The U.S. population is growing. In normal times, the labor force — working or not — would be growing too. But these are not normal times, and the labor force is actually smaller than it was four years ago, meaning millions of people who should be there aren't.
The reasons people drop out of the workforce are myriad. People go back to school. Others have health issues or family priorities that keep them from looking for work. But some stop looking because they are discouraged.
A panel in Florida tasked with examining the state's "Stand Your Ground" law is unlikely to suggest that any major changes are needed.
Since it was convened in May, members of the task force have held meetings at locations around the state. At almost every meeting, they've heard impassioned testimony from people like David Boden, whose son, Jason, was killed in a shooting. Prosecutors in West Palm Beach told Boden that Florida's Stand Your Ground law prevented them from filing charges against the shooter.
I was packing up my recording equipment after interviewing TV executive Susanne Daniels — for a different story — when she said, casually, "Have you ever noticed how there's never been a really great TV show about college?"
I looked at her. Then I started unpacking my equipment again. She had just offered me a story.
As health workers try to contain an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the death toll has increased to 31.
The deaths from the hemorrhagic fever outbreak doubled in the past week. World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic tells Shots that's because they have discovered more people who were originally infected.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
Fast food giant McDonald's announced a big move yesterday to begin posting calories on menu boards. It's also making smaller changes designed to help Americans make healthier choices; smaller changes you might not even notice.
But NPR's Allison Aubrey reports they can make a real difference.
Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 5:41 pm
Appearing in Virginia on Thursday, Republican Mitt Romney tried to bring his campaign back to the issues he has focused on before in the swing state: the nation's economy and strengthening the military.
A day after Romney ignited a debate over his criticism of President Obama's handling of events in Libya and Egypt, the Republican presidential nominee largely steered clear of discussing unrest in Egypt and the attack on an American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.
Two decisions this week could make voting easier in the crucial swing state of Florida. One involves early voting, the other deals with the state's controversial effort to purge non-citizens from its voter registration rolls.
NPR's Pam Fessler has updates on both.
PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: Florida voting laws have been the subject of a lot of litigation this year and this is unlikely to be the end. But the warring parties have managed to find some common ground.
President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are both campaigning today in pivotal battleground states. Mr. Obama is in Colorado. Romney's in Virginia. The economy remains a central focus for the two men, but that's been overshadowed in the last 48 hours by events in the Middle East.
We'll hear from the Romney campaign in a moment. First, NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley joins us from Golden, Colorado. Hi there, Scott.
SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Audie.
Washington, D.C., is one of the most heavily Democratic places in the country. But some of its suburbs are in the swing state that both parties are fighting hard for. Mitt Romney campaigned in Northern Virginia today and NPR's Ari Shapiro reports they can't say its rally gave a clear indication of whom he's trying to win over in this community.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Before Mitt Romney took the stage, people crowded the bleachers behind the podium. All but three of them were women.