind of violent tactics used in Libya.

The containment structure surrounding one of the reactors at a quake-battered nuclear power plant is damaged and may be leaking radioactive material, the Japanese government's point man on the crisis said Monday.

Japan on Sunday faced an increasing challenge of removing highly radioactive water found inside buildings near some troubled nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, with the radiation level of the surface of the pool in the basement of the No. 2 reactor's turbine building found to be more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour.

Workers discovered new pools of radioactive water leaking from Japan's crippled nuclear complex, officials said Monday, as emergency crews struggled to pump out hundreds of tons of contaminated water and bring the plant back under control.

Plutonium has been discovered in the soil outside the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The discovery of plutonium at five places within Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex will not cause work there to be suspended, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co said on Tuesday.

For some stunning footage of the ruined reactors at Fukushima just check out this video.

A recent sample of rainwater in Boston showed very low concentrations of radiation, most likely from the damaged Japanese nuclear power power.

In Japan, radioactive cesium-137 is being released at 60% of the level that it was being released at during the Chernobyl disaster.  Cesium-137 has a half-life of approximately 30 years.  That means that all of this cesium is going to be with us for a very, very long time.

Is the nuclear disaster in Japan now worse than the Chernobyl disaster?

Some nuclear experts are now warning that a "worst case scenario" is going to eventually play out in Japan.

Goldman Sachs is ordering all of their employees to stay in Tokyo.

American companies are finding new overseas tax havens to legally protect some of their profits from the U.S. tax rate of 35 percent, among the highest in the world.

It is being alleged that General Electric is not paying any U.S. taxes.

Right now the New York Times and GE are engaged in a war of words over taxes.

There were 167,564 empty houses in Nevada last year, according to newly released U.S. Census data, more than double the number in 2000.

A recent job fair in Massachusetts was shut down because of a lack of jobs.

Despite the overall job gains posted last year, companies continued to eliminate management positions, with about 550,000 being lost.

With nearly 14 million unemployed workers in America, many have gotten so desperate that they're willing to work for free.

Employee loyalty is at a three-year low, but many employers are precariously unaware of the morale meltdown, according to a study out today.

In 2009, the richest 5 percent claimed 63.5 percent of the nation’s wealth. The overwhelming majority, the bottom 80 percent, collectively held just 12.8 percent.

Consumer spending rose in February at the fastest pace in four months, but a big part of the increase went to higher gasoline prices.

The FDIC has announced the following: "From December 31, 2010 through December 31, 2012, all noninterest-bearing transaction accounts are fully insured, regardless of the balance of the account and the ownership capacity of the funds. This coverage is available to all depositors, including consumers, businesses, and government entities. The unlimited coverage is separate from, and in addition to, the insurance coverage provided for a depositor’s other accounts held at an FDIC-insured bank."

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday, 46 percent of Americans say they prefer President Barack Obama's approach on budget negotiations, with 45 percent saying they prefer congressional Republicans' approach to the tough choices involved in both cutting programs to reduce the deficit and at the same time maintain needed federal programs.

As if fuel taxes and rising gas prices weren't causing enough pain at the pump, Democrats seeking to raise new revenues to support federal spending on highway maintenance are considering taxing motorists for the number of miles they drive.

Deutsche Bank's Chief Economist Charles Mayer says that given the recent election results in Germany, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party was trounced, it will be difficult for Germany to approve another debt bailout. Mayer says it may come down to an IMF "bridge loan" for Portugal to make its bond payments.

By restricting exports, Chinese officials have allowed the price of rare earth metals to rise exponentially, putting pressure on companies across the globe that rely on their input for their manufactured products.

Chinese police have arrested prominent blogger Ran Yunfei for challenging the ruling Communist Party, people close to the blogger said on Monday, the latest in a string of arrests in a deepening crackdown on dissent.

CNBC says that according to the basic laws of supply and demand, especially given that the two metals are quite similar, the price gap between gold and silver should be much smaller.

The central bank in Afghanistan has been up to a lot of mischief lately.

Mega-millionaire Donald Trump today said during an interview with FoxNewsInsider that Barack Obama is having trouble with, and spending millions to fight, the ongoing questions about his birth, his birth certificate and his eligibility to hold office.

According to one new study, 34% of senior males are in the work force while just 15% of teenage boys have an employer.

There have been over 800 earthquakes in and around Japan since March 11th.

Severe drought conditions across eastern Colorado and the western half of Kansas and Oklahoma are worsening the outlook for more wild fires in the region climatologists say.

More than 17,000 students have enrolled at Oaksterdam University, "America's first cannabis college", since it first opened in late 2007.

