Italy's premier-designate, Mario Monti, on Sunday in Rome.
It was a weekend "of frenetic political activity" in Italy, as NPR's Sylvia Poggioli said on Morning Edition, and now the race is on there and in Greece to see if new governments can get those nations' economies back on track and head off a further spread of the so-called eurozone crisis.
The artist Makana was performing for President Obama and leaders of nations bordering the Pacific who were meeting in Honolulu. The singer opened his jacket to reveal an "Occupy with Aloha" T-shirt. And then launched into a protest song. Makana said the song did attract stares. Still, the Obamas appeared too busy with guests to notice.
Ismet Prcic was born in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and immigrated to America in 1996. He lives in Portland, Ore.
Ismet Prcic is the author of Shards.
Have you ever read a novel that is so propulsive you don't want to put it down (not even to play with your new kitten), and so well-plotted that it doesn't reveal itself to you until its 288th page — which just happens to be the book's final page as well? Marabou Stork Nightmares by Irvine Welsh is that kind of a novel.
On first glance, if you simply picked it up and shuffled its pages, it might not look appealing to some readers.
Workers prepare new Volkswagen Golf cars at a factory in Wolfsburg, Germany.
As the debt crisis in Europe deepens, Americans may be feeling sorry for Germany.
They see that Germans, who generally work hard and spend carefully, are now being pushed to bail out their debt-ridden partners in the eurozone.
But there's another side to the story.
Turns out, sharing a common currency with a group of fiscal losers has its benefits. The German economy gained strength over the past two years in large part because the European debt crisis weakened the euro. That made German exports more attractive to customers around the world.
After a week of market turmoil over the worsening eurozone crisis, hopes are high that the appointment of economist Mario Monti to head a technocratic government in Italy will reassure lenders that the country can speed economic overhaul. Monti could face obstruction from lawmakers of outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's party.
Steve Inskeep talks to Shahidul Alam. The former chemist became a photographer because he was tired of seeing images of the developing world through the lens of Western photographers. He now runs an art gallery, a photo agency and a school of photojournalism in Bangladesh. He recently published a book of stunning photographs called, "My Life as a Witness."
And as Ari said just a moment ago, President Obama will be back in Washington just before that supercommittee's deadline. Before the president left for Hawaii, he picked up the phone and made calls to both the Democratic and Republican chairs of the group.
To talk about that and more, let's turn now to NPR's Cokie Roberts. Good morning.
COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.
MONTAGNE: Let's start with what those phone calls were about.
Analysts are predicting a fairly good year for retailers over the holiday season. Those sales are expected to increase 3 percent overall and go up 15 percent for online retailers. Plus, this is the first year tablets like the iPad may make an impact on the retail landscape.
And now let's see if you're manly enough to take the pain to make the money that we'll talk about in our last word in business. A few years ago a man uploaded a clip of his son getting his finger bitten by the baby brother.
President Obama has a low-key day in Hawaii Monday, before he flies to Australia and Indonesia. His weekend was full of diplomatic meetings at a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders. The president believes the U.S. has not paid enough attention to that region over the last decade. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, he's promising to devote more resources the Pacific Rim.
With technocratic governments being formed in Italy and Greece, the euro may get a short-term bounce from the markets. But there is concern the changes afoot may not happen fast enough to end the eurozone debt mess.
OK, so you're overweight. So are two-thirds of all Americans. Maybe you need a nudge to get going on a diet and exercise plan. Maybe you've thought about talking with your doctor about weight-loss strategies. Well, a number of studies suggest you're probably not getting the advice you need.
Russell Hornsby as Hank Griffin and David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt on NBC's Grimm.
Here's the problem with watching TV after 50 years of innovation in technology and storytelling: Sometimes, it takes an awful lot to get your attention.
How else to explain NBC's Grimm, which is a typical crime-of-the-week drama with a special twist: The hero cop can see fairy-tale villains disguised as ordinary people. Our hero, Det. Nick Burkhardt, learns about his new talent from his dying aunt, who tells him of "reapers," an organization that's dedicated to killing "Grimms" like him.
Earlier in the year when there was a paucity of great videogames, critics and players alike took time to savor games like L.A. Noire and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. That was then. In the fall, games come out with more alacrity than the speedy conveyor belt of chocolates in that iconic I Love Lucy Switching Jobs episode. More than two thirds of the year's games hit shelves between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Here are some of the best.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Activision for Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 3, Wii Rated M for Mature
Some Americans are old enough to remember pulling up to the pump at gas stations advertising fuel in cents per gallon, not dollars. For many Libyans, that's the way it has always been and should continue to be in this sparsely populated oil-producing country.
At a Tripoli gas station on a recent afternoon, popular opinion among local Libyans appears to be that the government would keep the prices low, around 60 cents a gallon, or bring them down even further.
What haunts Carl Schuler about his two tours in Iraq is the fact that he came out of them largely unscathed.
This was not the case for his best friend, who was badly injured when his truck was hit by a roadside bomb.
"You start thinking about, well, how fair is that? You know, here's my best friend, this is how he ends up, 80 percent burns, two members in the vehicle were killed, and here I am in a similar situation, and all of us ended up being OK," Schuler says. "It's a tough thing to deal with."
Carlos the Jackal, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, sits in a Paris courtroom in 2000 with his French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, who later became his wife. Carlos is already serving a life sentence, but is on trial again, charged with terrorist bombings in France in the 1980s.
Carlos the Jackal, the man who sowed fear during the Cold War with terrorist attacks in Europe and the Middle East, has now been in prison for close to two decades.
But he's once again on trial in France, and the case has riveted the country.
French television footage showed Carlos being taken to the Palais de Justice in an armored van guarded by policemen darting about with machine guns. In this case, Carlos is accused of masterminding four bomb attacks in France in the early 1980s that killed 11 people and wounded more than 100.
Rhode Island has dug its pension system into a big hole: It's $9 billion in the red.
The nation's smallest state doesn't even have half of the money it needs to pay future retirees. Lawmakers are debating a bill to overhaul the entire system. If they do nothing, it's predicted that in seven years, 20 percent of the state budget will be mailed out in pension checks.
There's a slate of reasons why the pension system is in such bad shape.
Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, seen here at a news conference on Saturday, has much to smile about: He was rescued just two days after he was kidnapped. Not all Venezuelans are that lucky. The government's own statistics show that 895 kidnappings were reported last year.
Wilson Ramos came home to a hero's welcome in Valencia, Venezuela, to neighbors celebrating his rescue by commandoes just two days after the Washington Nationals catcher was abducted.
His mother wrapped her arms around him, crying, "How good God is."
It ended happily for Ramos, who was in the country to play in the Venezuelan winter league. But it's not uncommon for hostages to die in Venezuela, and the usual path to freedom involves paying a big ransom.
A good friend of mine is a Marcel Proust scholar and former milliner. She had just been to see fashion icon and brewery fortune heiress Daphne Guinness's exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology's Museum at FIT in New York when she sent me this email:
A Labor of Love: For his "I Hate Perfume" collection, Christopher Brosius blends and bottles all of his scents by hand in his workshops. The process may be labor-intensive, but it allows him to create singular scents that can't be mass-produced.
Would you wear a perfume that made you smell like "A Day at the Beach?" How about "Baby's Butt?" If so, scent inventor Christopher Brosius can help. His Brooklyn boutique is at the vanguard of the anti-perfume movement, as you might suspect by its name: I Hate Perfume.
"I'm not out to sell millions of bottles," Brosius tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden. "My work is really about things that really do smell wonderful, but don't have a lot of the properties that commercial perfumes do."
Betty Wright's new album, her first in 10 years, is called Betty Wright: The Movie.
"I don't feel like I need to tell any lies," Betty Wright says. "You get to an age where you get tired of hiding behind whatever people think is correct. You just say what you have to say, and if they don't like it, it's OK."
Wright found fame in the 1970s as the voice behind the R&B hits "Clean Up Woman" and "Dance With Me." Today, Wright is much in demand as a vocalist, coach, writer, arranger and producer. Her first album out in 10 years is out this week; it's called Betty Wright: The Movie.
The Republican co-chair of a committee in charge of slashing the nation's deficit on Sunday called deliberations a "roller-coaster ride" and gave no indication that a deal could be struck before the panel's Thanksgiving deadline.
Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling said the panel will fail unless Democrats agree to significant "structural" changes to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. When asked whether that could be done in a matter of days, he said "we haven't given up hope."