It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
When President Obama met yesterday with the king of Jordan, much of their talk focused on Jordan's neighbor, Syria. Both governments are trying to figure out how to pressure Syria's president to step down. So far, 10 months of protest by Syria's own people hasn't convinced Bashar al-Assad to do that. Instead, he's cracked down.
It's the latest salvo in the two companies' global patent war, according to Bloomberg News. This time Apple is trying to ban sales of 10 Samsung smartphone models, claiming the Korean company copied Apple's design. It's also suing Samsung claiming it copied the iPad.
Let's stay with Internet news for a moment. Yahoo is undergoing another big management shakeup. Yesterday, Jerry Yang, the co-founder and former CEO, said he is stepping down from the company's board of directors.
NPR's Steve Henn has more from Silicon Valley.
STEVE HENN, BYLINE: For months late last year, Yahoo's board of directors was mulling a deal that could have sold the Internet company or broken it apart.
Even if Wikipedia was working, you couldn't use it to locate information about Mitt Romney's most recent tax filings. He has yet to make that tax information public.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Under pressure from his opponents, Romney says he will release information in April.
MONTAGNE: But yesterday, Romney did let slip a provocative tax detail. He acknowledged he's probably paying an effective tax rate of around 15 percent. And that's well below the rate that many middle-class families pay.
Today's last word in business comes from China, and the word is: Red Pad.
It's a device that looks a lot like an iPad, except it's red in color and in ideological purity.
The Wall Street Journal picked up on the device, which was advertised briefly in China's state media. It offered Web content for the party faithful, like quick access to the Communist Party's mouthpiece, the People's Daily. The device however, was apparently priced at more than $1,500 - good deal more than an iPad.
In his first year as Colorado's secretary of state, Republican Scott Gessler has been sued eight times.
He has outraged Democrats by rewriting the state's campaign finance rules, tangled with counties over which voters they can send mail-in ballots to, and attracted national attention for participating in a fundraiser to pay off a campaign finance fine levied by his office.
"We've definitely shaken up the status quo, and I think that's happened a bit in some other states, too," he says.
Old mattresses are among the worst kinds of household waste: Most recycling companies won't touch them, and landfills would rather not. But a new business in Nashville that started as a college project hopes to move mattress recycling into the mainstream — and employ former convicts in the process.
President Obama is feeling election-year pressure on the pending decision over the Keystone XL pipeline. Republicans say the Canadian project would provide the U.S. with oil and new jobs, but environmentalists want him to block it. They say Alberta's oil sands generate more greenhouse gases than other kinds of oil, and Americans must not become dependent on such a dirty source of energy. But it may already be too late to change that.
The luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia leans on its side after running aground on the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy. One maritime workers union called the disaster a "wake-up call" highlighting long-standing safety concerns and what it sees as lax regulation.
France's 35-hour work week has resulted in some workers accumulating vast amounts of overtime that they are required to use this year. The problem is particularly acute at some hospitals. Here a woman speaks with a doctor at the Conception Hospital in Marseille on Tuesday.
France's 35-hour work week has plenty of critics who say it has sapped the country of its competitiveness and is tying companies in knots. And to make their case, a leading example is the current state of overtime at French hospitals.
Along with five weeks of annual leave, French employees get time off if they work more than 35 hours in a week. At the Hopital Vaugirard, a public hospital in central Paris, employees have accumulated more than 2 million days off in the past decade.
A truck passes shipping containers at China Shipping at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the busiest port complex in the U.S., near Long Beach, Calif. Stricter emissions standards have cut down on air pollution from the trucks, which has been one of the most significant sources of air pollution in California for many years.
Credit David McNew / Getty Images
Trucks at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach often idle while they wait to be loaded and unloaded, adding to the pollution.
"It's not that I've fallen out of love; I've actually never liked sports, and I never understood how I became an athlete," Serena Williams said recently, according to TennisNow.com. "I don't like working out; I don't like anything that has to do with working physically."
Now that Tim Tebow is out of hearts and minds, and we can actually turn our attention to other things, let us go clear to the other side of the world. There, a short while ago, while preparing for the Australian Open, Serena Williams said: "I don't love tennis today, but ... I've actually never liked sports."
While her confession might have surprised some, I suspect that even more were irritated, actually angered, that an athlete — a great champion! — could utter such blasphemy.
There's a controversy brewing in India over an invitation extended to Booker Prize-winning novelist Salman Rushdie by the organizers of the Jaipur Literary Festival.
Rushdie, the author of Midnight's Children, angered Muslims with his 1988 novel Satanic Verses. The novel, which many Muslims say insults the Prophet Muhammad, led to Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declaring a fatwa against Rushdie. The writer spent much of the next few years in hiding.
Mark told you earlier that Wikipedia is going black for 24 hours beginning at midnight tonight. While Wikipedia's reason for shutting down is to protest anti-piracy legislation making its way through the United States Congress, another interesting question is going to be what happens to all those web surfers seeking answers to can't-wait questions?
The Costa Concordia lies stranded in the Giglio harbor on Tuesday.
Credit Filippo Monteforte / AFP/Getty
This satellite image taken Tuesday shows the hulk of the luxury ship.
Credit DigitalGlobe / AP
Workers prepare to recover fuel from the damaged ship on Wednesday. The ship was carrying about a half-million gallons of fuel. So far, there is no sign that it has leaked.
