The federal law overhauling health care requires that contraceptives be made available to insured women without any out-of-pocket costs to them. Many family planning clinics aren't yet set up to accommodate women under those terms.
Farmers in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska converted 1.3 million acres of grassland into soybean and corn production between 2006 and 2011. Images derived from satellite data confirmed that changing landscape, which spells bad news wildlife and for soil integrity in some parts.
Simpson and Bowles. We’ve seen this movie before. Two unelected men with a plan -- to cut the budget deficit. Today, they called for another $2.4 trillion in austerity.
Many see it as an effort to get the two sides to the table and strike a bargain before that automatic spending cuts -- yes the dreaded sequester -- kicks in March 1. But who are they? And why does official Washington listen to them?
The dynamic budget duo is Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson. They ran a budget commission three years ago, spit out a report, which went on a shelf -- yet they’re still in the middle of our deficit conversation.
Why? Clint Stretch, senior tax policy council at Tax Analysts, says they insert themselves in it, regularly. And, their plan is in the political middle; Goldilocks in a city of very hard beds and very soft ones.
“Simpson Bowles comes down on the side of saying government ought to be bigger than Republicans would have it be, and probably smaller than Democrats would have it be,” Stretch says.
In the campaign, both Gov. Romney and President Obama cited Simpson-Bowles, favorably. And many economists dig it, says one famous one. Harvard’s Kenneth Rogoff says Simpson-Bowles kills the right tax breaks, and doesn’t raise taxes so much it stalls growth.
“I think still the original proposal they put out there is still the lightpost by which policymakers will try to guide themselves over the long-term,” Rogoff says. “At least we hope so.”
It’s not the North Star to everyone. Simpson and Bowles are urgent about deficit cutting.
Henry Aaron at the Brookings Institution says maybe not right now. The bigger problem, he says, is millions unemployed.
“That’s the primary waste we have today,” Aaron says. “Ending that waste should be job one. Job two is dealing with our longer term budget challenge.”
This view tolerates more government borrowing and spending. But the gospel of Simpson and Bowles is to push deficits just one way: down.
Also: Research firm says clues connect Chinese government to international hacking; gunman make off with $50 million worth of diamonds in Brussels; Chavez returns to Venezuela.
The stocks of both Office Depot and OfficeMax were up following reports the two companies are in advanced talks to merge. While many market analysts have been touting the recent spate of mergers and acquisitions as a sign of business confidence, Juli Niemann, analyst with Smith Moore & Company, thinks the trend is more out of necessity.
Since the banking crisis hit hard in 2008, Georgia has seen more than 80 banks go under. That’s more than any other state. Most have been small, community banks whose assets were tied to the housing market. But did those banks have to fail? A new report from the University of West Georgia says in many cases, the answer is no. The reason so many did, the report finds, is because of an accounting rule called “mark-to-market,” which regulators put in place after the collapse of Enron.
Barnes & Noble had been expected to announce its financial results today, but it pushed the date back to February 28. Analysts predict the bookseller will report a profit for last quarter, but the outlook is doesn't look so good -- not even for its Nook e-reader. Barnes & Noble says this year its Nook will lose more than the $260 million it originally predicted.
And finally, to London where some people are selling an antique mirror that "very possibly haunted." The sellers say since putting up the mirror, they've woken up screaming in pain and items have been disappearing from their apartment. Paintings fell from the wall and things were inexplicably strewn across the floor. Speaking of inexplicably, the mirror just sold for a $155.
Microsoft is launching a $30 million ad campaign today to promote Outlook.com -- a new product meant to compete with Internet-based email systems like Google Inc.’s Gmail.
That’s going to be some stiff competition. Gmail is currently the big dog in Iinternet-based email. It has 306 million worldwide users, not including those who visit only on mobile devices, according the latest data from research firm comScore.
“A lot of people are directing their office email to Gmail,” says Raj Venkatesan, a marketing professor at University of Virginia. He says Gmail has benefitted from the fact that people want to merge their work and personal lives into their email habits. Now, Microsoft is trying to tap into that trend too, and take advantage of how popular Outlook already is in the workplace.
“You can build on the loyalty in the customer relationship,” Venkatasen says. “Now Outlook can have one product that the customer can use when they're at work and when they're at home.”
Years of cyberattacks have produced evidence tracing them to Shanghai, according to researchers from Mandiant Corp. More precisely, to a place where the People's Liberation Army conducts such work.