Payday loans can be a cycle of debt Minnesota lawmakers are considering two bills that would restrict payday lending. Fifteen states have already banned the practice and Congress may cap interest rates as well.6:45 a.m.
Commentator urges all of us to simplify The economists have not refined it yet, but commentator Peter Smith says there's a lesson embedded in all the financial turmoil around us. He can sum it up in one word: simplify.6:55 a.m.
Pawlenty's budget forecast assumes property tax hikes Gov. Pawlenty is scheduled to release his revised budget plan this afternoon to address the state's projected $4.6 billion deficit. While he insists he won't approve a tax increase, the budget forecast assumes that local governments will raise property taxes.7:25 a.m.
White House Scolds AIG On Bonus Payout
Pressured by demanding global financial markets and a populist backlash at home, President Obama unloaded on AIG executives Monday for keeping bonuses but extended an offer of help to small businesses.
NPR Poll: More Voters Think U.S. Is On Right Track
A new NPR poll shows that President Obama's job approval rating is high, and despite the economic crisis, far fewer voters think the U.S. is on the wrong track, compared with pre-election numbers. While the Democratic position on issues is favored across the board among likely voters polled, there's some reason for Republicans to hope.
New Data Show D.C. HIV/AIDS Rate High
In the District of Columbia, 3 percent of the population has been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, a rate not seen since what was considered the height of the epidemic in the 1990s in San Francisco. Health officials have attributed the high rate in part to the new routine testing for HIV at all medical visits.
Bolivia's Traditions, Diversity Impede AIDS Fight
Bolivia has the lowest HIV/AIDS prevalence in South America, but the epidemic in the country is growing rapidly. Bolivia's macho culture and its indigenous and cultural diversity make it difficult to reach many at-risk groups.
Pope Begins Seven-Day Trip To Africa
Pope Benedict begins a weeklong trip to Africa Tuesday, the continent where the Catholic Church is growing most rapidly. He'll stop in only two countries — Cameroon and Angola — but will deliver a message to the entire continent. Steve Inskeep talks with National Catholic Reporter correspondent John Allen, who is in Cameroon's capital Yaounde.
Darfur Activists See Aid Crisis As Test For Obama
Sudan kicked out more than a dozen groups helping people in Darfur after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for its president. Now, President Omar al-Bashir says he wants all foreign aid groups out within a year. Activists are calling for President Obama to take action.
Economist: Aid To African Nations Not Working Well
Steve Inskeep talks with Zambian-born economist Dambisa Moyo about her book Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa. Moyo has been a consultant for the World Bank and an economic sub-Saharan Africa specialist for Goldman Sachs. She says American and European good intentions discourage innovation and breed corruption.
Taiwan Hopes Chinese Tourists Jump-Start Economy
Taiwan has welcomed about 1,600 Amway salespeople from China. Beijing and Taiwan hope more mainland tourism to Taiwan will jump-start the island's economy and ease tensions between the longtime rivals.
Expansion Plans On Hold At Hong Kong's Disneyland
Disney opened its first theme park on Chinese soil in 2005. The company promised to make the park in Hong Kong bigger once the throngs of mainland tourists arrived.Visitor numbers haven't lived up to projections. With the credit crisis complicating financing talks with the Hong Kong government, Disney has put expansion plans on hold. The company said it has fired 30 people involved with the project.
Hawaii's Tourism Hurt By Economic Downturn
The slumping economy has taken a toll on Hawaii's No. 1 industry. Last year the state recorded the worst yearly drop in visitor arrivals since the beginning of the Great Depression. Vendors, hotels, airlines and tourism workers are all struggling — but the tourists who do make it to the islands are enjoying some extraordinary deals.