When American Airlines reorganizes under bankruptcy protection, it's not likely to seek widespread layoffs. The airline already made big cuts during the economic downturn. More likely, the company will seek big givebacks in retiree pensions and benefits.
What's being described as the largest national strike in a generation has begun in Britain. Some two million public sector workers are expected to take part. It's the latest in a wave of protests over austerity measures that have been sweeping through Europe for many months.
The Great Recession hit the industrial Midwest especially hard in recent years. Now, though, local leaders in at least one small Illinois city believe the worst is finally behind them. But they need to diversify — and attract new residents.
Across debt-ridden Greece, people are turning to a simpler form of commerce, using both formal and informal systems of bartering as a means to make ends meet. In places such as the fishing village of Volos, swapping goods and services is also fostering a new sense of community.
American Airlines is the latest airline to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Bankruptcy filings seem almost commonplace within the industry these days, in part because the stigma has largely disappeared.
President Obama is ramping up his campaign for a continuation of a payroll tax cut, which only affects the first $106,000 in individual income. Republicans object, in part because they don't even consider it a tax since the money goes to the Social Security Trust Fund. Democrats see it as a progressive tax cut. "Spreading the wealth" is a theme Obama campaigned on four years ago.
Berea College's 1,600 students come from low-income households, and sophomore Emily Nugent says they "know about the challenges Americans are facing." Inspired by their own diverse backgrounds, they're taking up causes like standing with the newly poor, helping immigrants or embracing their heritage.
Black Friday sales surged to their highest level since 2007, and early results from Cyber Monday's online sales are up almost 20 percent over 2010. The U.S. economy and many consumers continue to struggle, however, and some forecasters worry that the encouraging retail boost is unsustainable.
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