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.
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.
Two former House speakers in Pennsylvania are proving politics doesn't have to be partisan. Democrat Bill DeWeese was convicted on corruption charges and began serving time at a prison near Harrisburg. He was approached by his former legislative rival, Republican John Perzel to room together.
NPR's business news starts with NASDAQ compensating clients.
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MONTAGNE: The NASDAQ stock exchange will pay $40 million in compensation for botched trades that occurred during Facebook's initial public offering. NASDAQ clients lost millions of dollars on Facebook's May IPO because of computer glitches. The opening trade was delayed by more than half an hour, and many investors were unsure if their trades had gone through.
We're going to hear now about some surprising consequences of the weak housing market in this country. It turns out that the value - even on a paper - of a home can affect the college choices that a family makes.
NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam regularly joins us to discuss social science research. He's here this morning to talk about those new findings. And good morning.
Google has fired the first shot in what might come to be known as the map wars. Yesterday, the company unveiled new features, such as maps in 3D. Google made its move just five days before Apple is expected to announce its own new and improved mapping software.
Google made its move just five days before Apple is expected to announce its own, new and improved mapping software. NPR's Laura Sydell reports.
The need to store digital information is growing. Tens of thousands of new jobs are expected to be created over the next six years to take full advantage of that ocean of information known as big data.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
We'll begin this program with the aftermath of Tuesday's recall election in Wisconsin. Public sector unions took on Republican Governor Scott Walker, and the governor won. Walker became the first U.S. governor to beat back a recall attempt. The unions had spent a lot time, money and political capital in Wisconsin.
NPR's Sonari Glinton reports on what's next for organized labor.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is in Kabul, Afghanistan. He arrived this morning for a quick, unannounced visit with troops and also to check in on the progress of the war. Panetta's trip comes a day after a Taliban attack in southern Afghanistan left over 20 dead and at least 50 people wounded. Also yesterday, NATO forces were being blamed for allegedly killing civilians in an early morning strike.
When Ray Bradbury died this week, he was hailed as one of science fiction's great writers. Best known for works like "The Martian Chronicles," Bradbury himself didn't think science fiction was a good label for his work. He said science fiction was about what could happen, and believed most of his work was actually fantasy. And yet, in the real world of space exploration, Bradbury was revered. Science writer Andrew Chaikin, for one, considers Bradbury the poet laureate of space exploration.
Iranians line up at a gas station to fuel their motorcycles in central Tehran in February. Oil is the lifeblood of Iran's economy, but the planned EU boycott is expected to deal a major blow to Iranian oil exports.
On July 1, the European Union says it will stop buying oil from Iran. Europe is one of the most important markets for Iran's oil, and in anticipation of the boycott, Iranian oil exports worldwide are already down by more than 25 percent.
Iran's leaders say they can weather this pressure, and so far they have refused to budge on their controversial nuclear activities, ones that prompted a series of economic sanctions.
As a result, it appears as if Iran will only face even greater difficulties when it comes to exporting oil, the lifeblood of its economy.
The year began with New Year's resolutions to get fit and ever since, Morning Edition has been talking to athletes, musicians, a mail carrier and the head of the IRS about the music that gets them moving. The Ultimate NPR Workout Mix series concludes with a contribution from Michelle Obama.
The first lady is the mover and shaker behind "Let's Move," a campaign designed to get young people, in particular, to eat better and exercise more.
During a recent tour of the White House vegetable garden, Obama shared the key to her workout routine.
Imagine a school where every child gets instant, personalized writing help for a fraction of the cost of hiring a human teacher — and where a computer, not a person, grades a student's essays.
It's not so far-fetched. Some schools around the country are already using computer programs to help teach students to write.
There are two big arguments for automated essay scoring: lower expenses and better test grading. Using computers instead of humans would certainly be cheaper, but not everyone agrees on argument No. 2.
The writer, poet and critic Dorothy Parker was technically not a native New Yorker; she was born at her family's beach cottage in New Jersey. But she always considered New York City to be her beloved hometown. It's where she grew up, where she struggled during her early days as a writer, where she became famous, and where she died of a heart attack at the age of 73.
Children who get CT scans are at slightly increased risk for brain cancer and leukemia, according to a large international study released Tuesday.
CT scans create detailed images of the inside of the body. So they're great for diagnosing all sorts of medical problems — so great that their use has soared in recent years. More than 80 million are being done every year in the United States.
Some sad news this morning: The world has lost a literary giant. Author Ray Bradbury died last night after a long illness. He was 91 years old. He wrote such classics as "The Martian Chronicles" and "Fahrenheit 451" - futuristic tales from a man who never used a computer, or even drove a car. NPR's Arnie Seipel has more on Bradbury and his curious life.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Eight thousand people will carry the Olympic torch before it reaches London to open the summer games, though one would-be torch barer isn't even human. He's a small red fuzzy monster.
KEVIN CLASH: (As Elmo) Elmo's ready to start training to be a monster torch-bearer. Yay. Oh, oh, Cramp, cramp.