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Congressional travels during the August recess, and more

Several members of Congress are traveling abroad during the August recess so they can "discuss" and "investigate" crucial issues with their foreign peers.

Congressional travels during the August recessDuring the August congressional recess, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) is leading a delegation of six fellow legislators on a taxpayer-paid junket to Ireland, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, China, and several other countries to “discuss global and regional economic performance and energy security.” Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) and six fellow legislators are headed to Greece, Italy, and several other Mediterranean countries “to investigate critical security measures.”Foreignpolicy.com

Disabling the "clunkers"The cars returned under the federal government’s “cash for clunkers” program are disabled with a volatile chemical poured directly into the crankcase, which causes the engine to permanently seize up. Rochester, N.Y., Democrat and Chronicle

New births decline by nearly 2 percentFor the first time this decade, Americans are having fewer babies, with new births last year declining by nearly 2 percent. “It’s the recession,” says sociologist Andrew Hacker of New York City’s Queens College. “Children are the most expensive item in every family’s budget, so it’s a good place to cut back when you’re uncertain about the future.”The New York Times

Hosts in New York City fret over Twittering guestsHosts of trendy New York City parties are now asking guests to refrain from Twittering, blogging, or taking cell phone photos during the events or later writing about them online. “We are fighting against this whole idea that everything people do has to be constantly chronicled,” said Michael Malice, one party host.The New York Times

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