Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 10:55 am
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing delivers his State of the City address on March 7. If Bing and the City Council can't agree on a plan to reduce the city's budget deficit, state officials are poised to take away their power over Detroit's finances.
Detroit officials face a tough vote Tuesday as they try to keep their city from going over its own "fiscal cliff." If the mayor and City Council cannot agree on a plan to reduce the city's budget deficit, state officials are poised to take away their power and assume total control over Detroit's finances.
It's been a continuing vicious cycle: Detroit's population exodus, lost tax revenue and chronic mismanagement have left the city burning through cash to the point where the state of Michigan has to provide funding to help the city meet payroll for the next few months.
Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 6:04 pm
By Steve Mullis
In a statement on Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department said it will launch an underwritten public offering to sell its remaining 234,169,156 common stock shares in insurer American International Group Inc., better known as AIG.
The U.S. government bought the controlling stake in the company as part of the $182 billion bank bailout in 2008. The sale would bring an end to the government's run as the company's largest shareholder, which represented a 16-percent ownership in the company.
Update at 7 a.m. ET, Dec. 11. Settlement Announced:
Saying that "we accept responsibility for our past mistakes," the chief executive of Britain's HSBC has confirmed that the banking giant will pay a record $1.9 billion to settle charges related to a money laundering scheme in the U.S.
Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 8:44 pm
A Nordstrom salesperson shows a customer an online selection of shoes on an in-store iPad. Like some other retailers, Nordstrom is using mobile devices to make on-the-spot sales and check companywide product inventory instantly.
The women's shoe department at Nordstrom's flagship store in Seattle is bustling. Shoppers are trying on everything from stilettos to rain boots — and when they're ready to buy, they can pay up right where they are.
The sales associate simply whips out a modified iPod Touch and scans the shoe box's bar code. The handheld device contains a credit card reader, too, so the customer can just hand over the plastic and sign with a fingertip. There's no trek to the cash register and no line to wait in.
We want to turn now from Ghana to Nigeria, where there is disturbing news. The mother of Nigeria's finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was kidnapped this weekend. Police say they've launched a massive search to find her.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll hear about elections in Ghana. We'll talk about whether the election of President John Dramani Mahama to a new term confirms the country's reputation for leadership in democratic processes, or perhaps undermines it. That's later.
A year and a half ago, recession-ravaged Spanish society reacted to the economic crisis with the "Indignados," a mass protest that inspired the worldwide "Occupy" movement.
The "angry ones" are long gone from Spanish streets, but they've evolved into many grass-roots associations now filling the gaps left by the eroding welfare state, spawning a new form of anti-austerity resistance that embraces all branches of society, from those who have lost homes to foreclosures, to the entire judiciary.
Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:42 am
A group that advocates on behalf of food service workers has created an app that helps diners find restaurants that pay their workers livable wages and offer room for advancement.
Smartphone users have a wide range of apps to choose from if they're looking to dine ethically. There are apps that advise which supermarkets have good environmental records and apps that keep tabs on restaurants and markets offering sustainable seafood.
Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 7:33 am
A Japanese university says researchers discovered a chemical compound which apparently wards off the virus responsible for respiratory infections such as pneumonia. The compound is found in hops — which means you can drink it up in your beer. But for any benefit, you'd need to drink about 30 beers.