Some of America's fastest-growing cities were the last to slip into the recession. Now they are hoping to harness their momentum and slingshot their way out of it. New Orleans, Louisiana topped the list in percentage terms, reflecting continued rebuilding after hurricane Katrina. Charlie Varley/Sipa Press/Newscom/FILE
Until recently, Round Rock, Texas was a one-trick pony. The world headquarters of Dell Computers, the city basked in sales tax largess and job-creation from one of America's most popular computer manufacturers. Today, the city is seeing the largest-ever expansion of the Austin Community College District and is awaiting the opening of the Texas A&M Health Science Center. It's also working with developers to energize its sleepy downtown. AFP/DELL/Newscom/FILE
The US Census Bureau estimated Cary, North Carolina's 2000 population at 94,536, but estimates that the city has ballooned to a population of 134,000 since. The town's largest employer is the SAS Institute, the largest privately-held software company in the world. Erich Fabricius/Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License
Gilbert, Arizona, the former Hay Capital of the World has grown rapidly from 15,000 in the early 80s to 180,000 currently. Robert Harbison/staff/FILE
McKinney, Texas is one of several fast-growing communities outside of Dallas and was named the fastest growing city in America from 2000 to 2003 and again in 2006 by the US Census Bureau. Newscom/FILE
Roseville, California, located outside Sacramento is home to over 100,000 people, many of whom work for the medical industry. Newscom/FILE
Irvine, California is a planned city, home to over 212,000 people. The FBI reported in 2008 that the city had the lowest violent crime rate among cities of over 100,000 people. Newscom/FILE
Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina, home to an estimated 385,000 people. The population has grown considerably since the 2000 census estimate of 276,000. Karen Tam/staff/FILE
Killeen, Texas is located adjacent to Fort Hood and its fast-growing economy is heavily dependant on the base and soldiers. Zuma/Newscom/FILE
Fort Worth, Texas is the country's 17th largest city, and its population has grown to over 720,000 from an estimated 534,694 in 2000. Newscom/FILE
North Korean officials made a rare appearance to defend the country's human rights record at a UN event featuring the testimonies of North Korean refugees. The UN Security Council is considering referring North Korea's alleged violations to the International Criminal Court.
ByCara Anna, Associated Press
"A few honeyed words" by North Korea as it tries to avoid a referral to the International Criminal Court has not changed the human rights situation on the ground there, the head of a U.N. commission of inquiry on the North told reporters Wednesday.