The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved just 23% of the requests for assistance it has received in the three months since tornadoes tore across North Carolina killing 24 people.
FEMA has given approval to only 2,205 of 9,700 applications for grants or loans worth $18 million. A common complaint among residents is that FEMA hasn't moved fast enough. FEMA officials said it is complicated handling thousands of aid requests.
Gold Reaches Record…Again
Investors are driving up the value of gold in these troubled economic times. From Greece to even here in the U-S, debt troubles and unemployment have people turning to other so-called safe havens outside the dollar and euro. CBS News Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis explains:
“People are loosing faith and trust in governments and also currencies; paper money. Paper money is one thing, it’s a promise from a government to honor that money, to say ‘this is worth something’. Gold people say they don’t rely on that promise. It has consistently, over the span of time, gone up.”
US Ag Sector Looking Great…on Paper
American Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist Bob Young says the U.S. ag sector has never looked better - on paper:
“Potentially, for the first time in history, I could almost make a case that we break a hundred billion dollars net cash income this year. I could also tell you that if we sat down and looked at the ratios; debt to asset ratios, any number of financial measures that you want to talk about for the sector, they are about as good right now as they have ever been.”
USDA is carrying a $98.6-billion figure for net cash income in 2011. Young warns, however, that the rosy farm outlook may make it easier for the White House and Congress to justify big cuts in agriculture spending in a potential deficit reduction agreement.
NASS Enhances North American Agriculture Data
USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service announced the availability of enhanced North American agriculture information including data on people, production, international trade and the horticulture industries in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. NASS Statistics Division Director Joseph Prusacki says farmers and industry experts can use this resource as a new decision tool for analyzing the markets and strategizing on domestic and overseas trade.
HSUS Supports Legislation to Fine Adults Attending Animal Fights
Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society says the group supports legislation that would make it a felony to bring a child to an animal fighting event and a misdemeanor for an adult to attend.
“It is the spectators that do the side bets and the gambling that enable the profits to occur at the animal fighting adventures.”
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick took his anti-dogfighting message to Congress, telling a news conference Tuesday, that he supports the House bill that would prohibit attendance at organized animal fights.