It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
Even as Greek lawmakers approved another round of austerity, Greek protesters registered their dissent over the weekend. The bailout package is part of an effort by creditors to save Greece from default and a possible exit from the euro. European leaders now need to sign off on the deal, but many people are beginning to wonder if saving Greece is possible. Greeks themselves say austerity is killing them. Joanna Kakissis reports from Athens.
The U.S. economy is improving, even though Americans keep having to look over their shoulders at Europe. The state of the economy affects everything in American politics right now, from the presidential election to the budget that the White House lays out today.
NPR's Cokie Roberts has some analysis, as she does the most Mondays. Cokie, good morning.
COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.
INSKEEP: OK, so what does the president's budget tell us?
I'm standing in the cereal aisle with three items in my basket: a box of sugary kids' cereal, some yogurt and a bottle of apple juice. According to their labels, all three of these foods are good sources of fiber, which, if you think about it, may say as much about us (the shoppers) as it does about the food we buy.
China's leader-in-waiting, Xi Jinping, is due to arrive in the U.S. shortly, providing the first glimpse of the next generation to lead the world's second-largest economy. This once-in-a-decade transition of power, which begins this fall, is rife with unpredictability, particularly as an unfolding political scandal grips China.
Technology is sometimes blamed for keeping us awake at night. The thinking is that devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets may have made entertainment TOO portable, putting games, videos and the Internet close at hand in the bedroom. But a batch of new apps and gadgets tries to push the pendulum the other way, by helping you improve the quality of your sleep.
Last month, scientists around the world agreed to temporarily halt certain genetic experiments with bird flu viruses. More than three weeks of that 60-day moratorium have already passed. And the scientific community is in the midst of a fierce debate about what needs to happen next.
The suspension of the research came in response to fears that researchers had created dangerous new germs that could cause a devastating pandemic in people if they ever escaped the lab or fell into the wrong hands.
In the Oscar-nominated film Moneyball, Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, a baseball manager obsessed with turning his cash-strapped team into a contender. Pitt says that drive is what attracted him to the role that has earned him a best-actor nod.
Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 9:57 am
Deficit reduction takes a back seat to job growth in the federal budget President Obama will unveil Monday. The spending plan forecasts more red ink in the current fiscal year than in 2011. Under the president's plan, budget deficits wouldn't reach a sustainable level until 2018.
In 2009, Tea Party rallies raged in cities across the country. The movement put its stamp on the 2010 midterm elections when the Republicans retook the House of Representatives.
So far, throughout the GOP primary contest, every major candidate at some point has tried to frame himself or herself as the Tea Party's standard-bearer, but what's most striking about the movement this election has been its notable absence.
For troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, the deepest physical pain often comes much later — weeks, or even months, after the incident. That was the case for Sam Brown, whose story appears in this month's GQ magazine.
Brown graduated from West Point in 2006. In the late summer of 2008, he was deployed to southern Afghanistan to lead a platoon. He did security for base construction and made sure the local villagers had enough food, water, and medicine.
A U.S. contractor working to provide Internet service to Cuba's small Jewish community was charged with spying and sentenced to 15 years in a Cuban prison. Alan Gross was reportedly working for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
What's the saying — the more things change, the more they stay the same? It seems that's how it goes in the ways we make music. MIT futurologist Tod Machover rethinks traditional instruments, coming up with new things like the hyperpiano; Pianist Michael Chertock gives it a go in an explosive excerpt below.
On the eve of the 54th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, the conversation was all about Whitney Houston. The 48-year-old pop diva was discovered dead in her room at the Beverly Hilton Saturday afternoon. The cause of her death was under investigation.
Houston died alone in the same hotel that was the venue for a party she had often entered in triumph: the annual pre-Grammy Awards bash given by her mentor, recording impresario Clive Davis.
The main opposition leader in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, is campaigning for a seat in parliament in her constituency outside Rangoon. It's a scene that seemed impossible only a few months ago, before the military-backed government began a process of change. Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Anthony Kuhn from Rangoon.
France is holding a presidential election in the spring, and the campaign is in full swing, sort of. The only thing missing is one of the candidates: President Nicolas Sarkozy. As NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, he hasn't yet announced whether he's running for re-election.
The Pentagon announced last week that the military would now allow women to serve in jobs that would bring them closer to combat. Host Rachel Martin speaks with former Army sergeant Kayla Williams about the ramifications of the change.
Mitt Romney also got an unofficial endorsement from Republican activists yesterday, as the Conservative Political Action Conference came to a close. He won the organization's straw poll with 38 percent of the vote. Former senator Rick Santorum came in second place with 31 percent. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich was third with 15 percent and Ron Paul came in fourth with 12 percent.
The second of a two-part series about the roots of violence in Honduras.
Honduras is a major stop for drug traffickers; corruption is rampant. Many experts say things got markedly worse after the 2009 coup that ousted democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. The fallout of that coup continues today.
'The Shooting Started Around 5:20 a.m.'
When it comes to coups and dictators, Latin America has a difficult past. Today the region is largely democratic. Dictators and coups are supposed to be a thing of the past.
When President Obama unveils his budget Monday, it will project a $1.3 trillion deficit this year, and just under $1 trillion in 2013. It would increase spending on education, research and development and transportation. It would also increase taxes on the wealthy and cut spending, including on defense.
Presidential budgets are almost always aspirational documents. They lay out a vision, not what the president actually thinks will happen.
Stung by a series of defeats earlier this week, Mitt Romney got a much-needed boost Saturday with a win in the straw poll of the Conservative Political Action Conference and a victory in Maine's nonbinding caucuses.
Yet Romney walked away without delegates and tallied fewer votes there than he did four years ago. This time, he barely beat rival Ron Paul.