January 25, 2005

The Congressional Budget Office predicted today that the federal government would run a deficit of $368 billion this year, not including the $80 billion more for Iraq and Afghanistan. That would bring the 4 year ('02-'05) deficit to more than 1.3 trillion dollars.

The Academy Award nominations were announced this morning. The Aviator got 11 Oscar nominations. Finding Neverland and Million Dollar Baby both got 7 each. Other movies with multiple nominations include Ray with 6, Sideways with 5, and The Incredibles with 4.

The Gates Foundation and the government of Norway yesterday gave grants of more than $1 billion to immunize children in poor countries against common diseases. According to the World Health Organization, about 2 million children die each year in poor countries from diseases that are easily prevented by vaccinations. The group aims to get 90 percent of the world's poorest children vaccinated by 2015, which will require $8 billion to $12 billion in additional funds.

The Army plans to keep at least 120,000 soldiers in Iraq for the next two years to train and fight with Iraqi forces against insurgents. The Bush administration denial of that number is due later today.

Sales of previously owned homes went up 9.4% to an all-time high of 6.68 million units last year. The median sales price of an existing home rose to $184,100 last year, up 8.3 percent from 2003. That was the largest year to year gain since 1980.

Posted @ 4:40 PM | Link

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