This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
Earlier this hour, President Obama spoke in the White House about the impacts of deep spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect a week from Friday. A group of first responders in uniforms stood behind him. The president said if Congress does not stop these cuts, these men and women in uniform will not be available to help communities respond to, and recover from disasters.
A federal judge in New Orleans has approved a $1 billion civil settlement over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill where 11 men died in April of 2010, the AP reports.
As we reported back in January, federal authorities blamed Transocean "for acting negligently when the rig's crew proceeded with maneuvers to the deep-sea well in the face of clear danger signals that oil and natural gas were flowing."
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, if your seven-year-old was topping out the weight charts for her age, what do you think you'd do? Sign her up for dance class, cut out dessert, wait and see what happens? We'll hear about the steps one mom took when she realized her daughter was losing the battle of the bulge and the incredible blowback she got from friends and family. She'll tell us about it all in just a few minutes.
The Defense Department and other government agencies are preparing for the possible government budget cuts known as sequestration. Host Michel Martin talks with Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Robbins of the Defense Department and Washington Post 'Federal Diary' columnist Joe Davidson about who'll be affected.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their comments and some savvy advice. We are going to continue our conversation about children and obesity.
Over the past few years, there's been a spotlight on the growing number of overweight and obese children in America. Today, more parents are paying close attention to what their kids eat and how often they exercise. While many parents might balk at the idea of putting a 7-year-old on a diet, that's what Dara-Lynn Weiss did. She speaks with NPR's Michel Martin about the ordeal, which she recalls in her new memoir, The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 9:54 am
Standing in front of first responders who he says could lose their jobs, President Obama pushed Tuesday for Congress to act now to avoid $85 billion in "automatic, severe budget cuts" set to kick in starting on March 1.
The cuts due because of the so-called sequestration "are not smart, they are not fair [and] they will hurt our economy," the president said.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 11:56 am
For years, I've been hearing stories about the changing agricultural landscape of the northern plains. Grasslands are disappearing, farmers told me. They're being replaced by fields of corn and soybeans.
"Hundreds of investigations convince us" that the Chinese government is at least aware of, and likely sponsoring, cyber thieves who have stolen massive amounts of information from companies around the world, including American defense contractors, a U.S. security firm reported Tuesday.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 12:50 pm
In a heist right out of movies such as The Italian Job, eight masked gunman drove on to the tarmac at Brussels' international airport Monday night, sped to a plane being loaded with diamonds and made off with about $50 million worth of the precious stones, authorities say.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 8:57 am
Investigators trying to piece together a motive in December's killings in Newtown, Conn., believe that 20-year-old shooter Adam Lanza may have been inspired by a similar 2011 massacre in Norway.
The Hartford Courant and CBS News report that authorities searching through Lanza's belongings after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary discovered several news articles about Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in July 2011.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 7:51 am
South African prosecutors laid out their case Tuesday against sprinter Oscar Pistorius, charging that the Olympic and Paralympic athlete committed premeditated murder on Valentine's Day when he allegedly rose from bed, put on his prosthetic legs, walked to a locked bathroom door and fired through it four times — killing his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Congratulations to the Montalvos of Houston, Texas on the birth of their identical twins Ace and Blaine and on the birth of identical twins Cash and Dylan. The couple thought they'd hit the jackpot when they learned they were expecting twins. Then they heard fourth heartbeat. Quadruplets are unusual, but a pair of identical twins - the odds are about 70 million to one. Next? Possibly a family trip to Las Vegas. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Unknown hackers captured Burger King's Twitter account for more than an hour yesterday. They changed BK's bio, saying the company was sold to rival McDonald's because the Whopper had flopped. McDonald's sent the message: We didn't do it. The hackers did bring Burger King 30,000 new followers. BK recovered its account and tweeted: Interesting day.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Now, a look at one part of the immigration debate in Congress: a proposed increase in H1-B visas. Those are the visas that allow companies to hire skilled foreign workers. As NPR's Martin Kaste reports in today's "Business Bottom Line," offering more of those visas is controversial, especially among American tech workers of a certain age.
MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: Here in Seattle, people still have fond memories of the 1990s tech boom.
OK. Let's stay with tablets, the digital kind. The kind we used to download apps. Our last word in business today is: apps aplenty.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
With the popularity of tablets and smartphones, people have been downloading about 10 apps per month onto their devices.
MONTAGNE: Great news for businesses, perhaps, except research from the business consulting firm Nuance Enterprise shows that the vast majority of those apps are quickly abandoned, especially those that are free.
Hey, Mississippi can righteously proud of the part it played as the cradle of America's quintessential music, the blues. American music by way of Africa. One place in particular, Mali, has long laid claim to giving birth to the blues.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MONTAGNE: Here the legendary Ali Farka Toure.
Mali's musical tradition was threatened this past year when Islamist militants took over the vast deserts of Northern Mali and immediately banned music - an incredibly painful experience for Malians.
Kenyan graffiti artists received permission from the Rift Valley Railway to spray-paint a 10-car commuter train with peace messages and icons. It may be the first train in Africa with officially authorized graffiti.
The train will travel through the massive Nairobi slum of Kibera, one of the largest in Africa, where young gangs torched, looted and killed in the spasms of violence that followed the 2007 Kenyan presidential election.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court's landmark decision requiring the states to provide lawyers for poor people accused of committing crimes. Clarence Gideon, the defendant in that case, wrote his own petition to the high court in longhand, and Tuesday, the Supreme Court is hearing the case of another defendant who, in the longest of long shots, filed a handwritten petition from prison asking the justices for their help.
Ganging up on classmates online can get students suspended.
But sometimes teachers are the target of cyberbullying, and in North Carolina, educators have said enough is enough. State officials have now made it a crime to "intimidate or torment" teachers online.
Chip Douglas knew something was up with his 10th-grade English class. When he was teaching, sometimes he'd get a strange question and the kids would laugh. It started to make sense when he learned a student had created a fake Twitter account using his name.
Many people think 3-D printing could help spark a manufacturing renaissance in the U.S. — even President Obama highlighted this technology in his State of the Union address last week.
But as 3-D printers and 3-D scanners get cheaper, this nascent industry could be roiled by battles over intellectual property.
Not so long ago, a good 3-D scanner that could create accurate digital models of objects in the real world cost more than $10,000. Then, Microsoft released the Kinect — the video game controller that allows you to play games by just waving your hands.