Seventy years ago today, Japan attacked a naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, killing and wounding thousands of Americans. The enemy might have been Japan, but in the American melting pot there were many Japanese faces. The Pearl Harbor inspired solidarity in America soon gave way to distrust and a staggering suspension of the U.S. Constitution. "War Relocation Camps" for 100,000 Japanese-Americans were set up, and entire families of American citizens were forced to halt their lives and move. Some of those relocated Japanese-Americans petitioned the U.S. to serve in combat as a way of demonstrating their loyalty. The petitions were accepted, and soon Japanese-Americans were fighting as both volunteers and drafted servicemen.
After an eventful weekend, GOP presidential candidates are gearing up for the influential Iowa caucuses. Democrats on Capital Hill hope to pass a payroll tax cut in the face of Republican opposition. Abroad, the euro debt crisis continue to loom over the world economy. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are meeting ahead of the Brussels summit on Friday to discuss greater fiscal coordination between European countries, and Italy's new government looks to pass austerity measures to ease their debt.
A crucial international conference on Afghanistan’s future began Monday in Bonn, Germany. Delegates from 100 nations are attempting to chart a long term course for the war-torn country, after international troops leave in 2014. But neighboring Pakistan, crucial to Afghanistan’s security, is boycotting the conference, following a NATO attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
In Cannes, leaders from the world's 20 largest economic nations are meeting to discuss the most pressing fiscal matters across the globe. On top of that list is Greece and the high-stakes political gamesmanship of the country's Prime Minister George Papandreou. Papandreou called off a plan to hold a referendum on his country's loan deal with the European Union Thursday after he gained new support for the deal from the opposition. Greece is in a tense political stalemate as its fate with the euro zone hangs in the balance. Papandreou is trying avoid a economic catastrophe as he faces calls for his resignation and a no-confidence vote on Friday. Papandreou's political brinkmanship has renewed questions about the instability of the euro zone and the destabilizing roles of deeply indebted countries.
Next week voters in Ohio, Mississippi and Maine will face a number of controversial ballot measures — from collective bargaining to health care to voting and abortion. In Ohio, a law limiting the collective bargaining of public employees is up for repeal. In Mississippi, they are fiercely debating whether a fertilized egg should be declared a person. Anna Sale, reporter for WNYC's political website It's a Free Country, joins previews these issues and talks about the potential impact on the 2012 election.
The Democrats and Republicans on the deficit reduction 'Super Committee' remain hundreds of billions of dollars apart, just weeks shy of the Thanksgiving deadline. And that's not the only action on the economy this week. They'll also vote on an infrastructure plan, which would provide funds to repair roads and bridges, with money raised from higher taxes on millionaires. The Takeaway's Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich fills in the details.
It's been a week and a half since rebels killed Muammar Gadhafi, after taking his hometown of Sirte. Libya is now a country in the midst of healing old wounds and trying to rebuild a nation. Dr. Catherine Mullaly, an anesthesiologist with Massachusetts General Hospital, was working in Qasr Ahmed Hospital in Misrata the day Gadhafi was captured and killed. She’s just returned from a six week assignment there with Médecins Sans Frontières, and shares what she saw in the days after Gadhafi's death.
The Takeaway is continuing our conversation this week on income inequality in America. We’ve covered the Occupy movement, where inequality is a rallying cry, and we reported on a Congressional Budget Office report that highlighted the growth in uneven incomes over the last three decades.We’re taking another look at income inequality this morning, this time from a guest who says Occupy protestors are wrong to focus on income inequality.
In an exclusive story in The New York Times this morning, Wall Street and finance reporter Louise Story writes that the behemoth insurance company American International Group Inc. is going to sue Bank of America, claiming the banking institution provided false information on mortgage bonds to AIG and ratings agencies, which lead to losses of more than $10 billion.
Standard and Poor’s downgrade of the United States' credit rating on Friday, for the first time in history, brought condemnation from government officials, and fears of market turmoil. S&P's managing editor, John Chambers, told ABC News' "This Week" that there was a one in three chance of a further downgrade. He also said that the U.S. could regain its AAA rating, but warned that it may take as long as two decades — if it happens at all.
