Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Eight thousand people will carry the Olympic torch before it reaches London to open the summer games, though one would-be torch barer isn't even human. He's a small red fuzzy monster.
KEVIN CLASH: (As Elmo) Elmo's ready to start training to be a monster torch-bearer. Yay. Oh, oh, Cramp, cramp.
In college towns, locals are often in conflict with school officials and students. An organization dedicated to eliminating such conflict holds its annual conference this week at Eastern Kentucky University. Kim Griffo, who’s executive director of the International Town and Gown Association, sees a lot of friction between students and their neighbors.
The Lexington Herald reports this morning layoff notices are going out to some University of Kentucky employees. UK spokesman Jay Blanton says administrators are gathering information from individual departments. He’s not speculating on how many people will face layoffs. In an e-mail to UK employees, President Eli Capilouto said the school has been cut 50 million dollars in state funding since 2007.
And let's turn to the issue that is front and center this election year - the economy. Austerity measures aimed at curing Europe's debt crisis have thrown a number of eurozone countries into recession. The threat of defaults in Greece and even larger countries like Spain have rattled U.S. financial markets, and President Obama recently said that Europe's troubles are casting a shadow over the U.S. economy.
To better understand what the president is talking about, we brought in NPR economics correspondent John Ydstie.
Over the next couple of 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.
Inskeep and his team are 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.
Congressional redistricting has reshaped many elections this year. In New Jersey, it forced two friends into battle against one another. Veteran Democratic Congressman Steve Rothman lost primary yesterday to fellow Democrat, fellow Congressman Bill Pascrell. They became opponents after New Jersey lost a congressional seat following the last census. Nancy Solomon from New Jersey Public Radio has the story.