A woman displays Cuban pesos, or CUP (right) and the more valuable convertible pesos, or CUC (left), in Havana Tuesday. Raul Castro's government announced that it will begin unifying the two currencies.
Cuba will end the two-currency system it has used for nearly 20 years. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba has used either American currency or a peso that's pegged to the dollar alongside its national peso.
The monetary unification will phase out a system that has become a symbol of exclusivity and foreign wealth. Many products that are imported into the country can be bought only with the dollar-based convertible peso. But most Cubans are paid in the standard peso, which is worth just a fraction of the other currency.
We're used to relying on antibiotics to cure bacterial infections. But there are now strains of bacteria that are resistant to even the strongest antibiotics, and are causing deadly infections. According to the CDC, "more than 2 million people in the United States every year get infected with a resistant bacteria, and about 23,000 people die from it," journalist David Hoffman tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
When it finally came out Tuesday, the September jobs report — delayed for 18 days by the government shutdown — showed a labor market moving forward. But the pace was slow enough to prompt many economists to view it as a letdown.
Job growth "is disappointing, given that employment is still down by about 1.8 million from its peak prior to the recession," Gus Faucher, senior economist with PNC Financial Services Group, said in his analysis.
Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 6:45 pm
The U.S. Capitol Dome is about to undergo a $60 million restoration. Construction is scheduled to begin in November and last for two years.
"From a distance the dome looks magnificent, thanks to the hard-work of our employees," the Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers says in a statement. "On closer look, under the paint, age and weather have taken its toll and the AOC needs to make repairs to preserve the Dome."
Ayers says this will be first time the dome will receive a complete makeover since the one it received in 1959 to 1960.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:22 am
Girls who were more physically active at age 11 did better at school as teenagers, a study finds. And the most active girls really aced science.
It's become pretty much a given that children do better academically when they get regular exercise, even though schools continue to cut or even eliminate recess time. But there's surprisingly little hard evidence to back that up.
A flesh-eating narcotic known as “krokodil” has made its landing in the United States. The drug is injected, leaving the skin with gangrenous wounds and scaly, green flesh — hence the name “crocodile.”
The narcotic, usually created by mixing codeine with household ingredients like gasoline and iodine, emerged in Russia more than 10 years ago during a heroin shortage. Recent cases in the United States have been identified in Arizona, Illinois and Utah.
Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 5:08 pm
Customers who hope to buy enough from Amazon's website to garner free shipping are now facing a higher bar, as the giant retailer raised its minimum order size from $25 to $35. The change took effect Monday, as the busy holiday shopping season looms.
"This is the first time in more than a decade that Amazon has altered the minimum order for free shipping in the US," the company said in announcing the change.