Private creditors holding Greek bonds have until the end of today to participate in the largest sovereign debt restructuring in history. This means creditors must exchange the Greek government bonds they now hold for new ones that are worth far less. Some creditors are balking, since it means up to a 70 percent loss on their returns.
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And I'm Renee Montagne.
Western governments are still debating whether to help Syria's rebels. But as they debate, the rebels are finding ways to help themselves.
INSKEEP: Syrians continue arming themselves, even after they retreated from the battered city of Homs. This week, the United Nations' humanitarian chief finally toured that city, including a rebel neighborhood, now mostly abandoned.
Sam LaHood, the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood, spent four weeks holed up at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, sleeping on an air mattress part of the time and trying to fathom why the Egyptians wanted to prosecute him and his pro-democracy colleagues.
Eventually, LaHood's organization and others with employees facing prosecution paid more than $300,000 a person in bail to get them off the Egyptian travel ban, and the U.S. government flew most of them home.
There were a lot of good stories from the 2008 presidential election, including Hillary Clinton's serious run for the Democratic nomination, not to mention the election of the first African-American president. The whole story was covered in the bestselling — and controversial — book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, Game Change.
Some days, it would be easy to mistake the Metro Taxi dispatch center in Denver for a police station. Traffic and crime incidents are recorded in a special logbook, as drivers call in descriptions and locations to police.
It's part of a program called Taxis on Patrol. Just a day after the program began, a cab driver helped police make an arrest for a fatal hit-and-run. In the months since, eyewitness calls from cabbies using a bulletin system similar to an Amber Alert have led to hundreds of arrests.
Republican presidential candidates this week — with the exception of Ron Paul — appeared to be trying to outdo each other in saying how tough they would be in dealing with Iran. Speaking before a pro-Israel group, they said President Obama has been weak — "feckless," in Mitt Romney's words.
Obama, meanwhile, was not impressed. He said he'd heard a lot of "bluster" and "big talk" about Iran, "but when you actually ask them specifically what they would do, it turns out they repeat the things that we've been doing over the last three years."
The mountain village of Kawauchi lies partly inside the area deemed unsafe because of high levels of radiation in Japan's Fukushima prefecture. Chiharu Kubota uses a high-pressure water gun to hose down buildings there.
Radiation is still leaking from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, which suffered multiple meltdowns immediately after last year's earthquake and tsunami.
Dr. Adam Wolfberg had two daughters and another on the way when his wife, Kelly, went into labor. But this joyous occasion had come much too soon — Kelly was three months away from her due date. After just 26 weeks in the womb, their baby daughter Larissa entered the world by emergency cesarean section and was whisked into the neonatal intensive care unit of a Boston hospital. It was the same hospital where Wolfberg was doing his residency in obstetrics and gynecology, and his medical background turned out to be a mixed blessing.
When an author writes something that's supposed to be a true story and readers discover he's stretched the truth, things can get ugly fast. Recall Oprah Winfrey's famous rebuke of author James Frey for making up much of his memoir, A Million Little Pieces. "I feel duped, but more importantly, I feel that you betrayed millions of readers," she told him.
This spring, Les and Scott GrantSmith will mark their 25th wedding anniversary. The couple raised two daughters along the way. But 15 years ago, they hit a crisis that nearly shattered their family. Les was keeping a secret, and that became a problem. But they solved it as a family, in a way that kept them together and happy.
In the weeks leading up to that day back in 1997, Les was certain of two things: She was a mother who loved her daughters — and she was also transgender, the term for someone born in a body of the wrong sex.
Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 10:34 am
Texas Rep. Ron Paul hasn't won any of the 23 Republican presidential primaries or caucuses already in the 2012 history books.
He's captured only 29 delegates, just 5 percent of those awarded in contests to date. (Front-runner Mitt Romney has 340 committed delegates, 58 percent of those officially allotted, according to NPR calculations.)
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's six primary wins on Super Tuesday didn't come cheap. An NPR analysis shows that last week alone, the Romney campaign and the pro-Romney superPAC combined spent nearly $7 million on TV ads.
Less than $1 million of that was spent by Romney's official campaign, while the pro-Romney superPAC Restore Our Future — which has almost exclusively engaged in negative advertising this year — spent $5.7 million.
