The U.S. Federal Reserve announced yesterday it was raising interest rates for the first time since 2006.
What that means is what's first up today on CNN STUDENT NEWS.
Known as the Fed, it's America's central bank.
It's led by Janet Yellen. Its job is to help stabilize America's financial system.
The Fed makes moves to try to lower unemployment and control inflation, when the price of goods goes up too fast for people to afford them.
Because the U.S. economy is growing, the Fed raised its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, not much.
But gradual rate increases are likely in the New Year.
That means you'll have to pay more interest if you borrow money, higher mortgage rates for home buyers, higher interest rates if you finance a car, higher student loan rates for people who get those in or after 2016.
And eventually, savings accounts could earn a little more interest.
A decade since the last "Star Wars", and nearly just as long, nine years, since the Fed last tinkered with interest rates.
But now, it's time for the Fed to awaken, because after three episodes of quantitative easing, Janet Yellen must now use her most powerful weapon to restore balance in the economy.
She must bring out the light saber of rate hikes, the first hike in a long, long time.
The unprecedented era of low interest rates has given the Fed major economic victories, but not so quickly, the dark economic forces out there may yet strike back.
So, for instance, the Fed faces an increasingly powerful dollar.
Across the globe, it's the dollar that remains mighty.
And then, related, of course, the storm troopers of labor and having to suffer weak wage growth.
All of which is proving the hardest evil to vanquish, persistently low inflation.
Now as soon as the Fed raises rates, attention will turn to the sequels.
How many, how far and how fast?
And some warn that rapid hikes will damage this fragile recovery and put vulnerable markets under greater pressure.
Oh, make no bones about it.It may be the first move for nearly a decade, but when the Fed awakens, Janet Yellen will show her true powers.
Richard Quest, CNN, New York.
Now, naming three of the schools watching this Thursday, it's time for the call of the roll.
Yakota Middle School is first up. It's in Japan at Yakota Air Base.
Great to see you today.
Leicester, Massachusetts, is next.It's the home of the Wolverines.
They're stalking around Leicester Middle School.
And moving south to Abbeville, Louisiana, how about the Screaming Eagles?
Vermilion Catholic School rounds out our roll.
President Obama visited the Pentagon earlier this week to discuss the U.S.-led fight against the ISIS terrorist group.
He said the military was hitting ISIS harder than ever and wanted to show that the U.S. had momentum in the battle.
But he's been criticized for his strategy against ISIS, especially following several ISIS-linked attacks around the world.
And despite the airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria, the terrorist group may be changing its strategy.
So, counterterrorism officials are working to adjust theirs.
Early on after ISIS's emergence, the focus among U.S. law enforcement, U.S. counterterror officials have really been potential ISIS recruits here in America who attempt to travel to the warzones, in Iraq and Syria and join the fight there, and then possibly come back and bring jihad home.
But more and more, the focus is on potential recruits, who never leave the U.S. homeland or Europe or elsewhere in the world.
Never go to the warzone but stay at home and carry out jihad really on their doorstep.
Now, that change could be due in part to those tougher controls, the efforts to identify and stop potential recruits here in the U.S. or elsewhere in the West, from joining the fight in the Middle East.
But it is also because ISIS has changed its message, more and more, it is calling on people around the world to carry out jihad right where they are, whatever they can do, take up a gun, make a bomb, and carry out terror attacks particularly with the focus on the West more and more.
Now, sometimes, those attacks are entirely self-directed, pure lone wolves as we've heard that term so often.
But we've also seen ISIS direct and supply and train.
We saw that in Paris. Also suicide attacks in Beirut.