Joining us now to talk about what the U.S. hopes to accomplish at the UN climate talks in Durban is the chief negotiator for the United States, Todd Stern. He's been negotiating on behalf of the U.S. off and on since the Kyoto Protocol was first forged back in 1997. Todd Stern, welcome to the program.
TODD STERN: Thanks very much, Guy. Happy to be here.
RAZ: As we just heard, the expectations are pretty low for a treaty that limits emissions coming out of Durban. What needs to happen at Durban for you to consider it a success?
American Airline's parent company AMR has filed for bankruptcy protection. American will continue to operate its flights as usual. The airline will use bankruptcy to off-load some of the debt that is weighing it down.
NPR's Hard Times series features stories of economic hardship and also stories of hope. We asked for ideas from listeners, and Emily Nugent of Berea College in Kentucky responded, writing: "With a student body composed entirely of students from low socio-economic backgrounds, Berea students know about the challenges Americans are facing." Noah Adams went in search of Emily and the Berea College story.
Key provisions of the Kyoto Protocol expire in December of 2012, and experts say there's no real global framework in place to replace the treaty that was supposed to be the first step toward ambitious actions on climate change. Above, a coal-fired power plant in eastern China. China is now the leading carbon dioxide emitter in the world.
As diplomats from around the world gather in Durban, South Africa, for talks about climate change, a big question looms: What will become of the Kyoto climate treaty, which was negotiated with much fanfare in 1997. The treaty was supposed to be a first step toward much more ambitious actions on climate change, but it is now on the brink of fading into irrelevance. That could have major implications for the future of United Nations climate talks.
Twitter already beat us to all the good puns, including the one in the headline. But, yes, it is true, you will either love or hate this news story from England: A tanker carrying 20 tons of yeast extract — the main ingredient in the loved-or-reviled Marmite — was involved in a late night accident, yesterday, spilling its contents and shutting down the M1, which connects London to the northern part of England.
Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 12:40 pm
Politicians and food executives have been talking about ending the problem of child labor in the West African cocoa industry for the last decade. After shocking revelations that hundreds of thousands of children were forced to harvest cacao beans under abusive conditions, companies pledged to address the practice as "fair trade" entered their lexicon.
Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 1:44 pm
Florida A&M's famed "Marching 100" band has been rocked by the death of one of its drum majors on Nov. 19. Police still haven't released all the details of his death, but they said Robert Champion had been throwing up and hazing had something to do with it.
American Airlines is filing for bankruptcy protection. The airline is the last of the so-called legacy carriers, airlines that flew interstate routes before de-regulation of the industry, to reach this step. Delta, Northwest, United and US Airways all went through bankruptcy proceedings in the last 10 years.
In Iran on Tuesday, students and other protesters stormed the British Embassy in the capital Tehran, smashing windows, throwing firebombs and burning the British flag. The crowd had gathered at the embassy to protest new severe economic sanctions imposed by Britain, cutting off all banking with Iran. Renee Montagne talks with Washington Post reporter Thomas Erdbrink, who is in Tehran.
In October, President Obama announced that most U.S. troops would be out of Iraq by the end of 2011, after negotiations with Iraqi leaders failed to extend the troops' presence. Only Marine embassy guards and liaison troops will stay behind in the country, where more than a million troops, in total, have served over the past eight years.
The sort of offenses that might land a student in the principal's office in other states often send kids in Texas to court with misdemeanor charges. Some schools have started rethinking the way they punish students for bad behavior after watching many of them drop out or land in prison because of tough disciplinary policies.
In a downtown Houston municipal court, Judge David Fraga has presided over thousands of cases involving students "ticketed" by school police. His docket is still relatively small at the moment, with only 45 to 65 cases per night.
Home prices across the U.S. are still only "back to their first quarter of 2003 levels" and "drifted lower in September and the third quarter," according to the widely watched S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, which were just released.
As The Associated Press says, the news is "the latest evidence that the troubled housing market won't recover any time soon."
Diagnostic errors account for as much as 40 percent of medical malpractice claims. And communication lapses, including failing to pass along test results, make up a growing proportion of those claims, according to a recent study.
The work, published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, shows that malpractice payouts due to communication failures more than quadrupled between 1991 and 2010, to $91 million annually.
NPR's business news starts with American Airlines filing for bankruptcy.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: Let's find out why the parent company of the giant airline sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today. One of the corporate press releases does not offer too much help - not even using the word bankruptcy. Instead, headlined: American Airlines Begins Legal Process in United States to Improve Competitiveness.
NPR's Chris Arnold is covering this story. Chris, what does that actually mean?
Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 5:18 am
A second day of voting is underway in Egypt's parliamentary elections, with turnout being described as "massive and unexpected" and things moving along peacefully, The Associated Press and NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro report from Cairo.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. It's never too late to settle a score. Joe Kapp and Angelo Mosca are former Canadian Football League stars. They supposedly haven't liked each other since competing in 1963.
Last week, the 73-year-olds were honored at a lunch. Kapp offered a flower as a peace gesture. Mosca rejected it, and lashed out with his cane. Kapp advanced with his fists.
The short animated film Hungry Hobos created by a young Walt Disney starred a rabbit. It was one of about 26 cartoons featuring Oswald the rabbit. Hungry Hobos screened in 1928 but sat on the shelf for decades. It will be sold at auction.
In New York, yesterday, a federal judge rejected a settlement of a fraud case involving Citigroup. The Securities and Exchange Commission, which brought charges against the bank, had agreed to the $285 million deal. But Judge Jed Rakoff said he didn't believe the settlement was in the public interest. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.
The housing crisis has stalled home building but apartment construction is undergoing a bit of a renaissance. There's now a huge pool of people forced to rent because they can't afford to buy a home, or they were a victim of foreclosure. In Denver, there aren't enough apartment vacancies.
The long running NBC comedy series The Office is about a group of workers employed by fictitious paper company Dunder Mifflin. The Wall Street Journal reports that an office supply website called Quill.com has struck a licensing agreement with NBC to sell copy paper using the fictitious brand name.