- Created on 09 December 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to extend benefits for the long-term unemployed before they expire at the end of the year.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says more than one million Americans will lose benefits if lawmakers don't act. He says unemployment insurance is one of the most effective ways to boost the economy and that providing benefits does not stop people from trying to find work.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said he is willing to consider extending the jobless benefits.
In the Republican weekly address, North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers calls on Obama to delay his health care law's requirement that all Americans purchase insurance. She says the law is particularly impacting women, who often make health care choices for their families.
Watch President Obama speak on unemployment benefits here.
- Created on 06 December 2013
Photo by Bloomberg via Getty Images
Unresolved technical problems on HealthCare.gov could lead to a rude surprise at the doctor's office next month for patients who think they successfully used the website to sign up for health insurance. They may find they're not insured after all.
HealthCare.gov, the federal online portal for health-insurance shopping in more than 30 states, has improved after more than a month of intense fixes, and enrollment is accelerating. But insurance companies are still getting information on their would-be customers that is garbled and incomplete, and in some cases they are getting no information at all. President Barack Obama's administration is scrambling to repair the faulty system, but scant time remains until the Dec. 23 deadline for consumers to choose a health plan that will be in place Jan. 1.
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- Created on 05 December 2013
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he'll cut the Pentagon's headquarters' budget by $1 billion from 2014 through 2019, which will lead to layoffs and reduction in contracts.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday announced he's trimming the Pentagon headquarters' budget by 20%, starting in 2014. It will result in jobs cuts and reduction in contracts with private companies.
The budget cuts will happen even if Congress ends sequester, according to the defense agency. Hagel said the time is right to "pare back overhead and streamline headquarters," after the fast growth of the agency in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
"These reductions are only a first step in DoD's efforts to realign defense spending to meet new fiscal realities and strategic priorities," Hagel said.
The cuts would trim $1 billion from 2014 through 2019. Hagel said the first jobs to be cut will about 200 workers from his own team of 2,400.
Savings would come mostly by cutting back some contracts with private companies, but the agency said there would be "significant reductions to civilian personnel."
He stopped short of detailing other potential cuts, like those to commissaries -- military grocery stores -- and military pay, saying "difficult but necessary choices remain ahead for the Department on compensation reform, force structure, acquisitions and other major parts of DoD."
The Pentagon has had to cut $40 billion this year since March from the sequester. That led the agency to furlough workers for six days over the summer.
The $1 billion in savings announced Wednesday is only a tiny fraction of the $500 billion in defense cuts mandated over the next 10 years by the sequester. Still, Hagel said "every dollar that we save by reducing the size of our headquarters and back-office operations is a dollar that can be invested in war-fighting capabilities and readiness."
If the sequestration cuts are not reversed it is likely that more job cuts will be necessary, Hagel said.
The announcement is likely to have wide repercussions, especially for defense companies that rely on government contracts such as Boeing (BA, Fortune 500), Northrop Grumman (NOC, Fortune 500), Lockheed Martin (LMT, Fortune 500) and Raytheon. (RTN, Fortune 500)
The Defense Department is one of the largest federal agencies with a budget of $526 billion and a civilian work force of 800,000.
-- CNN's Jennifer Rizzo contributed to this report.
- Created on 04 December 2013
Photo by Getty Images
EU antitrust regulators fined six financial institutions including Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Citigroup a record total of 1.71 billion euros ($2.3 billion) on Wednesday for rigging financial benchmarks.
The move confirms what a source familiar with the matter had previously told Reuters.
The penalty is the biggest yet to be handed down to banks for rigging the benchmarks used to determine the cost of lending, one of the most brazen violations of conduct since the financial crisis. It is also the highest antitrust penalty ever imposed by the Commission, the EU's competition regulator.
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