Senior House Republican aides tell NBC News that the House will return to session on Sunday at 6:30 in the evening to work on avoiding the fiscal cliff, that after a day of partisan bickering on Capitol Hill. Earlier this morning after the Senate was gaveled back into session. Majority Leader Harry Reid slammed House Republican Speaker John Boehner for not calling the House back into session earlier.
Democrats can't put together a plan on their own because without participation of Leader McConnell and Speaker Boehner nothing can happen on the fiscal cliff. And so far, they are radio silent.
President Obama is also back in Washington to work on avoiding the fiscal cliff.
The Conference Board says its monthly index of consumer confidence in the United States fell sharply this month. NPR's James Rolly reports concerns about the fiscal cliff are making people more nervous about the future.
The Conference Board says its index of consumer confidence fell from 71.3 to 65.1. That's lower than it's been at any time since August. The outlook for the next six months fell to its lowest level since 2011. But the present situation index which measures how consumers feel about their current economic conditions actually rose. Conference Board officials say consumers appear to be worried about what happens if Washington fails to resolve the current impacts of the budget, causing big tax increases and government spending cuts. Officials noted that consumer confidence also fell in August, 2010, during the last standoff over whether to raise the debt ceiling. James Rolly, NPR News, New York.
Former President George H. W. Bush remains in guarded condition in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Houston, battling a fever. The 88-year-old has been at the hospital since November 23rd, but was just recently moved to ICU. His spokesman says the oldest living former president was alert and talking to medical staff.
Toyota is agreeing to pay out more than $1 billion to end part of a four-year legal saga. Steve Julian with member station KPCC explains what car owners can expect.
The judge in the case split the class-action lawsuit into two categories, economic loss and wrongful death. This settlement does not address people who were hurt or killed in accidents caused by stuck accelerators. Instead, it redresses Toyota owners whose car values plummeted when recall notices were issued. Toyota will pay eligible customers who sold vehicles or turned in leased ones between September 2009 and December 2010. It also provides supplemental warranty coverage and retrofit more than 3 million cars with the brake override system. For NPR News, I'm Steve Julian in Los Angeles.
Wall Street is pulling off earlier lows on word of the House being called back into session. According to NBC News, the Dow 77 points, but now at 13,037; the NASDAQ down 17; the S&P 500 is down nine.
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The 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped and beaten on a moving bus in India sparking days of protests, has been moved to a hospital in Singapore, where she is listed in extremely critical condition. Before arriving in that country, she had already undergone three abdominal surgeries. The six men accused of attacking her are in custody. India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says his government will do more to protect women.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin says he will sign a bill to ban Americans from adopting Russian children. Jessica Gallaher reports from Moscow that the news comes after Russia's Upper House overwhelmingly passed the measure. Putin says that the controversial law banning Americans from adopting Russian children is an adequate response to the US Congress's passing of the so-called Magnitsky Act, which bars Russians accused of human rights violations from entering the US. At least 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by Americans since the collapse of the Soviet Union of those 20 have died at the hands of their adoptive parents. As a result, Putin says that Americans have been violating the rights of Russian children for years. And Russia's government was forced to take action. According to UNICEF some 740,000 children in Russia don't have parents. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is against the ban as are Russia n activist s . For NPR news, I am Jessica Gallaher, in Moscow.
The number of the Americans turning to e-readers instead of paper books is growing . A new Pew internet research center survey found 23% of Americans over the age of 16 now read books on a tablet or other e-reader. The study found the number of people reading traditional paper books fell to 67%.
Sales of the new house s in the US rose at the fastest pace in 2.5 years in November.