It was a weekend "of frenetic political activity" in Italy, as NPR's Sylvia Poggioli said on Morning Edition, and now the race is on there and in Greece to see if new governments can get those nations' economies back on track and head off a further spread of the so-called eurozone crisis.
The artist Makana was performing for President Obama and leaders of nations bordering the Pacific who were meeting in Honolulu. The singer opened his jacket to reveal an "Occupy with Aloha" T-shirt. And then launched into a protest song. Makana said the song did attract stares. Still, the Obamas appeared too busy with guests to notice.
Have you ever read a novel that is so propulsive you don't want to put it down (not even to play with your new kitten), and so well-plotted that it doesn't reveal itself to you until its 288th page — which just happens to be the book's final page as well? Marabou Stork Nightmares by Irvine Welsh is that kind of a novel.
On first glance, if you simply picked it up and shuffled its pages, it might not look appealing to some readers.
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.