Last month, six police officers in Fullerton, Calif., attacked 37-year-old Kelly Thomas, a homeless man with mental health problems. Witnesses say the police used excessive and brutal force in their attack, tasering Kelly at least five times. Thomas died later in hospital. Now, his father and Fullerton residents are demanding justice for his death, as evidence builds that police were overly forceful. Two videos uploaded to YouTube and Fullerton-based websites show witnesses’ reaction to the police action. In one video, the clicking sound of a Taser can be heard.
U.S. markets are opening this morning after their worst day in almost three years. The Dow Jones index of thirty blue-chip stocks closed more than 500 points down, or 4.3 percent, the biggest one-day fall since late 2008. Indexes including the S&P 500 also plunged yesterday. The news reflects fears of a slowdown in global growth, concerns about Europe’s debt crisis, and the prospect of a double dip recession.
This week’s debt ceiling deal may have pulled the U.S. back from default, but 1.2 million graduate students just got slapped with another bill. About one third of all graduate students have a partial federal subsidy on their loan, so they don’t get charged interest while they’re studying. That willll be abolished from July next year, as part of an agreement to reduce deficits by at least $2.1 trillion over a decade. But it could mean thousands of dollars more in loan costs for about a third of the country’s 3.6 million graduate students.
Syria’s government is attempting to crush the democratic uprising, sending tanks, armored vehicles and snipers into the rebellious city of Hama for the fourth straight day of Ramadan. Unverified footage taken from YouTube and obtained by The New York Times depicts tanks shooting at civilians. Human rights groups say more than 140 people have been killed since Sunday, compounding a civilian death toll of more than 1,600 since March. The United Nations Security Council condemned the crackdown, but is the international condemnation too slow?
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak arrived by helicopter this morning at makeshift Cairo court built specifically for trying him on charges of corruption and ordering the deaths of 800 protesters. Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for nearly 30 years before stepping down after 18 days of protests, pleaded not guilty. The 83-year-old, who has been ill, was wheeled into a cage to face trial with his two sons and other defendants.
President Obama’s role in the debt ceiling compromise is prompting howls of criticism and scorn from some Americans, especially those on the left. They’re complaining that the president sold out to Republicans, who are crowing about their victory. Jim Warren, columnist for Chicago News Cooperative and our partner The New York Times, and national correspondent for The Atlantic, has a simple message for the president’s critics: get over it. Warren argues that since his days as a community organizer, Obama has always favored pragmatic deal-making over partisan point-scoring.
Monday’s debt ceiling deal might satisfy those rating agencies that warned of a possible downgrade of the United States' credit rating if the the parties did not end the political stalemate. But does the deal reassure agencies worried about the fundamental weaknesses of the U.S. economy? Gillian Tett, a managing editor of the Financial Times, says a downgrade is inevitable and she tells us what to expect from the different ratings agencies and how the markets will react to an impending downgrade.
Syria’s government cracked down on democratic protesters in the city of Hama on Sunday, leaving as many as 130 dead, according to activists there. Tanks and troops entered the city early Sunday morning, in a brutal show of force just as the holy month of Ramadan begins. There’s further tension in the Middle East this week, as Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak, his two sons and seven associates, will begin trial on Wednesday in Cairo for charges of corruption and ordering the killings of protesters. The trial will be televised. And in Libya, rebel commander Abdel Fattah Younes was shot dead Friday by Islamist-linked militia.
As Congress arrives at a budget agreement and avoids sending the U.S into default right before the August 2 deadline, we're examining the broader, long-term political and historical impact of the the debt crisis. How will it affect the credibility of the U.S. government? What does it tell us about President Obama, and how will the crisis shape next year's election?
Political negotiations on the debt ceiling are coming down to the wire. With just four days until the August 2 deadline, by which Congress must agree on a budget plan or default, House Speaker John Boehner delayed a vote on his debt ceiling legislation last night, after a long day of vote counting and arm-twisting failed to secure immediate support for his plan from conservative Republicans. The delay surprised the Democrats, who were expecting to kill the plan in the Senate, and move ahead with their own proposal.