Best Buy takes a licking, promises to keep on tickingby Phil Picardi, Minnesota Public Radio,
Hart Van Denburg, Minnesota Public Radio
Today on the MPR News Update we report on another bad earnings report from Best Buy, ill winds for Austin-based Hormel, the ethics of using unmanned aerial drones, how the classical music drought in the Twin Cities is impacting teachers and students, and more.
BEST BUY BATTERED: Best Buy officials had warned investors that its quarterly report would be disappointing, and Tuesday's stock sell-off indicates investors found the actual numbers far more dire than the warning. Best Buy's stock took a pounding, plummeting 13 percent to just under $12 a share.
HIGHER FOOD PRICES: Minnesota-based Hormel is warning shoppers to expect to higher prices in the coming year, thanks to the rising cost of livestock feed driven by the drought. And despite a predicted 13-percent growth in fourth quarter earnings, investors weren't happy.
SCORCHED TURKEY (DAY): Like many extended families across the country, Andrew Marshall's includes Democrats and Republicans, conservatives, liberals and independents. And so, like many families that count both red and blue voters in their ranks, they're expecting fireworks.
DRONE PRIVACY: In the first effort of its kind in the nation, University of North Dakota researchers will examine the ethics of using unmanned aircraft, in conjunction with the Grand Forks County Sheriff's Department. The idea is to help law enforcement groups avoid being challenged in court by privacy advocates.
SOUR NOTE: While the cancellation of concerts is the most public result of the lockout of musicians at both the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, music educators are concerned about another kind of fallout: The impact on their students.
TAKEOVER BID: The Alliance for a Better Minnesota spent at least $1.1 million targeting 32 races this year, many that the DFL narrowly lost in 2010. It lost only 6, and the DFL re-took control of both the Minnesota House and Senate. Here's what went on behind the scenes.
HOUSING STARTS: Nationally, housing starts are on the rise. Compared with October 2011, they were up 41.9 percent. It marked the largest increase in more than four years. Regionally, the Minnesota Association of Realtors reports that October closings were up 8 percent over last year.
BIG DONOR: Last holiday season, an anonymous donor left 23 envelopes containing $1,000 each at Salvation Army kettles across the Twin Cities. When the bell-ringing season started on Nov. 10 of this year, some volunteers are wondering if whether the philanthropist would return.
HEALING ARTS: With the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, more attention than ever is focusing on how to treat America's wounded warriors. Dr. Jon Hallberg, MPR's medical analyst, recently spoke on initiatives in the military to use the arts to help soldiers heal.
TRUCKER HEALTH, CONT. Yesterday we talked about how truck drivers are trying to meet new health regulations. Today we have a story on University of Minnesota-Morris research that show severely obese truckers have about a 50 percent higher accident rate in their first two years than not-obese colleagues.
HEALTH AND PRIVACY: As workers weigh their health insurance options, more are being offered financial incentives to participate in wellness programs. And that's raised concerns about workers' privacy rights. Worried? Here's what you need to know.
ERDRICH AND BOO ON THE DAILY CIRCUIT: The National Book Awards were announced last week and we're rebroadcasting conversations with two of the winners. Louise Erdrich won the fiction award for her novel "The Round House." Katherine Boo won the non-fiction award for "Behind the Beautiful Flowers."
T-DAY STAND-BY: Thanksgiving is a time of long-standing food traditions for many families, and each of us contributes our signature dish. Elderly aunts bring the green-bean casserole. Bachelor uncles bring deer sausage and crackers. But what if you don't have a go-to Thanksgiving bring-along? Help is on the way.
PILLS, PLEASE: The nation's largest group of obstetricians and gynecologists says birth control pills should be sold over the counter, like condoms. Tuesday's surprise opinion from these gatekeepers of contraception could boost longtime efforts by women's advocates to make the pill more accessible.
FEWER UNEMPLOYED AGAIN: The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to a seasonally adjusted 410,000, though the figure was elevated for the second straight week by Superstorm Sandy. It's another sign the job market is improving.
FLOWERS IN YOUR HAIR, CLOTHES ON YOUR BACK: Casting aside complaints that forcing people to cover up would undermine San Francisco's reputation as a city without inhibitions, the Board of Supervisors voted 6-5 on Tuesday in favor of an ordinance that prohibits exposed genitals in most public places, including streets, sidewalks and public transit. Which sort of begs the question: This was legal before?
Phil Picardi is a newscaster for MPR News, and occasionally fills in as Morning Edition host when Cathy Wurzer is away.