From NPR News, this is All Things Considered, I'm Michele Norris.
MELISSA BLOCK, host:
And I'm Melissa Block.
We go first this hour to Capitol Hill, where CIA Director Leon Panetta appeared at a confirmation hearing for his next likely post, Secretary of Defense. Panetta is expected to sail smoothly through the confirmation process to succeed Robert Gates.
More than 1 billion people in the world are living with some sort of disability, according to a new international survey. That's about 15 percent of the world's population, or nearly one of every 7 people.
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a $290 million judgment against Microsoft for patent infringement. The award is the largest ever upheld on appeal in a patent case.
A small software company called i4i sued Microsoft in 2007, alleging that the industry giant had, without permission, used an editing tool patented by i4i — specifically, that the program was used in Microsoft Word 2003 and 2007. A jury ruled against Microsoft, ordering it to pay $290 million to i4i and to stop using the patented editing tool.
Some people call him space cowboy, some people call him the gangster of love, but most know him as Steve Miller, the guitarist and vocalist whose laid-back, infectiously catchy tunes have soothed the nation for decades.
In a statement released on his campaign website, U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Ky., accuses Republican Andy Barr of supporting a “radical agenda to end Medicare” as a way to balance the federal budget. Barr announced his candidacy earlier today, setting up a potential rematch between the 37-year-old Lexington attorney and three-term incumbent. In 2010, Barr came within 648 votes of unseating Chandler in a political nail biter.
After losing by less than 700 votes in last year’s general election, Republican Andy Barr will challenge Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler again in 2012. The 37-year-old Lexington attorney is a rising star in the Kentucky GOP ranks and surprised political observers by coming within a razor-thin margin of beating Chandler, a popular incumbent and grandson of a former governor.
From January 2009 through April 2011, left-leaning group Media Matters analyzed television news guests who commented on the Environmental Protection Agency’s role in regulating greenhouse gases. They found that 76 percent of these commentators were critical of the federal agency’s regulations, and 18 percent were in favor. When the news guests are broken down by network, Fox News hosted even more guests against EPA regulation: 81 percent of Fox News guests and 83 percent of Fox Business guests.
Clark County superintendent Elaine Farris is in Lexington Thursday, hoping to convince the community and the Fayette County Board of Education that she's the best candidate to become Lexington's new school superintendent. Farris took a 20-minute tour of the district's new Wellington Elementary School on Thursday morning, after being greeted by school board members and meeting with community leaders. The other two superintendent finalists — Jessamine County superintendent Lu Young and Daviess County superintendent Tom Shelton — were in town Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Each finalist follows the same meeting schedule, tours the same schools, and is asked the same questions to ensure fairness.
A third day of unseasonable heat blistered the eastern half of the country Thursday, making tornado cleanup miserable in Massachusetts, sending country music fans in Tennessee to hospitals and leaving Special Olympians in Pennsylvania gulping gallons of water.
The persistent heat has been blamed for at least seven deaths from the Plains to the East Coast, where authorities prepared emergency rooms and encouraged neighbors to check on the elderly as temperatures soared above 100 in spots.
The Department of Agriculture is asking the state Personnel Board to deny a request for investigation into whether two political appointees were illegally hired into protected positions. Personnel Board Vice Chairman Larry B. Gillis said that a probe is needed to determine whether Danita Fentress-Laird and Kathryn Willis were transferred from positions as politically appointed division directors into positions protected by the state's merit system without following normal procedures. A response by the Department of Agriculture said the Personnel Cabinet had reviewed the decisions and found no wrongdoing.