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NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Workers Likely To Lose Out In AMR Bankruptcy

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 12:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's follow-up now on yesterday's news that American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It's part of an effort to cut debt and reduce labor costs. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports on what a post-bankruptcy American Airlines might look like.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: During the economic downturn, American Airlines already pared down its work force. Analysts don't think there will be massive layoffs this time.

AARON GELLMAN: Many elements of labor are going to pay a terrible price for this.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed November 30, 2011

After 10 Years, Houston Still Feels Enron's Presence

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 12:07 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And this week marks 10 years since Enron declared bankruptcy. At the time, 4,000 employees at the company's headquarters in Houston were given 30 minutes to clean out their desks and leave the building.

Andrew Schneider, of member station KUHF, sent us this report on how Enron employees and the city have coped with the company's demise.

ANDREW SCHNEIDER, BYLINE: In Houston, many of the physical signs of Enron's presence remain, even if the name and tilted E logo are long gone.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAFFIC)

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Daimler To End MayBach Brand In 2013

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 12:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is lost luxury. Maybach cars are in a rarified niche market called ultra-luxury, for those for whom luxury is not enough. Maybach, the historic brand now owned by Daimler, is made for customers who can pay $400,000 for a car, and who appreciate touches like back seats that recline - back seats, that is - laser-engraved motifs in the armrest and black lacquer trim. Rappers like Kanye and Jay-Z have immortalized the car in their rhymes.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CHANGE CLOTHES")

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Business News

Renee Montagne has business news.

NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed November 30, 2011

British Panel Told Phone-Hacking Was Necessary

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 12:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The British government continues investigating the phone-hacking scandal at newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch. More than a dozen journalists and editors have been arrested, top police and media executives have lost their jobs and an official ethics investigation may challenge the whole idea that the British press can regulate itself. And then, a former features editor for one of Murdoch's papers stole the show at a government hearing yesterday.

Here's NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik.

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Law
4:00 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Dr. Conrad Murray Sentenced In King Of Pop's Death

Michael Jackson's personal physician has been sentenced to four years in prison for his role in the pop icon's death in 2009. Because of overcrowding in California's state prisons, Murray will serve his sentence in a downtown jail.

Business
4:00 am
Wed November 30, 2011

FCC Report Criticizes AT&T, Mobile Proposed Merger

AT&T may have suffered another setback to its proposed $39 billion merger with rival wireless company T-Mobile. The FCC on Tuesday released a detailed analysis of its reasons for opposing the deal, contrary to AT&T's wishes.

Business
4:00 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Fair Trade Labeling Dispute

The fair-trade movement, which pays premiums to farmers in developing countries for meeting social and environmental standards, is growing quickly, and contentiously. The nation's largest fair-trade certifying agency has split from its international partner, hoping to expand the program to plantation-grown coffee. Some coffee sellers say the agency is just lowering standards to benefit corporate coffee companies, and consumers will be left confused.

Africa
4:00 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Egyptian Protesters Ponder Their Next Step

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 12:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now, let's go to Egypt where days of protests gave way to two days of peaceful and well-attended elections. Now, the protesters, who had been occupying the famous Tahrir Square in Cairo, are wondering what their next steps should be. The crowds dwindled as the voting continued.

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports.

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Election 2012
3:42 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Mitt Romney Courts Florida's Latino Voters

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 12:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Four years ago in Florida, Mitt Romney failed to persuade Republicans that he should be the party's nominee for president. He aims to make sure that doesn't happen this time. Romney made two quick campaign stops in that state yesterday. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports he made a special effort to appeal to Florida's Latino voters.

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Business
12:01 am
Wed November 30, 2011

The Search For Analysts To Make Sense Of 'Big Data'

Courtesy The Climate Corp

Second in a two-part series

Businesses keep vast troves of data about things like online shopping behavior, or millions of changes in weather patterns, or trillions of financial transactions — information that goes by the generic name of big data.

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Science
12:01 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Complaint Tests Rule Protecting Science From Politics

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 12:07 pm

One of the first things President Obama did after he took office was put out a memo that basically said: Don't mess with science.

The March 9, 2009, memorandum stated that "political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions" and said all government agencies should have appropriate rules and procedures to safeguard the scientific process.

Nearly three years later, only a few have finalized new policies — though they're starting to be put to the test.

