Detroit Becomes Largest U.S. City to File for Bankruptcy

Jul 19, 2013, 10:38 am EST
Detroit Becomes Largest U.S. City to File for Bankruptcy

After months of warnings, Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection on Thursday, becoming the largest U.S. city to declare bankruptcy.

The filing was made by Kevyn Orr, who had been tapped as Detroit’s Emergency Manager earlier this year in a bid to help stabilize the Motor City’s finances. Orr said that Detroit is facing $18.5 billion in debt that it simply cannot pay. Michigan Governor Ricky Snyder concurred with Orr’s assessment and agreed to the bankruptcy filing, Reuters noted.

Once the bustling capital of America’s thriving auto industry, Detroit has fallen on hard times as the American car makers faced rising competition from international brands and manufacturers moved operations overseas. Read 

Senators Reach Student Loan Deal

Jul 18, 2013, 12:18 pm EST
Senators Reach Student Loan Deal

A group of Senators have reached a bipartisan deal on student loan rates, CNN reports following confirmation from Senate aides.

Subsidized Stafford loan rates for economically disadvantaged students doubled on July 1, after Congress failed to reach an agreement to keep the rate at 3.4%. Under the new arrangement reached by Senators this morning, all undergraduates would be able to borrow at 3.85% while graduate students and parents would borrow at rates of 5.4% and 6.4% respectively.

Previously, non-subsidized Stafford loans for undergraduates and graduate students had rates of 6.8% and parents paid rates of 7.9%. Read 

Florida Taxpayers Spent $33K to Entertain Zimmerman Jurors

Jul 18, 2013, 9:21 am EST
Florida Taxpayers Spent $33K to Entertain Zimmerman Jurors

Florida taxpayers spent $33,000 to house, feed and entertain the six female jurors of the Zimmerman trial.

The jurors were housed for three weeks while the trial was taking place, and during that time they went to theaters to watch The Lone Ranger and World War Z, as well as taking a trip to go bowling and watch Fourth of July fireworks, reports the Associated Press.

The jurors had most of their breakfasts and diners provided by the hotel they stayed at. Lunches were eaten in the courtroom and were ordered from surrounding restaurants. The jurors did go out to eat on a few occasions, including a trip to Bloomin’ Brands’ (BLMN) Outback Steakhouse, Amigo’s, Giovanni’s, and two trips to  Senior Tequila’s. Read 

UK Set to Legalize Gay Marriage

Jul 17, 2013, 1:48 pm EST

Same-sex couples will soon be able to tie the knot in Wales and England.

On Tuesday, the United Kingdom’s House of Commons passed a law legalizing gay marriage. Debate over the law, which was personally endorsed by Prime Minister David Cameron, took two hours, Reuters notes.

Queen Elizabeth is expected to give final approval to the law. Gay couples have been able to obtain civil partnerships in the United Kingdom for some time. Read 

Dick Cheney’s Daughter to Run for Senator

Jul 17, 2013, 12:59 pm EST

Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter has announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate.

The Washington Post reports that Liz Cheney will be challenging incumbent Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi in the Republican primary.

Liz Cheney, 46, is using her youth as part of her campaign, proclaiming that it is time for a new generation to take over. Although she didn’t mention Enzi by name, it was an indirect blow at the 69-year-old senator who has held office since 1997. Read 

Senates Reaches Compromise On Filibuster

Jul 16, 2013, 9:22 pm EST
Senates Reaches Compromise On Filibuster

The Senate managed to avoid more gridlock and partisan bickering today by reaching a compromise over filibuster rules.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had previously threatened to change filibuster rules for presidential nominees. These threats came after several of President Barack Obama’s candidates for executive department positions had their confirmation stymied by Republican filibusters. The Democrats hold a Senate majority, but it takes a 60-40 vote to break a filibuster, which the party does not have.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., stepped in today to help broker a deal. Democrats agreed to leave the current filibuster rules in place and, in exchange, received a promise by Republicans to confirm several of Obama’s appointees. These include Richard Cordray, Obama’s choice to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Secretary of Labor choice Thomas Perez. Read 

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