Fighting In Gaza
An Israeli airstrike has killed a senior Hamas militant in Gaza as the fighting there continues. Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepted 29 rockets yesterday alone, and still both sides say it’s up to the other to stop first. One Israeli official does say that Egypt will likely play a key role in any cease fire. In the meantime reaction here is mixed. A CNN poll shows Americans are concerned the fighting will spread. 57% of us say Israel’s attacks are justified. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has given more than $2.5 million in aid for the families affected by the fighting.
Obama In Burma
President Obama is visiting Burma. He is the first sitting president ever to visit. It’s only been since March of last year that a nominally civilian government has been put in place, after decades of military rule. Yesterday the president met with the country’s president, Aung San Suu Kyi. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also on the visit.
A fuel leak is causing Honda to recall some portable generators. Thankfully there haven’t been any injuries reported so far. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has all you need to know at CPSC.gov.
Finances & Economy
Paper Or Plastic?
Unemployment is still high. Wages are falling. Americans are making up the difference with plastic. Average credit card debt per borrower was up almost 5% this summer, and now is at almost $5,000. If that’s not bad enough, we’re also less diligent in making those payments on time. One of the reasons may be that banks started issuing more cards.
A lot of companies are scaling back investments as they wait to see what happens with the fiscal cliff talks in Washington. The Wall Street Journal says some major companies plan to slash spending and put big projects on hold. The talks over taxes and spending cuts are continuing today.
Twinkies NOT Deep-Fried
I hope you weren’t one of those who ponied up big bucks for Twinkies on eBay. It looks like they might not be dead yet. Hostess has put its going out of business sale on hold after one of its baker’s unions agreed to go into mediation. The bankruptcy judge in the case said yesterday that he has serious questions as to the logic behind the current strike, especially given the fact that they have not gone through mediation talks. That will start today.
Most workers can expect a 3% raise in 2013, even if their companies do merit increases. It doesn’t look like that will change even if the economy picks up, according to compensation consultants with a group called Towers Watson.
You Deserve a Break
If you’re like most workers, you’ve made it this far into the year without taking all of your vacation days. An annual survey by Expedia shows workers got an average of 12 days off this year, down from 14 last year. We only took 10 of those days off from work. What the study doesn’t say is why. They suggest a lot of workers are too busy and they’re worried that when they leave, their boss will realize they’re not needed anymore.
One of the Christian companies that sued over the Affordable Care Act has won their first court decision. A federal court late last week ruled that Tyndale House Publishers does not have to offer contraceptives and abortion drugs to employees at least for now. The court has given the company a reprieve from enforcement while their case against the Obama Administration continues. A similar request from Hobby Lobby was turned down yesterday and they are promising an appeal.There are currently 40 lawsuits with more than 100 plaintiffs challenging that mandate. Tyndale House is the third company to get such a reprieve.
Steroids In School
Major league baseball and the NFL have both cracked down on performance-enhancing drugs. It looks like your local high school may be next. New figures suggest that 5% of middle school and high school teens are using steroids. 1 in 3 boys and 1 in 5 girls are also using protein shakes to build muscle mass.
Holiday Bulge Battle
If you’re worried about packing on the pounds during the holidays, try buying foods that fight cancer. Doctors at the Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas have published a grocery list of foods they say can help keep the pounds off. Not surprisingly it’s high in fruits, veggies, and whole grains. They also suggest that guys should keep their meals to 500 calories, women 400 calories.
Patient Dr. Communication
Family and marriage experts say it’s important to shake up the routine every once in a while to keep your marriage fresh. The same might be true with your doctor. Doctor Sergio Schwartzman says getting more out of your visit starts with communication. Before you see the physician, list and maybe write down even the symptoms that you have had since the last time that you saw the physician. Point out whether the medications you’re taking are helping, whether you’ve had side effects. Ask for answers if there are there things about your disease you don’t understand. Dr. Schwartzman says it’s also important to tell your doctor what your goals are.
Super Storm Sandy
Help Salvation Army Relief Efforts with A Simple Text
Text the word "STORM" to 80888. Then respond with a "yes" when the text response comes to you.
Give Blood and Money Through Red Cross
Because many blood donation centers on the east coast are closed, it is even more important for we who are out of harm’s way to donate. www.RedCross.org has all you need to know. You may also give money via that web site, or you can give $10 via text message by texting the word “RedCross” to 90999.