When Hollywood imagines the future, from Logan's Run to Avatar, it tends to picture living spaces as sterile and characterless, without any cultural clues to the person who lives there. No record library, no DVDs, no Hemingway on bookshelves ... often no bookshelves.
A big reason for the slow recovery has been that the nation's battered banks haven't been able or willing to lend. There are signs that's changing and that bank lending is helping to support stronger growth.
Paul Kasriel, chief economist at Northern Trust, a Chicago-based bank, say his reading of Federal Reserve data has convinced him that banks have finally taken the baton from the Fed and are now making credit more available.
"We've seen a sharp increase in business loans on the books of banks," he says.
Florida's legislature has released its new legislative and congressional maps as part of the once-every-decade redistricting process, and the lawsuits are already flying. Democrats and watchdog groups say the new maps violate constitutional amendments that require districts to be drawn without regard to political parties or incumbents. The process is likely to be tied up in the courts for months, but the proposed maps are already having an impact — including forcing Tea Party favorite, Congressman Allen West, to leave his old district for one that's friendlier to Republicans.
When Brian O. Selznick wrote The Invention of Hugo Cabaret — a graphic novel about an orphan in 1930s Paris — he imagined the secret spaces of a Paris train station. For inspiration, he visited Grand Central Terminal in New York City. But the scenes in the book — hidden tunnels, secret rooms, the giant clock tower — were all drawn from Selznick's imagination and later turned into the movie Hugo by Martin Scorcese, which is nominated for 12 Academy Awards.
The eurozone crisis has focused attention on debt-burdened Greece spiraling into decline. Meanwhile, Portugal is seen as the international creditors' poster-child for obediently slashing spending and welfare benefits.
Nevertheless, the Portuguese national debt continues to grow, and the country is mired in recession and soaring unemployment.
The Portuguese national character has long been identified with Fado music. Raquel Freire, an activist with the local Occupy movement, says the melancholy style helps explain decades of resignation.
ATLANTA (AP/WMOT) — Health officials say the flu season is finally here, but so far few cases have been reported in Tennessee.
Until this month, there weren't enough cases in the U.S. to signal the start of the season.
The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta says this is the slowest start to the flu season in nearly 25 years. Flu season usually starts in December or January. Often, it's half over by this point in the year.
Here in Tennessee, the CDC is calling the incidence of flu "sporadic."
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- It was mostly good news for Middle Tennessee State sports in weekend action. The Blue Raider men's and women's basketball teams clinched top seeds in upcoming conference play.
The MT men claimed the Sun Belt’s regular-season title on Saturday evening with a 72-59 victory over Florida Atlantic. The MT women also defeated FAU, making them the lone unbeaten team in the conference and extending their winning streak to 16 games.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- The nation has seen a rapid rise in fuel prices in recent weeks. The Triple “A” Fuel Gauge report says the average price for regular gas in the U.S. now stands at is $3.55.
The average price here in Tennessee is up to $3.48. Middle Tennessee’s prices are some of the highest in the state at $3.52. Memphis and Knoxville stand at $3.46 and regular gas in Chattanooga is selling for $3.49.
The Two-Way is formally off-duty for the Presidents' Day holiday. But not only does the news not take a holiday — often, holidays are the news. Here's a quick roundup of some of today's important and most-discussed stories:
Syria is reinforcing its military in what seems to be a bid to control Homs. (AP)