News of the World, the now-defunct British tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, offered to pay a New York police officer for private phone records of 9/11 victims, according to a report by Britain’s Daily Mirror. The tabloid wanted to check calls made and received by the victims in the days leading to the attacks, but was rejected by the officer, according to the Mirror’s unidentified source.
A new poll by The Iowa Republican has Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) in first place among Iowa’s likely caucus voters. Bachmann garnered support from 25 percent of likely caucus-goers. Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) finished second with 21 percent, followed by former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) and businessman Herman Cain with 9 percent.
The New York Times finds that the economy will face a sharp shock at the end of this year when $37 billion in extended government benefits expire. This comes at a time when $2 out of every $10 that goes into Americans’ wallets come from payments like jobless benefits, food stamps, Social Security, and disability.
Unemployment among recently returned veterans is poised to get worse as more soldiers return from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Los Angeles Times reports, parsing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment is already high among vets who served since 9/11, but jumped to 13.3 percent in June, up from 12.1 percent in May.
Last week, House Republicans abandoned cuts to the defense budget with most members voting against even modest cuts for items like the Pentagon’s sponsorship of NASCAR races. Republicans even shot down bipartisan proposals that would have frozen spending or preserved a $8.5 billion increase. “The military is at the table, and it is eating everybody else’s lunch,” Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) commented.
The Obama administration has “suspended hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan,” in what it is calling a “pause” as relations between the U.S. and Pakistan are poor. Up to $800 million of military aid could be affected by the suspension.
White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan met with embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh over the weekend in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and pressed him on quickly transitioning from office. Saleh has refused on three occassions to sign a Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered pledge to step down and transition to a new government.
And finally: Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) is sponsoring a bill to strengthen the position of pilots contesting FAA enforcement actions. One possible motivation? He is the subject of such action himself. He landed his small plane on a closed runway at a Texas airport last year, sending workers scrambling for safety and prompting the FAA to make Inhofe take remedial piloting lessons.