His enemies paint him as all-powerful, but the billionaire philanthropist believes that his political legacy has never been in greater jeopardy. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1989, he poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the former Soviet-bloc countries to promote civil society and liberal democracy. It was a one-man Marshall Plan for Eastern Europe, a private initiative without historical precedent. It was also a gamble that a part of the world that had mostly known tyranny would embrace ideas like government accountability and ethnic tolerance. It is an embattled cause these days. Russia has reverted to autocracy, and Poland and Hungary are moving in the same direction. With the rise of Donald Trump in the United States, and the growing strength of populist parties in Western Europe, Soros's vision of liberal democracy is under threat in its longtime strongholds. read more
The U.S. economy is running at a fast enough pace to justify continued interest rate increases, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday. Powell is delivering his semiannual testimony to Congress this week, starting with an appearance Tuesday before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. In remarks he provided ahead of a question-and-answer session, Powell painted a largely positive picture of the economy, which he said is expanding at an increasing pace and is being boosted by aggressive fiscal policy on Capitol Hill. read more
New details on stolen Iranian nuclear documents obtained by Israeli spies earlier this year shed light on Tehran's nuclear ambitions and show that Iran more than two decades ago had assembled the materials it needed to produce a nuclear bomb, according to multiple media reports. The information came from a trove of documents stolen from a storage facility in Tehran by agents for the Israeli by agency Mossad. Journalists for The New York Times, the Washington Post and others were invited by the Israeli government to view key documents obtained in the raid. read more
If you live in D.C., you may have to boil your water. DC Water is advising tens of thousands of residents and businesses in a major portion of the city not to drink or cook with tap water without boiling it because of a contamination risk. read more
The U.S. government sees oil production further climbing next year even amid transportation logjams in the country's most prolific shale play. The Energy Information Administration sees U.S. crude output averaging 11.8 million barrels a day in 2019, up from its 11.76 million barrel a day estimate in the June outlook. "In 2019, EIA forecasts that the United States will average nearly 12 million barrels of crude oil production per day," said Linda Capuano, Administrator of the EIA. "If the forecast holds, that would make the U.S. the world's leading producer of crude."