The European debt crisis is being blamed for a run on the shares of French banks. The stocks tumbled on the Paris stock exchange yesterday, amid fears the country's "Triple A" credit rating was under threat. Government officials and the banks said the fears were based on speculators spreading rumors.
Investors have been witnessing big swings on Wall Street as well as Asian and European exchanges. And now France is the latest country caught up in the debt crisis plaguing Europe and the United States. Jonathan Loynes, the chief European economist at Capital Economics in London, talks to Steve Inskeep about the latest financial market movers.
A Department of Energy panel hopes new recommendations — if implemented — will restore the public's trust in hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" for natural gas.
In the last few years, fracking has brought new life to old gas fields around the country. Most of the increasing production comes from dense layers of shale deep underground. By pumping huge deep underground amounts of water, along with smaller amounts of chemicals and sand, drillers can force gas out of shale.
Watch the opening scenes of George Lucas's 1973 classic American Graffiti, and you will catch glimpses of my hometown, San Rafael, California, as it flits past the windshields of the classic cars that serve as the real set of this movie. As the film opens, Steve, played by Ron Howard, and Curt, played by Richard Dreyfuss, are whiling away their last night home before leaving for college back east. Curt is plagued by doubts, and Steve has to speak a little courage to him. "We're finally getting out of this turkey town and now you want to crawl back into your cell, right?
If you've read the Discworld novels by popular fantasy writer Terry Pratchett, you've surely encountered Death. He's an actual character — a skeleton in a black hood who's portrayed as not such a bad guy after all.
So maybe it's not so surprising that at 63, Pratchett — who has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's — speaks openly about causing his own death.
Cultural diplomacy usually comes in the form of a traveling art exhibit or a celebrity visit to a war-torn country. But there's a deeper kind of diplomacy taking place at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. For the past four summers, arts managers from around the world have been coming to D.C. for training on how to improve their organizations back home.
Days of rioting in England are capturing international attention. In the United States, cities are also dealing with mob attacks, though on a smaller and less destructive scale. Earlier this week, Philadelphia officials announced their plan to fight mob violence, which has escalated in recent months.
Outside Philadelphia City Hall earlier this week, a small group of teens sat on the ground.