Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 1:36 pm
Credit Courtesy of Noah Karesh
Remember all that hype about "underground" supper clubs a few years back? They lure adventurous diners into homes and makeshift spaces where fledgling chefs cook up feasts for pay. The hosts trade in secrecy and exclusivity, and play up food specificity with themes like "Pig Every Which Way," "Jewish Soul Food" and "A Taste Of Tripoli" (because there is no Libyan restaurant in town). And, on top of the food, attendees can revel in the novel experience of eating face-to-face, side-by-side with total strangers.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we get an update on developments in Mali in West Africa. That's a country known to many for its cultural heritage. French soldiers have started an assault to repel Islamist militants who have already taken northern territory. NPR's Ofeibea Quist Arcton is going to bring us up to date in just a few minutes.
And now, we turn to matters of personal finance and, as we are about midway through January, we thought we'd ask, how's that new year's resolution going? According to a poll from Marist University, spending less and saving more money is one of the top five resolutions Americans made for 2013.
But what if you just can't resist those cute pumps or that stress-relieving massage or you really need some new sheets and towels or that oil change? It turns out that there are actually optimal times in the year to buy certain things.
Saying that "hiring a veteran can be one of the best business decisions you make," Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon confirmed this morning that the retail giant is launching a plan to hire more than 100,000 recently discharged veterans over the next five years.
Retail sales rose 0.5 percent in December from November, the Census Bureau says. That may be a sign that as 2012 ended consumers were still in a shopping mood even as lawmakers in Washington struggled to keep the federal government from going over the so-called fiscal cliff.
Banking regulators are telling JPMorgan Chase that it must take action to improve its risk analysis and money-laundering controls. The bank racked up a $6 billion trading loss last year. CEO Jamie Dimon cited managerial lapses and called the loss inexcusable.
Superstorm Sandy devastated the mostly below ground electric system that runs through the heart of Manhattan. What happens if Sandy is part of a new weather pattern? Con Edison, the utility that provides power to much of New York's five boroughs, is looking for ways to protect its aging infrastructure.
And in other news, the creators of "South Park" and "The Book of Mormon" have announced they are forming their own production studio. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.
MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Having success in TV, movies and Broadway, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are now branching out with their own, $300 million production company. They've named it Important Studios, and it's poised to approve TV movie and theater projects. It will give the moguls creative and financial control over what they do.
After careening from back-to-back crises — recalls and the tsunami — Toyota is No. 1 in worldwide sales again. Toyota says it sold at least 9.7 million vehicles in 2012. General Motors reports it sold 9.3 million. Both companies say it doesn't really matter which one is in the top spot.
Wal-Mart is expected to announce that it will hire every veteran who wants a job as part of a new program beginning on Memorial Day. The only requirements: that he or she left the military in the previous year and wasn't dishonorably discharged.