According to new data from Commerce Department Friday, the U.S. economy grew at a dismal rate of just 1.3 percent, significantly lower than the 1.7 percent that had been expected. The new figures show the weakest period of growth since the recession officially ended. Some economists fear that the debt ceiling debate in Congress will produce cost-cutting measures that will slow the economy further. As the August 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling approaches, it is unclear whether Congress will be able to pass a plan.
The methodical killing of over 90 people by a gunman in Norway over the weekend has gripped the world with horror. The accused, Anders Behring Breivik, is currently in police custody, and has said he acted alone. Marcus Mabry, editor-at-large of The International Herald Tribune, the international edition of The New York Times, believes this tragic event has made Europe aware of a different kind of threat that they never knew was out there - extremist right-wing groups.
This week marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Bill into law. A key component of that bill was the establishment of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which will open its doors on Thursday. Yesterday, Obama announced Elizabeth Warren — the progressive icon who was charged with setting up the CFPB — will not be heading the new agency. In other news, the first legal same-sex marriages will take place in New York next weekend, and the nation's biggest banks will release their latest quarterly earnings statements.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened an investigation into allegations that News Corp.'s U.K.-based tabloid News of the World tried to hack into the phones of victims of September 11, 2001, a law enforcement official confirms the investigation to WNYC.
A group of News Corp shareholders is suing the company over the phone-hacking scandal that led to the company shutting down its British news paper, News of the World.
Robert Gates will step down as Secretary of Defense this week, with Leon Panetta taking over. Panetta will have a lot on his plate, starting with the start of U.S. troops withdrawing from Afghanistan later this week. Noel King, managing producer for The Takeaway, looks at what obstacles are in store for Panetta as he begins his reign as Defense Secretary.
President Obama will meet with Congressional leaders to try and come to an agreement on raising the debt ceiling, or face going into default. Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, looks at the economic effects this on-going debate could have if a conclusion is not reached soon.
All the jawing and insult throwing has ceased for the time being as negotiations heat up on Capitol Hill over the debt ceiling. Vice President Joe Biden said there are four meetings scheduled, and "now we're getting down to the really hard stuff." Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent, says Congress would love to get an agreement by the 4th of July—way ahead of the deadline in August.
As Washington tries to get the debt ceiling squared away, the Federal Reserve will meet on Wednesday to discuss interest rates. Housing numbers have been consistently awful for some time now, with no sense of relief in sight. Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, looks at what we can expect from Wednesday's meeting, and whether or not it's likely that the Fed will decide to leave interest rates close to zero.
The GOP will see it's first major debate with all its prominent players in New Hampshire today. Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum are all expected to participate. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, is most interested in how Bachmann and Santorum try to "out-conservative" each other to gain the following of those who don't support Mitt Romney. A topic that will surely be a key part of the debate will be the poor state of the economy. A set of key economic indicators is set to be released this week. Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, is expecting retail sales to fall, and a stock market finishing down for six weeks in a row is certainly not helping either.
President Barack Obama arrives in Ireland today, as he begins is week long trip to Europe. His stops include the UK, France, and Poland. Jason Stallman, editor for the national desk at The New York Times, looks at what we can expect in the week ahead on this trip.
As the president journeys through Europe, a number of key economic indicators is set to be released, including GDP figures. Charlie Herman, economics and business editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, crunches the numbers for us and tells us if good things are ahead for our economy.
A flurry of housing reports Thursday, and the market is not looking very healthy.
While Washington continues tp debate the debt ceiling, the United States is expected to reach the limit on its debt today. This means the government will no longer be able to borrow money. Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC Radio, says it's just a mystery what will happen, because we're not seeing any deals on the table yet. There are questions about the future of the International Monetary Fund after its managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York for allegedly sexually assaulting a Manhattan hotel maid.
A week ago, Osama bin Laden was found and killed by American special forces in Pakistan. A hefty amount of information has been retrieved from the compound, enough information to fill a "small college library," according to Tom Donilon, President Obama's National Security Adviser. A number of videos of Osama bin Laden were released to the public, including one, which shows the late terrorist watching videos of himself on a small television. Callie Crossley, host of "The Callie Crossley Show" on WGBH in Boston, looks at what all this intelligence will tell us about bin Laden, and how this affects the U.S. role in Afghanistan.
Despite promises of reform from both the Syrian and Yemeni governments, demonstrations — and serious bloodshed — rage in both countries. NATO continues to support the rebels in Libya while some U.S. Senators call for Gadhafi's ouster. Marcus Mabry, editor-at-large of the International Herald Tribune, looks at protests throughout the Middle East and NATO's role in Libya. Middle East turmoil has also led to rising oil and gas prices in the U.S. Oil companies are set to release their earnings this week and Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, looks at rising oil profits and potential price gouging investigations.
In the same week that marked the one year anniversary of the BP’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a spill of another sort was happening hundreds of miles away in Pennsylvania.
The U.S. House and Senate are in recess for the next two weeks, but recess doesn't necessarily mean relaxation. With the budget crisis still looming, the break may give Congressmembers the opportunity to do some politicking as they gear up for a the next round of battles over the deficit. But while Washington is gridlocked over future budget proposals, the rest of America will receive some economic indicators this week — including a report on previously owned homes by the National Association of Realtors. And locally, North Carolina's budget may take its own hit this week after a series of powerful tornadoes swept through Raleigh this weekend.
In other political news, President Obama is back on the campaign trail and he gears up for 2012 elections. This week he'll make stops in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
We get a preview of the week ahead with Kai Wright, editor of the news blog, Colorlines and Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC Radio.
The number of homeowners falling into foreclosure fell to a three-year low in March. But don't celebrate just yet.
President Obama is set to deliver a much anticipated speech 1:30 p.m. at George Washington University in Washington. The speech will detail his long-term plans for reducing the nation's deficit. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent says that the president will have to prepare the public for tough decisions as he faces the debt.
Last Friday night, with a government shutdown staring them right in the eyes, Congress was able to come to temporary resolution over the 2011 budget crisis. President Barack Obama will lay out the details for reducing the deficit in a speech Wednesday night. What's the next big showdown in Washington? Raising the debt ceiling. Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC Radio, sees the debt debate as "bigger and more troublesome" than what just transpired over the budget.