National News

DARPA Explains Crash Of Hypersonic Glider

Apr 23, 2012

The forces on the unmanned hypersonic glider tested last summer by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) were so great that large parts of its skin peeled off causing its emergency system to plunge it into the ocean.

As we reported last August, the Falcon HTV-2 "was shot up on a rocket and right at the edge of space, it separated and glided through the atmosphere at 13,000 mph."

Activist Van Jones served as special adviser to President Obama on green jobs. He resigned in 2009 after media reports questioned his beliefs about the 9/11 attacks. Now, Jones is back with a new book, Rebuild the Dream, outlining his vision for the progressive movement. He speaks with host Michel Martin.

If you're into images of Earth taken from space, NASA has a new video for you. Called Walking on Air, it "features a series of time lapse sequences photographed by the Expedition 30 crew aboard the International Space Station" and is set to the song Walking in the Air by Howard Blake.

While the headlines proclaim that thanks to a new draft agreement the U.S. will continue to defend Afghanistan for a decade after the planned 2014 withdrawal of foreign combat forces from that country, the stories themselves make clear that many of the key details remain to be worked out:

A British winemaker has finally been given official approval to release a limited-edition wine made in collaboration with Malbec grape growers in Argentina, on one condition: It can't sell the wine, or label it a Malbec. Actually, it can't even call it wine at all.

The Chapel Down winery's only option for getting rid of its wine is to give it away as a sample, calling it a "fruit-derived alcoholic beverage from produce sourced outside the EU."

Within the next few days, several more Secret Service agents will lose their jobs because of their roles in the so-called summit scandal during which they allegedly cavorted with prostitutes in Colombia earlier this month, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security said this morning.

The NBA's Ron Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace last year.

But the player known for being at the center of a 2004 brawl in the stands at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan showed Sunday that his new name doesn't mean he's changed all his wild ways.

"Far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen" now has a chance to swing the French presidential election, as France 24 reports, after pulling in 18 percent of the ballots in the first round of voting Sunday.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A precious piece of his childhood is going back to a teenager in Japan. Misaki Murakami and his family lost everything in last year's tsunami. But waves carried his soccer ball, covered in notes from third grade friends, to a beach in Alaska. David Baxter found it there and his Japanese wife translated the writing, including the teenager's name. It will be the first bit of North American tsunami debris officially returned to Japan. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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Now It Snows?

Apr 23, 2012

The Northeast and mid-Atlantic began the cold season with an unusual Halloween snowstorm that knocked out power to millions. And after that? Almost no snow in may parts of those regions.

Just after midnight earlier today, George Zimmerman — the man at the center of a killing that has become a national story because of its racial overtones — was released from the Sanford, Fla., jail where he was being held while awaiting trial.

Artist Tosses Salad For 1,000 People

Apr 23, 2012

As a part of Earth Day celebrations, performance artist Alison Knowles took salad making to the extreme in New York City. Knowles chopped romaine lettuce, carrots and cucumbers to the beat of live music. She then tossed the avalanche of salad off a balcony into a giant tarp, where the salad was served up to audience members.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Renee Montagne is back with us. Renee, welcome back.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Glad to be back, Steve. Thanks.

Let's begin with one of the most colorful European leaders, who is on the verge of losing his job. Nicolas Sarkozy has walked the world stage with his supermodel wife on his arm.

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Now Marco Rubio happens to be one of those regularly mentioned as a possible vice presidential choice for Mitt Romney. And that's where we pick up our discussion with Cokie Roberts, who joins us most Mondays. Cokie, good morning.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: So is the vice presidential choice an opportunity for Romney to appeal to Hispanics?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Next, we have a tale of globalization, how a single fire at a company in Germany could affect business in Detroit or Shanghai.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The company is a chemical plant in a town called Marl. An explosion there killed two people. It was a tragedy, but did not seem to have global significance.

MONTAGNE: Until car companies realized that Marl is vital to their business. NPR's Sonari Glinton explains.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Opponents have intensified a campaign against a group that drafts and promotes bills for state lawmakers to enact. The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, says it stands for limited government, free markets and federalism. The corporate-funded group has promoted much debated ideas - from voter ID rules to stand your ground gun laws.

The Last Word In Business

Apr 23, 2012

The denim store in Kobe, Japan, sells jeans for $350. The store is able to sell a pair of jeans for that price because it's tapped into a Japanese subculture that is obsessed by 1950s Americana.

Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix over the weekend, but in a larger sense the winners were the race organizers. They managed to hold the race which was canceled last year by political unrest, which was part of the uprisings of the Arab Spring. Bill Law, of the British Broadcasting Corporation, talks to Steve Inskeep about the weekend's events in Bahrain.

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NPR's business news starts with an acquisition for Nestle.

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Later this week, we get some key data to help judge the state of the nation's housing market. There are some early signs of recovery, but home prices are still falling in many areas, as NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Tomorrow, we'll get the latest word on home prices from what's called the S&P Case-Shiller index. That keeps showing price declines in many areas. Though those price drops have been leveling off, so things definitely aren't as bad as they were.

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