About a week ago, Typhoon Ketsana (known in the Phillippines as “Ondoy”) made landfall, and according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Ketsana dropped 455 mm (17.9 in) of rain on Metro Manila in a span of 24 hours on Saturday – the most in 42 years. A month’s worth of rainfall in a single day washed away homes and flooded large areas, stranding thousands on rooftops in the city and elsewhere. Ketsana later crossed over to Vietnam and Cambodia, where it is still active. Over 360 people are known to have been killed, and damage estimates are reaching $100 million. Unfortunately, another tropical storm may be headed toward the southern Philippines on Wednesday but is still 1,000 km (600 mi) off the coast. Here is a selection of photographs from the affected areas over the past week. (36 photos total)
Residents stand on electric wires to stay on high ground while others wade in neck-deep flood waters caused by Typhoon Ketsana in Cainta Rizal, east of Manila September 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Erik de Castro) #
“This bill is the most important legislation for financial institutions in the last 50 years. It provides a long-term solution for troubled thrift institutions. … All in all, I think we hit the jackpot.” So declared Ronald Reagan in 1982, as he signed the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act.
He was, as it happened, wrong about solving the problems of the thrifts. On the contrary, the bill turned the modest-sized troubles of savings-and-loan institutions into an utter catastrophe. But he was right about the legislation’s significance. And as for that jackpot — well, it finally came more than 25 years later, in the form of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Slovenia’s Parliament on Wednesday voted to raise the tax rate on top wages to 90 percent in firms that receive state aid or state guarantees, imposing one of the highest tax rates in the world.
The new 90 percent maximum tax rate imposed by the euro zone member on net wages is up from 41 percent at present and will expire at the end of 2010 or after state aid to a company expires.
It will apply to managers’ wages that exceed 12,500 euros ($18,470) per month and to bonuses that exceed 25,000 euros per year. The new rate gained support by all parliamentary groups and was imposed by a vast majority of votes.
‘The new tax will have a small influence on the budget as it only applies to a limited number of companies but it still sends an important signal to people in such strained times,’ Borut Hocevar, an editor at daily Zurnal24, told Reuters.
Yesterday, five Democratic United States Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark), Bill Nelson (D-Fla) and Tom Carper (D-Del) voted against the a proposal to put a government administered public option in the health reform bill that will come out of the Senate Finance Committee.
Americans support the notion of a government administered health insurance plan by a margin of 65% to 26%. According to the same poll, people who identify themselves as Democrats favor the public option by a margin of 81% to 12%. That’s nearly 7 to 1 in favor of, yet the representatives of the Democrat party in the Senate Finance Committee only voted for the public option at a ratio of 8 to 5. Perhaps the most interesting number revealed by this poll is that Republican voters favor the public option 47% to 42%.
So why can’t the people’s representatives in Washington get behind the public option? Specifically, why can’t these five Democrats get behind it when 81% of people in their party want the option. The answer I’d like to hear is that less than 50% of the voters they represent back home oppose the public option so they’re voting on behalf of their constituents, however, the numbers we see in the NYT/CBS poll make that extremely unlikely. So if that’s not the reason, what is? One likely answer is money. Look at the amount of money the health industry has pumped into these five Democrat’s coffers:
Giz reader Manoj took his iPhone to the Genius Bar to have it looked at because it was dropping calls left and right, and AT&T swore stuff was totally kosher on their end, so he thought something was wrong with his phone. After doing a stat dump, the Genius showed Manoj that his iPhone had actually dropped 22 percent of calls.
The jawdropper: The Genius told Manoj that’s actually excellent compared to most people in the New York area, where a 30 percent dropped call rate is the average. There was nothing Apple could do for Manoj. His phone was totally fine. Which means there’s nothing Apple can do for rest of us.
The best thing Apple can do for the future of the iPhone right now is drop all the exclusive contracts with providers..
The UK Border Agency has scientists “horrified” at a weird, eugenics-flavoured proposal to test asylum seekers’ DNA to determine if they are truly and purely of the “race” they claim to be from. Even the scientists who pioneered DNA fingerprinting and related techniques call the idea “horrifying,” “naive” and “flawed.”