Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. The holiday season will apparently be a good one for pets. A survey finds most pet owners plan to buy their pets a gift. We're not sure what this means for the economy, but people are spending more. They're budgeting $46 - up $5 from last year. Hopefully, a dog named Echo in Hawaii is not listening, since the owner says her dog is getting a toy for Christmas, and her husband is getting a shirt from the dog.
The Penn State Board of Trustees says it will appoint a special committee to investigate a child sex abuse scandal. This is the case that engulfed the university, its football program and coach Joe Paterno. Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is accused of repeatedly sexually abusing young boys over a 15-year period, sometimes in the Penn State locker room.
Regulators in Florida recently gave two utilities permission to begin charging customers for nuclear plants that won't be completed for at least a decade. To encourage development of nuclear power, Florida allows utilities to charge customers upfront for the costs. Now here's a movement there to rethink that policy.
Conservative activists in the Tea Party want Congress to cut government budget deficits. At the same time, liberal protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement want lawmakers to reduce wealth inequality.
Both goals could be achieved by doing one thing: reducing Social Security payments to retirees, the wealthiest demographic group in the country.
A study by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project reveals what teens think about the online experience. While bullying on social media sites like Facebook gets a lot of news coverage, most teens think social networks are a friendly place for them.
Driving into Huntsville, Ala., it's clear what this city is all about: A giant Saturn V rocket looms ahead in the skyline. This is the city that made the Saturn rockets that took the Apollo astronauts to the moon.
Counting down, it is now exactly two weeks before the clock runs out for Congress's supercommittee. If its six Democrats and six Republicans fail to reduce deficits by more than a trillion dollars, automatic spending cuts will kick in. Under this process, known as sequestration, the law would require half the cuts to come from defense spending. NPR's David Welna reports.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain responded to accusations of sexual harassment at a news conference in Scotsdale, Ariz., Tuesday. Cain say he has "never acted inappropriately with anyone."