News briefs for Oct. 12
Published 9:53 pm Saturday, October 11, 2008
Dems’ aid plan could include tax rebate
WASHINGTON – After consulting with Barack Obama, Democratic leaders are likely to call Congress back to work after the election in hopes of passing legislation that would include extended jobless benefits, money for food stamps and possibly a tax rebate, officials said Saturday.
The bill’s total cost could reach $150 billion, these officials said.
The officials stressed that no final decisions have been made. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt a formal announcement.
3,000 Christians flee ‘killing campaign’ in north Iraq
BAGHDAD – Hundreds of terrified Christian families have fled Mosul to escape extremist attacks that have increased despite months of U.S. and Iraqi military operations to secure the northern Iraqi city, political and religious officials said Saturday.
Some 3,000 Christians have fled the city over the past week alone in a “major displacement,” said Duraid Mohammed Kashmoula, the governor of northern Iraq’s Ninevah province. He said most have left for churches, monasteries and the homes of relatives in nearby Christian villages and towns.
Mexican marijuana cartels use pesticides, herbicides
PORTERVILLE, Calif. – National forests and parks — long popular with Mexican marijuana-growing cartels — have become home to some of the most polluted pockets of wilderness in America because of the toxic chemicals needed to eke lucrative harvests from rocky mountainsides, federal officials said.
The grow sites have taken hold from the Cascade Mountains, as well as on federal lands in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.
GM could need cash to acquire Chrysler
DETROIT — For General Motors Corp. to acquire Chrysler LLC and all of its warts, GM would have to get desperately needed cash, according to industry analysts.
With both automakers struggling to survive amid slumping sales, a slowing global economy and an unprecedented credit crunch, it’s unclear whether Chrysler’s majority owner, Cerberus Capital Management LP, would be willing to pay up, or whether the federal government might even get involved to save one or both struggling automakers.
Kenya’s elephants send text messages to rangers
OL PEJETA, Kenya – The text message from the elephant flashed across Richard Lesowapir’s screen: Kimani was heading for neighboring farms.
The huge bull elephant had a long history of raiding villagers’ crops during the harvest, sometimes wiping out six months of income at a time. But this time a mobile phone card inserted in his collar sent rangers a text message. Lesowapir, an armed guard and a driver arrived in a jeep bristling with spotlights to frighten Kimani back into the Ol Pejeta conservancy.