Here’s a look at the Olympic medal table as it stands now, with China in the lead with both gold (18) and overall (33) medals, followed by the United States with 15 gold and 32 overall medals, then South Korea with 7 gold medals and 13 overall.
A Ku Klux Klan chapter wants to spruce up a stretch of roadway in northern Georgia, creating a legal quandary for transportation officials as they consider the white supremacy group’s “adopt a highway” application.
In 1997, the state of Missouri rejected a similar request from a Klan chapter, saying the group’s membership rules were racially discriminatory. But a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the Klan and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
If Georgia denies the Klan’s new application, the group will consider legal action, said Harley Hanson, who is known by his formal title as the Exalted Cyclops of the Union County Klan.
“We’re not going to be deterred,” Hanson told Reuters.
A new Reuters/Ipsos online poll of 1,143 adults from May 7 to 10 captures some of the prejudicial attitudes. Asked to identify the main cause of the epidemic, 61 percent chose “personal choices about eating and exercising”; 19 percent chose the actions of food manufacturers and the fast-food industry. The poll is accurate to within 3.6 percentage points. Because of the methods used to collect the data, accuracy is measured using a statistical measure called a credibility interval.
Reflecting the belief that the obese have only themselves to blame, 49 percent of respondents favored allowing insurers to charge obese people more for health insurance.
Poll respondents also showed broad support for efforts that target the food industry: 56 percent wanted to limit advertising of unhealthy food or taxing sugared soda, 77 percent were in favor of calorie counts at restaurants and sport arenas. But an all-out ban on fast-food restaurants? America loves its Big Macs: Only 21 percent said yes.
READ MORE: America’s hatred of fat hurts obesity fight
Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng said on Friday (May 4) that he was increasingly worried after being unable to meet U.S. Embassy officials for two days while in hospital, and repeated his desire to go to the U.S. “for a time.” The video above is in Chinese; what follows below is the English translation from the Reuters transcript.
Chen Guangcheng: “My situation is not good. I just found out that my friends were beaten up when they tried to visit me. I haven’t been able to meet with the U.S. diplomats for two days. They were not allowed to see me when they came over. The situation is very bad. My wife wanted to go shopping today, but they didn’t allow her to go, saying she must get clearance first. Then she was being followed and filmed by at least three people when she eventually went after getting permission. I really hope the Chinese government can live up to the agreement they have reached with the United States.”
Reuters reporter: “So you still want to go to the United States right?”
Chen: “Yeah, I still want to leave for a time for the time being.”
Tax time pushes some Americans to renounce citizenship
The United States is one of the only countries to tax its citizens on income earned while they’re living abroad. And just as Americans stateside must file tax returns each April - this year, the deadline is Tuesday - an estimated 6.3 million U.S. citizens living abroad brace for what they describe as an even tougher process of reporting their income and foreign accounts to the IRS. For them, the deadline is June.
The National Taxpayer Advocate’s Office, part of the IRS, released a report in December that details the difficulties of filing taxes from overseas. It cites heavy paperwork, a lack of online filing options and a dearth of local and foreign-language resources.
For those wishing to legally escape the filing requirements, the only way is to formally renounce their U.S. citizenship. Last year, IRS records show that at least 1,788 people did, and that’s likely an underestimate. The IRS publishes in the Federal Register the names of those who give up their citizenship, and some who renounced say they haven’t seen their name on the list yet.
The State Department said records it keeps differ from those published by the IRS. They indicate that renunciations have remained steady, at about 1,100 each year, said an official.
SPECIAL REPORT: Some Americans take a hike around tax time
BP Plc has accused the U.S. government of withholding evidence that may show the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was smaller than federal officials claimed, a key issue in determining the oil company’s liability.
A reduction in the size of the spill would lower the maximum civil fine BP could be forced to pay under the U.S. Clean Water Act, a sum now estimated as high as $17.6 billion.
The government is one of many plaintiffs suing BP over the April 20, 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers and triggered the largest U.S. offshore oil spill.
In a filing late on Thursday with the U.S. District Court in New Orleans, BP said more than 10,000 documents the government is refusing to turn over “appear to relate to flow rate issues” at the company’s ruptured Macondo well.
BP said the documents, which the government considers privileged because they reflect policy deliberations, may show that an August 2010 estimate that 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled from the well is too high.
U.S. authorities have given cash compensation to the families of Afghans killed in a shooting rampage allegedly carried out by an American soldier in Kandahar province, a family member and a tribal elder said on Sunday.
The families received around $50,000 for each person killed and about $10,000 for each wounded in the shootings in two villages in Panjwai district earlier this month. Afghan officials say 16 people, including nine children and women, were killed in the attacks.
“We were invited by the foreign and Afghan officials in Panjwai yesterday and they said this money is an assistance from Obama,” Haji Jan Agha, who said he lost his cousins, told Reuters, referring to U.S. President Barack Obama.
A majority of Americans would support military action against Iran if there were evidence that Tehran is building nuclear weapons, even if such action led to higher gasoline prices, a Reuters/Ipsos polled showed on Tuesday.
The poll showed 62 percent of Americans would back Israel taking military action against Iran for the same reasons.
U.S. President Barack Obama has said all options are on the table in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful.