NPR News



Thu August 11, 2011

Franc-ly Speaking, Swiss Currency Is Too Strong

The Swiss franc has reached all-time highs against the euro and the dollar this week as nervous investors seek a safe haven. But the rapidly rising Swiss currency threatens to harm key parts of the Swiss economy, including exports and tourism.
Arnd Wiegmann Reuters /Landov

Switzerland is in danger of becoming a victim of its own success. While much of Europe is swamped by debt, massive unemployment and political turbulence, Switzerland's economy has been humming along nicely.

That's starting to cause problems in the form of its super-strong currency. The Swiss franc has become like gold, with investors snapping up francs as a hedge against the debt crisis in the eurozone and the volatility of financial markets worldwide.

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Thu August 11, 2011
The Two-Way

Statue Of Liberty To Close For More Renovations

Seen during Fleet Week in May 2011,the Statue of Liberty is scheduled to close for a year of repairs, beginning in October.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Just two years after the crown of the Statue of Liberty was reopened to visitors, the entire monument will be shut down for a year to conduct more renovations, the National Park Service says.

The closure will begin the day after the statue's 125th anniversary is celebrated on Oct. 28.

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Thu August 11, 2011
The Two-Way

Pelosi Names Three To Finalize Debt 'Super Committee'

Originally published on Thu August 11, 2011 11:31 am

The 12 members of the Debt "Super Committee" are now official, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named her three appointees Thursday. She chose Reps. James Clyburn of South Carolina, Xavier Becerra of California, and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.

As reported here yesterday, the other nine members have already been chosen. Here's the full panel lineup:

  • Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) - co-chair
  • Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI)
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Thu August 11, 2011
It's All Politics

Pelosi Chooses Clyburn, Van Hollen, Becerra For Deficits Super Panel

Three lawmakers who are typically forceful advocates for a progressive agenda were picked by Rep. Nancy Pelosi to fill out the supercommittee that will propose more than $1 trillion in federal spending cuts meant to reduce federal deficits.

Pelosi, the House minority leader, chose representatives Jim Clyburn of S. Carolina, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Xavier Becerra of California to represent House Democrats on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

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Thu August 11, 2011
Your Money

As Markets Roil, A Rush To Gold: A Reported Poem

Lee Jin-man AP

With world markets in turmoil, many investors are turning to an age-old safe haven: gold. While the price has fluctuated this week, it has flirted with record highs. But what, exactly, makes this precious metal so valuable? We decided to explore the issue, in verse:

Economic collapse, adrift without maps, lost in a sea with no rudder,
Wall Street is jaded, the U.S. downgraded, financial reports make us shudder.

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