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  • Europe travel alert: Eight steps Americans can take

    Europe travel alert: Eight steps Americans can take

    You have booked tickets for the Paris International Photo Fair or perhaps your son is already in Berlin studying German. Now that the US State Department has issued a “travel advisory” for Europe, what should you do? Cancel the trip? Bring junior home? Professional travel advisers say it is too soon to hit the panic button. Here are eight things you can consider doing:

  • Top 10 Ways Obama Can Boost His Popularity with Younger Voters

    Top 10 Ways Obama Can Boost His Popularity with Younger Voters

    On Wednesday night, David Letterman gave viewers the "Top 10 Ways Obama Can Boost His Popularity with Younger Voters," on "The Late Show." President Barack Obama's been courting youth all week. He's visited the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisc., shared his iPod playlist with "Rolling Stone," and called for education reforms such as a longer school year. Really? Shortening the Summer vacation is going to win over the youth vote? Obama apparently not only needs to energize the Democratic party as a whole, he's got to reconnect and ignite the young Democrats that helped get him elected in 2008. A recent ABC/Washington Post Poll found that only 55 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds say they are “absolutely certain” to go to the polls this year, as opposed to 78 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds and 77 percent of those over age 65. Enter Letterman. His satirical adjustments, include changing Obama's name to Bajustin Obieber, might be more of a crowd pleaser than a "Yes we can" chant. We think the Justin Bieber crowd may be a bit too young to vote. But you decide. Check out our photo illustrations of Letterman's recommendations for connecting with young voters.

  • The Flintstones turns 50: The five dumbest moments

    The Flintstones turns 50: The five dumbest moments

    The Flintstones is a classic. Fifty years after the show first aired, Fred, Wilma, and the gang are still popular enough to gain a seat atop Google's homepage. But their place in the cartoon pantheon doesn't mean that they're infallible. The Flintstones did some pretty stupid things in their day. Here are five of the dumbest. Click through to read them all.

  • 3 promising books for October

    3 promising books for October

    It's fall – when our thoughts turn to books. If you're looking for some good literary companionship for these shorter days and longer nights, here are three attractive titles coming this October.

  • Bestselling books the week of Sept. 30, 2010, according to IndieBound*

    Bestselling books the week of Sept. 30, 2010, according to IndieBound*

  • Fisher-Price recall: Here's a list of what's included

    Fisher-Price recall: Here's a list of what's included

    Fisher-Price recalled almost 11 million toys and children's products on Sept. 30. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission warns parents and caregivers to keep children away from the affected toys. Fisher-Price has detailed information at this website on how to get free replacement parts or repair kits for the toys. Here's a list of the recalled items:

  • 6 great books about the loss of Lincoln

    6 great books about the loss of Lincoln

    The laughter rippled across Ford's Theatre as a character on stage let loose with a zinger: "You sockdologizing old man-trap!" John Wilkes Booth knew the audience would guffaw in delight, so that's when he fired his gun at the president of the United States. But people heard the noise anyway: "Pop!" Then there was chaos. An assassination, one of several planned that night in the nation's capital, had succeeded. What happened and why? Six captivating books from the last decade – including the newly released "Bloody Crimes" by the bestselling author of "Manhunt" – fill in the gaps and track Abraham Lincoln's legacy.

  • Meg Whitman and the perils of employing illegal help: six memorable cases

    Meg Whitman and the perils of employing illegal help: six memorable cases

    Meg Whitman, California GOP gubernatorial candidate, is alleged to have employed a housekeeper from 2000 to 2009 even though she knew the woman was in the US illegally. It's a political bombshell for Ms. Whitman. The politics of household employment and immigration have proved tricky before. Here are six prominent cases, plus the allegations against Whitman.

  • Tea Party 101: Who are its followers and what do they want?

    Tea Party 101: Who are its followers and what do they want?

    Of all the protest signs at all the rallies where people gathered last year to object to Washington's plans to save the US economy and reform healthcare, this hand-lettered one is memorable: "You can't fix stupid, but you can vote it out." That's the "tea party" movement in a nutshell. Here's a look at the tea party movement – its birth, its leadership, and its aspirations.

