From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
LYNN NEARY, HOST:
And I'm Lynn Neary. European officials are moving ahead today with a new package of economic reforms. That's after a long night of talks in Brussels. The effort to address the unyielding debt crisis has threatened European unity and one important country, the United Kingdom, has refused to sign off on the reforms. More on that in a moment, but first we hear about the new rules from NPR's Jim Zarroli.
Mitt Romney was also in Iowa today. His campaign has spent the past several days on the offensive against Newt Gingrich. As Iowa Public Radio's Kate Wells reports, the former Massachusetts governor is facing a bigger challenge than he planned.
KATE WELLS, BYLINE: Remember when Mitt Romney wasn't supposed to really need Iowa?
At the E.U. summit in Brussels, Britain was the only nation to rule out treaty changes aimed at saving eurozone countries from default and saving the euro. A look at what's behind Britain's latest show of euro skepticism — and what it means for the Tory Prime Minister David Cameron, who, ironically, is in a coalition with the pro-Europe Liberal Democratic party.
The U.S. has poured $28 billion of economic assistance into Egypt in recent decades. But now when Egypt's needs are the greatest, the U.S. and Europe are cash strapped. The Obama administration is trying to quickly reprogram aid to make sure it helps bolster democratic forces in the country and creates jobs to help ease the country's transition. The International Monetary Fund's chief Christine Lagarde says her door is open as well, but countries like Egypt need to ask for aid, which does come with some conditions. Meanwhile, leading members of Congress say the U.S.
Time for some hot stove baseball now. Yes. Even in chilly December, there's still reason to talk about the nation's pastime. For instance, one of baseball's biggest stars is changing uniforms.
Albert Pujols is leaving the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. He's been with the Cards for 11 seasons and two World Series rings, but money talks and Pujols is on his way to L.A. and the other league. He'll be playing for the Angels.
Ron Paul is surging in the polls — at least in Iowa — reflecting the implosion of other candidates, his memorable debate performances and eclectic libertarian positions. He's for ending the wars — as well as what he calls the "socialist big government." What is his role in the GOP nomination race? Who is he hurting and helping? Could he conceivably win the nomination? Does he want to be president?
The case of a former FBI agent who disappeared from an Iranian resort island nearly five years ago has come back into the headlines. His family has decided to tell the media, for the first time, about some developments in the case that occurred last year — including a video of the former agent, Robert Levinson, who is shown asking the government to work for his release. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston talks to Lynn Neary about the questions surrounding the case and the family's efforts to bring Levinson home.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
I'm Robert Siegel.
And it's time now for our weekly talk on politics. And joining me are our regular political observers, columnists E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times. Hello, to both of you.
Here's another challenge for traditional retailers. Companies like Amazon and eBay now offer apps for your Smartphone that take a lot of the legwork out of comparison-shopping. While you're in a store, just take a picture of an item or scan the barcode on the box. You'll find out where else to get it and you might even get an extra discount for buying it on the spot.
Stephen Hoch teaches marketing at the Wharton School of Business and consults for some retailers.
U.S Attorney General Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee that the federal gunwalking program Fast and Furious was an unacceptable law enforcement tactic. But as Michel Marizco from the Fronteras Changing America Desk reports, Holder also suggested Congress needs to move forward.
President Obama supports expanding a program that allows certain foreigners to come to the US without a visa. But as Hernan Rozemberg reports from the Fronteras Changing America Desk, a new congressional report concludes that may not be such a good idea.
A new report from the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General says 69 million dollars of taxpayers' money meant for border fence construction has been wasted. From the Fronteras Changing America Desk, Ruxandra Guidi has the story.
The European Union may be in the middle of its biggest crisis ever, but that doesn't mean it's overlooking the small stuff - international competition over the sale of eBooks, for example. The E.U.'s executive body, the European Commission, is investigating Apple and five major publishers for possible antitrust violations relating to the pricing of eBooks. The U.S. Justice Department is also investigating the publishers and Apple, for possible anti-competitive practices.
The gloves are off in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Newt Gingrich's surge to the front of the pack appears to have more staying power than any of the other challengers to Mitt Romney's standing as party favorite. And so, team Romney is firing back, for the first time, at a candidate other than President Obama.
For much of the Cold War, George F. Kennan was America's best-known diplomat and a leading Soviet scholar. His reputation was based in large part on the 1947 essay he wrote on containment, the Cold War policy that said the U.S. should neither forcefully confront nor meekly appease the Soviets.
Rather, the U.S. should seek to contain Soviet expansion, power and influence in the belief that the communist system would eventually collapse on its own. The U.S. largely adhered to Kennan's road map until the Soviet Union crumbled in 1991.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
Newspaper correspondent Ernie Pyle reported from the frontlines of World War II. His dispatches often read like letters home from the troops. Pyle's columns won him the Pulitzer Prize. His life made it to the silver screen. And in a rare honor for a civilian, he was even awarded a Purple Heart. Pyle was born and raised in a tiny Indiana town where a once expansive museum pays tribute to him.
Editors of the American Heritage Dictionary have rewritten the definition of a controversial entry. The term "Anchor baby" was one of about ten thousand new words added to the dictionary last month, but as Jude Joffe Block reports for the Fronteras Changing America Desk, the definition sparked criticism.
Ever since Arizona's controversial S-B-10-70 became law last year, other states and cities have tried to follow its example. But as Ruxandra Guidi reports for the Fronteras Changing America Desk, few cities have defied both state and federal immigration laws like the city of Escondido, California.
After sailing through the U.S. House of Representatives, a bill that proponents called a small, but significant, step toward immigration reform has met a roadblock in the Senate. From the Fronteras Changing America Desk, Jill Replogle has the story.
The number of Americas over age 65 grew faster than any other age group in the country. From the Fronteras Changing America Desk Monica Ortiz Uribe reports that retirees contributed to most of the growth in the southwest.
New emails released by the Department of Justice show that top officials were worried about the public perception of its gun walking programs in Arizona. As Michel Marizco reports for the Fronteras Changing America Desk, this was even before two of those guns turned up at the scene of a Border Patrol agent’s murder.
Alan Heathcock is the author of the collection Volt.
Last week, my wife suggested we have a dance floor installed in our family room. She was smiling ear-to-ear, wiping sweat from her eyes. Behind her, our three kids took turns showing off their moves as Michael Jackson's P.Y.T. blared over the speakers.
The hip-hop band The Roots might currently be the hardest-working band in show business. Five nights a week, it's the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and is constantly collaborating with other artists. And this week, the band issued its 10th studio album.
Time now for a home-viewing recommendation from our film critic, Bob Mondello. With a new movie version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy opening this week, Bob's suggesting the TV original.
At some point in my youth, I must have known the nursery rhyme "Tinker, tailor/ soldier, sailor/ rich man, poor man/beggar man, thief," but since 1979, the instant someone says "Tinker Tailor," the next two words that occur to me are "Alec Guinness."
Larry Levan, who made the highlight of a new collection of DJ mixes recorded at London superclub Ministry of Sound. Levan's work at New York club Paradise Garage was the inspiration for the London club.
The audio link above is a radio story for All Things Considered about the late Larry Levan, the producer and DJ whose residency at New York's Paradise Garage between 1977 and 1987 remains the most storied in clubland.
In the past two weeks, Russia's president has once again slammed the U.S. for its missile defense plans in Europe. President Dmitry Medvedev told his nation Russia would aim its missiles at U.S. missile interceptors when they are deployed in Europe. He also said Russia might even pull out of the new START agreement, which limits both sides' strategic nuclear warhead deployments. We've heard these complaints and threats before from Moscow. Nevertheless, the tone of the Medvedev's remarks was quite sharp.
Soul music lost one of its great voices last week. Singer Howard Tate died Friday after a battle with cancer at the age of 72. Tate had made his name with a string of classic records including "Get It While You Can," before sliding into obscurity and addiction. But Tate got sober, found religion and he enjoyed a successful encore career over the past decade.
Tate's first turn at the music business came in 1966, when the single "Ain't Nobody Home" hit the R&B charts.
Robert Siegel speaks with Jack Stripling, a senior reporter at The Chronicle of Higher Education, about its analysis of executive compensation at private colleges. Among the findings, 36 presidents earned more than $1 million in 2009 — that's three presidents more than the previous year.