The state of Michigan and counties can’t collect real estate taxes from home sales made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.
In 2011, Oakland County and Genesee County filed class-action suits against the firms that won nearly $200 billion in U.S. bailouts to collect real estate transfer taxes.
Oakland County said it was owed millions of dollars in transfer taxes, largely from the sale of foreclosed property by the two government-sponsored enterprises. U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts wrote a March 2012 opinion ordering the firms to pay the taxes. Her ruling was reversed. The county said the two firms may have recorded thousands of deeds without paying any transfer taxes.
Imagine a bendable tablet computer or an electronic newspaper that could fold to fit in a pocket.
The technology for these devices may not be so far off. Northwestern University researchers have recently developed a graphene-based ink that is highly conductive and tolerant to bending, and they have used it to inkjet-print graphene patterns that could be used for extremely detailed, conductive electrodes.
An international team of scientists reveals that a unique strain of potato blight they call HERB-1 triggered the Irish potato famine of the mid-nineteenth century.
It is the first time scientists have decoded the genome of a plant pathogen and its plant host from dried herbarium samples. This opens up a new area of research to understand how pathogens evolve and how human activity impacts the spread of plant disease.
Phytophthora infestans changed the course of history. Even today, the Irish population has still not recovered to pre-famine levels. “We have finally discovered the identity of the exact strain that caused all this havoc,” says Hernán Burbano from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology.
Didn’t they think he should know? He is the President after all.Maybe they thought it would be fun to see him surprised with a question on the south lawn.
President Obama’s staff deliberately kept him in the dark about an impending report on the Internal Revenue Service scandal, his press secretary said Monday.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said during his daily briefing with reporters White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler had been notified a Treasury Department inspector general’s audit report was on the way but decided it “wouldn’t be appropriate” to tell the president.
Carney said Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough and other top officials were told the general nature of the report but a “judgment” call was made not to tell Obama it would show the IRS had targeted conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny.
On this day in 1942, 4,300 Jews are deported from the Polish town of Chelm to the Nazi extermination camp at Sobibor, where all are gassed to death. On the same day, the German firm IG Farben sets up a factory just outside Auschwitz, in order to take advantage of Jewish slave laborers from the Auschwitz concentration camps.
A cheap new encryption technology for mobile phones completely blocks eavesdropping, even from warrant-wielding law enforcement agents – raising fears the technology could fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals.
The software poses a growing problem that U.S. law enforcement agencies call “going dark” – the spread of communications technologies that cannot be intercepted even with a warrant because agencies lack the technical capabilities.
Chilling effect. That’s the term lawyers and judges use to describe the result of government actions that deter people from exercising their right of free speech.
There have been plenty of examples in the past 10 days.
The Obama administration’s Justice Department issued a sweeping demand for two months of office, cellular and home telephone records from multiple Associated Press reporters and editors to investigate an alleged breach of national security.
The AP story in question, on a foiled terrorist plot, had been withheld for days at the request of the CIA. It finally went out on the wire on a Monday, after the AP was told that administration spokesmen would officially announce it the next day.
That tends to undercut Attorney General Eric Holder’s claim that the story was based on one of “the top two or three most serious leaks that I have ever seen” and “put the American people at risk, and that is not hyperbole.”
Archeologists have a made an intriguing and puzzling discovery. Hundreds of strange metallic mysterious glowing spheres have been unearthed beneath an ancient temple. The purpose of these spheres remains an unsolved mystery for the moment. It looks almost like a wonderful underground planetarium.
The spheres were found beneath Mexico’s Temple of the Feathered Serpent by by a robot named Tláloc II-TC, which was deployed by archaeologists exploring a tunnel and series of chambers beneath the ancient ruins.
Two men who the Iranian government said worked as spies for Israel and the United States were hanged Sunday morning, according to Iranian state news outlet Press TV.
The men were identified as Mohammad Heidari and Kourosh Ahmadi. Press TV said Heidari provided classified information to Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, and Ahmadi had been convicted of providing the CIA with intelligence.
There were no details on when the men were arrested or when they were tried. The hangings occurred at dawn, the report said.
Israeli officials didn’t comment on the report.
The African Union has warned that it will not recognize the results of upcoming elections in Madagascar.
The organisation says President Andry Rajoelina is not eligible to run.
Rajoelina has previously committed not to run in the elections, but later reneged on this promise.
The Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said the unfolding IRS scandal should encourage lawmakers to press forward with overhauling the nation’s tax code.
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the American tax code needs to be simplified to ensure that the average person can use it.
“A lot of people feel the tax code is broken,” said Camp. “It’s not fair, it’s inefficient, it’s so complex. The average family should be able to fill out their own tax forms and file them. They can’t now. It takes the average American 13 hours to comply with the code.”
… for sending her out as ‘the loyal soldier’ with false information.
White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Sunday that Republicans owed UN Ambassador Susan Rice “an apology” for accusing her of intentionally misleading the nation over the nature of the Benghazi Consulate attack.
“I think that many of the Republicans who had been talking about this, now that they’ve seen the emails, owe Ambassador Rice an apology for the things they’ve said about her in the wake of the attack,” said Pfeiffer on ABC’s “This Week.”
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Sunday called the Internal Revenue Service scandal a defining example of “big-government cronyism.”
“This is rotten to the core. This is arrogance. This is big-government cronyism,” said Ryan on “Fox News Sunday.”
The 2012 GOP vice-presidential nominee and House Budget committee chairman said the mismanagement which allowed IRS to target and delay applications for tax exempt status from conservative groups highlighted the failures of the Obama administration.
Washington, D.C., has failed to remove from its voting rolls as many as 13,000 former residents who years ago moved to Prince George’s County and cast ballots there, making fraud by voting in two jurisdictions as easy as going to the polls in their old neighborhoods, The Washington Times found in a review of records.
In dozens of cases, names are listed as voting in both jurisdictions in the November presidential election. Provided a subset of the names, the District pulled paper records and said most did not vote, but that other voters accidentally associated their ballots with the former residents’ names instead of their own.
For others listed as voting in both jurisdictions, they had no such explanation.
Syrian government forces are storming the rebel stronghold of Qusair, with state TV saying troops now control the town centre.
Fighting has gone on around the town, near the Lebanese border, for weeks.
Opposition groups say militants from the Lebanese Hezbollah movement are fighting alongside government forces.
Correspondents say Qusair has strategic value for both sides. If the government retakes it, it would ensure access from the capital to the coast.
For the rebels, control of Qusair means they can come and go from neighbouring Lebanon, says the BBC’s Jim Muir, in Beirut.
Mark Sanford is now a member of Congress two years after he stepped down as governor of South Carolina following a highly publicized extramarital affair.
Anthony Weiner appears poised to run for New York City mayor not even two years after scandalous photos of the ex-representative hit Twitter.
Perhaps, then, it should be no surprise to learn that disgraced former presidential candidate and North Carolina senator John Edwards is plotting his own comeback.
Don’t hold your breath. They is too much money and politicians love playing with it.
A bipartisan group of senators want to largely eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of an overhaul of the mortgage finance market.
Although legislation isn’t imminent, senators and industry representatives have signaled they are closing in on a broad framework that would wind down and eventually end the government-backed mortgage giants.
Have their weapons improved since ‘Iraq’? … I doubt it.
Last week, rumors began to swirl that Russia would sell Bashar al-Assad missile systems that would allow Syria to fight any NATO or US attempt to impose a no-fly zone. Russia immediately denied it, which of course means that that’s exactly what they planned on doing all along.