The exchange of rocket and air attacks follows the slaying of a Palestinian teen last week, which set off rioting in several Israeli cities.
With Congress back from recess, one piece of legislation that needs to be hammered out soon involves funding for transportation. With a dwindling Highway Trust Fund, delays to construction projects could be seen as soon as August. Plus, Walmart will be using a new logo to denote products from women-owned companies. But will special labels combat or perpetuate stereotypes? Also, New York's Museum of Modern Art just released Bjork's Biophilia app for $13. It's part of a larger initiative by the museum, treating technology as art.
Congress is back after the July 4th recess with at least one major piece of legislation that really needs to get worked out: funding for transportation.
The Highway Trust Fund is financed by an 18.4 cent-per-gallon gas tax, which hasn’t increased in 20 years. And that’s just part of the reason there may not enough money.
“Sometime in August, perhaps late July, you’ll see the trust fund running low on fumes to the point where the Federal Highway Administration will have to slow down payments to states,” says Joshua Schank, president and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, a nonprofit based in Washington DC. “The immediate effect would be a slowing down or termination of construction projects around the country.”
That means a possible dip in jobs -- According to the Obama administration, as many as 700,000 jobs in all.
But there’s also a long term reason to be concerned.
“The road network suffers dramatically, the transit systems can’t expand, and all of this really has an economic downside to it," says Jack Basso, a former Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs and CFO at the US Department of Transportation.
Basso says poor infrastructure slows the movement of people and goods. Plus, he says those bridges and roads become even more expensive to fix later on.
Shoppers at Walmart this Fall might notice something new on some of the products on store shelves: a little logo that says it was made by a women-owned company. It will first appear on Maggie’s Salsa, Anise Cosmetics, the Smart & Sexy brand of underwear, and the household cleaner called CLR.
“Women in general, if there’s a product that they can tell is a women-owned product, they’ll actually buy that product over the next product,” says Pamela Prince-Eason, president and CEO of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, one of the organizations working with Walmart on the logo.
Those organizations will be watching closely to see if the logo affects sales in either direction. Women buy more cosmetics, but CLR skews male. It’s an open question whether the logo will help combat gender stereotypes, or perpetuate them.
In general, though, consumers think highly of women-owned businesses.
“There might be a sense of trust, and confidence in the fair dealings in the organization,” says Laura Kray, Professor of leadership at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
And, even if consumers have no opinion, just seeing the logo could get consumers to want to learn more about gender issues in business.
“It brings that issue to the forefront and actually makes people look into it and say what is this and why is it important?” says Marlene Morris Towns, Teaching Professor of Marketing at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Backers of the symbol are talking with Macy’s and Office Depot about expanding its use to those stores.
NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a poll in March and early April to find out how stress is affecting people in the U.S. Here's what we found.
The former Soviet minister and Georgian president is credited with helping end the Cold War. He died Monday following a long illness, his spokeswoman tells the media.