Usually, there is lots of formality and protocol when a president steps off Airforce One and walks onto a tarmac. But, yesterday, when President Obama landed at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, he was greeted by Gov. Jan Brewer and very quickly the welcome turned into a serious and tense discussion.
Standard issue military eyeglasses are considered so unflattering, service members have an acronym for them: BCGs or Birth Control Glasses. For the first time in more than 20 years, the military is updating its look. Instead of those thick brown plastic frames, recruits can get sleeker black plastic specs.
Fans of Uggie in the silent movie The Artist were outraged when the dog didn't get an Oscar nomination. Now Uggie's owner tells a magazine that movie was the Jack Russell terrier's last. He's retiring the 10-year-old animal. Uggie wants to relax.
President Obama will flesh out the energy goals he laid out during his State of the Union address today. He'll start talking about natural gas in a UPS Facility in Nevada and continue on to the Buckley Air Force base in Aurora, Colo., where the Air Force is installing a one-megawatt solar array.
Reuters reports that in Las Vegas, Obama will propose a tax credit that helps offset the upfront costs of buying natural gas trucks.
The Obama administration is announcing plans to lease nearly 38 million acres in the central Gulf of Mexico for offshore oil and gas drilling. It's part of the push to boost domestic energy supplies that the president outlined in his State of the Union address. President Obama is also promoting American manufacturing and worker-training efforts this week, as he visits five states likely to be important in the November election.
Cuban-Americans are an important part of the Republican presidential electorate in Florida. Both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have reached out to these voters in Spanish-language TV and radio ads. Romney, in particular, has racked up many endorsements from prominent Cuban-American political figures.
Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are scrambling to tie up votes in Florida, which holds its winner-take-all primary next Tuesday. Steve Inskeep talks to conservative writer David Frum about the state of the GOP race.
They say two things are certain: death and taxes. But Amazon is still hoping to avoid at least one of those things. The online retailer is reportedly promising Florida lawmakers it will create up to 3,000 jobs in the state and build new distribution centers in Florida, if lawmakers give Amazon a two-year break from collecting state sales tax.
The Indiana legislature looks certain to pass controversial "right-to work" legislation. Democrats in the state House have been trying to block the measure. The vote makes it all but certain that Indiana will become the first state to pass such legislation in a decade.
And our last word in business today comes from Alaska Airlines. The carrier has been putting prayer cards on the meal trays it serves passengers since the 1980s. Flying can be nerve-wracking and the airline figured people might find comfort in a psalm from the Old Testament, along with the soothing image of a beach or the mountains.
It was also a marketing strategy so the airline could differentiate itself from competitors. Many passengers didn't mind.
The Sundance Film Festival wraps up this weekend in Park City, Utah. Movies and more movies have been on offer at the gathering, famously backed by Robert Redford. Our own Kenneth Turan is taking it all in and joined us from member station KPCW in Park City.
KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: Morning, Renee.
MONTAGNE: Well, let us begin with the dramatic films. What stands out for you this year?
The federal government has come out with its new standards for school meals - less fat, less salt, less sugar and more fruits, grains and vegetables. Devin Katayama from member station WFPL reports on how the Louisville, Kentucky school district is trying to comply with the guidelines and satisfy student tastes.
DEVIN KATAYAMA, BYLINE: Meet fourth grade food critic Jackson Schleff.
Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich made campaign stops on Florida's Space Coast on Wednesday, saying space is part of America's destiny and outlining what he called a bold plan to send Americans to the moon and beyond. Here, the former House speaker delivers remarks outside a restaurant in Coral Springs, Fla.
Newt Gingrich, a self-described space nut, has long been a supporter of the U.S. space program. Now the Republican presidential hopeful is proposing what he calls a bold program that would send Americans back to the moon and beyond.
During a campaign event on Florida's Space Coast — hard-hit by the recession and the space program's uncertain future — Gingrich talked about coming of age at the time of Sputnik, the first satellite, launched in 1957 by the Soviet Union. He recalled reading science-fiction author Isaac Asimov and Missiles and Rockets magazine.
Hundreds of journalists protest the arrests of members of the media, including Ahmet Sik (poster on the right) and Nedim Sener (center) in Ankara, Turkey, in March 2011. Critics say the government is trying to stifle dissent by arresting journalists — for doing their job.
Credit Mustafa Ozer / AFP/Getty Images
Rakel Dink, the widow of murdered journalist Hrant Dink, walks with thousands of people people during the ceremony commemorating her slain husband.
Ahmet Sik, an investigative reporter and a journalism professor, was arrested nearly a year ago, prompting huge outcry. He has been charged with aiding and abetting a terrorist organization.
Credit Getty Images
Thousands of people in Istanbul participated in a rally on Jan. 19 that marked the fifth anniversary of the murder of journalist Hrant Dink by an ultranationalist teenager. Many Turks condemn a recent court ruling that found no official involvement in the killing — a verdict that even one of the judges expressed discontent with.
Barista Nicole Adams serves up a drink in March at a Starbucks in downtown Seattle. The company is expanding its coffee options to include a light roast and plans to create a new health and wellness brand.
Just four years ago, Starbucks seemed to be losing its mojo. Howard Schultz, the man who made Starbucks a household name, returned to the company as CEO. He closed hundreds of stores, streamlined operations and set the company on a path to record revenues and strong profits.
Starbucks serves 60 million beverages a week, which adds up to big profits. The company reports its earnings Thursday. In a bid to further expand its consumer base, Starbucks has a new roast and plans to produce more retail products to sell outside of its coffeehouses.
An Iranian man counts banknotes after exchanging a gold coin for cash in Tehran on Monday. Gold coins were being exchanged for over 10 million rials as the Iranian currency continues to lose value against the U.S. dollar.
Credit Behrouz Mehri / AFP/Getty Images
On Jan. 24, the exchange rate plummeted to 23,000 rials to the U.S. dollar. For years, the value of the Iranian currency was artificially maintained. Now, international sanctions and domestic politics are forcing a devaluation.
The value of Iran's currency — which had been sliding steadily for months — took another plunge this week. Faced with new economic sanctions from the U.S. and Europe, the rial now seems to be in free fall.
But at least part of the dive could be linked to currency manipulation by the government itself in an effort to fund candidates in upcoming elections.
In images posted on the Internet, hundreds of Iranians are seen gathered outside the headquarters of the Bank Melli in Tehran Monday. They wanted to buy dollars, but there were no dollars to be had.
Greece is broke. But there's no blueprint for a country to declare bankruptcy, so Greece's creditors are sort of making things up as they go along.
"You're taking some sort of loss," Hans Humes of Greylock Capital Management told me. "But it's like, how much of a loss do you take? There's this thing called sovereign immunity. You can't go in and take the Acropolis."
Temperatures inside this giant oven will reach 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit. Large blocks of glass inside the oven will melt as the whole oven spins around at a rate of five times per second, creating a curved and smooth telescope mirror.
Credit Ray Bertram / Steward Observatory
The pieces of glass that technicians are arranging inside the rotating oven will melt down into the curved surface of the telescope mirror. Each piece of glass is hand-inspected.
Credit Ray Bertram / Steward Observatory
After the mirror is cast, it moves to the Large Polishing Machine, where the mirror's shape is refined and perfected — down to the millionth of an inch.