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Poverty Rate Unchanged, But Still Historically High

The government says that the poverty rate for 2011 was 15 percent, essentially unchanged from the year before. That still means that more than 46 million people lived below the poverty line last year. According to one economist, "the bad news isn't as bad as it has been."

Sharp Differences Dull U.S. Influence On Euro Crisis

The ongoing European debt crisis is expected to pose major challenges to the next U.S. administration.

Germany Clears Next Big Step For Eurozone Recovery

Germany's Constitutional Court has approved the country's participation in the 500 billion euro fund to help ailing eurozone nations. Germany is by far the largest contributor to the European Stability Mechanism, as it's called. The court made clear that it will closely monitor Germany's involvement in future eurozone bail out initiatives.

Is The Black Middle Class Disappearing?

Steven Gray is a young, ambitious African-American journalist. But he's struggling to find a job, he feels himself slipping out of the middle class, and he says he's not the only one. Host Michel Martin speaks with Gray about his recent article in, where he says the black middle class is vanishing.

Major Decision On European Debt Due In Germany

The summer's over, and Europeans are returning from vacation to harsh reality — the battle to save their single currency zone from collapse. Every now and then there's a milestone in a simmering crisis that's ruined banks, brought down governments, and triggered riots and bail-outs. On Wednesday Germany's constitutional court will rule on Europe's new bail out fund.

U.S. Treasury Cuts Stake In AIG With $18 Billion Sale

The Treasury Dept has reduced its stake in AIG by selling $18 billion worth of company stock. In doing so, the U.S. government moved from being AIG's majority shareholder to simply having a stake in the company. The sale guarantees that taxpayers will come out ahead on the bailout of the insurer.

The iPhone 5 And The Economy: Don't Believe The Hype

Will there be a smartphone stimulus this fall? Don't hold your breath.