Two years ago, the Arab Spring was a fountain of hope. Autocratic leaders whose rule was measured in decades were suddenly ousted, raising the possibility of political, economic and social change in a region that was lagging.
But with a coup in Egypt on Wednesday and Syria's civil war raging, the widespread optimism in the spring of 2011 has turned into fears of chaos during the summer of 2013.
The Obama administration's decision late Tuesday to postpone the requirement for employers with 50 or more workers to offer health coverage or risk fines has satisfied some key members of the coalition that supported the law.
But the one-year reprieve also raises new questions about the administration's ability to get the huge health law up and running in an orderly fashion. The deadline for the new health exchanges to begin enrolling individuals is Oct. 1.
War is hell, Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman is famously said to have uttered.* And the food, he might as well have added, was pretty lousy, too.
As the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg — a turning point in the Civil War — it's worth remembering that the men who fought on that Pennsylvania field did so while surviving on food that would make most of us surrender in dismay.
Coming up in a few minutes, we'll dive a little deeper into what's going on with the abortion debate in Texas. But first, we want to talk about a development that's affecting recipients of housing assistance in Los Angeles County. The U.S. Department of Justice this week ordered LA County and the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale, California to pay a total of $12.5 million in damages to residents of subsidized housing. That follows a two-year investigation by the department.
And now, this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're going to go back to law and the politics of abortion, and we want to focus on what's happening in Texas. Early this morning, legislators there revived an effort to restrict access to abortion in that state. The bill would ban most abortions after 20 weeks and it would also place new tough standards on existing clinics.
The next couple of days will bring fireworks, hot dogs — and a new unemployment report.
At least the first two will be fun.
As for Friday's job-market assessment, the Labor Department report likely will show little or no change in the 7.6 percent unemployment rate. "There is still a general weakness in the labor market," says Daniel North, economist with Euler Hermes, a credit insurance company.