President Obama released his 3.8 Trillion dollar budget for 2013. It includes tax hikes on the rich; more money on infrastructure and education; and cuts to: federal employee retirement and health benefits and to defense spending.
Amid violent protests in the streets of Athens, Greece remained pressured to stick to austerity measures under the terms of the 130-billion Euro rescue package. This included drastic wage, pension and job cuts. Police and rioters clashed outside Greek Parliament with the worsening crisis. Although the focus remains on getting out of debt there is a harsh personal toll where once middle income Greeks have been driven into poverty. Yet, there is a strong sense of resilience.
Ongoing Crisis in Syria. The country has flatly rejected a call by the Arab League to deploy peacekeepers to end the escalating conflict. An official source in Damascus said that the Arab League proposal constituted "flagrant interference" in Syria's internal affairs. President Bashar al-Assad's government is blaming the unprecedented crisis on an Arab-western conspiracy in support of "armed terrorist groups".
Meanwhile, Senator Joe Liberman of Connecticut who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committeee has called for the U.S. to provide direct assistance to the Syrian people.
Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia were targeted with explosives. Four people were injured by the New Delhi bomb while the one in Georgia was defused. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has implicated Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah. Israel had put its foreign missions on especially high alert for the February 12 anniversary of the assassination of the military mastermind of Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas, Imad Moeg-nee-ah in 2008.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has spoken out against assisted suicide saying it is un-Christian and dangerous to society. The spiritual head of the worldwide Anglican Communion drew comparisons between the legalization of abortion and the possible legalization of euthanasia. Directly after abortion was legalized in the UK abortion rates rose significantly. Williams fears a similar rise if euthanasia is legalized amid the drive to do so.
An Ipsos Reid poll has turned up a little conflict between Canada and the U.S. Both countries are confident they won the war of 1812. The majority of Canadians see the war as one that saved them from American assimilation and preserved them from American politics and gun laws, while Americans proudly say the outcome of the war was their national anthem. During the course of the war, Americans were pushed back by mixes of British redcoats, Canadian militia and aboriginal allies. Now we share a proud continent.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE OF THE NEWS….
It's not every day people have the chance to come within feet of a black bear in hibernation. But that was the case in Wisconsin. Emily Neubauer was there and safely captured this amazing video.
Federal Agents at Miami International Airport have been revving up for Valentine's Day today, by doing "Pest Control". Customs and Border Protection Agents have been inspecting flower shipments looking for any insects or diseases that could harm U.S produce and plants. Last year, Miami International Airport processed about 673 million stems during the Valentine's season. On that note Happy Valentines Day and don't forget to celebrate the love of your life and those special to you.