Is world travel on your horizon this year? Bringing the right credit card is as fundamental as packing the right wardrobe. While there are great benefits to using plastic abroad – such as travel assistance and fraud protection – the cards’ foreign transaction fees can eat into your travel budget. And traditional magnetic strip credit cards aren't universally accepted overseas anymore. Picking the right card for a foreign trip depends on the perks you’re looking for, the fees you’re willing to pay, and the kind of credit you have. Here are Credit Karma’s Top 5 credit cards for world travel:
If Defense Secretary Robert Gates feels any twinge of wistfulness when he departs the Pentagon on Thursday, it probably won't last long. Even during the Bush years, Mr. Gates spoke often of the clock in his office by which he counted down the days until he could retire to his beloved Washington State. When President Obama asked him to stay on as defense secretary, Gates made no secret that he did so out of public duty, not an affinity for Washington, D.C. But Washington insiders certainly had an affinity for Gates. Here are three reasons America’s longest-serving secretary of Defense will be missed – and legacies that many hope will last after he's gone.
This summer, many teens are working summer jobs and, perhaps for the first time, earning money that doesn’t’ come from family. It’s an exciting feeling of independence – and a key time to learn the basics of money management. That’s where parents come in. Even if communicating with your teenagers about money is sometimes difficult, it is natural for you to be involved because their income from summer jobs will have tax implications for you. Here are three easy financial lessons to teach your teens this summer:
The economy may be looking better for some states this year, but budget woes are a challenge from east to west. In its fifth annual ranking of America’s Top States for Business, CNBC for the first time took into account state budget gaps among the 43 metrics that go into its rankings. That made for some interesting changes this year, with last year's Nos. 1, 3, and 5 states falling while other states climbed in rank. Here are the Top 5 states for business:
The International Criminal Court issued international arrest warrants today for Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, and intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi, charging them with crimes against humanity in the early weeks of Libya's uprising. It is only the second-ever international arrest warrant for a sitting head of state and the inquiry that preceded it was one of only a handful into crimes committed by world leaders. Below, a look at prosecution of current and past world leaders:
The Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia from 1975 until 1979 and is blamed for the deaths of 1.7 million people. The Maoist group tried to build an agrarian society purged of foreign influences. Until now, none of its senior cadre has gone on trial, and Pol Pot, its paramount leader, died in 1998 in a jungle camp after losing power to Vietnamese occupiers. The Khmer Rouge tribunal, a joint effort between Cambodia’s judiciary and the United Nations, opened in 2006 and has so far spent more than $100 million on investigating and trying surviving members of the senior leadership. Only one has been prosecuted and found guilty. Here are five frequently asked questions answered:
During these tough economic times, saving money on clothing and accessories is important. Shopping in consignment stores is one way to do it. You can get high quality designer clothes at affordable prices – sometimes, ridiculously affordable. I once bought a Chanel jacket for $4. The retail price for a brand new one: $1,500. Here are five tips to find designer clothes at consignment store prices:
After President Obama outlines his strategy Wednesday for winding down the 10-year war in Afghanistan – including the rate of US troop withdrawals – it will be the duty of three men, all new in their roles, to get it done. It will be a tough job, and there is likely to be plenty of second-guessing not only about the strategy itself, but also their handling of it, from Congress, pundits, and ex-military types. Here are some clues into what priorities these three defense leaders might set and a look at the particular skills each brings to the task of managing America’s longest war.
Mexico declared a major victory Tuesday when it arrested the leader of the La Familia drug gang and 50 of its members, calling the group finished after the arrests. But the deadly drug war in Mexico is far from over. Many experts expect the remaining La Familia members to join allied groups and for its territory to be absorbed by other traffickers. Here’s a look at Mexico’s most powerful drug cartels:
The early February ruling by a federal appeals court in California—that Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional—reveals that gay marriage in the US is more than just a black and white issue. Officially, the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage, but some individual states do. And plenty more have laws or constitutional amendments that offer limited rights to same-sex couples. Take a look at where states currently stand on gay marriage in the US.
As pro-democracy activists continue to battle the government of Bashar al-Assad, Syria looks likely to remain in the headlines for weeks and months to come. For those hoping to better understand one of the most influential countries in the current Mideast power dynamic, here are six books – a mix of literature, history, and politics – that offer insight.
New York legislators could vote as early as Wednesday to legalize gay marriage in the state. New York would become the sixth state (plus Washington, D.C.) to permit gay marriage, and the third to approve it via a legislative bill and not a court decision. With gay marriage in California in legal limbo, it would also become the most populous state with gay marriage, potentially influencing legislators in other states, such as Maryland and Rhode Island. As a gay marriage vote inches closer in New York, here’s a list six things that would – and wouldn’t – happen should the bill pass.
