The battle over the national debt and fiscal responsibility has been joined. President Obama laid out his own idea of a path to prosperity Wednesday, countering a rival plan set forth last week by Rep. Paul Ryan (R), the chairman of the House Budget Committee. The plans share important similarities: big spending cuts, a form of automatic trigger if Congress fails to act, and reforms to entitlements like Medicare. But the contrasts are clear and significant. Here are five prominent differences between President Obama's and Congressman Ryan's plans on deficits and debt:
Americans might like to think of themselves as the world's hardest workers, but a new report ranks them ninth in terms of working hours when placed alongside 28 nations, including China, India, and South Africa. The study, released April 12 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, found that Americans work about 15 minutes more per day than the average 8 hours worldwide. Chinese work about eight minutes longer per day than Americans. Belgians work the least, at seven hours a day. Here's a quick glance at the top five longest-working nations, which has some surprising members.
It was 150 years ago this week that Confederate troops fired on a federal fort in Charleston harbor and began the violent four-year struggle in which Americans raised arms against Americans. The history books can tell us much about the trauma of war, but for those who prefer the emotional truths that can be conveyed by a good novel, here are 10 classic stories of the US Civil War.
For three years, 29 institutions competed for a (very large) piece of NASA history. On Tuesday, Charles Bolden, administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, named the four cities that will house the space shuttles Atlantis, Discovery, Endeavour, and Enterprise. To make it to their new homes, the vehicles will hitch rides on the backs of 747 jumbo jets. Each institution will pay $29 million to cover the space shuttle preparation and transportation costs. Here are the cities that won.
France issued its first ticket to a woman wearing an Islamic veil on Monday, the day a national ban on face coverings in public took effect. The new law is among a number of legal and political moves across Europe targeting Islam amid a growing debate over multiculturalism. Here are five recent actions taken regarding Islam in the public sphere.
Celebrating its 16th anniversary this year, the Orange Prize for Fiction honors "excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world." Last year's winner was American author Barbara Kingsolver for her novel "The Lacuna." The 2011 award will be announced on June 8, 2011, and the winner will be one of these six novelists.
Chinese authorities have cracked down on dissent in hopes of preventing a popular uprising in China like those that have erupted in the Middle East. Sweeping arrests of prominent dissidents have been part of the campaign and have earned the Chinese government widespread internal and international criticism. Who are some of these activists being put behind bars?
Every year at this time the American Library Association compiles its list of "most frequently challenged" library books from the past year. The 2010 list includes some titles carried over from previous years (No. 1 on the list, "And Tango Makes Three," has appeared on the top of the "most challenged" list every year since its 2005 publication) and some new ones (including No. 5, teen bestseller "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, causing The Washington Post to comment that making the list has become "a virtual rite of passage for young adult sensations.") Here are the 10 books on the top of the 2010 list.
It's no secret that, in the realm of literature, crime pays – big time. And, according to a study cited in The Guardian, American mystery writers receive a particularly staggering payoff for their work. (Totals include book sales, box office returns, license fees, and company accounts.) Here are America's top-ten best compensated mystery writers.
The mail will still go through, as will Social Security payments, veterans benefits, and military pay. Federal employees will still direct plane traffic, inspect food, and prosecute crime. By its own estimates, the federal government represents about 8 percent of the United States economy, so the economic impact of a long government shutdown would eventually affect just about everybody. Even in the short term, some groups will notice. Ironically, some of those who will be affected most are those who like government least. Here's a look at four such groups:
More Americans became entrepreneurs in the past two years than at any other time in the past 15 years, according to the Kauffman Foundation. But if you’re considering leaving your day job to take the leap into entrepreneurship, first learn the facts behind these Top 5 myths about starting a business:
With the news of Glenn Beck leaving Fox officially announced, it's time to reflect. The host has packed a lot of wallop in just two-plus years at Fox News. Conspiracy theories, apocalyptic predictions, and just plain eyebrow-raising statements have kept the folks at Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog group, busy. They track his show (along with many others) and take notes. Now that the show “Glenn Beck” is ending later this year, Media Matters has opened its files and shared some of the most noteworthy moments. We’ve whittled the list down to the 10 most controversial things Mr. Beck has said on Fox – so far, at least. It bears noting that Beck has a lot of followers, who admire his populist conservative critique of the Obama era. His Facebook page has more than 1.8 million fans -- coincidentally, the same number of viewers he had as of January (down from 2.9 million in January 2010). Whether those fans believe his every word is hard to tell. But, like any good showman, he knows how to draw a crowd.
