When McDonald's announced plans Tuesday to overhaul the Happy Meal — downsizing French fries and adding apples to to every kids' meal — the company's top brass used every communication trick they know to get the message out: Twitter, Facebook, and more. And they didn't just invite journalists to their webcast announcing the overhaul; they also invited select bloggers — namely, mom bloggers.
The famine in Somalia is the first official famine declared by the United Nations since 1984, when nearly a million people died in Ethiopia and neighboring Sudan. Now, more than 10 million people in the Horn of Africa are desperately short on food, and the international community has pledged to respond.
Over the past few weeks, there's been lots of talks about how a default would affect the United States economy. But over the past few days, the talk has shifted a bit to include talk of a growing possibility that even if Washington averts default, the country could still face a credit downgrade from its golden triple-A rating.
Originally published on Wed July 27, 2011 10:14 am
By NPR Staff and Wires
With the clock ticking down, Congress appeared no closer to a deal to raise the debt ceiling Wednesday as Republican and Democratic leaders worked to sell lawmakers on their competing plans.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said he would rewrite his proposal to include more cuts after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said late Tuesday that the measure would reduce spending less than advertised. GOP leaders postponed a House vote on the plan but expected to reschedule it for Thursday.
The Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday that Sen. Harry Reid's debt ceiling plan falls short of the kind of deficit reduction the proposal envisions, sending the Senate minority leader back to his numbers crunchers to try and find more savings.
The CBO, a non-partisan heartbreaker of a government agency that estimates for lawmakers what their proposed policies are likely to cost, sort of Washington's version of the Delphic oracle, told Reid that his plan would cut the deficit by $2.2 trillion over a ten year period from 2012 to 2021.
In an interview with Tell Me More's Michele Martin, the Class of 1943 Professor at Princeton University took some heavy shots at the budget plans presented this week by Democrats and Republicans, who he believes are in the pocket of "Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats":
After more than four months, NFL players and owners have reached an agreement to end the lockout. NFL Players Union Head DeMaurice Smith tells host Michel Martin what he's most grateful about under the new deal and what was the toughest to give up. They also discuss what players were doing during the lockout, and what fans can expect this fall.