New evidence has emerged that the Iranian government sees the current unrest in the Middle East as a signal that the Mahdi--or Islamic messiah--is about to appear.

Lastly, a clay tablet that has baffled scientists for more than a century has been identified as a witness's account of an asteroid that destroyed the Biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah 5,000 years ago.

The latest headlines from The Most Important News....

The Obama administration is strongly defending its handling of the Libyan crisis, drawing a clear line between military and political objectives while dismissing criticism that it has failed to adequately consult with members of Congress.

Representatives of Moammar Gadhafi's government and the Libyan opposition will be among those attending an African Union meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Friday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday.

NATO has reached an agreement to take over the no-fly zone in Libya from the United States "in a couple of days" NATO's secretary general said Thursday.

Sixty percent of Americans support the U.S. and allied military action in Libya to impose a no-fly zone to protect civilians from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday found.

A Gallup poll conducted Monday finds more Americans approving than disapproving of the military action against Libya by the United States and other countries.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the country's top general are hashing out a political settlement in which both men would resign from their positions within days in favor of a civilian-led transitional government, according to three people familiar with the situation.

Human rights activists said at least 15 people were killed on Wednesday in the volatile Syrian city of Daraa, hub of a week of anti-regime protests, as anger reportedly spread to neighboring towns.

Radioactive yellow rain that fell in Tokyo and surrounding areas last night caused panic amongst Japanese citizens and prompted a flood of phone calls to Japan’s Meteorological Agency this morning, with people concerned that they were being fed the same lies as victims of Chernobyl, who were told that yellow rain which fell over Russia and surrounding countries after the 1986 disaster was merely pollen, the same explanation now being offered by Japanese authorities.

Tokyo government officials have announced that radiation levels in Tokyo tap water are now so high that it is unsafe for infants to drink.

The scope of radiation-contaminated tap water expanded Thursday, with radioactive iodine detected in tap water in Chiba and Saitama prefectures, while the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which said the day before its drinking water was contaminated, scurried to distribute 240,000 bottles of water to households with babies.

Reactors 5 and 6 at the Fukushima nuclear complex are reportedly now also leaking radiation.

The radiation released by the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant already rivals and in one sense exceeds the Chernobyl catastrophe according to Austria’s Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics, even as media spin downplays the severity of the crisis despite the fact that the problems at the plant show no signs of abating.

Bottled water was virtually impossible to find in Tokyo on Thursday.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it has observed a neutron beam, a kind of radioactive ray, 13 times on the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after it was crippled by the massive March 11 quake-tsunami disaster.

Radiation from the ongoing disaster in Japan is spreading throughout the United States, and while the EPA says the levels are not dangerous, it also admits that some of its radiation-tracking air monitors may not even be working.

An estimated 66,000 metric tons of spent fuel rods are stored at 77 sites around the United States - that's more than 145 million pounds.

The Japanese tsunami was more than 77 feet high at its peak.

Was the damage done to Japan's economy worse than originally thought?

Have the disasters in Japan broken the global supply chain?

Palestinian rockets struck two cities deep in Israel on Wednesday, wounding a resident and prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to threaten lengthy “exchanges of blows” with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The IAF bombed terrorists that were attempting to shoot rockets into Israel on Thursday morning.

Oil traded as high as $106.69 a barrel Thursday in a nervous and uncertain energy market.

Will the price of gasoline reach $5.00 a gallon before the end of this year?

Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates has resigned after parliament rejected an austerity budget.

A bailout for Portugal may total as much as 70 billion euros ($99 billion), two European officials with direct knowledge of the matter said as a credit-rating cut threatened to deepen Portugal’s debt woes.

Warren Buffett told CNBC Thursday that the collapse of the euro zone's single currency is far from "unthinkable".

The US ranks near the bottom of developed global economies in terms of financial stability and will stay there unless it addresses its burgeoning debt problems, a new study has found.

Ten former chairmen of the White House Council of Economic Advisers say that a plan crafted by fiscal commission appointed by President Barack Obama should be "the starting point" for addressing what they labeled a "severe threat" to the nation's economy.

The Federal Reserve has "done a bit too much" quantitative easing amid signs "of speculative excess" in the the US, according to a senior official at the central bank.

The U.S. trade deficit grew by 33 percent in 2010 to nearly half a trillion dollars.

According to the Alliance for American Manufacturing, more than 5.5 million manufacturing jobs have been lost in the past 10 years.

The average American family's household net worth declined 23% between 2007 and 2009, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.

More than two-thirds of Americans saw their net worth decline during the recession according to the Fed.

One school district in the Chicago area is laying off 363 teachers.

The Postal Service is offering a $20,000 buyout to thousands of veteran workers as part of its bid to eliminate 7,500 administrative jobs, the agency announced Thursday.

Hammered by the auto industry's slump, Detroit saw its population plummet 25 percent over the past decade, according to census data released on Tuesday that reflects the severity of an economic downturn in the only state whose population declined since 2000.

The Census Bureau says that 403,765 new firms were started in the 12 months ended March 2009, down 17.3% from a year earlier and the fewest on records that begin in 1977.

Is gold replacing the dollar as the world reserve currency?

Silver recently hit $36.78 an ounce, the highest it has been since February 1980.

Some of the top experts in the world now believe that a collapse of the U.S. dollar is inevitable.

Is George Soros attempting to remake the entire world financial order?

CNN is reporting that Rep. Michele Bachmann will form a presidential exploratory committee. The Minnesota Republican plans to file papers for the committee in early June, with an announcement likely around that same time.

Ron Paul says that he is undecided about whether he will run for president or not.

Donald Trump is demanding that Barack Obama prove that he was born in the United States.

In the wake of changes to government employee unions’ power in Wisconsin and elsewhere, The Communist Party USA is working in conjunction with national labor unions and other left wing political groups to organize protests in Madison, Wisconsin and across the nation on April 4th.

The Obama administration has begun examining whether it can make cuts to its nuclear weapons stockpiles that go beyond those outlined in a recent treaty with Russia.

The Russian Defense Ministry will buy 36 strategic ballistic missiles, two strategic missile submarines and 20 strategic cruise missiles this year, Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Friday.

Liberal Democratic Party of Russia leader and Vice-Chairman of the State Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky released a statement today calling for the Nobel Prize Committee to take back the Nobel Peace Prize bestowed on Barack Obama in 2009.

Microsoft just spent $7.5 million to buy a block of 666,624 IPv4 addresses from Nortel in bankruptcy court. That works out to about $11.25 apiece.

A 7.0 earthquake recently struck an area near the Northern Thailand border.

Fonterra, a New Zealand-based cooperative that represents the world’s largest exporter of dairy products, has been pinned by Greenpeace Australia for allegedly selling dairy products contaminated with GMOs, despite the fact that the company is not a GMO brand.

A dangerous drug-resistant bacterium has spread to patients in Southern California, according to a study by Los Angeles County public health officials, and it is killing 40 percent of the people that become infected.

Gender-bending chemicals found in non-stick pans and food packaging are linked to early menopause, some scientists are saying.

U.S. companies selling doomsday bunkers are seeing sales skyrocket anywhere from 20% to 1,000%.

Stink bugs, the smelly scourge of the mid-Atlantic, are hitch-hiking and gliding their way across the country. Officially known as the brown marmorated stink bug, sightings of the pest have been reported in 33 states, an increase of eight states since last fall.

The worst Texas drought in 44 years is damaging the state’s wheat crop and forcing ranchers to reduce cattle herds, as rising demand for U.S. food sends grain and meat prices higher.

Four branches of the military have begun sending training material to 2.2 million active and reserve troops as a prelude to opening the ranks to gays, with instructions on, for example, what to do if an officer sees two male Marines kissing in a shopping mall.

A band of six Democrats in the California state Senate voted today to advance a bill that has been described as "the worst school sexual indoctrination ever" and would require that school children be taught to admire "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual" role models.

Lastly, Border Patrol agents recently arrested 13 illegal immigrants disguised as U.S. Marines and riding in a fake military van, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday.

NATO Declares War On Libya

On March 21, 2011, in Daily News Updates, by Admin

The latest headlines from The Most Important News....

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's momentum has been stopped and rebels have been able to hold onto areas that Gadhafi's forces had been poised to take over, a U.S. official said Monday.

Qaddafi has surrounded himself with civilian supporters in Tripoli, and his forces are bringing civilians to Misrata to use as human shields.

Media outlets affiliated with the Libyan opposition reported Monday that the son of Muammar Gaddafi, Khamis Gaddafi, was killed in a suicide attack on the Bab al-Azizia barracks in Tripoli.

SAS teams are on the ground in Libya with orders to pinpoint and destroy Colonel Gaddafi’s weapons.

One NATO missile totally destroyed an administrative building at Col. Gaddafi's Tripoli residence according to reports.

As the contrived moral high ground behind the absurdly hypocritical “humanitarian” pretext of the attack on Libya collapses in the wake of Russia, the Arab League and the African Union condemning the US-led NATO bombings, so does any pretense of legality that the “no fly zone” resolution holds, because the obvious attempt to assassinate Gaddafi violates not only U.S. law, but also the UN’s own charter.

Oil prices surged more than $2 a barrel in electronic trading Monday, after coalition forces launched an attack on Libyan military targets over the weekend.

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev has lashed out at Prime Minister Vladimir Putin over his comments on the UN's Libya resolution.

The U.K. government is battling to hold together the international coalition opposing Muammar Gaddafi's actions amid signs of Arab unease at the scale and impact of western-led military operations in Libya, divisions within Nato over the no-fly zone, and a rising tide of global criticism.

Plant operators evacuated workers from Japan's tsunami-stricken nuclear complex Monday after gray smoke rose from one of its reactor units, the latest of persistent troubles in stabilizing the complex after it was damaged in a quake and tsunami.

Radioactivity fears in Japan are growing, with evidence of contamination in milk, vegetables and fish.

As Japan edged forward in its battle to contain the damage at its ravaged nuclear power plants on Saturday, the government said it had found higher than normal levels of radioactivity in spinach and milk at farms up to 90 miles away from the plants.

World health officials are warning of the dangerous cumulative effects from eating food contaminated by radiation leaking from Japan's crippled nuclear plant. One Japanese restaurant in Taiwan is serving up radiation gauges alongside its meals.

Radiation levels observed in food and milk grown and produced significant distances from the stricken nuclear power plant in Fukushima do not correlate with readings supposedly found in the immediate vicinity, suggesting that the real levels are being withheld from the public.

China and South Korea announced on Monday they will toughen checks of Japanese food for radioactivity, hours after the World Health Organization said the detection of radiation in some food in Japan was a more serious problem than it had expected.

Apparently the Dai-ichi complex in Fukushima, Japan has nearly 10 times more nuclear fuel than Chernobyl.

Japanese engineers have conceded that burying a crippled nuclear plant in sand and concrete may be the only way to prevent a catastrophic radiation release.

The release of radiation from the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant will be a problem for Japan for years to come, according to the French nuclear watchdog.

The death toll from last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami will top 15,000 in Miyagi Prefecture alone, the local police chief said Sunday.

Food is really starting to run short in Japan.

Are thorium reactors going to transform the way that the world gets energy?

Now that the total debt of the U.S. government is $14,223,730,274,180.80, it is getting really hard to deny that the federal government is drowning in debt.

In just a month’s time a second American paper mill has announced that it will be closing its doors for good.

Unemployment rose in nearly all of the 372 largest U.S. cities in January compared to the previous month.

Since the recession began, the number of Americans that have given up looking for work has grown by 30 percent, to more than 6.4 million.

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes fell unexpectedly sharply in February and prices touched their lowest level in nearly nine years.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of previously occupied homes fell last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million. That’s down 9.6% from 5.4 million in January.

Are there good reasons why many Americans should never buy a house again?

The U.S. Treasury said Monday that it will sell a big portfolio of mortgage-backed bonds over the next year or so, in a move to wind down a crisis-era program providing financing for residential housing.

Average weekly earnings in the United States have gone in a negative direction for four months in a row.

About three-quarters of Americans surveyed by America's Research Group said they were shopping less due to rising gas prices, with more than 62 percent of the participants planning to spend generously only next year or beyond.

Households, followed by mutual funds, are the biggest holders of municipal debt.

Corn has soared 52% in the past 12 months. Sugar’s up 60%. Soybeans have jumped 41%. And wheat costs 24% more than it did a year ago.

According to a recent Newsweek quiz, 29 percent of Americans could not pass the citizenship test, leading to several doubts about the civic awareness of the population.

Ron Paul won the California Republican Party convention poll over the weekend. The Texas congressman defeated former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

Graphic photos showing U.S. troops and dead Afghans that the Army was keeping under wraps for a war crimes probe were carried by a German news organization Monday, with one showing a soldier smiling as he posed with a bloodied and partially clothed corpse.

An autistic man says Transportation Security Administration agents violated his rights early Sunday during a security screening at Boston Logan International Airport.

The federal government says more overweight Americans are squeezing onto buses, and it may have to rewrite bus safety rules because of it.

Porsche is now taking orders for the German carmaker's first publicly available hybrid sports car, the 918 Spyder.  It is only $845,000.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says facelifts for men jumped 14 percent last year.

Demonstrators in the southern Syrian city of Deraa have set fire to several buildings during a third consecutive day of protests, witnesses say. One report said the buildings targeted included the headquarters of the ruling Baath Party.

Lastly, facing a possible new conflict against Hamas, concern is growing within the IDF regarding increased efforts by Palestinian terrorist groups to dig tunnels under the border that could be used to infiltrate into Israel and perpetrate attacks.