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5:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

$6B Deal Eases Credit Card Surcharge Restrictions

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 2:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Visa, MasterCard, some of the nation's other largest banks have agreed to a multibillion dollar settlement of a class action suit involving credit card transaction fees. Now, those are what merchants pay when you use plastic instead of cash. Retailers allege that the two largest payment networks conspired with the banks to keep so-called swipe fees high. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

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Europe
5:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Italians Commemorate Costa Concordia Wreck

Work has begun to remove the tons of rocky reef embedded into the Concordia cruise ship's hull, off Giglio Island in Italy. The plan is to eventually tow the wreck away from the island in one piece.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 2:54 pm

Last January, the captain of the Italian mega-cruise ship Costa Concordia committed an apparent act of maritime bravado a few yards from the shore of a Tuscan island. Thirty people were killed, and two are still missing.

Six months after one of the biggest passenger shipwrecks in recent history, relatives of the dead attended a memorial service Friday near the site of the disaster.

The solemn notes of Mozart's Requiem echoed through the small church of Saints Lorenzo and Mamiliano on the island of Giglio.

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The Record
4:20 am
Sat July 14, 2012

He Keeps fun. Running

Shane Timm tunes Jack Antonoff's guitar on the stage at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn before a fun. show in June.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:31 pm

When NPR's Scott Simon spoke with singer Nate Ruess of the band fun. three weeks ago, the band was wrapping up a marathon tour of the United States in support of its album Some Nights and the hit single "We Are Young."

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Politics
3:57 am
Sat July 14, 2012

'Exhaustion' Can Signify A Lot More Than 'Tired'

The office of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. initially said he had gone into seclusion for exhaustion. Later, that was revised to a mood disorder.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

We may never know all the reasons why Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., has dropped out of sight, but history teaches us that if a public figure is linked to "exhaustion," the word can be code for something more problematic than simply being tired.

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Food
3:51 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Three Beers To Cheer Your Summer Suppers

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 9:58 am

When the mercury's soaring, a cold, refreshing beer can be the best part of summer. As part of our occasional Taste of Summer series, we asked beer expert Graham Haverfield to recommend a few of his seasonal favorites.

Haverfield is the beer director for the Wine Library in Springfield Township, N.J. He's also a certified cicerone, or beer server. "Summer beers are typically lighter in body, they're typically a little lower in alcohol," he tells NPR's Scott Simon.

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History
3:51 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Winston Churchill's Way With Words

Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 2:54 pm

Winston Churchill is best remembered as the British prime minister whose speeches rallied a nation under a relentless Nazi onslaught in World War II. But few people know that he won the Nobel Prize in Literature — in part for his mastery of speechmaking.

Now, a new exhibition at the Morgan Library in New York City, Churchill: The Power of Words, holds a megaphone to Churchill's extraordinary oratory.

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National Security
3:50 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Osama's Driver Freed In Latest Guantanamo Release

Ibrahim al-Qosi, shown here on July 11 in Khartoum, Sudan, was released from Guantanamo Bay prison this week after spending a decade there. He was Osama bin Laden's former driver, and he pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy with al-Qaida and supporting terrorism. There are now 168 prisoners remaining at Guantanamo.
STR Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 2:54 pm

The latest detainee to leave the Guantanamo Bay prison boarded an Air Force jet earlier this week. His destination: Sudan. The man, 52-year-old Ibrahim al-Qosi, had admitted to being Osama bin Laden's bookkeeper, driver and sometime cook, and he was one of the first prisoners to arrive at Guantanamo in 2002.

Now, he is the latest to leave. His departure brings the total detainee population at the U.S. naval base in Cuba down to 168 — from a high of 680 in May 2003.

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Mitt Romney
3:49 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Bain, Bain, Go Away: In Defense, Romney Attacks

Mitt Romney appears on ABC News in one of the five TV interviews he did Friday. He mostly responded to comments from the Obama campaign about his role at Bain Capital.
ABC News

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 2:54 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sat for a hastily arranged flurry of TV interviews Friday, strongly denying he had any role in running Bain Capital at a time when, according to reports, the company invested in firms that outsourced jobs overseas.

He also called for an apology from President Obama for statements by his campaign that Romney said were beneath the dignity of the presidency.

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Around the Nation
3:49 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Honor Delayed: WWII Vet Layed To Rest Decades Late

Staff Sgt. John Hogan was killed during World War II. Though he died almost 70 years ago, Hogan is only now going to be buried at Arlington Cemetery.
Courtesy of Ed Hogan

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 10:38 am

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. John Hogan was killed in action. But not recently, and not in Afghanistan. He was a young gunner on a bombing mission during World War II when his B-17 was shot down over Germany.

Now, 70 years later, Hogan will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

Back in 1944, the small, tight-knit town of West Plains, Mo., was knocked to its knees when one of its brightest and most promising young men went missing overseas.

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World
3:49 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Vive La France ... And Its High Taxes On The Wealthy

A French military brass band parades on the Champs-Elysee during a rehearsal as part of the Bastille Day celebrations, which take place Saturday.
Loic Venance AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 2:54 pm

As the French people celebrate their revolution on Saturday, Bastille Day, the founding principles — liberte, egalite and fraternite — seem to be alive and well.

New President Francois Hollande embraced equality on the campaign trail this spring. To reduce the French deficit, he proposed raising taxes on large corporations and the super-rich. The move helped his campaign take off, says Gerald Andrieu, a political journalist with Marianne magazine.

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Milo Greene: Born Of A Music-Industry Phantom

Milo Greene's self-titled debut comes out Tuesday.
L. Gray

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 1:49 pm

Buzz has been building. There were standing ovations when Milo Greene toured with The Civil Wars. Esquire magazine put Milo Greene on its list of artists to watch in 2012, and Milo Greene will perform songs from its debut album on David Letterman's show later this month. But this budding star is probably not who you think he is.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:03 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Tanglewood: Celebrating Beethoven In The Backwoods For 75 Years

Christoph von Dohnanyi and the Boston Symphony play Beethoven in the opening night concert of the Tanglewood Festival's 75th anniversary.
Hilary Scott Boston Symphony

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:22 pm

It now seems like a natural rite of summer — open-air classical music festivals where audiences can hear great music while picnicking under the stars. But 75 years ago, when the Boston Symphony first performed on a former estate called Tanglewood in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, it was a novel idea.

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Presidential Race
5:38 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Romney Makes Media Rounds Defending Bain Record

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Republican Mitt Romney gave a rare round of interviews today to reporters from five TV networks, in which he stood by his assertions that he had no active role in running Bain Capital after 1999. And he called on President Obama to apologize for comments from his campaign.

MITT ROMNEY: It's disgusting. It's demeaning. It's something which I think the president should take responsibility for, and stop.

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Business
5:38 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Credit Card Companies Settle Swipe Fee Suit For $6B

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

Visa, MasterCard and some of the biggest banks in the U.S. have agreed to a historic settlement of more than $6 billion in a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of more than 7 million merchants. NPR's Steve Henn has been reviewing this settlement agreement. He joins me now. And, Steve, what's this case about?

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The Two-Way
5:23 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Ralph Lauren: Next Time, Olympic Uniforms Will Be 'Made In USA'

This product image released by Ralph Lauren shows U.S. Olympic athletes, from left, swimmer Ryan Lochte, decathlete Bryan Clay, rower Giuseppe Lanzone and soccer player Heather Mitts modeling the the official Team USA Opening Ceremony Parade Uniform.
AP

It was one of the few issues, both Republicans and Democrats in Congress agreed on: They were outraged that the uniforms to be worn by U.S. Olympic athletes at the London Summer Games were made in China.

As we told you, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went so far as to say that the Olympic committee should "put [the uniforms] in a big pile and burn them."

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It's All Politics
5:15 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Romney Defends Timing Of Bain Tenure; Time Will Tell If It Matters

Once upon a time — just a few weeks ago, in fact — the story of Bain Capital was a useful and easy one for Mitt Romney. His years running the private equity firm had taught him how jobs are created, a skill he would bring with him to the White House.

And what of the negative consequences from Bain's involvement in various companies? The layoffs? The plant closings? The outsourcing of jobs to China?

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Politics
5:01 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Immigration Spurs A Rare Split Among Ariz. Mormons

Paul Morgan met his wife, Evelyn Oyuki Morgan, during his two-year Mormon mission to Mexico. Today, they belong to a Spanish-speaking Mormon congregation and speak Spanish at home with their two daughters, Isabella and Amaya.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:34 pm

Mitt Romney is the most famous Mormon running for office this fall. But he's far from the only one.

In Arizona, two other members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Rep. Jeff Flake and businessman Wil Cardon — are vying for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.

All three candidates have said they'll be tough on immigration. And while Mormons in Arizona have been closely identified with conservative politics, the immigration debate has exposed a rare divide on the issue.

Shared Faith, Different Political Views

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
4:32 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Thousands Of British Troops On Olympic Guard Duty

A British military missile battery, part of the Olympic security plan, is seen from an aircraft in south London. Organizers have been criticized for relying on a military presence for the 2012 Games.
Alastair Grant AP

When a private firm failed to meet its promise of providing enough guards for the Olympics, the British military was called in to "mind the gap" in security.

But even though the government is bringing in those troops — as well as RAF Typhoon combat jets, surface-to-air missiles on rooftops, and an aircraft carrier on the River Thames — organizers say it will still look like the Summer Games, and not war games.

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Romney: 'No Role Whatsoever In Management Of Bain' After '99

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 11:14 pm

Mitt Romney stuck to his guns in interviews with the major news networks, this afternoon.

"I had no role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999," Romney told CNN.

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All Tech Considered
4:26 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Apple's Change Of Heart On Green Certification

Attendees of Apple's 2012 World Wide Developers Conference look at the new MacBook Pro with Retina display.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

It's not often that one of the world's biggest companies says, "We goofed."

