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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Wed March 14, 2012

6.8 Magnitude Quake Shakes Japan, But Tsunami Warning Canceled

The same general area of Japan that was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami almost exactly one year ago was rattled today by a 6.9 magnitude temblor that led authorities to warn of another possible tsunami along the nation's northeast coast. (Note at 7:42 a.m. ET: The U.S.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Santorum Wins In Dixie, Romney Takes Hawaii And American Samoa

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum with supporters Tuesday night in Lafayette, La. Louisiana's primary is on March 24.
Sean Gardner Getty Images
  • Mara Liasson on 'Morning Edition'

After another set of presidential contests the story remains much the same — pundits say former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney remains the front runner in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum continues his strong challenge.

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It's All Politics
6:26 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Analysis: Why It's Time For Newt Gingrich To Say Good Night

After his losses in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday, Newt Gingrich will face increasing pressure to drop out of the GOP race. Here he waves to supporters after speaking at a rally in Hoover, Ala., on Tuesday.
Marvin Gentry Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 6:12 pm

It is time for the much-winnowed field of Republican presidential contenders to shrink a little further. It is time for Newt Gingrich to bid adieu and wrap up his bid for the nomination.

Rick Santorum, who won the Alabama and Mississippi primaries on Tuesday, has proven himself the conservatives' favored alternative to front-runner Mitt Romney. He did this by winning the voters who mattered most in the deep-dyed red states of Alabama and Mississippi, the white evangelical "born again" voters who cast more than two-thirds of the vote in each state.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Santorum Sweeps Southern Primaries

It was a big night for Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. He won the primaries in Mississippi and Alabama. Mitt Romney was running third in both states.

NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Fed Waits For Economic Growth To Pick Up

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 8:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Here's the good economic news: Employers have been hiring more quickly than the experts predicted.

INSKEEP: The bad economic news is that experts still are not sure why employers are hiring so quickly. While the U.S. economy is growing, economists are not sure it is growing quickly enough to justify the many jobs created in recent months.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Obama Wins Backing Of AFL-CIO

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 8:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

President Obama has received a high-profile endorsement for his re-election bid. Though it's no surprise the country's largest federation of unions, the AFL-CIO, has traditionally endorsed a Democrat for president.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The strength of that support bears watching this year. Collective bargaining has been under attack in several states, draining union resources.

MONTAGNE: But labor leaders say it's also made them more determined than ever to keep Mr. Obama in the White House. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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Business
4:00 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Wal-Mart Backs Hollywood's UltraViolet System

Wal-Mart announced an online video partnership with most of the major Hollywood movie studios on Tuesday. The idea is to make it easier for people to legally watch and share movies digitally.

Sports
4:00 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Olympics Letter From London

Americans and Britons share the same language, yet transatlantic visitors to the London Olympics might struggle to understand what's going on. The games are in East London, home of rhyming slang, a form of linguistic gymnastics. It was pioneered in the nineteenth century by Cockneys as a code to confuse snooping policemen.

Business
4:00 am
Wed March 14, 2012

European Court Takes Up Crucifixes As Jewelry

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Britons are struggling with the issue of faith in the workplace. Two British women, one an airline employee and the other, a nurse, were suspended or barred from doing their jobs because they wore crucifixes at work. Now the two are taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights.

To find out how this debate is playing out in the UK, we called Lucy Kellaway, she's a columnist for the Financial Times. And she joined us from London.

Lucy, good to talk to you again.

LUCY KELLAWAY: Hello.

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U.S.
12:01 am
Wed March 14, 2012

As Gangs Move To New York Suburbs, So Does Crime

Law enforcement agents raid a home where the occupants are suspected of selling drugs last month in Middletown, N.Y. For three months, court papers say, authorities tracked them using wiretaps and cameras set up on telephone poles and trees.
Chet Gordon AP

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 11:45 am

Over the past few years, authorities have arrested more than 200 gang members in an unexpected place: the tree-lined suburbs along the Hudson River in New York.

Drug traffickers with ties to the Bloods, the Latin Kings and other gangs have put down roots there. Authorities say they brought shootings and stabbings with them.

Middletown, N.Y., is 90 minutes northwest of the city. On West Main Street, you can find tidy brick buildings from the 1800s, a brew pub, and a restaurant that sells fresh mussels and escargot.

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Middle East
12:01 am
Wed March 14, 2012

In Gaza, Calls For Change Put Hamas At A Crossroads

Palestinian artist Mohammed al-Dairi paints a mural of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (right) and late Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (left), in Gaza City. Hamas leaders are divided on what direction to take the Islamist movement, with some calling for reconciliation with Arafat's Fatah movement.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 10:01 am

The Islamist movement Hamas, which rules Gaza, is a house divided. Its leaders say there are divisions among the ranks as they try to grapple with where to push the movement: toward moderation or a continued commitment to armed resistance against Israel.

Omar Shaban, a Gaza-based political analyst, wonders where Hamas is headed in the next two to three years. He says the changes in the region after the Arab Spring not only shook the world, but they also forced groups like Hamas to reassess where they stand, in terms of old alliances and future direction.

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Looking Up: Pockets Of Economic Strength
12:01 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Auto Parts Suppliers Hiring As Fast As They Can

Workers build cars on the assembly line at the Ford Motor Co.'s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., in December. As auto sales boom, parts suppliers are having a tough time finding the labor they need to catch up, having lost workers during the recession.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 8:17 am

Part of a series

Detroit automakers are creating thousands of new jobs amid a sales boom. And as they expand, their suppliers are racing to keep up, adding tens of thousands of new jobs.

At Bridgewater Interiors in Warren, Mich., for example, the pace is intense. Hundreds of union employees scurry to fill a growing list of orders. The factory floor is packed with stacks of foam cushions, seat covers and headrests.

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Sweetness And Light
12:01 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Calling Foul: In Basketball, Crunch Time Goes Limp

In the closing minutes of a game last month, Purdue University's Robbie Hummel was fouled by Penn State's Matt Glover. College basketball needs to find ways to make its games' final moments more exciting, says Frank Deford.
Michael Conroy AP

One thing that distinguishes most team sports is that the game is suddenly played differently at the end. Often, this adds to the fascination, too. Nothing, for example, gets a rise out of me like when the hockey goalie skates off the ice with a minute or so to go, his team down a goal, leaving an open net.

In championship soccer, tie games go to a shoot-out, which is totally alien with all that came before. Neat stuff.

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Sports
12:01 am
Wed March 14, 2012

An American Soccer Coach In Egypt's National Court

The Egyptian national soccer team's American coach, Bob Bradley, attends his team's friendly match against Kenya in the Qatari capital, Doha, in February. The Egyptian team won 5-0.
Karim Jaafar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 12:24 pm

Anti-Americanism is on the rise in Egypt these days. A highly publicized trial is under way in Cairo against U.S.-funded pro-democracy groups, and Egyptians are making it clear they reject any American involvement in their country's affairs.

There's one exception, however: an American living in Cairo whom Egyptians are counting on to shake things up. His name is Bob Bradley, and he's the New Jersey-born coach of Egypt's struggling national soccer team.

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Law
12:01 am
Wed March 14, 2012

ICE Opens Immigrant Detention Center In Rural Texas

The Karnes County Civil Detention Center in Texas has outdoor spaces and other features meant to make immigrant detention less like prison. It will house mostly low-risk, nonviolent offenders.
Laura Sullivan/NPR

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 10:56 am

Just off the side of the road in rural southern Texas is a large beige building that looks a lot like a prison. Fences and tall walls mark the outside. Inside, the doors slam and people sit in control booths at the end of long concrete hallways.

But just a little farther into the facility, the door opens to a courtyard in the center of the complex, and there, things begin to change. There's a soccer field, a pavilion and a gymnasium. There's also a walk-up pharmacy and commissary. All of it is guarded by officers in polo shirts.

