The economic news has been nothing but grim lately: weak expansion, sluggish consumer spending and unemployment holding steady at just over 9 percent.
Overseas, the picture isn't any rosier, with Greece expected to default on its debts — possibly followed by Portugal and Ireland — and the International Monetary Fund predicting a global economic slowdown.
So is the U.S. heading for a double-dip recession? Or are we there already? And what can we do about it?
Short story writers, your time is short! The deadline for this round of our contest Three Minute Fiction is Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time. The rules set by this round's judge, writer Danielle Evans, are simple: One character must come to town and, one character must leave town. And remember, your story can't longer than 600 words. Enter here.
Troy Davis was executed in Georgia on Wednesday night. He'd been convicted of killing an off-duty police officer 22 years ago in Savannah. Amnesty International's Laura Moye talks with weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz about the campaign she led that transformed Davis from a nameless convict on death row to a household name.
Two years ago, the Obama Administration secretly authorized the sale of 55 deep-penetrating bombs — or bunker busters — to Israel. That's according to an investigation by Newsweek magazine. The bombs could potentially be used in Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks with Eli Lake, the reporter who broke the story.
Another government shutdown could be looming, the state of Georgia goes ahead with the controversial execution of Troy Davis and overseas, Vladimir Putin announces he's taking another run at the Russian presidency. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz and the Atlantic's James Fallows get behind the headlines of the week's biggest news.
World stock markets tumbled this week amid fears about Europe's debt crisis, and the subject dominated the discussions at the fall meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund held this weekend.
Europe's sovereign debt problems, including the growing possibility of a default by Greece, have been festering now for more than a year. Investors in the financial markets are questioning the will and capacity of European governments to solve the problem. In the seminars and salons surrounding the meetings, financial heavyweights sounded the alarm.
In 1989, Dominique Durand left her home in Paris to live in New York. Her goal was simple: to learn English. But fate took over, and five years later she became the frontwoman for the indie pop band Ivy.
SCOTT SIMON, host: Baseball is a money game. Year after year, the teams with the biggest payrolls - the Yankees, the Red Sox, now the Phillies, make the playoffs. I know that doesn't explain how the Chicago Cubs have the third highest payroll and finish last. But the teams with the smallest payrolls often see their biggest stars just go off to the richest teams. In the new film, "Moneyball," the Oakland A's general manager portrayed by Brad Pitt, puts it to his scouts.