The sleepy towns in the Western Mountains of Libya come to life right before the country's rebels engage in a fight with the forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. The mostly deserted roads suddenly fill with pickup trucks. The rebel fighters bristle with the makeshift weapons that they rely on. The vehicles, some monster trucks, then peel off into the front lines deep in the desert, covered in dried mud that serves as camouflage.
President Obama has signed into law a bi-partisan bill that raises the debt ceiling and avoids a government default that analysts as well as the White House warned could have had catastrophic effects on the American economy.
Earlier today, the Senate voted 74-26 to send the bill to the president's desk. The AP reports Obama signed the bill privately in the Oval Office.
Efforts to help people in southern Somalia, where famine relief efforts have been stymied by al-Shabaab, a group on the U.S. terrorism watchlist, may get easier in the coming weeks. That's because pending changes to U.S. rules will allow aid groups to deliver food in those areas, according to an AP report.
Citing sources who wished to remain anonymous, the AP says:
We've all desperately tried to force a crumpled dollar bill into a vending machine to no avail. Fortunately, when your dollar is that decrepit, it's on death's door and will likely be removed from circulation.
The average lifespan of a $1 bill, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is 21 months. Eventually, money is destroyed — either by the Federal Reserve itself, or by the places that create it to begin with: the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the U.S. Mint. On average, 5 million unfit currency notes are destroyed each day.
Americans put more of their money into savings in June, at the expense of consumer spending — and that came as a surprise to analysts. The month's drop in spending was the first in nearly two years (20 months).