The eurozone will take a short break from its financial crisis to enjoy a sporting event. The soccer teams of Germany and Greece meet Friday in the quarter finals of the Euro 2012 championship in Gdansk, Poland. Germany's coach doesn't think political tensions will have an impact on the field.
Here's a little of what's happened in Syria over the past 24 hours. A Syrian air force colonel flew his jet out of the country, defecting to Jordan. Syria's army intensified its offensive against a rebel army. And the Red Cross had to abandon a mission to evacuate civilians from the city of Homs.
We're going to get some perspective on all of this from NPR's Deborah Amos, who's just left Syria after a very rare 10-day trip to Damascus. She's now in Lebanon. Hi, Deborah.
Later this summer, Republicans will gather in Tampa, Fla., for their presidential nominating convention; Democrats will then do the same in Charlotte, N.C. Each party gets more than $18 million in public funds this year to help pay for the gatherings.
The money comes from that $3 box that taxpayers can check on their federal tax returns. But this could be the last time party conventions get taxpayer funding.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
When President Obama addresses a large gathering of Latino politicians later today in Florida, he's likely to get a warm reception. Just last week, Mr. Obama announced that hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants who came to this country as children can stay in the U.S. - at least temporarily.
Fifteen major banks were downgraded Thursday in a reflection of the slowing global economy and volatility in financial markets. In a sweeping move, Moody's cut the credit ratings of some of the world's largest financial institutions, including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.
With a movie title like Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, it's no mystery what the plot is. Young Mr. Lincoln is tutored by an experienced vampire killer and goes into training with his trusty ax. He bears a special grudge against vampires because they killed his mother.
NPR's business news starts with a budget deal in California.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: This deal comes just days before the start of the new fiscal year. It cuts social programs and it would knock three weeks off of Californian's school year unless voters approve a proposal for new taxes.
Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler reports from Sacramento.
BEN ADLER, BYLINE: The Democrats running this year's California budget process say they have one overarching goal: to bring years of festering shortfalls to an end.
Product safety regulators announced the recall Thursday after hundreds of people reported explosions in their toilet tanks. The faulty flushing system is made by the brand Flushmate — specifically the Flushmate Three Pressure-Assist Flushing System. It's used by several toilet manufacturers including American Standard and Crane.
And with no primary opponent to worry about, President Obama's campaign had nearly a full year's head start for fundraising over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. But as NPR's S.V. Date reports, the president's advantage is rapidly disappearing.
Jerry Sandusky's trial on child sexual abuse charges is in the jury's hands. As they consider the 48 counts filed against the former Penn State assistant football coach, new allegations have emerged. Sandusky's adopted son now says he's also a victim.
Jackson Cahn, who graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., is one of the 3 million young adults the Obama administration says would have risked going without insurance if the health care law hadn't allowed them to stay on their parents' policies. Because of the law, his mother, June Blender, was able to add him to her insurance.
Jovanna Hernandez carries a sign in support of young illegal immigrants during a protest march, which concluded in front of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Philadelphia in March.
Credit Alex Brandon / AP
Demonstrators rally in February in opposition to a bill that proposed banning undocumented students from attending public higher education institutions in Georgia.
According to the royal website, the applicant who's chosen will have dominion over the royal residences — including Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, overseeing a staff of 60. The position is described as "challenging and exciting."
Dissident and artist Ai Weiwei said Thursday that he has been forbidden from leaving China, despite the lifting of strict bail conditions imposed after he was released from detention last year. This comes a day after a hearing on his tax evasion case, which he was prevented from attending.
Traffic rolls past a speed limit sign in Ohio. Researchers believe they have found a new way to encourage drivers to stay within a safe driving speed: giving them a financial reward that diminishes as they speed.
Some 12,000 Americans die every year in traffic crashes caused by speeding, according to government statistics. Officials have tried many strategies to get drivers to slow down. And now they might have found something that works, after researchers placed a GPS device inside cars that gives drivers an incentive not to speed.
Traffic safety experts have tried using big flashing signs to tell you how fast you're going. (The psychological subtext: Drivers are rational, and they will slow down if they know how fast they're going.)
Voter walk outside of a polling place at the First Baptist Church of Windermere, in Orlando, Fla., during the state's primary on Jan. 31.
Credit Matt Rourke / AP
Audience members listen to President Obama speak about immigration reform at Chamizal National Memorial Park in El Paso, Texas, on May 10, 2011. Both Obama and Republican Mitt Romney see garnering Latino votes as critical to winning the fall election.
As Americans watched their nest eggs sink during the Great Recession, many wondered whether they would ever be able to retire. Come this fall, millions of workers who invest in 401(k)s will learn their plans are probably worth even less than they thought.
"Fees take away from the accumulated savings of your lifetime," says Mary Beth Franklin, a contributing editor at InvestmentNews.
Daily auctions are held on foreclosed properties in front of the county courthouse in Corona, Calif. About 80 bidders, representing investors, show up to bid on properties.
Credit Yuki Noguchi / NPR
Mike Strugatz is an investor who's bought and renovated about two dozen distressed homes in the Riverside and Lake Elsinore area. He says with less inventory on the market recently, it's getting harder to find properties, and banks are demanding higher prices even for destroyed homes.
Credit Yuki Noguchi / NPR
Jennifer Bryant has made more than 30 offers on houses, mostly from her cellphone, in many cases without viewing the property. She has lost every bid, and says she often loses to all-cash buyers.
For-sale homes in California are sparse, even in areas with high foreclosure rates. It has led to buyers like Jennifer Bryant, who is willing to throw money at just about anyone willing to sell her a house.
Since February, Bryant has made 35 offers on homes in Riverside, only to be elbowed out by other bids. With few houses available and many bidders chasing these properties, she feels she has, at most, an hour to consider each house.
Retired senior police investigator Zafar Qureshi, 59, stands outside his home in Lahore, Pakistan, where security guards are stationed 24 hours a day. The former police official has probed some of the highest profile cases of official misconduct in Pakistan, and says he fears for his safety and that of his children in a country that he says is steeped in a "culture of corruption."
Credit Julie McCarthy / NPR
Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry (center), son of Pakistan's Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, leaves the Supreme Court after attending a hearing. He is facing allegations of accepting bribes from a powerful property developer totaling some $4 million.
Credit Aamir Qureshi / AFP/Getty Images
Sonia Naz (left) accused two Punjab police officers of extorting money from her and then sexually assaulting her after she complained to a court. Qureshi's investigation supported her claims, but he says he was forced out of a job as a result. Meanwhile, Naz's seven-year-old case has been revived by the Supreme Court.
Pakistan's National Assembly has been summoned to elect a new prime minister for the fragile coalition of President Asif Ali Zardari. A consensus candidate, current Textile Industry Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin, emerged soon after the Supreme Court's dramatic firing of outgoing Premier Yusuf Reza Gilani.
The court disqualified Gilani from office this week for defying court orders to pursue dormant corruption charges against President Zardari.
Mexicans go to the polls July 1 to choose their next president, and polls show that voters seem inclined to embrace the past. The center-left Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which ruled the country for more than seven decades before being ousted 12 years ago, holds a solid lead.
But Mexico's young are making their voices heard: Some fear a return of authoritarian rule; others simply want jobs.
The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, spent the night at the embassy of Ecuador in London. Yesterday, he unexpectedly walked into the embassy and requested political asylum. Assange is seeking to avoid being extradited from Britain to Sweden, where he's wanted for questioning about allegations of sex crimes, including rape. We're joined by NPR's Phil Reeves in London. Phil, why do this now?
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and not born in Ohio. The idea of Superman was conceived in Glenville, Ohio back in the 1930s, but when a proposed Superman-themed license plate called Ohio birthplace of Superman, DC Comics and Warner Communications objected. Superman, they point out, was born on the planet Krypton. It's MORNING EDITION.
Mitt Romney has wrapped up his most extensive campaign trip since becoming the all-but-official Republican nominee for president. Over the past five days, he visited six potential battleground states, touring each by bus. Along the way, he honed his attacks on President Obama, while also trying to show voters a more relaxed Mitt Romney than they've seen so far.
The tour, called Every Town Counts, stayed mostly in counties friendly to Republicans, ending with three stops in Michigan yesterday, the state where Romney was born.
And our last word in business is: supersized couch potato.
This week, Japanese electronics maker Sharp unveiled what it's calling the biggest LED TV on the planet. The 90-inch set has WiFi built in and you can buy it with a webcam option. You could, say, Skype with 50 people at once and see all their faces.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
Of course, you would need a lot of wall space and a fat wallet. It cost $11,000.
That's the business news on MORNING EDITION. I'm Linda Wertheimer.