The city of Detroit has been in the headlines after the state announced plans to appoint an emergency financial manager. But how are smaller cities dealing with a budget that's in the red? To find out more, host Michel Martin speaks with Diana Garza, mayor of Floresville, Texas. Garza is new to the job — a position that pays $100 a month.
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith may be best known for his appearance in videos. He was sitting next to bin Laden when the al-Qaida leader took credit for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Ghaith may appear in a Manhattan court on Friday.
Security Council members voted to impose tough new financial and trade restrictions on Pyongyang in hopes of halting its nuclear program.
This country has a weight problem, which has created a disease problem. Namely, diabetes. And that, in turn, has created an economic problem. A new study by the American Diabetes Association says the disease cost the economy an estimated $245 billion last year, a 41 percent increase since 2007.
And that big jump spending can’t be blamed on runaway medical costs. In fact, the cost of treating diabetes is actually rising slower than health care inflation in general. The big increase is the number of folks with the disease; five million people have been diagnosed with diabetes in the last five years.
“This is the heart of the health care crisis in terms of expenditures,” says Robert Ratner, chief scientific and medical officer at the American Diabetes Association.
His study found that one of every five health care dollars in the U.S. goes to treating diabetics.
“Individuals with diabetes are recommended to see a physician four times per year. They are on average taking anywhere from three to nine medications per day,” says Ratner.
Taxpayers pick up some of those costs.
“Already, one in three Medicare dollars is spent on people with diabetes. It’s an enormous cost to our health care system and to our economy,” says Cynthia Rice with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International.
Treating the disease is big business for drug-makers.
“Two of the top 20 drugs sold in the country are drugs that treat diabetes,” says Ira Loss, executive vice president of Washington Analysis, a federal policy research group.
According to Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, a diabetes drug called Januvia, for instance, saw its sales jump 22 percent year to year. Lantus, another huge seller, was up almost 20 percent over the year before.
But diabetes also exacts high a high price in terms of absenteeism, reduced productivity and unemployment due to disability. According to the American Diabetes Association, that cost the economy $69 billion last year.
What can be done?
Robert Ratner believes the key to reducing diabetes is reducing obesity.
“Clearly we have a food industry that is out to sell food that people want to eat, not necessarily looking at the health qualities of those foods,” says Ratner.
Americans are attracted to restaurants that offer big portions because we’re looking for value. But to save money in the long run, it’s better to minimize, rather than Super-Size.
Facebook has had its ups and downs since it went public last year, and today it announced another tweak to the design of its main page. CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new and, according to him, improved, newsfeed that will display photos better and offer users a better way to interact with news and information about their "friends."
He likened it to a "personalized newspaper." The news feed will be broken down into sections so you can have a file for your friends, your close friends, you music, and so on.
"We believe that the best personalized newspaper should have a broad diversity of content -- high-quality content from world renowned sources and socially and locally relevant updates from family, friends and those around you," Zuckerberg said. "It should also enable you to be able to drill into an topic that you want to discuss."
It is designed to make us happier and, not coincidentally, to make Facebook more money. As usual, Facebook did not address the money question directly. Recent data suggest that Facebookers are using the site less -- and with all the tweaking going on, some analysts have expressed concern that Facebook is worried about losing customers.
Then again, if Facebook wasn't making changes, analysts would probably be second-guessing the company as well.
The Dow is still in record territory in early trading this morning. The surge comes on the heels of strong jobs data from the Labor Department, which show applications for unemployment benefits have fallen to a five-year low.
As home prices rise, more owners are preparing housing for sale -- and construction companies and building supply chains are hiring again.
And here’s a little mystery, Wall Street style. What gives with the NASDAQ? The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 are at or near historic highs. But the NASDAQ -- the index that tracks mainly tech stocks -- isn’t reaching the same height. It’s true the NASDAQ did reach a 12-year high this week. It’s just nowhere near its historic level. And given the stratospheric height it reached during the 1990’s tech bubble, some analysts think that’s a long time off.