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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Obama Explains Putin's Tough Guy "Shtick"

Friday, 07 February 2014 03:13 Published in National News
   President Obama thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin's "shtick" is to try to look like a "tough guy."
   Putin, after all, has carefully crafted a no-nonsense public image as a rugged outdoorsman. He’s been photographed hunting, fishing and riding horses, all while bare-chested.
   Despite appearing standoffish in meetings with Obama, the U.S. president said his Russian counterpart has always treated him with "respect" and that "there's a surprising amount of humor" in their interactions.
   "He does have a public style where he likes to sit back and look a little bored during the course of joint interviews," Obama told NBC News as the network kicked of its Olympic coverage. "I think that's where some of these perceptions come up."
   "My sense is that's part of his shtick back home politically as wanting to look like the tough guy," he said. "U.S. politicians have a different style. We tend to smile once in a while."
 

IL appeals FEMA denial for Nov. tornado aid

Friday, 07 February 2014 02:51 Published in Local News

   The state of Illinois is steadfast in its insistence that local governments devastated by deadly tornadoes in November should be eligible for federal assistance.  They're appealing the Federal Emergency Management Agency's denial of aid.  

   State officials argue that FEMA's population-based formula penalizes small towns in large states.  

   The Illinois Emergency Management Agency filed the appeal on Thursday.

   At least seven people were killed statewide and hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed in the storms.

   Four projects by the crew that broke a natural gas line, causing an explosion that destroyed a Soulard business Wednesday, are on now hold.  That after city officials learned the South Dakota-based Four Winds company was operating without a city business license.  

   Maggie Crane, a spokeswoman for the Mayor's office, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the company had been hired by subcontractor MasTec, to install fiber optic cable for AT&T when the accident happened.  

   The gas rupture forced the evacuation of 14 people from the Stars Design Group just before explosions rocked the block.  

   Crane says the city also hadn't been given the required 24-hours notice that work on the project was beginning.  So Four Winds other projects for AT&T were halted Thursday.  

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