Millions of Somalis are mired in a deep humanitarian crisis that is now driving thousands of refugees over the border to Kenya daily. Famine is devastating the country, and the process of seeking outside aid is complicated by by an ineffective government, interference by the al-Qaida linked group al-Shabaab, and internal strife. Regardless, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for international aid agencies to bring food and supplies.
Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann acknowledged earlier this week that she suffers from chronic migraine attacks, a familiar problem for the 36 million other Americans that experience them. But some people are now speculating as to whether or not Bachmann's migraines might interfere with her ability to do her job. This kind of talk could amount to a minor setback for Bachmann's campaign, considering some polls show she's the front runner for the Republican bid for president.
Yesterday, News Corp. shares rose 6 percent after reports circulated that some of the company's board members want to replace Rupert Murdoch with Charles "Chase" Carey, president, COO, and deputy chairman of the company. Murdoch would still remain chairman, though, which begs the question: would a new CEO bring about change in the way that News Corp. is governed?
Rupert Murdoch and his family control most of News Corp. through their majority of voting shares. But there are other, smaller shareholders that speak up when they see something amiss in the practices of the company. Recently one shareholder, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, vied for Murdoch to change the company's disclosure policies for political contributions, and Murdoch complied. Is that indicative of how the company works, or a rare exception to the corporation's usual practices?
The repercussions from the News of the World hacking scandal are slowly spreading across the Atlantic to American shores. Yesterday, the FBI opened an investigation into whether News Corp. employees tried to hack into phones belonging to 9/11 victims and their family members. They began the investigation after Republican Rep. Peter King, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, made a call for the probe. In related news, Rebekah Brooks, the embattled chief executive of News International, News Corporation's British newspaper subsidiary, has agreed to step down following weeks of political and public pressure.
Congress is debating over raising the debt ceiling and meanwhile, Americans are struggling everyday with the harsh realities of the troubled economy. This week we spoke with individuals who have battled unemployment or temporary jobs for years. Today we compiled their stories into one segment.
The fallout from the News of the World hacking scandal seems far from contained this morning, as U.S. lawmakers call for an investigation into whether any American laws were broken during the alleged hacking practices at News Corporation's British newspaper subsidiary News International. Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer, Jay Rockefeller, and Frank Lautenberg, called for the FBI to investigate the day after News Corporation announced it was pulling out its $12 billion bid to take full control of British Sky Broadcasting, a British pay-for-TV outlet.
The online retailer Amazon is getting into the ballot initiative business. The company is pushing for a referendum in California that would eliminate sales tax for online retailers that have a limited physical presence in the state.
We have been hearing stories of struggles in the job market and small triumphs this week on The Takeaway. We’re asking listeners to tell us their stories of how unemployment has affected their lives.
As the August 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling draws closer, there's more talk about the dire economic consequences that will ensue if policy makers in Washington fail to reach an agreement on a budget plan. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says that a bipartisan agreement is not likely to happen, and has proposed a plan in which the president could increase the federal debt limit without Congressional approval.
As Washington battles it out over the deficit and the August 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling, there is another important economic discussion happening across the country. Last week, the unemployment rate reached 9.2 percent, and by the end of this year money for many jobless benefits will disappear. As lawmakers haggle over the debt ceiling in Washington, are they failing to address the jobs crisis?
Rupert Murdoch’s British media empire remains under fire as allegations continue to unfold — not only about the now-shuttered News of the World, but about other media outlets within the company. The Sunday Times and The Sun, both British papers owned by Murdoch’s News International, are accused of attempting to hack Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s phone, bank account and family medical records, as well as paying bribes to members of Scotland Yard officers for information about members of the royal family.
U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford's visit to Syria has drawn the condemnation of the Assad regime. Ford visited the city of Hama, a center of anti-Assad sentiment, where pro-democracy activists greeted him with flowers and olive branches. Meanwhile, in Damascus, pro-Assad demonstrators hurled rocks and eggs at the U.S. Embassy, protesting Ford's visit.
Plans for the troop drawdown in Afghanistan are underway. The Defense Department announced that the first regiments to head home will be finishing their tours of duty this month, and won’t be replaced. But after nearly a decade of combat there, how much do we really know about Afghanistan and what this will mean for the country?
An execution scheduled in Texas today is making international headlines. Should Humberto Leal Garcia, Jr. die at the hands of the state, the U.S.'s diplomatic relations with Mexico could be adversely impacted, and possibly may violate the U.S.'s compliance with the U.N.’s Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Garcia was convicted in 1994 of raping and killing a 16-year-old girl in Texas. He is a Mexican national and was not informed that he could access Mexican consular officials after his arrest. Garcia has been denied clemency from the state of Texas, but President Obama has asked that the Supreme Court weigh in on his case by today.
Cuts to entitlements like Medicare and Medicaid are continue to be used as bargaining chips as the debate over the budget rages on in Washington. Already some states have begun cutting back their Medicaid programs.
But a new study out today in the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that people on Medicaid see doctors more regularly, and are more financially stable and less depressed than the uninsured. These findings could be crucial selling points as lawmakers debate the effectiveness versus cost of the health program.
President Obama is selling his plan to pull troops out of Afghanistan by describing it as an opportunity to refocus on the domestic health of America. His term, "nation building at home" recalls the great American eras like the industrial and gilded ages. They eventually led to new railroads and highways, the infrastructure that powered us into the boom time of the 1950s.
Over our nearly decade-long war in Afghanistan, we've become accustomed to hearing stories of death and destruction—loss of life has become the price of this war. Former Foreign Service officer Patricia McArdle has written a story of re-birth and a second chance at life, based on her time in Afghanistan. Her new novel, "Farishta," tells the story of Angela Morgan, whose husband died in the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut in 1983. After mourning for 20 years, Angela is sent to an isolated British Army compound in Afghanistan, and it's there that she is reborn.
Volatile food prices are making the survival of the small farmer in developing countries nearly impossible. As the developed world weathers the storms of rising food prices through sophisticated commodities markets, smaller operations in Latin America, Asia and Africa are left to the mercy of massive price fluctuations.