It's mid-November which means that most Americans are thinking about the home stretch towards Thanksgiving: packing bags, confirming reservations, looking up recipes. But in Washington, there's a whole different kind of scramble. This Wednesday, November 23, the bipartisan congressional "super committee" must come to a deal on a strategy to reduce the deficit or face serious penalties.
Most economists agree that the recession ended in the summer of 2009. But, because of persistently high unemployment, many Americans are still feeling the economic pain. Across the country, there are almost five percent fewer jobs than there were when the recession began. And, according to a recent Gallup poll, Americans are now more pessimistic about the job market than at any time in the past 10 years. About 90 percent of Americans currently say that it is a "bad time" to find a quality job.
When the TV cameras are gone, what is it like to spend the night at Occupy Wall Street? It's been a month since protesters first began to occupy Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street in New York City. Since then, temperatures have been dropping as the number of protesters in New York and across the globe grows. This leaves many wondering how many protesters will be left when winter hits. Well, we aimed to find out — and to understand better just who was spending the night there and why.
Commissioner David Stern cancelled the first two weeks of the new NBA season on Monday night, after the league and the players failed to reach a deal to end a four-month-long lockout. At dispute is how to divide billions of dollars of league revenues, as well as league rules over how players are paid. The NBA will lose between $700-$800 million for each month of play lost.
On Wednesday, Senate Democratic leaders proposed a five percent surtax on Americans with incomes of $1 million or more per year. Senate majority leader Harry Reid said the surtax would raise nearly half of $1 trillion over the next decade, which is the amount necessary to cover President Obama's jobs bill. A recent CBS news poll showed that 64 percent of Americans think that those who earn more than $1 million per year should pay more in taxes, which means the public may be on board for the new tax. Now, Democrats will need to gain Republican support for the measure.
For almost a decade, scientists have been trying to determine the structure of an AIDS-like virus found in rhesus monkeys. If they could determine the structure of the virus, they speculated they could design a drug to stop it. But the problem proved very difficult, even for the most advanced supercomputers. Then came Fold.it, an online game that harnesses the power of crowd sourcing and human putzing to solve the mysteries of protein structure. Researchers turned the problem over to the gamers — and they solved it in just ten days.
In the coming months, the domain ".xxx" will become available to pornographic websites — and PETA wants in. Many companies are planning to buy the domain in order to stop X-rated sites from using their brand name with the new .xxx domain. But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, no stranger to provocative methods of gaining attention, is going to do so with the full intent of making its .xxx domain name deliver nothing less than what those three letters imply — all in the name of animal rights, of course.
On Wednesday, President Obama made clear his opposition to the Palestinian National Authority's bid for statehood through the United Nations Security Council. "Ultimately it is the Israelis and the Palestinians, not us, who must reach agreement on issues that divide them," Obama said. Israel has criticized the Palestinian Authority's efforts as undermining the peace process, and the United States has been leading the pressure against the PA's application. Will Obama's remarks affect other countries' approaches to the bid? And what are the Palestinian Authority's chances at statehood anyway?
Natural disasters require an incredible effort on the part of medical professionals, police, fire departments, Good Samaritans — and the media. Reporting on storms, especially hurricanes, means much more to media outlets than simple public safety information. These storms can mean big ratings, major awards, and they can make or break a reporter's career — as with The Weather Channel's Mike Seidel. Unfortunately, media histrionics can also be counterproductive to public safety.
All over the country, 50 million public school students will head back to school this week. And so today, we’re starting a week-long special look into the state of education in America in 2011. Today, we're talking about shrinking school budgets. State budgets have been feeling the squeeze since 2008, and with stimulus money running out, this is the year when schools are really having to tighten their belts. Later this week, we'll talk about the No Child Left Behind Act's looming deadlines, which require that by 2014, 100 percent of students will test at grade level in reading and math.
