Hortense Calisher, a virtuoso of the form, once called the short story "an apocalypse in a teacup." It's a definition that suits the remarkable stories published this year by three literary superstars, and two dazzling newcomers with voices so distinctive we're likely to be hearing from them again. These stories are intense, evocative delights to be devoured singly when you have only a sliver of time, or savored in batches, at leisure, on a winter weekend.
OK. If you love is not into Legos, you might consider buying the gifts from the song "The 12 Days of Christmas." But it's going to cost you. Today's last word in business is: Christmas Price Index.
Each year, PNC Wealth Management adds up all 364 items in the old Christmas carol, you know, the swans, the geese, the golden rings - and comes up with a price tag. This year the presents will set you back more than $107,000. That's up more than six percent from last year.
Now let's remember another man who was resilient in a struggling country. Ardeshir Cowasjee has died at the age of 86. He was a newspaper columnist in Pakistan, though that phrase does not quite capture him. He was old enough to recall his country's independence in 1947. He was the offspring of a wealthy family and the owner of a shipping line which the government nationalized in the 1970s.
And now let's move a little bit to the east. The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip seems to be holding for now, which means both sides can turn their attention to the most innocent victims of the conflict: children. A lot of psychological damage gets done to small children when missiles and rockets fly. And in Gaza, they also suffered a big physical toll. Palestinian officials say at least 40 children were killed, and 10 times that number were injured.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with sad news for Beliebers. Justin Bieber's video for "Baby" is no longer the most viewed video on YouTube. The new record-holder is "Gangnam Style" by the South Korean rapper PSY, which topped 820 million views this weekend. And then this happened. Yesterday, Mr. Bieber gave a halftime concert at Canadian football's championship game and his home country crowd booed. Bieber called out coolly: Thank you so much, Canada. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.