NPR's business news starts with a Silicon Valley lawsuit.
Facebook has fired back in its patent dispute with Yahoo. The social networking site says Yahoo products, including the photo-sharing site Flicker, are infringing on 10 of Facebook's patents. Facebook's legal action is a counter-claim to a suit filed by Yahoo last month, also claiming 10 patent infringements. The pending court battle is a distraction for Facebook as it prepares to go public - a move that could see the company valued at up to $100 billion.
On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm Renee Montagne.
The Baylor Lady Bears have their title and a piece of history too. Last night in Denver, Baylor won a women's college basketball championship that many expected. The Lady Bears beat Notre Dame 80-61 to go undefeated and then became the first team in NCAA history to win 40 games in a season. NPR's Tom Goldman reports the player who led Baylor all year was the star once again.
Hearing about golf these past couple of years has turned into some sort of dual universe. On the one hand there is the real world, like: "Smith and Jones Tied for Lead in Cat Food Open."
But then, in more detail, the larger shadow story reads: "Tiger's Putter Falters, Trails By 12 Strokes."
Golf has become like fantasy football or Rotisserie Baseball. Only, imagine if everybody has the same guy — Tiger Woods — on his team. No other golfers seem to exist, except possibly The Ghost of Jack Nicklaus.
In Britain, scandal has plagued the Murdoch family and its News Corp. media conglomerate. And today, another blow. Under pressure, Rupert Murdoch's son, James Murdoch, is stepping down as chairman of British Sky Broadcasting, also known as BSkyB. This occurs against the backdrop, of course, of the phone hacking and police bribery scandal that has focused heavily on two Murdoch tabloid newspapers. NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik has been covering all of this and he joins us now to sort this out. Good morning, David.
Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 12:01 pm
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And that brings us to our last word in business, flying cars. Finally, they're here. Well, almost here. We're not exactly in Jetsons' territory quite yet. But a company in Massachusetts says its prototype flying car, called the Transition, completed its first flight and will be ready for sale within the next year.
The two-seat vehicle soared to 1,400 feet in its maiden voyage. The car - can we call it that - is expected to cost $279,000, and 100 buyers have already plunked down their deposits.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. A Florida woman is putting her car in park after 576,000 miles. Rachel Veitch bought her Mercury Comet, new, in 1964. The car has been through 18 batteries and it's outlasted three marriages. Rachel even appeared on "The Tonight Show" with the vehicle. Now, her failing eyesight is forcing her to hang up her keys. She told Fox News she is not giving that car to her family, because they won't take care of it like she did. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Now a word about the media in China - it is heavily controlled by the government. That reality was clear on Saturday when new restrictions banning commenting were imposed on two Twitter-style websites. This followed online rumors about a military coup in Beijing. The government says the rumors aren't true. And today, the restrictions were finally lifted, but the government certainly made a point about who's in charge.
The nation of Mali is in turmoil. Within two short weeks, the apparently stable West African democracy has gone from preparing for presidential elections to a military coup. Neighboring countries are imposing a total embargo, demanding the coup leaders step down. Add to the mix a separatist rebellion in the north that has captured the fabled desert city of Timbuktu. From Mali's capital, Bamako, NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.
Well, from a classic American company to a classic industry. It turns out automobiles are improving, so much so in fact, that the U.S. seems to be entering a golden age of vehicle quality and reliability.
Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton has this story about the demise of the lemon.
NPR's business news starts with what happens in Vegas...
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas, especially if it involves taxpayer dollars.
The head of a federal agency has resigned after reports of inappropriate spending at a conference near Las Vegas. Martha Johnson led the General Services Administration, which manages the federal government's property.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene, good morning.
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have been fighting it out in Wisconsin for the past week. And tonight finally the results come in. Republicans will also cast votes today in Maryland and Washington, D.C. primaries, though the candidates have not spent a lot of time in those places. In all three contests, polls show Mitt Romney with a wide lead. But Rick Santorum continues to campaign as relentlessly as ever.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
A sharply divided Supreme Court has ruled that individuals arrested for even the most minor offenses can be stripped searched before they are jailed while awaiting a hearing. The high court's five-to-four decision came in the case of Albert Florence, the finance director at a New Jersey BMW dealership. He was arrested, strip searched and held in prison for a week because of a computer error.
We're going to look now at an animal whose habitat is slowly disappearing. Polar bears live on sea ice. But Arctic sea ice, which used to stay frozen in the summertime, is now slowly disintegrating. This poses a unique challenge for scientists, government officials and others. How do you preserve the polar bear and prevent it from going extinct decades from now? Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post has been reporting on this issue. And she joins us now to talk about what she's learned.
Avon, the global cosmetics company known for its door-to-door sales, has rejected a $10 billion takeover bid from Coty. That company is best known for things like its Lady Gaga and Calvin Klein fragrances.
NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports that Avon believed the offer was just too low.
Pundits and commentators are forecasting that this fall's general election will see an avalanche of negative advertising. But as voters gird for the onslaught, political scientists are asking a different question: Will it matter?
When the Supreme Court lifted restrictions on private advertising in elections, superPACs supporting President Obama and the most likely Republican nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, promised to unleash negative attacks on the other side.
Rapid growth in the U.S. Hispanic community has created another boom — in Hispanic media. In recent months, several major media players have announced plans to join the competition for the Hispanic television audience. There's a new Hispanic broadcast TV network coming, plus a host of new cable channels aimed at Latinos.
The numbers tell the story: According to the census, the U.S. Hispanic population jumped by more than 40 percent in the past decade. The nation's 50 million-plus Hispanics now make up 16 percent of the TV-viewing public.
In his 1995 autobiography, Under a Hoodoo Moon,Dr. John writes about his tumultuous music career, a decades-long heroin addiction and the time he spent in prison on a drug-possession charge. The book is candid in a way that most of his music is not — until now. On his new album, Locked Down, Dr. John takes a more personal approach.
Queen Elizabeth is marking 60 years on the throne, and Johnny Walker wanted to do something special. The whiskey label released a new blend called Diamond Jubilee. It's been distilling since 1952, and a bottle costs $200,000.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with bad news for gladiators. Nowadays performers in Rome who dress like those ancient combatants earn money by posing in photos with tourists. As of today, they've been driven away from the Coliseum. Roman officials say gladiators will no longer be able to peddle pictures outside their classic arena. The no-pay rule only applies around the Coliseum. Still, it's not hard to tell how gladiators will react - thumbs down. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
In Houston Thursday, former President George H.W. Bush endorsed Mitt Romney's run for the Republican presidential nomination. Bush's endorsement is one more signal from the Republican establishment for the party to close ranks behind Romney.
NPR's business news starts with BlackBerry backpedaling.
Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, says it's turning its focus back to corporate customers. This follows its failure to break into consumer markets dominated by iPhones and androids. Last quarter, the company lost $125 million. Analysts say BlackBerry's main problem is its trouble running third-party applications. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
President Obama is expected to sign another stopgap funding bill that avoids a weekend shutdown of thousands of transportation construction projects. The measure gives a 90-day funding extension for road, bridge and rail construction projects.
Best Buy is trying to wriggle out of the big box. The electronics retailer has a lot of real estate in its giant blue stores, but it isn't profitable space: In its most recent quarter, the company reported a $1.7 billion loss. So it's shedding stores and workers — and rethinking its big-box concept.