Small businesses are often called the backbone of the U.S. economy; they employ about half of the nation's private sector employees. But in many cases, small companies start out with a workforce of just one — like cereal entrepreneur Ian Szalinski in Rochester, N.Y., who's trying to stake a claim to the breakfast market.
Apparently one of the earliest human instincts was to paint things, including bodies and cave walls. That's the conclusion from scientists who have discovered something remarkable in a South African cave — a tool kit for making paint. It looks to be the oldest evidence of paint-making.
Over in southern Africa 100,000 years ago, Homo sapiens was pretty new on the scene. A favorite hangout was a cave named Blombos near the Southern ocean.
Bank of America's headquarters towers over the city center in Charlotte, N.C. Charlotte has long been one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, but now nearly one in 10 residents is out of work.
Charlotte, N.C., is perhaps best known as the home of Bank of America, the country's largest financial institution. So now, with Bank of America struggling to revive its stock price, cutting tens of thousands of jobs and widely criticized for charging customers a $5 monthly fee to use their debit cards, what's the mood in Charlotte?
Vladimir Putin will be president, says 30-year-old Yelena.
The lifelong Muscovite is chatting to a friend in Alexander Gardens next to the Kremlin in Moscow. Yelena, who like many Russians won't give her last name when discussing politics, says she's not even sure she will vote.
"Everything's been decided," she says in Russian. "It will be the same no matter who we vote for."
It's election season in Russia, with votes due for parliament in December and president next March. Everyone knows who will win, however, and voters are not energized by the campaign.
Syrians walk in the Hamidiyah market, decorated with portraits of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Syrian flags, in Damascus, Syria, Oct. 5, 2011. The European Union has intensified economic sanctions against Syria, but the crackdown against anti-regime protesters is unlikely to stop, Syrians say.
Credit Bassem Tellawi / AP
In this photo taken during a government-organized visit for media, Syrian army soldiers shout slogans in support of Assad as they enter a village near the town of Jisr al-Shughour, Syria, June 10, 2011. Ongoing military operations to crush anti-government protest is draining money from the national budget.
Every Syrian is feeling the economic pain of a seven month uprising and western sanctions to end a bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters.
But shopkeepers tell a different story along a street of open-air shops in the Midan neighborhood in central Damascus. A government escort accompanies an NPR reporter for interviews about the sensitive subject of tightening economic sanctions against Syria.
Hassan Shagharouri runs a sweets shop. When asked if prices are rising, he responds that the prices are the same and that everything is perfect.
A Gallup poll released today found support for the death penalty in the United States is at a 39-year low. As Gallup reports, "this is the lowest level of support since 1972, the year the Supreme Court voided all existing state death penalty laws in Furman v. Georgia."
The job market is barely treading water. The Labor Department Thursday reported that 404,000 people filed for unemployment benefits last week — pretty much unchanged from the week before. Overall, there are 14 million people looking for work in the U.S.
One of those places where jobs are especially hard to find is Spartanburg, S.C.
On Thursday, the Occupy Wall Street protests spread to the heavily conservative corner of the heavily conservative state. It was a small turnout — about 20 people got some honks of support and some catcalls from people who shouted, "Get a job!"
Protesters with Occupy Wall Street march along New York's 5th Avenue, where prominent heads of major business and financial institutions live, on Tuesday. The movement has expanded, along with media coverage.
Credit Mario Tama / Getty Images
Police arrest two Occupy Wall Street demonstrators after they tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge on Oct. 1. Media coverage spiked after the incident.
An Australian court issued a temporary injunction that bars Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer in the country. The judgement is a big win for Apple, which has filed lawsuits worldwide alleging that Samsung had copied its iPhone and iPad.
The Australian court ruled Samsung could not sell its device if included certain features such as a touch-screen.