It is hard to imagine now, but Detroit was once known to some as the Paris of the West. At its peak, it was one of America's largest cities, boasting a population of 2 million, spectacular architecture, a host of mansion-dwelling industrialists and a world-class art collection currently valued at over 4.6 billion dollars. Yet after decades of decline, the city that gave birth to Motown Records and Henry Ford's Model T filed for bankruptcy last July; it was the largest municipal bankruptcy case in American history.
The simplest explanation for Detroit's decline in both population—the city has lost about 1.3 million residents since the 1950s—and revenue is the American auto industry's inability to respond effectively to German and Japanese competition during the post-World War II era. The collapse of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler effectively broke the backbone of Detroit's economy. Motown has lost 90 percent of its manufacturing jobs, and nothing has replaced them.
Detroit has also had more than its fair share of social problems over the years—race riots, corrupt labor unions and the highest violent crime rate of any major American city. But at the heart of the city's record setting 18.5 billion dollar debt is its government, which owes at least 9 billion in unfunded healthcare and pension liabilities. more >>
Some 3,000 American soldiers are arriving in Africa to fight an Ebola epidemic that is doubling about every 3 weeks, with the number of infections projected to reach 1.4 million by January. President Obama said: "It will require an 'air bridge' to get health workers and medical supplies to areas that are affected."
Meanwhile, the virus has used the air bridge of a commercial flight to reach Dallas. So far, only the index patient is ill, but 100 contacts are being observed.
Although a large number of experts agree that the likelihood of a widespread outbreak is "vanishingly small," owing to our "highly sophisticated public health system," a number of breaches in our invulnerability are already manifest. more >>
Brazilian incumbent president Dilma Rousseff is facing a runoff after receiving 42 percent of the votes and failing to win the majority of votes in Sunday's election. She will be going up against centre-right candidate Aecio Neves, who received 34 percent of votes. Evangelical hopeful and former environment minister Marina Silva finished third with 21 percent.
Rousseff vowed to continue working for change, and said that voters had expressed their rejection of "the ghosts of the past, recession and unemployment."
Nearly 1,500 U.S. pastors reportedly have agreed to flex their free speech muscles this weekend and preach politically-charged sermons on the occasion of Pulpit Freedom Sunday. Their act of civil disobedience, which involves putting their churches' tax exempt status on the line, is meant to draw attention to what they believe is an unjust law. And if they manage to spark the ire of the IRS and any atheist organization willing to argue it out in court, then an activist legal group is more than ready to take up their case, for free.
"The message we've been telling pastors for years now in regard to Pulpit Freedom Sunday is, 'We've got your back. Pastor, stand, preach from your pulpit what God lays on your heart to tell your people and you have the free exercise and the free speech right that's enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution to do that," Alliance Defending Freedom senior legal counsel Erik Stanley told The Christian Post.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit attempting to overturn a new Alabama law that forces minors seeking an abortion without parental consent to face trial in order to gain the state's permission to follow through with a legal abortion. The law also allows the state to appoint attorneys to represent the life of unborn fetus.
The ACLU claims in its press release of the lawsuit that Alabama's judicial bypass law, which was passed in April and took effect in July, is the most extreme parental consent law in the nation and makes it more difficult for underaged Alabama girls to receive a safe abortion.
"This law aims to shame a young woman into not having an abortion," ACLU Executive Director Susan Watson said. "Why should she be put on trial and treated like a criminal for a constitutionally protected procedure?" more >>
While people celebrate the fact that America's unemployment rate has fallen below six percent for the first time since 2008, some economic experts say not so fast and point out the discrepancy between the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics data released its unemployment summary for the month of September on Friday and found that the country's overall unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 5.9 percent, the lowest the rate has been since July of 2008. Additionally, employers added approximately 248,000 jobs in the month.
American Enterprise Institute resident scholar in economic studies Aparna Mathur told The Christian Post that in order to better judge the progress of the American economy, analysts need to look at the U-6 unemployment rate. Mathur said the U-6 rate provides better measures that takes into account people that have dropped out of the labor force due to discouragement. The U-6 rate finds that the unemployment for the month of September is really double the BLS figure at around 11.8 percent. more >>