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Law
12:01 am
Wed November 30, 2011

High Court To Hear HIV-Positive Pilot's Privacy Case

People wait to enter outside the U.S. Supreme Court in March. The court hears arguments Wednesday in a case testing whether the federal government is liable for damages when it violates the Privacy Act by disclosing that an individual is HIV-positive.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 12:07 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a case testing whether the federal government is liable for damages when it violates the Privacy Act by disclosing that an individual is HIV-positive. The government does not dispute that it broke the law, but it asserts that the Privacy Act authorizes damage suits only for violations that cause economic harm, not for emotional harm.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Does Milwaukee's Campaign Against Sleeping With Babies Go Too Far?

Babies sleeping with their parents risk death, according to an ad campaign by the Milwaukee Health Department.
Courtesy of the Milwaukee Health Department

Three infants have died in the past three weeks in Milwaukee because they were sleeping in the same bed as adults, according to officials.

The deaths come on the heels of an aggressive and controversial ad campaign designed to get parents to place their babies in cribs to sleep. Ads on bus shelters in the city show startling images of babies sleeping face down in adult beds next to what's best described as a meat cleaver.

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Hard Times: A Journey Across America
12:01 am
Wed November 30, 2011

A Steel Town Looks At Its Future, And Sees Rebirth

The old Granite City Steel Mill is now owned and operated by US Steel.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 12:07 pm

Part of a monthlong series

The Great Recession has hit the industrial Midwest especially hard in recent years, from big cities to small factory towns. But now, in at least one small Illinois city, local leaders believe the worst is finally behind them.

Sitting across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis, Granite City, Ill., has certainly seen better days. In its downtown, there are more boarded-up and empty storefronts and vacant lots than there are businesses.

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Law
12:01 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Hearing May Lead To More Freedom For Hinckley

John Hinckley Jr. is escorted by police in Washington, D.C., on March 30, 1981, following his arrest after shooting and seriously wounding then-President Ronald Reagan.
AFP/Getty Images

More than 30 years ago, on March 30, 1981, John Hinckley shot President Reagan and three other people outside a Washington hotel. A jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity, and authorities sent him to a mental institution.

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Sweetness And Light
10:00 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

For Two Old Teammates, Risks Of Loyalty Are Real

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim (above), two days after sexual abuse allegations against a former assistant were made public, and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing (below), during a youth leadership event last year, played alongside each other in the 1960s.
Nate Shron Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 12:01 am

It is not uncommon for outstanding athletes to succeed in later life, but it is rare for teammates, literally playing side by side, both to be in the spotlight almost half a century later.

But such is the case with two old boys from Syracuse, who were roommates as freshmen, went on to become the starting backcourt, saw their lives diverge after college — and now, at an age when most men have retired, are facing two very different but very painful challenges in the professions they've chosen, in the places they love.

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It's All Politics
7:27 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Barney Frank's Two Top Goals: Protecting Wall St Reform, Social Spending

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 7:49 pm

Rep. Barney Frank, the long-time liberal voice (and a fast-talking, brusque one at that) who announced he won't be running for re-election, discussed with NPR's Guy Raz, co-host of All Things Considered, the items of unfinished business he plans attend to during his remaining year in Congress.

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The Two-Way
6:39 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Report: Henry Paulson Tipped Hedge Funds About Fannie, Freddie Takeover

We've been following the reporting Bloomberg Markets Magazine has been putting out over the past few days. They've gotten a load of documents through Freedom of Information Act requests and found that the U.S. Federal Reserve had committed $7.7 trillion to rescuing big banks in 2009.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:28 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

GOP Governors Hedge Bets On Health Insurance Exchanges

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is among several GOP governors accepting grant money to set up health insurance exchanges while also challenging the health overhaul law in court.
Dave Martin AP

Obama administration officials have announced another round of grants to states to help build the insurance marketplaces, called "exchanges," that will help individuals and small businesses buy health insurances beginning in 2014.

But the real news is who's getting the $220 million. Nine of the 13 states in this round of grants are headed by GOP governors.

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The Two-Way
5:49 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

As Superdome's New Light Display Settles, A Discussion On Its Merits

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome lit up at night in New Orleans on Oct. 20.
Chris Granger The Times-Picayune

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:13 am

The Superdome is one of those pieces of distinctive architecture that immediately gives you a sense of place. Obviously, most recently the Superdome was the backdrop for tragedy, when it became a shelter-of-last-resort during Hurricane Katrina.

But over the past few years, it's gotten quite a makeover. It culminated last month, when new LED lights were installed on its exterior and it was emblazoned with the corporate logo of Mercedes-Benz, which acquired naming rights this year.

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Business
5:44 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Bringing Audi Back, For A Younger Audience

Despite the sluggish economy, it's been a pretty good year for luxury carmakers. Deluxe brands such as Mercedes, Volvo and BMW have seen double-digit growth.

