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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Ban On Insider Trading By Lawmakers Passes House, Heads To Obama's Desk

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 12:39 pm

By a nearly unanimous vote this morning the House passed the STOCK Act, which as NPR's Tamara Keith has reported, "would, among other things, explicitly ban insider trading for members of Congress and their staffs."

The vote was 417-2, with 14 members absent. The two nay votes were from Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., and Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga.

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Anti-Government Protests Roil Egypt
12:24 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Wael Ghonim: Creating A 'Revolution 2.0' In Egypt

One year ago, Wael Ghonim spoke with reporters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, as protests there continued.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 1:32 pm

The protests that led to the Egyptian revolution last year were organized in part by an anonymous Facebook page administrator. When the police found out who he was, they arrested and interrogated him. After his release, Wael Ghonim became the public face of the Egyptian revolution.

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Fresh Air Weekend
12:22 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Meryl Streep, Yoga

Meryl Streep stars as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Phyllida Lloyd's The Iron Lady.
The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Sat February 11, 2012 11:58 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Gorbachev: Russia's Putin Has 'Exhausted' Himself

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev delivers a lecture entitled "My Life in Politics" at the International University in Moscow on Thursday.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 12:25 pm

The former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev says if things don't change in Russia after it holds presidential elections, there will be more protests.

In a lecture at Moscow's International University on Thursday, Gorbachev also had some harsh words for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

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History
12:19 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Historian Seeks Artifacts From Lincoln's Last Days

This drawing of Abraham Lincoln by editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast was published in Harper's Magazine in 1865.
Courtesy Harper's Magazine

Historian Noah Andre Trudeau is known for uncovering secrets of the Civil War. His previous books, Bloody Roads South and Gettysburg, have unveiled information about Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's march to the sea in 1864, and the legacy of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Now, in preparation for a book about a largely unexamined period of President Abraham Lincoln's life, Trudeau is in search of witnesses.

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Movie Reviews
12:11 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

'Safe House,' 'Haywire': Watch Them Back To Back

Mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano stars as Mallory Kane, a highly trained covert operative, in a twisty, tautly wrought thriller.
Claudette Barius Relativity Media

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 12:19 pm

The flashy Denzel Washington thriller Safe House will probably gross in a few hours what Steven Soderbergh's Haywire has made in several weeks, but if you like action you ought to catch both back to back. Soderbergh's film is a reaction to the jangled, high-impact style of Safe House and its ilk.

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Election 2012
12:00 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Conservatives Hope To Reach Hard-Pressed Youth

Young conservatives are bringing new energy to this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with a panel called, "Why Am I Living in My Parent's Basement?" Host Michel Martin talks with two young people attending, about how they hope to bring under-30 voters to their side of the aisle.

World
12:00 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

'We Are Still Awake,' Says Egyptian Protester

It's been nearly one year since Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, and the country is still experiencing the growing pains of transition. Last year, host Michel Martin spoke with a young protester minutes after Mubarak's resignation. Now, Martin catches up with her again to see if she's still optimistic about changes in her country.

It's All Politics
11:55 am
Thu February 9, 2012

House Passes Bill That Would Ban Insider Trading By Lawmakers

The House on Thursday passed a bill that would ban congressional insider trading. The STOCK Act passed overwhelmingly, 417-2, despite some partisan disagreements over its scope.

With congressional approval at all-time lows, the bill was widely seen by lawmakers as a small step in restoring public confidence. But differences remain to be worked out with a Senate measure, passed last week, before a bill could be sent to President Obama.

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It's All Politics
11:29 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Another Senate Campaign Could See SuperPAC Truce (Or Not)

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 11:48 am

It might seem like the equivalent of trying to bail the ocean with a bucket but we now have another major race, the U.S. Senate race in Montana, in which the idea of a self-imposed truce by the candidates on superPAC money in the race has come up.

Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat, sent a letter to Rep. Denny Rehberg, the Republican who seeks to unseat him, requesting a truce on outside money funding negative ads for their campaigns, meaning superPACs.

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The Salt
11:20 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Trans Fats Are Leaving The Food Supply And The Body, Study Finds

A vending cart with breakfast foods in New York City. In 2008, the city expanded its trans-fat ban from spreads and frying oils to baked goods, frozen foods, and doughnuts.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 11:22 am

Remember trans fats? And the big campaigns to get them out of burgers, fries and all kinds of baked goods?

Well, those campaigns seem to have worked.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Women In Combat: Inevitable?

American soldiers Kris Kuntz (left) and Hayley Barner in Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, last October.
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 7:43 pm

The word that Pentagon rules may soon "catch up a bit with reality" as the military considers formally allowing women to do something that they've already been asked to do in Iraq and Afghanistan — serve close to the front lines but technically not "in combat" — raises a question.

As NPR's Tom Bowman reports, the new rules still wouldn't allow women to serve in front line combat jobs such as infantry, armor or Special Forces.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:42 am
Thu February 9, 2012

International Meeting On Controversial Bird Flu Research Draws Near

H5N1 avian flu viruses (seen in gold) grow inside canine kidney cells (seen in green).
Cynthia Goldsmith CDC

The World Health Organization has just one week left to prepare for a highly anticipated meeting on controversial bird flu research. One official says that 22 invitations have gone out and the WHO is still waiting to hear back from some of the invitees.

Recent experiments involving the H5N1 bird flu virus have caused a furor in the science community, and the WHO was urged to convene an international discussion.

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It's All Politics
8:51 am
Thu February 9, 2012

With Lull In GOP Race, Candidates Fan Out And Regroup

Mitt Romney took his campaign to Newt Gingrich's turf on Wednesday with a rally in Atlanta.
Erik S. Lesser EPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 9:38 am

After a surprise sweep of Tuesday's three election contests by Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney headed to Georgia on Wednesday for a fundraiser and rally in Atlanta.

As NPR's Kathy Lohr reports on Morning Edition, heading to Georgia — Newt Gingrich country — was "a bold move" for Romney. "Before a packed crowd at a local tile and flooring company, Romney talked about creating jobs and reducing government spending — and he also took aim at his GOP opponents," Lohr reports.

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Jobless Claims Drop By 15,000

The number of Americans who filed first-time claims for jobless benefits dipped to 358,000 last week, down by 15,000 from a revised 373,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

At 358,000, claims were the lowest they've been since March 2008.

The "four-week moving average" number of claims was "366,250, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week's revised average of 377,250."

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Settlement Reached With Banks On Relief For Some Homeowners

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 12:46 pm

"After negotiating through the night," NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, states attorneys general, federal officials and five major banks have agreed on a plan that will provide about $26 billion in mortgage relief and aid to homeowners who got crushed when the housing bubble burst.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Thu February 9, 2012

More Deaths Today In Syrian City Of Homs, Residents Say

A Syrian rebel runs for cover during an exchange of fire with army troops in Idlib, Syria.
AP

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 8:23 am

"Syrian forces fired mortars and rockets Thursday in the rebellious city of Homs, the latest salvo in a weeklong assault that has killed hundreds as President Bashar Assad's regime tries to crush increasingly militarized pockets of dissent," The Associated Press reports.

Relying on reports from activists and residents in Homs, the AP and other news outlets say it appears that a brutal crackdown continues.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Thu February 9, 2012

AP: First 10 States Granted Waivers From 'No Child Left Behind'

Following up on a plan he unveiled last September to let states apply to be exempt from basic elements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law, President Obama will today announce the first 10 states that have qualified for such exemptions.

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Around the Nation
7:04 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Wisconsin Couple Marks 80 Years Of Marriage

Roy Fleming, 100, was 20 when he exchanged vows with his bride Dorothy, who was 15. The secret to their long marriage? Dorothy jokes that she's the boss.

Games & Humor
7:00 am
Thu February 9, 2012

British Awards Honor Year's Best Jokes

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR Story
4:00 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Does Russia Have A Cogent Middle East Strategy?

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 11:27 am

Russia's support for Syrian President Bashar Assad has put it at odds with other countries in the Arab world.

Russia drew a lot of flack from Arab countries and the West when it vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at pressuring Assad to stop his crackdown on protesters. That has some analysts in Russia doubting whether the Kremlin really has a cogent strategy for the Middle East.

The dilemma for Russia policy in the Arab world can be illustrated by two very different events that took place this week.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Thu February 9, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 7:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The big Swiss bank UBS awarded some of its investment bankers millions of dollars in bonuses for their work last year. Now, according to The Wall Street Journal, it's taking some of that money back.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Or clawing it back. That's our last word in business today. Claw back provisions implemented after the financial crisis allow banks to recover bonuses from employees. A trading scandal last year cost UBS more than $2 billion and pushed it into the red.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Obama To Hold Talks With Italy's Prime Minister

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And that settlement is, of course, a priority for President Obama. But so is the debt crisis in Europe. Today, he hosts Italy's new prime minister, the technocrat who succeeded the controversial-but-flamboyant Silvio Berlusconi last fall. Mario Monti has not yet turned around Italy's economy, but as NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, he's changed the government's image abroad.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Business News

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an austerity deal for Greece.

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Election 2012
4:00 am
Thu February 9, 2012

After 3 Wins, Santorum Campaigns In Texas

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 6:33 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Rick Santorum headed in a different direction after his wins on Tuesday.

Here's NPR's Wade Goodwyn in Dallas.

WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: North Texas was a good choice for former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum to keep his campaign's momentum going. He met with evangelical pastors in the morning, Tea Partiers in the afternoon and a Republican women's group at night.

(SOUNDBITE OF MEETING)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It is our pleasure to introduce to you Rick Santorum. Give him a Texas welcome.

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Business
4:00 am
Thu February 9, 2012

States Agree To Bank Settlement

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 6:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

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Afghanistan
4:00 am
Thu February 9, 2012

U.S. Strategy For Afghan War Reaches Critical Stage

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 5:28 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We're going to look now at American military strategy for the war in Afghanistan. There's been some confusion lately about whether American forces would end their combat mission sooner than planned and also about how long the U.S. will remain in Afghanistan. So to try to make sense of it all, we're joined by NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman.

Good morning.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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Around the Nation
12:01 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Arizona Lawmakers Target Public Workers' Unions

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 10:21 am

Labor unions plan to rally in front of the Arizona State Capitol on Thursday afternoon to protest four bills quickly moving through the state Legislature that could make last year's Wisconsin labor laws look modest by comparison.

Three of the four bills restrict the way unions collect dues and the way workers get paid for union activities. The fourth bans collective bargaining between governments and government workers: state and local. Unlike Wisconsin, it affects all government employees, including police and firefighters.

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Asia
12:01 am
Thu February 9, 2012

China Laces Up Its Chuck Taylors

Chuck Taylor All Stars are common on the streets of Shanghai. Xuan Zhihui, 62, a retiree from a state-owned factory, wears her daughter's hand-me-down sneakers, which are 15 years old. She says they're really comfortable.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Stroll along a street in downtown Shanghai for very long, and you're likely to run into someone wearing Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars. One recent afternoon, Xu Jing was heading back from lunch to her job at an ad company in a pair of raspberry-colored Chuck Taylors.

"They have a young image, upbeat and outdoorsy, sporty," said Xu, 27, explaining the appeal. "Young people with an artistic sense prefer Converse."

Xu was accompanied by Chen Xiaolei, a co-worker who owns three pairs of Chuck Taylor high-tops.

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