Obama’s ‘green jobs’ have been slow to sprout Three weeks ago, President Barack Obama stood in front of a sea of gleaming solar panels in Boulder City, Nevada, to celebrate his administration’s efforts to promote ‘green energy’. Stretching row upon row into the desert, the Copper Mountain Solar Project not far from Las Vegas provided an impressive backdrop for the president. Built on public land, the facility is the largest of its kind in the United States. Its one million solar panels provide enough energy to power 17,000 homes. And it employs just 10 people. Three years after Obama launched a push to build a job-creating ‘green’ economy, the White House can say that more than one million drafty homes have been retrofitted to lower heating and cooling costs, while energy generation from renewable sources such as wind and solar has nearly doubled since 2008.
US tests rare legal path in financial crisis cases
An Obama administration task force established to investigate misconduct that fueled the financial crisis is turning to a little-used statute that may make such cases easier to bring, according to people familiar with the matter. The federal statute, FIRREA, was passed in the wake of the savings-and-loan scandals in the 1980s. It requires a lower burden of proof than criminal charges, has a longer statute of limitations than other financial laws and potentially could bring big fines. But it has appeared in only a few dozen cases since it was enacted in 1989.The task force, which is in the Justice Department, used FIRREA earlier this year when it issued more than a dozen civil subpoenas to top financial institutions, including Citigroup, the people familiar with the matter said.
Embarrassed by rocket crash, North Korea may try nuclear test North Korea said its much hyped long-range rocket launch failed on Friday, in a very rare and embarrassing public admission of failure by the hermit state and a blow for its new young leader who faces international outrage over the attempt. The isolated North, using the launch to celebrate the 100th birthday of the dead founding president Kim Il sung and mark the rise to power of his grandson Kim Jongun, is now widely expected to press ahead with its third nuclear test to show its military strength.”The possibility of an additional long-range rocket launch or a nuclear test, as well as a military provocation to strengthen internal solidarity is very high,” a senior South Korean defense ministry official told a parliamentary hearing.
Syrians demonstrate to test ceasefire Syrian demonstrators took to the streets on Friday after opposition and activist calls for mass protests to challenge the commitment of President Bashar al-Assad’s government to a UN-backed ceasefire. Protesters staged a rally at Qadam district in Damascus, while another protest broke out in the town of Irbin, outside the capital, according to videos posted by activists on the Internet. Late Thursday, demons-trations broke out in several areas. In the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, protesters chanted “Freedom forever, against your wishes Assad,” according to the Local Coordination Committees activist group, which described the rally as the “largest in months.”