State and local governments have finally slowed their mass elimination of jobs in recent years. They have repeatedly cut back on services as tax revenues fell.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Many still have cuts to make, but as the economy slowly improves, city governments are looking again to grow their economies. Many of the nation's mayors have been meeting this week in Washington, D.C., and economic growth is on their minds.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
Pakistan's civilian government is in the midst of one of the many dramas that seem to occupy all its time. The prime minister appeared before the country's Supreme Court. He was ordered to explain why he should not be held in contempt. The prime minister has been refusing to prosecute a corruption case against his own boss, President Asif Ali Zardari.
A year has passed since the revolution in Egypt began. Suddenly young people there, like this protestor in Cairo's Tahrir Square, could envision a different future for Egypt.
SAKHI SAHER: So now we're going to witness a new country with new order, with new politeness amongst the people, and no one throwing garbage in the streets. It's going to be a new start, a new beginning.
A candidate forum was held in Greenville, S.C., Wednesday night, sponsored by the anti-abortion rights group Personhood USA. Participating in the event were Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry. Front-runner Mitt Romney did not attend. South Carolina holds its primary on Saturday.
In a moved that had been expected, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday. It raises the specter that the 132-year-old trailblazer could become the most storied casualty of a digital age that has whipped up a maelstrom of economic, social and technological change.
When the Washington Monument was damaged after an earthquake last summer, Congress committed $7.5 million to fix it but expected the public to pay the other $7.5 million. It turns out the public will be just one person. The Washington Post reports billionaire David Rubenstein will make the $7.5 million donation Thursday.
James Witt stands next to the foundation of a house he is building in Palo Alto. Witt has built a successful business by tearing down and rebuilding houses in Silicon Valley. His business has survived four recessions, including the most recent one.
Credit Cindy Carpien / NPR
Two donkeys, cared for by the community, live on Witt's property. The donkeys attract daily visits from children, in part because one of the animals was the model for the Donkey character in the Shrek movies.
The U.S. housing market may be singing the blues, but there are pockets where home sales are rising. James Witt, a homebuilder in California's Silicon Valley is surviving and thriving thanks to his luck, location, and knowledge of the local market.
Witt is a tall lanky man whose graying long hair suggests an actor in a Western movie. He's standing on his 3-acre property in Palo Alto, which includes an updated old farmhouse and a yard with a pair of donkeys. One, named Perry, has an interesting pedigree.
Angelina Jolie was just 16 when the war in Bosnia began, and she acknowledges now that she paid little heed to it at the time. But as her awareness of international issues later took shape, her attention was drawn back to that Balkan conflict.
"I wanted to understand," she says. "I was so young, and I felt that this was my generation; how do I not know more?" Now, that war is the subject of In the Land of Blood and Honey, her debut film as a writer and director.
President Obama rejected an application to build the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast on Wednesday. He blamed congressional Republicans, who had set a 60-day deadline for his administration to complete its review of the project.
Just minutes after Obama issued a statement denying the permit, Republican members of Congress lined up before TV cameras.
"I'm deeply, deeply disappointed that our president decided to put his politics above the nation," said Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska.
After a 20-year absence, Aseel Albanna returned to her native Iraq and found a very different country. Here, she poses with the statue of King Shahryar, a character in The Thousand and One Nights, near the Tigris River in Baghdad. The area used to be extremely popular, but many of the fish restaurants that once lined the streets have been torn down.
In September 1991, Aseel Albanna was about to finish her last year of architecture school in Baghdad. Wanting a break from the years of war and hardship, she took a trip to the U.S. But a planned four-week visit turned into a 20-year stay.
Family members in Kentucky arranged for her to complete her architecture degree at the University of Kentucky. She then lived and worked in Louisville until she moved to Washington, D.C., in 2005.
Contractors with SunEdison install more than 1,000 Chinese-made solar panels on top of a Kohl's Department Store in Hamilton Township, N.J., in 2010. Energy generated by the solar system will cut the store's usage, on average, by 25 to 30 percent.
There's a solar trade war going on inside the U.S., sparked by an invasion of inexpensive imports from China.
The U.S. solar industry is divided over these imports: Panel-makers say their business is suffering and want a tariff slapped on the imports. But other parts of the industry say these cheap panels are driving a solar boom in the U.S.
Language Advisory: The songs linked to in this article contain lyrics that some listeners may find offensive.
As many people head back to the gym this month, we're doing our part to help with The Ultimate NPR Workout Mix.
We're asking people what songs make them move, and it turns out music is just as important for motivating professional athletes as it is for the rest of us. We caught up with Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes after a recent practice --he says that before games, it's all about one rapper.
The bone-thinning disease called osteoporosis is a big problem for women past menopause. It causes painful spine fractures and broken hips that plunge many women into a final downward spiral.
So it seemed to make sense to monitor older women's bones on a regular basis to see when they need to start taking drugs that prevent bone loss and fractures. Since Medicare will pay for a bone-density scan every two years, that's what many women have been getting.
This week, reports have started to filter out of the remote northern mountains of Mexico that the Tarahumara indians are facing hunger. The indians were immortalized by the book Born To Run, in which writer Christopher McDougall paints a portrait of a proud tribe that thrives on long distance running — a tribe that with little in their stomachs and even less on their feet, puts to shame even the best American ultra-marathoners.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich is most in his element when he's fighting against social injustice.
Wherever he sees an outrage against the little guy, you'll find the Ohio Democrat railing against it — like at a recent public meeting about a new trash-to-energy facility Cleveland wants to install in a west side neighborhood.
The up and down markets from last year, took its toll even on Goldman Sachs, which is thought of as the rock star of investment banks.
Goldman posted a billion dollar profit during the last quarter of 2011. And while that may seem like a lot, it's 58 percent down. The AP reports that the profit follows a third quarter in which Goldman lost money for only the third time since it went public in 1999.
Before setting off on her road trip, Molly Baz worked in the kitchen of Manhattan's Picholine restaurant. She says one of the things she'll miss most from her trip is the Southern hospitality — and the free snacks that came with it.
Until this fall, chef Molly Baz was working at an upscale Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City. But she decided to give that up to go on a road trip.
Molly wanted to learn everything she could about variations in American barbecue, so she planned a tour of the country's most renowned barbecue regions and invited her father, photographer Doug Baz, along for the ride. The pair documented their travels on their blog, Adventures in BBQ.
Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 5:03 pm
In many countries, it's a cinch to call a local restaurant and get a freshly cooked dinner delivered, ready to eat amid the comforts of home. But in many parts of the U.S., the home delivery menu is usually limited to pizza and Chinese.
Burger King is trying to expand that menu by testing home delivery of burgers and fries, building on its success with home delivery overseas, including branches in Mexico, Turkey, Brazil, Colombia and Peru.
When Slovene World Cup Alpine skier Tina Maze opened her racing suit Sunday to reveal her sports bra beneath to all those looking on in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy, it wasn't some kind of sexy strip show or joyous Brandi Chastain type of moment.
It was a protest.
Over a fuss being made about her underwear.
Not the bra, mind you, or the words she had written on it: "Not your business."
The single largest cattle show in the United States, the National Western Stock Show, is now under way in Denver. Fans roar overhead, keeping the air cool and the odors at bay, as Jeanette Fuller spiffs up her Black Angus — with product.
"High-strength hairspray, basically, just trying to get the hair to accentuate the good things about her and kind of cover up the bad things about her," Fuller says.
The U.S. Supreme Court has given an Alabama death row inmate another chance to fight his execution. By a 7-to-2 vote, the court ruled Wednesday that convicted murderer Cory Maples, "through no fault of his own," was denied the right to appeal because he was abandoned by his lawyers.
Maples was convicted in 1997 of murdering two friends and was sentenced to death. There is no doubt that he committed the crime; the doubt is whether he could have avoided the death penalty if he had been properly represented at trial.
The Transportation Security Administration now says security screeners at Kennedy Airport in New York were wrong when they asked two elderly women to show them medical devices that were under their clothing.
In a letter sent to state Sen. Michael Gianaris and acquired by the New York Daily News, the Department of Homeland Security said that there was no evidence the two women were strip-searched, as they claimed, but that their agents did go further than they should have.
Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 8:11 pm
Update at 9:45 p.m. ET. Wahlberg apologizes:
Saying his comments were "ridiculous ... irresponsible ... [and] insensitive," actor Mark Wahlberg has now apologized for saying he would have stopped 9/11 hijackers if he had been on one of the planes, Reuters reports.
Read what he's apologizing for in our original post:
The U.S. House of Representatives will likely vote today to disapprove of raising the debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion. If you remember, the last time a vote of this kind went down, it was a dramatic showdown that rattled markets and was cited as one of the prime reasons S&P downgraded the United States' debt rating.
Today's vote however will be symbolic. The debt ceiling will likely be raised no matter how Congress votes.
Our Newscast desk spoke to NPR's Andrea Seabrook, who explained the vote like this:
Italian coast guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco (center) has become a national hero for ordering the captain of a sinking cruise liner to get back onboard and oversee the ship's evacuation. Here, De Falco arrives in court for a hearing on Tuesday.
Five days after a cruise liner slammed into rocks off Italy's Tuscan coast, the country is gripped by the contrasting profiles of two key figures in the drama — the captain charged with abandoning ship and the captain who demanded he get back onboard.
For many Italians, the accident has become a metaphor for a country that sees itself mired in economic and moral decline.
Francesco Schettino, the disgraced captain of the 1,000-foot-long floating palace known as the Costa Concordia, is under house arrest on suspicion of multiple manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship.