To get a license plate for a new car, for example, a resident of Beijing must win a pass in a lottery in which the odds of success are less than 1 percent. Women often obtain permits allowing them to give birth after they wed, but they usually expire after two years. Unmarried women are ineligible for them. Applying for a student loan can require as many as 26 official seals on more than a dozen documents. Just starting a new job and registering for public benefits can mean amassing a small mountain of documents, including a certified background check by the police in one’s place of birth. And no, you cannot get that by mail.
Even in cases where the public has been informed of government practices, Wyden warned the government still collects far too much information on millions of citizens with virtually no accountability. “You have all of this data and you can tell whether somebody called the psychiatrist three times in 24 hours, once after midnight? You can’t tell me that that doesn’t tell you a whole lot about somebody,” Wyden said.
To date, Fielder and her fellow students have testified before lawmakers, written op-eds, consulted attorneys, and collected piles of research. When a snowstorm threatened to keep them from traveling to appear in front of a committee last week, they asked if they could sleep on the floor of the Capitol rotunda. (The answer was no; they stayed in a nearby hotel.) As of today, the bill appeared in danger of dying a sudden death.
The Hill reports this morning that another “tense standoff,” one similar to the chaos that erupted around Department of Homeland Security funding, is likely to unfold around the need to replenish the Highway Trust Fund, which is set to run low on funding this spring. Business groups — and the Obama administration — are warning of disaster if funding for ongoing infrastructure projects evaporates, while conservative groups are insisting Republicans agree to devolve infrastructure back to the states. Yet John Boehner is already on record saying he wants to replenish infrastructure funding. He just hasn’t said how it should be paid for. Sound familiar?
“The market moved lower on the back of the report,” Ole Hansen, an analyst at Saxo Bank A/S, said by e-mail from Copenhagen. “Continuing inventory builds are keeping the focus on whether storage may fill up. It’s becoming increasingly clear that, barring any major geopolitical event, the risks are pointing to lower oil prices.”
In the 1990s, the oil industry focused its efforts on extracting as much oil as possible, regardless of the difficulty or risk of a given project. Fast forward to 2015 and the industry is beset by falling prices, increased competition from renewables and an ever-strengthening climate change movement. While many in the industry have tried and failed to reassess the overall model, it is now sink or swim for fossil fuels in a new energy price era.
Experts suspect that unusually warm waters are driving fish and other food away from the coastal islands where sea lions breed and wean their young. As the mothers spend time away from the islands hunting for food, hundreds of starving pups are swimming away from home and flopping ashore from San Diego to San Francisco.
Gold & Silver
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