Chinese 'Button Town' Struggles with Success
A small Chinese town, with about 200 factories and 20,000 migrant workers, produces 60 percent of the world's supply of buttons. But Qiaotou's manufacturers are victims of their own success — cannibalizing one another's businesses with cutthroat prices.
Iraq Violence Grows Despite U.S. Security Plan
The rising death toll and number of insurgent attacks in Iraq has forced the U.S. to add troops in Baghdad to try and reverse the trend in the country's capital. The U.S. plans to eventually turn over security responsibility to Iraqis.
TV Channel Cuts Scenes of Smoking in Cartoons
The classic cartoon channel Boomerang has agreed to cut scenes from Tom and Jerry cartoons showing characters smoking. A British media watchdog complained about cartoons that put smoking in a positive light. Turner Broadcasting, which runs Boomerang, has agreed to review its archive material.
Government Concerned by Animal-Rights Activists
In Los Angeles, federal and local authorities are worried about what they call escalating threats from radical animal-rights activists. Some city officials, including the ex-head of the city's animal control department, have required constant security after attacks on their homes.
States Make Medicaid Patients Responsible for Care
This summer West Virginia is launching a new experiment in health care. It will reduce health benefits for Medicaid recipients who fail to follow doctors' orders, or who use emergency rooms for non-emergency care. Kentucky is starting a similar program. Advocates say making patients more responsible for their own care will save money for the state.
California Raising Minimum Wage to $8
California lawmakers agree to raise the minimum wage by almost 20 percent over the next 18 months. The increase will lift the state's minimum wage from $6.75 an hour to $8 an hour. It will be implemented in two steps, first a 75-cent increase at the beginning of 2007, and then another 50-cent increase on January 1, 2008.
Ancient Bones Found to be Pygmies, not 'Hobbits'
Almost two years ago, scientists found bones of an unknown species of early humans. These people were tiny, and the one skull they found had a braincase that looked too small to be human. Now another group of scientists says the bones were actually pygmies, and the skull was small because that individual was diseased.
Banker Quattrone Avoids Third Trial
Investment banker Frank Quattrone, once a power in California's Silicon Valley, avoids a third trial on obstruction and witness tampering charges with the acceptance by a New York judge of an agreement between Quattrone and prosecutors.
Gas Prices Drive Ford F-Series Sales Slump
Ford Motor Company's recent decision to reduce production of its very successful F-Series trucks is probably a direct result of rising gas prices. It's been the best selling pick-up truck in the country for more than two decades.