NPR's business news starts with another powerful woman in Brazil.
The Brazilian state oil company has a new chief executive. Her name is Maria das Gracas Foster. Petrobras is the world's fifth-largest oil producer, and Foster becomes the first woman to run a top-five oil company. This comes as the firm looks to double its production by 2020.
The company's stocks surged on news of the appointment. Foster will be the second-most powerful woman in Brazil, after the president. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And our last word in business today is a pat-down throwdown. The Transportation Safety Administration says it did not detain Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. But officials at the agency did stop one of their most outspoken critics while he was going through the airport security line in Nashville yesterday.
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The Republican senator was going through a body scanner when the alarm went off. Apparently, it was an anomaly. Then, he refused to submit to a pat-down, so he was escorted out of the screening area.
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A string of debates and primaries has kept the Republican presidential candidates in the spotlight this election season. Tonight, it's the president's turn to take center stage. President Obama will deliver the annual State of the Union Address, and in many ways kick off his own campaign for re-election. It's a reminder that Mr. Obama is running for president.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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GREENE: The latest Republican debate - last night in Florida - was more subdued than when the candidates last took the stage, in South Carolina. But still, it contained plenty of sharp jabs. After it was over, another dramatic turn in the race, with new revelations about Mitt Romney's taxes. We'll explore those numbers in depth, in a few minutes.
Seventy five years ago, before Theodor Geisel rocked the culinary world with green eggs and ham or put a red-and-white striped top hat on a talking cat, Geisel (who you probably know better as Dr. Seuss) was stuck on a boat, returning from a trip to Europe.
For eight days, he listened to the ship's engine chug away. The sound got stuck in his head and he started writing to the rhythm. Eventually, those rhythmic lines in his head turned into his first children's book: It was called And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.
An Australian prickly stick hops on the lens of Joel Sartore's camera.
Credit Claire O'Neill / NPR
Photographer Joel Sartore captures a big-headed Amazon river turtle at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.
Credit Joel Sartore / National Geographic
Sartore uses an anecdote of the gray gibbons he shot recently at the Miller Park Zoo in Illinois. They're on the verge of being "phased out." There are too few in captivity to continue propagation — and too few in the wild to bring in.
To spend a day in the life of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, there are a few things you have to get used to. Really long drives, for one. Tigers charging at you. And, of course ... well ... messes.
"I'm the only studio portrait photographer I know whose subjects routinely poop and pee on the background right in front of me," he says from behind the lens.
The New York Giants made the Super Bowl with a three-point win over San Francisco. The New England Patriots made the Super Bowl with a three-point win over Baltimore. Now Las Vegas oddsmakers are taking bets on the big game. The Patriots are favored to win by three.
Court opinions are usually not that exciting but a judge in Chicago is trying to liven up his rulings with illustrations. In one, he used an iconic photo of Bob Marley. The case was about a prisoner's right to keep his dreadlocks on religious grounds.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is campaigning in Florida following a big loss over the weekend to Newt Gingrich in the South Carolina primary. Romney told a crowd that Gingrich resigned in disgrace after four years as speaker of the House.
Announcers also remembered Joe Paterno during yesterday's pro football games. Those two conference championships on Sunday determined the lineup for the Super Bowl. The New York Giants will play the New England Patriots in a rematch of a Super Bowl from four years ago. Neither team made it to the big game easily. Both have great quarterbacks, but on Sunday, both had to rely on defense. Here's NPR's Mike Pesca.
Here's a name back in the news: R. Allen Stanford. In the midst of the financial crisis he was charged with running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme against thousands of investors in the United States and Latin America. Now his trial is set to begin today in Houston.
From member station KUHF, Andrew Schneider has more.
And now, let's bring in NPR's Cokie Roberts, as we do most Mondays. Cokie, good morning.
COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.
INSKEEP: Well, yesterday, Newt Gingrich was all over the airwaves saying this is now a two-man race, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney - no Rick Santorum in there, as far as he's concerned, or Ron Paul, for that matter.
Over the past half-century more than 20 million acres of U.S. farmland were transformed into housing developments. With new home construction all but stopped, farmers in many areas are buying or leasing land once slated for development and planting crops on it.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
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Having sent observers to examine protests in Syria, Arab leaders have offered a plan to end the violence there. The proposal comes from the Arab League, a group of Arab nations. And NPR's Kelly McEvers has been following this story. She's in Beirut.
KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: Hello.
INSKEEP: OK. So what do the Arab leaders want to do?
The two men who helped turn the BlackBerry into a device many people can't live without have stepped aside. Research in Motion is the company behind the BlackBerry and Sunday its co-CEOs resigned. They were under a lot of pressure as investors wonder whether the Canadian firm can turn itself around and compete better with flashier phones like the iPhone.
Tens of thousands of people are attending the Jaipur Literature Festival in India — including many international literary stars and Oprah Winfrey. Author Salman Rushdie was invited but decided not to attend after a warning that hit men would be after him. Rushdie wrote The Satanic Verses which has been banned in India for more than 20 years.
David Greene checks in with Jennifer Gibbons, editor of "The Cordova Times" in Cordova, Alaska. We last heard from her two weeks ago when her community had declared an emergency during its efforts to dig out of record amounts of snow.
A burly beast of a man bursts into a presidential press conference and is shot in the leg by secret police. Two days later, the White House reveals that the befuddled intruder with a handlebar mustache is really former President William Howard Taft.
So begins Taft 2012, a novel that gives a satirical take on contemporary politics through the eyes of a president who served a century ago. Author Jason Heller places Taft in a 21st-century election campaign, where he is forced to sit in bars on New Year's Eve and master Twitter along the way.
Booksellers and publishers are worried that Amazon is going to devour their industry. The giant online retailer seems to have its hands in all aspects of the business, from publishing books to selling them — and that has some in the book world wondering if there is any end to Amazon's influence.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement faced accusations that a breathalyzer was giving inaccurate readings. So it commissioned a study. Fifteen employees consumed more than $300 worth of whiskey, mixers and Doritos, and then used the breathalyzer. Judges are considering whether the study was legitimate.
(POST-BROADCAST CLARIFICATION: This story takes place in London, Ontario.] Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Londoners hoping to avoid jury duty ought not to walk too close to the courthouse. A frustrated judge there recently exercised a little-known power: sending police into the street to rustle up jurors.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Renee Montagne. The four Republicans still running for president met last night for their last debate before the South Carolina primary. They sparred over health care, abortion and tax returns. The race in South Carolina is now a dead heat, with Mitt Romney's earlier lead wiped out by a late surge by Newt Gingrich.
Escorting a squadron of bombers, Andrew "Smokey" Salem (Ne-Yo) signals fellow pilots on the way into combat with German forces in the new film Red Tails, based on the experiences of the famed Tuskegee Airmen fighter group.
Cuba Gooding Jr. plays pipe-smoking, swaggering Maj. Emmanuel Stance in Red Tails.
It took George Lucas more than two decades to bring the movie Red Tails to the screen. It was all the way back in the late '80s that the man behind Star Wars and Indiana Jones fell under the spell of another story of adventure, this one with real-life heroes — the African-American fighter pilots of World War II.
As Mara just mentioned, the debate last night opened with a question about a claim made by Gingrich's ex-wife. Well, Marianne Gingrich gave her exclusive interview to ABC's "Nightline," putting the candidate's personal life in the spotlight once again. NPR's Tamara Keith has more.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: The interview was incredibly hyped, in part because Marianne Gingrich has been silent so far on her ex-husband's presidential candidacy. This was her first television interview since their 1999 divorce.
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You may have thought Iowa was done counting its votes a few weeks ago. Well, then came the news this week that based on further review, Rick Santorum actually won more certified votes than the declared winner, Mitt Romney. The problem is the tallies from some precincts remain lost. And yesterday, Iowa's GOP chairman called the overall results inconclusive.
Dozens of televisions display a political advertisement with the image of GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich at a store in Urbandale, Iowa, on Dec. 27. Republican candidates and their superPACs have spent millions on television and radio ads.
Saturday is South Carolina's Republican presidential primary. It's also the second anniversary of the Supreme Court's famous Citizens United decision.
That's the case that allows corporations to explicitly support or attack specific candidates. The day will be marked with attack ads — and protests.
The Republican presidential race has covered just three states so far. And superPACs linked to candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have spent a total of $20 million. They're feeding voters a heavy diet of negativity.