And things should be calmer in Southern California too, where "freakishly powerful winds" on Thursday stunned people and left behind shredded rooftops and "yards littered with downed trees," as the Los Angeles Times says.
"Pakistani officials at a border coordination center gave the go-ahead to American airstrikes that inadvertently killed 24 Pakistan troops, unaware that their own forces were in the area, according to U.S. officials briefed on the preliminary investigation," The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.
A Pakistani official quoted by Reuters says that's not true.
Some time ago, a restaurateur made a bet with Leon Panetta, then head of the CIA, that if the U.S. found Osama bin Laden, he would open a bottle of wine from 1870. Panetta said this week that he has collected on the bet. After the raid, Panetta sent word to Ted Balestreri to watch TV and prepare to deliver the $10,000 bottle of wine.
Maker's Mark, the Kentucky bourbon, comes in a bottle sealed using red wax. The company considers that a trademark, even though no two bottles are exactly the same. So Maker's Mark was not happy when the makers of Jose Cuervo tequila tried to sell bottles the same way.
Inside palace walls built by Saddam Hussein, U.S. generals plotted the war's course, tracked the mounting death toll and swore in new American citizens under gaudy glass chandeliers.
Just outside the palace, American troops whacked golf balls into man-made lakes or fished for carp while others sat down with a cigar and a can of nonalcoholic beer hoping for a respite from incoming rockets or mortar shells.
Along another lake some distance away, a jailed Saddam tended to tomatoes and cucumbers in a small, walled-off enclosure with guards patrolling overhead.
Our colleague David Greene has done so much distinguished work for NPR that we've decided to send him to Siberia - really. David is wrapping up two years in Russia with a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, which crosses that gigantic country. He's head east from the capital, Moscow. We reached him about 150 miles into the journey in the city of Yaroslavl. Hi, David.
DAVID GREENE, BYLINE: Hey there, Steve.
INSKEEP: Why wrap up your time in Russia with this train ride?
Okay. So auto loans are easier to come by. To find out if that's the same for home loans, and to take a look at the overall housing market, we turn to David Wessell as we often do. He is economics editor of The Wall Street Journal. David, good morning.
DAVID WESSEL: Good morning, Steve.
INSKEEP: You know, I got an email the other day that was offering, on certain kinds of mortgages, three percent interest, and I guess four percent is getting to be normal right now. So are more people taking advantage of that and buying homes?
Time is running out for European leaders to find a way out of their debt crisis and salvage the euro as the single currency for 17 nations. As they prepare for a European Union summit next week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have presented their plans to their respective countries.