The Postal Service announced Thursday that it lost more than $3 billion during the first three months of the year. Post office officials are pushing Congress to give it more authority to cut some of its burgeoning costs.
Now, the presidential election is expected to turn on the economy, which means that every bit of economic news takes on political significance. Trouble is, we don't always know what to make of it when we hear that unemployment claims fell again. Sounds good. Or that the trade deficit jumped. Not so good. NPR's Tamara Keith and Scott Horsley will now help us sort that out.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Whatever story you want to tell about the U.S. economy, you can find some data points to make your case.
U.S. homeownership rates have fallen to their lowest point since 1997, despite the homebuyer tax credit and enduring rock-bottom interest rates. Two years ago on Morning Edition, we profiled two couples who were renting with no regrets. Have they changed their tune?
NPR's business news starts with Sony hitting a three-decade low.
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INSKEEP: Sony shares fell to their lowest level since 1980 on Japan's Nikkei stock exchange today. That drop follows yesterday's report that the company suffered a net loss of $5.7 billion for the last fiscal year. The once dominant tech company has fallen behind other industry giants like Samsung and Apple, and has seen especially heavy losses in its TV division. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is in damage control mode after an article in The Washington Post accused the candidate of bullying in high school. Romney says he does not remember the incidents. Several of his classmates independently recall him going after students who seemed different, vulnerable or effeminate.
Reporting from Afghanistan, Morning Edition's Renee Montagne talks to Salahuddin Rabbani. President Hamid Karzai recently appointed him chairman of the High Peace Council, which is tasked with negotiating with the Taliban. Rabbani replaced his father who was assassinated last year by a suspected Taliban member.
For years, Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, has been polling people on the issue of gay marriage. He tells Steve Inskeep his research suggests President Obama's evolution is very much in line with national trends.
This spring and summer, we're following two minor league baseball players. We're learning about the pressures on an athlete, the emotional highs and lows, and just what their lives are like. One of the players is a young man named Tyler Saladino. He's in the Chicago White Sox organization, and fans are excited about the future for this 22-year-old.
The Department of Justice has announced it is suing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio because of civil rights violations. He became a controversial figure for his tough stance on immigrants. Arpaio says he will not surrender his office and will fight the suit.
Sportswriter Frank Deford talks with Sugar Ray Leonard in 1981. "I was so lucky," Deford says. "The chance that you got in those days to get close to athletes is so much more than the writers get today."
NPR listeners normally hear from sports commentator Frank Deford for three minutes at a time Wednesday mornings, as he opines on the latest follies of the sporting world. But Deford fans have been getting to hear the veteran sportswriter at greater length lately. He's on a book tour for his new memoir, Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter. When Deford stopped in Washington, D.C., NPR's Steve Inskeep had the chance to interview him in front of a lively crowd.