American taxpayers, often facing power outages and steady rate increases from their local electric utility, are raising eyebrows today following President Barack Obama --- while on a three-nation tour of Africa --- pledging $7 billion to bring electricity to more parts of Africa, notes Grumpy Editor.
The Power Africa project is directed mainly at Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Mozambique.
Speaking yesterday in Cape Town, South Africa, Obama says the project would bring electricity to as many as 20 million homes and businesses in sub-Saharan Africa.
Today’s assignment: Survey U.S. media reports, see if there is mention that U.S. taxpayers would be supporting the $7 billion project in Africa while at home they are facing higher power bills and, in some cases, other costs.
In Nevada, for example, a recently-passed state bill calls for NV Energy to shutter coal-fired power plants and replace them with renewable energy and natural gas facilities --- with ratepayers reimbursing the New York Stock Exchange-listed utility for both closing old power plants and for construction of new ones.
Newspaper editorial staffers slide continues
There were about 2,600 fewer full-time professional editorial jobs at newspapers last year, a 6.4 percent decline from 2011, leaving that category with about 38,000 full-time employees, reports the American Society of News Editors in its annual newsroom census.
The total could be even lower. ASNE points out some large newspapers did not fill out the survey this year, resulting in missing data.
Those include USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Arizona Republic, the Miami Herald, the (New Orleans) Times-Picayune and several others.
In all, 978 of 1,382 dailies responded to the survey.
Additionally, notes ASNE, the definition of editorial staff has become muddled as some newspaper operations maintain regional editing centers.
In case you missed these…
Crossfire will be returning to CNN in the fall. An earlier version aired for 19 years…At least a dozen Los Angeles Times editorial staffers received pink slips Friday…The Star-Ledger, Newark, part of Advance Publications, warns its 771 workers it may shut down by the end of the year if its employee unions don't make concessions…Not getting much coverage: CNSNews reports that “the Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to ‘unauthorized’ alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011”…In a massive downsizing, the U.S. Army is slashing the number of active duty combat brigades to 33 from 45. A brigade usually numbers about 3,500 soldiers, but can be as large as 5,000 for the heavily armored units…Los Angeles bans plastic bags used in supermarkets. Patrons have to bring their own reusable bags or pay a dime for each paper bag. (No reports from environmentalists on concern in the number of trees cut down to supply sudden heavy usage of sturdy paper bags)…John Shaffer, program director at KDWN, Las Vegas, is named president of the Associated Press Television and Radio Association (APTRA).
A Bergen County, N.J. couple is facing a fine (up to $500) after neighbors complained the bird feeder of Alfred and Annette Rockefeller is attracting too much wildlife. Alfred, 77 and disabled, says feeding birds is one of his joys.