Hope Solo, star goalie of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, notched her 73rd career shutout for Team USA in a game against Mexico last week. That’s a record. She’s a celebrity, with the endorsement deals and an appearance on “Dancing With the Stars” to prove it.
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Amid a spate of scandals over the rigging of financial benchmarks ranging from commodities to currencies to interest rates, the British government is making a bold move toward restoring confidence: By the end of this year, it plans to make manipulation a criminal offense in all the affected markets.
At the United Nations on Wednesday, President Barack Obama offered a powerful case for war against the Islamic State. “This group has terrorized all who they come across in Iraq and Syria,” he said. “There can be no reasoning — no negotiation — with this brand of evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.”
Attorney General Eric Holder, who plans to step down after more than five years in office, has efforts and achievements to be proud of, no doubt, but will probably be remembered above all for something he didn’t do: prosecute top executives for their role in the 2008 financial crisis.
President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations Wednesday morning may have attracted more attention, but his chairmanship of the U.N. Security Council later in the day may have the more lasting impact. The council unanimously agreed to adopt his proposal for a more coordinated global effort to track and arrest so-called foreign fighters — thousands of whom have joined Islamic State and other jihadi groups. Now it’s time to start thinking about what to do with them once they’re in custody.
The Obama administration’s plan for executive action against corporate tax “inversions” is finally out, and it’s a potentially significant one. Inversion is the process by which a U.S. corporation merges with a foreign one so as to pay taxes on overseas income at the other country’s lower rates. The new plan, announced late Monday by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, would crack down on it in several ways. It would prevent inverted companies from deferring U.S. taxes via “hopscotch” loans from the U.S. company’s foreign subsidiary to the new foreign parent. It would prevent inverted companies from restructuring foreign subsidiaries so as to give the new foreign parent access to their earnings, tax-free. And it would put extra teeth in the current law’s requirement that an inverted entity’s former U.S. owners own less than 80 percent of the new combined one.
The Secret Service can’t say what exactly went wrong Friday to allow an intruder to get through the front door of the White House. A review into the unprecedented security breach is underway. The lack of understanding, though, hasn’t stopped the Secret Service from floating the notion — let’s hope it stays just that — of pushing visitors even further back from the perimeter of the president’s home.
Home Depot, which calls itself “the world’s largest home improvement retailer,” can add a new distinction. It is now the scene of the world’s largest known theft of consumer credit card information. A cyberattack has put at risk the data of about 56 million customers between April and September. This exceeds the approximately 40 million credit accounts breached at Target stores, the previous all-time high.
For the sake of the cameras, President Barack Obama assured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at a White House meeting Thursday that “not only do we support Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence in words, but we’ve also been supporting it in deeds.” If only that were true. The reality is that the beleaguered Ukrainian leader left Washington backed by considerable rhetoric from the Obama administration but little with which he can turn back the continuing Russian aggression against his country.
Amid other good news about the U.S. economy — a declining unemployment rate, lower child poverty — the Federal Reserve has just reported that the net worth of U.S. households rose $1.4 trillion, to $81.5 trillion, during the second quarter of 2014. This means that families’ assets, such as homes and stocks, have risen roughly $23 trillion in value since the depths of the “Great Recession” in 2009. Credit the market on Wall Street and recovering real estate prices, both partly attributable to the Fed’s easy-money policies.
President Barack Obama’s zigs and zags in pursuit of immigration reform are a long-unfolding narrative now assuming epic dimensions. In the latest installment, Obama has postponed the unilateral reforms he promised to have unveiled by now. He did so not for any high-minded purpose but rather to avoid dealing mortal blows to the re-election of a handful of Democratic senators who begged the president to hold off.
With people dying in the streets of the Liberian capital, President Barack Obama has at last ramped up the U.S. response to the worst outbreak ever of the Ebola virus in West Africa. The fresh surge of support announced Tuesday represents a welcome change of course. No one knows if the package outlined by Obama at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be sufficient, but at least the United States has started to act like the world’s indispensable nation.
In launching two previous wars in Iraq, the United States assembled formidable coalitions of dozens of countries. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Oman were among the Arab states that deployed substantial ground forces during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Though derided by some as a “unilateral” U.S. action, the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq was supported by troops from 39 countries, nine of which deployed more than 1,000 soldiers.
The Ferguson, Mo., city council last week took its first official actions following the police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Among them: easing various municipal fines and fees.
It’s ironic that the uproar over Ray Rice’s brutal beating of his now-wife and the NFL’s shamefully lenient response is occurring exactly 20 years after Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act. The legislation was designed in part to bring public recognition and more government resources to the problem of domestic violence.