German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the eve of the G-20 summit in Cannes, France, on Wednesday. The European economic crisis is taking center stage at the summit.
The setting for this year's G-20 summit meeting is the Riviera Convention Center that hosts the Cannes Film Festival. President Obama will be walking the red carpet, but it's the European leaders who are stars of this show.
The Europeans are facing pressure to erect a financial "firewall" that will prevent the debt problems now plaguing Greece from spreading to the rest of the Continent and beyond.
Harvard Business School's Jayanth Iyengar (far left), Jonas Peter Akins and Genevieve Sheenan held their own, but eventually lost to IBM's Watson in a game of <em>Jeopardy</em> at a conference on jobs and technology.
Credit Chris Arnold / NPR
An automated robot arm picks up a bottle of prescription pills in the Medco pharmacy plant in Willingboro, N.J. Medco's state-of-the-art automated pharmacy can dispense up to 1 million prescriptions a week.
The U.S. economy hit an important milestone last week: Gross domestic product, the sum of all goods and services produced in the country, returned to pre-recession levels. But the gains were made with millions fewer workers. Part of the reason is technology, as computers and machines continue to replace humans.
We used to think about machines taking over mundane jobs, like twisting a screw into a toaster on an assembly line over and over again. But more recently, technology is eliminating higher-skill jobs.
We're going to hear now about a very small race that's making big political waves. The race is for the school board of Wake County, North Carolina. It comes after a policy using family income to create economic diversity in the schools was tossed out by a Republican school board in 2009. This Tuesday, a runoff election for one seat on the board may put the Democrats back in the majority. Dave DeWitt of North Carolina Public Radio reports the school board race is attracting national attention and big money.
NPR's business news begins with a bleaker forecast from the Fed. Just when we were beginning to hear some more positive economic news, the Federal Reserve reminds us not to get too excited. It's predicting slower growth and less improvement in the unemployment rate through 2013 than previously expected. This news comes after a two-day meeting of the Fed's policy-making committee, in which it decided against taking new measures to stimulate the economy for now.
First Solar, viewed as the golden child of the solar industry, hold its quarterly call today with nervous investors. They're on edge because the Arizona-based company announced a CEO shake-up late last month and have said almost nothing publically since then. From member station KJZZ in Phoenix, Peter O'Dowd reports.
America's original discount store has filed for federal bankruptcy protection and plans to close its 46 stores. This isn't the first time the company has filed for bankruptcy, but it appears to be its last. The company cited increased competition from department stores, private-label discounters and the economic downturn.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. To understand the European debt crisis, it helps to keep track of both the short-term and the long-term. In the short-term, Europeans have agreed on a bailout deal that among other things would cut the debts of Greece. It's being held up by the Greek prime minister's plan to hold a referendum on austerity measures. Europeans have told Greece it's got to decide soon if it wants to be part of the eurozone or not.
About 3,000 people gathered at the Port of Oakland Wednesday, and effectively shut it down. People flooded the port area and blocked exits. The protest remained largely peaceful until the late evening, when police responded to a bonfire.
Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout was found guilty of conspiring to sell weapons to South American terrorists Wednesday. Host Renee Montagne talks to Michael Sullivan about the conviction of the so-called "Merchant of Death."
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi made a number of promises to fellow leaders of the eurozone countries at a summit meeting in October. Now Italy's economy is starting to become a growing concern for European Union leaders and financial markets.
In the coming months, the Obama administration will decide whether to approve the Keystone pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from Canada through the U.S. down to the Gulf of Mexico.
Environmental advocates will try to encircle the White House on Sunday in a show of solidarity against the project. Steady protests have made this one of the most high-profile environmental decisions of the Obama presidency.
White House spokesman Jay Carney often tries to distance the president from the decision-making process over the pipeline.
College students who graduated in 2010 carried 5 percent more debt than in the previous year, according to new data. In this photo from last December, a student fills out an application for a chance to win a scholarship worth $30,000, at a Cash for College event organized by the California Student Aid Commission.
Students are borrowing more money to pay for college than ever before. New data shows that students who graduated in 2010 carried 5 percent more debt than in the previous year. And education debt is expect to grow in the coming years, as students struggle to pay higher tuition costs.
After a two-day orbital chase, the Shenzhou 8 spacecraftlatched onto a prototype space lab module called Tiangong 1 at 1:30 p.m. ET (1:30 a.m. local time Thursday in China). Ten minutes later, the docking was complete.
A former New Orleans police lieutenant has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for his role in a cover-up of deadly police shootings after Hurricane Katrina.