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The Two-Way
7:47 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

After 244 Years In Print, Encyclopaedia Britannica Goes All-Digital

An Encyclopædia Britannica print set.
Encyclopædia Britannica

The digital age has taken its toll on another long-held tradition: Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print and from now on will be all digital.

Its final printed product will be the 2010 edition, which The New York Times describes as a "a 32-volume set that weighs in at 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project."

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The Two-Way
7:14 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Join Us For Live Coverage Of The GOP Primaries

With two wins in the Deep South, Mitt Romney could solidly establish himself as the inevitable GOP candidate. If you believe polls, that could very well happen in Mississippi and Alabama, which are holding nominating contests tonight.

Now, the polls are so close that Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich could also pull together wins that keep their campaigns going.

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It's All Politics
6:17 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Mississippi, Alabama: Live Blog And Results

Rick Santorum addresses supporters on Tuesday in Lafayette, La.
Sean Gardner Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:57 am

"We did it again," declared Rick Santorum during his victory speech in Lafayette, La.

Indeed, the former Pennsylvania senator swept the Republican presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi and once again threw Mitt Romney, who has from the very beginning been the presumptive nominee, on the defensive.

Of course, there are two other contests going this evening: Hawaii and American Samoa are holding caucuses, and if Romney takes both of those, he may very well end the night with the most delegates.

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Economy
5:54 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Federal Reserve Releases Bank 'Stress Test'

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Federal Reserve has released the results of its much-anticipated stress test of the nation's biggest banks. The Fed says most of the nation's 19 biggest financial institutions passed the tests, although four did not. To find out what this means, we turn to NPR's Jim Zarroli. Jim, first, why is the Fed running stress tests? What are they supposed to show about the banks?

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Health
5:50 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Adult Filmmakers Question Condom Requirement

Damian Dovarganes AP

Los Angeles has become the nation's first city to require male adult film actors to wear condoms. The city council's new ordinance has riled the region's billion-dollar-plus porn industry. Filmmakers are warning that the measure will harm the local economy and threaten the health of industry performers.

Condoms are now required on all film shoots that receive a city permit, but the law does not apply to adult films shot in studios. Those don't require city permitting in the first place. But a proposed ballot measure in November looks to extend the law throughout the county.

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The Salt
5:20 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

North Dakota Food Writer Shows Why It's OK To Like The Olive Garden

Columnist Marilyn Hagerty's den is converted into a makeshift television studio as a crew from CNN prepares her for an interview.
ERIC HYLDEN Forum Communications Co.

Restaurant reviewing all too often seems like it's all about how edgy and connected the reviewer is. The food's a mere prop.

Columnist Marilyn Hagerty bested all those poseurs by giving her readers just what they wanted: The lowdown on dining options in Grand Forks, N.D.

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Music Interviews
5:19 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

New Film Takes An Intimate Look At School Bullying

Road Rage: As documented in Bully, the school bus is a prime venue for students who target other students for verbal and physical abuse.
Weinstein Co.

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

The documentary Bully follows several middle- and high-school students who are different, awkward or for some other reason the targets of bullying. One of the kids at the center of the film is Alex, from Sioux City, Iowa.

In the film, Alex, a small boy, says people think he's not normal, and most kids don't want to be around him. And some kids at his school, or on the school bus especially, make his life miserable.

Director Lee Hirsch says Alex immediately struck him as someone who was having a hard time — and no one seemed to notice or really care.

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Election 2012
5:18 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Tea Party Spawns New Effort Against Voter Fraud

Reagan George is the founder of the Virginia Voters Alliance.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

As part of a new campaign, dozens of citizen groups around the country are searching voter registration lists, looking for problems.

They're also training poll watchers to monitor this fall's elections.

