The European company Airbus reports it took a record number of orders in 2011 — more than 1,400. The surge was driven by demand for its revamped A-320 aircraft which is supposed to be more fuel efficient. Meanwhile Boeing sold only about 800 aircraft last year.
There is no law against walking out the door during intermission, but it can be a dilemma. You're at a concert or a play and for whatever reason decide you don't really want to go back for the second half of the performance. If enough people think the same thing, it can mean a lot of empty seats after the break. It's something audience members do think about. And as NPR's Elizabeth Blair tells us, so do theaters and orchestras, some of which are tightening up their act.
Small business owners say they're getting more optimistic about the economy, and about their own prospects. That's according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, an influential business group. And this is among several recent reports suggesting the economy is continuing to improve.
NPR's Chris Arnold has more.
CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Small businesses are getting more confident. And that's a good sign, says John Silvia, the chief economist at Wells Fargo.
Under heavy pressure from his rivals, front-runner Mitt Romney defended his record as a venture capitalist. He also insisted he bears no responsibility for attack ads aired by his allies, and grudgingly said he might release his income tax returns this spring.
The brewer of Yuengling based in Pottsville, Pa., is now the largest American beermaker. Other popular beers like Bud are now owned by foreign companies. Yuengling shipments grew last year to about 2.5 million barrels, edging out the maker of Samuel Adams.
As they air their disagreements, the Republican presidential candidates agree on one thing: They want to repeal President Obama's health care law.
RENEE MONTAGNE, BYLINE: The biggest part of that law - a requirement that almost everybody must have insurance - does not take effect until well after the election. But any repeal effort would be complicated, because some of the law is already in effect.
INSKEEP: NPR's Julie Rovner is here to talk about how the law is changing the health care landscape. Hi, Julie.
Egyptian cyber activist and former Google executive Wael Ghonim talks to Steve Inskeep about his new book Revolution 2.0, which chronicles his role, and that of social media, in the toppling the regime of Hosni Mubarak.
The Republican presidential candidates gathered last night In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for a debate. Myrtle Beach is also the site for the first convention of the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition.
Delta planes line up at the terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Southwest Airlines will begin serving the city next month, and hopes to lure passengers away from the hometown airline.
Last fall, wealthy Chinese gathered at a Beijing hotel to hear a pitch by Patrick Quinn, the governor of Illinois. He wanted them to invest in a convention center project at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
"You can't have capitalism without capital," Quinn said to the group of potential investors. "So we really are interested in encouraging people from everywhere, particularly here in China ... to consider the state of Illinois as a place to make investments."
The required minimum investment: half a million dollars.