Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 10:01 am
There was a 7.9 percent jump in the number of construction permits issued to home builders in May, the Census Bureau says.
That increase boosted permits to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 780,000 — the most since September 2008, The Associated Press adds. It's a signal that construction will be strong in coming months.
Now that Roger Clemens has been found not guilty of lying to Congress and obstructing its investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Major League Baseball players, the debate resumes about whether one of baseball's greatest pitchers should or shouldn't get into the sport's hall of fame.
At the zoo in North Carolina C'sar the elephant seemed sad. He was lethargic and losing weight. Vets thought it was his poor eyesight. Cataract surgery helped but now he's far sighted. So his caretakers ordered contact lenses — they'll be a bit smaller than tennis balls.
Today's developments in Europe's financial crisis focus mainly on Spain:
-- The Wall Street Journal writes that "Spain, on the edge of losing debt market access, paid around 2 percentage points more in interest rates Tuesday than a month ago to lure investors to its Treasury bill sale, an ominous sign ahead of a critical government bond auction Thursday."
And today's last word business is about a bank takeover that was more of a fake over. Businessman Li Chunping made headlines in China earlier this year. He spoke in the Chinese media of how he took over an American bank - the Atlantic Bank of Delaware, which he said went bankrupt in 2008.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
The story got him plenty of public praise. The communist party touted him as a model citizen, rising from poverty to be a successful businessman in the rice trade. He even got a position as a government adviser.
Now in Hollywood last night, Microsoft unveiled its newest product: a tablet computer to compete with the iPad. Putting out a computer is an unusual move for Microsoft, which is mostly known for software.
NPR's Mandalit del Barco was at the announcement.
MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: At Milk Studios in Hollywood, a photo studio for the stars, Microsoft engineers revealed their snazzy new tablet, which they call Surface.
The Federal Reserve starts its latest two-day meeting Tuesday, and analysts around the globe are wondering whether the central bank will end ease monetary policy. The meeting follows some tough U.S. labor data and the recent Greek elections.