Alice Eastman, a single mother living in Wheaton, Ill., is one of many Americans who, after losing her job, tried to make ends meet on unemployment while she hunted for a job in her field. Then after a long, fruitless search, she took a lower-paying job in retail.
Eastman had a pretty good job making $75,000 a year at the park district in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, heading up its Department of Natural Resources.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was once written off as a footnote in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries. But, for the moment, polls now show him among the leaders.
Gingrich may have found his voice, in part, by turning the tables on the political press. Republicans have been doing this for decades — quite explicitly at least since Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew in 1968.
In Gingrich's case, it was a strategy masquerading as a tactic — one that he adopted over the summer at a time of desperation.
President Obama traveled early Thursday to the Australian city of Darwin, a base for past U.S.-Australian military cooperation. Now it will be one of several military bases from which the U.S. operates as it seeks to reassert itself in Asia.
Some 250 U.S. Marines will arrive in northern Australia next year, a number that will later expand to about 2,500. U.S. jets and warships will also train with the Australians.
Abraham Denmark, a China specialist at the Center for Naval Analyses, sees the new focus on Asia as a natural evolution of U.S. interests.
Herman Cain followed a path well-worn by other presidential candidates in Miami to the Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana on Wednesday. While there, he had a cup of Cuban coffee, sampled a croquette and, playing to the largely Cuban-American crowd called out, "Freedom for Cuba!"
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's surge to the top tier of the GOP presidential field has been sudden.
That's put him squarely in the media spotlight — Gingrich has been buffeted for the past several days over his consulting work for the mortgage giant Freddie Mac. But it's also highlighted the challenge he faces in early-voting states like New Hampshire, where he lacks a traditional campaign structure.
Patients in California may find a shuttered glass door the next time they seek out emergency care, as hospitals across the state close emergency rooms.
California hospitals that serve large numbers of blacks and Medicaid patients, who often rely on ERs the most, run a higher risk of closing the emergency deparment, according to an analysis just published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
They were four guys out of Athens, Ga., with a three-letter name — and one hell of an impact on rock. R.E.M. was Michael Stipe singing lead, Mike Mills on bass and harmonies, Peter Buck on guitar and Bill Berry on drums, until Berry left the band in 1997.
"We never expected the thing to last any longer than a couple of years to begin with," Stipe says. "And then when it did, and we were making records and people were interested in it, the band started getting bigger and bigger and bigger."
Being unemployed for more than two years changed the way Ray Meyer looks at politics. He has always leaned Republican and used to have little sympathy for those who were receiving unemployment benefits.
People get very riled up about foie gras, the fatty liver of ducks and geese.
Some are bothered by the force feedings the ducks and geese undergo to produce those fatty livers, which are 6 to 10 times the normal size. Others fear the fat itself – although foie gras enthusiasts insist that the delicacy is "surprising low in bad fats, and high in good fats."
A judge from a different Pennsylvania county who "has no known connections with Pennsylvania State University, the Second Mile charity, nor any officers or representatives of any of those entities," will handle the Dec. 7 preliminary hearing of the case against accused child sex abuser Jerry Sandusky, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reports.
The world of independent bookstores has a new member: Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn., opened its doors on Wednesday. The store has a marquee name behind it — best-selling novelist Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder, is the co-owner.
Reacting to sharp objections from the Vatican over a digitally created ad image showing Pope Benedict XVI kissing an Egyptian imam, Benetton has quickly agreed to drop the photo illustration from its new "Unhate" campaign.
On any given night, foreign visitors throng the many bars, restaurants and hotels overlooking the Tonle Sap River on bustling Sisowath Quay in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital. Among them, foreign men accompanied with Cambodian women are a common sight.
Just up the street is Rory's Pub, where a Celtic cross and a Bushmills whiskey sign hang on the wall.
How do you keep a cold city cool during the summer? Mongolia's capital city — , its average temperature at the peak of summer is 72 degrees Fahrenheit — has an idea that sounds adventurous.
During the cold months, the city of Ulan Bator wants to create artificial glaciers that will then melt slowly during summer, absorbing some of the heat and helping to keep the temperatures down. Here's how Wired explains the process in their piece today:
An Asian lizard that likes to come out at night has become a prime target for hunters looking to make a quick ringgit, dong or Philippine peso.
The tokay gecko is reputed to have HIV-fighting properties, though there is no scientific evidence to support that notion. And it's been an ingredient in Asian traditional medicines for lots of other uses, including cancer.
Tonight, the American literary establishment gathers here in New York for the National Book Awards. It's not quite the Oscars, but the honor can change the career of a novelist, historian or poet and vault a book to the top of the best-seller lists. Last year, the fiction award went to a little known author for her novel "Lord of Misrule," which had an initial press run of 2,000 copies. They've had to reprint. Jaimy Gordon joins us in just a moment. We'd like to hear from you too.
The biggest names on the Internet — Google, Facebook, Twitter, AOL and eBay — are banding together to urge Congress to scrap the Stop Online Piracy Act, which they say poses a huge threat to the Internet. The House is set to debate the measure today.
What does a clothing company that sells high-end products with names like Nano Puff know about the fish business?
"It is a big jump," Yvon Chouinard, the storied founder of Patagonia, admits to The Salt. He's talking about the company's new plan to sell fish — salmon jerky to be exact — at his retail shops around the world.
The Occupy Wall Street movement continues to protest policies that have made the top 1 percent of income earners richer, while about 14 million Americans are out of work.
Meanwhile, the Congressional supercommittee only has one week left to come up with a plan that will cut more than $1 trillion from the deficit. Republicans are opposed to raising revenues by raising taxes, even on the wealthiest Americans, who have seen their taxes dramatically cut over the past 14 years.
Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 2:28 pm
NEAL CONAN, HOST:
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in New York. The Supreme Court puts health care on the docket for the presidential campaign. The supercommittee can't move off the dime, while Cain and Perry suffer forgettable moments.
It's Wednesday and time for a...
GOVERNOR RICK PERRY: I stepped in it.
CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad, where's the beef?
Yesterday, New York City Police evicted hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters from privately owned Zuccotti Park in New York, on the orders of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. A judge in New York ruled that the removal was legal and protesters could use the park, but their free speech rights did not extend to putting up tents or staying overnight. Similar evictions in other cities have raised serious questions about the future of the Occupy movement.
I'll admit, it's kind of hokey to be talking about a novel called The Pilgrim right before Thanksgiving. What's even more quaint is the fact that The Pilgrim is one of those straightforward works of historical fiction the likes of which we don't see so much anymore.
Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 2:12 pm
A truck carrying coal slammed into a overcrowded bus this morning in the Northwest Chinese township of Yulinzi, killing 18 children and two adults. According to China's official news agency Xinhua, 44 other children were injured. Xinhua reports that "a van with nine seats was carrying 64 people."
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is fighting back opponents who want him out of office. If organizers gather more than 500,000 signatures in 60 days, a new election will be held in 2012. Host Michel Martin speaks with Gov. Walker, who defends his record and criticizes the recall effort that began Tuesday.