But the German carmaker Audi is the standout. It's seen a near tenfold growth in the past 20 years, and the company has also become the new status car for young urban professionals.

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It's All Politics
5:41 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

If Herman Cain Quits The GOP Race, Where Will His Supporters Go?

Herman Cain leaves the Big Sky Diner on Nov. 10, 2011 in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 6:11 pm

Herman Cain's decision to reassess the status of his Republican presidential campaign in the wake of allegations he engaged in a long-term extramarital affair raises questions beyond will-he-or-won't-he drop out.

One of the big ones?

Which candidate in the still-crowded GOP field would benefit most if Cain ends his White House quest?

We put that question to Republicans in the early contest states of Iowa, which will hold its caucuses Jan. 3, and New Hampshire, where the nation's first primary will be held Jan. 10. What we heard wasn't all that surprising.

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The Salt
5:08 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

A Dissolving Fruit Sticker That Claims Super Soap Powers

Courtesy of Amron Experimental

Scott Amron really doesn't like peeling those little stickers off fruit from the grocery store. "They're pesky and annoying and they create waste," he tells The Salt. So, he decided to do something about it.

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Election 2012
4:34 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Political Affairs Now An Open Book

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, seen here in Concord, N.H., earlier this month, is reassessing his campaign after denying allegations this week that he engaged in a long-term affair.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:13 am

There's a difference between news that's in the public interest and news that the public is interested in. But that difference has been eradicated when it comes to sex scandals involving presidential candidates.

There was a time when affairs involving candidates for the nation's highest office were not generally considered fit subjects for media scrutiny. In the current media environment, however — and in the wake of dozens of sex scandals involving politicians in recent years — that's no longer the case.

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Europe
4:22 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Modern Greeks Return To Ancient System Of Barter

In Volos, optician Klita Dimitriadis accepts partial payment in Local Alternative Units, or TEMs. She then spends the TEMs at a monthly farmers market, or exchanges them for other services.
Sylvia Poggoli NPR

It's Sunday in Volos, a fishing village nestled in a large bay in central Greece, and fishermen display their daily catch, which this day includes codfish, sardines and octopus.

Prices have been slashed, but customers are few.

Fisherman Christos Xegandakis laughs bitterly. He says business is so bad, it's time to start swapping goods.

"Give me two kilos of potatoes, and I give you a kilo of fish," he says. "Why not?

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Business
4:21 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Is Bankruptcy 'Business As Usual' For Airlines?

Passengers check in at an American Airlines ticketing counter at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on Tuesday. American's parent company, AMR, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it seeks to cut costs and unload massive debt.
Richard W. Rodriguez AP

As American Airlines struggled to keep up with its rivals in recent years, it could at least boast something that competitors could not: The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier had never gone bankrupt. Not anymore.

On Tuesday, American's parent, AMR Corp., filed for bankruptcy protection, citing $10 billion in loses over the past decade. In a statement, it said it took the step in hopes of bringing down costs and emerging more competitive.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Atlanta Man Wins Lottery For The Second Time In Three Years

Delma Kinney collecting his 2008 jackpot.
screenshot 11 Alive

They say lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice, right? It's also a popular belief that you're more likely to get hit by lightning than to win the lottery.

So, I think we're safe in saying that Delma Kinney, an Atlanta man who will turn 51 Dec. 5, has beat the odds, winning a million-dollar lottery twice in three years.

The AP reports:

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Middle East
3:45 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Report Says Syrian Forces Have Killed 256 Children

Syrian has come under increasing international pressure in recent days. On Monday, Syrians protested in the capital Damascus against the Arab League's decision to impose sanctions. Syria has also come under sharp criticism from an independent commission that accused the security forces of systematically carrying out abuses against anti-government demonstrators.
Yin Bogu Xinhua /Landov

An independent commission has released a blistering human rights report that says Syria's security forces have carried out widespread abuses against protesters, including murder and torture.

The commission, appointed by the U.N.'s Human Rights Council, based its report on interviews with more than 220 witnesses or victims of abuse by Syrian security forces. The panel says it collected a solid body of evidence and identified patterns of human rights violations.

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NPR's Back Seat Book Club
3:23 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Kids' Book Club Takes 'Tollbooth' To Lands Beyond

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:14 am

Welcome to the second installment of NPR's Backseat Book Club! Every month, we invite kids to read a book along with us, and then send in their questions for the author.

Our book club selection for November is a classic that's celebrating a big anniversary. The Phantom Tollbooth — written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer — was published 50 years ago. Juster tells NPR's Michele Norris that the story sprang from his own childhood.

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