That's compared to $220,000 spent on ads last week by the superPAC supporting former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
A bill "that would let schools skip teaching sex education and prohibit instruction in the use of contraception" is headed to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's desk after the state Senate today approved it by a 19-10 vote, The Salt Lake Tribune writes.
Schools would need to focus on "abstinence-only" instruction.
There's finally some careful research that goes a long way toward resolving one of the hot debates over food aid — whether it's better to ship bags of rice and corn from the United States, or to buy food close to where it's needed. Emergency food supplies will be needed this summer, for instance, in the Sahel region of Africa.
Stock prices rebounded somewhat Wednesday, one day after their biggest sell-off of the year. What caused prices to plunge Tuesday was an all-too-familiar problem: the Greek debt crisis.
European officials have cobbled together a deal to keep Greece from defaulting, and investors all over the world who hold Greek bonds are weighing their options. They're worried about what could happen if they reject the deal.
The film Mosquita y Mari — the first narrative feature by a Chicana director to screen at the Sundance Film Festival — is both the singular vision of writer-director Aurora Guerrero and a crowdsourced production that could not have been made without multiple communities coming together.
Ohio's Super Tuesday contest wasn't just about the presidency. Two members of Congress there faced primary challenges — and were defeated. On the Republican side, four-term Rep. Jean Schmidt lost a challenge to Iraq War veteran Brad Wenstrup.
Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 12:15 pm
The sun ejected two huge solar flares Tuesday, and NASA says that we here on Earth may notice the effects of magnetic fields and ionized gases that it estimates will arrive around 1:25 a.m. ET Thursday. So, if you detect some electronic interference — say, your GPS doesn't work right — blame it on the sun.
While politicians and soon, the Supreme Court, are fighting about the fate of the Affordable Care Act, a new government study finds that a growing number of Americans are having difficulty coping with the high cost of health care.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sent a warning letter to the maker of a caffeine inhaler that's marketed around college campuses. The agency says it's concerned about misleading claims about the product and its safety.
Scientists from Fermilab say they've basically "cornered" the elusive Higgs boson — that's the particle that some have nicknamed the "God Particle," because it is thought to give atoms mass and is also a key component of the Standard Model.
This is complicated stuff, of course, but essentially the scientists at Fermilab say they found a bump in their data that suggests the existence of the particle. That bump corresponds to the evidence scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have found.
Here's a bit of explanation from the Fermilab press release:
In New Orleans, the 2012 Mardi Gras is just a memory. But for those who collect Mardi Gras memorabilia, the celebration lasts all year.
Some of those collectors will be at the Kenner Mardi Gras Museum on Thursday. It's about a half-hour drive from the French Quarter — not a convenient trip for many tourists, and declining attendance is one reason it closed after two decades. Now its collection will be auctioned.
Brazil took a step toward relaxing its strict ban on alcohol at soccer stadiums Tuesday, responding to World Cup organizers' concerns. The Federation International de Football Association is pushing for the change so it can make Budweiser the "Official Beer of the FIFA World Cup" when Brazil hosts the event in 2014.
It's wet and windy day in Shilo, a Jewish settlement in the central part of the West Bank that has about 10,000 residents.
In addition to the settlers, there are a few extra people staying in Shilo on this day. They are Christian volunteers from the U.S. who have spent the morning pruning the grape vines. Now, with a winter storm beating down on the hills, the volunteers are stomping with their mud-splattered boots and North Face rain gear.
It took a lot of money and the margins were sometimes painfully slim, but Mitt Romney pulled out some important victories on Tuesday night in the race for the Republican nomination for President. Melissa Block talks to Ari Shapiro, who spent Wednesday at Romney headquarters in Boston.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. An emphatic message today about Syria from top Pentagon officials: Military options are not the best answer. Some Republican lawmakers, most prominently John McCain, say it's time to launch targeted airstrikes, just as NATO forces did in Libya last year. But as NPR's Larry Abramson reports, military leaders insist the Syrian case is different.
Saying that "everything is fine on the business side" and that the number of advertisers who have left his show is akin to "losing a couple of french fries in the container when it's delivered to you at the drive-thru," conservative radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh today took time to clear up what he says has been "misinformation" about the repercussions from his recent comments about Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke.