In Japan, you can buy an incredible range of things from vending machines: bags of rice, fishing tackle or fresh flowers. And now you can add bras to that list — in particular the wireless "Fun Fun Week" bra.
NPR's business news starts with a tax hike for la creme de la creme.
Yesterday, French President Francois Hollande's millionaires tax got the official go-ahead from the nation's Constitutional Council. Now all salaries over a million euros will be taxed at a rate of 75 percent.
Part of the tax hike will be shouldered by companies who are paying the higher salaries. Business leaders complain the new tax will only drive more entrepreneurs and wealthy into exile.
How do you get a cow out of a swimming pool? Wait, hear me out, this is not the setup for a bad joke. It's real conundrum faced by an Oregon man last week. The solution, it turns out, involves draining the entire pool, also a series of straps and ropes, a ramp, a bucket of oats, and 10 firefighters to haul the cow out. The homeowner says he's not sure how the cow got into the pool; that's just the setup for a whole other joke.
It's MOO-NING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
We have been following the harrowing news coming out of South Sudan in recent days.
MONTAGNE: It is the world's newest country and it came into being with high hopes after a two-decade-long civil war with Sudan. Now South Sudan has plunged into what's beginning to look its own civil war.
One of southern Russia's largest cities is reeling from two deadly bombings in the last 24 hours. The violence took place in Volgograd which is hundreds of miles from Sochi, where the Winter Olympics will be held. This has raised questions about whether these acts of terrorism are related to the staging of the Olympics.
And as the hours are counted down towards the end of 2013, we're looking back at some of the stories that helped define the year that was. And one of the most significant moments this year - after years of resisting, Iran reached an agreement with the U.S. and other world powers to suspend much of its nuclear activity.
Morning Edition has been looking back at the year through numbers — and the number for today is $15 billion. That's the approximate amount JP Morgan Chase has agreed to pay out in various fines and settlements this year. The company is widely seen as a well-managed bank but it faces big regulatory problems and its legal bills are mounting.
The crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is netting foreign journalists. A team from Al Jazeera English was detained by police yesterday. Egypt's military-led government has accused them of spreading false news and also of talking to members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Just a reminder, the Brotherhood is the movement led by Mohamed Morsi, who was deposed as president last summer. For more, we reached Shadi Hamid, an analyst with the Brookings Institution center in Doha. Welcome back to the show.
OK, let's look back just a single year now with NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans. He's been giving us his most memorable television moments from 2013. And this morning, Eric has something of a twofer because he says the best TV prank of the year became one of the worst moments for television journalists.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. It's been 20 years since President Bill Clinton signed into law a trade pact that wiped out many of the commercial barriers between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The North American Free Trade Agreement was controversial. Although Congress in the end approved NAFTA, it divided lawmakers, and on both sides of the aisle.