2:33pm

Wed February 15, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Agrees To $350,000 Settlement In Conn. Immigration Raid Cases

Advocates on all sides of the immigration debate are digesting the latest big, and perhaps historic, development: The U.S. government agreed to pay a $350,000 settlement to 11 Connecticut men arrested in raids in 2007.

The plaintiffs claimed immigration agents violated their rights during the early morning raids, which snared nearly three dozen people.

Read more

2:12pm

Wed February 15, 2012
Business and the Economy

Confidence Builds in 2013 Kentucky Kingdom Reopening

The president of the Kentucky State Fair Board says negotiations with a prospective new operator of the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park are going well.  Harold Workman told a Kentucky Senate committee yesterday that he expects the talks with the owners of Indiana’s Holiday World to lead to an agreement.

Read more

2:10pm

Wed February 15, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Businesses Lobby for Final Greenhouse Gas Rules

Several national business organizations are asking the White House to finalize controversial greenhouse gas regulations. The groups—which include the American Sustainable Business Council, the Main Street Alliance, Ceres, the Small Business Majority and Environmental Entrepreneurs—sent a letter to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget yesterday. They represent small businesses, some of which deal with the environment, energy or sustainability.

Read more

2:04pm

Wed February 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Dutch Finance Minister Says His 'Patience Has Run Up' With Greece

Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees De Jager addresses the media prior to the start of the Eurogroup ministerial meeting at the European Council building in Brussels on Feb. 9.
Yves Logghe AP

NPR's Eric Westervelt scored an interview with Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager. And Eric reports that he did not mince words.

The Netherlands and Germany, which have AAA credit ratings, hold great sway in whether Greece will receive a $170 million bailout from the European Union and the IMF. Without it, Greece would default on its debt and would almost certainly exit the monetary union. Eric asked Jager if Greece needed to do more beyond the tough set of austerity measures Parliament passed on Sunday and this is what Jager told him:

Read more

1:36pm

Wed February 15, 2012
Education

Paying for an Education, Twice

Charter Schools, while still a focus of debate in Kentucky, exist just across the river in Ohio.  In an experiment, a charter high school in Cincinnati now pays its students for perfect attendance and good behavior.  The program proved successful on day one.

Read more

1:20pm

Wed February 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Auto Dependability Hits 22-Year High In New Study

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 4:16 pm

For the second year in a row, the Ford Fusion won J.D. Power's dependability prize in the mid-size sedan category. Pictured is the 2013 model of the car, unveiled in January.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Toyota and Ford won the most awards in the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, which came out today. Vehicles made by Toyota led the way with eight awards, while Ford models received three. In general, vehicle dependability was the best since the study first began in 1990, according to J.D. Power.

Read more

12:39pm

Wed February 15, 2012
The Two-Way

President's 2013 Budget Includes Slight Boost For Arts, Cultural Agencies

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 5:25 pm

The 2013 budget proposed by President Obama includes many cuts made to conform with new spending limits. But several arts and cultural institutions saw their allotment rise by about 5 percent in the proposed plan. The proposed spending of $1.576 billion — in a budget of $3.8 trillion — includes some good news for the Smithsonian Institution and the National Endowments for the Arts.

For the Newscast desk, Elizabeth Blair filed this report:

Read more

12:23pm

Wed February 15, 2012
It's All Politics

Election-Year Realities Bring Compromise On Payroll Taxes And More

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 2:11 pm

Speaker John Boehner didn't cite it being an election year or Congress' low approval ratings for the GOP's new flexibility but it's hard to ignore such realities.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Part of President Obama's 2012 re-election strategy was to run against a do-nothing Congress. But congressional Republicans now appear determined to make that approach harder for him by coming to terms on some Democratic priorities.

Read more

12:22pm

Wed February 15, 2012
National Security

As Wars Wind Down, What Are U.S. Security Needs?

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 1:07 pm

U.S. soldiers are expected to be in Afghanistan for a couple more years. But already there's a debate about future U.S. security needs worldwide. Here, soldiers examine the site of a suicide bombing in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Jan. 19.
AFP/Getty Images

U.S. troops have already left Iraq, the war in Afghanistan is winding down, and there hasn't been a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 2001.

So is America now safe enough to scale back its emphasis on security? Or are the potential threats no less dangerous — just less obvious?

These questions are not just philosophical, but practical. They're also the underpinning of the current argument about what the level of defense spending should be.

Cuts, But How Big?

Read more

12:00pm

Wed February 15, 2012
Education

Big Changes Ahead For American Schools?

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 12:46 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.

President Obama's new budget is the talk of Capitol Hill this week. And while most of the headlines are about the ongoing fight over how best to reduce the federal deficit, the president's proposal also calls for a significant boost in education funding. It's yet another window into his administration's philosophy around education.

Read more

Pages