In a year of high drama over federal budgets, the nation’s so-called national debt ceiling is becoming a prominent part of the political debate. The Treasury is close to hitting this borrowing limit, yet many in Congress say the ceiling shouldn’t be raised without new commitments to put America on a path of fiscal prudence. Here’s a guide to how the ceiling works and what’s at stake for the economy.
Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. In 1911 – the year the holiday was first celebrated internationally – women could not yet vote in most countries. Now, a number of women serve as presidents and in other positions of power. But there’s still more to do if women are to enjoy the same access and rights as men, say International Women’s Day organizers and the UN. This year’s focus? "Equal access to education, training, and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.” Read on to find out more about International Women’s Day.
Partying has begun today in major cities to mark Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, a last gastronomical hurrah before the Christian fasts that start on Ash Wednesday and continue during the season of Lent. The festivities that precede Fat Tuesday are known as Carnival in Catholic European nations, Latin America, and Canada. They are known as Shrovetide in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Mardi Gras in the US and Australia. The Mardi Gras season starts on twelfth night (January 5) and ends on Fat Tuesday, but the festivities and parade season usually last for only the few days nearest Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday 2011 falls on March 8, but the day falls on a different date every year depending on when Easter falls. This year Fat Tuesday is being celebrated later than any other Fat Tuesday in over 150 years. The festivities include rich, fatty foods, masks and elaborate costumes, balls, and large scale parades at which participants throw small gifts. In the early days of the Mardi Gras parades, participants would throw candy or nuts. The "throws" have since evolved to include whistles, trinkets, cups, fake money (called doubloons), beaded necklaces, oranges, and even coconuts.
The confusion surrounding the detention and then release of several British nationals – including members of the Special Air Service – in Libya has generated as much interest as the incident itself. However, little information is available on why a group of British men arrived unauthorized and unannounced in Libya. Below is an overview of what can be confirmed about the incident.
McLobster rumor: The sandwich, which appears seasonally at some New England and eastern Canadian McDonalds, was supposed to go nationwide. The chain has tweeted that the rumors are false. But that's all right, there are more McDelicacies to be made. Here are the Top 5 items that we'd like to see added to the McDonalds menu.
The International Criminal Court today announced it would investigate Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and several members of his inner circle for crimes against humanity in Libya’s ongoing uprising. It is the second-ever ICC investigation into a sitting head of state, and one of only a handful of inquiries into crimes committed by world leaders. Below, a look at ICC cases:
Gas prices are approaching $4 a gallon and oil prices are above $100 a barrel, leading politicians in Washington and statehouses to propose a flurry of legislation. Some proposals strive to quell voter angst while others might balance budgets by raising gas prices. Meanwhile, wind, biofuel, nuclear, and oil industries are lobbying Congress to support more domestic energy production. Many of the proposals are longer-range and thus unlikely to affect short-term gas prices, energy economists say.
“I’ve just been made a manager and I haven’t a clue what to do!” This was what went through my head more than 20 years ago when I found myself suddenly in charge. My focus should have been on what I could do to shine. Executives and managers shared similar stories of dread and insecurity when I was researching my book. But your bosses clearly saw something in you that caused them to promote you. Your job is to build on these strengths, while you try and master the other skills necessary to be a successful leader. Here are 11 ways you can shine from Day 1:
As violence in Libya increases, US officials have promised that the administration is exploring “all possible options for action” against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. Yet Pentagon officials emphasize that they are also weighing the adverse risks of US military action aiding rebels, such as the possibility that Mr. Qaddafi could galvanize support in the name of anti-imperialism. What are steps the US military could take to aid rebels, and how feasible are they?
With the price of energy soaring – oil passed $100 per barrel on Tuesday – long-haul truckers are hurting, but hybrid manufacturers are smiling. Californians feel the pinch at the pump while Midwesterners, closer to large fuel inventories, wonder what all the fuss is about. With gasoline now at $3.37 per gallon – 20 cents higher than last week, and rising daily – who is profiting from higher prices and who is not?
As Libya's antigovernment rebels take hold of more cities, the nation no longer appears divided between pro-government West vs. rebellious East. Now, with embattled leader Muammar Qaddafi facing dwindling support from traditional western strongholds, the situation increasingly appears to be Almost Everywhere vs. Tripoli. Here’s a look at some key cities. (Last updated March 1)
When it comes to short stories, the best insight on how to read them I've ever found came from a new book on writing, “Unless It Moves the Human Heart,” by Roger Rosenblatt. One of Rosenblatt's graduate students said, in effect, that the writer begins by saying, “And so, we have come to this.” Of three new collections out this winter, two rank among the best I've ever read. If this is what we've come to, 2011 should be rich indeed.
Egypt’s military has suspended the country’s Constitution and tasked experts with overhauling its fundamental law. Other countries in the region may also soon be in line for such a make-over – redesigning government institutions, enshrining individual liberties, entrenching guarantees of democratic accountability. But not all constitutions are created equal. Here are a list of six big issues to consider when creating a Constitution from scratch:
Okay, let me be honest. There are no "5 best" Dr. Seuss books. Theodor Seuss Geisel published 44 children's books and each one is a marvel in its own way. However, I do have my own personal "5 best list," just as I'm sure that you have yours. Please help me to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday (he was born on March 2, 1904) by listing your own. In the meantime, here are mine.
Oscar has always loved films based on true stories – 100 out of 485 Best Picture nominees since 1927 would qualify – but never more than this year. Four of the 10 features on the Best Picture slate are based on real characters and events: “The King’s Speech,” “The Fighter,” “The Social Network,” and “127 Hours.” Eavesdrop on departing moviegoers and you will inevitably hear, “I’d love to know what really happened.” Here are some facts behind the “true-life” stories contending for this year’s Best Picture Academy Award.
From the first spark of Middle East unrest in Tunisia in December until the violent suppression of protests in Libya in late February, the price of a barrel of crude oil rose from $88 a barrel to more than $100. But rising demand – from oil-hungry China and other fast-growing nations – was pushing prices up even before the turmoil. How much prices rise depends largely on whether supplies flow unimpeded from the Middle East. Here’s a rundown on oil supply-price issues affecting the US.
The one they called the "quiet Beatle" was born on Feb. 25, 1943 – which would have made today his 68th birthday. If you've been missing the man ranked at No. 21 on Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time," you can of course simply turn up the volume on "All Things Must Pass." Or you can pick up a book. I'd advise one of the five below.
Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi is earning widespread condemnation for his brutal tactics against a populist uprising. As the international community wrestles with how best to show their disapproval, one suggested option is imposing sanctions – a step French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged the European Union to take. But their effectiveness is hotly contested. Here’s a look at how useful sanctions have been in changing the behavior of other nations.