Analysts are predicting a fairly good year for retailers over the holiday season. Those sales are expected to increase 3 percent overall and go up 15 percent for online retailers. Plus, this is the first year tablets like the iPad may make an impact on the retail landscape.
And now let's see if you're manly enough to take the pain to make the money that we'll talk about in our last word in business. A few years ago a man uploaded a clip of his son getting his finger bitten by the baby brother.
After a week of market turmoil over the worsening eurozone crisis, hopes are high that the appointment of economist Mario Monti to head a technocratic government in Italy will reassure lenders that the country can speed economic overhaul. Monti could face obstruction from lawmakers of outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's party.
Steve Inskeep talks to Shahidul Alam. The former chemist became a photographer because he was tired of seeing images of the developing world through the lens of Western photographers. He now runs an art gallery, a photo agency and a school of photojournalism in Bangladesh. He recently published a book of stunning photographs called, "My Life as a Witness."
OK, so you're overweight. So are two-thirds of all Americans. Maybe you need a nudge to get going on a diet and exercise plan. Maybe you've thought about talking with your doctor about weight-loss strategies. Well, a number of studies suggest you're probably not getting the advice you need.
Here's the problem with watching TV after 50 years of innovation in technology and storytelling: Sometimes, it takes an awful lot to get your attention.
How else to explain NBC's Grimm, which is a typical crime-of-the-week drama with a special twist: The hero cop can see fairy-tale villains disguised as ordinary people. Our hero, Det. Nick Burkhardt, learns about his new talent from his dying aunt, who tells him of "reapers," an organization that's dedicated to killing "Grimms" like him.
Earlier in the year when there was a paucity of great videogames, critics and players alike took time to savor games like L.A. Noire and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. That was then. In the fall, games come out with more alacrity than the speedy conveyor belt of chocolates in that iconic I Love Lucy Switching Jobs episode. More than two thirds of the year's games hit shelves between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Here are some of the best.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Activision for Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 3, Wii Rated M for Mature
Some Americans are old enough to remember pulling up to the pump at gas stations advertising fuel in cents per gallon, not dollars. For many Libyans, that's the way it has always been and should continue to be in this sparsely populated oil-producing country.
At a Tripoli gas station on a recent afternoon, popular opinion among local Libyans appears to be that the government would keep the prices low, around 60 cents a gallon, or bring them down even further.
Carlos the Jackal, the man who sowed fear during the Cold War with terrorist attacks in Europe and the Middle East, has now been in prison for close to two decades.
But he's once again on trial in France, and the case has riveted the country.
French television footage showed Carlos being taken to the Palais de Justice in an armored van guarded by policemen darting about with machine guns. In this case, Carlos is accused of masterminding four bomb attacks in France in the early 1980s that killed 11 people and wounded more than 100.
Rhode Island has dug its pension system into a big hole: It's $9 billion in the red.
The nation's smallest state doesn't even have half of the money it needs to pay future retirees. Lawmakers are debating a bill to overhaul the entire system. If they do nothing, it's predicted that in seven years, 20 percent of the state budget will be mailed out in pension checks.
There's a slate of reasons why the pension system is in such bad shape.
What haunts Carl Schuler about his two tours in Iraq is the fact that he came out of them largely unscathed.
This was not the case for his best friend, who was badly injured when his truck was hit by a roadside bomb.
"You start thinking about, well, how fair is that? You know, here's my best friend, this is how he ends up, 80 percent burns, two members in the vehicle were killed, and here I am in a similar situation, and all of us ended up being OK," Schuler says. "It's a tough thing to deal with."
Wilson Ramos came home to a hero's welcome in Valencia, Venezuela, to neighbors celebrating his rescue by commandoes just two days after the Washington Nationals catcher was abducted.
His mother wrapped her arms around him, crying, "How good God is."
It ended happily for Ramos, who was in the country to play in the Venezuelan winter league. But it's not uncommon for hostages to die in Venezuela, and the usual path to freedom involves paying a big ransom.
