The U.S. Postal Service will end Saturday home delivery of letters and other first-class mail, but will still deliver packages, starting in August.
This story is developing. We'll bring you the latest from our CNNMoney.com colleagues as soon as we get it.
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10:00 am ET - Briefing on U.S. Postal Service changes - Changes are afoot at the struggling U.S. Postal Service, but no one is sure what that means. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe may provide details at a morning briefing.
Jeanne Moos’ quirky view of the world around her has earned her a place in the hearts of CNN.com viewers. Her videos are often among the most-viewed videos each day. (In case you missed yesterday’s top-ranked piece showing delivery guys manhandling fragile packages, you can find it at the bottom of this post.) We’ve assembled the most popular pieces of the year, as well as some of Jeanne’s favorites. Plus, find out what she thinks of her picks.
Flour power — One of Jeanne’s favorite pieces of the year was a video of two toddlers covering every inch of a room in flour. The mess brought the mom to tears. “I don’t have kids, and this is a great excuse for why not,” Jeanne says. See why.
To save money, the U.S. Postal Service is proposing to deliver mail at about the same speed it delivered mail when it was first founded, back in 1775.
That’s not how postal officials framed the news. But that’s what their announcement amounts to. We did the math.
First, back to the future.
The year – 1775. There is no United States. Just a bunch of Colonies with a dream. Britain’s the enemy. News travels slowly. And that’s a problem for the generals of the future America, especially George Washington. They needed to communicate as quickly as possible with people all over the Colonies.
Benjamin Franklin knows well the importance of a postal service to achieving independence. Because, when Franklin was 31, he was put in charge of the postal service from England to the Colonies. When the Colonies rebelled, England dismantled that service.
Franklin convinced the Continental Congress to create a U.S. Post Office. It put him in charge.
So was born the Continental Post, in 1775, when Franklin was 69.
Fast-forward 236 years.
The U.S. Postal Service reported an annual loss of $5.1 billion on Tuesday, as declining mail volumes and mounting benefit costs take their toll on the agency.
The Postal Service said in a statement that its losses would have been roughly $10.6 billion if Congress had not passed legislation postponing a $5.5 billion payment required to fund the agency's retiree health benefits.
Revenues from First-Class Mail, the Postal Service's largest and most profitable product, declined 6% from the previous fiscal year to $32 billion. Total mail volume declined by 3 billion pieces, or 1.7%.
"The continuing and inevitable electronic migration of First-Class Mail, which provides approximately 49 percent of our
revenue, underscores the need to streamline our infrastructure and make changes to our business model," Postal Service CFO Joe Corbett said in a statement accompanying the figures.
Over the past few months, the White House, lawmakers and the Postal Service have all come up with plans to save the post office. One of the more controversial proposals came from the postal agency itself, which included cutting Saturday service,FULL STORY
[Update 5:15 p.m.] Hundreds of mail-handling facilities have been named in a shutdown list released Thursday by the U.S. Postal Service as the agency tries to cut massive red ink.
The potential closings are the latest chapter in a fundamental overhaul of the agency that may also mean closing thousands of smaller post offices across the country, and cuts in tens of thousands of Postal Service jobs in years to come.
It may also result in a slightly longer time for the delivery of first-class mail.
"It is no exaggeration to say that we are radically re-aligning the way that we process mail, the way that we deliver mail, and the way that we operate our retail network," Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told reporters at a Thursday briefing.
The latest list targets 252 processing facilities and related "network transportation," as the Postal Service calls its distribution system, which now consists of 487 facilities.
"Our immediate goal is to reduce our total costs by $20 billion by 2015," Donahoe said, including $3 billion in anticipated savings from the facilities realignment announced Thursday.