United States

HSBC—Too big to indict? A dark day for the rule of law (editorial)

by New York Times December 11, 2012

It is a dark day for the rule of law. Federal and state authorities have chosen not to indict HSBC, the London-based bank, on charges of vast and prolonged money laundering, for fear that criminal prosecution would topple the bank and, in the process, endanger the financial system. They also have no...

HSBC bank to pay US government a $1.3 billion fine for vast drug and other money-laundering “lapses”

by Devlin Barrett and Evan Perez Wall Street Journal December 11, 2012

WASHINGTON—HSBC Holdings PLC on Tuesday acknowledged that for years it ignored possible money laundering as part of a record $1.9 billion settlement with U.S. authorities that caps the bank's disastrous foray into the U.S. market...

Homeless rates in US held steady during recession, study says, but big gains are elusive

by Annie Lowrey New York Times December 10, 2012

WASHINGTON — The federal government has made big strides in reducing the ranks of the chronically homeless and of veterans who are homeless, but it probably will not reach its goal of ending homelessness among those two populations by 2015, according to a government report to be released on Monday...

Tabitha Rouzzo yearns to take a different path than those around her in New Castle, Pa., but leaving poverty requires a more exhaustive effort than it once did in America. Photo: Linda Davidson/Washington Post

In Rust Belt, a teenager’s climb from poverty

by Anne Hull Washington Post December 8, 2012

The college catalogues barely fit in the mailbox. They stuck out like gift-wrapped presents against white aluminum siding gone dingy from decades of wear. On the porch were three new Linen Breeze decorative candles — a nice try, thought the actual Tabitha Rouzz...

Jobless rate edges down to its lowest level in 4 years

by Nelson D Schwartz New York Times December 8, 2012

Despite fears of a slowdown caused by gridlock in Washington, the economic recovery moved forward at a steady pace in November, pushing unemployment to its lowest level in four years....

US food banks raise alarm as drought dents government supplies

by Lisa Baertlein Baertlein Reuters November 21, 2012

The worst U.S. drought in more than half a century has weakened the safety net for the 50 million Americans who struggle to get enough to eat, and the nation's food banks are raising the alarm as the holiday season gets into full swing....

Farm workers picking peppers in the Bakersfield, California area.  Photo: Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times/MCT

The biggest challenge to immigration bill may be guest workers

by Franco Ordonez McClatchy Newspapers November 20, 2012

As immigration talks resume, the public debate has once again zeroed in on the merits of granting some type of so-called amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants. But another, more complicated dispute – where the sides are equally entrenched – is brewing behind the scenes between organized labor...

Two million could see unemployment benefits disappear by year’s end

by Michael A Fletcher Washington Post November 12, 2012

More than 2 million Americans stand to lose their jobless benefits unless Congress reauthorizes federal emergency unemployment help before the end of the year....

A protester held up a sign at a demonstration outside McDonald’s in Times Square in late November.  Photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Unionizing the bottom of the pay scale

by Eduardo Porter New York Times November 4, 2012

Other than poverty, José Carrillo and Joshua Williams have little in common. The austere life of Mr. Carrillo, a 79-year-old Peruvian immigrant from Washington Heights, is a universe apart from the hardscrabble reality of Mr. Williams, a 28-year-old single father from Atlanta staying at his aunt’...

Balancing act: Low-wage workers struggle to care for families, keep jobs

by Cindy Krischer Goodman Miami Herald October 29, 2012

See Report...