ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

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May 22, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:   
 
 
 
 
 
 
U.S.
  • Obama spending binge never happened (Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch)
  • GOP Senators push for Medicare cuts (The Hill)
  • Wall Street rebounds, but investors dump Facebook (Reuters)
  • As NATO summit wraps, Romney and Obama trade attacks (USA Today)
  • This terrifying amendment legalizes use of propaganda on the U.S. public (Business Insider)
  • Republican-led House votes to allow military action against Iran (RawStory)
  • CEOs who delivered the most and least bang for the buck (Wall Street Journal)
  • Facebook users file class action over online tracking (RawStory)
  • Romney, Obama in dead heat, new poll finds (Washington Post)
  • Troops face same risk of brain-wasting disease as football players (KPBS)
WORLD
  • U.S. Senate approves bill to toughen Iran sanctions (BBC)
  • Italy earthquake: Monti prepares for state of emergency (BBC)
  • Suicide bomber kills 90 in Yemen (Reuters)
  • Despite end to Afghan war in 2014, U.S. to shoulder burden of funding (Fox News)
  • A look at ‘wind turbines of the deep’ (BBC)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
 
U.S.
 
Obama spending binge never happened (Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch)
 
May 22, 2012 -- Of all the falsehoods told about President Barack Obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending spree.
As would-be president Mitt Romney tells it: “I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno.”
Almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending, an “inferno” of spending that threatens our jobs, our businesses and our children’s future. Even Democrats seem to think it’s true.
But it didn’t happen. Although there was a big stimulus bill under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.
http://www.marketwatch.com/Story/story/print?guid=D3522D2A-A37E-11E1-827E-002128049AD6
GOP Senators push for Medicare cuts (The Hill)
February 16, 2012 -- Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) are pushing for major reductions in Medicare spending, even though they know the idea probably won’t be popular with GOP colleagues in an election year.
Burr and Coburn announced their plan, which is expected to reduce Medicare spending by between $300 billion and $1 trillion in the next decade, at a news conference Thursday. 
http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/211311-gop-senators-push-for-medicare-cuts
Wall Street rebounds, but investors dump Facebook (Reuters)
 
 May 21, 2012 -- Stocks rose more than 1 percent on Monday, with the S&P 500 snapping a six-day losing streak in a rebound from equities' biggest weekly drop in almost six months, but Facebook slumped in its second session after a disappointing debut.

Tech shares .GSPT were among the day's biggest gainers, with an S&P sector index surging 2.8 percent on the strength of Apple Inc (AAPL.O). Shares of Apple climbed 5.8 percent to $561.28, leading the Nasdaq to its biggest one-day percentage gain since December 2011.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/21/us-markets-stocks-idUSBRE84K0D420120521
As NATO summit wraps, Romney and Obama trade attacks (USA Today)
 
May 22, 2012 -- President Obama and Mitt Romney took direct aim at each other on Monday, with Romney charging that Obama has failed to accept moral responsiblity for his policies and the president defending his re-election campaign's focus on the private-equity firm once headed by the former Massachusetts governor.
Obama's sharp critique came after Romney aides and Republican operatives spent Monday peppering the president's re-election campaign. The Romney campaign launched an ad highlighting remarks made by Newark Mayor Corey Booker on Meet the Press a day earlier calling the Obama campaign's attacks on Bain "nauseating."
 
This terrifying amendment legalizes use of propaganda on the U.S. public (Business Insider)
 
May 21, 2012 -- The newest version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes an amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on the American public, reports Michael Hastings of BuzzFeed.
The amendment — proposed by Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and passed in the House last Friday afternoon — would effectively nullify the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at influencing U.S. public opinion.
 
Republican-led House votes to allow military action against Iran (RawStory)
 
May 18, 2012 -- The Republican-led House of Representatives approved Friday the use of US force against Iran if the Tehran regime threatens the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons.
According to a section of the National Defense Authorization Act, “it shall be the policy of the United States to take all necessary measures, including military action if required, to prevent Iran from threatening the United States, its allies or Iran’s neighbors with a nuclear weapon.”
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/18/republican-led-house-votes-to-allow-military-action-against-iran/  
CEOs who delivered the most and least bang for the buck (Wall Street Journal)
 
May 21, 2012 -- An investment in a company often amounts to an investment in a company's chief executive. So how did those investments fare in 2011?

