In the years since the start of the war in Iraq, thousands of Iraqis have fled their homes and sought refuge in neighboring countries like Jordan and Syria, but also here in the United States. San Diego, California is home to one of the largest Iraqi populations in the country, but many of them are facing hardships to create a happy home for themselves and their families.
The Senate is set to vote on a new part of President Obama's $447 billion jobs bill which includes funding for programs to help build roads, bridges and other public works programs. The bill is likely to fail, but that has not stopped the president from continuing to campaign for its passage. Andrea Bernstein, director of the Transportation Nation project and senior correspondent for WNYC, looks at why President Obama continues to push for infrastructure despite it looking like a losing cause.
The Joint Deficit Reduction "Super Committee," put in charge with finding $4 trillion to cut from the deficit, held their fifth public meeting on Tuesday. But the fate of the Super Committee remains unclear as it is unlikely they will come to consensus any time soon. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, says the hearing was both a pep talk to the committee but also partly a threat. There is a lot riding on them to succeed and a lot of heads could roll if they fail.
The markets responded positively to the news last week of a euro zone deal to try and turn around their two-year financial crisis. Marcus Mabry, editor-at-large of the International Herald Tribune, which is the international edition of The New York Times, tells us how he expects the markets to continue to go this week and to be on the lookout at Italy, which could be the next euro zone country to be in financial trouble. Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for WNYC and The Takeaway, looks at the upcoming G20 Summit in France this week, and if they can come up with a framework to deal with Europe's economic troubles.
Administering HPV vaccines for girls and young women has become a controversial topic, with some parents uncomfortable vaccinating children as young as 11 for a sexually transmitted disease. The vaccine has also become a hot topic among the GOP presidential candidates, with Rep. Michele Bachmann falsely claiming the vaccine caused a girl to become "mentally retarded." Doctors say there have been no proven cases of any harmful side-effects and that the vaccination is important in preventing several cancers, which HPV can lead to. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that boys and young men take the vaccine to prevent throat and anal cancer, as well as the spread of HPV to women.
Walter Isaacson's highly anticipated new biography on Steve Jobs hit book shelves this week and reveals layers of a man most of us never knew. The book has kept Jobs in the global conversation and Howard Rheingold, visiting lecturer in Stanford University's Department of Communications and author of the book, "Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution," shares with us what he believes is missing from the conversation about Steve Jobs that all of us should know.
The NFL has in place a regulation called the Rooney Rule, which demands that every team must interview a minority candidate if a coaching or general manger's position is open. Many would like to see that rule in place in other venues. Robert Johnson, founder of BET, proposed on The Takeaway that if corporate America installed the Rooney Rule, it would "change the number of African Americans employed in higher echelons of corporate America."
Mitt Romney lost the New Hampshire GOP primary to John McCain in 2008, but he's hoping 2012's primary will be different. Romney received a key endorsement from the granite state's former governor, John H. Sununu. New Hampshire will hold the first presidential primary in the nation in January after the Iowa caucuses. While Romney continues to be the front runner in the GOP race, support for the former Massachusetts governor remains tepid at best. With a history of modified positions and the albatross of "Romneycare," the Massachusetts health care reform legislation that served as a model for President Obama's health care reform, hanging around his neck, many in the GOP base question Romney's conservatism.
Banks were in dire trouble back in 2008, when the financial crisis hit. Stalwarts like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers kicked the bucket and other banks like Citigroup still haven't fully recovered. It appears though that banks may have a new problem: too much money. Many people, with no safe alternatives, are depositing their money into banks, but the banks have no where to invest it, so they are trying to deter consumers from giving them their money.
Many months after a man in Tunisia set himself on fire to protest his country's lack of a viable democratic government, some 90 percent of eligible voters in the country cast their votes on Sunday. Over 4.1 million people cast their ballots in the first democratic election from the nation that ignited the Arab Spring. Early signs show that the once banned Islamist Ennahda party is leading, possibly indicating a shift for the secular nation.
The Congressional "super committee," put in charge of finding $1.2 trillion to cut from the deficit, have mostly been a top secret committee that have shared very little about their meetings. As the super committee continues to find cuts in the deficit, a number of economic indicators are set to be released this week, including new home sales and GDP figures. Also on the agenda for this week, the Pentagon is set to release a report on the role of women soldiers in the military and whether or not they should be allowed to serve in combat roles. And after President Obama's announcement that all U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year, there could be some fallout, especially among Republicans, on Capitol Hill.
The Republican presidential contenders took their latest debate to Las Vegas on Tuesday night, where they discussed immigration, health care, and the economy. The debate was tense at times as Rick Perry tried to regain his momentum, and Mitt Romney defended his Massachusetts health plan. Candidates also briefly weighed in on the Occupy Wall Street movement. Did Herman Cain prove to be a viable opponent to Mitt Romney? And did Rick Perry help his chances, or further sink his campaign?
Bank of America and Goldman Sachs are scheduled to release their earnings reports for the third quarter today. Yesterday, Citigroup reported a 74 percent rise in their earnings and Wells Fargo reported a 21 percent increase, and last week JP Morgan reported a 4 percent fall in profits. Morgan Stanley and U.S. Bancorp are expected to release their reports on Wednesday.
Sgt. Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who has been imprisoned by Hamas since 2006, was released on Tuesday in Egypt as part of a prisoner trade between Israel and Hamas. In exchange for Shalit's release, Israel freed 477 Palestinian prisoners, the first group of what will be more than 1,000. The deal is seen as a major political victory for Hamas, which Israel considers to be a terrorist organization. "I very much hope that this deal will advance peace," Shalit told Egyptian television before he was released. Many Israelis support the swap, but Arnold Roth, who was on The Takeaway yesterday, does not. Roth lost his daughter in 2001 to a Palestinian suicide bomber. The woman who drove that bomber is one of the 477 set to be released today.
Israel released the names of the 477 Palestinian prisoners it will free on Tuesday in exchange for captured soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held by Hamas since 2006. Most of the prisoners were serving life sentences for violent crimes, including murder. About 200 of the prisoners will not be allowed to return home, and will be exiled to Qatar and Turkey. A poll by Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth found nearly 79 percent of Israelis support the swap.
Republicans will hold their next debate in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday. Maggie Haberman, senior political writer for Politico thinks this is a make or break moment for Rick Perry. "If Perry has a bad performance," Haberman said, "it'll be virtually impossible for him to come back." Herman Cain's performance will also be closely watched as he is running very high right in the polls now. If Perry falters, could Cain be a valid challenger to Romney? In response to the GOP's debate, Democrats began their Project New West summit on Sunday, also in Vegas.
Though he never affirmed his intent to seek the Republican nomination for president, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ended all speculation that he may run yesterday. "Now is not my time," Christie said in a nationally televised news conference. The decision surely left many Republicans disappointed. With many feeling doubtful about the Republican candidates, and President Obama's approval rating dropping, is this the perfect time for an independent candidate to jump in?
Since mid-March of this year, pro-democracy protests have engulfed most of Syria, and in August, Syrian opposition formed the 94-member National Council, to aid in the ousting of President Bashar al-Assad. Earlier this week, the council warned that the country may find itself in the midst of a civil war if Assad doesn't step down. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Susan Rice, the United States' ambassador to the UN, blasted China and Russia for vetoing a resolution condemning the violence of the Assad government.
In testimony before a Congressional committee on Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned lawmakers that the economic recovery U.S. "is close to faltering." Bernanke said the central bank was prepared to do more to bolster the economy, but that Congress needed to do more to encourage growth. In June, Bernanke had said, "growth seems likely to pick up in the second half of the year." Bernanke's grim assessment comes after the economy barely grew in the first half of the year, and there were no new jobs in August. Consumer confidence fell this summer to the lowest point since the recession.
The Occupy Wall Street protests continue in lower Manhattan today. Demonstrators are protesting perceived excessive greed by the super-wealthy and economic inequality as epitomized by Wall Street. The protests have grown in popularity over the last three weeks, and similar events are happening all over the country, including cities like Boston and Miami. On Monday, The Takeaway spoke with J.A. Myerson, from the media team for the Occupy Wall Street movement, about why he's protesting and what future he sees for the movement.