This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
Visa, MasterCard and some of the biggest banks in the U.S. have agreed to a historic settlement of more than $6 billion in a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of more than 7 million merchants. NPR's Steve Henn has been reviewing this settlement agreement. He joins me now. And, Steve, what's this case about?
It was one of the few issues, both Republicans and Democrats in Congress agreed on: They were outraged that the uniforms to be worn by U.S. Olympic athletes at the London Summer Games were made in China.
As we told you, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went so far as to say that the Olympic committee should "put [the uniforms] in a big pile and burn them."
Once upon a time — just a few weeks ago, in fact — the story of Bain Capital was a useful and easy one for Mitt Romney. His years running the private equity firm had taught him how jobs are created, a skill he would bring with him to the White House.
And what of the negative consequences from Bain's involvement in various companies? The layoffs? The plant closings? The outsourcing of jobs to China?
Mitt Romney is the most famous Mormon running for office this fall. But he's far from the only one.
In Arizona, two other members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Rep. Jeff Flake and businessman Wil Cardon — are vying for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.
All three candidates have said they'll be tough on immigration. And while Mormons in Arizona have been closely identified with conservative politics, the immigration debate has exposed a rare divide on the issue.
When a private firm failed to meet its promise of providing enough guards for the Olympics, the British military was called in to "mind the gap" in security.
But even though the government is bringing in those troops — as well as RAF Typhoon combat jets, surface-to-air missiles on rooftops, and an aircraft carrier on the River Thames — organizers say it will still look like the Summer Games, and not war games.
It's not often that one of the world's biggest companies says, "We goofed."
But in a surprising turn of events Friday, Apple admitted it made a mistake in pulling out of an environmental rating system for computers and other electronics. The company said it would rejoin the so-called EPEAT certification system, placing all 39 of its originally certified products back on the list. The company is also requesting certification for more products, including its new MacBook Pro model.
Visa and Mastercard have announced that they will pay retailers more than $6 billion to settle several class-action and individual lawsuits retailers have filed since 2005.
According to a Wall Street Journal story from earlier this month, the settlement stems from complaints that Visa and MasterCard, the largest card-payments networks in the world, prohibited retailers from imposing surcharges to customers using those credit cards.
As the financial crisis began to unfold in 2007, the New York Federal Reserve learned that some banks might have intentionally underestimated the rates they expected to pay for loans from other banks.
Documents the New York Fed released Friday, in response to a request from Congress, show that the banking regulator began to be concerned about the accuracy of LIBOR — or the London Interbank Offered Rate — late in 2007.
This week, one of the biggest coal mining companies in Central Appalachia, Patriot Coal, filed for bankruptcy protection. Over the past three months, a wave of layoffs has hit coal country hard, and this past month, the share of all U.S. electricity generated from coal hit its lowest level since the 1940s. Our colleague Guy Raz visited Webster County in the middle of West Virginia to find out what's killing King Coal.
David Rowell is an editor with The Washington Post. His first novel, The Train of Small Mercies, is just out in paperback.
When I was growing up in North Carolina, my family went to the same beach every year; it had the sand, the water and pretty much nothing else. Mostly that was OK, but the idea of a boardwalk, which I caught glimpses of on TV or in movies, seemed wondrous to me — like a carnival rolled out from a wooden carpet.
The fate of Texas' new voter ID law is now up to a three-judge federal panel in Washington, D.C.
Lawyers for Texas and the Justice Department wrapped up five days of arguments in U.S. District Court Friday, with each side accusing the other of using deeply "flawed" data to show whether minorities would be unfairly hurt by a photo ID requirement.
In Germany, the past few weeks have been marked by an intense debate over religious liberties.
Today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel jumped into the fray saying her administration would work to protect religious circumcision.
"It is absolutely clear to the federal government that we want Jewish, we want Muslim religious life in Germany. Circumcisions carried out in a responsible way must not be subject to prosecution in this country," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters.
Al-Qaida has been subtly testing a new strategy. In the past couple of years, the group's affiliates have been trying their hand at governing — actually taking over territory and then trying to win over citizens who live there. It happened with various degrees of success in Somalia and Yemen, and recently in the northern deserts of Mali.
NPR and the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) have learned that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Labor Department are putting together a team of agency experts and lawyers to specifically consider how to bolster coal mine dust enforcement given the statutory and regulatory weaknesses detailed by NPR and CPI this week in stories about the resurgence of black lung.
When McDonald's cut a deal to make itself the exclusive purveyor of french fries and the similar (but please don't say matching) chips at the 2012 Olympic Games in London later this month, it may not have anticipated the flurry of responses. Foodies raged, nutritionists nagged, and many called it another example of an American cultural takeover.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If you're out shooting hoops this summer or you're going for a jog, you know it won't be long before you're sopping wet and, you know, it's really sweaty out there. And where's all that sweat coming from? Your body's water supply, of course. You have to replenish those fluids if you sweat a lot. But it's not as simple as the old eight-glasses-a-day mantra. How much should you really drink? Too much water, you can die, as has happened to marathon runners who chugged too much water during the race.
Reporting in Science, two teams of scientists say they were unable to replicate the results of a 2010 study claiming to have found 'alien life' on Earth--a bacterium that could build its DNA using arsenic. Science journalist Carl Zimmer talks about how the controversy played out online, and how science corrects itself.
Reporting in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, researchers write that extreme heat waves, such as the one last year in Texas, are 20 times more likely today than they were in the 1960s. NOAA climatologist Tom Peterson discusses what future climate change may bring.
Researchers have found a fridge-free way to store vaccines and antibiotics. Biomedical engineer David Kaplan, senior author of the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, discusses how heat-sensitive drugs wrapped in silk stay effective for months at high temperatures.
What makes some types of cancer resistant to drugs? Reporting in Nature, researchers write that cancer cells may be dodging treatment with help from seemingly innocent bystanders. Cancer researcher Todd Golub discusses how a tumor's microenvironment may affect its behavior.
California lawmakers gave the green light to the first phase of construction of high-speed rail in the state. Does this mean that America is on track for faster, sleeker trains? What potential speed bumps still lie ahead? Railroad engineer Christopher Barkan discusses the costs, benefits and state of the technology.