All of the survival challenges I've been faced with so far in my life were about on the level of the time I locked myself in my basement without a cellphone. I'm not a danger-seeker, and I've always been a little suspicious of people who are. But those forced to struggle for their very survival — due to the cruelty of others, or freak weather, or strange twists of fate — earn my unqualified awe, an awe that multiplies exponentially when the people thus tested are teenagers or even mere children. Here are three electrifying stories of very young people surviving very bad things.
Months of unrest in the Middle East and North Africa continue to take their economic toll. While tourism figures are down across the region, patterns are shifting. Beirut became the favored destination for Arab travelers reluctant to endure post Sept. 11 hostility in the West, but now it's losing those wealthy Persian Gulf visitors to Turkey.
Lawmakers in the House passed the Cut, Cap and Balance Act Tuesday. The measure conditions a higher debt ceiling on a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. The largely symbolic vote was seen as a chance for the most conservative elements of the Republican majority to flex their muscles and show their commitment to a "no new taxes solution" to the federal deficit issue.
Despite Greece's economic crisis, tourist visits have actually increased by 10 percent this year. That's due in large part to continued unrest in Egypt and other parts of North Africa. But Athens is not feeling the love. Reports of anti-austerity riots outside Parliament and rising crime in the Greek capital are scaring tourists and investors away.
With no signs that the NBA lockout will be resolved anytime soon, the players union is encouraging its members to take their talents overseas. New Jersey Nets Point Guard Deron Williams recently announced that he will play for a team in Turkey. Steve Inskeep talks with Sports Illustrated's Pablo Torre about the possibility more players will follow suit.
Same-sex marriage becomes legal in New York on Sunday. New York City officials have been overwhelmed with more than 1,700 applications, and they fear they will not be able to handle all those requests on one day.
As News Corp. executives Rupert and James Murdoch gave testimony to members of a parliamentary panel in London on Tuesday, they were also speaking to a different audience: The people who own their company's shares and sit on its board.
From the opening moments, Rupert Murdoch made clear even in crisis that News Corp., while a publicly traded company, is very much propelled by the vision of one man. He interrupted his son James to make the point.
"I'd just like to say one sentence: This is the most humble day in my life," he said.
The House spent all day Wednesday debating GOP legislation requiring a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution before the debt ceiling could be raised. Republicans passed the bill knowing it has little chance of going anywhere in the Democratic-run Senate and also faces a veto threat.