A different federal judge approved Transocean's criminal settlement last week. In total, Transocean will pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties.
When you dive into an alternate reality in a video game, do you ever think about the technology that took you there? For Black History Month,Tell Me More is featuring professionals in science, technology, engineering and math. Host Michel Martin talks to video game developer Lisette Titre about her career as a video game artist.
The Defense Department and other government agencies are preparing for the possible government budget cuts known as sequestration. Host Michel Martin talks with Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Robbins of the Defense Department and Washington Post 'Federal Diary' columnist Joe Davidson about who'll be affected.
Tell Me More's parenting roundtable continues the conversation on children and weight. Is it ever OK to put a child on a diet, or will it set them up for a lifetime of self esteem issues? Host Michel Martin hears from parents. Cookbook author Anupy Singla, and fitness instructor Dani Tucker weigh in.
When Dara-Lynn Weiss saw her seven-year-old daughter gaining a lot of weight, she put her on a strict diet. That decision made Weiss the target of criticism from her daughter, her friends and people who didn't even know her. Weiss talks about the experience, which she chronicled in her new memoir, The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet.
Authorities hope the big guy, and two other males, will lead them to breeding females. They put transmitters into the snakes and will now track their movements.
While the president again charged that Republicans aren't willing to close tax loopholes for the rich, Republicans repeated that they think Obama just "wants to spend more." Automatic cuts are set to start March 1.
The federal law overhauling health care requires that contraceptives be made available to insured women without any out-of-pocket costs to them. Many family planning clinics aren't yet set up to accommodate women under those terms.
Farmers in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska converted 1.3 million acres of grassland into soybean and corn production between 2006 and 2011. Images derived from satellite data confirmed that changing landscape, which spells bad news wildlife and for soil integrity in some parts.
Simpson and Bowles. We’ve seen this movie before. Two unelected men with a plan -- to cut the budget deficit. Today, they called for another $2.4 trillion in austerity.
Many see it as an effort to get the two sides to the table and strike a bargain before that automatic spending cuts -- yes the dreaded sequester -- kicks in March 1. But who are they? And why does official Washington listen to them?
The dynamic budget duo is Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson. They ran a budget commission three years ago, spit out a report, which went on a shelf -- yet they’re still in the middle of our deficit conversation.
Why? Clint Stretch, senior tax policy council at Tax Analysts, says they insert themselves in it, regularly. And, their plan is in the political middle; Goldilocks in a city of very hard beds and very soft ones.
“Simpson Bowles comes down on the side of saying government ought to be bigger than Republicans would have it be, and probably smaller than Democrats would have it be,” Stretch says.
In the campaign, both Gov. Romney and President Obama cited Simpson-Bowles, favorably. And many economists dig it, says one famous one. Harvard’s Kenneth Rogoff says Simpson-Bowles kills the right tax breaks, and doesn’t raise taxes so much it stalls growth.
“I think still the original proposal they put out there is still the lightpost by which policymakers will try to guide themselves over the long-term,” Rogoff says. “At least we hope so.”
It’s not the North Star to everyone. Simpson and Bowles are urgent about deficit cutting.
Henry Aaron at the Brookings Institution says maybe not right now. The bigger problem, he says, is millions unemployed.
“That’s the primary waste we have today,” Aaron says. “Ending that waste should be job one. Job two is dealing with our longer term budget challenge.”
This view tolerates more government borrowing and spending. But the gospel of Simpson and Bowles is to push deficits just one way: down.
Also: Research firm says clues connect Chinese government to international hacking; gunman make off with $50 million worth of diamonds in Brussels; Chavez returns to Venezuela.
The stocks of both Office Depot and OfficeMax were up following reports the two companies are in advanced talks to merge. While many market analysts have been touting the recent spate of mergers and acquisitions as a sign of business confidence, Juli Niemann, analyst with Smith Moore & Company, thinks the trend is more out of necessity.
Since the banking crisis hit hard in 2008, Georgia has seen more than 80 banks go under. That’s more than any other state. Most have been small, community banks whose assets were tied to the housing market. But did those banks have to fail? A new report from the University of West Georgia says in many cases, the answer is no. The reason so many did, the report finds, is because of an accounting rule called “mark-to-market,” which regulators put in place after the collapse of Enron.
Barnes & Noble had been expected to announce its financial results today, but it pushed the date back to February 28. Analysts predict the bookseller will report a profit for last quarter, but the outlook is doesn't look so good -- not even for its Nook e-reader. Barnes & Noble says this year its Nook will lose more than the $260 million it originally predicted.
And finally, to London where some people are selling an antique mirror that "very possibly haunted." The sellers say since putting up the mirror, they've woken up screaming in pain and items have been disappearing from their apartment. Paintings fell from the wall and things were inexplicably strewn across the floor. Speaking of inexplicably, the mirror just sold for a $155.
