And as Ari said just a moment ago, President Obama will be back in Washington just before that supercommittee's deadline. Before the president left for Hawaii, he picked up the phone and made calls to both the Democratic and Republican chairs of the group.
To talk about that and more, let's turn now to NPR's Cokie Roberts. Good morning.
COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.
MONTAGNE: Let's start with what those phone calls were about.
President Obama has a low-key day in Hawaii Monday, before he flies to Australia and Indonesia. His weekend was full of diplomatic meetings at a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders. The president believes the U.S. has not paid enough attention to that region over the last decade. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, he's promising to devote more resources the Pacific Rim.
And now let's see if you're manly enough to take the pain to make the money that we'll talk about in our last word in business. A few years ago a man uploaded a clip of his son getting his finger bitten by the baby brother.
Analysts are predicting a fairly good year for retailers over the holiday season. Those sales are expected to increase 3 percent overall and go up 15 percent for online retailers. Plus, this is the first year tablets like the iPad may make an impact on the retail landscape.
With technocratic governments being formed in Italy and Greece, the euro may get a short-term bounce from the markets. But there is concern the changes afoot may not happen fast enough to end the eurozone debt mess.
After a week of market turmoil over the worsening eurozone crisis, hopes are high that the appointment of economist Mario Monti to head a technocratic government in Italy will reassure lenders that the country can speed economic overhaul. Monti could face obstruction from lawmakers of outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's party.
Steve Inskeep talks to Shahidul Alam. The former chemist became a photographer because he was tired of seeing images of the developing world through the lens of Western photographers. He now runs an art gallery, a photo agency and a school of photojournalism in Bangladesh. He recently published a book of stunning photographs called, "My Life as a Witness."
Workers prepare new Volkswagen Golf cars at a factory in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Credit Sean Gallup / Getty Images
As the debt crisis in Europe deepens, Americans may be feeling sorry for Germany.
They see that Germans, who generally work hard and spend carefully, are now being pushed to bail out their debt-ridden partners in the eurozone.
But there's another side to the story.
Turns out, sharing a common currency with a group of fiscal losers has its benefits. The German economy gained strength over the past two years in large part because the European debt crisis weakened the euro. That made German exports more attractive to customers around the world.