  • Banned Books Week: Why these 10 classics got kicked out of class

    Banned Books Week: Why these 10 classics got kicked out of class

    Is this is a roundup of objectionable literature – or a Great Books roster? The same titles that some call great literature others find to be filthy, bad, or dangerous. Here are a handful of the often surprising – and sometimes downright baffling – reasons that objectors around the world wanted to ban these books.

  • Stephen Colbert and laughable politics: Five comedians who ran for office

    Stephen Colbert and laughable politics: Five comedians who ran for office

    American politics have been the subject of satire since before the country's founding – a political cartoon depicting a snake cut into eight parts, representing eight American colonial governments, ran in Benjamin Franklin's newspaper in 1754. These days the US benefits from a healthy dose of humorous political commentary, but when the jokers run for political office (jokingly of course, right?) some funny things can happen. Here are five memorable ones.

  • West Bank settlements: 3 factors affecting the pace of Israeli expansion

    West Bank settlements: 3 factors affecting the pace of Israeli expansion

    West Bank settlements were under a 10-month Israeli construction freeze which expired Sunday night, putting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority at risk. Here is a breakdown of where and when settlement expansion is happening.

  • 9 states ban cellphone use while driving. Is yours on the list?

    9 states ban cellphone use while driving. Is yours on the list?

    Nine states plus the District of Colombia now ban the use of a cellphone by adults while driving. But in some states, police must have another reason to stop drivers before citing them for using a cellphone. Many more states restrict or prohibit the use of cellphones by teenagers. Some cities have moved on the issue without the state legislatures. For example, Chicago, Detroit, and Oahu, Hawaii, have cellphone and driving bans now, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Text messaging while driving is specifically banned now in 30 states. Where can't you use a cellphone? Check out the list and the kind of restrictions.

  • Bestselling books the week of 9/23/10, according to IndieBound*

    Bestselling books the week of 9/23/10, according to IndieBound*

    What's selling best in independent bookstores across America.

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's top 5 quotes to the UN, 2005-2009

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's top 5 quotes to the UN, 2005-2009

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech to the UN General Assembly today marks his sixth appearance. From 'nuclear apartheid' to 'bad hijab,' here are highlights of Mr. Ahmadinejad's five previous visits to the General Assembly.

  • 7 most controversial UN speeches, from Ahmadinejad to Khrushchev

    7 most controversial UN speeches, from Ahmadinejad to Khrushchev

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, slated to speak to the UN General Assembly today, is not the only world leader to have delivered infamous remarks.

  • Top 5 Millennium Development Goal success stories

    Top 5 Millennium Development Goal success stories

    Ten years ago, at the crack of a new millennium, the United Nations gave the world's poorest countries 15 years to halve their poverty rates, reverse the spread of AIDS, enroll 100 percent of their children in elementary schools, and give 100 percent of their pregnant women access to medical care. Since then, these Millennium Development Goals have been the benchmarks for aid agencies, and the yardstick against which democracies and autocrats alike can measure their progress. A decade into the program, analysts concede that many of these ambitious goals won't be reached. But which ones might? Who's winning the race to 2015?

  • 5 key people to watch in North Korea

    5 key people to watch in North Korea

    The struggle to name a successor to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il appears likely to climax in a historic conference next week. The conference, the first in 44 years, is slated for Sept. 28. Debate among North Korea’s leaders over anointment of Mr. Kim’s third son, Kim Jong-un, is widely believed to have delayed the meeting. Just because delegates will be gathering for the conference is no guarantee that it will end in announcement of a leadership lineup. Whatever the outcome, it is certain to provide fodder for speculation about the future of North Korea after Kim leaves the scene. As North Korea heads into this meeting, here is a good idea of who might be in positions of power after Kim Jong-il steps down:

  • Christine O'Donnell and Sarah Palin: Top 5 comedic comparisons

    Christine O'Donnell and Sarah Palin: Top 5 comedic comparisons

    What do Christine O'Donnell and Sarah Palin have in common? You mean, aside from the obvious? "Just give [O'Donnell] bangs and a pair of rimmed glasses and she'd be a dead ringer for..." Jon Stewart said on his show, flashing side by side photos of the two women after O'Donnell's victory in the Delaware Senate primaries last week. Political commentators can't resist the comparison, not just on where O'Donnell and Palin stand on the issues, but in other aspects as well, especially considering Sarah Palin's endorsement and mentoring of what many are calling her own "Mini-me." Why should comedians be any different?

