National News

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The man who authorities said could not be charged with a crime will now face charges.

MONTAGNE: George Zimmerman is expected in court today in Sanford, Florida. Special prosecutor Angela Corey says she plans to charge him with second-degree murder for shooting an unarmed high school student.

Business News

Apr 12, 2012

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a big fine for Johnson & Johnson.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: So much for no more tears. A judge in Arkansas ordered the company most famous for its baby shampoo to by more than a billion dollars in fines yesterday over its marketing for a very different product. That would be an antipsychotic drug, Risperdal.

Money-Losing Sony Plans To Cut 10,000 Jobs

Apr 12, 2012

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is starring in a Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman. He talks to Steve Inskeep about the Arthur Miller play which premiered in 1949.

Why Didn't Passengers Panic On The Titanic?

Apr 12, 2012

As the Titanic was sinking and women and children climbed into lifeboats, the cellist and violinist from the ship's band stood and played. They died when the ship went down. Men stood on the deck and smoked cigars. They died, too.

This behavior is puzzling to economists, who like to believe that people tend to act in their own self interest.

"There was no pushing and shoving," says David Savage, an economist at Queensland University in Australia who has studied testimony from the survivors. It was "very, very orderly behavior."

Prospective jurors head to court in North Carolina on Thursday to find out whether they'll be chosen to sit in judgment of former U.S. Sen. John Edwards.

Only four years ago, Edwards was running for the White House as a Democratic candidate. Now, he's a defendant, fighting campaign finance charges that could send him away for as long as 30 years.

Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians are at a standstill and have been for almost two years. The stated aim of those negotiations is what is known as the "two-state solution," which means the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state existing in peace alongside Israel.

But as hopes for an agreement diminish, Palestinians — and even some Israelis — are now talking about other solutions to the conflict. Among them, the so-called "one-state solution."

Mike Huckabee fell short four years ago in his quest to become the Republican presidential nominee. As of this week, the former Arkansas governor has a new job: national radio talk show host.

The Mike Huckabee Show started Monday with an anticipatory flourish.

"Welcome to the community of conversation. You've just made a right turn, and you've arrived at the corner of conservatism and common sense," he said. "In this show, we're going to be confronting the issues — not the listeners."

In the teeming city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, millions of people have no reliable water supply.

Many of the underground pipes that did exist were ruptured by the 2010 earthquake. Many public water kiosks are dry.

Colombia was once associated with cocaine trafficking and powerful drug lords, but today's reality is different: It's stable, a magnet for foreign investment and diplomatically engaged — and this weekend hosts the Summit of the Americas. Increasingly, Colombia is seen as South America's rising star.

Scientists who watch for earthquakes have discovered a big increase in the number of small quakes in the middle of the country. It's an area that's usually pretty quiet geologically.

The scientists suspect the quakes are caused by wastewater wells. They plan to discuss their findings later this month at a seismology conference, but they've shared the basics with NPR.

Bill Ellsworth, a seismologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, says new technology over the past decade has given scientists a much better feel for when the Earth shakes.

Mitt Romney was on the attack Wednesday, using a specific statistic to back up his claim that women, especially, have suffered economically under President Obama.

"Over 92 percent of the jobs lost under this president were lost by women," Romney said on Fox News. "His policies have been really a war on women."

The Romney campaign claims that 92.3 percent of those who have lost jobs during the Obama administration are women. It's a claim the campaign has made in speeches, on Twitter and on the Romney website.

George Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Audie Cornish speaks with former federal prosecutor Brett Meltzer about the legal aspects of the case going forward.

TEDMED Takes Its Big Health Tent To Washington

Apr 11, 2012

The phenomenon that is TEDMED has rolled into the nation's capital. And I'm camped out at the Kennedy Center for the nerdfest.

What's the big deal? I'm still trying to figure that out as the meeting is well into its second day. It's an event, that's for sure, and it's supposed to be a way for people who care a lot about health care to get together and make some headway on thorny problems.

Never one to shrink from controversy, Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., says he believes scores of his Democratic House colleagues are members of the Communist Party.

George Zimmerman, who says he killed unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin in self-defense, has been arrested and will face a charge of second-degree murder, says State Attorney Angela Corey, the special prosecutor investigating Martin's death.

Corey said that Zimmerman turned himself in to the authorities Wednesday.

Two U.S. Marines have been killed and two others injured when the V-22 Osprey they were in crashed Wednesday during a training exercise in Morocco.

NPR's Larry Abramson is reporting that the reservists were part of a Marine unit participating in the annual African Lion exercise with the Moroccan military. The two severely injured Marines are being treated in country.

More information about those killed and wounded will be released after the notification of next of kin.

The cause of the crash is still being investigated, but NPR's Abramson notes:

A retirement crisis is looming. As people live longer, one study finds that half of all households are at risk of coming up short on retirement money. And while many working households may feel they simply don't have enough to spare for retirement, experts say some of the biggest barriers to saving up are psychological.

One of the sharpest dividing lines emerging between President Obama and GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is the budget introduced in Congress by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., with its sharp cuts in domestic spending and lower tax rates.

Both sides see it as a winning issue for the fall campaign. The Obama campaign likes to call it the "Romney-Ryan budget" — and Romney hasn't objected.

On the campaign trail in Wisconsin, Ryan was a constant presence with Romney before that state's April 3 Republican primary, which Romney won.

As they sought to quell a November protest at the University of California-Davis, campus police officers' "decision to use pepper spray was not supported by objective evidence and not authorized by policy," according to a review of the incident released Wednesday.

Since mid-February, the University of Pittsburgh has received more than 50 bomb threats, and while they've all been false alarms, they have succeeded in disrupting campus life. Tighter security measures are now in place, but the threats continue, and students are wondering how they'll be able to make up class work and prepare for final exams.

As North Korea reaches the final stage of preparations for a long-range rocket launch, concern is growing that it is in the early stages of preparing its underground test site for another nuclear explosion.

Pyongyang established the pattern three years ago when it tested a similar rocket and then followed it a month later with a nuclear test.

This time around, there may be a more urgent need to test a nuclear device. The bomb is very likely the result of a significant expansion of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

At the end of the month, President Obama will deliver a string of punch lines at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. It's an annual tradition, a chance for the man at the top of the pyramid to poke fun at his political opponents and himself.

Humor is an essential tool in any politician's kit — all the more so in an age of instant, constant media. It can disarm an opponent, woo a skeptical voter or pierce an argument. This year, both Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney are using it to try to win the upper hand in the presidential race.

There's a gold rush under way on the East Coast of the U.S. for tiny baby eels known as elvers. Fishermen in Maine and South Carolina are reaping profits upward of $2,000 per pound for the fish that are considered a delicacy in Japan.

Elvers have an almost ghostly appearance in the water — their bodies are a cloudy white, skinny as a cocktail straw and no longer than your finger. They look like tiny snakes as they squiggle through the water.

Five-Time Olympic Archer Giving It One More Shot

Apr 11, 2012

One of America's most accomplished Olympians is a man you've probably never heard of — a 56-year-old athlete who is trying to give the Olympics one more go.

Butch Johnson is working on qualifying for his sixth Olympics trip, but the unassuming archer spends most of his time managing a shooting range in Connecticut.

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