10:52am

Thu February 16, 2012
Business

General Motors Reports Record $7.6 B Profit In 2011

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 10:53 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A record rebound for General Motors is at the top of NPR's business news.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Let's remember the carmaker almost collapsed two years ago and needed a government bailout. Today, GM announced it earned its largest profit ever in 2011.

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10:32am

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Santorum Releases Four Years Of Tax Returns

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum works the crowd at the Tioga Public School on Wednesday in Tioga, N.D.
Will Kincaid AP

Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum saw his income rise after he lost a Senate reelection bid in 2007.

According to records released to Politico late yesterday by the Santorum campaign, the former Pennsylvania senator earned $659,000 in 2007; $952,000 in 2008; $1.1 million in 2009 and $923,000 in 2010.

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9:46am

Thu February 16, 2012

9:33am

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Thai Police Say Iranian Bomb Suspects Targeted Israeli Diplomats

Thai immigration officers escort detained Iranian Mohammad Kharzei, center, at the immigration headquarters in Bangkok on Thursday.
AFP/Getty Images

After days of accusations from Israel, Thai police confirmed that three Iranians suspected of setting off explosives in Bangkok were targeting Israeli diplomats.

Gen. Prewpan Dhamapong, Thailand's top policeman, said they "know for certain" the explosives were meant for Israeli diplomats.

The AP reports:

"'This issue was about individuals and the targets were specific,' he said. 'This was something personal.'"

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9:32am

Thu February 16, 2012
State Capitol

Casino Bill Sponsor Open to Changes

Sen. Damon Thayer.
Lexington Herald Leader

Changes may be coming to Gov. Steve Beshear's proposal for as many as seven casinos in Kentucky. Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said he is open to revisions that address concerns raised after he introduced the constitutional amendment Tuesday. Some lawmakers were concerned that a casino might land in their community while others were upset about being excluded.

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9:30am

Thu February 16, 2012
It's All Politics

Record GM Profits Could Make Romney's Anti-Bailout Message A Harder Sell

Mitt Romney laughs with supporters at a rally in Kentwood, MI, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012.
Gerald Herbert AP

Mitt Romney has worn his opposition to the Obama administration's bailout of GM and Chrysler into Michigan as a badge of honor in the lead up to the state's Republican presidential primary at the end of the month.

But that message may be a harder sell for him against the backdrop of GM reporting Thursday that it posted record profits in 2011 of $7.6 billion, 62 percent higher than the previous year's.

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9:26am

Thu February 16, 2012
Presidential Race

Unlocking The Mysteries Of Delegate Selection

Republican congressional candidate and Maine Senate President Kevin Raye speaks during the Kennebec County Super Caucus in Augusta, Me., on Feb. 4.
Joel Page AP

To win the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, a candidate must secure 1,144 delegates, a simple majority of those available. But how delegates are chosen differs state by state.

On Thursday's Fresh Air, political scientist Josh Putnam, author of the blog Frontloading HQ, explains how delegates are chosen, why the process varies by state, and how reforms instituted since the 1968 Democratic National Convention have changed the process of delegate selection.

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8:43am

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

The Economy: Housing Starts Up; Unemployment Claims Decline

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 8:55 am

We have a slew of economic data out today and the big picture is that the economy is on the rebound. So, let's get to the numbers:

-- The Labor Department said the number of people seeking jobless benefits dropped by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000. The AP reports "it was the fourth drop in five weeks and the fewest number of claims since March 2008."

-- Led by a surge in apartments, housing starts were up 1.5 percent.

-- In January producer prices rose 0.1 percent.

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8:25am

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

U.N. Chief Says Syria May Be Committing 'Crimes Against Humanity'

A handout picture from a Syrian opposition activist taken on Feb. 13 shows damages in the Baba Amro neighborhood in the flashpoint Syrian city of Homs.
AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations' Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Syria's crackdown on protesters was almost certain to amount to crimes against humanity.

Ban was echoing what U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said during a speech to the General Assembly Monday. Pillay painted a grim picture of Syria and of a government that has increasingly turned its weapons against its own people.

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7:22am

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Honduras Prison Fire: Most In Comayagua Jail Had Not Been Convicted

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 7:26 am

Inmates bodies are loaded in a trailer truck at the National Prison in Comayagua, north of Tegucigalpa.
Jose Cabezas AFP/Getty Images

According to an internal government report sent to the United Nations and seen by the Associated Press, more than half the prisoners at the Comayagua jail in Honduras had not been convicted.

A late night fire on Tuesday, killed at least 356 people and left the country in mourning and the government grappling with a prison system that has long been criticized for its deplorable conditions.

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