Boeing Co. says it will shut down its Wichita facility, which specializes in maintaining and modifying the company's planes for military or government use. The plant is slated to close by the end of 2013.
The closure could devastate a portion of the local economy, according to The Wichita Eagle:
Charlie Rose may very well be the best interviewer on the planet. If there's something important in the news, chances are he has left his mark on the story — from the events unfolding in North Korea to the modern relevance of Shakespeare.
The American political system — as corny, eclectic, chaotic and screwed up as it is with its straw polls, caucuses, primaries and contested elections — somehow gets the job done time after time.
It's weird, really: In this country that celebrates unity and national spirit, a president is chosen via quirky, jerky state-by-state (sometimes precinct-by-precinct) methods. In this society that seeks perfection, the leader is selected in a painfully imperfect process.
But, to paraphrase the old saw: Our funky form of democracy may just be the least worst way to govern.
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum finished virtually even in Iowa's caucuses Tuesday, but after Rep. Michele Bachmann's sixth-place finish, she announced Wednesday that she is suspending her campaign. For more on the GOP race and the next contest — Tuesday's New Hampshire primary — Linda Wertheimer talks with NPR's Brian Naylor, who's in the city of Manchester.
A Catholic bishop in California has resigned his post after revealing in December that he has two children.
"The Vatican announced the bishop's resignation Jan. 4 in a one-line statement that cited church law on resignation for illness or other serious reasons," reports the Catholic News Service from Vatican City.
Pope Benedict reportedly accepted the resignation of Gabino Zavala, an auxiliary bishop for the San Gabriel Pastoral Region, in December.
If a heart attack sends you to an American hospital, you'll probably go home after only two or three nights. That's faster than virtually anyplace else in the world.
But your chances of needing to go back into the hospital within the next month are also higher than they are for heart attack patients in 16 other countries. That's the finding from a Duke University-led study in this week's JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.
If the grocery bill hurts more now than it used to, you're not alone. The cost of staples like ground beef, chicken, eggs and potatoes has spiked over 10 percent in the past year, three times the cost of inflation overall.
Ironically, if you were trying to be thrifty by eating at home instead of eating out, you probably felt it most.
Jonathan Browning, president of Volkswagen Group of America, attends the U.S. unveiling of the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle, a new version of the iconic car. Volkswagen saw a 26.3 percent increase in U.S. sales in 2011, and has its sights on becoming the world's No. 1 carmaker.
Credit Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images
The Volkswagen Group has also acquired other, generally more expensive brands. The company has owned Audi (also from Germany) since 1965. In 2011, Audi sold 117,561 cars in the U.S., a 15.7 percent increase over 2010, as the brand markets itself to younger buyers.
Credit Sascha Schuermann / Getty Images
In 1998, Volkswagen acquired Bugatti, a premier racing car manufacturer founded in 1909 by the Italian-born Ettore Bugatti. Under VW, just one model has been made available — the Veyron 16.4, which sells for $1.7 million and can reach more than 250 mph. Only around 300 have been sold.
Credit John Macdougall / Getty Images
Founded in England in 1919, the Bentley brand was known for winning endurance races, like this Le Mans race in France in 1930. Rolls Royce purchased the company in 1931, and it was sold to Volkswagen in 1998. Bentley sold 2,021 vehicles in the U.S. in 2011, a 32 percent increase over 2010.
Credit Hulton Archive / Getty Images
In 2011, the Volkswagen brand sold 324,402 vehicles in the U.S. Its best-selling car, the Jetta, made up 55 percent of those. But the Passat, seen above in the company's new plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., also made strides after a redesign and a popular Super Bowl commercial last year.
Last year was a very good year for the German automaker Volkswagen, but 2012 could be even better.
Sales for Volkswagen Group's brands — including Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini — increased by 20 percent in the U.S. last year. For the Volkswagen brand itself, sales rose 26.3 percent. And if things continue to go Volkswagen's way, it could become the No. 1 carmaker in the world.
Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 10:09 am
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann announced Wednesday that she is suspending her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. The conservative provocateur finished a disappointing sixth in Tuesday's caucuses in Iowa, with just 5 percent of the vote.
"Last night the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice," Bachmann said at a mid-morning news conference in West Des Moines. "So I have decided to stand aside."
A Canadian man has been making headlines because he used an image of his passport saved on his iPad — instead of the official document itself — to cross the U.S.-Canadian border two times.
Martin Reisch, 33, says he forgot his passport when he left for a car trip across the border in Quebec. But he had an iPad with him, and it contained a scan of his passport. So Reisch gave the device to the U.S. border officer, along with his drivers' license, and the explanation that he was merely driving to Vermont, to drop off some Christmas presents.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who got just 5 percent of the vote in Iowa's caucuses, referred to herself Tuesday as the "true conservative who can and who will defeat Barack Obama in 2012." On Wednesday, she bowed out of the race.
Credit Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Texas Gov. Rick Perry addressed supporters in West Des Moines late Tuesday after an unimpressive performance in Iowa's caucuses.
Credit Evan Vucci / AP
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich appeared with wife Callista (right) at his Iowa caucus night rally in Des Moines.