A good friend of mine is a Marcel Proust scholar and former milliner. She had just been to see fashion icon and brewery fortune heiress Daphne Guinness's exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology's Museum at FIT in New York when she sent me this email:
Would you wear a perfume that made you smell like "A Day at the Beach?" How about "Baby's Butt?" If so, scent inventor Christopher Brosius can help. His Brooklyn boutique is at the vanguard of the anti-perfume movement, as you might suspect by its name: I Hate Perfume.
"I'm not out to sell millions of bottles," Brosius tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden. "My work is really about things that really do smell wonderful, but don't have a lot of the properties that commercial perfumes do."
"I don't feel like I need to tell any lies," Betty Wright says. "You get to an age where you get tired of hiding behind whatever people think is correct. You just say what you have to say, and if they don't like it, it's OK."
Wright found fame in the 1970s as the voice behind the R&B hits "Clean Up Woman" and "Dance With Me." Today, Wright is much in demand as a vocalist, coach, writer, arranger and producer. Her first album out in 10 years is out this week; it's called Betty Wright: The Movie.
The Republican co-chair of a committee in charge of slashing the nation's deficit on Sunday called deliberations a "roller-coaster ride" and gave no indication that a deal could be struck before the panel's Thanksgiving deadline.
Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling said the panel will fail unless Democrats agree to significant "structural" changes to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. When asked whether that could be done in a matter of days, he said "we haven't given up hope."
At this time five years ago, the white-hot U.S. housing market was starting to cool. Before long, it would slip into a deep freeze.
The thaw still hasn't come. The latest statistics show residential real estate prices are continuing to drop — a trend that could have a long-lasting impact on the net wealth of younger homeowners who bought property during the housing bubble.
Republican White House hopefuls criticized President Obama's handling of Iran, Afghanistan and the Arab Spring during a debate Saturday night in South Carolina. It was the first of this year's debates in which foreign policy was the dominant topic.
Although the candidates aimed most of their firepower at the sitting president, the forum did expose some fault lines within the Republican ranks.
AUDIE CORNISH, host: President Obama is in Honolulu this morning, where's hosting world leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, or APEC. It's the first stop on a nine-day tour that will also take Mr. Obama to Australia and Indonesia. NPR's Ari Shapiro is traveling with the president.
ARI SHAPIRO: These are familiar stomping grounds for President Obama. He brings his family to Hawaii every Christmas, and as he told a friendly crowd of business leaders yesterday morning:
The Mexican government is launching an investigation into a helicopter crash that resulted in the death of one of the country's top officials. NPR's Mexico correspondent Jason Beaubien talks to host Audie Cornish about what prompted the probe.
AUDIE CORNISH, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. It's been a difficult and emotional week at Pennsylvania State University. The scandal involving child sexual abuse allegations and a potential cover-up is entering its second week. And yesterday, the school's football team played its game without long-time coach Joe Paterno, and lost to Nebraska. NPR's Jeff Brady was there.
AUDIE CORNISH, host: A political dynasty is emerging in Northern Iowa. This past week, Jeremy Minnier was elected mayor of Aredale, Iowa, like his father before him. Jeremy says his dad was happy but nervous about his Election Day victory.
MAYOR JEREMY MINNIER: He was supportive of it. He didn't know that. He said, I think you are taking something under your hands that you're not going to be able to handle, because he knew what it was like.
CORNISH: He thinks his dad and others are getting too caught up on a number. Jeremy Minnier is just 18 years old.
Until now, a 250-year-old encoded text titled the Copiale Cipher baffled cryptographers and historians with bizarre symbols and seemingly random letters. Computer scientist Kevin Knight and two Swedish researchers have broken the code to the 105-page manuscript, and NPR's Daniel Hajek reports on what the Cipher revealed.
What Congress does, sometimes it later tries to undo. That's what happened a few days ago, when the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.
Under DOMA, the federal government is bound to recognize only those marriages between a man and a woman. When the law passed 15 years ago, not one state recognized same-sex marriage. Six do so now, as well as the District of Columbia. But the effort to overturn DOMA faces stiff resistance from congressional Republicans.