Forecasters were expecting a spike in retail sales during April. The government said there was nothing of the kind. Retail sales last month rose just a tenth of a percent, with consumers proceeding cautiously, despite warmer weather. Taking out volatile spending on cars, gasoline and food, so-called "core" retail sales fell slightly. Not exactly a boom in the making.
Meanwhile, economic data from China covering April suggested across the board weakness in economic activity there -- from output to investment to consumption -- all missing the expectations of experts. These are leading to renewed calls for Beijing to ease up on its efforts to rein in its bubbly credit markets. Marketplace regular Christopher Low, the chief economist at FTN Financial in New York is traveling in Hong Kong and joins us to discuss.
Representatives from Vallejo, California are visiting the White House Tuesday to talk about "participatory budgeting," a unique democratic process where residents propose and choose city-funded projects. Residents in this small San Francisco Bay Area city voted-in participatory budgeting after the city went through a bankruptcy in 2008. A small portion of the city's overall budget is allocated to the process, made available through a sales tax. This year, residents have $2.4 million to work with.
The ship sank in 1492 after hitting reefs off the Haitian coast. Undersea explorer Barry Clifford says he's working with Haiti's government to carry out an archaeological excavation of the wreck.
Red wine and chocolate may be good for you, but it's likely not from the resveratrol. A study finds that the antioxidant had no influence on longevity, cancer, heart disease or inflammation levels.
Meanwhile, a defector has handed the U.S. government 11,000 pictures the opposition says shows systematic torture. France is pushing for President Bashar Assad to be tried for war crimes.
A "Drinkable Book" can be used to treat drinking water. Also: a new book claims to know the identity of the Zodiac Killer; why all books about Africa use the same cover image.