These days, as hospitals elbow each other to attract your business, they're offering patients — and those who might become patients — a whole range of perks.
These loyalty programs can be as straightforward as free valet parking and discounts at the hospital gift shop. There are also educational sessions showcasing surgeons' prowess, just in case you're ever in the market for a new hip or a knee.
Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 10:12 am
In the end, there were nine nominees for Best Picture announced on Tuesday morning, and eight of them were entirely predictable: The Artist, The Descendants, The Help, Hugo, Midnight In Paris, War Horse, The Tree Of Life, and Moneyball.
The Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and leading the pack with 11 nominations is the 3D movie "Hugo." It's about a Paris street urchin who befriends one of the inventors of cinema. "Hugo" was nominated for best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay, among others. NPR's Neda Ulaby joins us to talk about the Oscar nominations, and good morning.
NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: Good morning.
MONTAGNE: What else was nominated for best picture?
Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 7:03 am
Tonight, President Obama is set to deliver the final state of the union address of his first term. Morning Edition's Renee Montagne spoke to White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe for a preview of the president's speech.
In releasing details of his tax burden for the past two years, Mitt Romney offered a small window into a vast wealth. The tax records show that the former Massachusetts governor made $42.6 million over the past two years and because most of it came from capital gains, he paid $6.2 million in taxes.
That means that in 2010, his tax rate was 13.9 percent, and in 2011, it's expected to be 15.4 percent, lower than many Americans who pay taxes on wages.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. At Disneyland and Disney World, everyone working there has a clean-cut image. It goes back to the 1950s, when Disneyland first opened and facial hair was banned. Even though Uncle Walt Disney had one, moustaches weren't even allowed until 2000. But starting next month, employees will finally be allowed to have beards, as long as they're kept short and trim, unless maybe you're one of the seven dwarves. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi is best known for eating hot dogs. He once ate 69 in 10 minutes. Now he's on to a different food. TV host Wendy Williams invited Kobayashi on her show to set the Guiness record for most Twinkies consumed in a minute. There was no previous record for Twinkie eating.
Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 3:07 pm
Given the nonstop, stereo-rock news cycle, the warp speed tempo of geopolitics and the constant to-and-fro between the media and the president, has the State of the Union address become obsolete?
Traditionally, the speech — an annual where-we-stand lecture delivered by the president to a joint session of Congress — has for decades been an opportunity for the professor in chief to issue a national report card and put current events in calm, codifiable context.
The hotly-contested Republican primary has gotten a lot of attention lately. Tuesday night, President Obama has a chance to reclaim the spotlight. He's delivering his annual State of the Union address. It's a high-profile platform for the president as he tries to frame the choice facing voters in November.
You might remember, last summer, the U.S. women's soccer team caught the attention of the nation with its dramatic run to the final of the women's world cup in Germany. Well, this week, the team is playing in an all-important, Olympic-qualifying tournament in Vancouver. And Christine Brennan is there covering the event for USA Today.
NPR's business news starts with another powerful woman in Brazil.
The Brazilian state oil company has a new chief executive. Her name is Maria das Gracas Foster. Petrobras is the world's fifth-largest oil producer, and Foster becomes the first woman to run a top-five oil company. This comes as the firm looks to double its production by 2020.
The company's stocks surged on news of the appointment. Foster will be the second-most powerful woman in Brazil, after the president. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And our last word in business today is a pat-down throwdown. The Transportation Safety Administration says it did not detain Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. But officials at the agency did stop one of their most outspoken critics while he was going through the airport security line in Nashville yesterday.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
The Republican senator was going through a body scanner when the alarm went off. Apparently, it was an anomaly. Then, he refused to submit to a pat-down, so he was escorted out of the screening area.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Renee Montagne.
A string of debates and primaries has kept the Republican presidential candidates in the spotlight this election season. Tonight, it's the president's turn to take center stage. President Obama will deliver the annual State of the Union Address, and in many ways kick off his own campaign for re-election. It's a reminder that Mr. Obama is running for president.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
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GREENE: The latest Republican debate - last night in Florida - was more subdued than when the candidates last took the stage, in South Carolina. But still, it contained plenty of sharp jabs. After it was over, another dramatic turn in the race, with new revelations about Mitt Romney's taxes. We'll explore those numbers in depth, in a few minutes.
The two dominant candidates for U.S. Senate from Massachusetts say they want to keep superPAC ads out of the state. Sen. Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren have signed a pledge requiring that each candidate donate half the cost of any outside ad to charity, if that ad either supports their candidacy or attacks their opponent.
