While others analyze what Thursday's GOP presidential debate does or doesn't tell us about what may or may not happen Saturday when South Carolina Republicans hold their primary, here's the top news from that four-man clash in Charleston:
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement faced accusations that a breathalyzer was giving inaccurate readings. So it commissioned a study. Fifteen employees consumed more than $300 worth of whiskey, mixers and Doritos, and then used the breathalyzer. Judges are considering whether the study was legitimate.
(POST-BROADCAST CLARIFICATION: This story takes place in London, Ontario.] Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Londoners hoping to avoid jury duty ought not to walk too close to the courthouse. A frustrated judge there recently exercised a little-known power: sending police into the street to rustle up jurors.
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You may have thought Iowa was done counting its votes a few weeks ago. Well, then came the news this week that based on further review, Rick Santorum actually won more certified votes than the declared winner, Mitt Romney. The problem is the tallies from some precincts remain lost. And yesterday, Iowa's GOP chairman called the overall results inconclusive.
NPR's business news starts with IKEA's success building.
The largest furniture maker in the world is ending the week with a bang. Sweden's IKEA posted, today, a record profit for its 2010, 2011 fiscal year. Net profit was up more than 10 percent to $3.8 billion. The company saw its biggest gains in China, in Russia and in Poland. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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We're waking up on a morning before a key Republican primary in South Carolina, and after a day when the field of Republican candidates went up, down, and up again. Rick Perry went down and bowed out of the race. Newt Gingrich rode a surge in the polls. And Rick Santorum went up, when it was revealed that he got the most votes in the Iowa caucuses, not Mitt Romney.
With those stakes high in South Carolina, the political ads are getting more pointed.
As NPR's Brian Naylor reports, the candidates themselves are taking aim less at each other and more at the White House.
BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: The day before the South Carolina primary, the remaining Republican candidates are making their final TV pitches to voters. Here's part of what the Mitt Romney campaign bills as its closing argument.
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And I'm Renee Montagne. The four Republicans still running for president met last night for their last debate before the South Carolina primary. They sparred over health care, abortion and tax returns. The race in South Carolina is now a dead heat, with Mitt Romney's earlier lead wiped out by a late surge by Newt Gingrich.
Escorting a squadron of bombers, Andrew "Smokey" Salem (Ne-Yo) signals fellow pilots on the way into combat with German forces in the new film <em>Red Tails</em>, based on the experiences of the famed Tuskegee Airmen fighter group.
Cuba Gooding Jr. plays pipe-smoking, swaggering Maj. Emmanuel Stance in <em>Red Tails.</em>
It took George Lucas more than two decades to bring the movie Red Tails to the screen. It was all the way back in the late '80s that the man behind Star Wars and Indiana Jones fell under the spell of another story of adventure, this one with real-life heroes — the African-American fighter pilots of World War II.
As Mara just mentioned, the debate last night opened with a question about a claim made by Gingrich's ex-wife. Well, Marianne Gingrich gave her exclusive interview to ABC's "Nightline," putting the candidate's personal life in the spotlight once again. NPR's Tamara Keith has more.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: The interview was incredibly hyped, in part because Marianne Gingrich has been silent so far on her ex-husband's presidential candidacy. This was her first television interview since their 1999 divorce.
Dozens of televisions display a political advertisement with the image of GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich at a store in Urbandale, Iowa, on Dec. 27. Republican candidates and their superPACs have spent millions on television and radio ads.
Saturday is South Carolina's Republican presidential primary. It's also the second anniversary of the Supreme Court's famous Citizens United decision.
That's the case that allows corporations to explicitly support or attack specific candidates. The day will be marked with attack ads — and protests.
The Republican presidential race has covered just three states so far. And superPACs linked to candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have spent a total of $20 million. They're feeding voters a heavy diet of negativity.
Republican presidential candidates (from left) Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul participate in the GOP presidential candidate debate at the North Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday.
The last Republican presidential debate before Saturday's South Carolina primary was expected to be lively. It didn't disappoint.
It was clear, even before the four remaining candidates met on the stage in Charleston, SC, that at least three of them would face some fairly high-stakes moments that could change the course of the contest. The question going into the debate was would they be able to master those moments?
Comedian Stephen Colbert appears before the Federal Election Commision in Washington, June 30, 2011. The FEC granted Colbert's request to form a political action committee.
Credit Cliff Owen / AP
Kinky Friedman trims the ivy growing as hair on a 6-foot bust of Gov. Rick Perry. In 2006, Friedman came in fourth in his bid to be governor of Texas, drawing in part on his fame as a country musician. He has also written several mystery novels.
To prove that he thought all campaigning was bunk, actor and satirist Will Rogers created a mock presidential campaign in 1928, running as the "bunkless candidate" of the Anti-Bunk Party. Here, he's seen with actress Anne Shirley.
In 1940, Gracie Allen, the female half of the comedy team Burns and Allen, announced her intention to run for president on the Surprise Party ticket. The party's mascot was a kangaroo; the slogan was "It's in the bag."
Dick Gregory, a social and political comedian, ran for president on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket. Here, he clears his way before speaking in Norfolk's Liberty Park, on Oct. 18, 1968.
Comedian Pat Paulsen announces his candidacy to be president in Universal City, Calif., in 1996 — his eighth run for the slot. Paulsen's earliest bid for the presidency was announced in 1968 on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
Roseanne Barr announces she is a candidate for president on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at the NBC Studios in 2011. Barr says she is the candidate of the Green Tea Party.
Credit Photo by Kevin Winter / Tonight Show/Getty Images for The Tonight Show
Stephen Colbert's flirtation with running for president has evolved from the formation of a superPAC to an appeal to voters in the primary held in his home state of South Carolina. The comedian mounted a short-lived campaign very early in the 2008 race, as well.
Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert is running for president. He's parodying the process — including, now, superPACS — in the same way he has parodied cable news. He's getting plenty of attention, but to really look into his political practical joke, I needed to go upstairs and find Peter Overby, NPR's man on campaign finance. I warned him it would seem like a dumb question, but I needed his help. What, exactly, is a superPAC?
Morocco's King Mohammed VI introduced reforms after protests began last February. But activists say the measures didn't go far enough and they are still taking to the streets. Here, the king is shown in his palace in Rabat on June 17.
Millions of homeowners are finding out that their property taxes are either holding steady or climbing, even as their house may be worth much less. There may not be much they can do about it.
In Ohio, Cuyahoga County's fiscal officer, Wade Steen, has been taking many calls from unhappy homeowners. He says they most often live in a community where voters passed a recent levy. That's a property tax measure that boosts funding for things such as schools and libraries.
If you listen to commercial radio, this is not news: Katy Perry had a huge year. She went No.1 five times. She was the most played artist on the radio. But the record industry is so weird, it's hard to know whether this kind of success translates into huge amounts of money.
So we asked.
I walked over to Katy Perry's record label. She's on Capital, which is under EMI. I met Greg Thompson, executive vice president of marketing and promotion at EMI.
People line up to buy train tickets at Changsha Railway Station in Changsha, in southern China's Hunan province on Dec. 28, 2011. Million of Chinese are expected to cramp onto China's train network in the coming weeks to return home for the Chinese lunar new year that starts on Jan. 23, 2012.
An electronic board at Shanghai Railway Station shows many trains sold out for Jan. 16-18. China's Rail Ministry spent more than $8 million on the ticketing website — which crashed and sometimes charged users without actually giving them tickets.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
On the day Li Xiusheng went to the Shanghai train station, he bought the last same-day ticket back to his hometown in central China's Anhui province. Li, a Christian, thinks it happened because of divine intervention.
During China's Lunar New Year holiday, more than 200 million people will travel home. It's the world's largest annual migration, and every year, Chinese tell horror stories about trying to get train tickets.
This season, the holiday falls on Monday, and it was supposed to be different: For the first time, China's rail ministry created a website to reserve seats. But things didn't work out as planned.
Whenever the late New York Times caricaturist Al Hirschfeld sketched Carol Channing — whether picturing her as an indomitable Dolly Levi, swathed in feathers and sequins, or as carbon-crazed Lorelei Lee, eyes sparkling like the diamonds that were that splendid creature's best friends — he always made her appear a creature composed entirely of lipstick, mascara and hairspray.
<strong>Bare-Knuckle Politics:</strong> The battle-hardened Roman general Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes) runs for office at the urging of his mother (Vanessa Redgrave) — but it turns out he's no booster of majority rule.
Credit Larry D. Horricks / The Weinstein Co.
<strong>Can't Get Used To These Clothes: </strong>Coriolanus (Fiennes), receiving a hero's welcome, poses — awkwardly — with his mother (Redgrave), wife (Jessica Chastain), and son (Harry Fenn).
Ralph Fiennes showed up for a frenzied cameo near the end of Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, and her hand-held, adrenaline-charged approach clearly inspired his film of Shakespeare's Coriolanus, which he both acts and directs the bloody hell out of.
In 1999, Rene Foreman was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. She underwent surgery that saved her life; it also took her voice box. To speak, Rene now uses an electrolarynx — a small device that she holds against her throat to produce her voice, electronically.
Discussing how having a synthesized voice has changed her life, Rene, 70, told her daughter Michelle that the electrolarynx helps her to enjoy each day, even if it also makes her stand out in some ways.
Of those times, Michelle asks, "How do you feel when people turn around and look at you?"
Click the link above to listen to Laura Sydell's conversation with Morning Edition's David Greene about the Megaupload indictment and the attack on the Department of Justice's website by the group Anonymous.
Rhoda Janzen is the author of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress.
Recently my friend Peggy and I decided to make a jaunt from my house in Southwestern Michigan, across the state to Detroit. We took her car. At day's end we pulled into my remote driveway on Lake Allegan. It was then I realized that didn't have my keys. They were in fact, hanging in the little key box in my laundry room.
Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 7:36 pm
Earlier today, the Justice Department announced it had charged seven people on counts of copyright infringement and conspiracy in what's being called one the biggest criminal copyright cases.
NPR's Carrie Johnson filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The Justice Department accused Megaupload, a popular file sharing site, with helping millions of people gain access to pirated movies, music and TV programs, often before the items are released for sale.