Many Americans across the US were feeling the heat Monday, but how hot is it? The National Weather Service issued heat-related advisories for residents in 17 states, forecasting temperatures close to 100 degrees F. in the central and southern plains, and the middle and lower Mississippi Valley. In some parts of those regions, it will feel as hot as 115 degrees. Conditions are expected to continue into Tuesday. So far, the heat wave at hand is nowhere near as severe as the worst recorded since 1980, when the National Climate Data Center began compiling such data. Here is a look at the five deadliest US heat waves/droughts since then.
On July 9, South Sudan became the world’s newest country when it separated from the North. It now needs to accomplish a host of nation-building steps big and small. From the new country’s to-do list:
The Obama administration has announced that it is suspending, and in some cases ending, millions of dollars in aid to the Pakistani military. The decision comes after substantial debate about whether that money is being used in the way that the US intended – a question raised in the wake of the American military raid that ended with Osama bin Laden's death.
Royal newlyweds William and Kate have a busy, business-first itinerary for their three-day visit to southern California, which begins Friday. If they had asked us, we’d have given them these 10 tips for how to savor the SoCal experience. For every obvious tourist gambit, we’ve thrown in some insider info about where to pan for the best Angeleno cultural gold.
Several civil-rights groups sued the state of Alabama Friday to block what some observers say is the toughest anti-illegal-immigration law to date. Among other things, it mandates that primary and secondary schools check residency status of students. Federal lawsuits have now been filed against the five states that have passed such laws during the past 15 months. The rulings that have come down, which have all been against the laws, have been appealed by the states' attorneys general in the hope that the Supreme Court will take up the issue. Here is the legal state of play for all five state laws:
When NASA's space shuttles launch into orbit, they don't just carry astronauts and supplies into the final frontier. There's a lot of other weird stuff that makes the out-of-this-world journey, too. NASA's last space shuttle mission will launch Friday, July 8 on the Atlantis orbiter to deliver spare parts to the International Space Station. The mission will be the 135th and last flight for the program, which began in 1981. But over the course of 30 years, the space shuttles have flown some peculiar objects into orbit. The list of odd stuff that flew aboard the shuttles is a long one, and includes the Olympic torch, a replica of the golden spike from the First Transcontinental Railroad, and rocks from the top of Mount Everest and the surface of the moon, just to name a few. Here nine recent space oddities carried into orbit on NASA shuttles:
On Saturday, after decades of civil war and almost two centuries of rule by outsiders, South Sudan will finally become an independent state. Here's a look at the road the fledgling nation has traveled to get to where it is today.
Seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong isn't riding this year, but there are plenty of other fast Americans in the race. Here are six of them, with their team affiliations:
Here are 10 interesting facts that I didn't know about Mickey Mantle but learned from reading “The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood," by Jane Leavy.
Car repair -- just like other aspects of car ownership -- is getting expensive. So car owners are getting creative in driving down car repair costs. One way is that they buy their own auto parts. That's no surprise for do-it-yourselfers. But even people who don't do their own maintenance are buying parts and taking them to their mechanic or repair shop for installation. The trend appears to be growing. An October 2010 survey by my company, AutoMD.com, found that 90 percent of car owners (who rely on mechanics) would buy their own auto parts and take them to the repair shop if they could save money. Here are four tips to do it the right way:
Surprise! It turns out America's problem with runaway budget deficits is solvable, after all. That, at least, is the opinion of some prominent think thanks that have been offering ready-made blueprints. As Republicans and Democrats seek to boost the limit on federal borrowing while reining in future deficits, here are six proposals, ranging from liberal to conservative, that grew out of a "solutions initiative" sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
What's selling best in independent bookstores across America?
Some of this summer's most interesting books will take you places – all the way from the moon to Korea to the seemingly placid Midwest, and from tales of masked vigilantes to the inside workings of the Church of Scientology. Here are five of the July 2011 titles that are drawing the most enthusiastic thumbs-up from the editors at Amazon.com.
Affordable colleges might be easier to track down now with a new online tool out from the US Department of Education, which compares the cost of attending different kinds of institutions. We put together a list of the most and least expensive 4-year or longer institutions, in three categories: public institutions, not-for-profit institutions, and for-profit institutions. Prices are based on the "net cost" of each, which is the average price after grants or scholarship aid is subtracted from the total cost of attendance. Often, the average net cost is quite different from an institution's listed tuition. The numbers here are based on costs for the 2008-2009 academic year.
Thaddeus McCotter, the GOP’s surprise dark horse, is stirring up the race. The five-term Michigan congressman declared his candidacy for president on July 2 in his home state. A Beatles-loving, guitar-playing son of the heartland, Representative McCotter has strong conservative credentials and populist appeal. But there’s a problem. Thaddeus who?
Sexual assault cases rank among the most difficult to prosecute, as the one against ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is demonstrating. Held under house arrest since being charged with sexual assault of a maid at a New York hotel, the French politician was released on his own recognizance Friday amid questions about his accuser’s credibility. The “he said, she said” nature of such cases is one complicating factor (as is getting victims to report sexual assaults in the first place). But so are prosecutorial zeal, power politics, personal troubles of accusers, and even false accusation. Here are five high-profile sex-crime cases that fell apart, in which one or more of those factors played a role.
Two of the most popular summer book genres are mystery and travel, and there's no better way to enjoy both than by reading detective novels set in foreign locations. Check out this list to learn about seven series that will keep you on the edge of your beach chair – all summer long.
Is world travel on your horizon this year? Bringing the right credit card is as fundamental as packing the right wardrobe. While there are great benefits to using plastic abroad – such as travel assistance and fraud protection – the cards’ foreign transaction fees can eat into your travel budget. And traditional magnetic strip credit cards aren't universally accepted overseas anymore. Picking the right card for a foreign trip depends on the perks you’re looking for, the fees you’re willing to pay, and the kind of credit you have. Here are Credit Karma’s Top 5 credit cards for world travel:
If Defense Secretary Robert Gates feels any twinge of wistfulness when he departs the Pentagon on Thursday, it probably won't last long. Even during the Bush years, Mr. Gates spoke often of the clock in his office by which he counted down the days until he could retire to his beloved Washington State. When President Obama asked him to stay on as defense secretary, Gates made no secret that he did so out of public duty, not an affinity for Washington, D.C. But Washington insiders certainly had an affinity for Gates. Here are three reasons America’s longest-serving secretary of Defense will be missed – and legacies that many hope will last after he's gone.
This summer, many teens are working summer jobs and, perhaps for the first time, earning money that doesn’t’ come from family. It’s an exciting feeling of independence – and a key time to learn the basics of money management. That’s where parents come in. Even if communicating with your teenagers about money is sometimes difficult, it is natural for you to be involved because their income from summer jobs will have tax implications for you. Here are three easy financial lessons to teach your teens this summer:
The economy may be looking better for some states this year, but budget woes are a challenge from east to west. In its fifth annual ranking of America’s Top States for Business, CNBC for the first time took into account state budget gaps among the 43 metrics that go into its rankings. That made for some interesting changes this year, with last year's Nos. 1, 3, and 5 states falling while other states climbed in rank. Here are the Top 5 states for business:
What's selling best in independent bookstores across America?
From Dodge City to Shanghai to a summer home in Maine, here are three of our favorite fiction recommendations for good summer reading.
Amazon's editors pick their top 10 books of the year so far.
For some quality bonding time with your family this summer, pop in one of these family classics from the last decade that are sure to delight toddlers, teens, and parents alike.