The cease-fire between Hamas and Israel has been a political boost for Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. The Islamist leader spent hours in meetings and on the phone with world leaders, including President Obama, and got results: a cessation of violence that puts Egypt back on the international map. But Morsi faces a test Thursday night, when negotiations on the details begin.
As we charge into the holiday gift buying season, gadgets are usually near the top of many people's wish lists. Our regular technology commentator Rich Jaroslovsky of Bloomberg News tells us about his gadget picks for 2012.
Rich, thanks for joining us.
RICH JAROSLOVSKY: Thank you.
WERTHEIMER: First, Rich, let's look at the camera. It's an amazing little machine. It doesn't even vaguely look like a camera. It looks like it must be expensive and do lots of clever tricks?
This Thanksgiving, as hearty aromas fill the house, take a moment to savor a different kind of nourishment — poetry about food.
The Hungry Ear, a new collection, celebrates the pleasures and the sorrows of food with poems from Pablo Neruda, Sylvia Plath and dozens more. Poet Kevin Young cooked up — or edited — this readable feast. He tells NPR's Renee Montagne that, much like the best meals, the best poems are made from scratch.
Gray Thursday may become the new Black Friday. Many big retailers have moved up the beginning of their shopping season, traditionally the Friday after Thanksgiving, to Thursday evening.
Brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling pressure from online retailers, which have given consumers an earlier shopping option.
"In the past, online retailers have had Thanksgiving Day all to themselves," says Marshal Cohen, retail analyst with the NPD Group. "And what that means is by the time Black Friday comes around, a lot of consumers have already spent a bunch of money."
New Year's Day typically inspires hope and new beginnings. But this next one may be cause for trepidation. Tax cuts for all income levels expire on Jan. 1, 2013, and most federal programs will face a 10 percent haircut — because Congress failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan.
Let's turn now to the urgent diplomatic efforts underway. Secretary of State Clinton is now in Cairo, meeting with Egyptian leaders in efforts to reach a ceasefire. NPR's Leila Fadel joins us from Cairo to discuss the latest.
LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Good morning.
MONTAGNE: So what do you know about what's happening on the diplomatic front today there in Cairo?
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. As the story goes, pardoning a turkey dates back to Lincoln, when his young son Tad begged his father to let the White House Thanksgiving meal live. Today, President Obama pardons two turkeys - Cobbler and Gobbler. Ahead of their big moment, the birds have been staying at the swanky W hotel, nibbling on organic meals prepared by the hotel's chef. And once pardoned, the turkeys will retire to Mount Vernon. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer with a Thanksgiving dessert that goes way past pumpkin pie a la mode. An Arizona ice cream shop is creating an entire Thanksgiving dinner in ice cream form. Scooptacular is offering sweet potato ice cream, also cranberry. And for the adventurous, corn and even turkey by the scoop. Can you get hot fudge with that? Would you want hot fudge with that? It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
In Washington, lawmakers are trying to work out a deal to keep the economy from going over the fiscal cliff. Many economists predict those automatic tax hikes combined with deep spending cuts set to go into effect on New Year's Day would throw the economy back into recession.
A group of top CEOs has been urging lawmakers to reach a deal to keep that from happening. Mark Bertolini is one of them. He's CEO of the health insurer Aetna and he said tax increases are as important as spending cuts. We called him to talk more.
NPR's business news starts with a costly misstep by HP.
The California-based technology giant is writing down an $8.8 billion loss. CEO Meg Whitman says much of that comes from new revelations about Autonomy, a software company HP bought last year. She says the company lied about the state of its finances. HP plans to sue, and has asked authorities in both the U.S. and the U.K. to investigate. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Afghan officials welcomed the release of Taliban prisoners by Pakistan in an attempt to jump-start a shaky peace process with the militant group. But many Afghans are wondering about the timing and the motive. They say mistrust born of decades of duplicity won't vanish with a few declarations or small gestures.
Secretary-General of the Afghan High Peace Council Mohammad Stanekzai was part of the delegation that recently traveled to Pakistan to discuss how the countries can cooperate and bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.
There has been a small but potentially important breakthrough in the faltering Afghan peace process. In what is considered a good-faith gesture, Pakistan last week released at least nine Afghan Taliban prisoners. The move is seen as part of an emerging new strategy by Pakistan as it eyes the looming drawdown of U.S. and Western troops in Afghanistan.
Uncle Sam wants you to email your doctor. A federal law passed in 2009 says that physicians have to start offering their patients online communication, or Medicare will start docking how much it pays them in the future.
Some patients hope that having online access to their doctors will mean they can cut down on how often they have to go to the doctor's office. But fresh research suggests that patients with online access actually schedule more office visits.
With the holiday shopping season shifting into high gear, retailers are doing everything they can to win consumer dollars. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, is trying out one new strategy this season: same-day delivery. In a few select markets, it's joining online retail giant Amazon and eBay's "Now" service in offering super-quick delivery, straight to your door.
A few months ago, I let you in on a little secret about Greek yogurt. Not all of this extra-thick, protein-rich yogurt is made the old-style way, by straining liquid out of it it. Some companies are creating that rich taste by adding thickeners, such as powdered protein and starch.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Leading with a great pair of legs helps to make it as a model. And apparently, being a 72-year-old granddad doesn't hurt. Liu Xianping advised his granddaughter on her fashion business and thoughts on mix and match, then he modeled the look. The photos went viral. Sales skyrocketed. Here's how to get the look. Pile on the layers and lace and his signature thigh-high red stockings. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And now for today's business bottom line. Last summer's drought has brought bad news this fall - low crop yields, especially of corn; plus higher prices, and a prediction from the Department of Agriculture that corn exports will be at a 40-year low. The U.S. still is the world's biggest supplier of corn. But this year, American exporters won't be quite as dominant as usual, in the global corn market. From Missouri, Abbie Fentress Swanson reports on the impact this is having.
In New York, the city is expected to begin demolishing some of the houses that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Inspectors have fanned out across the boroughs to places hard hit by the storm to decide which houses are safe to return to and which are not. Some of the most-damaged neighborhoods are along the coastal stretches of Staten Island. NPR's Jeff Brady began his story on the streets of the Midland Beach neighborhood.
For more on the politics within the Palestinian territories, we turn now to NPR's Anthony Kuhn in Gaza. He reports that the current conflict has helped unite Palestine's various factions and strengthened Hamas' domestic political position.
ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: A video on the Internet shows a concealed metal trapdoor in the ground opening automatically. On the underside of the door are missile tubes and the flag of the Islamic Jihad movement.
And today's last word in business: 'Tis the season for shopping days with names.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
It's not just Black Friday anymore. With stores opening earlier and earlier, Black Friday is fast becoming Black Thursday. You might still go out and bargain hunt on Friday, but be warned, there's no rest for you on Saturday. There's now Small Business Saturday, when shoppers are encouraged to buy from local stores.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer in for Steve Inskeep.
After attending the annual summit of Southeast Asian leaders, President Obama is winging his way home this morning. And tomorrow, he'll issue the traditional Thanksgiving turkey pardon. Then after the holiday it's back to budget talks with congressional leaders deciding what else might be spared, and what government programs or tax breaks might feel the knife.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won't be hurrying home today, along with the president, but rather she's going to Jerusalem. There, she'll meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then on to meetings with Palestinians on the West Bank - and then to Cairo. The swirl of diplomatic activity is aimed at brokering a truce between Israel and Gaza. Rockets and missiles continue to fly, today, between Israel and the Hamas militants that now control Gaza.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Even as talk grows louder about a possible truce, intense air assaults went back and forth over the Israeli and Gaza border today. More Palestinians were killed overnight, pushing the death toll for days of fighting to over 100 for Palestinians and three Israelis.
Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:20 am
The fiscal cliff has economists and politicians in a tailspin. The term is used to describe what will happen if Congress fails to come to an agreement on budget cuts or tax increases by the end of the year. Some say the term is inaccurate, and somewhat alarmist. Linda Wertheimer talks to linguist and Boston Globe language columnist Ben Zimmer about the origin of the term fiscal cliff.
WERTHEIMER: Banks are rushing to add employees to meet the demand for home loans. Low interest rates have sparked a record wave of mortgage activity, and the need for more people to process the paperwork. Mortgage employment rose by 9 percent this year, to its highest level since the financial crisis in 2008. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Scientists working on NASA's six-wheeled rover on Mars have a problem. But it's a good problem.
They have some exciting new results from one of the rover's instruments. On the one hand, they'd like to tell everybody what they found, but on the other, they have to wait because they want to make sure their results are not just some fluke or error in their instrument.