Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. The postcard begins: Dear Pauline and Theresa, we arrived safe. But the news was out of date. Sent from Rockford, Illinois, the card took 69 years to reach Elmira, New York. Pauline and Theresa's parents went to visit brother George at a military camp. They're all dead now, but another family with two girls lives at the Elmira address, and the card has become a seventh grade history project. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The United States Postal Service reported a record $15.9 billion loss in fiscal year 2012. That compares to a $5.1 billion loss last fiscal year.
Bloomberg reports that the postal service is forecast to run out of cash by Oct. 15, 2013 when it is scheduled to make a workers compensation payment to the Labor Department. The Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe painted a grim picture when he announced the loss.
About a year ago, writer Jason Sheeler was working on a story about Hermès scarves — the elaborately decorated silk squares that can cost as much as $400. He traveled to Lyon, in southern France, to visit the factory, and on his first day there he found an even more interesting story: A French woman threw out a big scarf with a turkey on it and asked Sheeler if he knew Kermit. He didn't.
Kermit, as it turns out, is Kermit Oliver. He lives in Waco, Texas, and he's the only American to ever design scarves for Hermès.
This Sunday, the U.S. Postal Service won't be able to pay its latest $5.6 billion dollar obligation. This will be its second default; on Aug. 1 it failed to come up with a $5.5 billion dollar payment. The Service is warning of expected losses this year unless something is done: