US home prices fell 1 percent in November compared with the previous month, according to a widely followed 20-city index released by Standard & Poor's Tuesday. It's the latest sign that, five years after home prices peaked, the housing market remains an important weak link in the economy. Still, housing experts say 2011 could be a pivotal year when home prices bottom out and a more stable environment begins to emerge. Here's a look at the key issues.
Noticed a chill in the air? You're not alone. A blast of subzero temperatures has swept the Northeast, closing schools, stalling cars, and collectively freezing billions of nose hairs. The coldest temperature on Monday was recorded in New York's Adirondack Mountains, where Lake Saranac saw a low of –36°F. Boston woke up to temperatures of –2°F, actually colder than parts of the Arctic Circle. Many Americans outside the Northeast weren't much warmer. Even Tallahassee, Fla., saw temperatures drop to 25°F. Outside the US, South Koreans are seeing the lowest temperatures in almost a century, prompting the government to require public agencies to keep the thermostat set below 64°F to save energy. Still, these temperatures are downright balmy when compared to some places on Earth. Here's a list of sites that will make today seem like T-shirt weather.
Al Jazeera’s trove of documents on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, which the news organization has dubbed the “Palestine Papers,” landed with a resounding thud on desks in Jerusalem and Ramallah yesterday. Al Jazeera has so far only released some of the documents, which appear to come from the Palestinian side. Though Palestinian officials allege that some of the documents are faked, here are a few of the claims they contain that are already making waves in regional capitals.
Jack LaLanne, the 'Godfather of Fitness,' died on Sunday at the age of 96. He often marked milestones by putting his fitness and athleticism to the test. We remember Jack LaLanne by looking back at his five most amazing feats.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has moved from a Tucson, Ariz., hospital to the next phase of her recovery: rehabilitation. The Arizona Democrat has already shown signs of affection, determination, and appreciation for public support as she embarks on the comeback trail after being shot in the head two weeks ago. It's a difficult road, but one that others in the public eye have also walked. Here's a look at Giffords and five other profiles in perseverance. It can't claim to be a "Top 5" list, but the people exemplify grace and courage in the face of extreme adversity.
In 2009, the average American driver spent 34 hours stuck in rush-hour traffic and lost out on $808 because of it, says a new study. Check out the 10 worst cities for drivers during peak hours (6 to 10 a.m., and 3 to 7 p.m.), as ranked by the 2010 Urban Mobility Report from Texas A&M University.
After fulfilling a campaign pledge to vote to repeal last year's health-care reform law, House Republicans are setting a blistering pace to move new legislation to cut the size and scope of government, including bills that have stoked partisan fires in the past. Here are four key measures to watch.
Is there a young mystery aficionado in your life? He or she is sure to love at least one of these five imaginative, engaging books nominated for the 2011 Edgar Award for best juvenile mystery.
The FBI announced the biggest anti-Mafia operation in its history Thursday. In all, 127 people allegedly linked to the mob were arrested. Here are the stories of four of the biggest mobsters ever arrested.
Sometimes truth really is stranger (and scarier!) than fiction. Here are the 2011 Edgar Award nominees for best true crime book.
In the wake of the Tucson shootings, Congress was, briefly, awash in talk of the need for a more civil, less caustic tone in politics. This week’s vote to repeal health-care reform, President Obama’s signature domestic achievement, provided a formidable test – and produced mixed results. Here are five ways to break it down.
Outside the posh hotel where Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier has lodged since unexpectedly returning to Haiti on Jan. 16, supporters of the former dictator have gathered in a show of support, some of them yelling: “The revolution is going to start!” They seemed drawn by nostalgia and embellished memories of the Duvalier era, which lasted for nearly 30 years. “Baby Doc” Duvalier became the successor to the regime in 1971 when at the age of 19 he took over from his father, "Papa Doc" François Duvalier (indeed, he started off as a physician). As the following five slides attest, Baby Doc's infamy precedes him.
Travel the world through these three new books just released this month. In them, the Dalai Lama flees Tibet to save his followers, three men grapple with the past in post-war Sierra Leone, and an Indian-American returns to the country his parents left.
Questions are cropping up about the appropriateness of calling Tunisia's uprising the "Jasmine Revolution" – stemming from the fact that the term has been used in reference to Syria in 2005 and even the path that brought ousted Tunisian President Ben Ali to power. But the moniker could stick, at least partially because it's become a tradition of sorts to name the revolutions of the 2000s after colors and flowers and even household items. Here's an overview of some of the popular revolutions – and their nicknames – that preceded Tunisia's ... whatever you want to call it:
It's Edgar Allen Poe's 202nd birthday and that means that it's time for the announcement of the 2011 Edgar Award nominees as selected by The Mystery Writers of America. These five books are the nominees for best mystery novel. All Edgar award winners will be announced on April 28.
What's selling best in independent bookstores across America.
Hu Jintao will be the guest of President Obama this week for what some US-China experts are calling the most important US visit by a Chinese leader since Deng Xiaoping’s groundbreaking trip in 1979. The intrigue then was around the opening-up of the communist giant. But some three decades later the focus is very different, as China becomes an increasingly active and self-confident player both in the international economy and on the global diplomatic stage. Here are seven key questions pertaining to US-China relations in light of President Hu's visit:
Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States. The civil rights leader was also one of the most famed orators in American history. Here are a collection of 10 MLK quotes.
The Alex Awards are given each year to 10 adult books judged most likely to appeal to teen audiences. Here are the 2011 winners: zombies, vampires, and lemon cake – oh my!
What better way to honor Dr. King than to learn more about his life and legacy?
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards recognize African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults. The following titles are aptly crafted to shed light on real issues even as they engage young literary minds.
President Obama, at the Jan. 12 memorial for victims of the mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz, urged the nation to move beyond finger-pointing to healing, constructive conversation. How do you do that? Laura Chasin, founder of The Public Conversations Project, an organization that helps individuals, organizations, and communities converse constructively on issues of conflict, offers pointers for breaking the argument habit.
If you're wondering how financial planner Charles Failla sees the next decade of investing and beyond, consider this: Both his 3-year-old son and 18-month-old daughter are studying Mandarin. "That gives you some idea about my conviction on emerging markets," says Mr. Failla, principal at Sovereign Financial Group in New York. While the "jury is still out on the US – which has a lot of problems to fix – I am very optimistic about China and India over the next 20 years." There's plenty of advice about what investors should do for 2011. But where do financial pros suggest you put your money through 2020? Here are five themes for the new decade:
The Michael L. Printz Award is given for excellence in literature written for young adults. Dark, challenging, compelling – these are books that pack a punch even as they keep young readers turning the pages.
The collapse of Lebanon's coalition government has pushed the country, once again, to the brink of upheaval. The heavily-armed Hezbollah is furious that Prime Minister Saad Hariri is coperating with a United Nations tribunal investigating the assassination of his father Rafik. Here's what the tribunal is all about, and why Hezbollah opposes it: