Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Nearly 700 years after he ruled the Mali Empire, King Mansa Musa has been awarded the title of richest person in history. Personal fortune: $400 billion. That's according to a new inflation-adjusted list compiled by Celebrity Net Worth. West Africa's salt and gold were the source of Musa's great wealth, which he used to build magnificent mosques. More modern names on the list: The Rothchilds and John D. Rockefeller. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
I've devoted many hours in my life to reading, and among these hours many of them belong to the creations of novelist Louise Erdrich. In more than a dozen books of fiction — mostly novel length — that make up a large part of her already large body of work, Erdrich has given us a multitude of narrative voices and stories. Never before has she given us a novel with a single narrative voice so smart, rich and full of surprises as she has in The Round House. It's her latest novel, and, I would argue, her best so far.
Bank of America will release quarterly earnings tomorrow and once again, foreclosures will be part of the equation. The Charlotte-based bank's role in the 2008 housing crash has landed it on a fair number of lists of most hated institutions in America.
But, as Julie Rose of member station WFAE in Charlotte discovered, some of those most involved in cleaning up the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis are beginning to soften toward the bank.
And four major manufacturers say they will start offering financial support for the training of military veterans. The corporations are taking part in a program called Get Skills to Work Coalition. It has said its initial goal at training 15,000 vets.
NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.
YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Unemployment among veterans has been falling, as it has for everyone else. The jobless rate among vets serving after 2001 now stands at 9.7 percent, but that's still about 2 percentage points higher than the general population.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne, good morning.
Presidential candidates play a game before debates, each lowers expectations that he'll do well, then tries to beat expectations. The last part didn't work out for President Obama this last time, so he tries again tonight.
INSKEEP: The president meets Mitt Romney with their contest effectively tied. They hold a town hall meeting with about 80 uncommitted voters.
Military veterans across the country have a whole range of concerns this election season, from the high rate of suicide to special challenges for female vets. But like everyone else, they're especially concerned with health care and jobs.
The nation's obligations to some 2 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan pose a challenge for the next commander in chief. Unemployment for post-Sept. 11 vets is about 2 percentage points worse than the national average, and veterans want solutions.
Snoop Dogg — who announced his reincarnation as Snoop Lion over the summer — is the newest spokesman for the microwaveable processed turnovers. In 2004, he had a hit, "Drop It Like It's Hot." Now he sings "Pocket Like It's Hot."
NPR's business news starts with some shopping season indicators.
Black Friday, the height of the holiday shopping season, is a month and a half away but companies are already announcing significant seasonal hiring plans. The National Retail Federation says it expects strong holiday sales this year. Today, Amazon announced it is hiring 50,000 workers, thousands of whom it says, it will keep on after the holidays.