Royal Dutch Shell can't pay the $1 billion it owes Iran because of sanctions imposed on the Middle East country by the United States and European Union. The sanctions have made it nearly impossible to transfer the money. Reuters reports that Shell is trying to wrap up its business dealings with Iran.
A selection committee in Hong Kong has chosen a former Cabinet chief as the southern Chinese financial hubs next leader. The voters were handpicked by Beijing. Leung Chun-ying's term will start in July.
Steelcase, the world's largest office furniture maker, is celebrating 100 years in business. But sales of the metal filing cabinets Steelcase is named for are declining - same with cubicles and other large pieces of office furniture.
LINDSEY SMITH, BYLINE: So, as Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith reports, Steelcase says it's changing its identity.
Students are flocking to Spanish immersion programs in countries like Guatemala. It has given birth to a new industry, an industry that is full of women. From the Fronteras Changing America Desk, Jim Paluzzi reports that when you study with one of these Spanish teachers, your investment is a lifeline.
These days, the ability to communicate in Spanish can be a key asset in the job market. But to speak with confidence it often takes an immersion experience in a Spanish speaking country. The Central American nation of Guatemala is developing a reputation as the go-to place for Spanish immersion. Jim Paluzzi from the Fronteras Changing America Desk has this second part of the Why Spanish series.
This week marks the one year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, the controversial new health care law intended to overhaul the nation's healthcare system. Ahead this morning on the KUNM Call In Show, we'll take your questions, but first we'll hear from Ron Pollack, the founding Executive Director of Families USA, a non-profit organization advocating for equal access to high quality healthcare
Americans are notorious for being mono-lingual. Gallup poll research shows that three out of every four Americans can't carry on a conversation in a second language. But if you ARE going to learn another language, here in the Southwest, that means Spanish. Today we begin a three part series from the Fronteras Changing America Desk and the Public Insight Network. In this first piece, Jim Paluzzi looked into dozens of cases of adult English speakers who are now using Spanish.
The White House has made its choice for who should lead the World Bank. Jim Yong Kim is currently the president of Dartmouth University. He's a physician and a global health expert and something of a surprise to people who've been watching this process.
Here is President Obama at the White House this morning.
Thousands of people are expect to descend on the Mall in Washington, D.C., on Saturday to celebrate not believing in God. It's being called a sort of "Woodstock for Atheists," a chance for atheists to show their power in numbers and change their image.
The "Reason Rally" could attract up to 30,000 people; organizer David Silverman says it marks a coming-of-age for nonbelievers.
"We'll look back at the Reason Rally as one of the game-changing events when people started to look at atheism and look at atheists in a different light," Silverman says.
On Friday's Morning Edition, Elizabeth Blair investigates one of television's pressing questions: Why has Mad Men been off the air so long? It's returning this Sunday night with a two-hour season premiere, but it's still puzzled some viewers that it has been off for such a long time.
Raquel Jaramillo's debut novel, Wonder, written under the pen name R.J. Palacio, was born out of a rather embarrassing incident. The author was out with her two sons, sitting in front of an ice cream store. Her oldest had just finished fifth grade, and her youngest was still in a stroller. They spotted a girl whose face had been deformed by a medical condition.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
In the southern French city of Toulouse, police are in a stand-off with a man suspected of carrying out a series of shootings. The suspect is described as a 24-year-old French citizen, of North African heritage. He is said to be an al-Qaida sympathizer.
It's not easy being one of the last soaps standing, as Neda Ulaby reports on today's Morning Edition. For fans, the shuttering of iconic shows like All My Children and Guiding Light has upended routines that, for some, date back to childhood. When I was in high school, my soap of choice was Days Of Our Lives, which Neda says has changed a lot since that era — well, it's changed and it hasn't.
Now, one way governments raise money is by issuing bonds: you or your pension fund lend them the money, and they then pay a set amount of interest for a set amount of time, say 10 or 20 years. Well, Britain's finance minister, George Osborne, is reportedly ready to announce that the UK plans to issue a bond that only your great-grandchildren will be able to cash in. It matures in a hundred years.
Italy's next step in a crisis is at the top of NPR's business news.
Italian prime minister Mario Monti is trying to restructure the economy so his country has a better shot at paying its debts. Today, he sits down to negotiate with the country's powerful trade union leaders. Monti hopes to weaken legal protections that make it almost impossible to fire employees. He blames these rules for slow economic growth and high unemployment in Italy.
When 21-year-old Kevin Smith decided he wanted to be a filmmaker, his sister gave him some advice: "Don't say you want to be a filmmaker; just be one." So he did. He made his first film, Clerks, on a shoestring, shooting at the convenience store where he worked.
One of the defining elements of the 2012 presidential campaign is money. Not that the candidates themselves have raised all that much; except for President Obama, they haven't. But two dozen wealthy Americans have put in at least $1 million each.
Mostly, they're a mix of Wall Street financiers and entrepreneurs. One of the biggest donors is Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate who is worth about $25 billion.
Don Draper, the main character on the hit TV show Mad Men, is said to have been inspired by a real Madison Avenue ad man: George Lois. Lois was a leader in the "Creative Revolution" in advertising during the 1950s, and became one of the most influential art directors in advertising history. His work helped make brands like Xerox, Lean Cuisine and Jiffy Lube famous. Lois is perhaps best known for creating iconic Esquire magazine covers, many of which now reside in the Museum of Modern Art.
NPR's business news starts with Apple's giant pile of money.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: The maker of iPads, iPhones and computers is sitting on almost one hundred billion dollars in cash and securities. And today, Apple announced that it will spend some of that money paying a stock dividend to shareholders and buying back some company stock. NPR's Steve Henn has been following developments, and joins us on the line from Silicon Valley. Steve, good morning.
Four years since they first began making music together, the Brooklyn-based duo Tanlines is finally releasing an album: Mixed Emotions, out tomorrow. The band is Eric Emm, who sings and plays guitar, and Jesse Cohen, who plays drums, keyboards and an assortment of electronic instruments. Cohen is also the chattier of the two.
"We use a lot of different drum kits that are in a computer," Cohen explains. "We also play a lot of stuff live, and a lot of time you can't really tell which is real and which is fake. That's sort of a thing that we like to play with."
Trustees of the Valles Caldera National Preserve held their spring meeting today and expressed optimism about the ecosystem’s recovery after last summer’s Las Conchas fire. KUNM’s Carrie Jung has more.
The student government at the University of California, Irvine voted Thursday night to call for the resignation of Dr. Hazem Chehabi, who is the chairman of its school's foundation. He also serves as the Syrian consul general in California. He is a personal friend of Syria's dictator Bashar Assad.
If you're trying to determine whether the ground chuck you buy in the grocery store contains so-called pink slime, or lean beef trimmings, you won't find it on the ingredient list. "It's not required to be labeled," explains Don Schaffner, a food scientist at Rutgers University.