Portugal announced today that it would seek a bailout from the European Union, becoming the fourth country in western Europe to request a financial rescue package. All eyes are now on Spain, the last of the so-called PIGS (an acronym for Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain, the least economically robust members of the eurozone) to not request a bailout. Here's a look at the financial rescue packages for each nation.
Tax advice comes in many forms: from IRS forms, accountants, and tax preparers. So do you need a computer to fill out your forms? Most low- and middle-class Americans qualify to use tax software for free. But if you have to pay for it, is the software worth it? Here are a five questions to help you decide:
Ivory Coast’s long-anticipated Nov. 28 presidential election was meant to help the country move beyond its deep divisions. Instead, the vote fueled a political stalemate that sucked the country back into civil war.More than four months after voters elected President Alassane Ouattara, renegade incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo still refuses to step down even though rebel forces have now confined him to a bunker beneath the presidential residence. Hundreds of Ivorians have died in increasingly heavy fighting that included attacks this week by the United Nations and France. How did a simple vote turn into this? There are a number of reasons that go back years, even decades.
Targeted attacks are the trend in cyberspace. Six months ago, the world's first cyber superweapon – Stuxnet – was discovered to be targeting Iran's nuclear facilities. This week millions of e-mail addresses were reported stolen from Epsilon, a firm that supplies e-mail marketing to BestBuy, Disney, and many others. The two highlight a trend toward precision among those that create malicious software. Epsilon's information will help hackers craft very specific "phishing" e-mails that are far more subtle, experts say. Here are five emerging targets for precision attacks:
The Bugaboo Donkey stroller is being released this month in the US. The Dutch-made stroller has up to a $1,660 price tag and a long waiting list of customers. But it's not the only high-end buggy on the market. Here are five boutique strollers that make a fashion statement for the mothers who can afford them:
The famous Chinese artist and political dissident Ai Weiwei hasn’t been heard from since his arrest Sunday by Chinese authorities. The disappearance of Mr. Ai, who uses his art to express political dissent, is just one of a slew of recent arrests by the Chinese government in what seems to be a bid to prevent protests inspired by the Middle East uprisings to China. Ai has long been at odds with the Chinese government, and this isn’t the first confrontation. What has made Ai a marked man in China?
House Republicans are attempting to shape US environmental policy by attaching to their 2011 spending plans so-called "riders" that would target regulations ranging from greenhouse gases to mining. The White House and Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada oppose the riders, making it unlikely they will become law. But they remain in play as the House and Senate negotiate on spending and try to avoid a government shutdown this week.
The controversial Goldstone Report, the result of a UN fact finding mission following allegations of human rights violations during the 2008 to 2009 Israel-Gaza conflict, is under scrutiny again. In a column published April 1 in The Washington Post, Richard Goldstone, the South African judge who led the mission, retracted one of the most contested findings of the group’s September 2009 report. “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document,” he wrote. What findings makes this nonbinding UN report such a flashpoint?
For the second consecutive season, ticket prices stayed relatively flat in Major League Baseball, according to a new survey by Team Marketing Report. The average ticket price across all 30 teams is $26.91, which is only a 1.2 percent increase from last season. That percentage represents the lowest year over year increase since the company's Fan Cost Index debuted in 1991. Here are some of highlights of which teams charge the most and the least for tickets, hot dogs, and parking: