Federal Reserve policymakers are meeting in Washington, trying to decide whether — and exactly how — to boost the sluggish economy. Many analysts are expecting the Fed to take action, but they're also beginning to question whether another stimulus program will have any effect.
United States ambassadors do not always have a close connection to the countries where they serve. Sometimes, the ambassadors are friends of an American president. Sometimes, they're career diplomats who have posted to many countries over the years.
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And I'm Renee Montagne. We come to you this morning with grim news. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans have been killed when protesters stormed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The protests were sparked yesterday by an American-made video circulating on the Web that ridicules Islam and the prophet Muhammad.
On the face of it, the teacher's strike in Chicago is about money, job security and how teachers are evaluated. But it's also about the political pressure on teachers' unions to make concessions that not long ago would've been unheard of. Teachers' collective bargaining rights these days have taken a backseat to bare-bones budgets and to claims that unions are an obstacle to efforts aimed at improving the quality of schools. As NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, all these elements have come together in Chicago.
After a scandal, somebody finally gets rich for doing the right thing. It's NPR's business news.
A former banker, Bradley Birkenfeld, has just been awarded $104 million by the IRS. That is believed to be the largest amount ever paid to an individual whistle-blower. Birkenfeld told the IRS how a Swiss bank was helping thousands of Americans evade taxes, and was then thrown in jail.
It's shaping up to be an important day for the European Union and the future of its currency. In the Netherlands, there is a parliamentary election that's expected to be a barometer of Dutch support for staying in the eurozone. Also this morning, a plan was unveiled to give the European Central Bank the power to supervise the big financial institutions in Europe. And, Germany's high court ruled that the European bailout fund is legal.
NPR's Jim Zarroli joins us now from Berlin to talk about this.