Community / International / National / News / October 2, 2013

News Briefs: Federal government shutdown

American diplomats expelled from VenezuelaNews briefs

CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the expulsion of three American diplomats, including Charge d’Affaires Kelly Keiderling, the top-ranking embassy official in the country, on charges they were conspiring with right-wing groups to sabotage the country’s electric grid and economy. The State Department denies the accusations and is considering reciprocating by expelling members of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington. Venezuela, which is suffering through serious economic difficulties, including 45 percent inflation, has often made similar allegations against the United States in the past. The power grid in particular has suffered from regular blackouts over the last several years. (Source: The Washington Post)

Health care exchanges struggle with demand

NEW YORK – New online health care exchanges, a major component of the Affordable Care Act, went live on Tuesday with several major problems. An investigation turned up errors in 47 states caused by either software glitches or heavy web traffic. The Department of Health and Human Services estimated that 2.8 million people visited the website the first day. The delays do not come as a great surprise. Federal officials announce delays in the rollout of sites for small business and Spanish-speakers earlier this week because of fears of similar problems. (Source: Reuters)

Federal government shuts down

WASHINGTON – The federal government shutdown on Oct. 1 as Congress failed to agree to pass a budget at the start of the new fiscal year. House Republicans continue to insist upon concessions that would roll back the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, while Senate Democrats want a spending bill without any health care related amendments. Both parties insist that the other is to blame for the impasse. All non-essential government services have been halted and hundreds of thousands of federal employees are on furlough. Polling shows that 72 percent of Americans are opposed to shutting down the government in order to defund the health care law. (Source: CBS News)

City considers new development plan

GALESBURG – The Galesburg City Council discussed a proposed development plan, dubbed the 2013 Comprehensive Plan, at a meeting to discuss ways to grow the city. The four major goals outlined in the report are creating a Galesburg brand, improving the appearance of the community, making Galesburg a desirable place to live and raise a family and generating growth. These goals are viewed as means to eventually boosting the population to 40,000 residents over the next two decades. The plan was developed by The Mercer Group, which also worked on the city’s last comprehensive plan, which was released in 1999. (Source: The Galesburg Register-Mail)


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Matt Barry
Matt Barry is a senior majoring in international relations and double minoring in economics and German. This is his third year working for TKS, having served previously as discourse editor. He has worked for such organizations as the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Premier Tourism Marketing and the Council on American Islamic Relations-Chicago, where his work appeared in such publications as Leisure Group Travel, Ski & Ride Club Guide and The Chicago Monitor. Matt has written his political opinion column, "The Voice of Reason," weekly for three years, which finished in first place at the 2012 Illinois College Press Association conference and was also recognized at the 2013 conference.

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