This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Congress threatened itself with punishment if it failed to act. Lawmakers promised automatic spending cuts if a special committee failed to reduce the deficit. Now that they have failed, some want a way out of the punishment with which they had threatened themselves. This may be just one more episode in a long fight over taxes and spending, as we hear from NPR's Ari Shapiro.
Hewlett-Packard announced its quarterly earnings were down 90 percent from the previous quarter. The company is going through big changes. It just spent most of its cash on an acquisition, took on $4 billion of debt and named Meg Whitman as the new CEO.
Lawmakers have spent much of this year struggling to reach a deal that could get budget deficits under control. But the problem has been developing for at least a decade.
Young voters might not be familiar with the government of the year 2000 — at least not by its balance sheet. The economy: booming. Tax revenue: rolling in. Expenses for war: none. And to top it off, there was a $200 billion surplus.
MF Global is the securities firm run by Wall Street veteran and former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine. The firm filed for bankruptcy protection last month after making bad bets on European government bonds. A trustee was appointed to wind down the company.
The head of Egypt's ruling military council said the transfer of power to a civilian government would come no later than July, but that if the people demanded it, he would allow a referendum that could make the shift even sooner.
In his address, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi sought to cast the military as the nation's foremost patriots and angrily denounced what he called attempts to taint its reputation.
"People and the armed forces are together," he said in the 10-minute speech.
To drive the 1916 Woods Dual-Power hybrid car, the operator moved a lever to start an electric motor. After hitting 20 mph, the driver engaged the clutch, starting the gasoline motor. The two power sources could be engaged together or independently.
John Timmons, owner of ear X-tacy in Louisville, Ky., has closed his record shop after 26 years of business because of the bad economy. "I'm so associated with this store. I'm the ear X-tacy guy," he says. "Ear X-tacy goes away, and who am I going to be?"
In Louisville, Ky., local businessman John Timmons is trying to figure out what's next after selling music for more than a quarter of a century.
Timmons owned ear X-tacy records for 26 years here. The shop closed at the end of October. On a recent visit, dead roses, farewell notes and other mementos are taped to the glass doors. Fans of the shop have also been slipping notes of support under the door.
Within the Republican presidential field, no one has talked tougher about China than Mitt Romney. He has vowed to go after that country from his first day in office, threatening to slap tariffs on Chinese imports to make up for its artificially low currency.
"We can't just sit back and let China run all over us," Romney said. "People say, 'Well, you'll start a trade war.' There's one going on right now, folks. They're stealing our jobs. And we're going to stand up to China."