The housing crisis has stalled home building but apartment construction is undergoing a bit of a renaissance. There's now a huge pool of people forced to rent because they can't afford to buy a home, or they were a victim of foreclosure. In Denver, there aren't enough apartment vacancies. Colorado Public Radio's Ben Markus has the story.
Rhode Island had one of the most underfunded pension systems in the country until last week. That's when an overwhelming majority of state lawmakers passed big changes, mostly affecting future retirees. Now those lawmakers are facing angry unions, which are preparing for a legal fight. As Catherine Welch of Rhode Island Public Radio reports, the unions are also hinting at a political battle against those who supported the plan.
This week in New York Magazine, two writers from different political parties each critiqued their own side. On Thursday, we heard from conservative David Frum, who argues Republicans lost touch with reality. In the same issue, liberal writer Jonathan Chait also uses the word "fantasy" in describing liberals. He tells Steve Inskeep liberals have become unreasonable.
China's "one-child" policy has repressed and stabilized the number of births, but the market for baby products has exploded. The growth is driven by rising incomes and the intense focus on the single child with interesting twists. For instance, baby formula sales have gone way up because people are now spending more money on foreign formula products because they no longer trust Chinese companies after the melamine poisoning of several years ago.
For the past week, New York Police and the FBI have been at odds over a terrorism case which involves an American of Dominican descent named Jose Pimentel. New York police say he was an al-Qaida sympathizer planning to bomb targets in the city. The FBI declined to get involved with the case because it didn't see him as threat. Law enforcement officials on both sides have been airing the dispute over the case publicly, and that could help Pimentel build a defense.
A still from "I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown!" which aired on ABC in 2001. Vince Guaraldi's rearrangements and originals for the A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack became holiday perennials.
They battle international villains. And "when it comes to giving away their hearts, they'll risk everything." That's according to "SEAL of my Dreams, a short story collection by 18 romance novelists, celebrating Navy SEALS. Story titles include "SEALed with A Kiss," "SEALed by Fate" — you get the idea. Proceeds from the book will fund medical research for wounded veterans.
Facing a financial crisis that threatens Europe, Italy's lower house of parliament got down to important business. They passed a rule to save themselves from themselves. Photographers use long lenses to capture lawmakers making rude gestures, passing notes — or voting for absent colleagues, a practice that has been called "playing the piano," as they press several buttons at once. So, lawmakers have banned photographers from taking "personal images."