More than 50,000 revelers are gathering on the northern Nevada desert for the climax of the annual Burning Man counterculture festival,which was sold out this year for the first time in the events history. Federal Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Lisa Ross reports a record 53,341 people attended the event on Friday night, a 9 percent increase over the same time a year ago. She says the agency hopes to release Saturday's attendance figure later in the day. Last year's event, climaxing Labor Day, attracted more than
51,000 people to the remote Black Rock Desert about 120 miles northeast of Reno. The annual celebration of radical self-expression was expected to make its usual climax late Saturday night with the torching of its 40-foot signature effigy. Ross says no major problems have been reported at the week long
art, music and performance festival.
Law enforcement are on the alert against possible attacks using small planes, both as explosives and for possible distribution of weapons of mass destruction. Homeland Security says there is no immediate threat, but that there remains a risk of terrorist attacks over the anniversary period of the 9-11 attack.
Plans for the September 11th attacks were found on a laptop computer used by the terrorists. On that computer seven locations were studied, with traffic counts, security schedules and optimum times for an attack. T\hree were in Washington DC, two in New York City, the sixth was Disneyland in California and the seventh was the MGM Grand and the corner of Tropicana and the Las Vegas Strip here in Las Vegas. More stinger missiles are confiscated monthly in Las Vegas than anywhere else in the world, outside war zones. The cover story of today's Las Vegas Review Journal asks "are we a target" and review events both then and now that show that, yes, Las Vegas remains a potential terrorist target.
Hillary Rodham Clinton isn't president, but former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney says that if she were in the White House rather than\ Barack Obama, then things might be different today in the country. Cheney isn't getting into specifics, but he does think that "perhaps she might have been easier for some of us who are critics of the president to work with." The former vice president tells "Fox News Sunday" that it's his sense that the secretary of state is "one of the more competent members" of the Obama administration and it would be "interesting to speculate" about how she would have performed as president. Clinton lost the 2008 Democratic nomination to Obama, who went on to beat Republican John McCain in the general election. Obama named Clinton as the country's top diplomat.
It will be obvious partisan politics if Obama's job plan is rejected by Congress. The White House says President Barack Obama hopes that when Congress returns this coming week from its summer break, lawmakers will share his sense of urgency in taking steps to create jobs and help the economy. Obama plans a prime-time speech to Congress on Thursday night and is expected to propose a mix of tax credits and public works spending. Spokesman Jay Carney says Obama will offer plans that historically have attracted bipartisan support and will, if passed, "positively affect growth and job creation." Carney tells reporters traveling with Obama on a tour of flood damage in New Jersey that "we are at a time in our economy when we need to do something." Carney says Obama will press lawmakers to act quickly on his
Despite missing its biggest star in Jerry Lewis, the Muscular Dystrophy Association is asking millions of
Americans for at least $1 more than the $58.9 million it raised last year during its annual Labor Day weekend telethon. This year's revamped fundraiser fro Las Vegas plans to trot out as much A-list punch as it can muster Sunday night as the charity works to raise money for neuromuscular research, clinics and summer camp for
youngsters known as "Jerry's Kids." The intent is to appeal to a younger generation with the sort of program that raised money for 9-11 victims, earthquake victims and Hurricane victims over the past decade. No matter what organizers do, the association's inextricable bond to the beloved actor and can comedian seemed certain to hang over the six-hour primetime TV production. Lewis was first told he would not host the show, then that he could not appear, than that he was no longer the CEO or on the board. A planned taping of his appearance was cancelled on short notice this past week, with musicians notified they would not be needed. The telethon has been shortened from 21 1/2 hours it ran last year to only six hours this year.. It will be broadcast live in the Eastern time zone from 6 p.m.-12 a.m. EDT and tape-delayed in other U.S. zones.
A reality TV series is planned about the Clark County (Las Vegas for ratings) Coroner's Office, that is if the Clark County Commission agrees. A pilot exist already for another reality series for National Geographic following employees of the Clark County Administrators office. Joe Shoenmann in today's LasCSI is an example.
A shark bit the legs off a bodyboarder at a popular surfing spot in western Australia on Sunday, killing the man, police said. Authorities were reportedly searching for the shark as well as the man's missing limbs. The man in his early 20s was bodyboarding with five friends when the shark attacked, a police spokesman said. He died at the scene in the surfing haven known as The Farm, off Bunker Bay near the western town of Dunsborough. The beach was closed after the attack. About 30 surfers were in the water when the shark attacked, according to beachside cafe employee, Deb Pickett, who called police and an ambulance after hearing the disturbance. "We had some sharks spotted far out at sea a few months ago, but they never come this close to the shore," Pickett said. She added that helicopters were still searching the area for the shark late Sunday, while rescue staff searched for the man's arms and legs, which she believed had been taken by the shark. Local official Ian Stubbs says it was the first shark attack in the area for more than 20 years.
Budget cuts and calls from Tea Partiers to slash government spending have left us with a decaying infrastructure, including the computers used by government. States nationwide are dealing with outdated
computer systems that provide crucial government services but are susceptible to crashes. A July audit of the Colorado system that handles the state's financial reporting concluded there is a "significant risk" of a
crash because of obsolete technology and programming code. A collapse would stall payments for food stamps and construction contracts and affect nearly every state agency. Officials at the state's Office of Information Technology say they'll make a pitch for funding from the Legislature to start an upgrade and are working to have enough employees who are familiar with the system. Minnesota, Mississippi and Tennessee implemented new financial reporting systems this year, and Virginia, California and Texas are doing so.The National Association of State Chief Information Officers says some states don't have funding for new technology.
The tea party is having a big influence on the race for the GOP presidential nomination as the candidates
parrot the movement's language and promote its agenda while trying to win its favor. That's much to the delight of Democrats. They're working to paint the tea party and the eventual nominee as extreme. Mitt Romney's shift is the latest evidence of the big imprint that the tea party is leaving. So far he's done little to woo tea party activists. But he's speaking at a Tea Party Express rally in New Hampshire on Sunday. The next day, he's appearing with some of his rivals at a forum in South Carolina that's hosted by GOP Sen. Jim DeMint. The senator oversees a political committee that has supported tea party candidates.