The European Central Bank left its main interest rate unchanged, but ECB head Mario Draghi signaled the bank could purchase bonds and lower borrowing costs in the future. The battle for Aleppo raged on as Syrian rebels' handling of pro-government militiamen drew criticism. President Barack Obama announced new sanctions on Iran's energy sector. And India suffered the worst blackout in history, which left 670 million people without power. James Kitfield of National Journal, Susan Glasser of Foreign Policy magazine and David Ignatius of The Washington Post join Diane for analysis of the week's top international news stories.
The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the economy was weaker but took no new steps to help. The House and Senate remained at loggerheads over whether to extend the Bush-era tax cuts. Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney returned from a week-long overseas trip. And Chick-fil-A fans and critics took to the streets following anti-gay marriage comments by the company's president. Greg Ip of The Economist, Julie Hirshfeld Davis of Bloomberg News and Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post join Diane for analysis of the week's top national news stories.
It was just a year ago that the House rejected a deal with President Obama and threatened to allow the U.S. to default on debt obligations coming due. The Tea Party refusal to raise the debt ceiling led to a downgrade in U.S. credit and a selloff in the markets. NPR's David Welna reports on what's changed since then and what hasn't.
A new study by some prominent tax analysts looks at how much Mitt Romney would have to reorder the tax code in order to make the tax cuts he proposes. As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, that became a rallying cry for President Obama during a pair of campaign stops in Ohio Wednesday.
Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill is facing a tough re-election fight. On Tuesday, Republicans will select their candidate to challenge her in the fall. All three major contenders are dyed-in-the-wool conservatives who have been battling in a wild and expensive race.
President Obama campaigns is campaigning in Ohio, Florida and Virginia. While Ohio and Florida are perennial battlegrounds, Virginia has emerged as one of this year's most important contests. Volunteers backing President Obama fanned out across the state over the weekend, looking to line up support.
Sequestration is on the minds of many on Capitol Hill. It's the jargony term for automatic across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to begin taking place in January if politicians cannot agree on a deal to cut the federal deficit. Half of those cuts — totaling some $500 billion — would come from defense. House Republicans are blaming the Obama administration and are demanding the Pentagon explain where it would cut. The Pentagon refuses even to plan for the cuts.
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