Yesterday, New York City Police evicted hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters from privately owned Zuccotti Park in New York, on the orders of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. A judge in New York ruled that the removal was legal and protesters could use the park, but their free speech rights did not extend to putting up tents or staying overnight. Similar evictions in other cities have raised serious questions about the future of the Occupy movement.
I'll admit, it's kind of hokey to be talking about a novel called The Pilgrim right before Thanksgiving. What's even more quaint is the fact that The Pilgrim is one of those straightforward works of historical fiction the likes of which we don't see so much anymore.
Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 2:12 pm
A truck carrying coal slammed into a overcrowded bus this morning in the Northwest Chinese township of Yulinzi, killing 18 children and two adults. According to China's official news agency Xinhua, 44 other children were injured. Xinhua reports that "a van with nine seats was carrying 64 people."
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is fighting back opponents who want him out of office. If organizers gather more than 500,000 signatures in 60 days, a new election will be held in 2012. Host Michel Martin speaks with Gov. Walker, who defends his record and criticizes the recall effort that began Tuesday.
Everything's big in Texas. Even health insurance mandates, it seems.
The Center for Public Integrity is out with a story about a Texas law that made it mandatory for health insurers to reimburse patients up to $200 for CT scans and ultrasound tests to look for heart trouble.
Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 2:27 pm
(New top to this post added at 2:20 p.m. ET)
The U.S. Secret Service just confirmed that Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez has been arrested in connection with the gunshots fired Friday night in Washington — one of which apparently hit a window at the White House.
In a statement sent to reporters, the agency says:
"Syrian activists say that army defectors have attacked an intelligence complex in the Damascus suburbs in what appears to be one of their boldest assaults so far against government security forces," al-Jazeera reports.
The major reason for the dip: "The energy index turned down in October after increasing in each of the three previous months as the gasoline and household energy indexes declined after a series of seasonally adjusted increases."
After yesterday's drama — the move by police to clear lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park of the Occupy Wall Street protesters who had been camping there for nearly two months — things are much different today.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. President Obama has one less thing to worry about, thanks to an Australian insurance company. On his visit down under, he's insured against a crocodile attack. When he gets to the city of Darwin, he'll be presented with a $51,000 policy. Now, it's not the first time locals have instituted extra measures to protect the American president. When Mr. Obama visited India, crews trimmed coconuts off the trees to ensure none fell on his head. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 8:08 am
In an email to a friend, Mike McQueary says he did speak with Penn State University police after seeing what he says was former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the team's locker room.
Harrisburg's Patriot-News writes that McQueary, who at the time of the 2002 incident was a graduate assistant with the football team and later became an assistant coach, says in the email that:
Target is scheduled to open at midnight on Black Friday. Target employee Anthony Hardwick of Nebraska started the petition asking the retail chain to open later. He says before working all night, he'd have to miss a Thanksgiving gathering to get enough sleep.
There's one week to go before the so-called supercommittee on Capitol Hill is supposed to come up with a deal that combines at least $1.2 trillion in budget cuts and revenue increases to narrow upcoming deficits over the next decade. If lawmakers don't reach an agreement, that amount of spending cuts are supposed to happen automatically — with about 50 percent coming from defense and 50 percent from domestic spending other than Social Security and Medicare.
And our last word in business today is save the tanooki.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
MONTAGNE: The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is attacking Nintendo's new video game "Super Mario 3-D Land." In the game, Super Mario sometimes wears the skin of a tanooki, which is a raccoon dog. Steve, you may have to finish...
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Oh no, come, no, no. It's fine. Come on, it's a raccoon dog. It's a nice animal.
Let's remember a bit of very recent history. Back in August, Congress came close to defaulting on U.S. government debts. Republicans wanted big cuts in spending. They finally got some, but a deal with President Obama pushed more deficit reductions off to the future, to a bipartisan committee which has been meeting this fall, and now has one week left until its deadline to reach a deal.
Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is rising in the polls, but Rick Perry is back in the spotlight after some proposals he made in Iowa yesterday. The Texas governor wants Congress to take a 50 percent pay cut, as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul the government.
Australia is the latest stop on President Obama's tour of the Pacific Rim countries that the president thinks should be the new focus of U.S. foreign policy. It is already the focus of a competition for influence with China.
Today, Chrysler is expected to announce plans to add more than 1,000 jobs at an assembly plant in Ohio. Local officials there have reportedly signed off on tax incentives for the plant expansion in Toledo. It's where Chrysler makes the Jeep Liberty and Wrangler.
The House Financial Services Committee voted on Wednesday to suspend nearly $13 million in bonuses paid to executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The measure would also prohibit future bonuses. The Senate is expected to take up similar legislation.
And here's a follow-up to the dramatic scandal at Olympus, which we've been following on this program. It's one of Japan's most respected corporations - or it was. Now executives Olympus are facing criminal charges and prison sentences. The company may be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and may also go bankrupt. All this after revelations of dubious acquisitions and allegations of massive accounting fraud. From Tokyo, Lucy Craft has more.
Police clash with workers of American mining company Freeport-McMoRan during a protest in Timika, Papua province, Indonesia, Oct. 10. Indonesian security forces fired on striking workers at Freeport-McMoRan's Grasberg gold and copper mine after a protest turned deadly.
Credit Environment Ministry, Rasio Ridhosani, HO / AP
The Grasberg mining complex in in Indonesia's remote Papua province is run by a local unit of the Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. In recent days, thousands of miners have gone on strike for higher pay and several people have died in clashes with police.
Credit Spedy Paereng / EPA /Landov
Tribesmen carrying bows and arrows block a road in Timika to support striking workers from the Freeport-McMoRan mine on Nov. 4.
Credit Environment Ministry, Rasio Ridhosani, HO / AP
Critics accuse Freeport-McMoRan not only of underpaying workers but also of destroying the environment in remote Papua and of decades of complicity in human rights abuses by the Indonesian military. Here, an aerial photograph of the Grasberg mining complex.
A foreign mining company, protected by hundreds of soldiers, extracts precious resources from a remote tropical forest. The mining enrages indigenous tribes, who resist.
It may sound like a movie script, but it is in fact the story of the world's largest gold mine, located high in the mountains of Indonesia's Papua province and owned by Freeport-McMoRan, an American mining conglomerate.
Fishermen and visitors gather at the beach in the village of Popotla, Mexico, some 15 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border, in July 2010. Illegal immigrants are increasingly looking to the ocean, as they consider crossing overland more risky.
Most mornings George Uraguchi grabs his paddle board and heads down a steep, secluded canyon in Palos Verdes, one of Los Angeles County's wealthier coastal communities. On one recent morning, though, his predawn excursion was interrupted by what he saw in the still water.
"It was more than just debris," Uraguchi says. "I saw some life jackets, and when I looked a little bit closer, then sure enough there was an overturned boat out there."
Uraguchi called 911, then hopped into the water and paddled out through the floating life jackets and bobbing fuel cans.
The 2012 presidential campaign is already being shaped by new rules for political money. The Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling allows corporations to jump into the presidential contest, as lower-court rulings and the Federal Election Commission provide new avenues through which corporate money can flow.
The Village of Hempstead, N.Y., sounds like a posh resort in the Hamptons. But if you ride the train an hour east from Penn Station, what you'll find is a working-class town of about 54,000 people, more than 80 percent of them African-American and Hispanic.
Nearly a third of local residents are underwater on their mortgages, six times the state average. Mayor Wayne Hall says he heard story after story from local residents who tried to get banks to refinance their loans, but couldn't. Finally, Hall got fed up.