  • Five things Obama will do at the UN

    Five things Obama will do at the UN

    President Obama hasn’t had much time lately for anything other than the economy, jobs, and maybe a little worrying about the midterm elections. But he’ll focus a good chunk of this week on foreign affairs when he decamps Washington for the United Nations in New York, spending the better part of three days – from Wednesday afternoon to Friday evening – on many of the bigger issues on his international plate. Here are five things Mr. Obama will do while in New York.

  • 3 fall novels you don't want to miss

    3 fall novels you don't want to miss

    Tickets to Europe being out of the budget for most of us as the Great Recession outstays its welcome (go away, already!), armchair travel may have never had more to recommend it. New novels set in Siena, Italy; Dublin, Ireland; and one of London’s most famous tourist attractions offer a chance for readers to peer inside areas usually cordoned off to visitors. And you could buy all three for less than it would cost a family to check their bags.

  • Can 'The Town' be top of the Hub? Top 5 Boston-based movies

    Can 'The Town' be top of the Hub? Top 5 Boston-based movies

    The Red Sox may be struggling to make the playoffs this season, but Boston is a perennial box-office favorite. The latest Boston-based film to hit silver screens is "The Town," starring and directed by local boy Ben Affleck. The top 10 Boston-based films, ranked by US box-office receipts, includes the Sox-centered "Fever Pitch," according to Turner Classic Movies and IMDB.com. Also on the list is the 1968 version of "The Thomas Crown Affair" starring Steve McQueen, which was shot on Boston's Beacon Hill. Do your favorite Boston films make the top 5?

  • PlayStation Move review

    PlayStation Move review

    PlayStation Move may be four years behind the Nintendo Wii, but it's a major leap forward for the age of motion gaming. The new set of peripherals, available this weekend for the Sony PlayStation 3, doesn't revolutionize video games, but it shows Nintendo fans what they're missing out on: surprisingly precise controls paired with current-generation graphics. Click the blue arrows to check out the full review of PlayStation Move and several PS3 motion games.

  • World's top 10 universities, Harvard leads again

    World's top 10 universities, Harvard leads again

    Times Higher Education, the United Kingdom's leading higher education news publication, today released its first-ever international university rankings. American universities dominate the top of the Times list, faring much better than in rankings released last week by former Times partner Quacquarelli Symonds. The disparate results have already prompted debate about the criteria for evaluating and ranking universities.

  • 5 key players in Pakistan's tribal belt

    5 key players in Pakistan's tribal belt

    Pakistani military operations in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan have steered clear of North Waziristan, allowing the area to become a haven for militants. Tribal and local intelligence sources say some 15,000 militants shelter in this semiautonomous tribal belt. “It’s a cobweb,” says former Pakistani diplomat Ayaz Wazir. New alliances between militant commanders in Waziristan have turned this area into a dangerous labyrinth, from which fighters can launch suicide attacks in Pakistan or missions against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. “It's an international war which has engulfed us,” says Malik Khan Marjan Wazir, an influential tribal elder in North Waziristan. “The volcano is in Afghanistan but it erupts in our tribal areas.” For Marjan Wazir, peace won't be found through military operations or drone attacks, but in negotiations at what he calls “real” jirgas (tribal assemblies). “My elders would always tell me a story that if a woolen blanket gets leeches, you don’t put to fire the whole blanket. You pluck them out with care.” Based on interviews with local tribesmen and intelligence sources, here’s a list of the five biggest players in the region:

 
 
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