The following are the day's top general news stories:
1. Rangel Should Be Censured by Full House for Ethics Violations, Panel Says 2. Singh's Image Takes a `Beating' as Indian Airwaves Sale Roils Government 3. Jobless-Benefits Extension Blocked in House as Republicans Balk Over Cost 4. Irish Mourn Loss of Sovereignty as Cowen Scorned Before `German Bailout' 5. Mariners Starter Hernandez Wins American League Cy Young With 13 Victories
1. Rangel Should Be Censured by Full House for Ethics Violations, Panel Says
The U.S. House ethics committee today recommended the full chamber censure Democratic Representative Charles Rangel, who admitted mistakes while seeking "fairness and mercy" for violating House rules. The 9-1 recommendation by the committee, which is equally split between Democrats and Republicans, goes to the full House for action after the Thanksgiving holiday. Rangel, of New York, was found by an ethics subcommittee to have committed 11 violations of House rules. Censure is a mid-level form of punishment. The committee also recommended that Rangel be instructed to pay back taxes on rental income he earned from a villa in the Dominican Republic. Rangel, the former House Ways and Means Committee chairman, asked the ethics panel to make clear "that any action taken by me was not with the intention to bring any disgrace on the House or to enrich myself personally, or considered by counsel to be corrupt."
2. Singh's Image Takes a `Beating' as Indian Airwaves Sale Roils Government
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is facing his first crisis since re-election as the government comes under fire for awarding public phone licenses at below- market prices in deals that may have cost the state $31 billion. The Supreme Court yesterday gave Singh´s office two days to explain why he didn´t respond to calls for prosecution of his telecommunications minister Andimuthu Raja. The minister resigned a day before India´s chief auditor said the 2008 sale of airwaves "lacked transparency and was undertaken in an arbitrary, unfair and inequitable manner." "Singh´s personal image has taken a beating after this incident, as this happened right under his nose," said N. Bhaskara Rao, a political analyst and chairman of the Centre for Media Studies in New Delhi. "More than being a big embarrassment for the government, this incident has highlighted how ineffective the prime minister really is." The opposition has stalled proceedings in parliament and is demanding a deeper probe. That´s threatening to cripple the Congress Party-led coalition government, whose current term ends in 2014. Political inaction may derail economic growth, said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, a New Delhi-based chief strategist at SMC Global Securities Ltd.
3. Jobless-Benefits Extension Blocked in House as Republicans Balk Over Cost
A bill to extend jobless benefits for three months was defeated in the U.S. House, threatening to cut off aid to thousands of the nation´s long-term unemployed. Republicans, in a replay of a dispute earlier this year, blocked the legislation because its $12 billion cost would be added to the government´s deficit. They demanded offsetting savings elsewhere in the budget. The 258-154 vote fell short of the two-thirds needed under an expedited approval process. Voting against the bill were 11 Democrats and 143 Republicans. Aid is set to expire Nov. 30 for some unemployed, and with Congress out of session next week for the Thanksgiving holiday, lawmakers will have little time to find agreement before then.
4. Irish Mourn Loss of Sovereignty as Cowen Scorned Before `German Bailout'
Irish rebels fought for independence during World War I, boasting they served "neither King nor Kaiser." Ireland may now have to do exactly that to qualify for a bailout partly funded by both Britain and Germany. Prime Minister Brian Cowen is edging toward accepting a rescue package that may threaten the country´s low-tax policies and put voters on the hook to repay loans the central bank says may be worth "tens of billions" of euros. For critics of Cowen´s Fianna Fail party, which governed Ireland through its decade-long boom, national pride is at stake. Cowen has "squandered" independence for a "German bailout with a few shillings of sympathy from the British chancellor," the Irish Times newspaper said yesterday. The government should be "ashamed that Fianna Fail should be the ones to surrender sovereignty," said Michael Noonan, finance spokesman for Fine Gael, the largest opposition party. Officials from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund are in Dublin to assess the books of the country´s banks, whose downfall was hand in hand with the collapse of the property market. The Irish government estimated rescuing the financial services industry alone might cost as much as 50 billion euros ($68 billion).
5. Mariners Starter Hernandez Wins American League Cy Young With 13 Victories
The Seattle Mariners´ Felix Hernandez won the American League Cy Young Award after recording just 13 victories, the lowest in history for a full-season starter who was picked as his league´s top pitcher. Hernandez, who led the AL with a 2.27 earned run average and 249 2/3 innings pitched as he compiled a 13-12 record, received 21 of 28 first-place votes and a total of 167 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers´ Association of America. "I think I deserve it," Hernandez said on a conference call with reporters. "I think the Cy Young´s got to be for the more dominant pitcher in the league, not for the one who won 20 games or 21 games." The Tampa Bay Rays´ David Price was the runner-up, receiving four first-place votes and 111 points. The New York Yankees´ CC Sabathia, the 2007 Cy Young winner who led the league in wins with a 21-7 record this year, was third with three first-place votes and 102 points.
-0- Nov/19/2010 00:35 GMT