Here in Los Angeles this week, the video game industry gathered for its annual convention, the Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3. Companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo unveiled new products and games.
For some highlights, we're joined by Harold Goldberg. He's a video game critic who was at the convention all week. Good morning.
And today's last word in business is: Crispy and cheesy and really, really profitable.
You might remember when we introduced you to Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Taco a few months ago. It's a taco made with a shell of Nacho Cheese Doritos. Taco Bell's chief executive hailed it as a flavor pairing waiting to happen. And after a huge media rollout, taco lovers have spoken by buying 100 million Doritos Locos Tacos in about 10 weeks. That is a whole lot of tacos.
OK. Let's go from the futuristic to a show biz monument from the past. The Hollywood Palladium is up for sale, according to according to the Hollywood Reporter. It's well known as a concert venue, hosting musicians ranging from James Brown to the Rolling Stones to Jay-Z. But we want to bring you back to the Palladium's beginnings as a stylish art deco ballroom back in 1940.
Our MORNING EDITION colleague Steve Inskeep is in the midst of a revolutionary road trip: a journey through North African nations at the center of the Arab Spring. Now, as Steve was preparing for his trip from Tunisia through Libya and to Cairo, he spoke with a journalist who has covered Libya for years.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Her name is Lindsey Hilsum, author of the new book, "Sandstorm," about last year's revolution that overthrew Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi. Hilsum pays particular attention to that country's women.
In the past 15 years, Richard Russell, the owner of the British independent record company XL Recordings, has shepherded his label to more than its fair share of industry success.
Last year the label saw its greatest heights yet, though to be fair, no other label climbed anywhere near as high. That's because 2011 was the year of Adele, and XL is the singer's home. (In the United States, Adele's albums are promoted and distributed by Columbia Records, but she is signed to XL worldwide.)
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told a congressional committee Thursday that the U.S. economy faces some significant risks, and Fed officials are still deciding what to do about it.
His remarks disappointed a lot of investors who want the Fed to do something to revive growth. Bernanke spoke at a time when interest rates on government debt are hitting lows not seen since the Great Depression.
The Rev. Ralph Abernathy (from left), the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bayard Rustin leave the Montgomery (Ala.) County Courthouse in 1956. Rustin, who was gay, was the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.
Credit Mary Altaffer / AP
NAACP Chairwoman Roslyn Brock says of the group's recent support for gay marriage, "Some may never be able to come to terms with the resolution, and that's fine, but we hope they will evolve and stand firmly with us."
Credit Charlie Neibergall / AP
The Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr., of Des Moines, Iowa, resigned from the NAACP's national board this week. He spoke at a rally against gay marriage in Des Moines last year.
The NAACP recently took what was for some in the organization a controversial step, when it endorsed same-sex marriage. That move has now led some local officers around the country to resign — including the group's most outspoken critic of gay marriage.
The NAACP board says it stands by its resolution calling for marriage equality. But as the nation's oldest civil rights group prepares for its national convention in July, some in the ranks say the resolution caught them by surprise, and that such an important decision deserved open debate.
President Obama speaks with House Speaker John Boehner during a meeting at the White House in 2011. A slowdown in job growth and a looming tax deadline could force the president to try to revive his "grand bargain" with Republicans.
The Obama administration is searching for a "sweet spot" in economic policy: measures that could increase job growth right now without worsening the federal deficit. That task gained new urgency this month when the Labor Department reported a sharp slowdown in job growth in May.
The challenge could force the president to try to revive his "grand bargain" with Republicans.
Scott O'Neill is leading a global effort to rid the world of dengue fever. "Finding a way to manage a group of people who are all quite individualistic and having them work together towards this common goal is critical," he says.
Every profession has its symbols of success. For opera singers, it's performing at La Scala or the Met. For mountain climbers it's making it to the top of Everest. For scientists, if you get two papers published in the same issue of a prestigious journal like Nature, you're hot.
A man plays soccer in Kiev on Thursday. The first games of the Euro 2012 tournament are on Friday.
Credit Sergei Grits / AP
Soccer fans pose with Ukrainian girls dressed in traditional costumes at the airport in Kiev, the capital, Wednesday. The former Soviet state, together with Poland, is co-hosting the Euro 2012 soccer championship.
Credit STR / AFP/Getty Images
A social worker gives condoms to a sex worker in Kiev.
Hundreds of thousands of soccer fans, most of them men, are set to arrive in Ukraine and Poland for Euro 2012, the monthlong European soccer championship that kicks off Friday.
But what's expected to take place off the field has health experts concerned. An estimated 360,000 Ukrainians — more than 1 percent of the population — are infected with AIDS or the virus that causes AIDS, the highest rate in Europe. Sex workers are one of the hardest-hit groups.
Jose Rodriguez and Charles Zelinsky at StoryCorps in Trenton, N.J. Jose is now a Special Olympics coach — he'll be overseeing games this weekend.
Credit Courtesy of of Charles Zelinsky
Champions: The New Jersey basketball team -- including Jose Rodriguez (kneeling, second from right) -- poses for the cameras after winning the gold medal at the Special Olympics National Games in 2010.
States around the country are hosting their regional Special Olympics games this summer. In New Jersey, the games' opening ceremonies begin Friday.
Jose Rodriguez participated in the New Jersey Special Olympics back in 2003, when he was 13. Special Olympics offers a chance for people with intellectual disabilities to pursue a sport. Jose has trouble learning — mostly through reading and writing.
Speaking at StoryCorps, Jose, 23, told his former basketball coach, Charles Zelinsky, 57, what his life was like before he found the games.
NPR's Deborah Amos has been covering the uprising in Syria since it began more than a year ago. Like other foreign reporters, she has had to cover much of the conflict from afar because the Syrian government has only rarely granted visas. She has just returned to Syria for the first time since last fall and sent this dispatch:
Federal election law has required the public disclosure of campaign donors for nearly 40 years.
But this year, outside groups are playing a powerful role in the presidential election. And some of them disclose nothing about their donors. That's despite what the Supreme Court said in its controversial Citizens United ruling two years ago.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
For many kids, summer means no homework, playing outdoors and, of course, traveling. Our children's music reviewer, Stefan Shepherd, tells us about a new album inspired by a trip down America's original interstate highway.
The United States named its 19th poet laureate today: Natasha Trethewey, a professor of English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta. She is the nation's first poet laureate to hail from the South since the initial laureate — Robert Penn Warren — was named by the Library of Congress in 1986.
A gavel rests in a makeshift courtroom at Richmond High School in Richmond, Calif. The local school district has cut the number of student suspensions in half in six years by adopting a youth court program and other new discipline methods.
Robert, a talkative sixth-grader in the city of Richmond, has been suspended three times from his elementary school in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. If he gets suspended one more time, he says, he might get expelled. [NPR has withheld his last name because he is a minor.]
Since Republicans took back the U.S. House in the 2010 elections, abortion has been a fairly constant theme. The House took eight separate abortion-related votes in 2011 — the most in a decade, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Damon Lindelof was a producer on the 2009 reboot of Star Trek, which seemed to win over loyal Trekkies. And this weekend Lindelof will earn the devotion — or wrath — of Alien fans. He helped write the screenplay for the new film Prometheus, an origin story for Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi classic.
Mexican presidential front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, waves to the crowds during a campaign stop in the northern border city of Tijuana, Mexico, on June 3. The once dominant PRI, out of power for the past 12 years, looks likely to make a comeback.
Credit Marisa Peñaloza / NPR
Fred Alvarez, a political consultant and blogger, says Mexicans do not want to see a new state party where the president, for example, Pena Nieto, becomes the party chief.
Credit Edgard Garrido / Reuters/Landov
A demonstrator holds an anti-Pena Nieto sign during a May 19 protest against the PRI candidate in Mexico City.
As Mexico approaches its election day on July 1, polls indicate the candidate for the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, is well ahead and appears likely to return his party to power.
The PRI governed Mexico for seven decades until 2000, when it was tossed out by an electorate tired of a corrupt political machine. Now, discontent with the current leadership and the rampant drug-related violence has created an opening for the PRI to come back. Still, some Mexicans are queasy about the prospect of the party's resurgence.
That means there is a 50 percent chance that El Niño — warmer than normal temperatures in the Pacific Ocean near the equator — will develop by next winter. As The Baltimore Sun reports, if this happens it will be the first time El Niño rears its head since 2009.
The Philadelphia Orchestra has just wrapped up a 10-day visit to China, its seventh trip to the country over the past four decades.
But this trip was different.
The orchestra is preparing to come out of bankruptcy, and this tour was about its survival. It hopes to balance its books by building new audiences and new revenues in the world's second-largest economy.
Neal Coleman and his wife, Rachel, are both in their mid-20s and attend graduate school at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. They say renting makes more sense for them and their young daughter until their family is a bit more settled.
Credit Scott Olson / Getty Images
Homeownership will be out of reach for many younger adults in the U.S., according to several sociologists and housing analysts, leading to a rise in the number of renters.
Does Generation Y see homeownership as the same symbol of middle-class success that was so powerful for their parents and grandparents? Click here to find out.
Kristi Taylor can pinpoint the precise moment she let go of the dream of homeownership. It was a few months ago, as she and her husband and infant son were driving through a neighborhood of homes near their apartment in Athens, Ga.
"As we were passing through, I realized that I don't really look at houses like I used to, when we would point out homes and say, 'That can be ours someday,' " says Taylor, who is 28. Now, she says, "the idea of homeownership is so vague, it doesn't even strike me as something that's in our future."