A few years back, Planet Money and the New York Times told the story of a Wisconsin school district that bought CDOs — the complicated investment products that were at the heart of the financial crisis — without really knowing what
Washington, D.C., has joined dozens of other jurisdictions across the country that are suing online travel companies for tens of millions of dollars in what they claim to be unpaid hotel taxes.
The Internet travel industry is growing fast. Expedia, Priceline and Orbitz raked in more than $7 billion last year. Revenue from hotel bookings on Orbitz alone shot up more than 10 percent to about $200 million.
Like millions of Americans, Jerome Hicks, an assistant property manager in Rockville, Md., makes all his hotel and plane reservations on the Internet.
The United Nations is warning that 6 million North Koreans — a quarter of the population — could be at risk of starvation. It's warning of a likely humanitarian crisis, with North Korea's public distribution system set to run out of food in May.
North Korean food shortages are no longer news, but this year Pyongyang has made unusually public pleas for food aid, raising fears as well as suspicions.
In North Korea, from May until July is called the "lean season." This year they're already using other Orwellian euphemisms, too, like "alternative food."
"I'm losing sleep, I'm losing dignity," Edwyn Collins sings in the title song of his new album, Losing Sleep. Powered by soul-music rhythms and sung in a tough, terse tone, Collins sounds impatient, eager to get on with his life. The music is the work of a man on a mission.
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is being treated at a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, The Associated Press and Reuters report.
Neither wire service has information about why the 82-year-old Mubarak was hospitalized, although the AP notes that "near the end of his rule, he had been suffering from a number of health problems and had undergone gallbladder surgery."