Hurricane Irene made landfall in New York Sunday morning, downgraded to a tropical storm after hitting the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Philadelphia, and New Jersey particularly hard over the weekend. Last night, the storm reached New England, triggering floods in Vermont. At least 16 deaths have been reported as a result of the storm. This morning, after being grounded through the weekend for Hurricane Irene, airlines at New York City's three major airports are readying their planes and crews for departures.
Apple announced last night that Steve Jobs, co-founder and chief executive of the company, would immediately resign from his position. Tim Cook, chief operating officer there, will replace him. In a public letter, Jobs said "I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come." Jobs will stay on at Apple as chairman of the board. Shortly after the news broke, Apple shares fell seven percent.
Libyan rebel forces flooded into the capital of Tripoli last night, battling with loyalists to Col. Moammar Gadhafi. The rebels captured two of Gadhafi's sons, including Seif al-Islam, the assumed heir-apparent. Civilians were celebrating in the streets over what may be the end of Gadhafi's 42 years in power of Libya. In an official White House statment last night, President Obama said "The surest way for the bloodshed to end is simple: Moammar Gadhafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end."
Libyan rebel forces flooded into the capital of Tripoli last night, battling with loyalists to Col. Moammar Gadhafi. The rebels captured two of Gadhafi's sons, including Seif al-Islam, the assumed heir-apparent. Civilians were celebrating in the streets over what may be the end of Gadhafi's 42 years in power of Libya. What will the events in Libya mean for the rest of the Middle East?
Over the weekend, Libyan rebel forces took key positions near the capital of Tripoli, and last night they flooded into the capital and battled with loyalists to Col. Moammar Gadhafi. Rebels captured two of Gadhafi's sons, including Seif al-Islam, the assumed heir-apparent, while civilians celebrated in the streets over what may be the end of Gadhafi's 42 years in power of Libya. Meanwhile, in the United States, candidates who hope to capture the Republican presidential nomination continue to duke it out over who would lead the country best, and President Obama is preparing his jobs plan, which he'll unveil in a speech next month.
Peace between Israel and Egypt was threatened late last week after a cross-border terrorist attack between the two countries prompted Israeli defense forces to fire at Egypt, killing three Egyptian officers. The killings spurred a diplomatic crisis. Egypt announced that it would recall its ambassador from Tel Aviv, Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak broke the Sabbath to issue a rare statement of regret for the deaths, and thousands of Egyptians protested outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo. The crisis is the sharpest signal yet that the amicable relationship between Israel and Egypt has changed.
This week we’ve been asking listeners to suggest big ideas on how to fix the economy. We’ve discussed raising inflation, boosting housing prices, and capping total compensation for CEOs at $5 million. A few Takeaway listeners called in to offer one of their own: legalizing marijuana. Some say the government would save billions of dollars a year by not policing and prosecuting marijuana crimes, and that legalizing and taxing pot would bring in billions of dollars.
This week we’ve been asking listeners to suggest big ideas on how to fix the economy. We’ve discussed raising inflation, boosting housing prices, and capping total compensation for CEOs at $5 million. Today we're talking about another idea: taxing the rich. The Bush Tax Cuts essentially mean that if you make money with money, you pay less in taxes. And if you make money from a job, you pay more. Economists and tax analysts agree that the cuts disproportionately benefit the richest Americans. And some wealthy Americans — including Warren Buffett — are calling for the rich to be taxed at a higher rate.
Monday was the deadliest day of the year in Iraq. Insurgents waged 42 coordinated attacks across the country, leaving almost 100 civilians and security forces dead, and hundreds injured. The attacks came ahead of America’s planned withdrawal from Iraq. Can Iraqis handle their own security and should America focus on our own problems here at home?
The film adaptation of “The Help” has been out since last week, and reviews are mixed. Some say the film depicts the lives of African-American domestic workers with too much levity. Discussions abound about the movie's treatment of the sensitive relationship between white women and black domestic servants — many of them negative.