The Lookout
  • President Obama announcing the proposed rule change in 2011. Karen Kulp, in brown, is behind the president (Home Care Associates)

    When Charlene Hess got sick with a digestive illness, she went to the hospital as an independent 67-year-old who lived alone in her gated community in Sacramento, Calif. When she left, she needed help -- doing everything.

    With help from her daughter, Jennifer Gunn, the two discovered there are people -- in this case two neighbors -- willing to help with everything from bathing to vacuuming to changing kitty litter: home health care workers.

    These essential employees, who work in the privacy of people’s homes for a short time such as with Hess -- or long-term for the disabled or chronically ill -- don’t always make minimum wage or overtime pay because of a loophole in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

    A change to the rule proposed back in 2011 could end this, but the Obama administration has yet to approve it. Workers are still waiting to hear if they will be entitled to receive minimum wage.

    When contacted by Yahoo News about the proposed rule change, the White House Office of

    Read More »from Home care workers in wait-and-see over minimum wage proposal
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    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking the Libyan people for help in identifying three individuals who were on the grounds of the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi when it was attacked on Sept. 11, 2012. The attack resulted in the death of Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans.

    The FBI released surveillance photos of the men on Thursday, along with a bulletin that said it "appreciates that the Libyan people and the government of Libya have condemned" the attacks and is now looking for additional information related to the nighttime assault.

    The men are not explicitly listed as suspects by the FBI. "These individuals may be able to provide information to help in the investigation," the FBI said.

    The bureau urged anyone with information related to the attacks to text or email at or to fill out a special form on the FBI website. The agency released the wanted posters in both English and Arabic.

    [Related: McCain claims

    Read More »from FBI releases photos of 3 men wanted in Benghazi investigation

  • Don’t call this prom cheap. It’s more like financially sane.

    When Kim Jacobs Walker’s son, Devon Pankratz, told her he had decided to attend his high school prom this spring, it was “a happy surprise,” she says. Pankratz, 18, had never been to a school dance, and she had hated to see him miss out on a teenage rite of passage.

    Walker was chagrined, however, by the $55 per ticket price tag. Her prom—a four-course, sit-down affair at a four-star hotel in Houston in 1983—was basically free. Her junior class, she says, covered the costs through bake sales, magazine sales and concession sales at basketball games.

    But it’s not 1983 anymore, and prom costs have crept higher and higher. According to Visa’s annual survey released last week, parents plan on coughing up $1,078 on average for their kids’ proms this year. That’s a 33 percent increase over 2011, when families spent $807, says Visa.

    Two of the more staggering figures:

    Read More »from Soaring and ‘genuinely silly’ prom costs prompt families to budget for big dance


(3,631 Stories)
  • Early Glance: Railroad companies

    Shares of some top railroad companies are mixed at 10 a.m.: CSX fell $.21 or .7 percent, to $31.15. Canadian National Railway Co. fell $.11 or .2 percent, to $69.24. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. rose ...

  • Social Media Posts Show Last Moments of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Victims
    Social Media Posts Show Last Moments of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Victims

    These snapshots might have been their last. Cellphones and the Web have been tracking the lives of the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, shot down in eastern Ukraine last week:

  • China's rich pimp their planes as jet market takes off
    China's rich pimp their planes as jet market takes off

    When a Chinese customer asked for the interior of his new Bombardier Challenger 850 jet to be covered with pricey black carbon fibre, the designer was shocked -- but happy to oblige. "We'll do whatever you want, as long as it's within the realm of certification," said Sean Gillespie, executive vice president for sales of Flying Colours, a North American aviation services firm. "But carbon fibre, we've used it before, but usually it's used as a trim." The market for private jets -- sometimes called business or executive jets -- is a small but fast growing aviation segment in China, where rapid economic development has created a surge of new wealth.

  • Costa Concordia wreck leaves Giglio on final voyage
    Costa Concordia wreck leaves Giglio on final voyage

    Italy's once-luxurious Costa Concordia cruise liner embarked on its last voyage on Wednesday, as tug boats began towing it from island wreck site to scrapyard grave in one of the biggest salvage operations in maritime history. Sunshine streamed down on the Mediterranean bay where hundreds of onlookers watched as the final cable attaching ship to shore was cut, finally severing ties between the Tuscan island of Giglio and the ship two and a half years after its capsize claimed 32 lives. "It's hard not to get emotional," said Franco Porcellacchia, an engineer with ship owner Costa Crociere. "Today, Giglio is once again ours," a local man, visibly relieved to see the back of the Concordia, told AFP.

  • Amazing SpaceX Reusable Rocket Test Caught on Video
    Amazing SpaceX Reusable Rocket Test Caught on Video

    A stunning new video shows the first stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket making a soft ocean splashdown as planned after its launch earlier this month. Even though the booster didn't survive the landing entirely intact, SpaceX considers the reusability test a big success. "This test confirms that the Falcon 9 booster is able consistently to reenter from space at hypersonic velocity, restart main engines twice, deploy landing legs and touch down at near zero velocity," SpaceX representatives wrote in an update today about the video, which was recorded by the stage's onboard camera. Developing fully and rapidly reusable rockets is a key priority for California-based SpaceX and Elon Musk, the company's billionaire founder and CEO.

  • 3 industries that make it entirely too difficult for customers to call it quits
    3 industries that make it entirely too difficult for customers to call it quits

    The experience of one Comcast cable subscriber whose attempt to cancel his subscription earlier this month went viral reminded us just how desperate businesses can be to hold us captive.

  • I no longer talk to Obama: Turkey's Erdogan
    I no longer talk to Obama: Turkey's Erdogan

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he has stopped talking to US President Barack Obama on the phone, amid growing strains between Ankara and Washington over Syria and the Gaza conflict. Turkey, a fierce opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and an open supporter of armed rebel fighters, felt betrayed when the United States backed away from military action against Damascus in September. "In the past, I was calling him (Obama) directly. Because I can't get the expected results on Syria, our foreign ministers are now talking to each other," Erdogan said in a live interview on pro-government ATV channel late Monday.

  • Did Putin just bring Russia in from the cold?
    Did Putin just bring Russia in from the cold?

    Mr. Putin's statement flatly contradicts what the domestic media have been saying for months. Just days ago, Russian outlets were warning of a White House "offensive against Russia and China," with the US trying to create "instability on Russia's borders." Putin himself earlier this month claimed that Russia's annexation of Crimea was to forestall NATO from getting a foothold in Ukraine. "If you've been reading the Russian press and watching TV over the past few months you would have gotten an entirely different impression," that the country was in a state of emergency and facing imminent peril, says Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of the Moscow-based foreign policy journal "Russia in Global Affairs."  Russia is in no mood to escalate the confrontation, and it's possible we could do some deal on non-recognition of the Ukrainian insurgents," he adds.

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