Finally today, some thoughts about so-called Black Friday, which actually started on Thursday this year. You know what I'm talking about, the big-box department stores, mainly: Wal-Mart, Kohls, Target, JCPenney. But also stores like Toys "R" Us and Best Buy opened anywhere from 8 PM to midnight on Thanksgiving Day to lure shoppers in with deep discounts on everything from appliances to pillows to computers to cameras.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, when you imagine Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, you probably think about warm, fuzzy characters, but those two, along with their friends, the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman, show their tough side in the new film "Rise of the Guardians." We'll talk with the director of the film and how he's making history in his own way. We'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.
The holiday season means parties, shopping and movies. This year brings a new animated feature, Rise of the Guardians,based on William Joyce's series of children's picture books and novels, The Guardians of Childhood. The story follows Santa Claus (voiced by Oscar nominee Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and the silent Sandman as they unite to fight off the boogeyman, Pitch (Oscar nominee Jude Law). They also get a big hand from Jack Frost (Chris Pine).
And now, let's turn to today's business bottom line. As more people buy smartphones and other devices that run on rechargeable batteries - this will come as no surprise - sales of single-use, disposable batteries are dropping; and that is not without consequences. Energizer announced this month that the company will close three plants because of decreased demand. That is a 10 percent cut of its global workforce. Vermont Public Radio's Kirk Carapezza reports on one community that is feeling the pain.
People who know The Onion is a satirical newspaper got the joke when it named North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this year's "Sexiest Man Alive." Editors at China's People's Daily newspaper did not. They picked up the story with a 55-page photo gallery of the pudgy young dictator and excerpts from the Onion's spoof — like, "This Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman's dream come true."