Retailers look to gift cards to boost sales Many retail stocks fell Wednesday, including shares of Minneapolis-based Target, as tepid holiday sales results worried investors. Retailers are shifting their hopes to gift card redemptions in the post-Christmas season. According to the National Retail Federation, gift card sales continue to post hefty gains.5:20 p.m.
White means green for winter tourism industry With more snow on the ground this December than parts of Minnesota have seen in years, area resorts and hospitality businesses are optimistic about a healthy winter recreation season.5:24 p.m.
Tiger escape raises safety concerns Officials are trying to figure out how a tiger escaped from its enclosure Tuesday at the San Francisco Zoo. The 300-pound tiger mauled three men -- one of them fatally -- before being killed by police.5:50 p.m.
Holes Found in U.S. Claims of a Drug-War Win
Federal officials have celebrated "an unprecedented cocaine shortage" in U.S. cities, crediting more busts in the southwestern United States and Mexico. But NPR has found that while there are indeed spot shortages of cocaine, they are neither nationwide nor unprecedented. And the scarcity may have unintended consequences.
Mom Serving 19 Years in Crack Case May Get Break
Nearly 20,000 crack felons could get a break in their sentences as a result of the new sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine, and Nerika Jenkins is one of them. She was sentenced to 19 years in a federal penitentiary.
Shows That Got Away: TV Drama, Reality, Game
As part of NPR's series on "The Ones That Got Away," we highlight three TV shows from 2007 that didn't get the ratings they might have deserved: Mad Men on AMC, Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel and Merv Griffin's Crosswords.
Tiger Attack Shutters San Francisco Zoo
The San Francisco Zoo was closed Wednesday as police swept the zoo grounds after a tiger escaped Tuesday, killing a 17-year-old and mauling two others. The Siberian tiger was shot and killed by police officers.
Calif. Faces Water Limits over Threatened Smelt
A federal ruling to protect a tiny threatened fish is about to have very real consequences for water supplies in California. As early as this week, state and federal water managers will have to limit pumping in the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta, which supplies water for 25 million residents and millions of acres of farm land.
Shoppers Spent More Than Expected This Season
The much-anticipated, much-feared collapse of retail sales this holiday season did not materialize. Christmas shoppers spent more than expected, but not by much. This year's holiday sales grew, but the pace of growth was slow.
Syrian Church Aims to Foster Religious Dialogue
From high on a mountaintop, the monastery of Dier Mar Musa is trying to bring greater understanding between the Christian minority and the Muslim majority in Syria. The church houses a special place for Muslim prayer.
A Brutal British Mystery Novel for Boxing Day
Writer Jonathan Hayes was escaping a painfully dull Boxing Day dinner when he was introduced to Dorothy Sayers' The Nine Tailors for the first time. Hayes says Sayers helped nudge the English mystery novel out of the drawing room and into the real world.
Huckabee Returns to Iowa for Final Push
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, the new Republican front-runner in Iowa, returns to the Hawkeye State in advance of the Jan. 3 caucuses. He is the first Republican candidate to do so. New polls show that he is in a fight there with Mitt Romney as other candidates fall back.
Checking In with Iowa's Voters
Mary Sharp, Iowa editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, and Bret Hayworth, political editor at the Sioux City Journal, talk with Melissa Block about how their respective regions of Iowa are taking to the presidential candidates less than a week before the caucus on Jan. 3. Cedar Rapids is traditionally a more left-leaning area, while Sioux City usually leans Republican — though this year, Democrats have been paying far more attention than normal.