Big banks are beginning to make good on their threat to charge fees for everyday checking accounts. But most banks aren't big banks, and community institutions are hanging on to free checking as long as they can in the hopes of luring away some of the big banks' disgruntled customers.
The larger banks are now enacting what customers like James Miller of Nashville have heard was on the horizon for a year or more: Your free checking account is about to cost you.
The high price of gold and other precious metals is encouraging a new breed of gold diggers — traveling estate buyers who temporarily set up shop in hotels. They offer to pay cash on the spot for gold, diamonds, old Rolexes and collectibles.
Walking into one such event at a hotel, it all seems very professional: A fancy conference room with a 20-foot conference table, with soothing bossa nova music playing overhead.
STEVE INSKEEP, host: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, host: And I'm David Greene. Greece's government hopes to approve a new property tax in parliament today. There is wide opposition to the measure from a Greek public that's already feeling the pain from austerity measures. The government says the new tax is a must to prove that the country deserves more international bailout money to prop up the Greek economy. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli joins us on the line from Athens.
For a long time, much of the world saw the eurozone sovereign debt crisis as Europe's problem. Now world leaders, including the United States, realize a eurozone meltdown could have dire consequences for everyone. They are working up a massive rescue plan whose contours are beginning to emerge. Although Britain does not use the euro, that nation's politicians are using their party conventions to issue dire warnings about the euro's fate. And one eminent economist is proposing a novel solution to limit the impact of the European debt crisis.
The British newspaper arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is in negotiations to pay several million dollars to settle the claims of the family of a slain girl whose mobile voice mail messages were hacked by a private investigator for one of its tabloids. Murdoch would personally pay more than $1.5 million to charity as part of the deal.
But that's only the latest fallout for News Corp. in the phone hacking and bribery scandal there.
Americans pride themselves on being optimistic. But Robert Blendon, of the Harvard School of Public Health, says that may not be such a good thing when it comes to planning for retirement. For many Americans, it is proving harder than they imagined, according to a a new poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.
Kentucky has administered its last student achievement core content tests and the results are out today. Also out are the results of tests mandated by the nearly-defunct ‘No Child Left Behind’ Act. In Fayette County, the results were once again, a mixed bag. The overall score for the Lexington school district improved overall, increasing to a grade of 94….Lexington’s highest index ever. It represents a one percent improvement over last year’s tests. Rather than claim victory, Fayette County School Superintendent Tom Shelton is still processing the data. “We had schools that had gains. We had schools that had losses.We’re gonna’ have to do a pretty comprehensive look to see what’s working and what’s not,” said Shelton.
The US Senate passed a temporary spending bill that averts a government shutdown this weekend, but they did it without help from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. One senator likened the deal to a “magic” happening at the last minute. Now the government will have its coffers refilled. This budget fight hinged on whether to pay for federal disaster assistance immediately after an emergency or put off those payments until a later date.
It looks like the government will be funded until Nov. 18. According to multiple news reports, Senate leaders announced they have come to an agreement that will likely avoid a partial shutdown of the government.