Leaders of the effort — spawned by the Tea Party movement — say they want to make sure that elections are free from voter fraud. But critics say it's part of a campaign to suppress the votes of minorities, students and others who tend to vote Democratic.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:05 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Canadian Hospitals That Spend More Get Better Results

In Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario, hospitals that spend more appear to do a better job.
ilkerender Flickr

Canada has long been a favored talking point for debates over the quality of America's health system, alternatively cast as either Eden or Gomorrah.

A new paper adds a shade of gray into the understanding of Canadian hospitals — and the ongoing debate here about whether when it comes to medical spending, less is more.

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Science
4:58 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Tornado Tech: What If Dorothy Had A Smartphone?

This May 3, 1999, funnel became the F-5 storm that damaged thousands of buildings in central Okahoma. University of Oklahoma storm chasers and observers are anticipating the annual tornado season as it approaches the central part of the country.
J. Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

For many, the only way they learn a tornado is approaching are sirens. In the spring and summer, tornado sirens go off a lot more when twisters roar across Alabama, which has been hit by 900 since 2000, accounting for a quarter of all U.S. tornado deaths.

"I am still surprised that so many people rely on just one source of getting warned, and that has to change," said Jim Stefkovich, meteorologist in charge of the Birmingham office of the National Weather Service.

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Education
4:34 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Spanking Lives On In Rural Florida Schools

Holmes County High School Principal Eddie Dixson says paddling is used for minor offenses like back-talking or consistent tardiness. Students at the school are spanked only by Dixson or the assistant principal, and there is always a witness.
Sarah Gonzalez StateImpact Florida

Spanking in school may seem like a relic of the past, but every day hundreds of students — from preschoolers to high school seniors — are still being paddled by teachers and principals.

In parts of America, getting spanked at school with a wooden or fiberglass board is just part of being a misbehaving student.

"I been getting them since about first grade," says Lucas Mixon, now a junior at Holmes County High School in Bonifay, Fla. "It's just regular. They tell you to put your hands up on the desk and how many swats you're going to get."

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Federal Reserve Says Most Major U.S. Banks Would Survive Severe Recession

Federal Reserve

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 5:46 pm

Update at 4:34 p.m. ET. 15 of 19 Banks Pass Stress Test:

The Federal Reserve says 15 of the country's top 19 banks have enough capital to survive a "severe recession," which it defined as "peak unemployment rate of 13 percent, a 50 percent drop in equity prices, and a 21 percent decline in housing prices."

Reuters reports:

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Looking Up: Pockets of Economic Strength
4:18 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Factories 'Reshore' Some Work From Overseas

AGCO employees work on the assembly line in the company's newly expanded Jackson, Minn., manufacturing plant. The expansion brought the facility's staff from 850 to 1,050 workers and allows the plant to make tractors that were previously made in France.
Jackson Forderer for Minnesota Public Radio

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

Part of a series

During the worst of the Great Recession, U.S. factory jobs were disappearing at a furious pace. As 2007 began, about 14 million Americans were working in manufacturing.

Three years and one frightful recession later, only 11.5 million were.

But since 2010, employment has been ticking back up, with companies adding about 400,000 jobs.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:17 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Connecticut Considers Letting Health Aides Give Medicines To Homebound

Connecticut is rethinking who should be allowed to give medicines to Medicaid patients cared for at home.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

Connecticut, like every state trying to reduce health care spending, is looking closely at how it cares for people with chronic conditions.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has promised to move more than 5,000 poor and disabled patients out of nursing homes in five years.

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Latin America
4:04 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Cruising Over Colombia In A Plane From Another Era

A DC 3 stands ready to take off on the runway in Villavicencio , Colombia.
Carlos Villalon for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 11:41 am

The plane flown by Capt. Ricardo Fajardo has been around for nearly 70 years, ever since it was built in California by the Douglas Aircraft Co. at the height of World War II.

But as a red and orange DC-3 hugs the treetops and skims past the Vaupes River in the remote southeastern corner of Colombia, Fajardo says he wouldn't feel more comfortable in any other plane.

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