President Obama lost a couple of economic battles on Capitol Hill on Thursday, but he is hoping to win the political war. The president vows to keep fighting for policies he says will benefit the broad middle class.
As Obama spoke to reporters in the White House briefing room, an electronic clock behind him ticked down the minutes, hours and days until year's end. That's when a payroll tax cut is due to expire, unless Congress votes to extend it.
As information becomes more digital, public libraries are striving to redefine their roles. A small number are working to create "hackerspaces," where do-it-yourselfers share sophisticated tools and their expertise.
The Allen County Public Library, which serves the city of Fort Wayne, Ind., has a modest hackerspace inside a trailer in its parking lot. Library director Jeff Krull says hosting it is consistent with the library's mission.
For the second week in a row, the Senate on Thursday voted down proposals to extend the payroll tax holiday through next year. In the case of the Democrats' proposal, Republicans objected to the "millionaires surtax" that would be used to pay for it.
Ever since the idea of the surtax was introduced weeks ago, Republicans in Congress have railed against it, arguing that it is a direct hit on small-business owners and other job creators.
Last month when Chiquita announced it was moving its corporate headquarters from Ohio to North Carolina, it said it was lured there in part by the number of flights in and out of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Cincinnati came out on the losing end of the deal because like so many other cities, it faces a shrinking airline hub, which can affect the city's business climate.
The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, or CVG, is big but kind of empty. Business traveler John Bonno from Atlanta was noticing recently how desolate it feels.
The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration released its final report this week into last year's West Virginia mine explosion. That explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 workers. The government has maintained that the company that owned the mine, Massey Energy, didn't do enough to prevent the accident. Now, documentation obtained by NPR indicates that the government didn't do enough, either.
Virginia Tech is quiet Friday morning after a gunman shot and killed a campus police officer and then killed himself Thursday afternoon. For hours the sprawling campus in Blacksburg, Va., relived the horror of a 2007 shooting that left 33 dead and raised troubling questions about the university's slow response to the tragedy.
European Union leaders wrapped up a 10-hour-long meeting in Brussels agreeing on a fiscal pact that will require stricter budget discipline. But Britain is among countries not signing on to the deal. The head of the European Central Bank is calling the pact positive. It's not clear, though, whether the move is enough to relieve Europe's debt crisis in the near future. NPR's Philip Reeves wraps up the meeting.
This Sunday marks the fifth anniversary of Mexican President Felipe Calderon declaring all-out war against the drug traffickers in his country. On December 11th of 2006, he vowed to use all the powers of the state to bring the druglords to heel. The narco-war of Calderon´s presidency has left a stunning casualty toll - more than 40,000 people dead.
NPR's Jason Beaubien joins me from Mexico City to talk about the Calderon administration's battle with the cartels. Good morning, Jason.