Credit Laura Lezza / Getty Images
Coast Guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco (center) arrives Tuesday at the Grosseto court in Italy for a hearing. In a dramatic phone conversation, De Falco was heard ordering Francesco Schettino, the captain of the stricken cruise liner, to get back onboard and oversee the evacuation.
Credit Giacomo Aprili / AP
Capt. Francesco Schettino (right) is taken into custody by police in Porto Santo Stefano, Italy, on Jan. 14. Schettino was released Tuesday and is under house arrest in southern Italy. He is being investigated on possible manslaughter charges and abandoning his ship.
Credit Giacomo Aprili / AP
This photo, released by the Italian border police, shows the Costa Concordia last week, after it ran aground.
Credit Guardia di Finanza / AP
Survivors were transported by ferry to Porto Santo Stefano, Italy. At least two of the missing passengers are American.
Credit Gregorio Borgia / AP
Passengers disembark at a ferry in Porto Santo Stefano, Italy, on Saturday.
Credit Gregorio Borgia / AP
A scuba diver makes his way through floating pieces of furniture while searching for people inside the cruise ship.
Credit Italian Coast Guard / AP
A rope, a life vest, a helmet and other recovered items are displayed on an altar during Mass in Giglio on Sunday.
Credit Gregorio Borgia / AP
Rescuers exploded four holes in the hull of the ship to gain easier access to areas that had not yet been searched. Here, a scuba diver recovers a body Tuesday.
Credit Gregorio Borgia / AP
The Costa Concordia lies stranded in the Giglio harbor on Sunday.
Credit Filippo Monteforte / AFP/Getty Images
The Costa Concordia sails from Limassol, Cyprus, in April 2009. The ship ran aground off the coast of Giglio Island, Italy, on Saturday, forcing the 4,200 passengers onboard to evacuate.
The search for survivors of the Costa Concordia disaster continues Thursday in Giglio Porto, Italy. At least 11 people were killed after the vessel ran aground last week. More than 20 people are still missing.
In 2010, Arizona sold 22 buildings in its state capitol complex to help deal with budget deficits. Gov. Jan Brewer recently asked representatives to buy back three of the buildings, including the State House of Representatives (right), as the state's financial situation has improved. The Old Arizona Capitol Building (left) was not part of the deal.
As the U.S. economy struggled to get back on its feet over the past few years, a lot of states found themselves contending with big budget deficits. They responded by firing workers, raising taxes and cutting spending. Now the fiscal picture for a lot of states is brightening a bit — but many still face enormous challenges.
Jerry Yang, Yahoo!'s co-founder, has resigned from the company's board of directors and every other position he held. Yang is leaving at a time when the Internet behemoth has struggled to remain relevant in an age of social media.
"The time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo!," Yang said in a statement. In the same press release, Yang was praised by the chairman of the board and the CEO, who called him a visionary and an innovator.
Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 5:48 pm
How badly do Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's opponents want him out of office? So badly they collected significantly more signatures than they needed to ensure a recall election for the governor. A lot more.
We're talking more than a million signatures, according to Wisconsin Democrats who, in order to meet the Tuesday deadline, were hauling boxes of documents to the state office responsible for reviewing them.
The International Telecommunication Union's Radiocommunication Assembly, otherwise known as the international authority that keeps close tabs on time, will debate a philosophical question this week: They will decide whether to eliminate the leap second and in doing so break its tie to astronomical time.
You could call Michael Brooks a supplement junkie. He pops exactly six pills a day, three times a day, not to mention powders and shakes and chews. "A multivitamin, vitamin C, omega-3s, alpha lipoic acid," he says. "I'm taking a digestive enzyme."
Brooks is a personal trainer in Birmingham, Ala. He's healthy and fit, but he almost obsessively wants to know more, which is why we find him here, a few doors down from a sandwich shop and a nail salon, at a storefront lab called Any Lab Test Now.
Daoud Kuttab, executive producer of <em>Shara'a Simsim</em>, the Palestinian version of <em>Sesame Street</em>, holds a Muppet at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah earlier this month. The producers say they have been forced to put production for the 2012 season on hold because of a funding freeze by the U.S. Congress.
This used to be a busy time of year for Shara'a Simsim, the Palestinian version of Sesame Street.
Producers and educators would be choosing the "words of the day" for the upcoming season. Writers would be brainstorming ideas around a large conference table. Project director Laila Sayegh says everyone would be working long days.
"From the morning, like 8 until 6 o'clock in the evening. And now as you can see, it's empty. We have nothing," she says.
A nurse weighs an Afghan child at a U.S.-funded clinic in Farza, Afghanistan, in September. A new U.S.-sponsored survey shows dramatic gains in life expectancy and other aspects of health care in Afghanistan. But some experts are questioning the accuracy of the results.
Credit John Moore / Getty Images
Dr. Mohammed Rashidi talks to a mother about her severely malnourished baby at a makeshift mobile health clinic in a remote village in Afghanistan's Bamiyan province last year.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a trio of cases involving free speech and religion.
In the first set of cases, the court declined to address the burgeoning legal debate over what powers school officials have to censor students who are at home, working on their personal computers, when they create parodies or personal attacks involving school officials or fellow students.
The employees of Morgan Stanley, owner of the world's biggest brokerage, will receive a maximum cash bonus of $125,000, this year. As The New York Times puts it, the cap reflects "the difficulties that new financial regulations and the debt turmoil in Europe have posed to Morgan Stanley and its rival firms."
And with tongue firmly in cheek, it also notes that the bankers "may want to put their kitchen renovations off until next year."