After weeks of mounting anxiety and collapsed deals, Congressional leaders and President Obama reached an agreement Sunday night to end the debt ceiling crisis. Those leaders will attempt to sell that deal to fellow lawmakers Monday, and if all goes well, a bill increasing the debt ceiling by nearly a trillion dollars could await the president's signature Tuesday.
That's the day the Treasury Department had said the nation's first-ever default could occur if Congress failed to act.
We now turn to Libya, where yesterday there were rebels fighting rebels in their stronghold of Benghazi. The fighting comes after the mysterious death late last week of senior rebel commander Abdul Fattah Younis. It's not clear yet who is responsible for his assassination. We now join NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro from Benghazi, where she's been following the twists and turns in this story. Welcome.
In a sharp escalation of violence in Syria, government troops Sunday moved into the central city of Hama, killing dozens, in a bid to regain control of a major hub of the country's opposition movement.
The small, central Kentucky town of Berea has long had a reputation as a progressive community. Berea College was among the first southern schools to open its doors to women and African Americans. But as WEKU’S Ron Smith reports, recent intolerance raises questions about the town’s commitment to its ideals.
The Syrian government launched a major tank offensive against its own citizens in the city of Hama and an eastern city on Sunday. Activists and western diplomats say the death toll is more than 100 across the country, in what appears to be an all out effort to crush a four month uprising against Syrian President Bashar al Assad. "They were trying to protect the barricades that they had put up to all entrances to the city," NPR's Deborah Amos tells weekends All Things Considered host Guy Raz.
Whether Congress reaches a deal to raise the debt ceiling or not, financial markets will still open for business on Monday. Felix Salmon, a blogger for Reuters.com explains the potential reaction to a debt ceiling agreement — or disagreement — on Wall Street. "Once you lose your AAA [rating] it's gone," Salmon says. "Once you get the downgrade it will be downgraded for the next foreseeable future."
Another day, and still no deal on the debt ceiling crisis. On Saturday, the two sides — or the several sides — seemed to be talking to each other again. On Sunday morning leaders of the Senate began showing signs of movement on a bipartisan deal. But by early evening no deal had been announced. "It has gotten so quiet — too quiet, as they say in the movies," NPR's Don Gonyea, tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "It seems like the White House is focused on the House today...they want to let [Speaker of the House John Boehner] do what he needs to do."
But when it comes to insurgent attacks in Afghanistan or Iraq, that's not exactly the case, says Neil Johnson, a physicist at the University of Miami. Johnson tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about the equation his team has developed that predicts when such attacks will happen.
"We found ... that there was a kind of rhyme and reason behind the numbers," he says. "They weren't just accelerating, they were accelerating in a particular way."
Credit Bill O'Leary / The Washington Post/Getty Images
Van Jones was President Obama's special adviser for green jobs when he was hit with a wave of criticism from conservative pundits about his past associations. The controversy forced him to leave his post in September 2009, but it wasn't the last we'd hear of him.
That same conservative wave went on to make a major splash in Congress through the Tea Party. Jones decided to fight back, founding a group called the "American Dream Movement."
China is stepping up Internet censorship, telling hotels and cafes they need to monitor public Wi-Fi usage or face fines and punishments.
China is already one of the most heavily censored places in the world — along with places like Burma (Myanmar), Iran and many Middle Eastern countries.
Now, new software being developed at the University of Michigan may help Internet users find away around the blockages. Alex Halderman is an assistant professor of computer science at the university, and one of the developers of the new system, called Telex.