4:54pm

Tue July 26, 2011
Economy

On U.S. Debt, An Early-Warning Indicator Flashes Red

A week from now, the U.S. Treasury may default on some debts as it hits against a $14.3-trillion debt ceiling.

Despite that once-unthinkable possibility, financial markets appear calm. The stock market has not crashed and interest rates have held steady.

Still, one indicator is showing investors are getting nervous: the cost of insuring U.S. government debt against default is starting to spike.

"It's an early-warning indicator," says Otis C. Casey III, director of credit research for Markit Group Ltd., a London-based financial information services company.

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4:27pm

Tue July 26, 2011
Business

McDonald's Move May Make Healthy Business Sense

When McDonald's announced Tuesday that it would make the standard child's Happy Meal more healthful, company officials said they were responding to the desires of its customers. But the move also makes business sense, analysts say.

"This is good publicity and if you sell more happy meals, you're likely selling more Big Macs to the parents," said Peter Saleh, a restaurant analyst with Telsey Advisory Group in New York.

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4:26pm

Tue July 26, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Papayas Recalled Over Salmonella Risks

iStockphoto.com

Even papayas can spread salmonellla, it turns out.

There's a recall of papayas from Mexico after testing by the Food and Drug Administration found samples from Agromod Produce had the same strain of bacteria seen in outbreaks of salmonella affecting 97 people in 23 states.

McAllen, Texas-based Agromod Produce distributes four papaya brands: Blondie, Mananita, Tastylicious and Yaya.

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4:18pm

Tue July 26, 2011
Economy

What A Credit Ratings Cut Could Mean For The U.S.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in April. The country's credit rating could suffer if Congress fails to address the nation's long-term debt.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

With a debt ceiling deadline approaching, party leaders spent the day counting votes.

There are two plans: One, the handiwork of House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), the other from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

The problem is that it's not clear that either one can muster the votes necessary for approval.

Monday night, President Obama dramatized the threat this way:

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3:44pm

Tue July 26, 2011
The Two-Way

Wisconsin Politics Now Turns To A Bloody Balloon Incident

Wisconsin has been the scene of plenty of political altercations over the past few months: from legislators fleeing the state to avoid a union bill vote, to the state House being shut down because of protestors, to one Supreme Court justice holding another one

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3:31pm

Tue July 26, 2011
All Politics are Local

Disability Protesters Picket Rand Paul

A group protested outside Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) Louisville office on Tuesday. The protest was meant to raise awareness of a bill being considered by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor and Pensions, which Paul sits on. The legislation was drafted by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). It will help protect youth with disabilities from sub-minimum wage employment and will help them into the competitive workforce, Harkin wrote in an email.

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3:00pm

Tue July 26, 2011
Economy

Can Boehner's Debt Ceiling Plan Pass?

Speaker John Boehner's plan for raising the debt ceiling in two steps and cutting the budget comes to the House floor Wednesday. Does he have the votes to pass it? Then what?

3:00pm

Tue July 26, 2011
NPR Story

Egyptians At Odds Over Military's Role In Government

When the military stepped in and eased the way out for Hosni Mubarak earlier this year, its leaders insisted they only wanted to be a caretaker government, finding the best pathway to civilian and democratic rule. A new electoral law has been promulgated, and it looks like parliamentary elections will be held in November. Some in the military want the army to continue to play the role of safeguard for the new system that is emerging. But others — primarily the young — argue the military cannot be trusted with that kind of power.

3:00pm

Tue July 26, 2011
NPR Story

White House Official Discusses Debt Ceiling Talks

Michele Norris speaks with Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president for economic policy. They talk about the latest developments in the debt ceiling negotiations.

3:00pm

Tue July 26, 2011
NPR Story

Seniors Complete To Be 'Miss Alabama Nursing Home'

Monday in Birmingham, 75 contestants from the "retirement set" went toe to toe for the title of "Miss Alabama Nursing Home."

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