December 4, 2013 | NPR · Public pensions are at risk in both Illinois and in the city of Detroit. In Illinois Tuesday the legislature passed a pension reform bill cutting benefits for retirees. And, also Tuesday, a federal judge gave Detroit the go ahead to slash is public pension and healthcare benefits. Are these examples models for other states and cities with huge budget problems? Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, told Robert Siegel that, in fact, Detroit's pension benefits were relatively well funded and were not the primary budget problem.
December 4, 2013 | NPR · Banks have granted tens of billions of dollars in mortgage relief through settlements, the latest being JPMorgan Chase, which agreed to provide an additional $4 billion for troubled homeowners. But housing counselors around the country say that not enough has changed, and that the settlements, while a good template, aren't what is making a difference in communities hard-hit by foreclosure.
December 4, 2013 | NPR · The deadline for Syria to be cleared of its chemical weapons stockpiles is fast approaching, and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is in charge of destroying the arsenal, is laying out a plan to get the weapons out of the country so they can be neutralized on ships. Melissa Block talks with Julian Borger, The Guardian's diplomatic editor, about the plan, which he's called a "delicate and unprecedented operation."