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The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a case on the constitutionality of recording police officers while they do their job.

This means the court leaves in place a lower-court ruling, which found placing limits on taping police in public spaces unconstitutional.

The ACLU of Illinois brought the a suit against Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez in 2010, after her office wanted to bring charges against ACLU staff recording audio of "police officers performing their public duties in a public place and speaking loudly enough to be heard by a passerby."

It has been a bloody last couple of days in Nigeria: First on Sunday, two car bombs exploded near a church inside a military base. According to the AP, hospital officials said the death toll in that incident has grown to 30.

And today, the AP reports, there is news that gunmen rushed a police station in the nation's capital of Abuja.

"They're wonderful, they're great. But sometimes too much is too much."

That's the basic problem confronting Illinois and its wild river otters, state Department of Natural Resources biologist Bob Bluett said earlier today on Morning Edition.

Household Debt In America, In 3 Graphs

Nov 26, 2012

For more, see What America Owes In Student Loans

U.S. households owe a bit less than they did at the peak of the bubble. But they still owe a lot: $11.4 trillion, give or take a few billion. Mortgage and home-equity debt is still by far the biggest chunk of that debt.

If your kids absolutely must jump around at their next birthday party, an inflatable moonwalk or bounce house may be a safer bet than a backyard trampoline. But only a little safer.

The wildly popular mosh pits for the school-age set have become a common source of injuries that send kids to the hospital.

When Syrian rebels seized the border post at Ras al-Ayn on Nov. 8, they celebrated the victory and went on to "liberate" the town, a place where both Arabs and Kurds live on Syria's northeast border with Turkey.

But the Kurdish inhabitants quickly saw their "liberation" as a disaster. Within days, dozens were dead in clashes between Kurdish militias and the rebels.

Republicans Consider Breaking Tax Vow

Nov 26, 2012

Congress comes back to work this week and the fiscal cliff is its top priority. Some Republicans have said they'll break a longstanding pledge not to raise taxes. Host Michel Martin talks politics with columnist Mary Kate Cary of U.S. News and World Report and The Root's political correspondent Keli Goff.

(We updated the top of this post at 11:50 a.m. and 12:15 p.m ET):

Moving quickly after the announcement that Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro is leaving on Dec. 14, the White House just said that President Obama has designated SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter to be her replacement.

In a statement, the president says:

The congressman who became known as "Dollar Bill" Jefferson appears to have run out of options in his bid to overturn a 2009 corruption conviction.

The Supreme Court just announced it will not hear an appeal from former Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. So, as The Times-Picayune says:

In case you haven't fallen for its charms yet, there's a video of three fun guys from Utah and their friends jumping into the "world's biggest pile of leaves" that's getting lots of views these days.

You can see their high jinks here.

Good morning.

Earlier, we posted about:

-- Outrage, Protests In Bangladesh After Factory Fire That Killed Scores.

-- 'Cyber Monday,' 'Giving Tuesday;' Then 'Weeping Wednesday?'.

Meanwhile, here are some of the other top headlines of the morning and from over the weekend:

Horrific is a word that quickly comes to mind about the news from Bangladesh concerning a fire Saturday in a garment factory where clothes were made for retailers around the world, including some in the U.S.

Here's how The Associated Press starts its latest report:

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with an example of home field advantage. The Miami Dolphins hosted the Seattle Seahawks over the weekend. And with 1:40 to play in the third quarter, something strange happened: The sprinklers came on. A quick play-by-play announcer joked: This is just Miami's way of showing a little Seattle hospitality. But if that's what it was, the hospitality only went so far. Miami defeated Seattle, 24-21. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

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NPR News business news starts with a shopping bonanza.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: American shoppers turned out in record numbers over the holiday weekend. The National Retail Federation says that since Thursday some 247 million people - that would be most of us - visited brick and mortar stores and retail websites spending more than $59 billion - up 13 percent over last year. And now, with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday behind us, online retailers get to take center stage with Cyber Monday.

The U.S. Supreme Court this week takes up the question of who qualifies as a supervisor when the issue is harassment in the workplace. The court's answer to that question could significantly restrict employer liability in racial and sexual harassment cases, or, in the view of some business organizations, it could result in frivolous litigation.

