Update at 7 a.m. ET, Dec. 11. Settlement Announced:
Saying that "we accept responsibility for our past mistakes," the chief executive of Britain's HSBC has confirmed that the banking giant will pay a record $1.9 billion to settle charges related to a money laundering scheme in the U.S.
Now an observation about budget deals, tax increases, ideology, and self interest here in the United States. It comes from writer Joel Kotkin, who covers demographic, social and economic trends. Kotkin recently wrote a piece for Forbes called "The Blue-State Suicide Pact." It's about who favors and who would be hit by a higher tax rate for income over $250,000 a year. And Kotkin says the states that would be hardest hit by the very tax increases that Democrats favor are the states where Democrats tend to be the strongest.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama got out of Washington today. He visited a car plant this afternoon in Detroit. The president was there, in part, to talk jobs and to herald some good news for manufacturing in Michigan. But looming over today's visit, and over much of what Mr. Obama does these days, are the budget negotiations back in Washington.
That raid is one of a number of recent examples of U.S. special operations taking the direct approach, conducting a targeted military strike. This is what special operators are best known for. It's the reason the special ops budget has more than quadrupled since 9/11, and it's the kind of approach that killed Osama bin Laden.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
Kennebunk, Maine, is the quintessential small New England town, attracting tourists every year to its beaches and shops. But this fall, it became known for something else: a prostitution scandal. Police publish new lists of alleged patrons every other week, and those who are rumored to be patrons face months of speculation. Maine Public Radio's Patty Wight reports.
After the U.N. General Assembly upgraded the status of the Palestinian Authority to an observer state the week before last, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with an expansion of housing plans on the West Bank, near Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The U.S. called that counterproductive. And it came after Washington had backed Israel in the U.N., helped Egypt mediate a cease-fire in Gaza and funded production of Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system.
The women's shoe department at Nordstrom's flagship store in Seattle is bustling. Shoppers are trying on everything from stilettos to rain boots — and when they're ready to buy, they can pay up right where they are.
The sales associate simply whips out a modified iPod Touch and scans the shoe box's bar code. The handheld device contains a credit card reader, too, so the customer can just hand over the plastic and sign with a fingertip. There's no trek to the cash register and no line to wait in.
Though it may not be on any singles charts, the theme from Angry Birds is likely one of the most widely heard pieces of music ever. For Canadian violinist Angèle Dubeau, that's just one reason to take it seriously — even though it originated in a video game.
Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 8:04 am
Pulling out a porcupine quill is painful and slow, as many a dog discovers to its dismay after tangling with the big rodent. But those tenacious quills are inspiring efforts to develop better medical devices, including less painful needles.
It turns out that no one had really picked apart why it's so hard to remove a porcupine quill. Barbs, sure. But the barbs not only stick like mad. They also make it much easier for the quill to pierce skin and flesh.