Jon Meade Huntsman Jr. wants his boss's job. President Obama’s former China ambassador declared his candidacy for the presidency on June 21. Dubbed “the Republican Democrats fear most,” the tall, handsome, cerebral former governor of Utah often draws comparisons to Mr. Obama, the very man he’s struggling to distance himself from. Will that, and his centrist views and Mormon faith, keep him on the margins of the Republican field?
Existing home sales dipped below an annual rate of 5 million in May. Not counting condos and coops, single-family home sales stand at 4.2 million a year, which, if it held for all of 2011, would be lower than the worst of the slump in 2008. But home prices vary dramatically, depending upon where you live in the United States: the average listing for a typical four-bedroom, two bathroom house in the most expensive real-estate market is more than 40 times the average listing in the least expensive city, according to a recent survey of more than 2,300 markets by Coldwell Banker Real Estate. Here are the Top 5 most and least expensive cities. Is yours on the list?
As an Aug. 2 deadline for raising the debt ceiling nears, Congress is getting serious about where to find major spending cuts. Republicans have vowed not to support a potential $2.4 trillion increase to the debt ceiling unless they get an equal amount of budget savings to offset the increase. Finding $2.4 trillion in spending cuts is not easy, but Congress's search is beginning to show some signs of promise. In particular, three programs long protected by big, bipartisan majorities in the past now appear vulnerable.
By Newsweek/Daily Beast Spokane? Fairmont? The origins of Father’s Day remain disputed – Spokane, Washington, often lays claim to holding the first modern Father’s Day in 1910 – but the first recorded Father’s Day celebration, in Fairmont, West Virginia, was anything but celebratory. More than a thousand children were left fatherless after the Monongah Mine disaster in 1907 killed more than 350 men. In July 1908, Father’s Day was held to honor the fathers lost in the disaster and, indeed, all Fairmont fathers. These days, of course, a new tie or a dinner out are more synonymous with Father’s Day than actually honoring dad. But that got us thinking – which cities do the best job of making dad’s job a little easier, year-round? Mirroring our Best Cities for Moms ranking, we decided to take a look at a few universal factors that can make a dad’s life more pleasant, and maybe more fun. Does a city have good schools? Does it have plenty of opportunities this Father’s Day for Dad to sneak off and play a few holes, or grab a beer and catch a baseball game? Again, almost all of the factors we looked at could apply to either Mom or Dad—but this month it’s Dad’s turn to take a break. IN PICTURES: Fathers around the world To compile the rankings, we started with the 100 biggest cities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. We then looked five factors, equally weighted, to tell us about the quality of life for resident fathers, using the most recent available data: Dads-per-capita: The percentage of fathers in each city with one or more children under 18 years old, according to the Census. Educational quality: The overall caliber of public schools in each city based on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best. Scores are from Great Schools, which ranks schools based on standardized test performance. Quality time with kids: Sure there are lots of things Dad can do with the kids, but we decided to look at a ubiquitous American classic, played in big cities and small towns across the country: little league (specifically, the number of little leagues-per-dad), with data from Citysearch. Cardiologists: Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men age 25-54, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For Dad’s health, we decided to look at the number of cardiologists-per-dad, with data from HealthGrades. HealthGrades doctors must be affiliated with a high-quality hospital, free of state sanctions, disciplinary actions, malpractice judgments, and monetary settlements in the last five years, and be board certified in his/her practice specialty. Father’s Day fun: Again, we used Citysearch to find the number of public golf courses and sports bars-per-dad in each city. Do you live in a father-friendly city? Read on to find out.
Father's Day gifts may generate a little more boost to the economy this year. Americans will spend an average $106.49, slightly according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. That would be the largest amount in at least eight years. Sure, you can always buy a power tool. In these tough times, however, dads might appreciate something that's equal parts flair and frugal. Here are five unusual Father’s Day gifts for less than $25, which could make June 19 especially memorable.
Passions are high. Crowds are big. Alcohol is consumed. That can be the toxic mix that sparks rioting at or after big sporting events – a phenomenon that can feed on itself by drawing in those who are at first bystanders, experts say. The history of fans turning rabid is a long one, with a new chapter added Wednesday night in Vancouver, where street riots erupted toward the end of pro hockey’s Stanley Cup final. No deaths were reported, but more than 100 people were injured, according to the Toronto Sun. Here are five notable riots linked to sporting events through history.