Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 7:38 am
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Our last word in business also comes to us from the Consumer Electronics Show. And the word is "Electric City." That's the name of a new animated science-fiction series created by - and starring - Tom Hanks. It's being promoted at the Vegas show in part because it will be airing - or rather it will be shown - on the Internet site Yahoo this spring.
Now, this past Sunday, Mitt Romney's campaign reserve a school gym in Exeter, New Hampshire. The details of that event tell you the style in which the Republican candidate is presenting himself. The campaign selected a small gym, far too is small for the crowd had arrived.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The next president of the United States, Mitt Romney.
When it comes to football there are two types of compelling games. One, the most people like, when teams battle back and forth to a dramatic finish. The other, when one team totally dominates to such an extent that all you can do is watch in awe.
It's 4 o'clock on a Thursday, and instead of sitting in front of computer screens, a group of software engineers and customer service reps from M5 Networks is in the middle of band practice.
M5 is a telecom company based in New York City that offers Internet phone services. But it offers something else for its employees: At the Rochester, N.Y., office of M5, workers are gearing up for a companywide battle of the bands against other branches.
Dirty words return to the usually staid Supreme Court Tuesday. For a second time in three years, the justices are hearing arguments about a Federal Communications Commission regulation adopted during the Bush administration that allows the agency to punish broadcasters with stiff fines for the fleeting use of vulgar language.
The central argument of Republican Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is that he understands how the economy works — thanks to his business background — in a way that President Obama does not.
Democrats have been challenging the former Massachusetts governor's claim that the private equity firm he founded helped to create more than 100,000 jobs. Now, some of Romney's Republican rivals are raising questions of their own.
Aside from watching all the new shows on TV, many people in the New Year will hit the gym, and we're doing our part to help. For the next couple weeks, we're asking athletes, actors and others what music gets them moving.
"Physical" has been a gym-goer's favorite for decades, but Olivia Newton-John says it didn't start out that way.
Our friends over at Planet Money produced a delightful podcast last Friday called "Who Killed Lard?" They finger a corporate perp: Proctor and Gamble's brilliant marketing campaign for the original Crisco, an alternative to lard that went on sale in 1911. "It's all vegetable! It's digestible!," it proclaimed.
The Internal Revenue Service is brining back an amnesty program for Americans who have stashed money in offshore accounts in order to dodge taxes. IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman announced the program's renewal on Monday, saying the tax dodgers would have to pay back taxes and penalties but would not face any criminal charges.
Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 5:28 pm
Like every year, it seems like the entire tech world has decamped and headed to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, which kicks off tomorrow. All Things Considered's Audie Cornish spoke to NPR's Steve Henn, who gave her a quick rundown of what we're expecting. Here are some highlights:
The consensus among college football's fans and analysts seems to be that tonight's BCS championship game between No. 2 Alabama and No. 1 LSU will be a defensive struggle, similar to the touchdown-free game the two teams played on Nov. 5, when LSU won in overtime, 9-6.
"These are the two top defenses in the country," NPR's Tom Goldman told David Greene on today's Morning Edition. "Alabama allows under 9 points a game; LSU is right behind, allowing only 10.5 points a game."
No, it's not quite going down. But health care spending in 2010 rose at the second-slowest rate in the last half-century.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reports that total health spending in the U.S. increased by 3.9 percent in 2010, just a notch above the slowest rate since the government started keeping track — 3.8 percent in 2009.
Overall, the U.S. spent $2.6 trillion on health care in 2010, or $8,402 per person. That's 17.9 percent of the nation's gross domestic product.
Of the six major Republican candidates still in the race, five have either led or flirted with leading the polls. The exception is former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Huntsman bypassed Iowa's Jan. 3 primary in order to focus on the competition in New Hampshire, which holds its primary on Tuesday.
NPR's Robert Siegel caught up with Huntsman on Sunday at the Bean Towne Coffee House & Cafe in Hampstead, N.H.
More often than not, when we hear about hot tech companies, all the founders are male (see: Google, Facebook, Twitter and Zynga). But in an effort to change that profile, a new funding source is targeting companies founded by women.
Kelly Hoey thinks a lot of investors may be missing some good business opportunities because they aren't coming from someone who looks like the next Mark Zuckerberg.
"You're looking for a white guy in a hoodie, and that next visionary is ... going to be wearing a skirt and a great pair of shoes," she says. "They're going to look different."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad opened the first leg of a Latin American tour in Venezuela, today. The visit with President Hugo Chávez came in middle of rising tensions between Iran and the United States. The tensions intensified even further, today, after Iran announced it had sentenced a former U.S. Marine to death.
Stark billboards and television commercials that feature overweight kids are part of a controversial anti-obesity campaign in Atlanta. The goal of the "Stop Sugarcoating It, Georgia" ads is to shock families into recognizing that obesity is a problem.
The campaign is making an impact, but the tactics are raising questions.
All the instability in the global economy this year has been good for the United States Mint. People in search of a safe place to put their money have been buying gold and silver coins in record numbers.
"Precious metal coins were up $800 million dollars last year and that's approximately thirty some percent," says Richard Peterson, deputy director of the Mint.
According the the Mint's annual report, they sold 45.2 million ounces of gold and silver coins in 2011.
As Mount Washington calmly reigns over much of New Hampshire's geography, Mount Romney smiles down on the last day before the state holds the nation's first presidential primary.
The front-running former governor of neighboring Massachusetts spent the day getting chummy with crowds in Nashua and Hudson and Bedford, reciting his favorite lines from "America the Beautiful" and engaging in other behaviors just as risky. He came out in favor of free enterprise and job creation and got really cross with the Chinese for currency manipulation and intellectual property theft.
Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 5:47 pm
Isolated by the West because of Iran's nuclear program, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is turning to close allies in the Americas for diplomatic support.
He kicked off his four-nation tour of Latin America on Monday in Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Chavez, accuses the U.S. of trying to dominate the world. Ahmadinejad's next stops are Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador — all sharply critical of Washington's foreign policy.
Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 6:29 pm
To life's many small irritations, you might add filling prescriptions.
Starting this year, many Americans may be surprised to find that their local Walgreens pharmacy is no longer in their network. That's because of a contract dispute between the nation's largest drugstore chain and a company that manages prescriptions for health insurance companies.
Israel's Hilltop Youth movement has been active for years, establishing Jewish settlement outposts on barren West Bank hills without bothering to get permission from the Israeli government.
The Hilltop Youth occasionally received attention, usually when they damaged Palestinian property in the West Bank. But now they are in the headlines after a group of Hilltop Youth raided an Israeli military base.
Premature babies have to endure to a lot of painful medical procedures, from blood draws to throat suctioning. Something as simple as a few drops of sugar water can ease that pain, but many preemies don't get that help. And adding the comfort of touch helps, too.
We're taking a break from the serious news for a bit of baby news: Hip-hop has a new princess. Blue Ivy Carter, the daughter of Jay-Z and Beyoncé Knowles, who are arguably the genre's king and queen.
Now, that was one of the worst kept secrets, since friends and family were tweeting about the birth over the weekend. But, as the AP reports, the couple's reps "repeatedly declined requests for comment."