A report by a congressional commission says the U.S. has lost tens of billions of dollars during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because of waste and fraud in government contracts. The panel offered 15 recommendations to tackle the contracting mess. But one suggested fix — hire more government workers — might not be too popular right now.
Towns in southern Vermont's Deerfield Valley are slowly getting reconnected with the outside world as road crews repair highways ravaged by Irene. But the resort communities face a harder time re-building their tourism-based businesses. They're worried about getting back on their feet in time for the fall foliage season, and the ski season ahead. John Dillon of Vermont Public Radio reports.
Nearly all Libyans agree that security should be a top priority for the country's interim government. Some councilmen and rebel commanders say the first step to ensuring security will be to take away the light arms that both sides handed out en masse.
European powers played a key role in helping Libyan rebels defeat Moammar Gadhafi through the NATO bombing campaign. But now EU policy makers face a huge test in helping Libya secure the peace with humanitarian aid, technical and logistical support.
For millions of tourists who flock to Athens every year, the city at the foot of the Acropolis represents the cradle of democracy and the sublime art of antiquity.
But to crime writer Petros Markaris, the Athens of today is both a peaceful Balkan haven and a symbol of the ugliness of modern, corrupt societies. In his detective novels, he takes on the financial and social crises sweeping Greece.
If you're hankering for something new to drink — something more interesting than the usual cocktail or soda — you may want to look to the past. Way back in the 19th century, pharmacists and soda-jerks created all sorts of exotic, lip-smacking sensations by mixing fizzy mineral water with unique blends of sweet syrups and bitters.
When it comes to the economy, there's lots to worry about: Jobs, home prices, debt. And all those concerns seemed to have come together in the latest snapshot of consumer confidence — it plunged to its lowest level in two years.
The concern is that a country full of increasingly pessimistic consumers will stop spending and undermine the recovery.
But the relationship between consumer confidence and spending habits isn't at all straightforward.