FROM Justin Greeves
The New Thriftiness in America Today's news that consumer spending dropped by one percent last month, the biggest decrease since 2001, isn't what retailers want to hear right now. After a day of thanksgiving, the holiday shopping season kicks off on Friday, traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year. Retailers count on weeks ahead to bring in one-third of their annual sales. What are retailers doing to bring shoppers in? Are Americans re-thinking their consumer habits in the midst of economic hard times? Will more people be drawn to the simple lifestyle movement? What shifts does that signal for an economy that depends on consumer spending?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.