Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 2:35 pm
By taking his name out of consideration for the Federal Reserve chairmanship this weekend, Lawrence Summers became a metaphor for the difficulties President Obama has had in pursuing his economic agenda.
And the end of Summers, at least as Ben Bernanke's potential successor, signaled that the president's inability to get traction on his economic agenda is likely to get worse, not better. Now even lawmakers in his own party are willing to break with him on high-profile economic decisions.
In the past few years a wisp of a trend has emerged suggesting that the huge rise in obesity among children and teenagers may have peaked.
Here's one more bit of evidence: Teenagers are cutting back on sugary drinks, getting more exercise and watching less TV. But overall they're still pretty awesomely bad when it comes to healthful behaviors, a study finds.
Financial markets rallied Monday, a day after Lawrence Summers took himself out of the running to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. Summers had been seen as a front-runner to replace Ben Bernanke, whose term expires in January.
His exit improved the odds for his chief rival for the position — Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen — as well as those of Donald Kohn, the former vice chairman of the Fed board.
It's been half a century since the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed. The blast killed four little girls and was a turning point in the civil rights movement. Host Michel Martin revisits that era with historian Taylor Branch.
The world watches and waits to hear if the Assad government will give up Syria's chemical weapons stock. In the meantime, George Perkovich of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace talks with host Michel Martin about Israel's view on the Syrian conflict.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 12:41 pm
For the first two millennia of McDonald's Breakfast Menu, very little changed, but the past several months have brought startling reforms. The company introduced the Egg White Delight McMuffin, which has 50 fewer calories and one fewer yellow spot than the regular McMuffin. They stopped slapping you in the face when you try to order the Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait. And now, they bring us the Steak, Egg & Cheese McMuffin.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 1:20 pm
Not long ago, we reported on a new University of Michigan study that found the more young people used Facebook, the worse they felt. According to the research, Facebook use led to declines in moment-to-moment happiness and overall life satisfaction.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:09 am
Chemical weapons were used in Syria "on a relatively large scale" on Aug. 21, says U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who issued a report by U.N. inspectors Monday. The attack killed civilians, "including many children," and constitutes a "war crime," Ban wrote. He expressed his "profound shock and regret" at the findings.
Ban received the report over the weekend from professor Ake Sellstrom of Sweden, who headed the inspection team in the incident that took place near Damascus. The secretary-general briefed the Security Council on the report earlier Monday.