And today's last word in business is: Crispy and cheesy and really, really profitable.
You might remember when we introduced you to Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Taco a few months ago. It's a taco made with a shell of Nacho Cheese Doritos. Taco Bell's chief executive hailed it as a flavor pairing waiting to happen. And after a huge media rollout, taco lovers have spoken by buying 100 million Doritos Locos Tacos in about 10 weeks. That is a whole lot of tacos.
In the past 15 years, Richard Russell, the owner of the British independent record company XL Recordings, has shepherded his label to more than its fair share of industry success.
Last year the label saw its greatest heights yet, though to be fair, no other label climbed anywhere near as high. That's because 2011 was the year of Adele, and XL is the singer's home. (In the United States, Adele's albums are promoted and distributed by Columbia Records, but she is signed to XL worldwide.)
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told a congressional committee Thursday that the U.S. economy faces some significant risks, and Fed officials are still deciding what to do about it.
His remarks disappointed a lot of investors who want the Fed to do something to revive growth. Bernanke spoke at a time when interest rates on government debt are hitting lows not seen since the Great Depression.
The Obama administration is searching for a "sweet spot" in economic policy: measures that could increase job growth right now without worsening the federal deficit. That task gained new urgency this month when the Labor Department reported a sharp slowdown in job growth in May.
The challenge could force the president to try to revive his "grand bargain" with Republicans.
The full genetic code of a fetus has been cracked. The technique, used by scientists at the University of Washington, could offer parents safer and more comprehensive prenatal testing in the future. It also leaps into a debate over what information parents will eventually have — and use — to decide whether to have an abortion.
NPR's Deborah Amos has been covering the uprising in Syria since it began more than a year ago. Like other foreign reporters, she has had to cover much of the conflict from afar because the Syrian government has only rarely granted visas. She has just returned to Syria for the first time since last fall and sent this dispatch: