FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Monday announced that fiscal courts in 31 counties will receive refunds totaling $612,450 from mining permit and acreage fees. “Every effort is being made by my administration to help the mining industry extract coal in a manner that is safe, efficient and protective of our environment,” Beshear said. “Our coal-producing counties are our partners, and these funds provide a direct benefit for their efforts.”
The government of Syrian President Bashar Assad continued its bloody offensive against protesters today. On Sunday, government forces shelled the city of Hama and human rights groups said there were as many as 142 people dead.
Al Jazeera reports that the people of Deir ex-Zor, who were protesting the attack on Hama, found themselves under fire this morning:
The holy month of Ramadan begins Monday in many parts of the Muslim world — 30 days of fasting from dawn to dusk, when large crowds gather for an additional nighttime prayer.
Ramadan could also be a decisive time for the protest movement in Syria. The government has stepped up mass arrests as activists vow to shift from weekly rallies to nightly ones outside mosques that have become centers of protest.
"I am not going to stop," said Mohammed Ali, a 24-year-old architect, and one of many activists who say they will be on the streets every night during Ramadan.
Walter Shapiro is a special correspondent for The New Republic.
Twenty-six years ago — as part of the price for raising the federal debt ceiling to a shocking $2 trillion — Congress, in a wave of fiscal self-flagellation, approved the Gramm-Rudman bill. If a spendthrift Congress failed to meet prescribed deficit targets, then Gramm-Rudman would slice the budget with the across-the-board subtlety of Sweeney Todd.
The March earthquake and tsunami in Japan devastated parts of that country and shook the economy around the world. It did not, however, shake the resolve of several Kentuckians who are headed to Japan this weekend to start new jobs. The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program hires English-speaking college graduates to teach in Japanese public schools. Adrienne Ledbetter is from Bowling Green and is headed to a city near Mt. Fuji that recently faced a food crisis after authorities found radiation-tainted beef.