With gas prices on the rise, and energy policy in the headlines, both consumers and governments have reason to be happy about GM’s new hybrid, the Chevy Volt. The car is still in limited supply, and it’s pretty expensive — near $50,000. But for those who can get their hands on a brand new Chevy Volt, the government has added an incentive — a tax rebate of $7,500. However, as Mary Chapman writes in The New York Times "Wheels" blog, that deal may have been a little too sweet. Car dealers across the country have begun snatching up the rebate for themselves, and leaving their customers in the dust.
Stocks plummeted Wednesday after reports that the U.S. factory sector experienced its biggest one-month drop off in May since 1984. Weak factory sector figures, combined with dreary manufacturing data from around the world, and continuing high unemployment doesn't just present a political problem for the Obama White House. Some economists worry the economy could face a "double-dip" recession. "Financial crises are followed by slow recoveries," says Kelly Evans, "Ahead of the Tape" columnist for The Wall Street Journal.
The Tunisian revolt was inspired by Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old fruit vendor who set himself on fire after police officers confiscated his cart. In Egypt, the revolution was kindled by the beating death of Khaled Said, an ordinary Alexandrian. Now, Syrian protesters may have found a martyr to unite under: 13-year-old Syrian boy Hamzah Al-Khatib. Ian Black, Middle East Editor for The Guardian says "what's happening in Syria is really happening without the scrutiny of the international media," so there's been no way to verify the size of the protests or those loyal to the regime.
Up until recently, Ohio State University head coach, Jim Tressel had a brilliant career. He was the Head Football Coach for Ohio State, a Big Ten school that recruits some of the most talented athletes in the nation. He had one national title and seven Big Ten championships. However, Tressel resigned amid accusations that he’s covered up years worth of NCAA violations among his players. Running Back Bri'onte Dunn, from Canton, Ohio, has made a verbal commitment to join the OSU Buckeyes in January 2012. What will these developments mean for his future? Takeaway sports contributor, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin weighs in.
President Obama made a subtle, rhetorical shift in his Libya policy on Wednesday in London. After nearly three months of stating that U.S. priorities were to protect civilians from massacres, The President now says the goal is to make sure that the Libyan people will be "finally free of 40 years of tyranny,” at the hands of Col. Moammar Gadhafi. The President spoke to British Parliament at Westminster Hall, and in a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron. For more on what this means for transatlantic relations, we turn to David Sanger, Chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times.
In a major departure from the policy of the Mubarak regime, Egypt's official news agency has announced that, as of Saturday, May 28, 2011, the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza will be permanently opened. The border's periodic openings and closings over the decades have reflected tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Territories — and an agreement between Israel and the Mubarak regime.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called a vote on Representative Paul Ryan's Medicare plan Wednesday, forcing lawmakers to take sides on what has become a defining issue for the 2012 campaign. The vote comes one day after Democrat Kathy Hochul's upset victory in New York's heavily Republican 26th Congressional District. The vote was seen as a chance to test the air on Medicare reform, and Hochul's victory made one thing clear: the winds have changed. Jennifer Steinhauer, congressional correspondent for The New York Times, says that with an election year on the horizon, Democrats are using the opportunity to puff up their sails — while some Republicans are scrambling to change tack.
The tornado that churned through Joplin Missouri on Sunday left three schools in rubble. School was out at the time the twister hit, but District officials estimate that 3,000 of Joplin's 7,800 students were in the path of destruction, and many teachers are still trying to account for their students — reaching out, says Kindergarten teacher Susan Moore, "through facebook, phone banks, texting... any way we can." Rich Oppel has been reporting on the search for our partner The New York Times.
Democrat Kathy Hochul will be representing New York’s 26th congressional district in Congress. The Erie County clerk won in a special election Tuesday defeating Assemblywoman Jane Corwin (R) and businessman Jack Davis, who was running under the banner of the Tea Party. New York's 26th District — formerly represented by Rep. Chris Lee (R), who resigned after a shirtless picture appeared on the Internet — is economically struggling, and has an older electorate than the national average. Democrats have called the election a "referendum" on Paul Ryan's plan to reform Medicare.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday in Brown v. Plata that California's overcrowded prisons violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment, and ordered the release of 30,000 prisoners. The 5-4 decision was sharply divided. Justice Kennedy, leading for the Majority, described “telephone-booth-sized cages without toilets,” used to house suicidal inmates. Justice Scalia, offering a vigorous dissent, called the prisoners who will eventually be released “just 46,000 happy-go-lucky felons fortunate enough to be selected.”
