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Politics
4:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Obama To Release Fiscal 2013 Budget Next Week

President Obama will unveil his budget for the next fiscal year on Monday. To find out more about the budget proposal, Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel, economics editor at The Wall Street Journal.

Business
4:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Kodak To Stop Making Digital Cameras

The company will instead focus on home photo printers, high-speed commercial ink jet presses and software. Other companies may license the Kodak brand for cameras, and some disposables will still be out there.

Business
4:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Advocates Not Impressed With Foreclosure Settlement

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 8:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

Here's a sign of just how huge the housing and foreclosure crisis has been. Five big banks agreed to pay about $25 billion to people who've been harmed bank's abuses, plus an extra billion to settle a claim involving a mortgage company. And one of the first reactions is that all that money could not possibly be enough.

President Obama says the banks will spread the money around.

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Monkey See
12:01 am
Fri February 10, 2012

How One George Lucas Fan Takes Fan Filmmaking Into His Own Hands

One of the posters promoting Jamie Benning's latest fan documentary, Raiding The Lost Ark.
Jamie Benning

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 9:09 am

Blame Jar Jar Binks.

If George Lucas had never created that annoying, slapstick-prone CGI character in The Phantom Menace, history would be different. No amount of "meesa so sorry" can make up for this abomination. And to add insult to injury, Lucas is sending a 3D Jar Jar Binks into theaters on February 10th.

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The Salt
12:01 am
Fri February 10, 2012

How Two Bitter Adversaries Hatched A Plan To Change The Egg Business

At the JS West egg farm, south of Modesto, Calif., one chicken house has the new, spacious cages that egg producers and animal welfare advocates say keep chickens happier.
Big Dutchman

Gene Gregory and Wayne Pacelle are the odd couple of American agriculture.

"We were adversaries. Some might say bitter adversaries,"
says Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Rules Requiring Contraceptive Coverage Have Been In Force For Years

In 2002, state lawmakers in Massachusetts approved legislation requiring most employers to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. One of the groups pushing for the law was the Coalition for Choice, led by Melissa Kogut (center).
Lawrence Jackson AP

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 8:31 am

There's been no let-up in the debate about the Obama administration's rule requiring most employers to provide prescription birth control to their workers without additional cost.

Here's the rub: The only truly novel part of the plan is the "no cost" bit.

The rule would mean, for the first time, that women won't have to pay a deductible or copayment to get prescription contraceptives.

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Politics
12:01 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Catholics Split Over Obama Contraceptive Order

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 9:02 am

The conflict between the Catholic Bishops and the White House over contraceptive coverage has American Catholics choosing sides.

Catholics narrowly support the White House position in polls. There are potential political consequences: In presidential elections, Catholics are swing voters. They supported Al Gore in 2000, President George W. Bush in '04 and President Obama in '08.

The GOP presidential hopefuls are certainly using this issue. Framing it as a question of religious freedom is a guaranteed way to fire up the conservative base.

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Performing Arts
12:01 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Colonial History, Through The Eyes Of The Colonized

Pascale Armand plays Jekesai, later christened as Ester, who's taken in by a black Catholic missionary when she flees an arranged marriage in 1890s Rhodesia.
T. Charles Erickson McCarter Theatre

Actor and writer Danai Gurira sometimes refers to herself as a "Zimerican": She was born in Iowa, but spent most of her childhood in Harare, Zimbabwe — where her new play, The Convert, is set.

"I grew up there from age 5 to 19," Gurira says. "I'm back there every year, but I feel like there are things that I had to dig out through this process of creating this play."

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Around the Nation
12:01 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Nuclear Safety, Costs Loom Over OK'd Reactors

Steam rises from the cooling towers of nuclear reactors at Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro, Ga. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved Southern Co.'s application to begin full construction of the nation's first new nuclear units since 1978 at Plant Vogtle.
Mary Ann Chastain AP

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 11:56 am

The nuclear industry is celebrating the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission's decision to give the go-ahead for a utility company to build two new nuclear reactors in Georgia, the first license to be granted for a new reactor in the U.S. since 1978. But last year's accident at reactors in Fukushima, Japan, still clouds the future of nuclear power, as does the cost of new power plants.

Southern Co. will build the reactors at its Vogtle site in Georgia, where two older reactors already operate.

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The Record
12:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

What The Grammys Say About Pop Music Now

Skrillex at the Sasquatch Music Festival in May.
C Flanigan FilmMagic

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 9:34 am

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The Two-Way
6:38 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Muslim Brotherhood Wants To Sack Military-Appointed Government In Egypt

In the aftermath of a deadly soccer riot, the most organized political group in Egypt called for the sacking of the interim government appointed by the military.

The Muslim Brotherhood said today that the military had failed to lead the country and provide security and economic stability.

The AP reports:

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Economy
5:41 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Birthplace Of 'Robo-Signing' Eyes Deal Critically

A for-sale sign hangs in front of a Homestead, Fla., home. In 2009, Florida lawyer Tom Ice deposed a bank employee who admitted to signing hundreds of mortgage documents in a day without reading them.
J. Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 6:57 pm

From the beginning, Florida lawyer Tom Ice says he realized the mass signing of mortgages was more than just a paperwork problem.

"I suspected then, and I suspect now, that we were really just touching the tip of the iceberg," he says.

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It's All Politics
5:09 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

The GOP's 'Meh' Moment On Full Display At Conservative Confab

Enthusiasm for the candidates may have been low, but their portraits were on display at the American Conservative Union's annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Thursday.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 5:20 pm

The Republican presidential candidates won't argue their cases to thousands of conservatives gathered in Washington until Friday when Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are scheduled to speak.

(Ron Paul is skipping the event.)

But if Thursday's opening day of the American Conservative Union's annual star-studded Conservative Political Action Conference — CPAC — is any indication, they all have a lot of persuading to do.

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It's All Politics
5:05 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

At CPAC, Hard Lines On Race And Immigration Could Be Awkward

A note to the Republican presidential candidates heading to Washington for the Conservative Political Action Conference: some of the events could make you uncomfortable if you're planning to tack to the center in your general election campaign.

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Music Interviews
5:04 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Sharon Van Etten: Hypnotically Complicated

Sharon Van Etten's third album, Tramp, comes out Feb. 7.
Dusdin Condren

Like most pop singers, Sharon Van Etten seems to love repetition — a technique used aggressively in ad jingles and Top 40 hits, but also in more hypnotic and emotionally complicated ways. Van Etten's new record, Tramp, is full of repeated riffs, drones and phonemes, and they're more intense and emotionally packed than ever. Songs like "Serpents" display her expansive voice and coiled songwriting, and are earning Van Etten a good deal of attention.

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It's All Politics
5:03 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Why Estimating Delegate Counts Could Backfire

When it comes to counting GOP delegates this year, there seem to be as many different tallies as there have been primary contests. NPR launched its own delegate tracker this week. As we noted on Wednesday, it only counts delegates officially awarded by state or party rule.

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NPR Story
5:00 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Comparing The Candidates Tax Plans

GOP presidential candidates (from left) Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul place their hands over their hearts during the national anthem at the start of a debate in Florida last month.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 5:00 pm

Cutting taxes is part of the DNA of the modern Republican Party. All four of the remaining GOP candidates for president have proposed steep cuts in business and personal taxes, and it sometimes seems like Republicans are competing to show the most enthusiasm for tax cuts.

At a debate last month, former Sen. Rick Santorum said tax cuts were needed to get the economy thriving again — even if they benefit the wealthy.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Protesters At Apple Stores Demand 'Ethical' Products

Sarah Ryan, left, and Shelby Knox, with Change.org arrive at the Apple store at Grand Central to deliver petitions asking Apple to change its manufacturing practices.
Mary Altaffer AP

In an effort to protest the working conditions in the Chinese factories that make Apple products, demonstrators delivered a petition to six different Apple stores in four different countries.

The petition, which asks the country to make "ethical" products, included about 250,000 signatures. Organizers said they were delivering them to Apple stores in Bangalore, London, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Sydney and New York City.

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It's All Politics
4:59 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Young Republicans Gather In Washington — And Eye An Opportunity In November

President Obama greets students after speaking at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Jan 27. Young Republicans say they see an opportunity in 2012 to dent Obama's popularity among the youngest voters.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

As the annual Conservative Political Action Conference began Thursday in the nation's capital, NPR's Michel Martin spoke to young Republicans who explained how they hope this year to change the dynamics from 2008, when young voters flocked to Barack Obama.

Their strategy? Focus on the economy.

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Law
4:50 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Gay Marriage Opponents Take Battle To The Ballot

Gov. Chris Gregoire (left) embraces Rep. Jamie Pedersen, a Seattle Democrat, after the Washington state House voted Wednesday to legalize gay marriage.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 6:15 pm

Washington may soon become the seventh state to legalize gay marriage. Lawmakers passed the bill Wednesday, and it has the governor's support.

Before it takes effect, though, it's likely to face a referendum challenge in November. Same-sex marriage will be on the ballot in a handful of states this year, and supporters have yet to win a statewide vote.

The 'Sanctity Of Marriage'

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The Salt
4:46 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

More Than Miso: Food Writer In Japan Records Struggling Region's Cuisine

Peeled persimmon is a traditional food of Tohoku.
Kyodo /Landov

If there was a Julia Child of Japanese cooking — a witty and passionate interpreter of the cuisine — Elizabeth Andoh would fit the bill nicely.

As an exchange student back in the 1960s, Andoh came to Japan from New York to pursue anthropology. She fell in love, but not just with a local businessman. She is also devoted to parsing and explaining the finer points of Japanese cuisine to the rest of the world, as a writer for Gourmet, cookbook author and culinary teacher in suburban Tokyo.

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Movie Reviews
4:30 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

'Chico And Rita' And All That Jazz

Havana Heat: The title characters meet cute and swing hard in Chico and Rita, an animated love story with an infectious Latin groove.
GKIDS

In the 11 years since the Oscars introduced an award for Best Animated Feature, the category has been dominated by children's movies, often with computer-animated pandas, penguins and ogres at their center. This year's a little different. Two of the animated films are subtitled, and one is definitely aimed at adults: the Spanish film Chico and Rita, an animated love story steeped in jazz.

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Monkey See
4:29 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

George Clooney On Acting, Fame, And Putting Down Your Cellphone Camera

George Clooney as Matt King, Shailene Woodley as Alexandra King, and Nick Krause as Sid in The Descendants.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 1:04 pm

George Clooney is nominated for two Oscars this year — for his lead role in The Descendants and for co-writing the adapted screenplay for The Ides Of March, which he also directed. He speaks to Robert Siegel on today's All Things Considered about film, but also about the life he lives as one of Hollywood's most famous men.

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Religion
4:28 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Bishops Stand Strong Against Birth Control Mandate

A bishop grasps his pectoral cross during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore on Nov. 14, 2011.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 6:15 pm

The Obama administration has drawn fierce criticism over a new rule requiring religiously affiliated charities, universities and hospitals to provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plans. Now, that mandate has created a stalemate between American Catholic bishops and the White House that shows few signs of easing.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:22 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

When Flu Pandemics Hit, Closing Schools Can Slow Spread

Students at a University of London class in Mexico City wear masks to protect them against swine flu in May 2009. High schools and universities closed by the pandemic had just reopened across Mexico.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 5:46 am

Everyone knows that when your kids get the flu, they stay home from school.

But what does it take to justify closing the school down entirely? That's a question we should probably answer before the next big pandemic hits.

At one point during the swine flu outbreak in 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, "The potential benefits of preemptively dismissing students from school are often outweighed by negative consequences," such as disruption of classes and hassles for parents.

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