The rating agency Standard and Poor's sent out an alert downgrading France's debt on Thursday. It turned out to be a false alarm, but it took nearly two hours for S&P to clarify that. S&P says it's investigating the mistake.
And let's talk now about a man who served his country out of uniform for generations. J. Edgar Hoover created the Federal Bureau of Investigation as we know it today. In his lifetime, he built up an image as a hero. His career went from the end of World War I to the 1970s. Since death in 1972, many have reevaluated Hoover as a menace. Now, Hoover is the subject of a movie in which he is played by Leonardo DiCaprio, in a film directed by Clint Eastwood. Kenneth Turan has a review.
A law passed after the Exxon Valdez oil spill requires the government to assess the biological damage from big spills so fines can be fixed and damage paid for. The National Academy of Sciences has a report describing the methods and metrics of determining the "ecosystem services" that have been lost due to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Women attend a talk on Wednesday at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Portland, Ore. The conference offers mentoring and recruiting for women in technology fields.
Credit / Courtesty Anita Borg Institute
Anita Borg received a Ph.D. in computer science from New York University in 1987 – a rare feat at the time. Realizing how few women were in the industry, Borg created Systers, a community email discussion group for women in computing. In 1997 she founded the Institute for Women and Technology, which was later renamed in her honor.
Credit Paul Sakuma / AP
Meg Whitman joined eBay as its CEO in 1998, when the company had approximately 30 employees. Two years later, she became the first female billionaire in the Internet industry. She stepped down in 2008 after expanding the company to more than 15,000 employees, and in September 2011 she was named the new CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
Credit Jae C. Hong / AP
Although Silicon Valley faces challenges in recruiting more female employees, woman have played vital roles throughout the history of computing. Augusta Ada Byron King, daughter of the poet Lord Byron, assisted Charles Babbage in the 1840s with his description of the Analytical Engine, the original design for a computing machine. Her notes on the theoretical machine are thought to be an early model for software, over 100 years before it became a reality.
This week thousands of women gathered in Portland, Ore., for the Grace Hopper Celebration, the world's largest technical conference for women and computing. High-tech companies are hiring, but there aren't nearly enough women to meet the demand.
Kate Schmalzried, a graduate student at Stanford, recalls one of her very first classes at the university — Computer Science 106A.
"That was really a good introduction to women in tech — there weren't many women in the class," she says, chuckling. "I distinctly remember being the only girl in my section."
Myanmar President Thein Sein (shown here in March 2010, left) has promised change, but some fear that he's a puppet of the repressive military leadership. He pleased many onetime critics by suspending construction on a controversial dam.
Credit Christophe Archambault / AFP/Getty Images
Yangon residents enjoy the sunset on the city's river. For decades, the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar has suffered under a repressive military rule. But a new government installed in March says it's sincere about reform.
Credit Courtesy photo
Outside Mandalay, ordinary people crowd onto the most common form of transportation in Myanmar — private bus.
Credit Courtesy photo
In largely Buddhist Myanmar, monks occupy a revered position in society and have often led anti-government protests. Here, monks walk along the U Bein Bridge in Amarapura, a former capital located just outside Mandalay.
The government of Myanmar bars or severely restricts reporting by foreign correspondents. NPR is withholding the name of the veteran journalist who recently entered the country and filed this story, in order to protect his identity and his ability to return in the future.
The Senate has approved just in time for Veterans Day a series of tax credits designed to make it easier for veterans to find jobs.
Some 240,000 veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are out of work. The Senate bill would provide tax breaks of up to $9,600 to private employers who hire them.
The tax credits are the first sliver of President Obama's $447 billion jobs package to actually win bipartisan approval in the Senate. Obama says service members who fought for their country shouldn't have to fight for jobs when they come home.
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi promised Tuesday to resign after parliament passed economic reforms demanded by the European Union. The debt crisis in Europe has been compounded by political problems.
Barely two weeks ago, it appeared that European leaders had a package to contain their debt crisis. Greece's problems would be managed, with private bondholders taking a hit on their investments and a new bailout to help the government meet its obligations. A European rescue fund would protect Italy and Spain from any risk spreading from Greece.
Markets soared. And then, this week, they crashed.