President Obama returned yesterday to the scene of Hurricane Sandy's devastation; this time, visiting hard-hit areas of New York. He promised to stick with residents until the rebuilding effort is complete. Here's NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson.
NPR's business news starts with more mortgage problems.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: Independent auditors released a report this morning, showing that the Federal Housing Administration is facing a shortfall from losses on the mortgages it insures. The Obama administration says it's going to take steps to prevent a taxpayer bailout.
As NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, the FHA has been struggling since the foreclosure crisis hit four years ago.
Israel's neighbor Jordan had largely avoided the unrest sparked by the Arab Spring until now. Jordan's king has outlasted protests that have been much smaller than in other nations, but a government move to raise fuel prices sparked fresh protests and even calls for King Abdullah to step down. A protester who died in a clash with police has become a symbol of protesters' fury. NPR's Leila Fadel has the story.
Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 4:49 am
The two biggest fears of the fiscal cliff are defense cuts and tax hikes. The nation's mayors say the devastating effects of automatic cuts reach further than the Defense Department — right into their own cities. Steve Inskeep talks to the Democratic Mayor of Charleston, S.C., Jospeh Riley and Republican Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, Ariz., about the impact sequestration could have in their cities.
Honda, which has long aspired to launch off the road and into the skies, is one step closer to that goal. It has started production on its HondaJet. It's a twin jet engine aircraft, being assembled in North Carolina, aimed at the business market. Industry insiders call it the "Honda Civic of the skies."
Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:25 am
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
As Israel and Hamas continue launching attacks, residents of the Israeli city of Tel Aviv and communities to its south remain on alert for missile strikes. Sheera Frenkel reports that many fear the current round of violence is nowhere close to being over.
Voters in Washington and Colorado just approved measures legalizing marijuana for recreational use. But businesses that want to sell marijuana in those states will face a problem: No bank wants to do business with them.
I called several banks in Washington. I called a local credit union, a tiny bank in the San Juan islands. Everybody said basically the same thing. Even if selling marijuana is legal under state law, it's still illegal under federal law. And banks and credit unions worry that this could get them in trouble.
Whenever there's a disaster, people want to give, and Hurricane Sandy is no exception. According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, U.S. charities collected more than $174 million in donations as of Nov. 9 to help respond to the storm.
But it's not only money that has been pouring in. Relief programs have also received mountains of clothes, food and other supplies, not all of which are needed.
Leo Tolstoy's epic novel Anna Karenina has captivated readers since the 1800s — and movie directors have been among the intrigued, adapting the story over and over.
The latest is from director Joe Wright, who with Pride and Prejudice and Atonement to his credit certainly knows his way around a literary adaptation. Those films starred Keira Knightley, who has worked with Wright once again as the story's tragic heroine.
Every so often, people at an NPR station discover a song they can't get enough of. On those occasions, we ask them to share their obsession with the nation. Ben Famous is the music director at KCEP Power88 in Las Vegas. He spoke to Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep about a new cut from R&B heavyweight Avant. It's called "You and I," and it features Keke Wyatt. "The first time we played it," says Famous, "the phone lines lit up, and people were like, 'Who was that?' 'What was that?'"
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. First, they taxed the rich, and the people said nothing. Then they went after the Nutella. The French Senate approved a measure tripling the tax on palm oil and other vegetable oils. It would sharply raise the cost of making Nutella, a popular chocolate and hazelnut spread. The tax is meant to cut down on obesity, but has prompted an outcry from Nutella lovers. And the maker of the spread promises the recipe will not change. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Here's a story from Utah about a missing paperboy. A goat named Voldemort butted a paperboy off his bike, treed(ph) him, and sat under the tree glaring. The standoff lasted until the goat saw some girls passing by and chased them. Jaxon Gessel, hero paperboy, climbed out of the tree, caught the goat and wrestled it to the ground. Cops looking for Jackson found the boy, grabbed the goat and solved the case of two kids. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 3:29 am
Along with the news about the Gen. David Petreus scandal, we've been hearing about lavish social events given in the Tampa, Fla., area. A lot of military brass from MacDill Air Force Base, where U.S. Central Command is headquartered, go to these events. Linda Wertheimer talks to Ben Montgomery, a reporter with the Tampa Bay Times, about how the scandal is playing out around Tampa.
Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:07 am
Republicans claim President Obama's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy will cost the economy 700,000 jobs. Another study from the Congressional Budget Office puts the number of lost jobs as 200,000. But both studies also assume millions of new jobs will be created.
Hostess Brands, famous for processed treats like Twinkies and Ding Dongs, says it will go into liquidation if striking bakers do not return to work this afternoon. This could see the layoffs of nearly 18,000 workers. The bakers walked out over wage and benefit cuts. Analysts say the company's most iconic brands would likely be bought by other companies if Hostess goes out of business. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
When President Obama sets off to Asia this weekend to highlight his so-called pivot to the region, he will make a bit of history: Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Myanmar.
The country, also known as Burma, was a pariah state for decades, ruled by a ruthless military dictatorship. That is changing, and the Obama administration has encouraged a dramatic reform process in the country. But it may be too early for a victory lap.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. A driver delivering takeout for a Chinese restaurant left his car running while he ran in an order. He comes back and guess what? No car. He called his boss, who called the next customer on the route to apologize. But they had their takeout. The car thief-turned delivery man made a few extra bucks. But at the next house on his route the cops were waiting. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The word nonprofit evokes the image of a charity or a church, an educational institution, public radio station. But David Evans of Bloomberg Markets Magazine took a closer look at the world of nonprofits and discovered something that he considered suspicious. Even though many nonprofits make millions and millions in profits, they pay no taxes.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
More than two weeks after Sandy hit the Northeast, thousands of people in New Jersey are still unable to return to their homes. And as NPR's Laura Sydell reports, finding temporary housing has proven to be a confusing and difficult process for many storm victims.
Congress is beginning a busy post-election session. Lawmakers have weeks to prevent higher taxes and spending cuts due to take effect at the end of the year. Then there are hearings on the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya and the scandal over the affair that ended the career of CIA Chief David Petraeus. Here's NPR's David Welna.
Some time ago, a man wearing jeans, cowboy boots and a hoodie drove a dirty Ford Explorer into a carwash in Fort Worth, Texas. As soon as the car came back clean, he got it filthy again, and drove to the next carwash. He did this with every single full-service carwash in town.
The man wasn't suffering from a strange mental disorder; Patrick Kinkade was a criminologist conducting an experiment.
<strong>Energy Of The Future?</strong> California company Sierra Energy is testing out a reactor that turns garbage — like these wood chips, metal fragments and plastics — into synthetic gas that can then be turned into a low-carbon diesel fuel.
Credit Christopher Joyce / NPR
Sierra Energy is testing a reactor that makes fuel in a warehouse at an old Air Force base near Sacramento, Calif.
It was fun to call American sports commissioners czars, but once players started to have unions, a commissioner really became more like a majority leader in a legislature, trying to keep his party — the owners — together in their financial battles against the minority opposition, the athletes.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. It's a big year for the little word gif. The Oxford Dictionary has chosen it as the word of 2012. Short for graphic interface format, which are looping Internet animations, gif began as a noun in the 80s but caught on as a verb. For example, I giffed. That is made my own looping animations of the president's speech. Runners up include nomophobia - fear of being without your mobile phone. And YOLO - you only live once. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.