Alabama's Jefferson County has filed for what is the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The county commission voted 4-1 in favor of seeking bankruptcy protection on Wednesday after a debt-restructuring deal fell apart.
As The Birmingham News reports the history of the more than $4 billion in debt spans a decade and mostly involves a failed sewer construction deal fraught with corruption. Jefferson County is home to Birmingham, Alabama's largest city.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry was doing his best Thursday to limit the damage after he drew a blank at Wednesday's GOP candidate debate on his own plan to reduce the size of government.
Discussing the proposal, Perry said he would eliminate three federal agencies, but then could not name them all, despite being pressed by the moderator.
"Commerce, Education and the — what's the third one there? Let's see," the Texas governor said. Rival candidate Ron Paul suggested it might be the Environmental Protection Agency. "EPA, there you go," Perry responded — incorrectly.
Justice Department lawyers prosecuting a former CIA agent for leaking classified information allegedly lagged in turning over evidence that would help the intelligence operative with his defense, causing the judge to bar a pair of government witnesses from testifying.
Lucas Papademos was named prime minister of the new Greek interim government Thursday. His main task will be to implement the multibillion-dollar bailout that Eurozone leaders agreed to last month. But can he convince Greeks to swallow the austerity measures they hate? Steve Inskeep talks to reporter Joanna Kakissis, who is in Athens.