In Hawaii, which remained one of the wealthiest states in the country, median income decreased by more than $3,000 between 2010 and 2011 alone. Not surprisingly, poverty rates continued to be high. The percentage of Americans living below the poverty line increased in 17 states between 2010 and 2011, the third consecutive increase for ten of these states. Of the states with the lowest income, eight had among the 10 highest poverty rates. Mississippi had the highest poverty rate in the country, at 22.6% of residents, compared to the national rate of 15.9%. The poorest states in the country are almost entirely found in the South, with the exception of New Mexico. The wealthiest states can be found all across the country, including three in New England, four in the Mid-Atlantic, and two outside the contiguous 48 states. Though income inequality affects rich and poor states alike, the poorest states struggle with it most. Inequality was high in only three rich states: California, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Meanwhile, with the exception of West Virginia, all of the poorest states had among the highest income inequality scores, with six in the top 15. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Brookings Institution fellow Elizabeth Kneebone explained that income inequality at a state level is often influenced by differences between the state’s high- and low-income cities and between urban and rural areas. “These are metropolitan economies that drive a lot of these [state] trends.” This was especially the case in California, where the Bay Area’s wealthy suburbs have incomes fueled by the tech industry and the low-income areas in other parts of the states are agricultural-based economies. At least one positive development involves health insurance coverage, which increased in 37 states.
The next step is the bottleneck: If approved there, the application must be reviewed by security committees in Washington. These panels have no incentive to say yes and a huge incentive to say no in order to avoid blame for any future incident. For example, two Iraqi refugees living in Kentucky were arrested in 2010 for shipping weapons to Al-Qaeda in Iraq. But the refugees in Kentucky had not laid their lives on the line for American soldiers; they werent recommended by U.S. officers who had served alongside them. Every person granted a visa poses some risk. A dozen Saudis with visas attacked New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001. Two refugees from Russias Chechen conflict attacked Americans in Boston this spring. Yet last year, the State Department issued visas to more than 20,000 Saudis and 100,000 Russians without repetitive reviews by security committees. Witholding visas for Iraqi and Afghan interpreters does not make sense; our country is discriminating against those who have proven their loyalty and work ethic. The State Departments reputation is hurt by its discrimination. Many of us in the military who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan rarely saw U.S. diplomats out at the district and village level. The task of nation-building was foisted upon the military, which pitched in to aid our diplomats.
Putin rules out handing Snowden over to United States
STEEL TOWER UPPER LOBBY) 600 GRANT STREET WHEN:FRIDAY, SEPT. 20, 2013, 11:00 A.M. 3:00 P.M. CONTACT:SARAH CASSELLA, 412-496-7523 (CELLULAR) United States Steel Corporation will kick off its Pittsburgh-area 2013 United Way employee campaign by hosting its annual Party on the Plaza event Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on the plaza outside of the U. S. Steel Tower. The event, which is in its twentieth year and is open to the public, is the largest one-day fundraising event for the United Way of Allegheny County. “This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Party on the Plaza, a company tradition that we are proud to host each year,” said Sharon Owen, vice president Supply Chain & Customer Service for U. S. Steel and chairwoman of the company’s 2013 United Way campaign. “This is a great opportunity for our employees to help strengthen the communities where they live and work.” Games, raffles and a large, prize-filled silent auction are just some of the activities available to Partygoers. All proceeds from the day’s events benefit the United Way of Allegheny County. The featured musical act is the U. S. Steel Band, led by George Babcoke, senior vice president European Operations and Global Safety and president U. S.
The United States’ disservice to Afghan translators
“They know that he’s weak. They know that he’s so fearful about getting involved in balance-of-power foreign affairs and they’re playing on it, and they’re enjoying it very, very much,” said Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah. Snowden has applied for asylum in Ecuador but Quito has said it is still considering the application and the United States is trying to persuade the governments of countries where he might head to hand him over. His plans remain unclear. FREE TO LEAVE Putin said the 30-year-old Snowden was in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport and, not having gone through passport control, was free to leave. “The sooner he chooses his final destination, the better it would be for us and for himself,” Putin said. Russian law requires travelers who spend more than 24 hours in the airport’s transit area – as Snowden has done – to get a transit visa. It was unclear whether Snowden had sought or received a transit visa. There has been speculation in the Russian media that Snowden may be talking to the FSB, the Russian security service, and could be involved in a prisoner swap. Putin said Russian security agencies “never worked with … Snowden and are not working with him today”. The U.S. State Department said diplomats and Justice Department officials were talking to Russia, suggesting they sought a deal to secure his return to face espionage charges.