The Republican co-chair of a committee in charge of slashing the nation's deficit on Sunday called deliberations a "roller-coaster ride" and gave no indication that a deal could be struck before the panel's Thanksgiving deadline.
Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling said the panel will fail unless Democrats agree to significant "structural" changes to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. When asked whether that could be done in a matter of days, he said "we haven't given up hope."
Prices are about a third lower than they were in 2006, and they are continuing to drop in most cities. The National Association of Realtors says that this summer, prices fell nearly 5 percent compared with last year.
At this time five years ago, the white-hot U.S. housing market was starting to cool. Before long, it would slip into a deep freeze.
The thaw still hasn't come. The latest statistics show residential real estate prices are continuing to drop — a trend that could have a long-lasting impact on the net wealth of younger homeowners who bought property during the housing bubble.
Republican White House hopefuls criticized President Obama's handling of Iran, Afghanistan and the Arab Spring during a debate Saturday night in South Carolina. It was the first of this year's debates in which foreign policy was the dominant topic.
Although the candidates aimed most of their firepower at the sitting president, the forum did expose some fault lines within the Republican ranks.
AUDIE CORNISH, host: President Obama is in Honolulu this morning, where's hosting world leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, or APEC. It's the first stop on a nine-day tour that will also take Mr. Obama to Australia and Indonesia. NPR's Ari Shapiro is traveling with the president.
ARI SHAPIRO: These are familiar stomping grounds for President Obama. He brings his family to Hawaii every Christmas, and as he told a friendly crowd of business leaders yesterday morning:
The Mexican government is launching an investigation into a helicopter crash that resulted in the death of one of the country's top officials. NPR's Mexico correspondent Jason Beaubien talks to host Audie Cornish about what prompted the probe.
AUDIE CORNISH, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. It's been a difficult and emotional week at Pennsylvania State University. The scandal involving child sexual abuse allegations and a potential cover-up is entering its second week. And yesterday, the school's football team played its game without long-time coach Joe Paterno, and lost to Nebraska. NPR's Jeff Brady was there.
AUDIE CORNISH, host: A political dynasty is emerging in Northern Iowa. This past week, Jeremy Minnier was elected mayor of Aredale, Iowa, like his father before him. Jeremy says his dad was happy but nervous about his Election Day victory.
MAYOR JEREMY MINNIER: He was supportive of it. He didn't know that. He said, I think you are taking something under your hands that you're not going to be able to handle, because he knew what it was like.
CORNISH: He thinks his dad and others are getting too caught up on a number. Jeremy Minnier is just 18 years old.
Until now, a 250-year-old encoded text titled the Copiale Cipher baffled cryptographers and historians with bizarre symbols and seemingly random letters. Computer scientist Kevin Knight and two Swedish researchers have broken the code to the 105-page manuscript, and NPR's Daniel Hajek reports on what the Cipher revealed.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi acknowledges applause before leaving parliament's lower chamber in Rome on Saturday. Berlusconi resigned after the lower chamber passed an austerity package.
Credit Pier Paolo Cito / AP
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi acknowledges applause before leaving parliament's lower chamber in Rome on Nov. 12. The lower chamber passed European-demanded reforms aimed at bringing Italy back from the brink of economic crisis. Berlusconi said he would resign once the reforms were passed.
Credit Ferdinando Meazza / AP
Berlusconi, then and still owner of football club AC Milan, is carried by Milan players after the team won the 1988 Italian soccer championship.
Credit Getty Images
Three months after the Forza Italia party was formed, Berlusconi claimed victory of the conservative alliance in Italy's general elections on March 29, 1994.
Credit Luca Bruno / AP
Silvio Berlusconi casts his ballots in the national referendum in Milan in 1995. The outcome of the referendum was decisive in determining the fate of Berlusconi's TV empire.
Credit Plinio Lepri / AP
In 2001, the media tycoon was under pressure to give up stake in his media companies to avoid conflict of interest issues heading into the election. He is still the owner of Italy's three major private television networks.
Credit Mark Wilson / Getty Images
U.S. President George W. Bush (R) walks with former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi after Berlusconi's arrival for a meeting at Camp David in 2002. The two leaders met to discuss the situation in Iraq.
Credit Andreas Solaro / Getty Images
Berlusconi (left) answers journalist Bruno Vespa's questions during a broadcast of "Porta a Porta," an Italian TV talk show in 2006.
Credit Filippo Monteforte / Getty Images
This composite image shows Berlusconi at Villa Madama in Rome and Moroccan Karima El Mahroug in a nightclub. Italian prosecutors allege Berlusconi paid to have sex with Mahroug when she was underage.
Credit Olivier Morin / Getty Images
Berlusconi arrives at Milan's justice court before a legal hearing over allegations of fiscal fraud and breach of trust in his business interests, on May 2, 2011.
What Congress does, sometimes it later tries to undo. That's what happened a few days ago, when the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.
Under DOMA, the federal government is bound to recognize only those marriages between a man and a woman. When the law passed 15 years ago, not one state recognized same-sex marriage. Six do so now, as well as the District of Columbia. But the effort to overturn DOMA faces stiff resistance from congressional Republicans.
Billings, Mont., has a diverse economic base, as evidenced by the confluence of stockyards, oil refineries and natural beauty. The unemployment rate for Billings' Yellowstone County was 5.3 percent in September, far lower than the national average.
Credit Casey Page / The Billings Gazette
Billings Library Foundation Board President Evelyn Noennig (left) and Suzanne McKiernan arrive at a bar carrying signs to support an initiative for a library bond, as patrons gathered to watch election results.
Credit Bob Zellar / The Billings Gazette
The lobby of the Billings Clinic has an abundance of natural light, and even a piano player, to create a calming, healing ambiance. The center is a top-class health-care facility for cancer treatment.
In Billings, Mont., the land of the "Big Sky," there aren't many clouds. A city of about 100,000 people between Denver and Calgary, Billings is weathering the economic storm better than many other communities in this country.
Many homeowners find they can't sell their homes so instead they reluctantly become landlords.
Credit Cheryl Corley / NPR
In Chicago, there's a hot market for condominium rentals, which means owners who weren't able to sell have a shot at covering their costs by becoming landlords.
In this sagging economy, homes can sit on the market for weeks or months. So, would-be sellers often move on, and instead of handing the keys over to new owners, they hand them to tenants. Sometimes that goes well — sometimes not.
"This is the new reality," says Chicago Realtor Frank Maguire. "Our market is, you might sell your home or you might not. There's a whole world of people who are unintentional landlords."
A man dressed as John Lennon holds a sign at the "Move Your Money" protest in Los Angeles. He and others protested bank fees and pushed for "good jobs," a common theme at protests seen nationwide as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the growing frustration among the Millenial generation.
The Occupy Wall Street protests in several cities around the country have turned a spotlight on the growing frustration among the millennial generation, a group that has suffered crushing student loan debt and high rates of unemployment.
Lindey Loftin is part of that generation, but the 27-year-old is not unemployed. In fact, she says she loves her job, is well paid and has no college loan debt. Her employer actually paid for a portion of her education.
Round 7 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest attracted more than 3,000 story submissions. Tasked with writing an original short story that can be read in about three minutes, contestants had to include one character arriving to town and one character leaving town.
The judge for this round, writer Danielle Evans, has picked her favorite.
The Nazis marched into Paris in the early hours of June 14, 1940, leaving the French shocked at how quickly their country had fallen. Most of the populace watched and waited as swastikas went up on Parisian boulevards — but not everyone.
Journalist Caroline Moorehead's latest book, A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France, chronicles what happened to 230 women from all over the country who did not accept the occupation quietly.
Today marks the first day that Penn State's football team played a game without legendary head coach Joe Paterno since 1950. The long-time coach was fired earlier this week as a result of a university scandal involving Paterno's former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky who has been charged with 40 counts of sex crimes against young boys. NPR's Jeff Brady reports from Penn State on student and fan reaction after a bitter loss to 19th ranked Nebraska.
This week D.C. Court of Appeals agreed with the White House that the health care law does not violate the Constitution. The court's senior judge, a respected conservative voice, wrote the majority opinion. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about this story and others from the past week.
Protesters burn portraits of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a demonstration outside the Arab League headquarters in Cairo.
The Arab League voted today to suspend Syria's membership over its failure to stop a violent crackdown on anti-regime protesters. The move will increase the international pressure on President Bashar Assad.
The League said the suspension will remain in place until the Syrian government implements an Arab deal to end the violence, and called for sanctions and transition talks with the opposition.
My Brightest Diamond is the indie-pop project of classically trained singer and composer Shara Worden.
There's no mistaking the protagonist of "Be Brave," a song from the new My Brightest Diamond album, All Things Will Unwind. Shara Worden, the group's classically trained singer, songwriter, and main creative force, makes it clear in the refrain: "Shara, now get to work/Shara, this is going to hurt."
The stands were blue at Penn State University this afternoon, as students and fans of the school's football team showed their symbolic support for victims of child sexual abuse.
Most of the more than 107,000 spectators at the game against Nebraska were wearing blue and many gave money to organizations that battle sexual abuse — their way of responding to the allegations that a former assistant football coach at the school abused young boys for more than a decade, sometimes on campus.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, host: This WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. In Venezuela, officials have announced a dramatic end to the high-profile kidnapping of Major League Baseball catcher Wilson Ramos. Police commandos swooped in on a remote mountainous hideaway and rescued him. This was the sound at the Ramos home in Valencia, Valenzuela, when he returned there late last night.
Each weekend, Bill Desmarais ships his birds off on a truck and somehow, they find their way home. In his backyard in Massachusetts recently, he welcomed home birds from a race that started 250 miles away in Verona, N.Y.
Pigeons have fascinated people for centuries. Charles Darwin, Pablo Picasso and Walt Disney all kept the birds. Today, thousands — including Mike Tyson — are flocking to the sport of pigeon racing.
Racing pigeons aren't like the pigeons you see in a park. They're stronger, bred for endurance and brains. Some are worth thousands of dollars.
NPR's Don Gonyea normally reports on politics, but he finds other stories along the way, like this one about a touring bluegrass band from the Czech Republic.
The first time I heard Druha Trava play was April 2009. I was covering President Obama's trip to the Europe. There was a big outdoor speech in Prague, and the band was playing Czech versions of Bob Dylan songs.
I did a short radio postcard story back then, figuring it was the kind of experience that every music fan knows: You stumble upon a great band somewhere and never see them again.
It seems like hardly a month goes by without seeing celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred on television. This week, Allred was in the news again, representing one of presidential candidate Herman Cain's sexual harassment accusers. Her bold use of media to call attention to her clients' causes has earned the respect of some, but the irritation of others. NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates has a profile.
This week, Ohio voters soundly rejected Gov. John Kasich's plan to scale back collective bargaining rights for public employees. The vote was a big victory for labor; in particular, it showed how important the nation's teachers unions have become beyond the classroom. Teachers groups are mobilizing like never before — because they face threats to their very existence.
In an emergency meeting on Saturday, the Arab League voted to suspend Syria, warning that the country could face sanctions if it does not end its brutal crackdown on protestors. Meanwhile, NATO leaders say a Libya-style military intervention is out of the question. NPR's Kelly McEvers reports on what other choices remain.