Vice President Joe Biden wears a lot of different hats in the Obama administration. He's a longtime Senate insider who can negotiate with Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell. He's a foreign policy veteran who helped to lead the transition in Iraq.
And one other thing to keep in mind, whenever there's idle political gossip about replacing Biden on the ticket with Hillary Cinton: He serves as a kind of White House ambassador to the middle class.
"In the week ending March 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 351,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 365,000. The 4-week moving average was 355,750, unchanged from the previous week's revised average of 355,750."
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is in Afghanistan on a long-planned trip that has turned into something of a fence-mending mission. A U.S. soldier is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians. That attack is the latest in a series of negative events involving U.S. forces.
Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 9:35 am
The priest who was put on administrative leave by the Archdiocese of Washington following a much-talked-about incident in which he denied communion to a lesbian woman attending her mother's funeral, has issued a long defense of his action and has said the church isn't being candid about the reason for its decision to put him on leave.
And today's last word in business is: barbershop battle.
Barbers and beauticians are splitting hairs over the swirling red, white and blue striped pole that traditionally stands outside a barber shop. Barbers in several states are pushing legislation to prevent shops without a licensed barber from using the striped pole.
Many hair stylists say that they offer the same services as a licensed barber. But barbers say there are differences. For instance, only they can give shaves with a straight razor.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai Thursday. A U.S. soldier is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in Kandahar on Sunday. The incident has raised questions about the future of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.
India must cut back its imports on Iranian oil by June 28 or face U.S sanctions. A new law targets Iran's central bank, which is used for oil transactions, and it penalizes foreign countries that ignore the sanctions.
There is little question that rising gas prices are making life miserable for lots of motorists. But for small rural transit systems, it's both good and bad news. Good because it brings more riders on board. Bad because the cost of transporting them is busting budgets. Charlotte Albright from Vermont Public Radio has this report.
A new ABC series, called "Missing," debuts tonight. It features Ashley Judd as a woman tracking her teen son in Europe who's mysteriously disappeared. TV critic Eric Deggans says the series is part of a new TV trend this spring: shows that are more experimental and edgy.
ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Would you believe Ashley Judd as a mom who works as a florist, but also used to be a deadly CIA operative?
Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai leaves after the third plenary meeting of the National People's Congress at The Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 9. Bo had been seen as a leading contender to access the top rungs of power in China, but in a dramatic reversal of fortune, he was sacked Thursday amid a rare public scandal.
In a moment of high political drama, China has removed flamboyant politician Bo Xilai from his post as party secretary of the major southern city of Chongqing. The sacking comes as Beijing approaches a once-in-a-decade power transition this fall, offering a glimpse of the Machiavellian political struggle behind the scenes.
Gasoline prices have risen about 50 cents a gallon since January. The national average for regular gas stands at just above $3.80 per gallon.
Pity the drivers on the West Coast. Prices there have been much higher. At a Chevron station in Culver City, Calif., the price on Tuesday was $4.45 a gallon.
"I do building maintenance," Ursula Matthews said as she filled her tank. "I do a lot of driving from place to place. It's hurting me. I cannot raise the prices [of my services] with the economy what it is."
On the Murray State University campus in Kentucky, warm weather has arrived. Students are out on the quad skateboarding, riding bikes, playing Frisbee and listening to music. But what are they talking about? Basketball.
"I think Murray State can go to the Final Four," one student says.
The MSU Racers have been in the tournament before, but with just a single loss this season and the highest tournament seed in the program's history, expectations are greater than ever.