But in a surprising turn of events Friday, Apple admitted it made a mistake in pulling out of an environmental rating system for computers and other electronics. The company said it would rejoin the so-called EPEAT certification system, placing all 39 of its originally certified products back on the list. The company is also requesting certification for more products, including its new MacBook Pro model.

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Visa, MasterCard Come To More Than $6 Billion Settlement With Retailers

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 7:31 pm

Visa and Mastercard have announced that they will pay retailers more than $6 billion to settle several class-action and individual lawsuits retailers have filed since 2005.

According to a Wall Street Journal story from earlier this month, the settlement stems from complaints that Visa and MasterCard, the largest card-payments networks in the world, prohibited retailers from imposing surcharges to customers using those credit cards.

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Business
3:52 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Documents Lift Veil On Bank-Rate-Rigging Scandal

Police wait for protesters to appear at a branch of Barclays Bank in London on July 4.
Olivia Harris Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

As the financial crisis began to unfold in 2007, the New York Federal Reserve learned that some banks might have intentionally underestimated the rates they expected to pay for loans from other banks.

Documents the New York Fed released Friday, in response to a request from Congress, show that the banking regulator began to be concerned about the accuracy of LIBOR — or the London Interbank Offered Rate — late in 2007.

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Planet Money
3:48 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

What's It Mean That Romney Was CEO, Anyway?

Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 7:47 am

Mitt Romney faces new scrutiny over his time at the helm of Bain Capital, the private equity shop he ran from 1984 until — well, that's exactly the question.

The political fight of the moment is just when Romney stopped running Bain Capital, which specialized in buying troubled companies and turning them around.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Richard Zanuck, Producer Of 'Jaws' And 'Driving Miss Daisy,' Dies

Richard Zanuck at 29 in 1964.
AP

Richard Zanuck, the Oscar-winning producer of films like Jaws and Driving Miss Daisy, died today from a heart attack.

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It's All Politics
3:09 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Why New Swing State Of Virginia May Determine Presidency

President Obama clasps hands with Sen. Mark Warner (left), D-Va., and Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine during a campaign stop Friday in Virginia Beach, Va.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 3:30 pm

Yes, Virginia, you are this election year's Santa Claus.

And it could be your bag of 13 presidential electoral votes that will be the key to deciding who occupies the White House in January.

Proof of Virginia's gathering importance?

President Obama is in the midst of a two-day Virginia campaign swing. Republican candidate Mitt Romney dispatched former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to counterattack Friday.

The airwaves are awash in campaign ads, and there's a veritable who-has-more-campaign-offices arms race well under way.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:09 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Governors Spar Over Medicaid And Health Exchanges

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says Medicaid should be overhauled before it's expanded.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

The nation's governors — well, many of them, anyway — are gathering in Colonial Williamsburg, Va., for their annual summer meeting this weekend.

It's no easy trick for the National Governors Association to get Republican and Democratic chief executives on the same page, or even the same room.

This year, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, it's even harder.

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NPR Story
2:46 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

What's Killing 'King Coal' In West Virginia?

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This week, one of the biggest coal mining companies in Central Appalachia, Patriot Coal, filed for bankruptcy protection. Over the past three months, a wave of layoffs has hit coal country hard, and this past month, the share of all U.S. electricity generated from coal hit its lowest level since the 1940s. Our colleague Guy Raz visited Webster County in the middle of West Virginia to find out what's killing King Coal.

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It's All Politics
2:05 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Texas Voter ID Law Now In Hands Of Three-Judge Panel

The fate of Texas' new voter ID law is now up to a three-judge federal panel in Washington, D.C.

Lawyers for Texas and the Justice Department wrapped up five days of arguments in U.S. District Court Friday, with each side accusing the other of using deeply "flawed" data to show whether minorities would be unfairly hurt by a photo ID requirement.

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Opinion
1:55 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Wish You Were Here: The Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk

The Dolle's sign is part of the magic of the boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.
Steve Snodgrass Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 2:16 pm

David Rowell is an editor with The Washington Post. His first novel, The Train of Small Mercies, is just out in paperback.

When I was growing up in North Carolina, my family went to the same beach every year; it had the sand, the water and pretty much nothing else. Mostly that was OK, but the idea of a boardwalk, which I caught glimpses of on TV or in movies, seemed wondrous to me — like a carnival rolled out from a wooden carpet.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Germany's Merkel Pledges To Protect Religious Circumcision

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, right, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, gestures next to Rabbi Avichai Appel, left, a board member of the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference of Germany, during a news conference in Berlin, Germany on Thursday.
Gero Breloer AP

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 1:49 pm

In Germany, the past few weeks have been marked by an intense debate over religious liberties.

Today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel jumped into the fray saying her administration would work to protect religious circumcision.

"It is absolutely clear to the federal government that we want Jewish, we want Muslim religious life in Germany. Circumcisions carried out in a responsible way must not be subject to prosecution in this country," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters.

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