NPR News

Before the 2011 film version of John Le Carre's spy novel, British director John Irvin directed the original 1979 multi-episode series for the BBC, starring George Smiley as the master spy recalled from forced retirement to root out a traitor in the top ranks of the British intelligence service.

Finding Bright Spots In A Difficult 2011

Dec 20, 2011

2011 has been a tough year in many ways: the economy is still struggling, Europe's dealing with a huge debt crisis and Japan is still recovering from a devastating tsunami. But from Chrysler to coconut water, there are people, products and ideas that have done well in 2011.

CNN's Piers Morgan has been testifying today before the British Parliament about the country's phone hacking scandal. Morgan, who was the editor of two British tabloids, became a figure in the scandal when a British politician said Morgan had "boasted" about hacking into phones.

For Americans saving for retirement, 2011 was another lackluster year, filled with lots of risks but few rewards.

Savers who tried to avoid risks by putting money into federally insured savings accounts earned almost no interest. The money just sat there, even as inflation ate away at its value, with consumer prices rising nearly 3.5 percent this year.

And for those who invested in a broad array of U.S. stocks, the results were — at best — mixed.

Two weeks from Tuesday, Iowa voters will head out to almost 1,800 caucus sites to help select a Republican presidential nominee. It could be cold. It could also be snowing. And the campaigns know they'll have to work hard to make sure their supporters show up. Those get-out-the-vote efforts could make all the difference in a race that now appears to be up for grabs.

Is A Privatized Post Office Better?

Dec 20, 2011

Not everyone thinks the U.S. Postal Service is worth saving. Tad DeHaven of the Cato Institute says spiraling costs and uncertain revenues can be solved with privatization. Host Michel Martin and DeHaven discuss what a private postal service might look like.

Personal finance experts say the start of a new year is the perfect time to check your credit report. Host Michel Martin speaks with Tell Me More regular 'Money Coach' Alvin Hall about what to look for and how to boost your credit in 2012.

Forget The Fads, Stick To Classic Toys

Dec 20, 2011

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Hanukkah begins tonight, and since many people wait until the last minute to do that holiday shopping, some are probably still trying to figure out what to get for their favorite little people.

Last week, we talked about the newest electronic gifts, like this one.

(SOUNDBITE OF COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Introducing Fijit Friends, a girl's interactive best friend. Fijit Friends say more than 150 different phrases.

Do You Need Your Mailman?

Dec 20, 2011

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, our money coach offers some end-of-the-year advice on keeping your credit clean during and after the festive season. That's coming up. But first, if you want those holiday cards to make it in time, then you better get them in the mail soon. Today is expected to be the busiest day of the year for the U.S. Postal Service and your last chance to guarantee first-class delivery before December 25th.

Three out of 4 moms consider their kids spoiled, according to a recent survey on Parenting.com. But the survey also found that most parents use the holidays as an opportunity to teach volunteerism and charity. Host Michel Martin discusses the challenges of instilling a spirit of giving with a diverse panel of moms.

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