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Planet Money
12:32 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

The U.S. GDP, Sliced And Diced In Two Graphics

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 6:31 pm

No surprise: The economy grew only sluggishly in April, May and June. The U.S. Commerce Department says gross domestic product — the sum of all goods and services produced in the country — grew by just 1.5 percent in the second quarter.

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Asia
12:27 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Pay, Not Play, Fuels British Invasion Of Chinese Soccer

Federico Macheda of Manchester United (center) challenges players from Shanghai Shenhua during a friendly match between the two teams in Shanghai, China, on Wednesday.
Hong Wu Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 1:20 pm

On a gray, polluted Beijing morning, parents peer through a fence anxiously at their little darlings' wobbly dribbling skills on the soccer pitch, as they try to score goals against former Manchester City goalkeeper Alex Williams.

Across town, Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta poses gamely with another group of Chinese kids.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

CNN Chief Jim Walton Stepping Down

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 12:18 pm

Saying that the cable news network "needs new thinking," CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton told his staff today that he's stepping down at the end of the year.

In a memo, he said:

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The Salt
11:44 am
Fri July 27, 2012

McDonald's Food Has A Healthy Glow, At Least In China

Tomatoes getting a splash of water reinforces the notion that McDonald's food is wholesome in China, as seen in this video screengrab.
McDonald's China

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:34 am

Here in the U.S., McDonald's food is not usually considered all that healthy. But in China, it is.

That's because Chinese consumers trust American brands more than their own, says Shaun Rein, founder of China Market Research, who studies Chinese consumer behavior. Rein says that in China, McDonald's is seen as providing safe and wholesome food.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
11:37 am
Fri July 27, 2012

It's All Politics, July 26, 2012

Charles Dharapak AP
  • Listen to the Roundup

Mitt Romney figures, why just create gaffes in the United States when I can do the same in Europe? But before he leaves he socks it to the president at the VFW. Also, a look ahead to Tuesday's Republican Senate runoff in Texas. And Alaska Republican Don Young and Hawaii Democrat Mazie Hirono make nice in a most unusual commercial.

Join NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving in the latest installment of the It's All Politics podcast.

The Two-Way
11:17 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Hubig Pies, Landmark New Orleans Bakery, Has Burned Down

Fresh Hubig pies read for delivery in 2007.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:39 am

A bakery that's been producing hand-size, fried fruit pies for hungry folks in and around New Olreans since 1922 is "a total loss" after a blaze today, city fire officials tell The Times-Picayune.

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The Torch
11:11 am
Fri July 27, 2012

'It's What We Have': Spain's Athletes Sigh, And Put On Olympic Uniforms

Taking One For The Team: Field hockey player Alex Fabregas modeled Spain's Olympic outfit in this photo he posted on Twitter. Athletes have been publicly stoic about the colorful clothing, which was provided for free.
Alex Fabregas/Twitter

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 1:56 pm

Spanish Olympians are learning a painful lesson as they suit up for Friday's opening ceremony in London: You get what you pay for.

With Spain on the brink of bankruptcy, its Olympic committee decided to save money this year. It got its Olympic uniforms for free, from the Russian designer Bosco, which also provided kits for the Russian and Ukrainian teams.

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The Torch
10:15 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Place All Metal Objects In The Tray, Please... Oh, Hi Kobe!

As Team USA basketball player Kobe Bryant passed through a security checkpoint Friday, British soldiers were moved to relax a ban on photography in the area.
Vickie Walton-James NPR

We ran into USA Men's basketball at the security sweep today. Yes, even big-time basketball players and coaches must suffer the indignity of the magnetometer. We were all making our way through security into the Main Press Center, where the team was about to meet journalists.

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, coach Mike Krzyzewski and much of the rest of the team seemed to have little trouble getting screened. Assistant coach Nate McMillan may have forgotten to empty his pockets, because he got the pat-down.

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Stories Of The Colorado Victims: Young Artist Was 'Ball Of Joy'

Alexander "AJ" Boik in an undated photo provided by his family.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 6:02 pm

As they're told, we're pointing to some of the stories about the 12 people who died and the 58 who were wounded when a gunman opened fire on July 20 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Click here to see more. As you see others, please share the links in the comment threads.

-- "AJ" Boik, Wanted Everyone To Be Happy:

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The Torch
9:25 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Let's Catch Up: Lighting The Olympic Cauldron, And Angry Fans

This sculpture of a skeletal gymnast stands in London's Olympic Village, where athletes are preparing for today's Opening Ceremony. If you think it's weird, you're not alone.
Alexander Hassenstein AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 1:57 pm

Good morning. Today's lone public Olympic event is the Opening Ceremony, which begins at 4 p.m. EDT. NBC will not air the broadcast until the evening, however, at 7:30 p.m. in all time zones. We'll have a post later about that issue, and how you can watch. For now, here's a rundown of news items:

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Derecho, The Sequel: Storm Roars Over Pennsylvania And New York

Broken trees lying across a truck in Elmira, N.Y., after Thursday's storm.
Heather Ainsworth AP

It didn't leave behind as much destruction or as many downed power lines as the storm that rolled over states from the Midwest through the Mid-Atlantic on June 30, but some news outlets are saying the summer's second derecho struck on Thursday.

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Strange News
7:44 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Freed Inmate Re-Incarcerated For Refusing To Leave

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer with the opposite of a jailbreak. Rodney Dwayne Valentine was released from jail. He asked police officers for a ride to a motel and the officers said no. They told him to call a cab. Instead, Valentine decided to stay put. He refused to leave the jail. The Greensboro News and Record reports that Valentine was then arrested for trespassing. He's back in the slammer. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sports
7:44 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Olympic Gymnasts Take The (Hot Pink) Floor

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

As the U.S. men's gymnastics team struggles to adjust to the London arena, where they will compete, they're thinking more about pink than gold. That's because the competition floor is covered in hot pink. In a room Barbie would love, the men's team says it's not about gender norms but rather an array of colors making it hard to spot the high bars. As one gymnast put it, real men do compete on pink floors.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

The Two-Way
7:38 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Did Economy Slow Further In Second Quarter? We Find Out Today

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 10:01 am

The economy grew at a sluggish 1.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported this morning, down from a 2 percent pace in the first quarter.

This is the bureau's first estimate of GDP growth in the spring months. It will revise the figure twice in coming months. It's now 8:33 a.m. ET. We'll have more about the report shortly.

Update at 10 a.m. ET. The White House Points To String Of Positive Quarters:

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Fri July 27, 2012

In London, The Games Are Afoot

The Olympic Flame as it passed through London on Thursday.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 7:47 am

You've almost surely heard by now:

The London Summer Olympics officially begin today. The opening ceremony, with — we hear — a song from Sir Paul McCartney, some farm animals and "helmeted cyclists wearing giant silvery-blue flapping wings, pedaling around in two huge circles" — is to start just after 4 p.m. ET.

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It's All Politics
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Obama Would Pay More — Romney, A Lot More — If Bush-Era Tax Cuts End

President George W. Bush signs tax cut legislation on June 7, 2001. The cuts from this and a subsequent bill are set to expire at the end of 2012.
Stephen Jaffe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 3:42 pm

An occasional series, Fiscal Cliff Notes breaks down the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and deep automatic spending cuts set to hit around the first of year.


About 80 percent of Americans would see their taxes go up if all the tax cuts signed into law by President George W. Bush were to expire as scheduled at the end of this year. And nearly 100 percent of the highest income earners would have to pay more — including both the Obamas and the Romneys.

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The Torch
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

'Tremendous Honor': Dancing For The World At Olympics Opener

Sasha Feachem (right) will be performing in an urban street dance during the London Olympics' opening ceremony Friday.
Tom Goldman NPR

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:44 am

The London Summer Olympics officially begin today with the opening ceremony. Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire has put together the latest Olympic kickoff spectacle. As NPR's Philip Reeves reported yesterday, a preview video has been released.

