"The Help," the best-selling novel about the life of black maids in segregated Jackson, Mississippi, successfully transitioned into a box office smash. Viola Davis and Octavia Spenser are nominated for Oscars. Many fans are dismayed the Academy's recognition goes to black women portraying domestics, a hated stereotype. NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates has more.
Overall economic numbers for this year have been looking better, but almost every forecast for 2012 has included at least a mention that catastrophe could still come from Europe. The crisis over Greece's debt is not over, even after yesterday when lawmakers approved more budget cuts and economic reforms. Now Greek unions are protesting again.
Resolving this crisis has taken years, and there's a reason: a debt crisis has never really been solved this way before. Here's Zoe Chace of NPR's Planet Money team.
Greek officials have been working with private lenders to try to reduce their debt-load. Meanwhile European Union officials are in Brussels today to deal with the debt crisis. Steve Inskeep talks to Zanny Minton Beddoes, an editor at "The Economist" magazine, for an update on how solving the problem is going.
Let's come closer to home now for the story of a man who's a model of consistency. UPS, the shipping company, has honored one of its drivers. The company says Ron Sowder has driven delivery trucks and tractor trailers at UPS for 50 years without being blamed for an accident. He has managed to stay safe while climbing into the cab more than 12,000 times and traveling more than four million miles.
Lately, he's been driving across Ohio, to Cincinnati and then to Louisville, Kentucky.