Protect My Public Media

French economist Thomas Piketty became a publishing superstar this year by putting two and two together and concluding that the rich are getting richer.

His best-seller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, uses mountains of data to calculate Western wealth over the past two centuries. He says the historical statistics, drawn from many sources, show unrestrained capitalism inevitably leads to immense income inequality.

President Obama has been playing musical chairs with his Cabinet.

At the White House on Friday, Obama announced that he's chosen Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to be his new budget director. Donovan would replace Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who's taking over the Department of Health and Human Services.

That leaves a vacancy atop the housing department, which the president plans to fill with an outsider: Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio and a rising star in the Democratic Party.

In February, a 55-gallon drum of radioactive waste burst open inside America's only nuclear dump, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.

Now investigators believe the cause may have been a pet store purchase gone bad.

"It was the wrong kitty litter," says James Conca, a geochemist in Richland, Wash., who has spent decades in the nuclear waste business.

Imagine this: a high school assembly where students share their deepest, most painful secrets — and instead of judgment from their peers, they get applause.

That's the approach Philadelphia's Freire Charter School has taken in its effort to prevent the next violent outburst or the next tragedy on campus. Instead of turning to guards or metal detectors, the school is making empathy part of its curriculum.

President Obama on Friday officially nominated San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to the post of secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a move that boosts the profile of a young Hispanic seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party.

Castro would replace Shaun Donovan, who Obama wants to become the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. Donovan would take over OMB from outgoing budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who's expected to be confirmed shortly as the next health secretary.

The Associated Press says:

The entire state of California is in a severe drought. Farmers and farmworkers are hurting.

You might expect this to cause food shortages and higher prices across the country. After all, California grows 95 percent of America's broccoli, 81 percent of its carrots and 99 percent of the country's artichokes, almonds and walnuts, among other foods.

Yet there's been no sign of a big price shock. What gives?

Here are three explanations.

Congress passed a bill on Thursday to honor the U.S. Army's only segregated Latino unit with the Congressional Gold Medal. If the bill is signed into law by President Obama, the 65th Infantry Regiment of Puerto Rico, also known as the Borinqueneers, will join Puerto Rican baseball star Roberto Clemente as the only Hispanics to be awarded the highest civilian honor given by Congress.

Faced with a weak economy and a need to improve Italy's debt ratio, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government will include illegal drug sales and prostitution when it figures the country's gross domestic product.

That's according to a report from Bloomberg News, which says:

Richard III can finally be laid to rest. Well, next spring anyway.

A British court on Friday ruled that plans to rebury the 15th century king in Leicester can proceed. His remains had been found beneath a parking lot in that city in 2012.

For months, Tea Party groups had been exhorting their members to "Fire the Speaker!"

A collection of Tea Party-backed candidates have also said, if elected, they would not support John Boehner for speaker in the next Congress.

Pages

America Abroad - Beyond the Border: The Future of US-Mexico Relations

Monday, August 14, 2017, 9 PM Much of President Trump’s populist support comes from people who are deeply worried about globalization and immigration. But Donald Trump’s pro-border wall, anti-NAFTA stance has strained US- Mexico relations. Can the two nations find common ground and work past the rhetoric? America Abroad presents Beyond the Border: The Future of US-Mexico Relations , a lively town hall discussion linking experts and audiences in Washington, DC and Mexico City. This live event...

Read More