Canadian authorities have disrupted an alleged plot to derail a passenger train line near Toronto, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced Monday. The two accused, Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser, are charged with "conspiring to murder" in an act linked to a terrorist group. The authorities say the suspects are not connected to last week's attack on the Boston Marathon.
The 45-year-old Paul Kevin Curtis is better known as an Elvis impersonator. His lawyers said he is being set up by an enemy.
So what can $300 million buy you in China? Perhaps, the Chinese version of the Rhodes Scholarship.
That's what the Chinese and American private equity mogul Stephen Schwarzman are hoping. The Blackstone Group founder is doling out $100 million of his own money and raising another $200 million to set up an international scholarship program at elite Tsinghua University in Beijing. Alumni include business leaders as well asa China's president, Xi Jinping.
The scholarship will enable 200 students a year to study for a master's degree, and come into close contact with top Chinese students.
"This scholarship for China is a soft power coup," says Marketplace's China Bureau Chief, Rob Schmitz. "If you're the Chinese communist party, the students you want to reach will now be coming to you."
And it's not just the Chinese government that wants to make a good impression abroad. Investors in the scholarship want to demonstrate their continued committment to working in China.
"If you take a look at who's donating money to this scholarship, it's basically a who's who of U.S. companies doing business here," Schmitz says. "You've got Boeing, Caterpillar, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America... all these companies do big business in China."
Money raised for the scholarship will fund 10,000 students over the next 50 years. About half, Schmitz says, will be from the U.S.
Potential applicants take note, fluency in Mandarin is not required.
"The emphasis here seems to be more on schmoozing with other elite students in China, getting to know the country a little, but not getting to know the culture or language too deeply."
Chase announced earlier today the launch of a new online initiative called "The Resource Center for Mindful Spending." It's meant to help consumers "take steps toward a better financial future."
What inspired Chase to emphasize financial literacy?
"They may see their job as getting us to trust them first," says Michael D'Antonio, co-author of "Spend Shift: How the Post-Crisis Values Revolution Is Changing the Way We Buy, Sell, and Live."
In his research, D'Antonio found there are new ideas about consumption, driven by ideas beyond getting or having. Chase could be trying to keep up with new demand from consumers.
Chase is emphasizing the idea of "mindful spending" which D'Antonio says takes us back to a time before credit cards.
"When you had a wad of bills in your pocket, you could feel it getting smaller," he says.
Could up-to-the-second updates on your finances could help keep spending -- and end of the month anxiety about credit card bills -- in check? "Information is a great cure; I think it's better than Xanex."
According to data Chase released along with news of the Mindful Spending Initiative, only 39 percent of Americans are spending the same or more than they did during the recession. D'Antonio says that seems accurate based on his research.
"I think people are taking pride in spending less," he says, pointing to examples of people getting their toasters repaired instead of buying new ones. "It's a great pleasure to be able to extend the life of something that you paid good money for.”
It's still tough to say if this rejection of hyper-consumerism is a long-term trend because a portion of the population, like young people, is unemployed or under-employed. It still remains to be seen if young people will maintain frugal ways when their incomes go up.
D'Antonio's latest work is "The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future."
Children who got warts were more likely to have school classmates and relatives with warts. But going swimming, using public showers and going barefoot had little effect on whether a kid had warts or not.
The U.S. Supreme Court grappled with a tough First Amendment issue on Monday that pits congressional priorities against free speech rights. At issue: what speech limitations may be placed on private groups that receive federal grant money to fight HIV/AIDS abroad.
On the day of the Boston Marathon, people heard the news about bombs exploding from their radio or their TV or the Internet. Some people in Boston got the news from giant digital billboards suddenly converted into giant public message boards. But the very same day that Boston billboards lit up with messages, 77 digital billboards in Los Angeles went dark, after a judge ruled that they were in violation of the law.
Opponents of digital billboards say they distract drivers. People who live near them complain that their thousands of LED bulbs shine into their homes at night. Billboard companies like Clear Channel and CBS Outdoor argue they don't distract drivers and they provide a valuable public service.
The digital billboards around Boston displayed messages that said, "Two explosions at marathon finish." Meanwhile 3,000 miles across the country in Los Angeles, Dennis Hathaway noticed that the digital billboard near his house wasn't working.
"I walk my dog every morning and I walk by that billboard at seven in the morning and it was dark," says Hathaway.
He wasn't surprised that the billboard had been shut off. In fact, he was quite happy about it. He's the president of a nonprofit called Ban Billboard Blight, which has been fighting to have many of the city's digital billboards removed.
"The billboards themselves went up without any notice to surrounding property owners," Hathaway says. "They shined in peoples windows. They were in intersections where there was a lot of pedestrian and motor traffic."
Ban Billboard Blight isn't opposed to digital billboards. The organization believes they should be confined to commercial and industrial areas and not be allowed to shine in residential neighborhoods.
This same battle is being waged between outdoor advertising companies and the public in cities across the country. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel recently proposed a plan approve 30 digital billboards, which he says will bring in $15 million a year to the city. Durham, N.C., banned all digital billboards, and in New Jersey, a judge recently struck down a digital billboard ban.
"The federal government as represented by the Federal Highway Administration put out guidance in 2007," says Ken Klein with the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.
Ultimately, the Highway Administration left it up to states to decide how to regulate digital billboards. But it did make recommendations. The signs should not be placed in areas that would compromise public safety, they shouldn't be unreasonably bright and each image should be displayed for 8 seconds.
"So the attraction of that advertiser is the speed, the flexibility the ability to change the message as often as necessary," Klein says.
Those are the same attributes that make billboards useful tools for law enforcement. Since 2007, the FBI has had a partnership with digital billboard company Clear Channel that allows them to post Amber Alerts. And as they did during Thursday's manhunt display photos of the Boston Bombing suspects.
The FBI says that digital billboards have led to the apprehension of 51 fugitives in those six years, a number that Outdoor ad companies will likely cite as they continue to lobby local governments.
A.J. Clemente's career at KFYR was over before it started. It leads us to ask: What's your best — in a bad, or good way — first-day story?