Politics

9:07am

Thu July 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Australia Repeals An Unpopular Tax On Carbon Emissions

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:47 am

An oil refinery is pictured in the southern Sydney suburb of Kurnell earlier this week. Australia's Senate voted on Thursday to scrap the country's carbon tax and plans for emissions trading — a major victory for conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Australia became the first country in the world to repeal a carbon tax on the nation's worst greenhouse gas polluters, as Prime Minister Tony Abbott made good on a campaign promise to get rid of the unpopular law.

The Senate voted 39 to 32 to eliminate the tax enacted by the previous center-left government two years ago. The law imposed the equivalent of a $22.60 tax per metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions on about 350 of the nation's worst polluters.

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6:09am

Thu July 17, 2014
It's All Politics

The GOP Now Likes Community Organizing (If It Wins Elections)

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:56 am

Republican officials Rob Collins, Phil Cox and Matt Walter all seemed pleased at a briefing for journalists about the GOP's midterm election prospects, as did former first lady Mamie Eisenhower.
Frank James NPR

Both parties are sounding confident right now about their midterm election prospects, but only one can be right. As it stands now, Republicans clearly have more reason for optimism.

On their side, Republicans have history and a current political environment in which the Republican base looks to be more excited about the coming election than Democrats.

Meanwhile, voters are consistently telling pollsters that they're dissatisfied with the nation's direction, which usually portends bad news for the party holding the White House.

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4:24am

Thu July 17, 2014
Business

Treasury Secretary Calls For Corporate Tax Code Overhaul

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says, there has been an uptick in the number of U.S. corporations moving their headquarters overseas in an effort to pay less tax. In a moment, we'll talk to David Wessel about what's allowing these moves to happen. We begin with NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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4:20am

Thu July 17, 2014
Politics

Proposal To Allow State Tolls On Interstates Hits Roadblocks

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 1:42 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's talk a little more now about the effort to refill the federal highway trust fund, which is expected to run out of cash later this summer. A short-term fix passed the house earlier this week, and the Senate is said to consider a similar measure - that's the short term. Then there's the question of the longer-term. One possible solution from the White House would let states collect tolls on interstate highways. They've been prohibited from doing that for decades. Here's NPR's Brian Naylor.

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4:14am

Thu July 17, 2014
Politics

Kerry Accuses Senate Of Hobbling American Diplomacy

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, this next story grows out of the Separation of Powers Clause of the Constitution. The document says the president nominates ambassadors who take office with the advice and consent of the Senate. In many cases, President Obama's choices have not received Senate consent.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The administration has complained about the strategic effect of so many unfilled posts abroad. There's also a personal cost. More than 50 diplomats are awaiting confirmation.

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