A Wall Street Journal analysis of compensation data for 300 top U.S. companies assembled by Hay Group found that while pay generally tracked performance last year, some CEOs delivered far more bang for the buck when it came to shareholder returns.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304791704577416410823386798.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection
 
Facebook users file class action over online tracking (RawStory)
 
May 18, 2012 -- Facebook’s first day of trading following its $100bn flotation has been gate-crashed by a $15bn class action against the social network.
Users of the service have filed an “amended consolidated class action complaint” in federal court in San Jose, California, relating to allegations that Facebook has been “improperly tracking the internet use of its members even after they logged out of their accounts”.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/18/facebook-users-file-class-action-lawsuit-over-online-tracking/ 
Romney, Obama in dead heat, new poll finds (Washington Post)
 
May 21, 2012 -- After months of aggressive campaigning on jobs and the economy, President Obama and Mitt Romney, his likely Republican challenger, are locked in a dead heat over who could fix the problem foremost on voters’ minds, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The parity on economic issues foreshadows what probably will continue to be a tough and negative campaign. Overall, voters would be split 49 percent for Obama and 46 percent for Romney if the November election were held now. On handling the economy, they are tied at 47 percent.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-romney-in-dead-heat-on-economyobama-romney-in-dead-heat-on-economypoll-obama-romney-in-dead-heat/2012/05/21/gIQA0qKwgU_story.html?hpid=z1
Troops face same risk of brain-wasting disease as football players (KPBS)
 
May 17, 2012 -- IED blasts can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in troops' brains, the same disease found in NFL players who've suffered repeated hits to the head, according to a new study.
 
Researchers at Boston University (BU) and the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System conducted the study on the brains of four fallen service members who were exposed to IED blasts. Dr. Ann McKee of BU says:
"Our results showed that the neuropathology from blast exposure, concussive injury, or both were virtually indistinguishable from those with a history of repeat concussive injury."
 
WORLD
 
U.S. Senate approves bill to toughen Iran sanctions (BBC)
 
May 21, 2012 -- The US Senate has approved a bill to tighten sanctions against Iran in a bid to force Tehran to abandon its nuclear programme.
The new sanctions will target Iran's Revolutionary Guard and investigate its role in the export of oil from the country.
It will also make it mandatory for US-listed firms to disclose any Iran-related business to the authorities.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18155819
Italy earthquake: Monti prepares for state of emergency (BBC)
 
May 21, 2012 -- Italians have begun assessing the damage to one of their most historic regions, a day after seven people were killed in a 6.0 magnitude earthquake.
Cultural sites have been left in ruins, almost 5,000 people have fled their homes and the mayor of one northern town has appealed for urgent help.
The government has said it expects to declare a state of emergency.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18150475
Suicide bomber kills 90 in Yemen (Reuters)
 
May 21, 2012 -- A suicide bomber in army uniform killed more than 90 soldiers in the heart of the Yemeni capital on Monday and an al Qaeda affiliate threatened more attacks if a U.S.-backed campaign against militants in the front-line state did not stop.

The bombing, which wounded more than 200 people, underscored the dangers Yemen faces as it battles Islamist militants entrenched in the south and threatening shipping lanes in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/21/us-yemen-suicidebomb-deathtoll-idUSBRE84K0O720120521
Despite end to Afghan war in 2014, U.S. to shoulder burden of funding (Fox May 22, 2012 -- News)
 
May 21, 2012 -- Two years is a long time in war, and the Pentagon is fond of saying the enemy usually gets a vote in the endgame. But that didn’t stop President Obama from declaring at the start of the NATO summit in Chicago that the Afghan war is over, as of December 31, 2014.
 
Afghan President Hamid Karzai welcomed the pronouncement, “so that Afghanistan is no longer a burden on the shoulder of our friends in the international community -- on the shoulders of the United States and our other allies.”
 
A look at ‘wind turbines of the deep’ (BBC)
 
May 17, 2012 -- The latest device to harness the power of the tides is being tested in the stormy waters off Orkney in the far north of Scotland.
The giant machine is like a wind turbine, but designed to withstand the massive forces of the currents.
Its developers, Scottish Power, plan to install 10 of the turbines off Islay next year in what would become the world's largest tidal array.
This comes amid growing interest from major engineering and power companies in the potential of tidal and wave energy.

BBC News Science Editor David Shukman went to see one of the turbines being put to the test.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18095482