Congress outraged by California homeschool case

'There are a variety of things being considered'
By Bob Unruh
Members of Congress privately are infuriated and worried over a
California appeals court ruling that essentially banned homeschooling
in the state, where at least 166,000 students are being educated that
way, according to a homeschooling expert who has met with them.
“There's a lot of concern and outrage from members of Congress,”
Michael Farris, the chairman of the Home School Legal Defense
Association, told WND today, shortly after he met with several members
on this issue.
“There's a variety of things being considered,” he said. “There could
be a brief by members filed in the appellate court in support of
parental rights. There could be a resolution from Congress there.”
Plans still were being develeped, he said. But the ultimate resolution,
Farris suggested, would be an amendment to the U.S. Constitution
recognizing the rights and responsibilities of parents to direct their
own children's education.
That effort already was under way under the banner of Parental Rights.
The website notes the campaign exists “to secure a constitutional
amendment that defends the rights of parents to direct the upbringing
and education of their children. … We believe that no government,
regardless …

Carlyle hedge fund default sends shiver through credit markets

By Sean Farrell,
A fund managed by the US private equity giant Carlyle Group has become
the latest to be hit by demands from lending banks making calls on
loans secured on mortgage bonds.
Carlyle Capital Corp, a publicly traded fund that holds $21.7bn
(£10.8bn) of securities, said it had received a default notice from one
of its lending banks and expected at least one more after it failed to
meet demands for extra security from jittery counterparties.
The Guernsey-based fund has struggled to meet more than $60m of margin
calls and demands for extra collateral since the start of the month. It
met the calls until Wednesday, when it was landed with more than $37m
of demands and missed four out of seven calls.
John Stomber, the chief executive of Carlyle Capital, said
counterparties were demanding margin prices that did not represent the
underlying recoverable value of the fund's assets. Carlyle Capital's
investments are all AAA-rated securities issued by Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac, the US-Government-sponsored mortgage finance agencies.
“This disconnect has created instability and variability in our repo
financing arrangements,” he added. “Management is actively working with
the company's repo counterparties to develop more stable financing
The …

Dollar Trades at Record Low Versus Euro as Fed Plan Disappoints

By Ye Xie
March 13 (Bloomberg) — The dollar traded at a record low against the
euro as firms from Citigroup Inc. to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the
Federal Reserve's plan to inject $200 billion into the banking system
may fail to break the freeze in money-market lending.
The U.S. currency plunged yesterday against the euro, yen and Swiss
franc, erasing a rally from March 11 when the Fed said it would lend
Treasuries to financial institutions and take mortgage debt as
collateral. Traders bet the Fed will cut rates by as much as three
quarters of a percentage point next week to avert a recession, while
the European Central Bank keeps borrowing costs unchanged at 4 percent.

The Fed's plan “doesn't change the fact that U.S. yields are very low
relative to the rest of the industrialized world and are likely to
remain low for the foreseeable future,'' Daniel Katzive, a currency
strategist at Credit Suisse Group, said in an interview with Bloomberg
radio. “That's weighing on the dollar.''
The dollar traded at $1.5551 at 6 a.m. in Tokyo. It tumbled 1.4 percent
yesterday, the most since January 2006, and touched $1.5571 per euro,
the weakest level since …

Second Muslim elected to Congress

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – Indiana voters on Tuesday elected a Muslim to
Congress, only the second of that faith chosen in U.S. history.
Andre Carson, grandson of the late Democrat Rep. Julia Carson, was
elected to serve the balance of her term in the U.S. House of
Representatives in a special election.
She died in December 2007, after serving 11 years in the heavily
Democratic district.
The younger Carson, 33, a member of the Indianapolis City Council who
converted to Islam about a decade ago, will serve out the remainder of
his grandmother's term through calendar 2008. He beat Republican Jon
Elrod and a third party candidate with 52 percent of the vote to 44
percent for Elrod.
The first and only other Muslim member of the U.S. Congress is Rep.
Keith Ellison of Minnesota, also a Democrat, who is in his first term.
Carson will face a strong challenge against other contenders in a May
primary which will determine who runs in November for the next full
two-year term in the district which covers most of the city of
His Democratic opponents then are expected to be two state legislators
— Carolene Mays, an Indianapolis newspaper publisher, and David

Parents May Be Jailed Over Vaccinations

Immunizations FAQ – Read answers to frequently asked questions about
LONDON (AP) – As doctors struggle to eradicate polio worldwide, one of
their biggest problems is persuading parents to vaccinate their
children. In Belgium, authorities are resorting to an extreme measure:
prison sentences.
Two sets of parents in Belgium were recently handed five month prison
terms for failing to vaccinate their children against polio. Each
parent was also fined 4,100 euros ($8,000).
“It's a pretty extraordinary case,” said Dr. Ross Upshur, director of
the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto.
“The Belgians have a right to take some action against the parents,
given the seriousness of polio, but the question is, is a prison
sentence disproportionate?”
The parents can still avoid prison – their sentences were delayed to
give them a chance to vaccinate their children. But if that deadline
also passes without their children receiving the injections, the
parents could be put behind bars.
Because of privacy laws, Belgian officials would not talk specifically
about the case, such as why the parents refused the vaccine or how much
longer they have to vaccinate their children.
The polio vaccine is the only …

Billionaire Investor Sees Bank Failures Ahead

Monday March 10, 10:52 am ET Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross says the
current market downturn differs from previous slumps in that no
American banks have yet failed this time, but he suggests that's about
to change.
“I think that's going to be the next wave, and coupled with problems in
the commercial real estate market; I think they'll be the next bubbles
that burst,” the chairman and CEO of W. L. Ross and Company told CNBC's
“Squawk Box” in an exclusive interview.
He was asked about the risks to big banks.
“I think that the big banks won't fail in the sense that they will go
to zero and depositors would lose money,” Ross replied. “I think the
Fed and other regulators will make things happen.| I think it's the
medium-sized banks, and particularly some of those that got
overextended with the subprime and other kind of mortgage debt.| I
think those are the ones that had the serious mismatch, making 20- and
30-year loans based on 90-day deposits.”
Ross's comments echo those made by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke, who told a Senate committee on Feb. 28 that some smaller
regional banks that heavily invested in real estate could …