I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. In a few minutes, we are going to hear about this year's offerings at the Israel Film Festival, which is being held in Los Angeles. There seems to be something for just about every taste, from political dramas to romantic comedies to documentaries. We'll hear from the founder of the festival, which is in its 26th year, in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 2:51 pm
Russian Businessman Alexei Kozlov had spent two years in jail after being convicted of fraud. He was released in September after the Supreme Court overturned the verdict but was retried and sentenced to five years in prison on Mach 15. His case has been embraced by anti-Kremlin protesters.
Credit Ivan Sekretarev / AP
A high-profile court case in Moscow has again put the spotlight on Russia's judiciary — an issue that opposition protesters often cite as one reason they've taken to the streets.
The Presnenski District Court handed down a five-year prison sentence last Thursday to prominent businessman Alexei Kozlov on charges of fraud and money laundering. The case has attracted wide attention as it has worked its way through Russia's court system for four years. Kozlov was accused of wrongdoing by his former business partner, Vladimir Slutzker, a wealthy ex-member of the Russian Senate.
A new permit that will change the way the federal government deals with some surface coal mining permits goes into effect today. The new permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers has more stringent standards to protect the environment. When coal operators want a permit for a surface mine, they have two choices. They can try to get a so-called “Nationwide Permit” from the Army Corps of Engineers, or they can go through a more rigorous process and get an individual permit, which involves both the Army Corps and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Kentucky is applying for two additional waivers being offered through the U.S. Department of Education from the No Child Left Behind standards. The commonwealth was one of several states that already received waivers from NCLB this year. Those states now have the chance to apply for the additional waivers. One allows states to be exempt from the adequate yearly progress (AYP) standard, which many education professionals say sets unreachable goals for schools, including making 100 percent of students proficient in math and reading by 2014.
The war of words over coal severance funds for Pike County is heating up as officials paint a bleak picture of how the county may suffer if recently proposed funding allocations are not reconsidered. State lawmakers, however, are challenging the county to tighten its belt and avoid making "heartburn"-inducing requests.
Mitt Romney at Charlie Parker's Diner in Springfield, IL, March 19, 2012.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Mitt Romney won Puerto Rico's Republican presidential primary Sunday, adding the commonwealth's 20 delegates to his commanding lead over the other candidates as they compete to reach the 1,144 needed for the nomination. Rick Santorum hurt himself with the island's voters by saying English had to become its official language before it could achieve statehood.
NPR's business news starts with Apple's giant pile of money.
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INSKEEP: The maker of iPads, iPhones and computers is sitting on almost one hundred billion dollars in cash and securities. And today, Apple announced that it will spend some of that money paying a stock dividend to shareholders and buying back some company stock. NPR's Steve Henn has been following developments, and joins us on the line from Silicon Valley. Steve, good morning.