The facts of the particular case before the court Monday are, to say the least, in dispute.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi has granted himself almost absolute power, but has not been able to win anything like unanimous approval. The new president faces criticism for a decree stating he can do anything he thinks will advance Egypt's revolution, and that courts cannot review his decisions. Egyptians have taken to the streets in protest. Markets have reacted badly, and the country's top judges are paying Morsi a visit today to discuss this turn of events.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's catch up on a vote in Catalonia, Spain's most economically powerful region. That region gave overwhelming support to pro-independence parties in elections on Sunday. This election is seen as a threat to Spain's political and financial stability, so we're going to talk about this with NPR's Sylvia Poggioli. She is in the most famous city in Catalonia, Barcelona.

And, Sylvia, we did say that there were pro-independence parties. Who exactly won these elections?

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

College football's wild season was not so wild this past weekend. There were no major shifts at the top of the BCS rankings as there were the week before. That's mainly because Notre Dame beat the University of Southern California on Saturday and maintained its number one ranking.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

This is the season when political professionals try to make sense of the last election. Plenty of Republicans have been calling for their party to take a new approach to immigration after the Hispanic vote went overwhelmingly to President Obama.

Ahmed Jama was running a successful Somali cafe in southwest London when he decided it was time to go home. Against the urgent advice of friends, he returned to Mogadishu three years ago and started cooking.

Jama epitomizes the spirit of rebirth in the city that has been brutalized by 21 years of civil war. As expatriates return to take their homeland back from warlords, terrorists and looters, Jama is doing his part to revive Mogadishu one prawn at a time.

An Entrepreneur Expands The Lego Universe

Nov 25, 2012

Lots of good business ideas have emerged from kids' play. Seattle-area resident Will Chapman could thank his youngest son. At the age of 9, he wanted to know all he could about World War II and was using Lego toys to act out history. But his son was stymied — he couldn't find all the pieces he wanted.

Each year Lego turns out 19 billion plastic bricks, figures and gears for building things. But sometimes, it seems, even 19 billion isn't enough.

When you think of mental illness, you don't often think of comics; but for cartoonist Ellen Forney, the two came crashing together just before her 30th birthday. That's when she found out she has bipolar disorder, a diagnosis that finally explained her super-charged highs and debilitating lows.

First, there was the post-Thanksgiving sales spectacle Black Friday and then the online version, Cyber Monday. Now, charitable groups want to start a new holiday tradition — it's called Giving Tuesday and the first one is tomorrow.

It may seem a little surprising that no one came up with the idea before of designating a specific day to help launch the holiday charitable giving season.

In 1974, Phillip Kunz and his family got a record number of Christmas cards. In the weeks before Christmas they came daily, sometimes by the dozen. Kunz still has them in his home, collected in an old photo album.

"Dear Phil, Joyce and family," a typical card reads, "we received your holiday greeting with much joy and enthusiasm ... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year's. Love Lou, Bev and the children."

This is the time of year when people all over the country are coming together and getting food to needy families, but for one community in Manchester, N.H., private acts of charity aren't just a holiday tradition — they are a display of anarchist and libertarian principles.

On a recent day, about 50 people gathered in a converted office space with $6,000 worth of food and a list of needy families. Mike Ruff, with help from a couple of kids, filled shopping bags with food for the hungry.

More than $174 million in donations has been raised for those affected in New York and New Jersey by Superstorm Sandy, which devastated parts of the Atlantic coast in late October.

"The more affluent and well-insured people will figure a way to recover their lives, but there are a lot of people in New York who really won't have that capacity and can't speak out for themselves," says Stacy Palmer, the editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

After Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, Norman Kansfield's daughter asked him to perform her wedding ceremony.

Kansfield, a respected pastor, scholar and lifelong member of the Reformed Church in America, agreed to marry Ann and her long-time girlfriend. He informed the New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Jersey, where he served as president, of his plans.

"I had thought that there would be a request for my resignation," Kansfield says. "Nobody did that."

It was a June wedding.

Brotherly Bonds Withstand Tragedy Of War

Nov 25, 2012

War always leaves death, destruction and sorrow in its wake, and the Iraq War piled all of it on Dr. Najeeb Hanoudi. Yet his bond with the Americans he aided remains unbroken.

NPR's Jacki Lyden has followed the story of the Oxford-trained Christian ophthalmologist for years.

It begins in 2003, when Hanoudi first met a band of American soldiers patrolling Mansour, his upscale Baghdad neighborhood.

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