ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

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August 30, 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:   
 
NATIONAL
 
        GENERAL NEWS:  
  • U.S. economy expands more than anticipated  (BBC)
  • Isaac reduces to tropical storm, lashes Louisiana (USA Today)
  • Do wind turbines cause forest fires? (Bangor Daily News)
  • Army issues multi-billion dollar solicitation for large scale renewable and alternative energy production for federal installations (Foley) 
        POLITICS: 
  • Republicans highlight Romney nomination, but poll shows low popularity (ABC News) 
  • Romney: I’d cut PBS, Obamacare, arts subsidies (CBS News)
  • McCain: America “can’t afford” another Obama WH (CBS News) 
  • President Obama answers questions on Reddit-AMA; read his full answers (CBS News) 
  • publicans hate Obama’s defense cuts. The trouble is, they voted for them (Washington Post wonk bl
  • Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan on abortion: Rape is just another “method of conception”(RawStory)
  • Paul Ryan’s speech in 3 words (FoxNews.com) 
WORLD 
  • Al Qaeda followers call for death of Seal who wrote Osama bin Ladin capture book (Washington Post) 
  • Venezuela investigates alleged massacre in Amazon village (Reuters) 
  • Romney: Nuclear Iran “unacceptable” (CBS) 
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
 
NATIONAL
 
        GENERAL NEWS: 
 
U.S. economy expands more than anticipated  (BBC)
 
August 29, 2012 -- The US grew at an annualised pace of 1.7% from April to June, more than the 1.5% previously estimated, the Commerce Department said.
This is a slowdown from 2% in the first three months of the year.
The US Congress's budget office last week warned that spending cuts and tax rises could trigger a sharp economic slowdown in 2013.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19411309
 
Isaac reduces to tropical storm, lashes Louisiana (USA Today)
 
August 29, 2012 -- Hurricane Isaac was downgraded Wednesday to a tropical storm but continued to pound Louisiana with heavy rains and damaging winds.
Flooding in hard-hit Plaquemines Parish, about 10 miles southeast of New Orleans, forced authorities to announce they would purposely puncture an 18-mile levee there to relieve the strain as soon as weather allowed and equipment could be moved in. Airlines servicing Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport canceled all commercial flights for Thursday.
 
Do wind turbines cause forest fires? (Bangor Daily News)
 
July 20, 2012 -- Our three Penobscot County Commissioners made an astute decision today when they decided to defer action on whether to grant an advance tax increment financing deal to the wind corporation that wants to build the Passadumkeag wind park in the Grand Falls area.
If the TIF had been granted, that news would have been used by the developer to claim in the application process before the Maine Department of Environmental Protection that it has substantial local support when, in fact, several landowners in the affected region raised questions and objections.
http://bangordailynews.com/2012/07/30/opinion/forest-and-turbine-fire-questions/
 
Army issues multi-billion dollar solicitation for large scale renewable and alternative energy production for federal installations (Foley)
 
August 22, 2012 -- The U.S. Army has released a solicitation to acquire locally generated renewable and alternative energy (RAE) at federal installations, with the energy to be acquired from contractors under Power Purchase Agreements or similar contractual agreements. The solicitation is designed to help the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) meet its statutory mandate to acquire at least 25 percent of its total facility energy needs from renewable resources by 2025. The solicitation represents an opportunity for RAE producers to compete to provide up to $7 billion worth of energy to DOD installations over the next 30 years. Contractors receiving an award under the solicitation will then compete for task orders to provide energy to DOD installations, with the contractor responsible for constructing, operating, and maintaining a renewable/alternative energy facility to be built on (or near) the DOD installation.
 
        POLITICS:
 
Republicans highlight Romney nomination, but poll shows low popularity (ABC News)
 
August 28, 2012 -- Republicans celebrated the nomination of Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate tonight with funny hats and a determination to defeat President Obama, but their Tampa party was marred by a new poll that found Romney to be the least popular major-party nominee since 1984.
Tonight's nomination brought Romney into the home stretch of the long race to the White House and was a moment to be savored by the candidate and his party. Delegates danced in the aisles at the Tampa Bay Forum between speeches and cheered predictions that Romney was the next president of the United States.
But a new ABC News/Washington Post poll released this evening found that Romney has the lowest personal popularity of any major-party nominee in nearly 30 years.
 