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Around the Nation
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

L.A. Council Bans Pot Shops After Regulation Struggle

Pedestrians walk past a medical marijuana dispensary in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles Tuesday. The City Council voted that day to ban marijuana shops outright.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:44 am

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to shut down all of the medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. That's no easy task. There are more than 800 of them — more than the number of Starbucks coffee shops in Los Angeles. But after years of struggling to regulate pot shops, city officials have decided to prohibit them altogether.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

GOP Says Coverage For The Uninsured Is No Longer The Priority

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says covering the uninsured shouldn't be Republicans' top health priority.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:44 am

For decades, the primary goal of those who would fix the U.S. health system has been to help people without insurance get coverage. Now, it seems, all that may be changing. At least some top Republicans are trying to steer the health debate away from the problem of the uninsured.

The shift in emphasis is a subtle one, but it's noticeable.

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Inside Rebel-Held Syria
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

In Syrian Conflict, Both Sides Vie To Control Message

Most civilians have fled the Syrian town of Derat Azza after protracted shelling by Syrian troops. Shops are closed, and rebels are trying to tightly control any information flowing out of the town.
Bunny Coleman for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 8:17 pm

Last of five parts

The most striking thing you see when you drive into the Syrian town of Derat Azza is that it's devoid of ordinary people. Shops are closed, shuttered.

The only people you see seem to be rebels.

It seems like the only difference between this town and others in the area is that the regime made up its mind to target it. And once the regime did, there was nothing the people could do.

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StoryCorps
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

'I Didn't See The Gun, And I Didn't Hear The Bullet'

Edith Green and her granddaughter visited a StoryCorps booth in 2005, where Edith shared her story of surviving a shooting.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:59 am

In 1980, Edith Green, a divorced school teacher, lived alone in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., just north of New York City.

One night, she struck up a friendship with a young man she had met at a friend's house — a relationship that would change her life forever.

"It was a very platonic relationship," she told her granddaughter. "I just didn't see this coming at all."

Edith, 54 at the time, told the man that she would be attending a play with a friend one evening.

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AIDS: A Turning Point
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Greece's Latest Crisis: Rising HIV Cases

Nurse Maria Vatista draws blood from a Greek drug addict for an HIV test in a mobile testing van in Athens last year. HIV infection rates are rising, as Greece's financial crisis has led the government to cut health and social services, including a successful needle exchange program.
Yannis Behrakis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:58 am

One of the alarming consequences of the financial crisis in Greece appears to be a sharp rise in the rate of HIV infection.

The country, which is struggling through a historic debt crisis and a deep recession, still has one of the lowest HIV infection rates in Europe. But budget cuts to health and social services seem to be driving a recent and dramatic increase, especially among injecting drug users.

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Planet Money
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

How To Set Up An Offshore Company

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 2:51 pm

Setting up an offshore company in a tax haven is surprisingly easy. A simple Google search offers up thousands of companies willing to help you do it.

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Poetry
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Honoring The Games, And The Past, With Poetry

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 10:34 pm

In the days of the ancient Greeks, poetry and sport went hand in hand at athletic festivals like the Olympics. Poets sang the praises of athletic champions and, at some festivals, even competed in official events, reciting or playing the lyre. Here at NPR, we're reviving that tradition with our own Poetry Games.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:50 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Two More Nearing AIDS 'Cure' After Bone Marrow Transplants, Doctors Say

Timothy Ray Brown, shown in May 2011 with his dog Jack in San Francisco, is the only man ever known to have been fully cured from AIDS. Brown is known as the "Berlin patient" because he had a bone marrow transplant in a German hospital five years ago.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 1:28 pm

The so-called Berlin patient is famously the only person in the world who has been cured of HIV. But he may soon have company.

Two people in Boston also seem to be free of HIV after undergoing bone marrow transplants for cancer, just as the Berlin patient did five years ago. The crucial difference is that the Boston patients have not yet stopped taking anti-HIV drugs — although that may happen in the coming months.

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