When McDonald's cut a deal to make itself the exclusive purveyor of french fries and the similar (but please don't say matching) chips at the 2012 Olympic Games in London later this month, it may not have anticipated the flurry of responses. Foodies raged, nutritionists nagged, and many called it another example of an American cultural takeover.
Ice Age: Continental Drift, which comes out July 13, is the fourth film in the animated franchise. Since Toy Story marked the beginning of the era of entirely computer-animated films, they've been a studio's safest bet for big earnings at the box office and beyond.
Credit Michael Nagle / Getty Images
Computer-animated films like Toy Story 3 are not only box-office draws, they also bring in money through toy sales and theme park rides.
Imagine you're a movie producer, and you've got a couple of hundred million dollars to gamble on a single massive blockbuster. Which genre do you suppose will be your safest bet — superhero? Action-adventure? Sci-fi? All of those have had huge successes, but they've also all had hugely expensive failures.
There's one genre, though, that's hardly a gamble at all. It's been almost foolproof since it first came into being in 1995: computer animation.
Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:02 am
In the absence of a cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS, drug treatment has at least helped lower the pandemic's toll.
Since 2003, much of the treatment dispensed in hard-hit countries has come in the form of generic versions of previously expensive drugs. The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, has paid for quite a bit of the medicine.
Mitt Romney, hearing boos at the NAACP convention, now knows what we go through each week on the podcast. President Obama, facing poor economic news, changes the subject with an assault on Romney and the GOP on taxes. Plus updates on Reps Charlie Rangel (victory), Jesse Jackson Jr. (health), Shelley Berkley (ethics) and Thad McCotter (skadoodle).
Join NPR's Ken Rudin and guest host Brian Naylor for this week's political roundup.
A "not guilty" verdict has been handed down in a case that has been front-page news for months in Great Britain:
John Terry, former captain of England's national soccer team and captain of the English Premier League's Chelsea Football Club, "has been cleared of racially abusing fellow footballer Anton Ferdinand," the BBC writes.
Credit Pete Souza / The White House via Getty Images
President Obama is interviewed from the Cabinet Room of the White House by Robin Roberts on ABC's Good Morning America on May 9. During the interview, Obama expressed his support for gay marriage — a first for a U.S. president.
Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 11:40 am
President Obama's decision to publicly support same-sex marriage may have changed the minds of some Americans, according to a national poll. But in states that will vote on the issue in November, the impact has been mixed.
Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:33 am
For all the chatter that the winner of the 2012 presidential election will be determined by the economy, you wouldn't know it by looking at the most closely contested states.
The recovery is still tepid in most parts of the country, and there's a sense of trepidation that signs of improvement might not last. Among the swing states, some are doing comparatively well while others are struggling — but the political picture looks roughly the same in all.
The reporter who last year broke the news that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky had been accused of sexually abusing young boys today helps answer some very interesting questions:
The largest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase, this morning released its second quarter results. It's net income was $5 billion, but it turns out that loses in a failed hedging strategy involving a secretive trader were much higher than what the bank originally said the loss would be. In fact, JPMorgan lost $4.4 billion last quarter on those risky trades.
As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, that's not the full extent of the firm's damage.
The grim numbers vary and independent observers haven't yet been able to get to the scene. But there's word from Syria of what may be the single worst day of bloodshed so far in what's become a long line of such horrible events since protests against the regime of President Bashar Assad began in March 2011:
Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 12:30 pm
Though it suffered an estimated $4.4 billion second-quarter loss related to its bungled trading in some very risky types of investments, JPMorgan Chase said this morning that it still did well enough in its other businesses that it had net income of $5 billion in those three months.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. People in Beirut are sick of political protests across the country. Protesters have been blocking highways with burning tires. So there was only one thing to do. Yesterday, they held a protest using tires against protests using tires. Instead of burning the tires in the street, they painted the tires many colors. The protesters held up signs reading: We are tired. And a police officer refused to ticket them, saying, their tires are pretty. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
This Friday the 13th, fans of horror films and hobbits, science fiction and fantasy are descending upon the San Diego Convention Center. They're gathering for the annual explosion of pop culture fandom that is Comic-Con. One of the biggest phenomena in pop culture at the moment will be making an appearance, and it's not a man of steel or a boy slinging webs.
It's a 40-something woman who writes... wait for it... steamy romance.
Voting rights have been a big topic at this year's convention of the NAACP in Houston. Republicans across the country have been pushing for tougher voter I.D. laws, which the nation's oldest civil rights organization contends are aimed at hurting voter turnout among African-Americans. Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden joined a long list of convention speakers addressing that issue, as NPR's Don Gonyea reports.
And today's last word in business comes from the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan, which by the way, won six medals in the last Olympics. But today's last word is about another kind of competition, this one between social networking sites. And the word is: YouFace. That's the name of a new social networking site that aims to lure local Internet users away from Facebook, and, quote, "boost patriotism among young people in Uzbekistan."
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renée Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. China's economic growth has slowed down to a three-year low. That's according to new figures released today. The numbers matter to us because of the way the world economy is so interconnected. Americans import a lot from China, sure, but have also been working to boost exports to other nations, including China.
NPR's Louisa Lim joins us from Beijing to make sense of the latest news. Hi, Louisa.
The ancient desert town of Timbuktu is under assault in the west African nation of Mali. Islamist forces have taken over much of northern Mali where Timbuktu is located. One group, allied with al-Qaida, has begun systematically destroying Shrines that celebrate ancient Muslim saints. Human Rights Watch Senior Researcher Corinne Dufka talks to Renee Montagne about the destruction.
NPR's business news starts with a warning about LIBOR.
It came years ago. We now know that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner pointed out problems with the way that London's key interest rates were set. He did this in 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis at the time he was head of the New York Federal Reserve.
And the biggest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase, says it has lost $4.4 billion from its failed hedging strategy involving a secretive trader. That's more than twice the bank's earlier estimate. The company released its second-quarter earnings report this morning, and NPR's Jim Zarroli is with us now to talk about them. Jim, what is the company telling investors this morning about that money?
Some future news now. The Olympics begin two weeks from today in London, and we can already tell you the likely big winners. China will take the most gold medals, followed by the U.S. and host country, Great Britain. Team USA will win the most overall medals, followed by China and Russia.