Hollywood studios are dealing with big budget flops and the release of G.I. Joe: Retaliation has been postponed until March. Kim Masters, host of The Business, and editor at large for The Hollywood Reporter, talks to Renee Montagne about the summer woes at movie studios.
And here's a reminder of how TV is adjusting to the modern world. Trey Parker, a creator of the animated comedy series "South Park," spoke in Los Angeles at the big E-3 video game industry conference yesterday. And Parker poked fun at the ever wired world of digital entertainment.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker faces Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in a recall election Tuesday that has attracted a lot of outside money. The attempt to remove Walker came after he successfully pushed to limit collective bargaining rights for public sector unions.
You might say there's a tectonic shift going on in morning television. TV critic Eric Deggans says that ABC's "Good Morning America" is doing something that seemed unthinkable for more than a decade: it is rocking NBC'S "Today Show" off its ratings pedestal.
ERIC DEGGANS: Even "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer admits it.
MATT LAUER: The show is not where I want it to be right now. The ratings are not where I want them to be right now.
Imagine how tough life would be if raindrops weighed 3 tons apiece as they fell out of the sky at 20 mph. That's how raindrops look to a mosquito, yet a raindrop weighing 50 times more than one can hit the insect and the mosquito will survive.
Put yourself in a mosquito's shoes — or rain boots — for a moment and step outside into a downpour of seemingly gigantic raindrops.
Over the last two months, NPR's Morning Edition has been following three families who make up the growing number of multigenerational households in this country. All became multigenerational unexpectedly, when elderly relatives could no longer live independently and the families took them in.
Over the next couple weeks, NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road Trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves as they write new social rules, rebuild their economies and establish new political systems. Steve and his team will be traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo. In this story, he looks at the changing role of women in the new Tunisia.
Let's turn to Syria now. Syria's president gave his first public speech in five months yesterday. Bashar al-Assad told the Syrian Parliament that his government was not responsible for the massacre in Houla last month, in which more than 100 people were killed, nearly half of them children. Also, there is new Syria-related violence in northern Lebanon, near the Syrian border. And to talk about this we've reached NPR's Kelly McEvers.
In Egypt, protests continue against the verdicts in the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak and various people in his old regime. Mubarak was handed a life sentence in connection to the deaths of protesters during last year's revolution. But critics say the judge's ruling all but ensured the former president's sentence will be overturned on appeal.
NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson has the story from Cairo.
Bad economic headlines have not stopped the celebration in Britain. Britons are in the midst of a four-day holiday celebrating Queen Elizabeth's 60 years on the throne. And yesterday the queen herself led a flotilla of a thousand boats on the Thames. It was described as the largest such river pageant in more than 300 years, and Vicki Barker was there.
We have just come from a week when officials of the European Union openly warned of the possible downfall of the euro. Billionaire investor George Soros has gone even further. He says the euro crisis could bring down the entire E.U. Teri Schultz reports from Brussels.
The NBA is halfway through two riveting conference final playoff series, and there's absolutely no indication how they're going to turn out. Last night in Boston, the aging and creaky Celtics proved that they are really a match for the star-studded Miami Heat. Boston beat Miami 93 to 91 in overtime to tie the Eastern Conference Finals at two games apiece. In the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder also are tied 2-2, and they play tonight in San Antonio.
From jobseekers in Spain, we turn to those here in the U.S. The latest employment numbers revealed that there are still many more Americans looking for work than there are our jobs that need filling. The May jobs report showed the economy added an anemic 69,000 jobs - about half the number that were added in April. Yet, here's the paradox: Despite the high number of people seeking jobs, many employers insist they can't find the right person for the exact positions they have open.
The summer tourism season is what keeps Branson, Missouri thriving. Last year, Branson's live music venues helped draw more than seven million visitors. And so when a tornado tore through the city's popular strip this past February, Branson's future seemed uncertain. As Missy Shelton of member station KSMU reports, city leaders are working hard to let people know that Branson is open for business.
Over the next couple weeks, NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep will be taking a Revolutionary Road Trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves as they write new social rules, rebuild their economies and establish new political systems. Steve and his team will be traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo.
Banks are often accused of dragging their feet when a homeowner wants to sell for less than the balance on the mortgage. A lot of those "short sales" might be better dubbed "really long and drawn out" sales. New federal guidelines, though, could now push lenders to approve short sales faster.
Like a lot of people with autism, Jeff Hudale has a brain that's really good at some things.
"I have an unusual aptitude for numbers, namely math computations," he says.
Hudale can do triple-digit multiplication in his head. That sort of ability helped him get a degree in engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. But he says his brain struggles with other subjects like literature and philosophy.
"I like working with things that are rather concrete and structured," he says. "Yeah, I like things with some logic and some rules to it."
Summer living is supposed to be easy — school is out, the days are long, the traffic eases. But it's not all inner tubes and lemonade: Summer can throw us some curveballs, too. How can I avoid sunburn? What can I do to stave off that brain freeze? Why do my s'mores always burn?
Fear not; NPR is here to help. As part of our new Summer Science series, we'll turn to science to tackle these vexing questions, starting with how to build the perfect campfire.
Good morning. I'm David Greene with a remembrance of Dick Beals, the man whose voice gave lie to Gumby. A glandular condition gave Beals his small stature and youthful voice, a voice that was used in more than 3,000 commercials. Beals played a wide range of roles - babies, teenagers, chipmunks. Perhaps most notably the Speedy Alka-Seltzer character.
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DICK BEALS: (Singing) Alka-Seltzer, plop, plop, fizz, fizz - oh, what a relief it is.
On a Friday, it is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
In a unanimous ruling, a federal appeals court has struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act. The First Circuit Court of Appeals, in Boston, ruled the 1996 law unconstitutional because it denies giving gay couples the same rights afforded to heterosexual couples. As NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports, the ruling sets the stage for a potential battle at the U.S. Supreme Court.
It's been more than a year since Wisconsin Democrats began talking about recalling the state's governor, Scott Walker. Next week they'll get their chance to do it. Last night, Walker and his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, traded barbs in their final debate before Tuesday's vote. Turnout is expected to be very high, as the recall is sharply dividing voters in Wisconsin, so much so, some have just stopped talking to each other. NPR's David Schaper has the latest from Milwaukee.
NPR's business news starts with a new, multibillion-dollar chemical plant.
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GREENE: Exxon Mobil plans to build a huge chemical facility in Baytown, Texas. It reverses a company statement last year that said it has no plans for new chemical factories in the United States. According to Reuters, decades-low natural gas prices made the move too enticing to pass over. Natural gas is a key fuel in chemical production. By using its own natural gas, Exxon Mobil can run a chemical plant relatively cheaply.
Let's turn now to Florida, where a federal judge has blocked portions of a new election law that was causing a lot of debate. That law had put tough restrictions on groups conducting voter registration drives. Because of the restrictions, the League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote stopped registering votes(ph) in the state. Those groups challenged the new law in court. And yesterday, Judge Robert Hinkle sided with the groups. He called the rules onerous and unconstitutional.