Federal Reserved policymakers were a bit more upbeat about the economy than in their last statement, but that's not saying much. Fed officials say the unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent well into 2013. Chairman Ben Bernanke took questions after Wednesday's Fed meeting and said the best way to combat increasing inequality is to have an economy that creates jobs. Guy Raz talks with NPR's Jim Zarroli for more.
New York state's second-largest public employee union must approve an austere new contract, or face the possibility of 3,500 layoffs. The union rank and file already rejected a nearly identical deal once. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo insists the state can't afford further concessions.
No one can guarantee that the rice crisis of 2008 won't happen again. A lot of damage remains from the disaster that sent rice prices soaring even while there was plenty of rice. And there's still some of the fear that produced the crisis in the first place.
Hundreds of elderly residents visit an IKEA in Shanghai to chat, drink free coffee and look for partners. They have turned it into an informal and occasionally rowdy lonely hearts club and though store managers would like them to leave for hurting IKEA's image, they are too polite to kick them out.
Las Vegas has 13 percent unemployment and the country's highest foreclosure rate. But there are short-term signs of life, including Zappos' bringing 1,000 jobs downtown, and long-term potential in medicine and IT. Mayor Carolyn Goodman says that to prosper, the city needs to offer more than gaming.
Norris and Janis Galatas had planned to be settled at middle age. But then Norris got wounded in Iraq and Janis lost her job. They're barely squeaking by, and they feel like the middle class has been left behind. "It's sad that the American dream is not even realistic anymore," Norris says.
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