Iowa proved a road to victory for Mitt Romney, but it was a road to nowhere for Michele Bachmann.
"Last night, the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to stand aside," Bachmann said Wednesday at a West Des Moines news conference. The Minnesota congresswoman decided to end her 2012 presidential bid after finishing sixth in Tuesday's caucuses in Iowa — the state where she was born and where, just five months ago, she won a Republican straw poll in Ames.
The United States saw an 1.8 percent uptick in orders to factories in November, marking a four-month high and signaling continued economic recovery. The Commerce Department also revised the data for Ocotber, which recorded a 0.2 percent drop.
Afghanistan's president said his country would back a deal, which might allow the Taliban to open an office in Qatar where they could hold peace talks with the United States and Afghanistan.
"Afghanistan agrees with negotiations between United States of America and the Taliban which will result in the establishment of an office for Taliban in Qatar," President Hamid Karzai said on Wednesday.
Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 10:33 am
The photo finish in Iowa — officially, Mitt Romney bested Rick Santorum by only eight votes — has catapulted Santorum into the front ranks of Republican presidential hopefuls.
"This is huge news for Santorum," says Charlie Arlinghaus, who directs a conservative think tank in New Hampshire. "I don't think there's a way to spin the results without saying he's the big winner tonight."
To welcome the Year of the Dragon, China's postal service plans to release commemorative postage stamps featuring the fabled beast. But many customers are finding the image to be a little over the top.
Year over year, the number of Spanish-speaking kindergarteners at Vardaman Elementary School in northeast Mississippi has been on the rise.
Census numbers show the South has the fastest-growing Hispanic population in the country. Now, Vardaman Elementary is about to become Mississippi's first predominantly Latino primary school, and that's posing special challenges when it comes to finding teachers who can help Spanish-speaking students adapt to the American classroom.
After Mitt Romney's narrow win in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, the GOP presidential hopefuls move on to New Hampshire, where voters cast their ballots in a primary next week. For more on the Republican presidential race, Steve Inskeep speaks to NPR's Brian Naylor, who is in New Hampshire.
Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 6:28 am
We've been helping our friends at It's All Politics on the big story of the morning, which, as you've no doubt heard, is that after a nail-biter of a night, Mitt Romney took the Iowa primary by eight votes. Rick Santorum pulled a surprising turn around to end up second.
Here's some of the territory we've covered on IAP:
Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 10:38 am
Rick Santorum's impressive turnaround in Iowa has given him a slight boost in New Hampshire, according to a "flash" poll conducted last night.
The CNN/ORC International poll talked to 554 likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire first in December, and then last night. It found that Mitt Romney's sizable lead remained the same: 47 percent of those polled said they'd vote for him, followed by Ron Paul at 17 percent.
NPR News has prepared a special podcast on the first presidential contest of the year — and where the race goes from here.
The podcast includes highlights from NPR's reporting from the Iowa caucuses as well as analysis of the potential impact. You'll hear from the candidates — several of whom count themselves among the winners — plus others who are reassessing their chances. Republican caucusgoers weigh in on how they made up their minds, and we hear from Democratic caucusgoers preparing for battle in the fall.
At the start of his show yesterday morning, MSNBC's Chuck Todd could not contain his glee: "It's caucus day. Finally! I've been waiting for this day for 3 1/2 years."
Speak for yourself, Chuck.
In the build-up to the Iowa caucuses, we heard about the ground game, the expectations game, the endorsement game, and the super PACs. And we get the justification: It's blood sport, it's a vetting process, it's a surge, it's a generous slathering of awesome on an Iowa corn dog.
Erik McBee, 15, faced a test of his survival skills. He was traveling on Southwest Airlines, and fell asleep. He slept through the landing at his destination, Tulsa. KPHO TV says he woke up in St. Louis with no contacts, no money and no phone.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. A British woman had a break-in in September. Thieves stole a life-size statue of E.T., the extraterrestrial from the famous film. She thought it was gone for good until last week, when a passerby saw it floating in a river and called the police. They reunited the statue with its owner. So, a little late for the holidays, a little soggy, E.T. finally did phone home. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Susan Carroll of Atkinson, N.H., reacts to news of a Santorum lead at a caucus-watching party at Santorum's New Hampshire campaign headquarters in Bedford. Carroll is the Santorum campaign's Tea Party liaison for the state and describes herself as the owner of a small business that offers "artistic services."
Credit John W. Poole / NPR
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum greets supporters after his caucus night rally in Johnston, Iowa, on Tuesday.
Credit Chris Carlson / AP
Santorum supporters watch the vote count during an Iowa caucus watch party in New Hampshire on Tuesday night.
Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 8:56 am
Rick Santorum's stunning finish in Iowa's Republican presidential caucuses Tuesday breathed life into his dogged campaign and had his New Hampshire supporters dreaming of a top-three spot for him in next week's Granite State primary.
But the path to a good finish in New Hampshire is not an easy one. Santorum's evangelical bona fides are bound to matter much less than in Iowa. And Mitt Romney, the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts, has consistently held wide leads in preference polls.