As we've been reporting on the program this morning, Mitt Romney went on the attack at the GOP presidential debate in Florida last night. His target was rival Newt Gingrich, who was forced to defend his record as House speaker and later as a consultant to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Gingrich denied charges of influence peddling that were leveled by Romney. And Gingrich said he was the type of bold, tough leader Washington needs.
Several states — including Illinois and New York — are now pushing forward with plans to offer lotteries on the Internet. That's in the aftermath of an opinion from the Justice Department, which reverses a long-standing policy and says states are free to conduct online gambling within their borders.
Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 7:35 am
On Tuesday, it is likely the presidential campaign's focus will shift to Mitt Romney's tax returns, which show him making $42.5 million in 2010 and 2011. That number may be bigger than he can finesse by saying in essence: Don't hate me because I'm successful.
After Newt Gingrich's bravura performance in the final South Carolina debate and his drubbing of Mitt Romney on primary day, the former speaker's challenge in Monday night's debate in Tampa, Fla., was to maintain if not increase his momentum eight days before the Florida Republican presidential primary.
Meanwhile, Romney's challenge was to give his supporters who were shell-shocked by the Palmetto State results reasons to believe he had it in him to turn it around, to stand to do what needed to be done to beat Gingrich in Florida.
Connecticut has two casinos that generate millions of dollars a year for the state. Following a recent change in the interpretation of regulations against online gambling, casino operators and state officials are closely watching to see what kind of impact online poker will have on their revenue.
Even though it's a weekday, there are plenty of people are sitting at slot machines or playing table games at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Students graduating from college are entering perhaps the toughest, most uncertain job market in generations. In our series, we met recent grads who shared the frustrations and fears they faced as they set out in search of work. In this installment, we follow-up with one of our previous grads who has now landed a job after a yearlong search.
Seventy five years ago, before Theodor Geisel rocked the culinary world with green eggs and ham or put a red-and-white striped top hat on a talking cat, Geisel (who you probably know better as Dr. Seuss) was stuck on a boat, returning from a trip to Europe.
For eight days, he listened to the ship's engine chug away. The sound got stuck in his head and he started writing to the rhythm. Eventually, those rhythmic lines in his head turned into his first children's book: It was called And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.
An Australian prickly stick hops on the lens of Joel Sartore's camera.
Credit Claire O'Neill / NPR
Photographer Joel Sartore captures a big-headed Amazon river turtle at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.
Credit Claire O'Neill / NPR
Sartore uses an anecdote of the gray gibbons he shot recently at the Miller Park Zoo in Illinois. They're on the verge of being "phased out." There are too few in captivity to continue propagation — and too few in the wild to bring in.
To spend a day in the life of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, there are a few things you have to get used to. Really long drives, for one. Tigers charging at you. And, of course ... well ... messes.
"I'm the only studio portrait photographer I know whose subjects routinely poop and pee on the background right in front of me," he says from behind the lens.
This post was originally published shortly after John Levy's death late last week. Click the audio link above to hear a remembrance of Levy by NPR's Sami Yenigun.
This weekend, we learned that the jazz businessman John Levy died on Friday. His wife, Devra Hall Levy, announced the news on Saturday in a press release available on John Levy's website, Lushlife. He was nearly 100 years old.
Newt Gingrich is refuting new attacks about his role at mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Gingrich's reflection is seen here as he walks out mirrored doors in Tampa, Fla. to deliver remarks and greet supporters on Jan. 23.
It didn't take Mitt Romney long to come out swinging in Florida after his stinging defeat in this weekend's South Carolina primary.
At a news conference in Florida, which holds the nation's next contest on Jan. 31, Romney called former House Speaker Newt Gingrich "erratic" and said his work for government-backed mortgage firm Freddie Mac could haunt the GOP in the form of "October surprises."
The EU has agreed to an embargo on buying oil from Iran in the latest sanction against that country for its nuclear program. Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, speaks here in Brussels on Monday following a meeting of EU foreign ministers.
The battle over Iran's nuclear program escalated Monday as the European Union announced an embargo on importing oil from Iran.
For years, Europe has been reluctant to join the United States in imposing tough sanctions on Iran. The United States years ago stopped buying Iranian oil, while European nations including France, Spain, Italy, and Greece kept up their purchases. European countries right now buy about 600,000 barrels of oil per day from Iran.