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.
Now, for a global perspective on our national weight problem. The number of humans on the planet is now more than seven billion. And our total weight is 287 million tons. That number comes from a new study that suggests weight, not just headcount, should be considered when looking at the impact of people on the planet.
To find out more, we called Ian Roberts. He's a professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and is the lead author of this study.
For the Miami Heat, it's three down, one to go. Last night in Miami, the Heat pulled within one win of an NBA championship, with 104 to 98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. That gives Miami a 3-to-1 lead in the series and a comforting statistic for Heat fans to think about until tomorrow night's game 5. No team in NBA history has come back from a 3-1 deficit in the finals. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us now to talk about it.
Leaders of the world's biggest economies wrapped up the G-20 summit in Mexico Tuesday with a promise to work together to promote jobs. The meeting comes amid worrisome signs of slowing growth in the United States and elsewhere.
NPR's business news starts with the Fed in the spotlight.
U.S. stocks rallied yesterday largely on a belief among investors that the Federal Reserve will take further action to stimulate the economy. The Fed concludes a two-day meeting around noon today. Afterwards, Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a news conference to explain the Fed's strategy.
As NPR's John Ydstie reports, there are several things the Fed could do to try to boost growth, but whether they'd be effective is debatable.
Now, to policy making with some fizz. The mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has proposed limiting the size of sodas and sweetened drinks that can be sold in the city.
Henrietta Davis said she was inspired by the mayor of New York. Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on sales of oversized sugary drinks in his city's restaurants. Mayor Davis says soda is a factor behind increasing obesity and heart disease among young people.
Vannak Prum of Cambodia was trafficked onto a Thai fishing boat and forced to work for three years before he escaped by jumping overboard. He was honored at the State Department in Washington on Tuesday as the U.S. issued its annual report on human trafficking around the world.
Credit Becky Palmstrom and Shannon Service for NPR
A Cambodian policeman escorts 30 fishermen returning home after being freed or escaping from slave-like conditions on Thai fishing vessels. The men arrived at the Phnom Penh airport in December. Large numbers of men from Myanmar and Cambodia are trafficked onto Thai fishing boats and forced to work in brutal conditions.
Credit Tang Chhin Sothy / AFP/Getty Images
Thailand has a huge fishing fleet, but the industry is chronically short of fishermen. Human traffickers have recruited unsuspecting workers from Cambodia and Myanmar who end up spending months or even years at sea.
The State Department on Tuesday cited abuses in Thailand's huge fishing industry as part of an annual worldwide report on Trafficking in Persons. The report noted that men from Cambodia and Myanmar, also known as Burma, are trafficked aboard Thai ships and forced to work against their will. They include men like Vannak Prum, a Cambodian who spent three years on such a boat. Prum was among those honored at the State Department on Tuesday.
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis speaks to reporters after casting her ballot in a strike authorization vote. Teachers voted overwhelmingly to authorize the first strike in 25 years if the city and the union can't come to terms this summer.
There hasn't been a school strike in Chicago for 25 years. But the current contract between Chicago teachers and the Chicago Public Schools expires at the end of next week, and tensions between the teachers union, the school district and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are ratcheting higher.
Chicago Teachers Union members outmaneuvered the mayor, school officials and anti-union education groups by overwhelmingly approving a measure that allows teachers to strike if contract negotiations fall flat.
Runner Shannon Leinert, 24, hopes to qualify for the 2012 Olympic track and field team to compete in the 800-meter race.
Credit Chris Auckley / Courtesy of Chris Auckley
Olympic hopeful Shannon Leinert (left) battles Mizzou freshman Liz Reida in the 1,500 meters at the 2012 Missouri Relays. Leinhert will compete to earn a spot on the Olympic team in Eugene, Ore., on Thursday.
Among the dozens of athletes hoping to leap, throw or run their way to London as part of the U.S. track and field team is 24-year-old runner Shannon Leinert.
Leinert, who will compete in the 800-meter dash, has dreamed of the Olympics since she was 10 and winning races in St. Louis, her hometown. If that weren't enough, she's also working on a doctoral degree in special education.
The adoption of Title IX has spurred growth in women's collegiate sports, including soccer. But a women's pro league has struggled, cutting its season short this year. Here, Notre Dame celebrates winning the NCAA College Cup in 2010.
Saturday is the 40th anniversary of Title IX, which, although almost nobody anticipated it then, resulted in women's gaining the right to participate in sports commensurate with their numbers attending college.
Title IX not only had a huge effect on women's participation in sports, but also, culturally, it influenced the way both men and women view the idea of women and athletics. It's mattered greatly in our American society.
At the zoo in North Carolina C'sar the elephant seemed sad. He was lethargic and losing weight. Vets thought it was his poor eyesight. Cataract surgery helped but now he's far sighted. So his caretakers ordered contact lenses — they'll be a bit smaller than tennis balls.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
A federal jury has acquitted baseball pitching ace Roger Clemens on all charges. The jury found Clemens not guilty of lying to Congress and of obstructing a congressional investigation into performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg was in the courtroom. She has this report.
The Federal Reserve starts its latest two-day meeting Tuesday, and analysts around the globe are wondering whether the central bank will end ease monetary policy. The meeting follows some tough U.S. labor data and the recent Greek elections.
Now in Hollywood last night, Microsoft unveiled its newest product: a tablet computer to compete with the iPad. Putting out a computer is an unusual move for Microsoft, which is mostly known for software.
NPR's Mandalit del Barco was at the announcement.
MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: At Milk Studios in Hollywood, a photo studio for the stars, Microsoft engineers revealed their snazzy new tablet, which they call Surface.
And today's last word business is about a bank takeover that was more of a fake over. Businessman Li Chunping made headlines in China earlier this year. He spoke in the Chinese media of how he took over an American bank - the Atlantic Bank of Delaware, which he said went bankrupt in 2008.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
The story got him plenty of public praise. The communist party touted him as a model citizen, rising from poverty to be a successful businessman in the rice trade. He even got a position as a government adviser.
In southern Texas and in Arizona, people are paying a lot of attention to the presidential election - Mexico's presidential election. From member station KJZZ, Peter O'Dowd explains why millions of Americans are awaiting July 1st, Mexico's election day.
Later this week in Egypt, the official results of the presidential election will be announced. Steve Inskeep talks to Egyptian journalist and commentator Issandr El Amrani about why there haven't been mass protests over the military council's power grab during the election.
Atlanta rapper Michael Santiago Render, known professionally as Killer Mike, released his sixth album this month. It's called R.A.P. Music. The album's title isn't about hip-hop, per se, but refers to an acronym tweeted by another Georgian, a critic named Maurice Garland, two years ago. "He just put it up randomly: 'Rap music is supposed to be Rebellious African People,' " Killer Mike told Morning Edition. "I said, 'Yo, i'm naming my next album that.' "
You can hear a portion of the show's interview with Killer Mike at the audio link, but keep reading for more.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a news conference on June 7 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Ban wants to focus on making energy available to the poorest populations of the world.
Diplomats and activists from around the world are meeting in Rio de Janeiro this week to talk about how the planet's growing population can live better lives without damaging the environment. The Rio+20 meeting marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio, a watershed meeting to address topics as diverse as climate change and biodiversity.
At this follow-up meeting, delegates hope to highlight an issue that was almost absent from the Earth Summit: making energy available to everyone in the world.
Mohammed Tolba (center) talks with friends at a coffee shop in the Cairo suburbs. The 33-year-old Egyptian is trying to change the public perception of Salafists, Muslims who believe in a literal interpretation of the Quran.
Credit John W. Poole / NPR
Tolba sports a bushy beard — a marker of religious conservatives — yet also wears Western-style jeans. He says he doesn't agree with all aspects of modern life in Egypt, yet he knows he cannot change things overnight.
NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is nearing the end of his Revolutionary Road Trip, a journey across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team began in Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, drove across the deserts of Libya, and filed this report from the third and final country, Egypt.
European leaders and global markets expressed relief after Greek conservatives' narrow parliamentary election victory over leftists who had vowed to ditch the tough austerity terms of an international bailout.
But the next government will have to deal with a polarized society and with widespread anger at wage and job cutbacks that have targeted the middle class and spared an entrenched political and business elite.
The main opposition group in Syria is making a renewed push to unify various strands of the anti-regime movement. The new head of the Syrian National Council wants to broaden the group's appeal, and combat fears that it is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
An Elvis impersonator may be a cliche, but Zac Hutchenson and Chastity Floyd found something original to do. They reenacted the wedding of Elvis Presley's parents over the weekend in Verona, Miss. Back in 1933, Vernon Presley was too young to marry without his parents' permission. So at age 17, he lied about his age, borrowed the cash for a license and wed Gladys Smith.
Friday's announcement by the Obama administration that the U.S. plans to stop deporting some illegal immigrants received mixed reviews in Alabama. That state has one of the most aggressive anti-immigration laws in the country.