Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 1:49 pm
They may not be ready to accept GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's invitation to stand with him "shoulder to shoulder," but conservatives at their biggest annual gathering gave him a reception Friday that at times rose to rousing.
Tacitly acknowledging that his past positions on abortion rights and health care mandates have made him suspect with a swath of his party's base, Romney used his speech to describe his "path to conservatism" as a mix of family values, faith and his "life's work" in business.
Tensions are growing in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain. Protests by Shiites in outlying areas are growing ahead of next week's anniversary of the uprising. There are daily clashes between protesters and police and some fear that the violence will escalate as the anniversary approaches on Feb. 14, perhaps spreading to the streets of the capital, Manama.
Audie Cornish talks to Chris Arnold about how money from the robo-signing agreement will be spent. The settlement — worth about $25 billion — will bring a huge increase in loan modifications and provide small checks to people who lost their homes to foreclosure.
Using a new time-lapse technique, NASA was able to capture a spectacular view of how astronauts aboard the International Space Station see the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.
As the AP says, NASA has released many videos of this before — just take a look at this stunning one released a couple of months ago — but this is time-lapse footage taken with high resolution cameras.
Just a day after it appeared that Greece and its eurozone partners had reached a deal, we're back where we've been for months: There are fiery protests on the streets of Athens, the markets and the euro are in turmoil and negotiations are at a tense point with four Greek Cabinet ministers tendering resignations over their opposition to austerity measures.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan talks with host Michel Martin about the settlement reached yesterday between federal and state officials and major banks. It was an effort to address unfair banking practices that led to the mortgage crisis. President Obama praised the deal, but critics say the settlement is inadequate.
The nation's big banks are writing death plans — living wills that spell out how, in a future crisis, they could be safely dismantled. The idea is that the death plans will help avoid another government bailout of the banks.
"You're technically writing your own funeral, down to the color of the flowers" says Dolores Atallo.
Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 10:21 am
Hospitals and organizations operated by religious institutions will not have to pay for or provide free contraception coverage to their employees, but the insurance companies that offer coverage to those workers will have to do that, White House officials just told reporters during a conference call.
They're explaining changes to a controversial plan the administration unveiled in recent days. The goal of the change appears to be to provide the coverage, but at the same time to not force religious groups to violate their principles.
Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 1:10 pm
There's an old joke around newsrooms: News is something that happens to your editor.
If you'll pardon the self-indulgence, I'm going to take this truism one step further: News is what happened to me.
I was laid low the week before New Year's Day by a mysterious headache and a blazing sore throat. A few days later I lost my voice.
My doctors eventually pinpointed the cause by snaking a small camera down my nose. My left vocal fold (or vocal cord if you prefer) had stopped working. It was essentially paralyzed, other than the occasional twitch.
Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 7:08 am
Rick Santorum surprised the Republican presidential field again this week, chalking up victories against front-runner Mitt Romney in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri. Very few pundits would have predicted six months ago that the former Pennsylvania senator would still be a contender this late into the primary season. So what's his secret and can he keep it up?
To get some of those answers, NPR's Steve Inskeep spoke with Santorum strategist John Brabender on Friday's Morning Edition.
"The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee over possible violations of insider-trading laws, according to individuals familiar with the case.
From inside the Syrian city of Homs, where activists say several hundred people have been killed by government forces in the past week and troops are preparing for what could be a "ground offensive" in coming days, residents say the "situation could not be more dire," NPR's Kelly McEvers reports.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. We have no evidence this is a mass movement, but at least one person seems to have a reason to urge Israel's prime minister to delay an attack on Iran. Israeli officials have been speculating out loud about a strike. Now a Facebook page is pushing for the war to wait, at least long enough to keep from disrupting a concert by Madonna in Tel Aviv. The page is called No War with Iran until After Madonna's Performance on May 29. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.
Here's a sign of just how huge the housing and foreclosure crisis has been. Five big banks agreed to pay about $25 billion to people who've been harmed bank's abuses, plus an extra billion to settle a claim involving a mortgage company. And one of the first reactions is that all that money could not possibly be enough.
President Obama says the banks will spread the money around.
Overall economic numbers for this year have been looking better, but almost every forecast for 2012 has included at least a mention that catastrophe could still come from Europe. The crisis over Greece's debt is not over, even after yesterday when lawmakers approved more budget cuts and economic reforms. Now Greek unions are protesting again.
Resolving this crisis has taken years, and there's a reason: a debt crisis has never really been solved this way before. Here's Zoe Chace of NPR's Planet Money team.
To people who visit the idyllic tourist destination of the Maldives, politics can seem far away. But this week, the country's President Mohamed Nasheed stepped down after weeks of demonstrations. He was forced to resign by elements within the police and army. Here's how he described the situation to Al Jazeera.
(SOUNDBITE OF AL JAZEERA BROADCAST)
PRESIDENT MOHAMED NASHEED: This is a coup. It definitely is, if you find any definition of a coup anywhere. I did not want to defend. That is why there was no blood.