It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene.
Stanley Fischer used to be head Israel's Central Bank, and he was once second in command at the International Monetary Fund. Barring the unexpected, he'll soon be confirmed as vice-chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve. President Obama nominated him for that post. And today he'll go before the Senate Banking Committee.
Many of us can barely make it through the morning without first downing a cup of hot coffee. It's become such a big part of our daily rituals that few actually give much thought to what it is that we're putting in our bodies.
To help us break down the little-known things about caffeine, NPR's David Greene spoke with Murray Carpenter, author of Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts and Hooks Us. These are the things you probably aren't thinking about as you wait in line at your local coffee shop.
Demonstrators walk through a cloud of tear gas fired by the Bolivarian National Police during clashes in Caracas, Venezuela, on Wednesday.
Credit Alejandro Cegarra / AP
An estimated 3,000 protesters were blocked by police from marching toward the government ombudsman's office to demand the president's resignation. In response, anti-government demonstrators threw rocks at police officers.
Credit Alejandro Cegarra / AP
A student shouts slogans against President Nicolas Maduro during the protest. Maduro on Wednesday promised "drastic measures" to stop the unrest.
Credit Fernando Llano / AP
Demonstrators carry an injured anti-government activist. Wednesday marked one month since the first deaths in the clashes. Since the fighting began, more than 20 people have been killed.
Credit Leo Ramirez / AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators walk through a cloud of tear gas fired by the police.
Credit Alejandro Cegarra / AP
Protests began a month ago over food shortages, inflation and Venezuela's high murder rate.
Credit Juan Barreto / AFP/Getty Images
Anti-government protesters clash with police during a march that escalated into a street battle in the capital, Caracas, on Wednesday.
As darkness fell Wednesday night in Caracas, the place where student protesters have regularly clashed with security forces was again a battleground. Altamira Square was ablaze with burning garbage, and the thud of tear gas canisters being fired echoed between the buildings.
On the edge of the square, medics treated the wounded, among them an 18-year-old protester who injured his arm as he stumbled when spray from a water cannon hit him.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Today, President Obama will tell the Department of Labor to rethink the rules for how employers pay overtime. The president wants millions more people to get paid overtime, particularly those who are exempt. And by signing a presidential memo to the department, he doesn't have to ask Congress to make that happen.
NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith reports.
Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 7:22 am
In just a few days, college basketball fans will celebrate the sport's biggest day: Selection Sunday. As soon as the bracket unveiling ends, the speculation will begin over who will be this year's Cinderella.
Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives for his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican last month.
Credit Vincenzo Pinto / AFP/Getty Images
A box containing stamps, postcards and souvenir cards, adorned with the image of Pope Francis, on display at a shop in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In his first year as pope, Francis has endeared himself to the public.
I started my journey at the famed Gdansk Shipyard, home of Poland's solidarity movement in the 1980s. It was nearly midnight when I arrived and saw for the first time the Maersk McKinney Moller, the world's largest container ship.
I simply wasn't prepared for just how massive it is. The whole ship really can't be taken in, even standing at a distance, so I gave my neck a good stretch by scanning this behemoth end to end, and up and down.
Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 7:53 am
A federal judge dropped charges on Wednesday against an Indian diplomat because she enjoys diplomatic immunity.
As Krishnadev reported back in January, the case of Devyani Khobragade, who was indicted on charges of falsifying visa documents for her Indian maid, "sparked a diplomatic row between India and the U.S."
According to a grand jury indictment, Khobragade said she was going to pay her maid $9 an hour. She actually paid her $3.
Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 6:39 am
A New Jersey judge likely made history this week when he released an opinion that found women can keep the biological father of their children out of the delivery room.
NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports that the ruling involves a couple who got engaged after the woman became pregnant but later broke up. The man sued for the right to be present at the birth of his child. Jennifer filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The case was argued by telephone — while the New Jersey woman was in the hospital to give birth.
The Affordable Care Act — which many see creating challenges for businesses — could benefit a particular group of business people: entrepreneurs.
Joshua Simonson was reluctant to give up his job at a Portland, Ore., area grocery store, New Seasons Market, which he says had provided excellent health care for him and his family. He had a pre-existing condition that has prevented him from getting insurance in the private market, but one key development helped convince him to quit and start a farm.
A bill aimed at punishing Russia for sending its forces into Crimea by imposing sanctions on Moscow and providing economic aid to Ukraine has passed a key vote in the U.S. Senate.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 14-3 to pass the measure that authorizes $1 billion in loan guarantees to the new government in Kiev as well as the freezing certain Russian assets in the U.S.
