House Speaker John Boehner, surrounded by Republican House members, speaks during a news conference in Washington last week. The House initially rejected a plan to extend a tax cut for two months to buy time for talks on a full-year renewal. It later compromised — a rare event in 2011.
Credit Susan Walsh / AP
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer answers reporters' questions about the House's inability to pass a payroll tax cut extension. At right is Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Congressional approval ratings are on the rocks, hovering in or near single digits for the first time since pollsters started measuring them. But just how bad is the current congressional stalemate?
Thomas Mann, senior fellow of governance studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, is working on a book about Congress with a title that provides a succinct answer: It's Even Worse Than It Looks.
In modern history, Mann says, "there have been battles, delays, brinkmanship — but nothing quite like this."
Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin started the Juilliard guitar program. Her new album, Guitar Passions, features collaborations between Isbin — who studied with Andres Segovia, among others — and artists with very unclassical careers: jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan, rock singer Nancy Wilson of the band Heart, soprano saxophonist Paul Winter and several others.
At Pace University in New York, college students who tutor seniors in local retirement homes are prepped with sensitivity training. Brittany Beckett (left), a Pace student, and Muriel Cohen work together at United Hebrew of New Rochelle.
Credit Courtesy of Pace University
A week after Christmas, many Americans are no doubt trying to figure out how to use the high-tech gadgets they got as gifts. This can be especially challenging for seniors. But a number of programs across the country are finding just the right experts to help usher older adults into the digital age.
For Pamela Norr, of Bend, Oregon, the light bulb went off as she, yet again, was trying to help her own elder parents with a tech problem. To whom did she turn?
Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 12:43 pm
A supporter receives blessings from Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare during the first day of Hazare's hunger strike, in Mumbai, India on Tuesday.
Credit Rajanish Kakade / AP
India's anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, 74, has begun another three-day fast in Mumbai just as Parliament begins debate on a bill that would create an office with the authority to investigate corruption.
Kerry Ingram is one of four young actresses portraying the title role in <em>Matilda the Musical</em>.
Credit Manual Harlan / Playbill
The West End production of the Royal Shakespeare Company's <em>Matilda the Musical</em> opened at the Cambridge Theatre on Nov. 24.
Credit Manuel Harlan / Playbill
Tim Minchin performs during the Prince's Trust Rock Gala 2011 at Royal Albert Hall on Nov. 23 in London.
Credit Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images
While pantomime performances of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are traditional English holiday entertainment fare, there's a new hit in town. Londoners are flocking to Matilda the Musical, a souped-up version of Roald Dahl's well-known children's novel, playing in London's West End.
The production by The Royal Shakespeare Company has been proclaimed the best British musical in years. But despite most of the cast being under 16, this show is certainly not just for kids.
One AeroShot contains 100 mg of caffeine and sells for $2.99, making if roughly comparable to buying a latte.
Credit Breathable Foods
If you've ever lamented the time and effort it takes to brew or procure a cup of coffee, this might perk you up. "Breathable Energy. Anytime. Anyplace."
That's the campaign slogan for AeroShot, a plastic inhaler, roughly the size of a lipstick tube, filled with a powdery, calorie-free mix of caffeine, B vitamins, and citrus flavors. It's slated to hit stores in January, just in time for the New Year.
But some aren't so sure selling caffeine in pocket-sized tubes — and marketing it to young people — is a great idea.
According to the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index released Tuesday, home prices were down 3.4 percent this year as of October — around a 35 percent drop from their peak.
Credit Scott Olson / Getty Images
This month, consumer confidence jumped to its highest level since April, a sign that the U.S. economy is starting to mend. But the housing market isn't going along yet with this cheerier mood: Home prices were down 3.4 percent for the year as of October, according to a new report released Tuesday.
Critics of Syrian President Bashar Assad have been debating whether it would be better to threaten him with prosecution or encourage him to go into exile. Here, Syrians hold a rally supporting Assad in Damascus this month.
Credit Muzaffar Salman / AP
The death toll in Syria keeps mounting, as do the calls for the ouster of President Bashar Assad. But in dealing with Assad, should the international community threaten him with prosecution at the International Criminal Court or offer him a comfortable exile?
That question is being widely debated, and came up several times earlier this year with the ouster of other Arab autocrats. Last month, a United Nations commission found that Syrian security forces loyal to Assad had killed hundreds of children and perpetrated other "crimes against humanity."
As you know, numbers can often be looked at several ways.
There's the headline that "dozens of Kmart, Sears stores to close" and the topline news that "between 100 and 120 Sears and Kmart stores" are going to be shut down as the retailer looks to trim costs and move ahead after it endured a pretty poor holiday shopping season.
Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 9:14 am
Looks clean up here, but down below it could be a mess.
What gunk lurks in the bathroom sink drain? A fungus that can cause infections in humans, for one thing.
The fungus in question (genus Fusarium) can cause sinus infections and funky toenails. On rare occasions it kills people with weak immune systems. More recently, it has caused serious eye infections in people who wear contact lenses.