Residents reported their houses shook for one or two seconds. The waves registered by the USGS, however, were consistent with a blast, not an earthquake.
These final notes on the way out can be seen as key data points on the state of the American economy.
The first comes to us from the Wall Street Journal, which happened upon some research showing the percentage of Americans over the age of 16 who say they don't want a job.
The top-line number? 34.3 percent of people over the age of 16 say they just don't want to work at all.
The way things have been going for BlackBerry, it’s almost a surprise that the company’s still around. There was a plan to sell BlackBerry and take it private. Today we found out that the deal is off. Instead, BlackBerry is getting an investment of a Billion dollars and a new CEO.
But is that really enough to keep the company in business?
Uncertainty about the company’s future has scared away customers. For about seven years, Joanna Cazden was a loyal BlackBerry user. A few months ago, that changed.
“My last BlackBerry sort of died. It wasn’t holding its charge. It was clearly time to let go of it. And rather than get another one knowing that the company was in trouble, I got an Android,” says Cazden.
She didn’t want to invest in a company that could go bust.
Other consumers prefer all the apps available on other smart phones. But despite all the bells and whistles that came with her new phone, Cazden didn’t want to give up her old BlackBerry.
“I resisted because I like the touch-feel of the keyboard on BlackBerry. And I still miss that,” says Cazden.
BlackBerry has tried to go head-to-head with the touch-screen phones. But it’s BlackBerry’s physical keyboard that keeps consumers hooked.
It also has an advantage in terms of its power supply.
“A lot of phones struggle to make it through the day. BlackBerries have no trouble doing that. So that’s another key focus for business users,” says Jim Moorman, an equity analyst at S&P Capital IQ.
Another thing business users care about -- security. Moorman says BlackBerry beats the competition when it comes to protecting against viruses.
If BlackBerry builds on its strengths, he says it could maintain a solid base of customers.
“They have a chance to be a niche provider, but they have a lot of work to do,” says Moorman.
Investors aren’t waiting to see if the company turns itself around. They’ve been selling off the stock in a hurry. Today, shares of BlackBerry fell more than 16 percent.
Sorry may be the hardest word, but 'insider trading' might just take the cake for the most expensive couplet. Hedge fund SAC Capital pled guilty today to insider trading violations. It paid a whopping $1.8 billion and became the first Wall Street firm in years to own up to criminal conduct.
Insider information is knowledge of an event that’s going to affect a company’s stock price, things like bankruptcies; a merger with another company; and a drug getting approved or not.
"If some people have access to information that other investors don’t have, they know whether to buy a stock or sell a stock," says Lance Jon Kimmel, securities attorney with SEC lawfirm. "If we allowed that, we would have a massive collapse of confidence in our market."
SAC Capital admitted to getting earnings information from a mole at Dell Computers. The hedge fund used that information to decide whether or not to buy Dell stock, which helped it make more than a million dollars.
But drawing lines in insider trading cases isn't always easy. "If what they know is not material, simply interesting, maybe the kind of thing, where if you patch it together with various other facts, that's perfectly fine," says Donald Langevoort, a law professor at Georgetown University.
For instance, if Dell had retail stores, it wouldn’t be illegal for a worker to tell a hedge fund those stores had seen more foot traffic. It would be illegal to reveal the increase in foot traffic meant a higher quarterly profit.
Heavy fines, like today's, as well as harsh jail sentences, have deterred insider trading to some extent, says John Coffee, a law professor at Columbia University, but it's not going to go away.
"Definitely that will discourage, it will never stop it," says Coffee. "There are always risk takers and sometimes you’re getting a once in a lifetime opportunity to profit."
In fact, Hollywood's most famous insider trader, Gordon Gekko, is released from serving a jail sentence for insider trading in the movie Wall Street 2... and he goes right back to a life of (very lucrative) crime.
Russian sports fans have been involved in several violent or racist episodes recently as the country prepares for the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2018 World Cup.
For this chart, we built a simple data set based on statistics from the Internal Revenue Service, dividing different incomes into specific income brackets. The brackets themselves are not standardized.
A previous version of Income Upshot featured income information from the U.S. Census Bureau. Because of a lack of information at the higher income levels, we decided to swap out the data in favor of the current set from the IRS.
Hover over the blue bars to see how many households fall into each income range.
Forty years after she died, rock-and-roll legend Janis Joplin today will get her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which runs the walk of fame, is expecting a big crowd for the dedication, though throngs of visitors can be found exploring the sidewalk any day of the week.
"Hollywood is magic for all people in my generation," tourist Daniel Aruajo said while standing on Matt Damon’s star. "I grew up seeing movies from Hollywood in Brazil, and that's my childhood, my adolescence."
But when Aruajo found out that getting a star on the Walk of Fame entails paying the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce $30,000, he didn't find it so magical.
"You're breaking all my dreams," he said.
There's more to the Walk of Fame than a sidewalk and a person’s name. Movie studios, fan clubs or anyone can raise the funds for a star. That $30,000 goes to the Hollywood Chamber, which uses the fee for installation and upkeep. But it’s not just money behind the scenes. Seeing an idol’s name in brass and pink terrazzo is all about timing too.
"A lot of times, the average person might not connect that you're seeing a picture of Julianne Moore getting a walk of fame star, and that her movie Carrie is coming out in a couple of weeks," said Amy Kaufman, a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times. "But the studios put a lot of effort into timing these things just right so it seems like a publicity blitz.
The buzz surrounding a star dedication could likely be worth millions of dollars in marketing exposure. But the Hollywood Chamber doesn’t hide that this is a marketing tactic.
"It's hype. Hollywood is all about hype. We help promote our community and this is the way we do it. And it brings a big tourist group," said Ana Martinez, who has run walk of fame operations for two decades.
Every year the chamber gets 200 to 300 submissions, and picks around 20 stars out of that. Janis Joplin’s family nominated her.
The star dedication is timed to coincide with a Broadway musical about the singer’s life, “A Night with Janis.”
Back on the boulevard, Joplin’s famous tune “Me and Bobby McGee” blares out the front door of a packed Irish-themed bar during happy hour. Love this scene or hate it, the Hollywood Hype machine works. Over 10 million people visit the Walk of Fame every year.
A company subsidiary pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge stemming from the promotion of antipsychotic Risperdal for the treatment of dementia in elderly patients. The Food and Drug Administration never approved the drug for that use.
Early last month, the Army announced that by 2015, it'll cut 13 ROTC programs across the country. The majority of those on the chopping block are in the South. That's no coincidence. The Army cited 'shifting demographics' as the impetus behind the closures. It came as a shock to many schools.
At the University of North Alabama, for example, the entire ROTC building was renovated just this summer.
"They came in and repainted, redid the floors, and put in new windows, as well as new software and computers here," says Jose Atencio, who teaches military science here at the university.
Atencio says the news sent shock waves through the cadets in the ROTC program.
"The university's been very supportive of ROTC, and this came completely out of the blue," North Alabama president William Cale says. "We had no inkling, no warning, no opportunity to respond to whatever concerns the Army had about the program."
The concerns? That the program isn't graduating enough commissioned officers. The ROTC program started here in 1948. But the small university, with a total enrollment of about 7,000, struggled to produce more than a handful of lieutenants each year. The Army's not happy with those numbers.
"The university put its own scholarship money into the program, we renovated the facility, built a $50,000 rappelling tower, and did everything we could do to make the ROTC program viable," says Cale.
An Army spokesman says the new plan is to focus on "underrepresented parts of the country," places like New York City, Chicago, Texas and New Mexico.
Doug Lederman, editor at Inside Higher Ed, says for the schools losing their ROTC programs, the ripple effect can be huge.
"It's likely to have real impact on student choice, on where students feel like they can go to school and get some of their education paid for," Lederman says.
Cadets in their junior and senior year will be allowed to finish out the program. But freshmen and sophomore cadets, like the ones in Jose Atencio's class at the University of North Alabama, are scrambling to come up with a backup plan.
Sophomore Alyssa Primeau says her dad and his six brothers all served in the military. She chose this program because it was close to her family, and she got a scholarship.
"I had cancer when I was younger, and so I had to get a medical waiver to be here," she says.
She decided to switch schools to stay in an ROTC program. But all sorts of questions flooded her mind:
Would she have to reapply for another medical waiver? Could she keep her scholarship?
"I was worried that, you know, would I have to go through more paperwork? Would I have to do more stuff for that?" she asks.
The Army says it'll honor scholarships at other schools. Next year, Primeau will transfer to the University of Alabama, about two-and-a-half hours away.
Jose Atencio says there will be a huge hole in this little town where military service is passed on from generation to generation. He quotes a colleague of his.
"You can love the Army all you want, but it's not necessarily going to love you back," he says. "It is a business and I understand that. But there's more to closing an ROTC when you talk about community."
The community hopes to fight back by urging lawmakers to reverse the Army's decision.
For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try two pumpkin spice flavors. We sample the new Eggo Pumpkin Spice Waffle, and cleanse our palates with the classic Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.
The author of Forgotten Country went from crunching numbers to writing, though she says words were always her first love. Her novel explores the tenuous lines between freedom and selfishness.
Investigative reports from the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News concluded that the program "helped coal companies thwart efforts by ailing mine workers to receive disability benefits."