Obama hammers Romney 'playbook'
TOLEDO, Ohio, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- President Obama, at a rally in Toledo, Ohio, Monday, hammered what he called the "playbook" of Republican rival Mitt Romney.
Romney campaigned in Ohio after last week's Republican convention in Tampa, Fla.
Obama told a crowd of about 3,500 at Scott High School that included union autoworkers, that Romney "said he's going to be the coach that leads America to a 'winning season.' The problem is everybody has already seen his economic playbook. We know what's in it.
"On first down," Obama said, "he hikes taxes by nearly $2,000 on the average family with kids in order to pay for a massive tax cut for multimillionaires. ... It sounds like unnecessary roughness to me.
"On second down, he calls an audible, and undoes reforms that are there to prevent another financial crisis and bank bailout," the president said. "He wants to get rid of rules that are there to protect our air and our water, and workers' rights, and protections to make sure health care is there for you when you get sick.
"And then, on third down, he calls for a Hail Mary -- ending Medicare as we know it by giving seniors a voucher that leaves them to pay any additional cost out of their pocket," Obama added. "There's a flag on the play -- loss of up to an additional $6,400 a year for the same benefits you get now."
Obama told the partisan crowd, "That's their playbook. That's their economic plan. And I've got one piece of advice for you about the Romney/Ryan game plan, Ohio: Punt it away! It won't work. It won't win the game. You don't need that coach. That's a losing season."
Chicago teachers rally, prepare for strike
CHICAGO, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- A week before a planned strike, 26,000 Chicago teachers dressed in red and rallied in solidarity at downtown Daley Plaza Monday, union officials said.
The teacher's union and the school district remain at odds over wages, benefits and job security, and teachers are prepared to strike if no agreement is reached by Sept. 10, WLS-TV, Chicago, reported Monday.
"It's not going to be easy for any of us, teachers, faculty, staff. But that's what the union is. We have to fight for what is right," said teacher Sharon O'Connell, at the rally.
It would be Chicago's first teacher walkout in 25 years, WLS-TV said, adding the union has the support of the Fraternal Order of Police, Service Employees International Union and other prominent trade unions whose representatives spoke at the rally.
SoCal fire growing, prompts evacuation
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Firefighters in California are struggling to contain a wildfire that has consumed about 4,000 acres as of Monday, officials said.
The fire is burning in Southern California's Angeles National Forest, about 3.5 miles east of California Highway 39, and is only about 5 percent contained, the Los Angeles Times reported,
Forest officials were forced to evacuate campgrounds that bring in thousands of visitors every Labor Day weekend.
So far, no injuries have been reported, and officials said no structures are in immediate danger.
Investigators said it was believed the wildfire started Sunday after a car caught fire.
The evacuees left the popular recreation area Sunday afternoon, KTLA, Los Angeles, reported.
More than 200 firefighters were working in an area around Glendora, utilizing an array of air tankers, helicopters, brush engines, water engines and bulldozers.
The fire was moving northeast toward the Sheep Mountain Wilderness Area.
United States prepares aid to Egypt
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- The United States is nearing an agreement to relieve Egypt's new government of $1 billion in debt, administration officials said.
The Obama administration has also approved a $4.8 billion loan negotiated between Egypt and the International Monetary Fund, The New York Times reported Monday.
The administration's efforts come 16 months after a U.S. pledge offering help to the failing Egyptian economy. The actions were slowed by Egyptian political turmoil and by wariness about the new leaders emerging from Egypt's elections, but gained urgency after fears of losing influence and investment opportunities within Egypt after President Mohamed Morsi chose China for his first official visit outside the Middle East, the newspaper said.
The U.S. State Department and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said they have organized a trade delegation of representatives from 50 U.S. companies to visit Egypt beginning Sept. 8.
"It's important for the U.S. to give Egypt a reason to look to the West, as well as the East," said Lionel Johnson, the Chamber's vice president for the Middle East and Africa.
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