...And the World:
Hot on the heels of an announcement by the Greek government that it will miss deficit reduction targets, largely due to contraction of the Greek economy, Great Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne has announced new measures to aid the British economy. Although Great Britain is not in the Eurozone, its economy would sustain a painful blow, perhaps greater than any felt in the US, if the Greek debt crisis spirals out of control. Osborne, echoing statements made by US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, called on Europe to take the swift and decisive action necessary to curb the crisis, including recapitalizing weak European banks and begin the process of an orderly Greek default. Osborne and the rest of the British government have been under increasing pressure to act in the face of a weakening economy in Britain and an unpopular austerity program that may have contributed to the country's economic doldrums.
After mass arrests as Occupy Wall Street protesters attempted to cross the Brooklyn Bridge this weekend, a parade of demonstrators at the sister-protest Occupy Boston, marched through downtown Boston without incident. Meanwhile the White House tries to maneuver the difficult politics presented by the protests.
FEMA has been funded...finally.
The State of Things:
A new poll out today has Scott Brown ahead, but in a statistical tie with Consumer Advocate Elizabeth Warren. The poll, commissioned by the Boston Herald, showed Joe Kennedy II and Gov. Deval Patrick as ahead of Brown, which indicates that the more well-known Warren gets, the better her numbers could become. Warren also polled well ahead of other Democratic candidates for the nomination. Fundraising totals expected to be released soon could further an exodus from the race that began with Newton Mayor Setti Warren's exit. Additionally, US Rep. Niki Tsongas of Lowell, endorsed Elizabeth Warren at an event in Lowell today. "Elizabeth is a fighter for middle class families. It's her life's work," Tsongas said in a Warren release. Tsongas, the widow of the late Sen. Paul Tsongas, is the first member of the state's congressional delegation to endorse in the senate race and only the fourth woman to represent Massachusetts in Washington.
Speaking of Lowell and the US Senate race, the seven remaining contestants, er, candidates for the Democratic nomination will meet tomorrow in the Bay State's fourth largest city at the UMASS campus for their first debate. WBUR has a primer on the candidates.
The Springfield City Council meets tonight. Before the evening meeting the finance committee will meet to discuss the measures needed to formally put the city's budget into balance. Committee Chair Mike Fenton and his colleagues have wrestled with the mayor to come to an agreement. The mayor has been accused of moving the goal posts and undermining the council's authority to slim down the budget. The full council meeting agenda appears to be mostly boilerplate although reports on tornado rebuilding and some ordinances could ignite passions.
In early 2010, Springfield officials led a rescue of Titeflex's facility in East Springfield. The plant had been threatened with closure due to high costs, but a TIF implemented helped save the plant. Now the facility and the company are seeing sunnier times, the bad economy notwithstanding.
A story enveloping Twitter as elsewhere is the release of American Amanda Knox following her successful appeal before an Italian court of her conviction of killing her roommate. Knox and her boyfriend were both convicted of the 2007 murder and the case caught international attention for obvious reasons. To only add to the international flavor of the tragedy, the victim was a British citizen. The news prompted this tweet from Boston.com blogger Garrett Quinn, which wins the tweet prize.