Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 1:03 pm
"Atomic energy makes our town and society prosperous," reads a sign photographed by filmmaker Atsushi Funahashi for Nuclear Nation. By the time he shows this small-town civic motto, the irony is unmistakable: Japan's nuclear-power industry may have enriched society, but it has left this particular city desolate.
U.S. Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland offered food to pro-European Union activists as she and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, right, walked through Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, on Wednesday. She also offered food to some of the police nearby.
Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 12:39 pm
While Ukrainian riot police have reportedly left Kiev's Independence Square, one of the United States' top diplomats says she has told President Viktor Yanukovych that "what happened last night, what has been happening in security terms here, is absolutely impermissible in a European state, in a democratic state."
For about 1.3 million American workers, the countdown has begun. On Dec. 28, federal extended unemployment benefits will expire for people who have been jobless for six months or more. That means in the new year, lots of households will be losing the government checks that helped pay the bills this year.
Anti-riot police draw up in front of anti-Yanukovych protesters on Independence Square in Kiev, on December 11, 2013. Ukrainian security forces pulled out of the epicentre of mass protests in Kiev today after a nine hour standoff with thousands of demonstrators, in a major boost for the opposition to President Viktor Yanukovych. (Viktor Drachev/AFP/Getty Images)
President Obama is trying to assure the public that problems with HealthCare.gov are a thing of the past and the uninsured should enroll. His administration has been releasing data showing improvements, and the president is publicly standing up to Republican leaders who criticize the Affordable Care Act.
Pragmatism is on display, as Congress is set to approve a modest budget bill today, after three years of partisan deadlock. There is little enthusiasm for the compromise budget agreement worked out by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.).
Fiscal conservatives say it doesn’t do much to reduce government spending in either the short or long term. Democrats are unhappy because the deal does not include a renewal of benefits for long-term unemployed workers. Those expanded unemployment benefits expire on Dec. 28.
The November enrollment numbers for HealthCare.gov were released this morning, and they’re up four-fold from October. But the administration is still not on track to meet its goal of enrolling 7 million people by March 31.
Meanwhile, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies again today about the failed launch of the website.