National / International News
A news conference is reportedly being scheduled for Monday evening, when St. Louis County officials will relay the jury's decision.
A big shift has occurred over the last few years. Tech companies now control how you get news and what news you get. Should journalism companies be building and deploying more technology?
For this week's Sandwich Monday, we make our own holiday turkey — out of hot dogs.
We're only beginning to grasp the implications of President Obama's executive action on immigration, announced last week. With millions of undocumented immigrants free to work legally, and deportation no longer a risk (at least for a few years), there will be better-paying jobs for many – and a lot less stress.
For some, there may be another opportunity: education.
In some states, undocumented workers who qualify for deportation relief will become eligible for in-state tuition. They'll be able to get driver's licenses, making it easier to get to school. They also may be eligible for work-study jobs and internships.
Some may enroll in professional programs to become lawyers, teachers and pharmacists, says Michael Olivas, who teaches immigration law at the University of Houston, "because many of them just hadn't been able to afford it before."
Under the new policy, as many as 3.7 million parents of children who were born in the U.S. — or are legal residents — will become eligible for temporary relief from deportation, according to the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute. Another 290,000 undocumented immigrants whose parents brought them here illegally could also qualify. The action lifts the age requirement for the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which applied only to people 30 and under.
The new policy won't mean a flood of new college students, says Michael Fix, president of the Migration Policy Institute.
That's partly because most who qualify are older than the traditional college-going age. Also, undocumented students still won't qualify for federal financial aid. Most of those who are eligible live in states that already offer in-state tuition to undocumented students, Fix says.
But the new policy will help the school-age children of many who qualify, he says.
"What you could see among some of the U.S. citizen children is more persistence in school, better attendance, you could see maybe better grades, and you might well see better health," he says.
A recent study from the nonprofit group Human Impact Partners found that children in families under the threat of detention or deportation end up with less education than children of citizens.
"Undocumented parents are really struggling with poor job conditions, with economic hardship and stress, and it can limit their participation in learning activities," says Lili Farhang, one of the study's authors.
Undocumented parents who have shied away from institutions, for fear of being found out, might now be more involved in their children's schools, Farhang says.
An immigrant from Peru, Lorella Praeli didn't discover that she was undocumented until her senior year in high school, but her sister found out at a much younger age.
"I could see how it affected her so much in both how she performed in school and how she related to others," says Praeli, director of advocacy with the United We Dream network, which advocates for immigrant youth and families.
Two years ago, Praeli's sister qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and has blossomed in college, Praeli says.
"I was able to see it firsthand in my family, how this piece of paper this identification card and a nine-digit Social Security number – just changed who Maria was," she says.
Praeli now has her green card. And under the new policy, their mom will qualify for one, too.
When Chuck Hagel was appointed secretary of defense in early 2013, the military was winding down from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But new overseas conflicts have changed the job's requirements.
Today's secretary of defense needs to possess management experience, the ability to oversee shrinking budgets and be skilled at dealing with conflict at home and abroad. Military experience is a plus but not required. Must be a strong policy adviser.
Budweiser has been using Clydesdales in its holiday advertisements since 1987. But this year the brewing company is saying goodbye to the horses and hello to Jay-Z.
With the help of Jay-Z, the brewing company hopes to appeal to untapped potential customers. According to the Wall Street Journal, 44 percent of 21 to 27-year-old beer drinkers have never tried Budweiser.
To add some context, Jay-Z has appeared in a few Budweiser advertisements in the past, like this one from 2012:
And in case you are a huge Budweiser Clydesdale fan, give thanks for the Internet. You can watch this Budweiser holiday commercial from the 1980s here:
Or the 2014 Super Bowl commercial here:
If OPEC doesn't decide to cut oil production when it meets in Vienna this week, some say oil could fall to $60 a barrel. Lower costs sound like bad news for the oil industry and good news for the rest of us.
But it's not that simple. There are other losers – and a chance that $60 oil could end up being bad news for all of us down the line.
The oil boom has produced one big set of winners outside of the traditional oil business: the whole economies of oil-producer states like North Dakota and Texas.
"The places where the booms have been occurring have largely benefited from increases in land and housing prices," says economist Michael Greenstone, director of the University of Chicago's Energy Policy Institute. "They’re now going to give some of that back."
When oil prices collapsed all of a sudden in the late 1980s, it blew back on the rest of us, says Michael Webber, deputy director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.
First, he says, oil producers in Texas and Oklahoma went bankrupt, "which caused a lot of land deals to go bad— because the land had been overvalued, which caused tens of thousands of savings and loans to go bankrupt and belly up, which caused a nationwide S&L scandal, which eventually led to recession."
That particular set of dominoes isn’t likely to fall this time, Webber says. But it’s an example of what can happen.
Nobody knows for sure whether we’re looking at a long stretch of low oil prices. Maybe we’re looking at a stretch of volatility – prices that go up and down.
That can slow down the economy, says economist Christopher Knittel, director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at MIT.
He starts with household example: Gas prices are high, so a family buys a Prius instead of an SUV. "Now, if oil prices fall, then they wish they had bought the more-powerful car instead of the more fuel-efficient car," he says.
But it’s too late, the money’s been sunk. Companies can also get caught with the wrong big-ticket items. Airlines, railroads, shippers. "When they bet wrong, then their prices have to increase," says Knittel. "And we pay those prices."
The really big picture
Lower gas prices could have another cost: More driving, which leads to more carbon emissions and more global warming. Economists are still struggling to calculate the price, but they expect it to be high.