The U.S. poverty rate last year was unchanged from the year before, according to new figures Wednesday from the Census Bureau. But that still means almost 1 in 6 Americans was poor.
The new data show that 46.2 million people in the U.S. lived below the poverty line — about $23,000 for a family of four. The number of poor was almost exactly the same as it was the year before, but still historically high.
We turn now to Washington for more reaction to this brazen attack. The Obama administration is sending a Marine anti-terrorism unit to bolster security in Libya. It's also taking precautions elsewhere. The stepped up security comes as the State Department mourns its losses. NPR's Michele Kelemen has that story.
MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Shock and sadness hovered over the State Department as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke of the devastating losses of four foreign service personnel.
This morning, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said this about the slain ambassador, Christopher Stevens.
SECRETARY HILLARY CLINTON: He risked his life to stop a tyrant, then gave his life trying to help build a better Libya. The world needs more Chris Stevenses.
BLOCK: Earlier this year, before Chris Stevens assumed his position as ambassador to Libya, he made a video, subtitled in Arabic, directed to the Libyan people. It was posted on the U.S. Embassy's website and on YouTube.
Technicians with the Contra Costa County Mosquito and Vector Control District spray insecticide in Brentwood, Calif., last month. Workers fogged areas of the county that had an increase in the numbers of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus.
The numbers for West Nile virus cases continue to rise, up 35 percent in the last week. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is confident the nation has turned the corner on its worst-ever epidemic of West Nile virus disease.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
It's the third day of the teachers' strike in Chicago. For the first time in 25 years, teachers are on the picket line and 350,000 students are out of class. The strike poses a unique challenge for Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel. That's because he's also one of President Obama's top fund-raisers and surrogates.
The eurozone crisis has weighed heavily on the global economy and it will remain a central foreign-policy challenge for President Obama or Mitt Romney, whichever man wins in November. The Obama administration has repeatedly urged eurozone countries to shift their focus from austerity to growth. This week, we're focusing on foreign policy issues facing the next administration.
And NPR's Sylvia Poggioli has this story on the eurozone.
A Syrian documentary film producer whose disappearance two weeks ago prompted concerns for his safety and a letter of support from the Toronto International Film Festival is now free, according to reports.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:47 pm
This summer in Maine, I ate more lobster than at any other time I've been there – twice in one day on a couple of occasions. We lobster lovers had the glut of soft-shells, which started in June as the lobsters began to shed earlier and faster than usual, to thank for the more affordable market price of around $4 or less a pound.
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 8:07 pm
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says the three jailed members of the politically radical punk rock band Pussy Riot should have their sentences commuted to time served.
"In my view, a suspended sentence would be sufficient, taking into account the time they have already spent in custody," The Associated Press quoted Medvedev as saying during a televised meeting with members of his United Russia Party.
Spanish-language network Univision announced Wednesday that, along with Facebook, it will host discussions with the presidential candidates next week, calling them "the first-ever events of their kind targeting Hispanic Americans."
The "Meet the Candidate" events — featuring Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Sept. 19 and President Obama on Sept. 20 — will be held at the University of Miami and will be broadcast on Univision and streamed online in English.
Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 11:07 am
The order to tighten security at all U.S. diplomatic posts around the globe following attacks in the Middle East may be necessary, but it will come at a cost.
There has been an enormous increase in security precautions at American embassies and consulates over the past 30 years, and the bubble that many diplomats now operate under makes it more difficult for them to interact with people in other countries, limiting their ability to gather information and promote the American "brand."
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, he is the biographer of Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois and Jackie Robinson, and now Arnold Rampersad is the winner of a prestigious lifetime achievement award for his body of work. We'll speak with this legendary writer in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 8:02 pm
Most Americans knew nothing about Innocence of Muslims. That's the film that has set the Muslim world on fire, causing protests in Egypt and Libya that led to the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We've been talking a lot about the economy in the past couple of weeks. The issue was at the forefront of the two political conventions that just ended and put a further exclamation point on the debate over whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney would be the best person to address the issue.
This year's presidential debates have no Latino moderators on the slate. So one network is taking matters into its own hands. Univision's Jorge Ramos is set to moderate discussions with each of the major party presidential candidates. He tells host Michel Martin it's time for the Commission on Presidential Debates to move into the 21st century.
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 1:46 pm
Since cholesterol-fighter Lipitor went generic late last year, the price has plunged.
You can pick up atorvastatin, the generic version of Lipitor, starting at about 50 cents a pill, if you buy a month's supply at Costco. A year ago, the brand-name version went for $3.50 and up per dose. And the brand-name pills still cost around $4.28 at Costco.
Glass, debris and overturned furniture are strewn inside a room in the gutted U.S. Consulate. Ambassador Stevens died as he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as a crowd of hundreds attacked the consulate, many of them firing machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
People inspect the damage at the U.S. Consulate, one day after armed men stormed in during a protest over a film they said offended Islam, in Benghazi.
Credit Paul J. Richards / AFP/Getty Images
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives to speak on the killing of Stevens and three staff members. "This is an attack that should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world," she said. "There is no justification ... violence is no way to honor faith."
Credit AFP/Getty Images
An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. Consulate compound in Benghazi late on Tuesday.
Credit Ben Curtis / AP
Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador who was killed Tuesday in Libya, often chose difficult assignments. He worked closely with Libya's rebels last year when they overthrew Moammar Gadhafi. He's shown here speaking to journalists in Benghazi in April 2011, shortly after the uprising against Gadhafi began.
Credit Ben Curtis / AP
U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens worked closely with Libya's rebels last year when they overthrew Moammar Gadhafi. He's shown here speaking to journalists in Benghazi last April.
Credit Mandel Ngan / Getty Images
U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, who was killed Tuesday, worked closely with Libya's rebels last year as they fought to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi.
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 2:59 pm
Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was a very special diplomat. He made a career of going to difficult places and insisting that he witness tumultuous events firsthand.
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 2:55 pm
Some well-funded pro-Mitt Romney superPACs and other advocacy groups are pulling their TV ad dollars in Pennsylvania and Michigan and are doubling down on efforts in what they consider to be more crucial swing states — such as Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Colorado.
Those are states where President Obama has also been spending considerable time campaigning lately, but where he's facing a barrage of attack ads from his Republican rival and the conservative superPACs, such as American Crossroads, and nonprofit advocacy groups, like Americans for Prosperity.
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 11:23 am
As a strike by Chicago's schoolteachers enters a third day, the president of their union says negotiators are still "miles apart" from an agreement to get 350,000 students back in the classroom, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The talks were set to resume Wednesday morning, but Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said there had been only "centimeters" of progress and that the union and city were still "kilometers apart."