Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Here's an old saying: Feed and love a dog, and the dog thinks you must be God. Feed and love a cat, and the cat thinks, hey, I must be God. A cat from the Middle Ages apparently demanded attention. A researcher was recently studying a manuscript from 1445 in Croatia, and that researcher discovered paw prints. Apparently, a scribe was working in 1445 when the cat stepped in ink, and then stood with all four paws on the work in progress. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The action film "Jack Reacher" hit theaters in December, and it got some favorable reviews. But one New Zealand moviegoer didn't think it was action-packed enough. That's because the trailer featured an explosion that wasn't in the movie. Disappointed, the man complained to the Advertising Standards Authority. He said the explosion was one of the main reasons he went to see the flick in the first place. Paramount Pictures has now offered to refund the money for his ticket.
Two years after the revolution, Egypt is in a deep economic crisis. It's running out of money to purchase crucial imports like wheat and fuel, both of which are subsidized by the government, and an infusion of cash is desperately needed.
While a delegation from the International Monetary Fund is in Cairo continuing negotiations on a $4.8 billion loan, Egyptians are strained by the rising costs of food — and the gas needed to cook it.
David Greene talks to Muhannad Hadi, the World Food Program's regional emergency coordinator for Syria, about the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria. The civil war there has entered its third year, and last month was its deadliest.
And today's last word in business is space memorabilia.
Heritage Auction house is selling items that have gone to the moon. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin's toothbrush could be yours with the right offer.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
OK. The bidding for this toothbrush - I hope they disinfect it - it's a light blue, Lactona tooth tip brush. The bidding starting at $9,000. The auction house is actually hoping that buyers will offer more than that.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Punxsutawney Phil has his counterpart in the average Maryland crab - except while Phil supposedly predicts the weather and this year missed a cold snap, Maryland crabs react in real time. This week was supposed to be the start of crabbing season but the chill in the Chesapeake has left the water too cold for the crabs to come out of the mud. It turns out this is extending their life spans - since it means watermen can't catch them. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The Obama administration is delaying the start of a key piece of the Affordable Care Act - the national healthcare law. Workers in small businesses will have to wait an additional year to be able to choose from more than one plan in the new online marketplace that start next January. NPR's Julie Rovner reports that the change might dampen enthusiasm, at least at the start. But not everyone thinks that's a bad thing.
Raedyn Grasseth might get the award for most creative 911 operator. The Washington state woman dispatched an officer to rescue a stranded kayaker on the Colombia River. The boater was in powerful currents, hanging onto a pile of logs. Grasseth had a feeling she might not be reached in time. And so, she called an experienced kayaker who happened to live nearby, her mother. The dispatcher's mom paddled out and within minutes brought the woman to safety.
If you travel a lot you're probably doing a lot of meals in airports, maybe fast-food by Gate C31 or the chain coffee place nearby. Well, one of the busiest airports in the country is now bringing in local restaurants.
As Peter O'Dowd reports from member station KJZZ in Phoenix, these small businesses are taking a risk for a shot at a big reward.
A former House historian, prolific biographer and professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, Chicago, Robert Remini spent a lifetime exploring handwritten letters and other documents that illuminate the 19th century. He won a National Book Award for the three-volume The Life of Andrew Jackson.
Tina Brown, editor of the Daily Beast and Newsweek, joins NPR's Steve Inskeep again for an occasional feature Morning Edition likes to call Word of Mouth. She talks about what she's been reading and offers recommendations.
This month, as Brown prepares for her annual Women in the World Summit in New York City, her reading suggestions address just that: the role of women in the developing world.
Camden, N.J., has serious health problems, with too many people going to local emergency rooms unnecessarily. But progress is being made, albeit slowly.
John Pike, 53, is a Camden resident who used to be a frequent flier at the ER.
Pike has a smoker's cough, and when that cough or pain in his bad hip flared up, he'd go to the ER — maybe eight or nine times a year. But when he did, ER staffers didn't really remember him or his medical history.
The demand from American companies for high-skilled immigrants seems to be up this year. And that could mean something is about to change for the overall economy.
There is a cap on the number of visas the government gives out for these kind of workers every year. Lately, that cap has been 85,000. Demand always outstrips supply, but for the past couple of years, it has taken at least a few months to hit the quota. But this year, the H-1B visas might be gone by the end of the week.
It being the start of baseball season, that means we've been inundated by predictions — who'll win the divisions and the pennants and the World Series? We know two things on this subject. In every sport, at the start of the season, the experts are bound and determined to make these long-range predictions. And second, they are invariably wrong.
Friends of a New York man planned a surprise party, but he found out. To surprise him, they threw a pillowcase over his head, threw him in a van and drove him to the party in Pennsylvania. Witnesses to the fake abduction called police, who mounted a massive search.
In 1964, Robert Ostertag attended his first of 50 straight New York Mets home openers. That same day, Luke Gasparre began his job as an usher. The New York Times captured quite a moment Monday: Gasparre showed Ostertag to his seat in section 310.
David Greene talks to Yvette Aehle, director of the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport, about her plans to shut down the airport's air traffic control tower. Because of sequestration, the FAA will no longer pay for air traffic controllers at 144 smaller airports.
Well, let's take a break from all the March Madness in college basketball for a few minutes and talk about the beginning of the long and winding Major League Baseball season. Yesterday was opening day for several teams. We thought we'd tick off a couple of notable games and see if the very early results match up to preseason predictions. Or maybe they won't. Here to give us some guidance NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman. Morning, Tom.
Much has changed since last November, when Afghans were praising Pakistan for saying it would no longer support the Taliban and would instead work for peace.
"We believe that relations between the two countries are deteriorating," says Aimal Faizi, spokesman for President Hamid Karzai.
Faizi says the downward slide started last month. The two countries had agreed to convene a conference of religious scholars, or ulema, to denounce suicide bombing. But the conference fell apart at the last minute, with each country blaming the other for undermining the effort.
The federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., is sometimes called the second most important court in the country, regularly delivering the final word on major environmental, labor and national security cases.
But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has a whopping four vacancies, the most in the nation, including one opening that dates all the way back to 2005, when John Roberts moved to the U.S. Supreme Court.
NPR continues a series of conversations aboutThe Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition. You can find hundreds of six-word submissions and submit your own at www.theracecardproject.com.
The man was picketing Moscow's Hydrometeorological Center wearing swim trunks and holding a sign that read: "Let Summer Come Faster." Russian forecasters now predict that "everything will thaw fast" — adding, "we are meeting him halfway."
Public expressions of concern are on full display as South Africans monitor the hospitalization of anti-apartheid hero and former president Nelson Mandela. The 94 year old is being treated for pneumonia.
And today's last word in business is one of this year's contenders for highest profile April Fools joke.
The video-sharing website YouTube announced yesterday it's shutting down.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
In a video message, YouTube executives said that the whole site was actually designed as an eight-year contest to find the best video on the web. Well, eight years are up. And now panel of experts, the company said, will spend the next decade watching everything uploaded on the site to choose a winner.
Top overall seed Louisville will face Wichita State at the Georgia Dome next Saturday, while Michigan takes on Syracuse in the other national semifinal. The winners advance to the April 8 championship.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could soon issue a final ruling that aims to force oil companies to replace E10, gasoline mixed with 10 percent ethanol, with E15.
This move could come just as widespread support for ethanol, which is made from corn, appears to be eroding.
Mike Mitchell was once a true believer in ethanol as a homegrown solution to foreign oil imports. He owns gas stations, and he went further than most, installing expensive blender pumps that let customers choose E15, E20 and all the way up to E85.