Things have been electric on the Japanese stock market recently, but the country is in need of energy and is hunting for it in innovative ways. Gold, a precious metal that was once seen as a durable hedge against the recession, has had a lousy spring. And a solar powered plane continues its cross-country flight.
A probe by the European Commission into possible manipulation of oil prices has just gotten bigger. Finland's only refiner has also been asked to help with the investigation. And, with an aging population in the U.S., a look at the cost of an older person taking a fall.
Today, hundreds of protesters shut down traffic in the Chinese city of Kunming to dramatize their opposition to a proposed petrochemical plant. It's the latest in a series of 'not in my backyard' or NIMBY protests in recent weeks throughout that country. And, we heard yesterday that military families have some extra protections when it comes to consumer credit -- the Military Lending Act caps interest rates and bans certain short-term loans. But creative lenders are still finding ways to prey on military families. Today, we look at how military brass, consumer advocates and lawmakers are trying to close loopholes in the legislation.
New figures out today from euro zone countries show the European Union's economy has been getting weaker for six straight quarters -- a year and a half of contraction. France was officially in recession. We take you to the continent to find out what it all means. And, seven years ago, Congress passed the Military Lending Act to prevent financial abuse of soldiers. But is it helping? Creative lenders are still finding ways into this lucrative market, and military families continue to fall into high-interest, quick-cash loans.
French politicians have their eyes on a potential new source of revenue: smart phones and tablets. France is considering the idea of putting a tax on these mobile digital devices in an effort to fund French culture. And, in China, controversy is swirling around the country's most celebrated movie director. Zhang Yimou faces a $26 million fine for fathering seven children, a violation of China's one-child policy. The case is stirring up public anger about inequality between China's rich and poor.
Elections in Pakistan are expected to put Nawaz Sharif back into power, his third term as prime minister. Marketplace Morning Report looks at Pakistan's economy, and the old hand the incoming administration has chosen as the country's new finance minister, Ishaq Dar. And, we take you to the National Craft Championship in Birmingham, Alabama, the Associated Builders and Contractors trade group's competition for handymen and women all over the country.