President Obama sounds like he's in for a fight over the woman who could be the next secretary of state. Republicans have been blasting U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for the way she characterized the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11.
But the president came to her defense in his news conference Wednesday afternoon.
"When they go after the U.N. ambassador, apparently because they think she's an easy target, then they've got a problem with me," he told reporters.
Retail sales fell in October, for the first time in several months. Analysts largely blamed the hurricane. If they're right, sales will bounce back this month and the economic recovery will continue (slowly, slowly).
That's the big picture. To get a sense of the small picture β messier, more ambiguous β I visited three small businesses on Cross Bay Boulevard, in Howard Beach, Queens. The storm swept in here and flooded the neighborhood.
Within the next two decades, the United States may barely need any oil from the Persian Gulf, due in large part to increased domestic production. That dramatic shift could shake the foundation of U.S. interests in the Middle East.
Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 8:29 am
"PIGS" are a hot topic in Germany's capital.
Attend any press briefing about how German Chancellor Angela Merkel is going to solve the European debt crisis, and you're likely to hear that acronym, which stands for "Portugal, Ireland (or Italy), Greece and Spain."
But recently, pigs of an altogether different variety made headlines in Berlin.
We're heading toward that time of year when self-help industry publishers rub their hands together in anticipation. The holiday season and the inevitable New Year's resolutions that follow tend to turn our minds toward happiness β getting it, keeping it and maintaining it. But journalist Oliver Burkeman says whatever your plan, you are most likely doing it wrong.
Food banks in New York and New Jersey were already hard-pressed to meet the demands of families struggling with a bad economy. Add to that a natural disaster and the upcoming holidays, and they're looking at a whole new set of challenges.
Preparation did help some organizations. Five days before Superstorm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore, the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties got its new generator up and running. Thank goodness for that, says Executive Director Carlos Rodriguez.
Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood are celebrating 50 years of The Rolling Stones this year. The band released a compilation today titled GRRR!, which spans five decades of work, plus two new songs.
Many people keep cremated remains in an urn on the mantle or scatter their loved one's ashes over a sacred place.
Now, a company has pioneered a new twist: putting cremated remains into ammunition.
For $850, Holy Smoke will take cremated remains and put them into various types of shotgun shells and bullets for rifle and pistol shooters. The Stockton, Ala., company was started a year ago by two state game wardens.
Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 3:20 pm
For months, demonstrations have been popping up on otherwise quiet residential streets across Spain. The protesters form human chains, forcibly blocking bailiffs from evicting residents who've fallen behind on their mortgages. Sometimes the protests turn violent.
The demonstrations are another sign of just how pinched people are feeling as Spain's economic crisis continues to roil. With Spanish unemployment above 25 percent, hundreds of people have been losing their homes each day.
Germany, the economic engine of Europe, has been a key player in bailing out the Continent's most troubled economies.
Yet there are places in the former West Germany β like Oberhausen β that are struggling with their own debt problems, even as they pay hefty sums to revitalize former East German cities with transfers known as "Solidarity Pact" payments.
Many veterans aren't just looking for a job; they're looking for a career, a calling and, of course, financial stability. Those recently separated from the military have to confront what is still a fairly weak civilian job market.
Ferry service into Manhattan started Monday for the Rockaway section of Queens, one of the hardest-hit New York City neighborhoods after Superstorm Sandy. Many residents are still feeling cut off, struggling without power or adequate public transportation options. And now worries about mold are creeping in.
But the new ferries were a small consolation for the trickle of commuters who trudged onto Manhattan soil for the first time in two weeks. Some of them, like Sheila Curran, were grinning all the way down the plank.
Many farmers want their farms to be located close to a city - especially organic farmers who'd like to sell their produce at big urban farmers markets. But the price of land within range of a big city is sky high and only getting higher.
Most small farmers buy their land, but some are now looking to lease in suburban or exurban areas. And to do that, they're using something straight out of Fiddler On The Roof: A matchmaker.
Uncertainty is gripping Afghanistan as the clock ticks toward the withdrawal of NATO combat troops by the end of 2014.
People and money are leaving the country. Housing prices are falling. Construction is slowing down. Many Afghans are trying to be hopeful, but even the most optimistic admit that a number of troubling variables could determine what post-2014 Afghanistan looks like.
The Panjshir Valley, some 60 miles north of Kabul, is one of the most scenic places in Afghanistan. The Panjshir River winds its way through barren mountains.
As part of Virginia's waiver to opt out of mandates set out in the No Child Left Behind law, the state has created a controversial new set of education goals that are higher for white and Asian kids than for blacks, Latinos and students with disabilities.
Virginia Democratic state Sen. Donald McEachin first read about the state's new performance goals for schoolchildren in a newspaper editorial.
Daily Show host Jon Stewart recently called writer Jon Ronson an investigative satirist. As Ronson himself puts it: "I go off and I have unfolding adventures with people in shadowy places. I guess I tell funny stories about serious things."
Ronson has collected many of these stories in his new book, Lost at Sea. He talks to Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about the characters and places he has encountered along the way.
Housing is always in short supply in New York City, and Superstorm Sandy just made things much worse. The government is paying hotel costs for many of those displaced, while others are staying with friends and family.
That still leaves many people still looking for a spare bedroom, and some are now turning to the social networking website Airbnb β a site that matches people seeking vacation rentals β to find a place to stay.
One scene has become increasingly common amid Spain's economic crisis: Thousands of people, many of them immigrants, are searching trash dumpsters by night. Some scour the garbage for food, but many others are involved in a black-market trade for recycled materials.
The scavengers have slowly become a sad fixture in many barrios across Spain, like the well-dressed, middle-aged man on a Barcelona street corner on a recent night. He averts his eyes from onlookers as he reaches his arm down deep into a dumpster.
Each year around this time, weekends on All Things Considered welcomes world music DJ Betto Arcos onto the show to share some of his favorite nominees from this Latin Grammys, the 2012 installment of which is coming up next week. Arcos hosts the program Global Village on KPFK in Los Angeles; his picks include singer-songwriters from Mexico and Brazil, a Chilean rapper and a Puerto Rican-American jazz saxophonist.
One hundred fifty years ago today, Giuseppe Verdi first mounted his opera La Forza del Destino ("The Force of Destiny") on a stage in St. Petersburg, Russia. Today, La Forza is considered one of Verdi's masterpieces, but it wasn't always that way. The story of Don Alvaro, whose love for the aristocratic Leonora incurs the wrath of her family, is violent and chaotic, and it flopped on its first run.
Nickelback. The name itself is musical shorthand for everything music aficionados love to hate about modern rock.
But with more than 50 million record sales worldwide and a lead singer who earns $10 million a year, the band is laughing all the way to the bank β as reporter Ben Paynter describes in Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine.