Its widely watched consumer confidence index rose to 73.7 from 73.1 in October. The index is the highest it has been since February 2008, when the economy had just fallen into recession and was headed down.
Consumers can now offer reviews of their experience riding a popemobile. A Dublin-based company is now offering to rent an old vehicle that was once used to carry Pope John Paul II.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And that's our last word in business today. This is the vehicle that carried the pope during his visit to Ireland in 1979. It is the size of a small school bus. It seats about 15, includes a papal throne.
The agreement will see Greece cut its debt by $51 billion, clearing the way for new loans of around $60 billion. Analysts say this makes it unlikely that Greece will default on its debt or pull out of Europe's currency, the Euro.
Baltimore has thousands of abandoned houses. It also has one of the nation's most comprehensive programs to clean them up. It focuses on selling houses in neighborhoods near key employers and other attractions, and demolishes buildings in less viable areas of the city. But the plan requires government officials to make some hard choices about which neighborhoods are worth saving.
A row of restaurants in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C., looks tantalizing — there's Vietnamese, Italian, New American.
But if you walk around to the alley at the back of this row you might gag. Dumpsters packed with trash are lined up, and they get emptied only twice a week. Which means a lot of food sits here, filling the block with a deep, rank odor.
A grand bargain, a compromise to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, could all come down to one word: revenue. It's now widely agreed that steering away from the cliff — the combination of spending cuts and tax increases set to hit at the start of the year — will require some combination of revenue increases and spending cuts. The central sticking point could well be whether President Obama and Congress can agree on the definition of revenue.
At the moment, the casual observer could easily get the sense that the president and Republicans in Congress are talking past each other.
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Neda Ulaby has a story about Chuck Lorre, the producer whose name is attached to three of the five highest-rated comedies on American television last season: The Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, and Mike & Molly.