For the fifth consecutive month, builders increased spending in December, the Commerce Department said today. The figures tempered yesterday's news that home prices in most markets tracked by the S&P/Case-Shiller index had slipped 1.3 percent in November.
With his impressive Florida win on Tuesday, Mitt Romney has re-established himself as the clear front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. But he continues to face fervent opposition from some quarters, and a number of hurdles remain before he can claim the nomination.
Romney took just over 46 percent of the vote, while second-place finisher Newt Gingrich had nearly 32 percent.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum had about 13 percent, with Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 7 percent.
Drug errors inside hospitals remain a big problem.
By one estimate, 1 in 7 hospitalized patients suffers some form of error in care. Nearly a third of those mistakes are related to drugs. And those mix-ups can lead to longer hospital stays, unnecessary suffering, permanent damage or death.
One way to reduce mistakes is to have doctors enter the prescriptions on a computer instead of with pen and paper. After the switch, hospitals can see error rates drop by a whopping 60 percent.
Israeli soldiers take part in an exercise at the Shizafon army base, in the Negev Desert north of the southern city of Eilat, on Tuesday. There are growing signs that Israel may be planning a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.
Credit Jack Guez / AFP/Getty Images
Israeli army snipers pack their gear after an army exercise at the Shizafon army base, in the Negev Desert north of the southern city of Eilat, on Tuesday.
In Israel, there is daily speculation over whether Israel will attack Iran's nuclear facilities in the near future. The debate is not only over whether Israel should strike Iran, but what the costs and benefits might be from such a strike.
Israel believes that Iran is working to build a nuclear bomb, and dismisses Iran's assertion that its nuclear program is solely for civilian purposes.
Saying "we all have a choice — stand with the people of Syria and the region or become complicit in the continuing violence there," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton just urged the U.N. Security Council to support an Arab League call for "a negotiated, peaceful political solution to this crisis and a responsible, democratic transition in Syria" that would lead to the end of President Bashar Assad's regime.
After a decisive South Carolina win, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has risen and fallen in the polls and trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by double digits going into Florida's primary.
FBI Director Robert Mueller, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director David Petraeus appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.
Iran is moving toward a nuclear capability but its intentions are unclear. Al-Qaida is weakened but remains dangerous. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are a determined adversary, but it may make sense to negotiate with them.
These were the highlights of the annual assessment of threats to U.S. security, delivered Tuesday on Capitol Hill by the nation's intelligence agencies.
The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, was also able list some accomplishments, beginning with the big triumph — tracking down and killing Osama bin Laden.
Unfortunately, though, the change doesn't apply to plans that enroll some of the sickest people: those who buy coverage in so-called high-risk insurance pools because they have medical problems that make them uninsurable in the private market.
From left, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and CIA Director David Petraeus take their seats on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, prior to testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.
As part of his yearly report to the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence, the United States' intelligence chief said that depending how threatened Iran feels, it may be more willing to launch an attack against the U.S.
With virtually all polls giving him a solid lead among Florida's Republican voters, Mitt Romney is expected to handily win the Sunshine State's GOP primary Tuesday, putting him back on course for his party's presidential nomination.
Condoms like this one were given out during the African National Congress party's centenary celebrations in early Now a South African health official says that 1.35 million of them are being recalled amid charges some broke during sex.
The Occupy D.C. encampment received notice that as of noon yesterday, camping would not be allowed at McPherson Square, the downtown Washington, D.C. park they've occupied for months now.
But that deadline came and went and instead of heeding the warning from the National Park Service, the protesters erected an even bigger tent. The protesters draped a huge blue tarp emblazoned with the words "Tent of Dreams" over the statue of Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson in the middle of the park.
Citing safety concerns, Italian officials said they were calling off the search for those still missing at the site of the Costa Concordia shipwreck.
The AP reports:
"Italy's Civil Protection agency said Tuesday that technical studies indicated that the deformed hull of the ship created too many safety concerns to continue the search. It said in a statement that relatives and diplomatic officials representing the countries of the missing have been informed of the decision.
Odds are that today's Republican primary in Florida won't be nearly as dramatic as the previous contest in South Carolina. Polls have been predicting a comfortable win for Mitt Romney and, as The Washington Post reports, a Quinnipiac University poll released, yesterday, gave Romney a 14-point lead over Newt Gingrich.
For a long time, Los Angeles has been a Lakers town, but thanks to some of the NBA's brightest young stars it's now the perennially-ridiculed Clippers that have the better record, and much of the city's attention. That's especially gratifying for one die-hard Clippers fan.
Darrell Bailey, better known as "Clipper Darrell," has missed only one Clipper game in the past 11 seasons. "I was in the hospital," he says. "That's the only reason they kept me out."
As Italy and much of Europe struggle with their finances, the city of Florence has staged an art exhibition looking at the critical — and controversial — role that financial institutions have played for centuries.
The recent Money and Beauty exhibit, held in the majestic 15th-century Palazzo Strozzi, illustrated how Florentine merchants got around the Catholic Church's ban on money-lending and bankrolled the Renaissance.