Football fans were again glued to their TVs over the weekend, and the latest round of the NFL playoffs did not disappoint. The team with the best record in the regular season, the Green Bay Packers, lost to the New York Giants. And the New England Patriots beat the Denver Broncos, tamping down Tebow mania.
Here to discuss it all is NPR's Mike Pesca. Good morning.
You may have seen the dramatic images over the weekend: a luxury liner that ran aground off the coast of Italy and then turned on its side. At least six people died. And of the 4,200 people on board, more than a dozen are still unaccounted for. Rough weather today has forced officials to suspend rescue operations, and the focus now is on the captain, who is under arrest. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
The civilian government of Pakistan has been under absurd amounts of pressure ever since it won election about four years ago. It's squeezed by the army - which reluctantly surrendered power - by the United States, by a host of insurgents and also by Pakistan's Supreme Court.
And our last word in business today is the doctor is out. Over the summer we told you about a soft drink called Dublin Dr. Pepper. It's a slightly different version of the popular Dr. Pepper soda, made with pure cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. It was produced by Dr. Pepper Bottling Company in Dublin, Texas, which had been a family-owned business for more than 110 years.
To talk more about those opponents and what's happening on the campaign trail, we turn now to NPR's Cokie Roberts, who joins us most Mondays. Good morning, Cokie.
COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.
MONTAGNE: So let's - it looks like there's one less rival in the Republican contest, now that former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman is expected to drop out today and throw his support to Mitt Romney. Let's talk about the likely effect on the rest of the contenders.
European financial markets started this week with a new reality. They had the weekend to absorb news that Standard & Poor's downgraded the credit ratings of nine European countries - including France, which lost its triple-A status. These countries face exposure to financial trouble in Greece, among other places.
We're going to talk about this with Zanny Minton-Beddoes, the economics editor of The Economist and regular guest on our program. Zanny, welcome once again.
NPR's business news starts with efforts to streamline the federal government.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: President Obama is asking Congress, today, to give him the power to consolidate certain U.S. agencies. Doing that, he says, will reduce the number of federal jobs and make government more efficient.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The government we have is not the government that we need. We live in a 21st Century economy, but we've still got a government organized for the 20th Century.
We've all heard the rule: Turn off your cell phone. Well, someone broke it this week at a performance of the New York Philharmonic.
(SOUNDBITE OF CELL PHONE RINGING)
GREENE: The iPhone Marimba ring tone had not been written into Mahler's Ninth Symphony. But there it was, chirping from the front row of the audience. The conductor was so incensed, he cut off the performance and waited for the iPhone to stop. The audience member was apparently not offered an audition.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with a milestone for immigration. Warina Zaya Bahou becomes a U.S. citizen today in Sterling Heights, Michigan. She's an immigrant from Iran. What makes the ceremony remarkable is the birth date of the new citizen. She was born in 1900. Back then, Iran still had kings and William McKinley was president of the United States. Now at age 111 she becomes the second oldest person to be naturalized as an American. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
This year, more than 3,100 companies flocked to the Consumer Electronic Show to hawk their wares. Thousands of products are launched at the show and many fail, possibly most. Lots of small companies established just for this show will not be back next year.
But as NPR's Steve Henn reports, their hustle is infectious and some of them become tech stars.
Let's stay on politics and another superPAC making news. Comedian Stephen Colbert made a very important announcement on his Comedy Central show last night.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE COLBERT REPORT")
STEPHEN COLBERT: I am proud to announce that I am forming an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my possible candidacy for the president of the United States of South Carolina. I'm doing it.
On Twitter, News Corps. Chief Rupert Murdoch confessed: "We screwed up in every way possible." He added the company learned a lot of valuable and expensive lessons from the purchase of the social networking site.
As Newt Gingrich campaigned in South Carolina yesterday, there were signs he was beginning to soften his critique of the private equity career of rival Mitt Romney. Gingrich had come under fire this week from fellow Republicans for his attack on Romney.
For almost 70 years, New York City has been home to two opera companies: the well-heeled Metropolitan Opera and its scrappy younger sibling, the New York City Opera. But City Opera has fallen on hard times, and a bitter labor dispute might mean curtains for this beloved institution.
While GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney savored his second consecutive win in the Republican nominating process, those who finished behind him in New Hampshire also continued on to South Carolina. They are hoping that it is in the Palmetto state where they can get his campaign to to stumble before it becomes unstoppable.
Over the next three years, RBS will cut 3,500 jobs. That's in addition to more than 30,000 layoffs that happened over the last two years. In the U.S., RBS runs Citizens Bank with branches in about a dozen states.
"We are very similar in many ways — but Connie is more driven than I am," says cousin Condoleeza Rice (right), laughing. "She works<em> all</em> the time."
Credit Courtesy Connie Rice
Rice celebrates a gang truce with Nana Alejandres and Bo Taylor, two chieftains who became friends. In the background: activist Harry Belafonte and former NFL great turned activist Jim Brown, whose Amer I Can Foundation works with gangs.
For years, civil rights attorney Constance Rice says, she would wake up every morning trying to figure out new ways to sue the Los Angeles Police Department into policing minority communities more fairly.
In her memoir, Power Concedes Nothing, Rice details how she went from the LAPD's antagonist to reformer, convincing police that they needed to court the backing and support of the city's African-American and Latino populations.
Relations between the attorney and the police force have warmed over the years: The LAPD even hosted Rice's book release party.
State parks across the southwest are reeling from budget cuts. California officials plan to close 70 parks by next summer. In Arizona parks closed and reopened with the help of community partners. The TexasWildlife and Park Foundation is asking for more than 4 million dollars in donations to keep its parks open. From Flagstaff, Laurel Morales reports for the Fronteras Changing America Desk.
More than half of U.S. Latinos say they disapprove of the way the Obama administration has handled deportations. From the Fronteras Changing America Desk, Ruxandra Guidi has more on the latest survey of Hispanic public opinion.
California has the country's largest Hispanic student population and ranks at the bottom for reading and math achievement among Latino children. As Ruxandra Guidi reports from the Fronteras Changing America Desk, experts are beginning to call for an overhaul of the school system.