Fewer Americans applied for unemployment insurance last week. But Friday's much-anticipated report on payroll growth and unemployment in January may not offer particularly good news, economists say.
The once-mighty electronics giant Sony said today it's no longer expecting to make a profit this year. Instead the forecast is for a loss of more than $1 billion. And Sony said today it will sell off VAIO, it's personal computer-laptop business. The BBC's Rupert Wingfield Hayes joined us from Tokyo to help explain.
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The governor of Tennessee wants to make community college or technical school free for all high school graduates in the state. Republican Governor Bill Haslam calls his proposal the Tennessee Promise. It's part of a broader workforce development strategy in a state that lags behind in higher education, but wants a technically savvy labor pool.
If the Promise succeeds, Tennessee will be the only state to offer associate's degrees and technical certificates free. David Baime with the American Association of Community Colleges says many students are right on the brink, financially.
"So when a message is sent out loudly and clearly that for qualified students community college is free," says Baime, "We think that it could make a big difference in terms of people's willingness to enroll in our institutions."
The governor says he'll pay for the Tennessee Promise with lottery revenue. The proposal builds on a growing number of smaller place based scholarship programs. Michelle Miller-Adams studies the Kalamazoo Promise in Michigan and says the lure of college scholarships for Kalamazoo students prompted many families to move there.
"The Kalamazoo public school district has grown by 25 percent over the last seven years since the Promise was announced," Miller-Adams says.
She says that's a local economic bump that wouldn't be felt in a statewide program. But the focus on community colleges could do a lot to develop the local workforce.
This week's snow and ice knocked out electricity to more than 500,000 customers in Pennsylvania. Tens of thousands of others in neighboring states are also without power. Utilities warn that it will be another day or two, at least, before repairs are finished.
The winter olympics start tomorrow in the Russian city of Sochi. Olympians, officials, and reporters have been arriving all week, with lots of devices in tow. And that means there's been a lot of talk about digital surveillance. Russia's government doesn't have the best record in, say, protecting freedom of the press. Ars Technica's senior business editor Cyrus Farivar has been looking at how to use technology while at the games and joined us to help explain.
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It was annual Senate retreat day in Washington Wednesday, a time when senators get away from the U.S. Capitol and all its daily distractions. But not too far away.
Apparently, just imagining what's happening on the written page isn't enough. A new wearable device uses temperature controls and lighting to mimic the experiences of a story's protagonist.
The 16-year-old was legally drunk last June when he lost control of the truck he was driving. The crash left four people dead and two others severely wounded. His attorneys argued that a coddled upbringing contributed to the boy's problems.
Today the Senate will vote on a bill to extend long-term unemployment benefits for 1.7 Million Americans. The proposal would exclude one group – people making incomes over $1 Million.
After all, if you’re a millionaire, maybe you don’t need a safety net funded by tax payers.
“It is the kind of thing that I think government should be doing more of. Which is saying, who really needs that safety net and who doesn’t,” says economist Michael Strain with the American Enterprise Institute.
But would the exclusion save the government money?
“The millionaires exclusion is a solution in search of a problem,” says Judy Conti, a federal advocacy coordinator with the National Employment Law Project.
In 2009, millionaires collected $20 million in unemployment benefits. “That was only 18-one-hundredths of a percent of the total outlay of unemployment benefits for that entire year,” says Conti.
Also, excluding the rich wouldn’t be free. States would have to set-up new systems to measure income.
“There is an associated cost. And they wouldn’t get additional money to administer this test,” says Rich Hobbie, executive director of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.
He says states would be forced to spend scarce resources in order to deny benefits to millionaires.
YouTube used to be a place that was mostly about curiosities, bits of original, unedited video clips by amateurs. Then people started getting serious. The amateurs started getting famous because of what -- and how much -- video they were putting on the website. YouTube started selling ADS on all those videos, and giving some of that money to creators. Leslie Kaufman is a media reporter for the New York Times. She wrote a story this week on how hard it can still be to make the big bucks even when you're a super YouTuber.
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The Congressional Budget Office said this year's deficit is likely to be about a third the size it was in 2009 when the Great Recession bottomed out. A better economy is the main reason for the improving deficit but moderating health care costs help.
New research shows a big part of the woolly mammoth's diet was made up of tiny flowers rather than grass. When the flowers disappeared, the mammoths did, too.
New research shows a big part of the woolly mammoth's diet was made up of tiny flowers, rather than grass. And when the flowers disappeared, so too, did the mammoths.
As New Year's celebrations in China grow increasingly commercialized, many city dwellers are seeking a return to tradition. Some head to an ancient town outside Beijing where poor but ingenious blacksmiths created their own fireworks. But even centuries-old customs aren't immune to change.
Because of an influx of trains hauling crude oil and other freight across the Northern Plains, Amtrak is facing problems with unreliability, long delays, lost revenue and stranded passengers. An advocacy group wants the government to intervene.
The man says he was one of 17 kidnapped by a cartel and forced to build drug-smuggling tunnels. Now he might be in prison for the rest of his life.
During a classified briefing, the lawmakers were told most of the information taken by Edward Snowden had nothing to do with U.S. surveillance programs. Instead, his leaks "specifically [work] to compromise the military capability and defense of the country."
Authorities are still discussing an incident that took place Tuesday night on California's I-805, where a firefighter was arrested by a police officer at the scene of an accident. The reason? They disagreed over where the fire truck should be.
A leading investor thinks bitcoin is going to change the world. A prominent writer disagrees. They make a bet about what we'll be using for money in 2019.
President Obama nominated Florida Judge Darrin Gayles to serve on the U.S. District Court bench. GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who blocked the president's last nominee for the position, says he doesn't plan to object.