The U.S. wants to nail down a security deal that would allow a limited number of troops to remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014. But American officials say the Afghan president keeps making new demands and could put the deal in jeopardy.
China announced over the weekend that it had expanded an air-defense zone to cover islands that are claimed by both it and Japan. The U.S., Japan and others said they wouldn't recognize that new zone. On Monday, officials tell news outlets, U.S. Air Force bombers flew through.
Online retailer Newegg has lost a patent case centering on web encryption, as a Texas jury orders the company to pay damages to the company TQP Development. Newegg says it will appeal the verdict, which came after several encryption experts testified on its behalf.
Federal regulators have ordered the genetic testing company 23andMe to stop marketing its mail-order DNA sampling kits. The FDA says 23andMe has not proven the validity of the kit's results.
Katie Couric announced that she is taking a job as an internet anchor of a news show at Yahoo. Couric is still hosting her ABC daytime talk show "Katie" -- for now anyway. ABC hasn’t decided if it will renew the show. That may have been a factor in her decision, but what else did Couric, a television network anchor, consider when deciding to take a job hosting an internet show?
As the Obama administration continues its erratic roll out of health care reform, halfway around the world in Indonesia, authorities are getting ready to introduce the world's biggest universal health care program. It will cover all 240 million citizens and go into effect in 2014.
Bill Clinton went vegan as a radical attempt to reform his health. But Gore has been cutting back on meat since 2009, out of concern about the impacts of animal production on climate change.
The court will consider the objections of companies that say providing contraception benefits to workers goes against the employers' religious beliefs.
Gay marriage won't be legal in the state until June, but two Chicago women have been granted permission to marry immediately because one of them has terminal cancer.
For the first time, doctors have a financial incentive to keep patients out of the hospital. That's leading to some interesting changes.
Authorities in China have opened up an antitrust inquiry against wireless company Qualcomm. Details on the probe are sketchy, but it may have to do with device makers in that country and how much they might will have to pay Qualcomm as the country updates its own networks. Tavis McCourt, an analyst with Raymond James and Associates, discusses Qualcomm's business in China with Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez has only been in office for a few months, but he's already making waves. He's pushing for a higher minimum wage and immigration reform. Perez speaks with host Michel Martin about his goals for the U.S. labor force.
In the "dystopian document thriller," you are an immigration agent on the border of the fictional nation of Arstotzka. Will you follow the rules? Or will you aid those fighting against the establishment?
In the game Papers, Please, a "dystopian document thriller," you are an immigration agent on the border of the fictional nation of Arstotzka. Will you follow the rules? Or will you aid those fighting against the establishment?
The men's suit retailer, Jos. A. Bank, recently made an offer to buy its competitor, Men's Warehouse. Men's Warehouse turned down the deal but then today, two weeks after the refusal, made the same offer to Jos. A. Bank. This rare reversal is known as a "Pac-Man" defense, probably a reference to that moment in the classic video game when the ghosts go from a threat to a snack. If the deal goes through it would make the combined companies the largest men's suit seller in the country.
Both Men's Warehouse and Jos. A. Bank are known for selling inexpensive menswear, offering promotional deals like this one.
These chains market their clothing to the middle class. And the middle class is shrinking and demand for suits in general is down since the recession, "partly due to declining discretionary income and also partly due to high unemployment, which limited men's needs to purchase and wear suits to the office," says IBIS World retail analyst Nikoleta Panteva.
Despite an overall decline in men's wear sales, Jos. A. Bank and Men's Warehouse have grown post-recession. "Men's Warehouse has grown at 4.6 percent, while Jos. A. Banks has grown at 10.5 percent per year," says Panteva.
A merger between the two companies could help fend off competition from other brick and mortar retailers. "Some of it's also the discount stores, which are hit and miss, like Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Steinmart, those places have some pretty good values as well," says Andy Gilchrist, the author of The Encyclopedia of Men's Clothing. He says more discount stores are offering name brands and that could lure customers away from Jos. A. Bank and Men's Warehouse, together or separate.
In his Evangelii Gaudium(Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis has outlined where he wants the Catholic Church to go under his care. Among his priorities are inequality and poverty, he critiques the injustices of unfettered capitalism and doesn’t mince words:
How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?....
While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born...
The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule....
He’s setting the agenda for where he wants the Church to go, says Dennis Coday, editor of National Catholic Reporter. In the same way it made non-proliferation and anti-communism priorities decades ago.
And he walks the walk, says Coday. He’s forsaken he Papal Palace for a hotel, he drives a Ford Focus instead of the Papal limousine. “This is a man who is Argentinean,” a country that experience severe economic crises in the past two decades. “There were people in the streets banging pots and pans, there was close to a total collapse of the economic system - that’s his pastoral experience and his starting point.”
Pope Francis is sending a direct message to make poverty and inequality a priority not just to the 1.1 billion Catholics in the world, but he’s also laying out a very official document for the charities and dioceses run by the church, directing in so many words that this issue should enjoy a higher profile.
“I would like to believe that it could make a lot of difference,” says Brian Porter Szücs, professor of history at the University of Michigan, but “the only reason I might hesitate in my optimism would be that this has been the church’s message for well over a century.”
