Republican voters may have saved the best for last in terms of the latest obstacle they've placed between Mitt Romney and what was supposed to have been his inevitable march to the 2012 Republican presidential nomination — Newt Gingrich.
Essentially written off after his campaign seemingly imploded last summer and because of the manifest personal baggage he brings to a presidential campaign, Gingrich stuck around long enough to have his moment, to catch fire after Herman Cain flamed out.
Police in two of the nation's largest cities moved in overnight to sweep away the camps of Occupy protesters. In Philadelphia, protesters marched through the streets; about 50 were arrested. In Los Angeles, hundreds of police deployed from City Hall and took control of a camp nearby, with more than 200 arrests. Steve Inskeep talks with Frank Stoltze of member station KPCC, who was been watching the developments in L.A.
Now, the Occupy protests have focused on economic issues, which are also motivating a massive strike in Britain today. It is being described as the largest national strike in a generation. It is estimated that as many as 2 million public sector workers may be taking part, the latest in a wave of protests over austerity measures.
NPR's Philip Reeves is covering that story in London. And Philip, where are you?
The Federal Reserve joined other major central banks Wednesday in a coordinated effort to shore up the global financial system. The move comes at a time when credit is becoming tighter, especially in Europe, because of doubts about the health of big banks.
A Democratic state representative in Arizona thinks it's wrong for a Scottsdale gun club to be giving folks, including children, a chance to have their photos taken with Santa Claus while "holding pistols and military-style rifles," The Associated Press says.
State Rep. Steve Farley says "to involve machine guns and Santa in a celebration in the birth of Jesus Christ is the worst kind of heresy I can imagine."
Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 8:43 am
Hillary Rodham Clinton has arrived in Myanmar for the first visit in more than 50 years by a U.S. secretary of state to the country also known as Burma — an isolated nation known for its brutal military dictatorship, but where there have been recent moves that may signal its leaders are ready to pay greater respect to human rights and give people a say in how they're governed.
The Federal Reserve and five of the world's other major central banks just announced "coordinated actions ... to ease strains in financial markets" and make more credit available to consumers and businesses by pumping money into the global financial system.
"A huge spectrum" of government workers in the United Kingdom are striking today to show their anger over austerity plans.
As NPR's Philip Reeves told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep earlier, "teachers, lecturers, immigration staff, tax officials, ambulance crews, midwifes, road sweepers, weather forecasters, librarians and many more" are planning to take part in what's being called Britain's biggest general strike in a generation.
Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 1:12 pm
The Occupy L.A. campsite near Los Angeles' city hall is "in shambles" this morning after police moved in to clear out protesters who had been ordered to leave, the Los Angeles Times writes. Tents have been "uprooted and strewn all over," the newspaper says.
Elvis Costello's box set includes three CD's, a vinyl record and a coffee table book. To get all this, however, you are asked to pay $225. Costello seems to be shocked. On a website, he declares, "we are unable to recommend this lovely item as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.