NPR News



Wed August 17, 2011
It's All Politics

Obama Prepares Ground For Campaign Against 'Do-Nothing Congress'

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 10:39 am

President Obama works rope line in Atkinson, Ill., Aug. 17, 2011.
Carolyn Kaster AP

It's safe to say President Obama probably isn't going to get much of anything that can be seen as an initiative of his administration through Congress in the next 15 months.

Obama and congressional Republicans have two entirely different prescriptions for how to create jobs, for instance. Obama emphasizes investments in infrastructure that would employ construction workers, for instance.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans argue that their agenda of tax cuts and fewer regulations would cure a too-high jobless rate.

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Wed August 17, 2011
Music Reviews

Four Decades Later, Country Artists Return To 'Fox Hollow'

Tom T. Hall (third from left) poses with some of the collaborators who helped remake Songs of Fox Hollow, including co-producers Eric Brace (third from right) and Peter Cooper (second from right).
Courtesy of the artist

While a lot of rock musicians have recorded music for families recently, far fewer country musicians have done so. But a new release pays tribute to a Nashville kids' record that's nearly 40 years old.

In 1974, the children's album Songs of Fox Hollow by Tom T. Hall charted at No. 3 — not on the kids' music charts, but on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Hall drew inspiration from his farm, penning lyrics about baby ducks, one-legged chickens, and root-beer-drinking snakes, with a gentleness that calmed and reassured little kids.

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Wed August 17, 2011
The Two-Way

In India, Thousands Protest In Support Of Anti-Corruption Activist

Tens of thousands of Indians took the streets in a peaceful protest today. The protesters came out in support of Anna Hazare, an anti-corruption crusader, who has captured the imagination of the country and forced the government into a corner.

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Wed August 17, 2011

Companies Sit On Cash; Reluctant To Invest, Hire

Originally published on Wed August 17, 2011 7:40 pm

Google plans to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash. At the end of 2010, Google was sitting on nearly $35 billion, and it's not alone.
Paul Sakuma AP

Google's plans to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion might seem like a lot of money, but the Web giant can easily afford it. At the end of last year, Google was sitting on nearly $35 billion in cash.

And it's not alone. The U.S. economy may be slowing to a crawl, but a lot of individual companies are richer than ever. They're being cautious about how they spend their cash, though.

"Companies are generating and maintaining more cash than they have aggregate uses for," says Rick Lane, a senior vice president at Moody's.

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Wed August 17, 2011
The Two-Way

Swiss Shoppers Flock To Euro Zone, Boosted By Franc's Surge In Value

Originally published on Wed August 17, 2011 2:03 pm

After a day of shopping, residents of Geneva get on a bus to head home this past Saturday, carrying 250 euros' worth of groceries they bought at the Carrefour supermarket in Ferney-Voltaire, France.
John Heilprin AP

The Swiss franc has emerged as a safe haven currency for investors spooked by economic uncertainty in the U.S. and the European Union's euro zone. In the past year, the franc's value has soared — and now Swiss shoppers are going bargain-hunting in Europe's malls and shops.

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