4:00am

Wed January 25, 2012
Business

Japan Details First Trade Deficit Since 1980

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 8:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a turning point for Japan.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Tokyo today reported Japan's first trade deficit since 1980. For the last three decades, Japan has exported so many goods to the world, it's run trade surpluses. But last year, Japan imported more than it exported - $32 billion more. The shift in fortunes comes after last year's earthquake and tsunami and nuclear power plant shutdowns.

From Tokyo, Lucy Craft has more.

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2:24am

Wed January 25, 2012
Politics

The Markup: Notes On The State Of The Union

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images
  • Obama: 'We Can Either Settle For A Country ...'
  • Melissa Block Talks To Mara Liasson About Obama's Themes Of Equality And Fairness
  • Obama: 'The State Of Our Union Is Getting Stronger ...'
  • Listen To The State Of The Union Address

The text of President Obama's State of the Union address, as delivered:

Thank you. Thank you so much.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought — and several thousand gave their lives.

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1:01am

Wed January 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Wisconsin Student Says Athletic Official Reached Into His Pants At Rose Bowl Party

First came sexual-assault allegations against Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State. Then, molestation accusations against Bernie Fine, an assistant basketball coach at Syracuse. And now, new details about what led John Chadima, an associate athletic director at Wisconsin, to resign earlier this month.

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12:01am

Wed January 25, 2012
Sweetness And Light

As A Coach, Paterno Was One Of A Kind

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 8:20 am

After former Penn State coach Joe Paterno's death was announced Sunday, fans paid their respects at a Paterno statue on campus. Paterno exerted a rare amount of control in his decades coaching football, says Frank Deford.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Now that Joe Paterno has passed on from Happy Valley, we must ponder whether we will ever see his like again.

But please: I am now, you understand, talking about Coach Paterno. Let us, for the moment, put aside how the old citizen whose credo was "Success with Honor" acted with regard to pedophilia: so without sensitivity, so irresponsibly, so –– ultimately –– cold-bloodedly. That will sully Paterno's memory forever.

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12:01am

Wed January 25, 2012
Your Money

How To Avoid 'Bill Shock' From Smartphone Use

A woman uses her smartphone on a street in Seoul. New rules are on the way to protect consumers from expensive data roaming fees, but for now, phone owners can take steps to help themselves.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Americans who've been traveling abroad are all too often stunned by the size of their mobile phone bill. Even if they aren't actively using their phone, they can rack up hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars in charges — resulting in what consumer advocates call "bill shock."

Los Angeles resident Lisa French thought she was being careful when she took her smartphone on a trip to Japan.

"I was advised not to make any phone calls, as phone calls oversees are very, very expensive," she says.

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12:01am

Wed January 25, 2012
Around the Nation

Irene's Floods Dry Up Business In Vermont Town

When Waterbury, Vt., got walloped by the remnants of Hurricane Irene, the small town sustained an estimated $9 million in damages to personal property, and countless millions more in lost business revenue. Five months later, the waters have receded, but Waterbury's future remains uncertain.

On Main Street, a church bell still chimes every day, but daily life in Waterbury hasn't been the same since Irene.

"It's palpable," says Bill Shepeluk, Waterbury's municipal manager. "You can sense that it's not as vibrant as it was."

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12:01am

Wed January 25, 2012
Middle East

Can Sanctions Alone Get Iran To Negotiate?

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 10:44 am

Fishing boats are seen in front of oil tankers on the Persian Gulf waters, south of the Strait of Hormuz. The European Union has announced plans to join U.S. efforts to slow the flow of oil from Iran, the world's third largest exporter.
Kamran Jebreili AP

In an effort to bring Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program through economic pain, both the U.S. and the European Union have imposed sanctions that should make it harder for Iran to sell its oil. But the global oil business is unpredictable, and sanctions are no guarantee.

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12:01am

Wed January 25, 2012
Africa

Nigeria's President Under Pressure To Quell Violence

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (left) walks with the Emir of Kano Ado Bayero during a one-day visit to the city that was rocked by recent attacks.
Aminu Abuabakar AFP/Getty Images

Kano, the largest city in Nigeria's Muslim north, is an ancient, sprawling city of more than 9 million. Last Friday, the Muslim day of prayers was shattered by a series of coordinated bomb blasts.

Just down the street from one of the main market areas in the city, the street remains blocked off from a police station hit in the attacks. The radical Islamist sect Boko Haram claimed responsibility.

Sagir Ali, a security guard at a parking lot at the market, says he watched as nearby government offices were attacked.

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12:01am

Wed January 25, 2012
Energy

Is The Booming Natural Gas Industry Overproducing?

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 12:25 pm

Hydraulic fracturing wells have been producing a tremendous amount of natural gas — far more than the current demand. Above, a Cabot Oil & Gas natural gas drill at a fracking site in South Montrose, Pa.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The practice of hydraulic fracturing — pumping fluid into underground rock to push up natural gas — has its detractors, especially among environmentalists. But it's becoming clear that whatever its drawbacks, "fracking," as it's called, is producing a lot of gas — maybe too much gas.

Fracking was once a small part of the natural gas industry, a technique to get hard-to-reach deposits in underground shale. Then the technology improved, and the dinner bell rang. Everybody wanted in. Now there's so much gas on the market that the price is at a 10-year low.

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6:25pm

Tue January 24, 2012
The Salt

Eaters Worldwide Are Skeptical of Manufacturers' Health Claims

A woman with her son checks labels on fruit drinks in a store in Manila, Philippines.
Pat Roque ASSOCIATED PRESS

We members of the global food village seem to have something in common: We're pretty darned skeptical food manufacturers' health claims.

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