Szücs, whose work has focused on very Catholic Poland, says Politicians ignored previous Popes’ critiques of Capitalism, and focused on the critique of Communism. “It seems to be one of those messages that people hear when they wish to hear it and ignore when its more convenient to ignore it.”
The widening gap between rich and poor in many countries and emphasis on wealth would suggest that it’s a message that has been often ignored so far.
But the new pope’s emphasis combined with his bully pulpit, or Ambo as it’s known in Catholicism, isn’t insignificant. As Charles Curran, professor of human values at Southern Methodist University put it, “The very fact that you are writing this article, you and many others, is proof of the fact that he has a teaching voice and that will be heard by some people .”
People into or out of New York, Philadelphia, and other East Coast cities this Thanksgiving are probably watching The Weather Channel -- or looking for text messages from their airline, saying their flight is cancelled or delayed.
But chances of getting trapped on a plane on the tarmac for hours are way, way down. There aren't as many horror stories about passengers bottled up for hours and hours, sometimes without food or even working bathrooms.
The bad news: More flights get cancelled. And airlines wait longer to board passengers. Which can itself mean longer delays.
"The people are sitting in the lounge, they’re not on the plane," says Kenneth Button, who studies aviation policy at George Mason University. "The slot on the runway becomes available, and then the airline simply can’t take advantage of it."
Overall, the trade-off has worked, says Christopher Elliott, who writes a consumer-advice column for National Geographic Traveler.
"It’s better to be inconvenienced right there at your point of origin than stuck somewhere," he says. "Or to even, god forbid, be stuck on a plane that’s parked on a runway somewhere and can’t go anywhere."
John Heimlich, an economist with the airlines’ trade group Airlines for America, says some passengers might prefer a wait on the tarmac to a cancelled flight. "If you’re not there for Thanksgiving Dinner, it’s not so much fun arriving on Friday," he says. "Missing a wedding. Missing a key business meeting. Missing a college graduation."
To adjust, he says airlines have started notifying passengers earlier when their flight could have a problem. Sending texts.
And there’s social media. United tweeted this morning about options for travelers to re-book for cities where the weather was bad. Cleveland. Washington D.C. New York.
It is November 27th and I'm 90 percent done all my holiday-gift shopping. I may break my all-time record!
Mind you, I'm one of those people whose eyes roll far back up the head when I hear Christmas music the week after Halloween and mutter "sacrilege" when elves with pointy-toed shoes share shelves with plump turkey plush-toys sporting pilgrim hats. However, I'm a realist and the reality is that for most of us, holiday-gift shopping plus travel plans cut into our already busy lives. Which means stress -- and not only financial. So my goal each year at this time is as follows: Set spending budget. Stick to budget. Then budget my stress.
Spending under stress means possibly spending more. Yes, I may get more for my money as sales climb closer to the holidays, but on the flip-side, I won't be as efficient a shopper under duress. (To thine own sell be true, shoppers!) Also, I want access to what I'd like to buy in all sizes and colors, rather than being forced to buy a plaid shirt for my brother who would much rather have a Cosby-sweater in the right size. Truth be told, the only person who gets super-special treatment under the tree is my 7-year old daughter. 'Santa' shops much more strategically and over a longer period of time for this one. To be fair, she gave me a cheat-sheet (a.k.a. 'For Santa') so I can hold out another week for a price-drop on the limited edition Easy Bake Oven. But not too long or I'll be stuck with the purple model instead of the black and chrome. (The horror!)
And of course, now that I've looked up that oven online to price-compare, nearly every window I open on my laptop has the oven 'following' me from site to site. Quite crafty of online retailers (and Google), but nevertheless, a tad creepy. It reminds me of a nagging salesperson on the retail floor: "You sure you don't want it? I have it in magenta!" But, if it saves me $20 to be cyber-stalked (mildly), I'll take it.
On this week's show, Marketplace senior reporter, Stacy Vanek Smith, joins me to give us the real scoop behind how retailers are tracking you online and now even more, in the stores themselves!
How do you feel about walking into a store and the store knowing that you're there? Maybe sending customized sale alerts to your cell phone as you walk around? Tell us your take on retailers, both on and offline, tailoring service to you by data tracking. And if you're not a fan, what strategies do you have or resources do you use to block the 'elves'?
We'd love to hear from you!
Pope Francis also says in a new treatise that he begs God "to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor!"
A fresh tomato is 93.5 percent water. A fresh baby girl or boy is 75 percent water. A banana, 74 percent. We all start wet, and then, inevitably, dry. A 1-year-old baby carries 10 percent less water; a male adult 15 percent less. Life is a slow evaporation, with some curious exceptions.
As holiday shopping discounts kick into high gear this week, lots of people will be buying new smart phones. And whether you're an iPhone or an Android, one of the features that has had a lot of attention recently is voice recognition. But the more hands-free our tech world tries to be, the more a particular problem grows. A lot of voice recognition software seems to work best for English. And even if you're speaking English with an accent, Siri or Google might not translate nearly as well. Gabrielle Sama is the managing editor for CNET en Espanol. He and his reporting team have taken a close look at the issue. Sama joins Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson to talk about the continuing challenges of voice recognition software.