The Supreme Court said Monday it will review President Obama's health care overhaul, setting up an election year legal showdown.
In an apparent effort to be as comprehensive as possible, the court certified four questions for review. First, and most important: Did Congress exceed its constitutional authority in requiring virtually all Americans to have basic health care coverage?
Weapons and paraphernalia from gangs are displayed during a news conference in 2006. Authorities in Fairfax, Va., have brought five prostitution cases in the past year against gangs. One member of the MS-13 gang was recently sentenced to life in prison for sex trafficking.
The MS-13 gang got its start among immigrants from El Salvador in the 1980s. Since then, the gang has built operations in 42 states, mostly out West and in the Northeastern United States, where members typically deal in drugs and weapons.
But in Fairfax County, Va., one of the wealthiest places in the country, authorities have brought five cases in the past year that focus on gang members who have pushed women, sometimes very young women, into prostitution.
For the first time, the Department of Transportation has fined an airline for keeping passengers cooped up in a plane while it lounges on the tarmac for hours. Today, DOT announced it fined American Eagle, a regional affiliate of American Airlines, $900,000 for 15 planes that sat on a Chicago O'Hare International Airport runway for more than three hours.
Over the past 30 years, prolific American author Don DeLillo has written more than a dozen novels, including White Noise, Falling Man, Libra and Underworld. But his latest, The Angel Esmeralda, is a departure from his expansive novels. It is a collection of short stories — nine brief flashes, which, like DeLillo's longer works, center on characters who feel out of sync with the worlds around them.
A woman rides down a Manhattan street on a bicycle in New York City. Like many major metropolitan areas, New York has witnessed a surge in bicycle use and plans to launch a bike-share plan by next summer.
Credit Spencer Platt / Getty Images
A man rides down a Manhattan street on a bicycle in New York City.
Italy's new premier-designate economist Mario Monti meets with journalists at the Quirinale Presidential Palace after talks with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in Rome on Sunday. Monti told reporters that he will carry out the task "with a great sense of responsibility and service toward this nation."
In a country where politicians shield themselves behind dark-tinted windows in sleek limousines, Roman paparazzi are having a field day with Italy's new premier-designate, Mario Monti, who actually walks down the street, without bodyguards.
But the longest sound bite reporters are likely to get from him is: "Isn't it a splendid day?"
Monti was chosen to replace the flamboyant Silvio Berlusconi, who was forced to step down over the country's worsening eurozone crisis.
King Abdullah of Jordan put more pressure on Syria's embattled President Bashar Assad to step down.
"I believe, if I were in his shoes, I would step down," King Abdullah told the BBC. "If Bashar has the interest of his country, he would step down, but he would also create an ability to reach out and start a new phase of Syrian political life."
As one GOP presidential candidate after another bounces up, and then down, in the polls, Mitt Romney has established himself as the slow and steady front-runner for most of the race.
Even if he's not thrilling the Republican Party's conservative wing, the former Massachusetts governor has managed to hover at or near the top. That's also true in the leadoff caucus state of Iowa, despite waging a low-key campaign.
It's easy to think of local food as a diversion for people with plenty of time and money — something that could never be a major source of food in a globalized world. But the number $5 billion might change that perception.
Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 2:37 pm
When the Diaspora project was first announced, it made huge waves in the tech world. A group of students from New York University were asking for money to create a social network that rivaled Facebook, but without the privacy concerns. They wanted a place where users had full control of their content and they raised more than $200,000 to do it.
Over the weekend, Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the founders, died at age 22. The cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 1:39 pm
It wasn't long ago that Libya's former Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril was praising NATO for its help in toppling Moammar Gadhafi. But in an interview with Bloomberg published today, Jibril casts suspicion on foreign powers.
Jibril questions Qatar's involvement in domestic politics and essentially blames "foreign powers" for the death of Gadhafi. Bloomberg reports:
Most Penn State fans at Saturday's game expressed sympathy for victims of child abuse. Many bought T-shirts to help raise money for PreventChildAbusePA.org. But some took out their frustrations on a lone protester.
Accounts vary on how much flack he caught, but they agree that some Penn State fans did not appreciate John Matko's one-man protest outside the school's football stadium Saturday before the game with Nebraska.
The 34-year-old Penn State alum held two signs with messages such as "put abused kids first. ... Don't be fooled, they all knew. ... Honor the abused kids by cancelling this game and the season NOW."
Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 1:17 pm
Chances are that at some point you've donned a small pink ribbon supporting awareness of breast health and efforts to fight breast cancer. Chances are you might not recognize one of the women who brought it to universal prominence. Evelyn Lauder died on Saturday. She was a vice president of the cosmetics corporation founded by Estee' Lauder, her powerful mother-in-law. The Estee Lauder Companies says Evelyn Lauder, who was 75, died at home in New York of non-genetic ovarian cancer.
... sent us looking for other reports about what the Journal says is a national trend: "raw land destined for residential development has fallen so far in value that thousands of acres across the country are being used again for agriculture."
A few other pieces underscore the strength in farmland prices:
Police are getting tougher on 'Occupy' demonstrations across the country, working to break up encampments. Police made dozens of arrests on Monday morning in Oakland, Calif. Host Michel Martin learns more from reporters who are covering the Occupy Oakland movement: Martin Kaste of NPR and Bob Butler of KCBS Radio.
If you've been waiting anxiously for that $199 Kindle Fire tablet you pre-ordered from Amazon.com, this should be welcome news:
The company says it started shipping the tablets today — one day earlier than it had planned.
"Kindle Fire quickly became the bestselling item across all of Amazon.com, and based on customer response we're building millions more than we'd planned," Dave Limp, vice president of Amazon Kindle, says.
Thomas Brausse traded his job selling stocks for one selling sausages. He opened the Frankfurter Wurschtboerse, or Frankfurt Sausage Exchange, after he lost his job in Germany's financial capital in 2008.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Europe could be living through its toughest hour since World War II.
Merkel was referring to the debt crisis that has resulted in bailouts for countries, toppled governments and is now threatening the survival of Europe's single currency.
These are nervous times in places like Germany's financial capital, Frankfurt. But for one former trader — who exchanged his computer terminal for pork sausages sizzling on a grill — these are not necessarily the worst of times.
Jack Raykovitz has resigned as CEO of The Second Mile — the program for at-risk children founded by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who's been accused of sexually abusing young boys for more than a decade.
Neither Raykovitz nor anyone else at Second Mile has been accused of any crime. Sandusky, through his lawyer, has maintained his innocence.
The Supreme Court has added a case challenging the constitutionality of the provision of last year's health overhaul requiring nearly every American to have health insurance beginning in the year 2014 to the list of cases it will hear this term.
Last month, the Nobel Prize for physics was awarded to three scientists who discovered that, since the Big Bang, the universe has been expanding at an accelerating rate. Before the discovery, scientists assumed that gravity slowed down the expansion of the universe. But the data collected by one team led by astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter and another team led by physicist Brian Schmidt indicated otherwise.