As Greece’s economic stress continues, the rifts between the eurozone members are deepening. Persistent worries over Greece's looming debt drove down Europe's stock indexes by two percent and the euro dropped nearly one percent against the dollar, and Wall Street too took a hit. Meanwhile, there are doubts over whether the eurozone can resolve this regional debt crisis. Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for The New York Times, charts the growing rift.
Relations between the White House and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remain strained, after a confluence of U.S. policy statements and Israeli response has left the two countries' leaderships at odds on the path towards peace. The diplomatic strife comes mainly from comments the president made in a speech last week saying that land swaps and a general return to pre-1967 borders in the area was the best way forward for Palestinians and Israelis. But what has America's relationship been with these borders for the last 44 years?
The Morganza Spillway was all over the front pages this weekend. You probably saw a picture of it – the big wall of the levee with its gates open, spewing muddy Mississippi water at thousands of cubic feet per minute. The decision to open those floodgates has diverted the surge of the Mississippi, and probably saved Baton Rouge and New Orleans from flooding. But all that water has to go somewhere, and salvation downriver came at the expense of folks upriver. When the gates were opened, it set into motion a slow moving disaster; one that's arriving in the homes of the Cajun communities in the Atchafalaya Basin.
New York Police boarded an Air France plane as it waited for takeoff at JFK this Saturday and took French economist Dominique Strauss Kahn into custody. The 62-year-old man was the head of the International Monetary Fund and until Saturday, was considered the likely candidate to challenge Nicholas Sarkozy in France’s 2012 elections. By Sunday, Strauss-Kahn was standing in a Manhattan court, in front of a crowd of tabloid reporters. The incident has caused a "political earthquake" as the IMF — and the French Socialist Party — struggle to replace him.
Within hours of the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed and buried at sea, the Internet lit up with commentary, speculation, and the beginnings of conspiracy theories. The more conspiracy minded wondered: How do we know it wasn't a double? And how do we know that the real Osama is not still alive — or on the other hand, hasn't been dead for years?
James B. Stewart, author of the new book "Tangled Webs: How False Statements are Undermining America from Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff," says that perjury is “threatening to become an epidemic” in American society. Stewart has delved into Freedom of Information Act requests, interview transcripts, investigative notes, secret letters, court documents, and hundreds of emails to give an in-depth look at recent high-profile cases of lying. With a look into the trials of Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby, Bernie Madoff, and Barry Bonds, Stewart makes the argument that the practice of lying under oath has breached the highest levels of American society, threatening to unsettle the foundations of our legal system.
It’s been one year since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew up in the Gulf of Mexico. All week, The Takeaway is talking to Gulf Coast residents about how the spill has affected their lives. Today, we check in with Southern writer Rick Bragg, author of "All Over but the Shoutin."
Following a CBS "60 Minutes" report that found factual errors in the best-selling book, "Three Cups of Tea," author Greg Mortenson and his charitable work in Afghanistan and Pakistan have come under fire. In the book, Mortenson writes about stumbling into a tiny village in northeastern Pakistan and coming across a group of schoolchildren doing their lessons with sticks and dirt. It was then, he writes, that he discovered his passion to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But "60 Minutes'" producers found factual errors in the book and suggest that Mortenson's charity may be spending money poorly and exaggerating their accomplishments. Mortenson is denying the allegations.
Many Americans are angry about the sluggish state of the economy. On Tuesday, they went to the polls and took their anger out on elected officials. But the people who have a very large effect on the American economy aren't elected at all. They’re the appointed officials at the Federal Reserve Bank, headed by Ben Bernanke. As if to underscore that point, The Fed announced Wednesday that they’ll buy $600 billion worth of Treasury bonds, in an effort to stimulate economic growth.
The Federal Reserve Bank announced Wednesday that it will once again make a large purchase of Treasury Bonds — $600 billlion worth — as part of a Quantitative Easing to help the struggling economy. The response of many to this news: "Quantitative what?" Louise Story, Wall Street and Finance Reporter for our partner The New York Times, joins the show to break it down.