Time now for your letters. First, two corrections. On Monday, we took you to the South by Southwest Festival in Austin to tell you about something called Oculus Rift. It is a virtual reality headset. And in our story, we mistakenly said that it would be available to consumers in 18 to 20 months. In fact, there is no release date yet for a consumer model. Only the development kit is currently available.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. 25 years ago today, a man who was working on computers at a physics lab got a little more ambitious. He offered up a proposal to connect just about every computer on Earth. That was the seed of the World Wide Web back in 1989. When he shared his idea, a lot of people didn't bother to read the memo. It took many more months for the first website to be born and years for the Web to become public.
A would-be shoe-bomber for al-Qaida told his story to a jury in New York City yesterday. Saajid Badat testified in the trial of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith. That's the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden who the government says was aware of the shoe-bombing plot. The witness has told some of his story before. He's in Britain. He's cooperated with authorities there and in the U.S.
But some of what he said was new to Benjamin Weiser, of The New York Times, who's covering this trial and who joins us from New York. Welcome to the program.
A legal dispute between pharmaceutical companies Abbott Laboratories and SmithKline Beecham ended up before a federal appeals court. The court's ruling may have implications for laws that concern gays and lesbians.
There was a small development in a case before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this month that could have a major impact on the legal battle over same-sex marriage. The case involves a dispute between two pharmaceutical companies, a gay juror and the level of legal scrutiny directed by the appellate court.
Minnesota is expected to pick a new lead technology contractor for its health insurance marketplace in the coming weeks. The state has been working hard to improve its website, but in its first few months serious technical problems made it difficult if not impossible to use.
It's been five days now since a Malaysia Airlines flight bound for Beijing vanished without a trace. The speculation about what caused the plane to go off course includes terrorism. And in China, that led many to focus on that country's Uyghur minority. In fact, there was a Uyghur passenger on the flight.
But as NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing, the focus on him quickly shifted from suspicion to sadness.
On a street corner in downtown Washington, D.C., David Wise is opening a century-old iron gate in front of an old, boarded-up brick building.
Wise is an investigator for the Government Accountability Office, the government's watchdog group. His mission is to figure out why the government owns so many buildings, like this one, that it doesn't use.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama is taking another step to raise the wages of workers and he plans to do it without getting Congress involved. The White House says tomorrow Obama will direct the Labor Department to change the rules for businesses on overtime pay. The change could mean that millions of private sector workers currently classified as management could eventually qualify for overtime.
Aid for Ukraine, sanctions against Russians. Those are key features of a bill that Senator Robert Menendez proposes. He is a New Jersey Democrat who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And he joins us from Capitol Hill. Welcome to the program once again.
Andy Karl stars in the musical adaptation of<em> Rocky, </em>the story of an underdog boxer who gets a shot at the world championship. "You have to honor, I think, the integrity of what the original film is, but not be constrained by it," says <em>Rocky</em> producer Bill Taylor.
Credit Matthew Murphey / Polk & Co.
Robert James Waller published the novel<em> The Bridges of Madison County </em>in 1992. It was made into a film in 1995 and has now been adapted for the stage. It's the story of a four-day love affair between an Italian-born Iowa housewife and a<em> National Geographic</em> photographer.
Credit Joan Marcus / Jeffrey Richards Associates
Disney hit it big on Broadway with <em>The Lion King, </em>but <em>The Little Mermaid</em> and <em>Tarzan</em> didn't fare quite so well.<em> Aladdin -- </em>the Arabian Nights story of a young street urchin, a princess and a big blue genie — is Disney's latest adaptation attempt.
Credit Cylla von Tiedemann / Disney
<em><em>Bullets over Broadway</em> </em>is Woody Allen's farce about gangsters and theater people. Allen's sister, Letty Aronson, produced the stage version. "He didn't want to do it himself, but he hates to turn it over to someone," she says.
Producer Bill Taylor says even the show's creators didn't buy the idea at first. "If you speak to all of the authors and all of the creative team, their instinctive reaction, when first hearing about Rocky becoming a musical, ranges from incredulity to plain crazy," he says.
Herbalife revealed on Wednesday that the Federal Trade Commission has opened a civil investigation into the practices of the nutrition company, which sells weight-loss shakes, vitamins and other products.
Moments after Herbalife made the announcement, its stock price plunged. At 1:51 p.m., it had lost 12 percent of its value.
Bloomberg explains that hedge fund manager Bill Ackman accused the company of running a pyramid scheme. Bloomberg adds: