As the House of Representatives and the Senate continue to debate over government spending cuts, major government services continue to be in a state of shutdown. The debate currently is over a difference of $5 billion, as republicans are calling for a $43 billion cut and Democrats are unwilling to agree to a $38 billion cut. The $5 billion in question would be used to directly fund certain health services, which includes Planned Parenthood, who perform abortions.
The Egyptian people are protesting the continued use of dictatorial practices by the military, which has been in control of the government since Hosni Mubarak stepped down on February 11th. Many demonstrators and activists have been jailed and tried in the last several weeks, and by all accounts the country is still under a dictatorship.
NATO accidentally executed an airstrike against a rebel tank convoy earlier this week, resulting in at least four dead and several wounded. initially, the NATO commander in charge would not apologize, citing lack of information about rebels using tanks. Eventually, the Secretary general apologized for the incident, expressing his sorrow at the loss of life caused by the mistake.
In a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, the Environmental Protection Agency may no longer be allowed to police industrial emissions. While the bill shows very little chance of being passed into law, it shows that not everyone agrees with the Obama administration on how to control industrial so-called greenhouse gasses.
According to officials, there are many more cars on the road that can use E-85 than there are pumps to dispense it. The United States Department of Agriculture recently moved to help gasoline vendors install pumps that are designed to dispense E-85, an 85% ethanol-gasoline mixture. The USDA will help pay for the new pumps, which cost roughly $120,000 each to install.
Germany’s luxury car manufacturers are posting remarkable sales numbers this year, and if things continue as their current pace BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz are likely to set new sales records for 2011. This follows new demand in China, as well as increased demand in the U.S. following the slow economic recovery.
Google Inc. recently purchased ITA Software, a company that develops software for travel search engines. The U.S. Justice Department approved the transaction, with some strings attached. The acquisition marks a considerable victory for Google, but also opens them up to federal audits over privacy concerns. The deal will be completed for $700 million.
Markets across the U.S. are dropping slowly, as fears mount that the government shutdown will adversely affect many industries. Oil prices topped $112 a barrel Friday, following a weaker dollar and investors worries that Libyan oil may not be reliable for a long time.