“Fiscal Cliff” Talks Plod Along
There could be a new player in the fiscal cliff talks – the
alternative minimum tax. According to www.MoneyNews.com, US law currently has taxpayers pay
either the regular income tax or the alternative minimum tax, which means they
typically lose some exemptions and deductions.
Those rates don’t change automatically, and could end up meaning even
higher tax increases in some strong Democrat states like New
York and California. Analysts say that may be one thing
Republicans can use as leverage as the two sides try to find compromise.
Assad Prepping Chemical Weapons?
leader may be edging closer to using a chemical weapon against his own
people. According to NBC News, Bashar
al-Assad’s military is loading the necessary components for sarin gas into
bombs. The concern that those bombs
would be used is growing as the fighting on the ground continues to
worsen. The US
has still not officially recognized the Syrian opposition, but some say that
could happen next week when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with its
leaders in Morocco.
Church Around the World
Persecution in North Korea Continues
When North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died almost a year ago,
there was hope that nation would become more friendly to Christians. Today there’s more evidence that is NOT
happening. Open Doors USA says their
Christian contacts inside North Korea say there hasn’t been any change at all
in their circumstances since Kim Jong Un came to power. North Korea is even beginning to
employ more border guards, because there’s been an increase in the number of
refugees trying to defect.
Remembering The Forgotten Christmas
In the midst of our busyness this Christmas, as we are trying
to make sure we have all the gifts wrapped and under the tree, maybe you’ve
felt that little twinge that there has to be more to Christmas than all this
consumerism. There is, and Gospel For
Asia is trying to help people find it through an effort called “Forgotten
Christmas.” This gives you a chance to
buy bare necessities like food, clean water and shelter for families in other
parts of the world. Find out more at www.ForgottenChristmas.org.
Are You “Religious”?
At Christmastime more people may be likely to say they’re
religious. That might explain a new Gallup poll where
70-percent of Americans said they’re either moderately or very religious. The South is still considered the most religious
region in the nation.
Family & Relationships
Christmas Emotions Are Not Always Happy Ones
In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas. Most of us probably think of that as a happy
feeling, but for some the holidays remind them of hurts, like losing a loved
one. That’s especially true if this is
your first Christmas without them.
Stacie Stoelting has found a way to cope with that feeling, and she says
it starts with not expecting the holidays to be the same. Then, she says, “number two: rest. And if you’re not able to get away, then
number three, rearrange furniture to reduce absence reminders. So remember also
that God holds good things for you, there is a reason you are here at this
particular time in history He has a purpose for you. He is so faithful.” And
if you need a little extra hope to help get you through, that is why we have
the Hope Line. Give us a call at
Once Laid Off, Many Times Laid Off
With unemployment still hovering around 8-percent, there are
plenty of people looking for work. New
research suggests that’s probably familiar territory for a lot of folks. Experts are finding that if you are laid off
once, it’s more likely that you will be cut again. There are a lot of reasons for that,
including the fact that once you’re hired again you become the new kid on the
Thousands Headed for Layoff at Citigroup
Citigroup announced they’re laying off 11-thousand
employees, a full 4-percent of their workforce.
They’ve been making cuts since 2007, and this is the latest attempt to
try to cut costs.
Finances & Economy
If your city hasn’t gotten a Starbucks yet, just wait. The coffee shop is making plans to put up at
least 15-hundred more cafes in the U-S over the next five years, even as they
continue their expansion into China. By 2017, Starbucks’ plan is to have more than
20-thousand locations – and to expand their line of pastries, juices, and teas.
Aspirin Coating May Actually Hinder Its Effects
If you’re on an aspirin regimen to help prevent against
heart attack or stroke, new research suggests that if it’s coated aspirin it
might not be delivering the same protection.
Researchers at Penn say they found that the coating to help protect your
stomach interferes with the effect the aspirin has on the heart. AND they found that extra coating doesn’t
even really help protect the stomach all that much.
But Do We Have to Name them One by One?
Already going a little overboard on the Christmas
cookies? Counting your bites may help
you eat less. Researchers at the
University of Minnesota split people into high self-control and low
self-control groups, and found that simply counting the number of bites they
take helped the people with low self-control put the cookies down a little
earlier than they normally would.
`Tis the season for potlucks and cookies, which can play
havoc with your diet – especially if you’re trying to stay away from
carbs. Nutritionist Stuart Tomc says you
don’t have to do that, you just have to find the good carbs. For example,
choose instead of a baked potato to have a sweet
potato. He also says making sure you get enough Omega-3’s can help
balance your blood sugar and burn fat.
Study ID’s New HPV Threat
For years there’s been a battle over vaccines for girls
under 14 which targets the Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV, because of its ties
to cervical cancer. Now doctors are
expanding that to some mouth cancers. A
new study shows that cancerous throat tissue has a five times greater chance of
testing positive for HPV than non-cancerous tissue. That may be something you’ll want to discuss
with your daughter’s doctor as you try to make a decision about that vaccine.