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Fight Over Extending Payroll Tax Cut Flares Up Again

House Republicans are rejecting a bipartisan compromise approved overwhelmingly by the Senate Saturday. The deal would have extended the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits through February.

The Economic Reality Of Marriage

At one time, marriage and divorce were dictated by romance, the falling in and out of love. Nowadays, those decisions are being increasingly influenced by economic factors. Host Audie Cornish talks to NPR's Jennifer Ludden and Shankar Vedantam about mobility in marriage and divorce.

'Accessible To All': Spain Puts Hope In Holiday Lottery

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas in Spain without El Gordo, but "The Fat One" isn't Santa Claus. It's the state lottery, the biggest of the year. Tickets sell for nearly $300, yet more than 95 percent of Spaniards buy them — or at least a share in one.

SEC: Mortgage Execs Took Pains To Hide Risky Loans

In fraud charges filed Friday, the agency accused six former top executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of lying about the number of subprime loans on their books. The SEC said the executives knew what was happening and even encouraged the deception.

Amid A Blizzard Of Discounts, 'The Thrill Of The Hunt'

Consumers are clawing through coupons and prowling the "deal blogs" in search of the ultimate discount. For retailers, though, technology can make the last full shopping weekend before Christmas a bit bloody.

No Government Shutdown Thanks To Last-Minute Deal

It's not clear how close Congress is to resolving two nagging issues: extensions of both the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits. What we do know is that nothing will be resolved until Monday. That's because the House has gone home for the weekend. But the government won't be shutting down Friday, as a result of a last-minute deal.

SEC Charges Ex-Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac CEOs

The mortgage giants had to be taken over by the government in 2008 and then propped up by taxpayers. In a lawsuit, the SEC accused the officials of misleading investors about the firms' exposure to subprime mortgages.

Popularity Bankrupts Early Retiree Program

A $5 billion federal program to pay for the health benefits of early retirees is proving to be more popular than expected. So popular that it's running out of money earlier than planned. The fund, part of the health care overhaul, was to provide a bridge of insurance coverage until 2014 when early retirees would have many more options under the health care law.