Planet Money
10:01 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

How Mitt Romney's Firm Tried — And Failed — To Build A Paper Empire

Mitt Romney, shown here when he was president of Bain Capital.
David L. Ryan Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 10:20 am

Mitt Romney is campaigning as a businessman who knows how to turn the economy around — a skill he says he learned during his time turning companies around, as president of the private equity firm Bain Capital.

So today, we're going to take a look at two deals that Bain did while Mitt Romney was heading the firm. This afternoon, we'll tell the story of one of Bain's successes.

Read more
Crisis In The Housing Market
10:01 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

With Banks As Landlords, Some Tenants Neglected

Luz Escamilla's bedroom walls are stained with the blood of bedbugs. She says she doesn't want to bleach them until reps from CW Capital, her landlord, pay an in-person visit to her Maryland home.
Aarti Shahani NPR

Across the country, big banks and other large investors are buying up tens of thousands of foreclosed rental properties. They're not always model landlords, according to tenants and regulators. Some banks are failing to follow local and state housing codes, leaving tenants to live in squalor — without even a number to call in the most dire situations.

Read more
Movie Interviews
10:01 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Private Screening: How Hollywood Watches Its Work

At the Charles Aidikoff Screening Room on Rodeo Drive, filmmakers can screen their works in progress for an invite-only audience in the small, 57-seat theater. The screening room is also rented to show films to members of the Academy and the press.
Cindy Carpien NPR

Before they made it to the Oscars, the nominated films — not to mention all the films that didn't make the cut — were viewed by some 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Many of those movies were shown in small, private, rented screening rooms all over Hollywood.

The studios have their own screening rooms, of course, but often directors want a more private place to screen works in progress — with no studio suits in sight.

Read more
Law
4:56 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Is A Lie Just Free Speech, Or Is It A Crime?

The Supreme Court heard arguments over whether it should be a crime to lie about receiving military medals. Here large replicas of the Medals of Honor hang at the Medal of Honor Museum.
Bruce Smith ASSOCIATED PRESS

The U.S. Supreme Court took up the subject of lying on Wednesday.

Specifically at issue was the constitutionality of a 2006 law that makes it a crime to lie about having received a military medal. But the questions posed by the justices ranged far beyond that — from advertising puffery to dating lies.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:39 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

12.76-Carat Pink Diamond Unearthed In Australia Could Be Worth Millions

An undated handout photo released by mining giant Rio Tinto on Feb. 22 shows a 12.76 carat pink diamond — the largest of the rare and precious stones ever found in Australia.
Rio Tinto AFP/Getty Images

Take a look at this rock:

That's a 12.76-carat pink diamond that was found at Rio Tinto's Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia. The mine said it is the biggest of its kind found in the country, which is a big deal because that mine produces 90 percent of the global market diamond supply.

The Telegraph reports:

Read more
The Salt
4:38 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

A Puff Of Controversy Over Inhalable Caffeine

A woman holds an AeroShot inhalable caffeine device in Boston.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 10:19 am

Since we introduced you to AeroShot, a product that delivers a blast of caffeine through an inhaler, a few months back, it seems a lot of folks — mostly around college campuses in New York and Boston — have tried the quick pick-me-up.

Read more
All Tech Considered
4:21 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Troubled Sony Pins Hopes On PlayStation Vita

Sony's PlayStation Vita and its predecessor, The PlayStation Portable.
Reed Saxon AP

Sony launched the PlayStation Vita, its first hand-held gaming device in seven years, Wednesday. Vita, of course, is the Latin word for "life." And after suffering a series of tough blows — from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami to a relentlessly strong yen and a significant hacking attack — a bit of new life is just what the struggling company needs.

The Vita went on sale at a Best Buy in Los Angeles Wednesday morning. Despite the company's $50 million marketing campaign, only about a dozen gamers were on hand.

Read more
Law
4:19 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Supreme Court Considers Case On Military Honors

The Supreme Court engaged in a lively debate Wednesday when it heard oral arguments in a case testing whether the 2006 Stolen Valor Act is constitutional. The law makes it a crime to lie about military honors.

Shots - Health Blog
3:59 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

High Court Punts On California Medicaid Ruling

A key legal case challenging cuts in Medicaid pay for doctors, hospitals and pharmacists is heading back to California.
Keith J. R. Binns iStockphoto.com

The Supreme Court has officially declined to decide one of its bigger cases of the term: whether or not doctors, hospitals and other health care providers can sue a state to challenge cuts in the Medicaid health program for the poor.

Read more
News
3:53 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

A Long Time Coming: Glimpse Inside The Upcoming African American Museum

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:00 am

At the groundbreaking on the National Mall on Wednesday, President Obama said the newest Smithsonian museum has been has "a long time coming" and will serve "not just as a record of tragedy, but as a celebration of life." The National Museum of African American History and Culture is expected to open in 2015.

Pages