Romney: I’d cut PBS, Obamacare, arts subsidies (CBS News)

August 29, 2012 --  Amid ongoing questions about his specific plans to reduce the federal deficit, Mitt Romney told CBS News' Scott Pelley that in addition to repealing President Obama's health care law, he would make cuts to a number of federal subsidies, and send some Medicaid funds back to the states.
"The right way to balance a budget really has two prongs," Romney said during a wide-raning interview with Pelley last week. "One is to do those things that encourage the growth of the economy. So, you do things to get small businesses growing and adding-- adding jobs. But you also go through and say which of those things that you should take out of the budget that are no longer essential. The easiest for me to knock out is Obamacare. It's about $100 billion a year. We simply can't afford it. But there are other subsidies that I think you're going to find that we take out."
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57502927/romney-id-cut-pbs-obamacare-arts-subsidies/?tag=cbsnewsSectionContent.0
 
McCain: America “can’t afford” another Obama WH (CBS News)
 
August 29, 2012 --  In remarks at the Republican National Convention four years after he accepted the presidential nomination himself, John McCain railed against President Obama for his foreign policy record, lamenting what he cast as a "demand for leadership" in America, and calling on voters to elect Romney "the next leader of the free world."
The Arizona Senator, speaking on the second night of the convention festivities -- and his 76th birthday -- accused Mr. Obama of leading the nation "away from our proudest traditions of global leadership" during his tenure as president.
Targeting Mr. Obama over his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, for his position on Syria, and for the impending "sequester" cuts that threaten to impose major cuts to the Defense Department, he argued that "we've let the challenges we face, both at home and abroad, become harder to solve."
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57503063-503544/mccain-america-cant-afford-another-obama-wh/?tag=thisMorningLatest
 
President Obama answers questions on Reddit-AMA; read his full answers (CBS News)
 
August 29, 2012 --  Members of the link-sharing website Reddit had a chance to directly ask President Barack Obama questions on Wednesday. The President participated in a forum commonly referred to as an AMA - or "ask me anything."  
"Hey, everyone: I'll be taking your questions online today. Ask yours here," the President tweeted, to confirm his identity on the website. The President went on to include a photo of himself typing at his computer on the Reddit AMA thread.
 
Republicans hate Obama’s defense cuts. The trouble is, they voted for them (Washington Post wonk blog)
 
August 29, 2012 -- In his speech tonight, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) decried Obama for cutting defense, saying, “We can’t afford another $500 billion in cuts to our defense budget — on top of the nearly $500 billion in cuts that the president is already making…And yet, the president is playing no leadership role in preventing this crippling blow to our military.”
There’s just one problem: John McCain, and most other Republicans in the House and Senate, voted for the cuts in question.
 
Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan on abortion: Rape is just another “method of conception”(RawStory)
 
August 24, 2012 -- Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan says that he personally believes that rape is just another “method of conception” and not an excuse to allow abortions.
During an interview with WJHL this week, Ryan was asked his view about Rep. Todd Akin, who recently asserted that women could not get pregnant from “legitimate rape.”
“Specifically where you stand when it comes to rape, and when it comes to the issue of should it be legal for a woman to be able to get an abortion if she’s raped?” WJHL reporter Josh Smith wondered.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/24/ryan-on-abortion-exceptions-rape-is-just-another-method-of-conception/  
Paul Ryan’s speech in 3 words (FoxNews.com)

August 30, 2012 -- At least a quarter of Americans still don’t know who Paul Ryan is, and only about half who know and have an opinion of him view him favorably.

So, Ryan’s primary job tonight was to introduce himself and make himself seem likeable, and he did that well. The personal parts of the speech were very personally delivered, especially the touching parts where Ryan talked about his father and mother and their roles in his life. And at the end of the speech, when Ryan cheered the crowd to its feet, he showed an energy and enthusiasm that’s what voters want in leaders and what Republicans have been desperately lacking in this campaign.
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/08/30/paul-ryans-speech-in-three-words/  
 
 
WORLD 
 
Al Qaeda followers call for death of Seal who wrote Osama bin Ladin capture book (Washington Post)
 
August 24, 2012 -- An official al-Qaeda Web site on Friday identified the former U.S. Navy SEAL who wrote a book about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, and readers called for the author’s death.
The site posted a photograph and the name of the commando, who had written under a pseudonym but whose name was revealed Thursday on Fox News. The site called him “the dog who murdered the martyr Sheikh Osama bin Laden.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/al-qaeda-followers-call-for-death-of-seal-who-wrote-osama-bin-laden-book/2012/08/24/99c982cc-ee62-11e1-afd8-097e90f99d05_story.html?hpid=z3
 
Venezuela investigates alleged massacre in Amazon village (Reuters)
 
August 29, 2012 -- Venezuela's public prosecutor on Wednesday said it is investigating an alleged massacre of indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest, after a tribal group told the government that a village of 80 natives was attacked in July from a helicopter.
In a statement, the government said it had received word of the alleged attack by a group representing the Yanomami tribe, an indigenous people native to southern Venezuela.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/29/us-venezuela-amazon-tribe-idUSBRE87S1H720120829
 
Romney: Nuclear Iran “unacceptable” (CBS)
 
August 24, 2012 -- There's not much optimism in Syria, where there is growing concern that the dictatorship's stockpiles of chemical weapons could get loose in the chaos of the civil war there. CBS News asked presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney what he would do as commander-in-chief in Syria and Iran.

CBS News interviewed Romney in Birmingham, Mich. on Friday while he was visiting the state with his wife Ann.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57500225/romney-nuclear-iran-unacceptable/?tag=stack