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PODCAST: A big tuna and two big bank settlements

Chefs prepare a tuna at The Hyper Japan event at Earls Court on November 23, 2012 in London, England.

The mess left behind by the housing crisis is still being sorted out to this day, to the tune of billions of dollars. This morning, we've got news of two unrelated settlements that both trigger distasteful flashbacks to 2007 and 2008.

Meanwhile, the hits are set to resume on the rinks of the National Hockey League. The NHL and its players union have a deal to end their nearly four-month lockout. A shortened season could begin as soon as next week. Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist at Smith College, breaks down the winners and the losers in the deal. 

It's the start of the first full week of trading since Congress hammered out a fiscal cliff compromise. And lawmakers this morning are staking out their positions for the next go-round. The White House says it will not negotiate over the debt ceiling. Republicans say any further tax hikes are off the table.

Not much in the way of economic data for you today, so how about this from Tokyo: A record-setting fish story. Bloomberg News reports on the 1.8 million dollar tuna. That's the largest price ever paid for a single fish. The tuna was 490 pounds, which comes out to about 10,000 pieces of sushi. The price was triple the previous record set last year -- seems there was something of a bidding war between two sushi powerhouses. The winner, Kiyomura, says it still intends to serve the sushi at regular price.

Happy almost-birthday to No Child Left Behind. The Bush-era education law turns 11-years-old tomorrow. It's signature feature is that schools that don't meet its student achievement targets risk losing federal funding. Over more than a decade, No Child Left Behind has amassed critics from across the political spectrum, many of whom are keen for a rewrite.

A few months back, we introduced you to Silvia Encinas. She was a single mom living in a homeless shelter in Loudoun County, Virginia. Silvia's life has tracked the tough economy: She lost her job, then her home. She and her daughter have been homeless for three years. Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer returned to Loudon County to see how Silvia is doing.

And finally, I have told you before about noteworthy innovations in higher education degrees -- like the new major in "social media" recently rolled out at a college in South Carolina. Today the University of Arizona is getting the scrutiny, for the county's first minor in hip-hop. The concentration is housed within the Africana Studies department. The school quotes a professor in the discipline, who says hip-hop has become a part of the "fabric of humanity" -- as legitimate a course of study as Baroque Art... or quilting.

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.

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