And as the president does that, the race for the Republican presidential nomination continues. Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are the leaders in the race for that nomination. They faced each other in a debate in Des Moines, Iowa Saturday night.
Occupy protesters in cities along the West Coast are attempting to paralyze some of the nation's busiest ports Monday. Organizers say they expect thousands of demonstrators to turn out for what they're calling "Wall Street on the Water Front." Occupy protesters in Oakland successfully shut down the port there last month, and they're looking to do it again.
Cui Jinmin oversees an abandoned strip of unfinished highway in western China's Shaanxi province. Cui says the government stopped paying his workers in April and they went home in July.
Credit Frank Langfitt/NPR
Work on this $1.5 billion highway in western China's Shaanxi province mostly halted after the government ran out of money. China has spent large sums to help keep its economy growing in recent years, but many local governments now face big debt burdens.
As the U.S. and Europe have struggled with debt, China has seemed to be largely immune. This fall, the European Union even asked China for financial help, but China has a debt problem of its own.
Over the past several years, local governments have run up at least $1.5 trillion in bank loans for infrastructure projects intended to prop up the nation's economic growth. Analysts think much of that money will never be repaid.