European officials are struggling over a solution to a government debt crisis that's affected the European Union for nearly two years. The biggest source of panic is still Greece's government finances. But there are clouds over other countries as well — like Italy and Spain. Zanny Minton Beddoes of The Economist talks to Steve Inskeep about the financial crisis in the eurozone.
In Spain, the dismal economy is having an effect on more than people's pocketbooks. It's fundamentally changing families. Spain already has one of the lowest birth rates in Europe. But now that rate is plunging even lower, as the government cuts child benefits, and families put off having children amid economic uncertainty.
The president's $447 billion jobs bill, which was sent to Congress this week, would end a slew of tax breaks for corporations and those households with annual incomes of more than $250,000. Republicans say there's little chance of Congress accepting the proposal.
At a hearing before the bipartisan deficit-cutting panel on Tuesday, the head of the Congressional Budget Office managed to short-circuit partisan bickering over the debt by laying out some facts: Trimming around the edges is not going to be enough to slash the deficit this fall, Doug Elmendorf warned.
The nation's poverty rate rose last year to 15.1 percent, the highest level in 17 years, according to new data from the Census Bureau. The agency's latest poverty report, released Tuesday, shows that the median income dropped last year by more than 2 percent to about $49,445.
The tornado that destroyed nearly one-third of the city took out homes, schools and businesses. To mitigate the ongoing impact on the local economy, business owners and the area's Chamber of Commerce are finding ways to re-energize the local market.
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