Home sales plunged in July and housing prices may dip again. But in six metropolitan areas, the housing picture is far brighter: Home values are rising and median prices are already well ahead of their peak during the housing bubble. What allowed these metro areas to beat the downturn in home sales prices? Two are state capitols. Five have lower-than-average unemployment. All of them had undervalued real estate, even at the height of the housing boom, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR). When mortgage rates fell, "they had room to grow" and home sales rose. Is your city on the list? Click on the right arrow to see each metro area:
Monster drinks investigation: The San Francisco city attorney and the New York state attorney general have partnered up to investigate if the maker of Monster drinks is directly marketing to kids. True or not, the frontline of the battle against bad foods for kids begins at home.
Gun control seen through the eyes of the misunderstood majority of gun owners is more nuanced and complex than the absolutism of America's big gun lobbies. The Obama administration is courting this breed of centrist, gun-friendly Americans on the fence about gun control.
Israel's ceasefire with Hamas is holding, but unless Israel completely lifts its blockade and includes Hamas in two-state negotiations, renewed rocket attacks from Gaza are likely. Should that happen, Israel would not be justified in arguing self-defense.
The Democrats 'drive for 25' is unrealistic as analysts predict Republicans will lose only 12 House seats in Election 2012. One GOP advantage: Conservative 'super PACs' will spend 'tens of millions.'