NPR's business news starts with Home Depot raising the roof.
Home Depot got a boost from the housing recovery in its first-quarter net income. It rose 18 percent; that exceeds expectations. The company acknowledged yesterday that while cool and wet spring weather had a negative impact on some of Home Depot's seasonal business, its core business stayed strong.
Home Depot's stock price rose by 2.5 percent with the news. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's fourth book, Americanah, is so smart about so many subjects that to call it a novel about being black in the 21st century doesn't even begin to convey its luxurious heft and scope. Americanah is indeed a novel about being black in the 21st century — in America, Great Britain and Africa, while answering a want ad, choosing a lover, hailing a cab, eating collard greens, watching Barack Obama on television — but you could also call it a novel of immigration and dislocation, just about every page tinged with faint loneliness.
Supporters of a new immigration bill claimed a victory last night. Legislation to overhaul the nation's immigration policies cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee. After weeks of debate, the committee approved this bipartisan measure that would pave the way for citizenship for some 11 million undocumented immigrants. The bill now advances to the full Senate.
The wait is over for many Xbox fans. Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled its next generation Xbox gaming console. It's called Xbox One. It's the first major revamp of the gaming system since 2005. In our business bottom line, NPR's Laura Sydell reports the new Xbox is designed to be an all-in-one system, an entertainment hub for movies, TV and games that should appeal as much to grandparents as it does to children.
Finding a parking space, probably not at the top of the list of things you like to do. Well, experts in parking think they might be able to change that. One key, they say, is for developers to think about the parking experience when they're designing malls or apartment complexes, instead of just treating it as an afterthought.
This came up in Florida this week, at the International Parking Institute's annual conference. Reporter Kenny Malone, from member station WLRN, was there.
Lawmakers are demanding to know what went wrong and who is to blame at the IRS. Two Senate committees held hearings yesterday on the agency's aggressive handling of applications from conservative groups who were seeking tax-exemption. A top IRS official facing a House committee, today, intends to invoke her Fifth Amendment right not to testify. NPR's Peter Overby reports.
Here's some news for travelers. If you can't afford - or don't want to pay the price for - a hotel room, maybe you've used the cheap lodging site Airbnb. If so, you have to take New York City off your list. The popular website has suffered a major setback in court. A judge in New York ruled that an Airbnb user in Manhattan violated local laws when he rented a room to an out-of-towner.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
This week, Boy Scouts of America officials will meet in Texas to consider changing the group's longstanding ban on gay members. The first round of voting starts tomorrow. A new membership policy would allow gay youth, but continue to ban adult leaders who are gay.
Butterscotch is going through something of a revival. So much so, that two Kitchen Window contributors wanted to write about it. Therefore, welcome to the more-than-you-ever-thought-you-needed-to-know-about-butterscotch special coverage. Today is the second in our two-part butterscotch series. Last week's column has more recipes featuring this resurgent flavor.
Apple was criticized in a Senate committee hearing Tuesday for using complex accounting to minimize the corporate taxes it pays. One key piece of the company's tax strategy: It funnels lots of its profits through subsidiaries in Ireland.
Offering low corporate tax rates has been a fundamental part of Ireland's economic strategy for decades — a way to get foreign companies to set up operations in the country.
A worker chips away at Jerusalem stone, likely destined for a building facade somewhere in the world. Stone and marble is a big business in Palestinian towns near Bethlehem. Quarries are in Israeli-controlled areas, and access can be a challenge.
Credit Emily Harris/NPR
Rami El-Zogheir (right), general manager of Hebron's Golf & Horse Footwear, says he's ready to expand into other Arab markets. All he needs, he says, are assurances that the political situation will at least stay the same, if not improve.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry heads back to Israel and the West Bank on Thursday for more talks on restarting peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. When he was there last month, he walked away with at least one agreement — to improve the West Bank economy. Here's how he put it as he left Israel:
It's exactly the sort of futuristic thinking you'd expect from Google and NASA: Late last week, the organizations announced a partnership to build a Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab at NASA's Ames Research Center.
If you have a savings account you probably already know this: Your money there is losing value to inflation. Yields are so low that returns are not even keeping up with the cost of living.
I've been watching some of my own savings dwindle. And that prompted me to take up a challenge: I'm taking $5,000 from personal savings and putting it to work. I'm not a financial whiz, pundit or any kind of guru.
Group houses are becoming popular — again — among some single baby boomers, and not just for financial reasons. Marianne Kilkenny (second from right) shares her home in Asheville, N.C, with four other people.
Credit Mike Belleme / The New York Times
Bonnie Moore, the founder of the Golden Girls Network, shares her five-bedroom house in Bowie, Md., with three other women in their 60s. Moore says, "It's a little bit like family, a little bit like roommates, a little bit like a sorority house."
Credit Maggie Starbard / NPR
Lorene Solivan moved into the "Golden Girls" house in October after seeing an ad on Craigslist. An event manager at a food company, Solivan says she often cooks dinner for the group.
The most unforgiving criticism in sport is directed at any athlete who fans believe is celebrated too excessively above his true talent level — especially those stars who are gloried because they're such pretty people.
Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's candidacy for the country's presidency was rejected Tuesday by the powerful Guardian Council. He's seen here on May 11 registering his candidacy for the June 14 election.
Iran's powerful Guardian Council has disqualified two key candidates — a former president and a top aide to the current president — from running in the June 14 presidential election.
The Guardian Council, which vets all candidates, approved eight names Tuesday but left out former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, who was handpicked by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Mashaei said he would appeal the decision to the country's supreme leader; Rafsanjani did not comment.
It was the Senate's turn Tuesday to grill the Internal Revenue Service, or more accurately, former agency officials, about its handling of the scandal involving the targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.
In Moore, for the many people whose homes were destroyed, the top priorities are finding a place to stay, some clothes to wear, and food to eat. NPR's Wade Goodwyn has been talking with survivors in Moore, and he sent this story.
WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: Jamie Martinez(ph) is a retired police officer who still does security work, and that's where he was when the tornado slammed into his neighborhood yesterday.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
It has been an emotional 24 hours for the people of Moore, Oklahoma. Their city is now a federal disaster area, shattered by yesterday's deadly tornado. Meteorologists have confirmed that the tornado was a rare EF5, with winds in excess of 200 miles per hour. Entire neighborhoods are unrecognizable, trees splintered, houses gone.
Suzanne Sells lost her house to Monday's tornado in Moore, Okla., but she's still helping other people.
Sells is a special education English teacher at Moore High School. It was spared a direct hit, but like other schools in town, it was closed Tuesday. Still, she showed up to let in a student who needed access to heart medicine that had been locked away.