And that brings us to our last word in business on this Leap Day: a rare proposal. Traditionally in many European countries Leap Day was considered the only day when a woman could propose to a man. And one restaurant in Swindon, England seems to be capitalizing on that.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. For Mitt Romney, this is a day to savor victory and feel a lot of relief. The former Massachusetts governor turned back former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in two states. Romney won an easy victory in Arizona. In Michigan, Romney had to scratch out a close win in the state where he was born.
Romney has reclaimed his status as clear front-runner one week before 10 more states vote on Super Tuesday.
Pakistani journalist Pir Zubair Shah has been following drone strikes in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than half a decade. He talks to Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep about his recent article in Foreign Policy magazine titled "My Drone War."
And while Mitt Romney was eking out that win in Michigan, he pretty much walked away with yesterday's Arizona primary. Romney was expected to win in Arizona, but he walloped his closest challenger - that would be Rick Santorum - by 20 percentage points. Helped, in part, by the support of the last Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain.
And while all the attention was on Michigan throughout the night, NPR's Ted Robbins reports that in the all-important delegate count, the Arizona win counts for nearly as much.
The deadly violence in Afghanistan over the burning of Qurans by the U.S. military has brought the American-led NATO mission to a crossroads. Among the dead have been four Americans, two of them by an Afghan policeman inside what was thought to be a highly secure government ministry building. The U.S. pulled all of its advisors from those ministries. The entire international community is on virtual lockdown.
You've heard of identity theft — someone using a person's credit information or a Social Security number for ill-gotten gains. Well, experts say similar crimes are also affecting businesses.
Business identity theft involves posing as a legitimate business in order to get access to credit lines or steal customers. Experts believe that the practice has become more prevalent in the past two years.
The year the Quidi Vidi Brewing Co. started brewing beer with iceberg water, a giant iceberg floated up against the cliffs around St. John's, Newfoundland.
"It was a big berg and it jammed right across the harbor here," says Charlie Rees, the brewery's tour guide.
Rees says Newfoundlanders have a curious relationship with icebergs. On the one hand, they're a fact of life. On the other, when that iceberg was in the harbor's mouth, hundreds of people came down to gawk. He took pictures.
The goal of the Federal Reserve's low interest rate policy is to juice the economic recovery. The low rates should make it easier for people to borrow money, which they'll hopefully spend; the increased demand for goods and services is then supposed to translate into more hiring.
That's what the Fed is banking on. It hopes low interest rates will help with its mandate of achieving maximum employment, but it also has another mandate: to keep prices stable.
"In many cases, those two conflict," says economist Joe Gagnon of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Kid Rock performs during a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Michigan Monday night. Romney asked for, and was given, permission to use the Detroit rocker's song "Born Free" in his campaign.
Dave Zinkoff — or simply "The Zink" — was perhaps the most distinctive public address announcer in sports when, years ago, he called games in Philadelphia, especially for the city's NBA teams. Just his declaring that there were two minutes left in the quarter made you feel that, never mind that quarter, doomsday was but 120 seconds away.
But nothing The Zink cried out was so resounding as when Wilt Chamberlain would make an emphatic slam.
A man reads a copy of the satirical newspaper <em>La Bougie du Sapeur</em> (The Sapper's Candle), published every leap day, in a Parisian cafe on Feb. 29, 2008. The paper's tagline is "without reproach."
At newsstands across France on Wednesday, readers will delight to a humorous broadsheet published every four years on leap day.
At news shops in Paris and around France, readers look forward to their copy of La Bougie du Sapeur every Feb. 29. Published since 1980, the satirical journal is now in its ninth edition. Its title, which translates as "sapper's candle," is taken from an old French comic-book figure who was born on that fateful last day of February.
To the list of weird-sounding hybrid words of the digital age, like Googling and tweeting, we can now add "pinning." As in Pinterest. It's sort of an online scrapbook or bulletin board, and it's one of the fastest-growing websites in history.
Last month, more than 10 million unique visitors signed on to Pinterest. But some of them, like Billy Winburn, are still trying to get the hang of it. At an office in Alexandria, Va., Jennifer Folsom, who works a few desks away, is walking him through the process.
Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 6:26 pm
Something that only comes around once every four years and doesn't involve either politics or Olympic competition deserves its own mention:
Wednesday is Feb. 29.
Leap day, that is.
Our friend Linton Weeks has put together a handy list of 24 things you could do with the extra 24 hours. (And yes, we know that some of you have already started your day; but, hey, we're an East Coast-based blog.)
Found time! An extra day. How will you use it? Here are 24 ideas. None of them takes longer than an hour. Because time is tight, time is of the essence, time is money. And if you don't have time to get to everything on the list, don't worry. Maybe in 2016.
Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 6:43 pm
Virtually everyone expected Tuesday's big political news to come blowing out of Michigan, the big industrial state, where Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum were vying to win that state's GOP presidential primary.
But little Maine managed a national political bombshell of its own with the surprising news that Sen. Olympia Snowe, the 65-year old, three-term moderate Republican senator, won't seek re-election.
From a statement she issued, it appears Washington's partisan bickering just got kind of old for the senator.
Another Tuesday, another critical day for the 2012 Republican presidential contenders.
This time the locations are Michigan, where most polls close at 8 p.m. ET, and Arizona, where voting ends at 9 p.m. ET. The story political junkies are watching closest: Will former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Michigan native, hold off a strong challenge there from former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum?
Also on the ballots, of course: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas.
When he returned from Afghanistan and saw his partner waiting to welcome him home, "four years of pent-up emotion and secret love" just seemed to naturally lead to "what felt like an eternity kiss," Marine Sgt. Brandon Morgan told NPR this afternoon.
A Washington State Patrol crime lab technician opens DNA sample cards containing cheek swabs sent from jails and prisons. If the state Legislature approves pre-conviction DNA sampling, the number of cards the lab processes could double.
Mandatory DNA collection is fast becoming routine in the American criminal justice system. In many jurisdictions, just being arrested can mean having tosubmit a genetic sample to the national database. Federal law enforcement and 26 states now permit various forms of pre-conviction DNA sampling and more states are poised to follow suit.
<strong> Come Sail Away:</strong> Retired high school science teacher — and adrenaline junkie — Andy Sajor rides his ice boat on a frozen Lake Champlain in New York. Perfect ice sailing conditions call for cold temperatures, a strong breeze and a thick sheet of ice — but not too much snow.
Credit Sarah Harris / North Country Public Radio
Andy Sajor prepares his DM, or ice boat, for a run on Lake Champlain. Ice sailing happens just about anywhere water freezes, but the sport started in the Netherlands and caught on in colonial America, where sailors ran up and down the Hudson River, ferrying goods in winter.
Credit Sarah Harris / North Country Public Radio
For her ride around the lake, reporter Sarah Harris claimed the ice boat's only seat while Sajor balanced the plank next to her. Together, they reached a top speed of about 48 miles an hour.
The minute I learned that ice sailing was an actual sport, I wanted to give it a try. I watched YouTube videos of wooden boats with big white sails zooming across the ice on steel runners. It seemed like such a rush: Imagine racing over a frozen lake on a wind-powered sled, hitting speeds that top 40 miles an hour.
It's true that you can still get by in rock 'n' roll on the strength of a unique voice. But it helps if said voice has something interesting to work with.
On the first three records by Heartless Bastards, that wasn't always the case. The Mountain, from 2008, had some terrific songs about a breakup, and a few that got bogged down in a rut. But on the band's latest release, Arrow, every song has a powerful, almost magnetic melody.
On tonight's All Things Considered, NPR's Robert Siegel talks to the chief of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde.
Naturally, Robert focused his interview on Greece, which has been engulfed in a debt crisis that has threatened its membership in the European monetary union. Robert asked Lagarde about the tough austerity measures Greece has agreed to and whether those measures could promote a shrinking economy as opposed to getting Greece back to prosperity.
Supporters greet Myanmar's pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, atop her vehicle, as she arrives at an election campaign rally in Thongwa village, Myanmar, on Sunday. The country's new government is holding legislative elections on April 1.
Credit Altaf Qadri / AP
A girl from the Kachin ethnic group waves the flag of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy as the democracy leader arrives in Namti village last week.
Credit Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters/Landov
Myanmar President Thein Sein (shown here in Singapore on Jan. 30) has introduced a number of changes. His decision to halt construction of Chinese-supported dam project on the Irrawaddy River was widely praised in the country.
Credit Chris McGrath / Getty Images
A Buddhist monk reads a newspaper in Yangon on Tuesday. Newspaper articles that would have been rejected by Myanmar's draconian state censors just months ago are making it into print, in one of many signs that the long-repressed country is becoming more open.
Once an international pariah ruled by a repressive military regime, Myanmar has in recent months become one of Southeast Asia's hottest destinations.
Last year, a nominally civilian government took over and began political changes in the country also known as Burma. Now, foreign investors and tourists are flooding in, and foreign governments are considering lifting their sanctions.
Uruguay boasts that it has the longest Carnival celebration not just in Latin America, but the world. The 40-day celebration is dotted with makeshift stages all around the capital city of Montevideo for performances of choral music called murga. Murga is both entertainment and a sociopolitical commentary that survived the military dictatorship of the 1970s.