Michael Lohman faced a maximum of five years in prison after pleading guilty last year to conspiring to obstruct justice. Noting that Lohman cooperated in their case, prosecutors urged U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle to limit his prison time to two years.
Lemelle rejected that recommendation, ordering Lohman to begin a four-year sentence on Jan. 2.
Punk rock bands like Blink-182 and Rancid are no strangers to obscenity — it's an integral part of their anti-establishment vernacular. But as the figureheads of raucous teenage rebellion age, they've had to encounter a different kind of "F-word"-- fatherhood. A new documentary film explores this paradox, as serious punk-rock performers make the transition from rebels to responsible family men.
We've been focusing on Greece, today, but Italy is facing its own crisis: President Silvio Berlusconi called for an emergency meeting to enact a series of reforms meant to keep his country from spiraling into a debt crisis.
Faith-based health providers got a chance to vent about new federal rules that require them to offer prescription contraceptives as part of their health insurance plans at a House subcommittee hearing today. They also proposed some changes.
But backers of the rules say the revisions sought by opponents would render the requirement meaningless.
Herman Cain's sexual harassment crisis worsened Wednesday with a third woman telling a news organization that he sexually harassed her when they both worked at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
Meanwhile, in another stunning turn, a male Republican pollster went on the record with a news organization to say he actually witnessed Cain's alleged harassment of one of the former trade association employees and indicated that the Republican presidential candidate's behavior wasn't exactly a secret at the time.
At the University of California, Davis test vineyard, researchers grow familiar grapes like chardonnay and pinot noir, and some unfamiliar ones like Nero d'Avola and Negroamaro.
Credit Lauren Sommer / for NPR
Grape breeder Andy Walker of the University of California, Davis inspects grapes on the campus vineyard. Walker says some Spanish or Italian grapes would do better in warmer temperatures, but growing and marketing new varieties is a big investment.
Prime California wine country areas like the Napa Valley could soon be facing rising temperatures, according to climate change studies. So some wineries are thinking of switching to grapes that are better suited to a warmer climate. But when vineyards have staked their reputations on certain wines, adapting to climate change is a tough sell.
The group of hacker activists Anonymous made news last month when it announced an operation that targeted the Zetas, one of Mexico's most dangerous drug cartels. In the past Anonymous has gone after tech firms like Sony and authoritarian governments across North Africa.
Usually, they bring down websites by overwhelming them with requests. On occasion, they'll deface official sites and in on other occasions they will hack databases and release private information.
Indian students pose with the supercheap Aakash tablet computers, which they received during the Oct. 5 product launch in New Delhi. The Indian government intends to deliver 10 million tablets to college students across India at a subsidized price of $35.
Credit Gurinder Osan / AP
The Aakash tablet computer (shown here during its Oct. 5 launch in New Delhi) can be used for functions like word processing, Web browsing and video conferencing. It has a battery life of about three hours.
India has unveiled what its government says is the world's cheapest tablet computer, along with a promise to make the device available to the country's college students, and possibly, to those in high school as well. The government says it's a major step toward bridging the country's gigantic digital divide.
The tablet is called "Aakash," the Hindi word for "sky," and boosters say it could give Internet access to billions of people.
The Aakash was developed for the government by Datawind, a London-based company founded by two brothers from India's Punjab state.
Wal-Mart's recent decision to cut benefits for new, part-time employees may be part of a trend, as companies grapple with higher health costs.
That's the view of John Rother, the new president of the nonpartisan National Coalition on Health Care, who chatted with All Things Considered host Robert Siegel about the country's growing pack of part-time workers and why companies are rolling back their benefits.
A fishing boat washed ashore by the tsunami that hit Japan March 11 sits in the deserted port area in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in September. Residents of Kesennuma are now trying to rebuild their town from scratch.
Credit Koji Ueda / AP
Vegetable shop clerk Emi Akiyama talks on a cellphone in Kesennuma in May. The Japanese government has proposed surrounding all coastal towns with 20-foot tsunami barriers, but residents of Kesennuma, who are trying to boost tourism, have decided not to do so.
When Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou decided to put the eurozone debt deal to a referendum, he stunned the continent. Why he did it is still unknown. To try and gain some insight into the prime minister's motives, Guy Raz talks with Nick Malkoutzis, deputy editor of Greek daily Kathimerini.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
GUY RAZ, HOST:
And I'm Guy Raz.
The British consider St. Paul's Cathedral a national treasure. The marriage of Charles and Diana took place there, as did Churchill's funeral. These days, though, the London landmark is also the backdrop for another kind of drama- a protest camp modeled on the Occupy Wall Street movement.
NPR's Philip Reeves says it's causing upheaval in the heart of British society.