Two men traveling with stolen passports on a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner were Iranians who had bought tickets to Europe and were probably not terrorists, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.More >>
Malaysia's air force chief has denied remarks attributed to him in a local paper that a passenger jet missing for more than four days had been tracked by military radar to the Malacca strait.More >>
While many pundits and politicians are saying the automatic spending cuts will be catastrophic, others are saying the impact won't be that bad, and that there could even be some benefit.
The warnings are dire, including cuts to the military and public safety, public health and even air travel, but will the sequester be that bad? Some lawmakers say no.
"Put down the beltway Kool-Aid because they are predicting a disaster that will not occur," said Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn.
Start with tonight's deadline. Congress and the President can still work on a resolution. Many of the cuts are staggered and won't start at the same time, and furlough days for federal workers require a 30 notification.
What about the $46 billion in military cuts?
Uniformed members of the military are exempt, so is money for wartime operations in Afghanistan. Programs run through the Department of Veteran's Affairs are also spared, along with entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, food stamps, and many more.
On Friday some members of both parties say the sequestration could force the government to cut the fat and target wasteful spending.
North Carolina Republican Howard Coble calls sequestration "a necessary evil to limit the size and scope of government," while Democrat Xavier Becerra says sequestration "will give us progress whether we like it or not."
Even so, that progress may come at a cost, including jobs held on a federal contract at the Concord Airport. While that could cause the tower to close, it would not close the airport.
"You've got a lot of folks who are very skilled, competent, loyal, all the good things you'd look for in an employee and from no fault of their own may end up unemployed tomorrow," John Cox told WBTV.
Cox is the head of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber and Cabarrus Economic Development.
"We'd love for them to call and say our jobs are being impacted and clearly we're looking for other work or we've got to do something between now and when the federal government is ready to do its business again, is there anything you can help us with."