Microsoft is launching a $30 million ad campaign today to promote Outlook.com -- a new product meant to compete with Internet-based email systems like Google Inc.’s Gmail.
That’s going to be some stiff competition. Gmail is currently the big dog in Iinternet-based email. It has 306 million worldwide users, not including those who visit only on mobile devices, according the latest data from research firm comScore.
“A lot of people are directing their office email to Gmail,” says Raj Venkatesan, a marketing professor at University of Virginia. He says Gmail has benefitted from the fact that people want to merge their work and personal lives into their email habits. Now, Microsoft is trying to tap into that trend too, and take advantage of how popular Outlook already is in the workplace.
“You can build on the loyalty in the customer relationship,” Venkatasen says. “Now Outlook can have one product that the customer can use when they're at work and when they're at home.”
Years of cyberattacks have produced evidence tracing them to Shanghai, according to researchers from Mandiant Corp. More precisely, to a place where the People's Liberation Army conducts such work.
The stocks of both Office Depot and OfficeMax were up following reports the two companies are in advanced talks to merge.
While many market analysts have been touting the recent spate of mergers and acquisitions as a sign of business confidence, Juli Niemann, analyst with Smith Moore & Company, thinks the trend is more out of necessity.
"We're going to be seeing a lot of shotgun marriages right now, simply because they must survive. You've got weak profit margins, huge competition out in the industry, and way too many retailers out there," says Niemann.
Direct industry alternatives such as Staples, online retailers like Amazon, and discount stores Costco and Walmart all count as competition, according to Niemann.
"It's hard to be a specialty retailer and a huge big-box when all the competition is coming out of the woodwork," says Niemann, who also adds that roadside strip-malls which depend upon big-box chains may also soon feel the squeeze on profits.
In just a few minutes, masked gunman stole the stones from a plane on the tarmac in Brussels. How will they cash in? In past heists, less-than-scrupulous dealers tried to sell the gems at deep discounts — and got caught.
Authorities tell CBS News and The Hartford Courant that they found several news clippings about Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, in Adam Lanza's belongings.
Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles -- the bipartisan pair that brought us a multi-trillion-dollar deficit reduction plan that was never enacted -- are out today with a new plan.
It targets Medicare and Medicaid for cuts, and curbs a number of tax breaks. It would reduce the deficit by about $2.4 trillion -- about halfway between what Democrats and Republicans want.
This proposal is their fourth effort in three years to drum up support for a deal to shrink America's debt. So, is there any reason the dynamic deficit reduction duo's plans could get traction now?
Economist Gary Shilling says the political gridlock of today may actually make the new Bowles-Simpson plan more alluring. With “neither side willing to budge” in the Whitehouse or Capitol Hill, Shilling says Bowles and Simpson may be able to play something of the knight-in-shining-armor role, “stepping in and offering a compromise that both sides will look at seriously.”
Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics, doubts that Simpson and Bowles will have any impact on the immediate issues we're facing, such as the looming across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester, set to hit in March.
“I think that's a train that's already left the station,” Zandi says of the sequester. But Zandi does think the new Simpson-Bowles plan could have an impact on future deficit negotiations.
“There's a lot more work to be done, and they could have a big role to play.”
Since the banking crisis hit hard in 2008, Georgia has seen more than 80 banks go under. That’s more than any other state. Most have been small, community banks whose assets were tied to the housing market. But did those banks have to fail?
A new report from the University of West Georgia says in many cases, the answer is no. The reason so many did, the report finds, is because of an accounting rule called “mark-to-market,” which regulators put in place after the collapse of Enron.
Here’s how it works. Say you buy a house for $100,000. The economy tanks, and the value falls to $50,000. You keep paying on the hundred grand, but the bank must report on its books $50,000 -- the diminished fair market value of the asset.
“As the bottom fell out of the real estate market, with that rule in place, that has destroyed in an artificial way a lot of capital in banks,” says Danny Jett of the Georgia think tank Main Street Solutions.
The non-profit funded the University of West Georgia study looking at the effect of the mark-to-market rule on small banks.
“Context matters,” says Dr. Joey Smith of the University of West Georgia’s Richards College of Business. He found the mark-to-market rule doesn’t always paint an accurate picture of a bank’s solvency.
“You have to take into consideration what’s happening around the bank, and other banks, because it’s one big relationship,” he says.
The study’s findings show that in the recent crisis, banks had to unload loans that were bad on paper, although they may have been paid as agreed upon. And that created a snowball effect.
The rule was revised in 2009, but Smith says if mark-to-market isn’t revisited, we’re likely to see more community banks collapse in a future crisis.
Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius has been charged with premeditated murder in the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius says he "had no intention to kill my girlfriend."