Michigan is expected to be a battleground in next year's presidential election. The state has a double-digit jobless rate but also has an auto industry that's being revived after getting federal help in 2009. President Obama points to that as a success story. But Republican candidates maintain the bailout was a bad idea. Among them, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney — a Michigan native whose father once ran a car company.
A law passed after the Exxon Valdez oil spill requires the government to assess the biological damage from big spills so fines can be fixed and damage paid for. The National Academy of Sciences has a report describing the methods and metrics of determining the "ecosystem services" that have been lost due to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
And let's talk now about a man who served his country out of uniform for generations. J. Edgar Hoover created the Federal Bureau of Investigation as we know it today. In his lifetime, he built up an image as a hero. His career went from the end of World War I to the 1970s. Since death in 1972, many have reevaluated Hoover as a menace. Now, Hoover is the subject of a movie in which he is played by Leonardo DiCaprio, in a film directed by Clint Eastwood. Kenneth Turan has a review.
Penn State University's Board of Trustees today holds an open board meeting. Earlier this week, the board fired head football coach Joe Paterno and President Graham Spanier. Two high-level administrators have been charged with failing to report alleged child sex abuse by a former coach.
The American Farm Bureau Federation has released its 26th annual price survey on the cost of the classic Thanksgiving dinner. That includes the turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie. This year, the average cost for a feast for 10 people is $49.20. That's up almost $6 from last year.
The rating agency Standard and Poor's sent out an alert downgrading France's debt on Thursday. It turned out to be a false alarm, but it took nearly two hours for S&P to clarify that. S&P says it's investigating the mistake.
This week thousands of women gathered in Portland, Ore., for the Grace Hopper Celebration, the world's largest technical conference for women and computing. High-tech companies are hiring, but there aren't nearly enough women to meet the demand.
Kate Schmalzried, a graduate student at Stanford, recalls one of her very first classes at the university — Computer Science 106A.
"That was really a good introduction to women in tech — there weren't many women in the class," she says, chuckling. "I distinctly remember being the only girl in my section."
Myanmar President Thein Sein (shown here in March 2010, left) has promised change, but some fear that he's a puppet of the repressive military leadership. He pleased many onetime critics by suspending construction on a controversial dam.
The government of Myanmar bars or severely restricts reporting by foreign correspondents. NPR is withholding the name of the veteran journalist who recently entered the country and filed this story, in order to protect his identity and his ability to return in the future.