For Darden Restaurants, the company behind Olive Garden and Red Lobster, its earnings projections out last week were not pretty. Sales will fall, it said, and company CEO Clarence Otis called higher payroll taxes a "headwind."
After a two-year tax break, the payroll tax, which funds Social Security payments, went back up to 6.2 percent on Jan. 1. The 2-percentage-point increase is an extra $80 a month in taxes for someone earning $50,000 a year.
C. Everett Koop was the most outspoken and some would argue the most influential of all U.S. surgeon generals. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: The correct plural form of the word is surgeons general.] He wore the uniform throughout most of the 1980s, and he turned an office with little power into a mighty platform - to educate Americans about AIDS prevention and the dangers of smoking.
C. Everett Koop died today at his home in Hanover, New Hampshire. He was 96. NPR's Joseph Shapiro looks back on his career.
It's been nearly two years since Oprah ended her daily show, and Chicago's been adjusting to the loss of the daytime talk queen. Although she left a huge void, there's no need to write an obituary for the TV talk genre in Chicago.
In the lobby of Chicago's NBC Towers, the crowd of excited fans gathered for a TV taping is reminiscent of the Oprah days of old. But instead of Oprah, they're lined up to see veteran comedian Steve Harvey's show.
"I like Steve's energy. I like his shows. He's funny. He covers all topics," says fan Deloris Neal.
Workers open ballots in a polling station in Rome on Tuesday following Italy's general elections. The initial results showed a close race with no clear-cut winner, a development that made financial markets jumpy.
Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind is facing a storm of criticism after he dressed as an African-American basketball player in blackface. Hikind wore the costume to a party at his house celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim.
He posted a picture of himself on Facebook wearing an afro wig and an orange jersey.
The long-awaited BP trial opened Monday in New Orleans. The oil giant is in court to determine how much it should pay because of the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Audie Cornish talks to Jeff Brady.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
It was yet another turbulent day for the Vatican as Great Britain's most senior Roman Catholic cleric announced his resignation. That means he will not be taking part in the election of a new pope. Cardinal Keith O'Brien has been accused of behaving inappropriately toward several priests. His immediate departure comes as the pope himself prepares to retire. Benedict XVI stands down Thursday.
We're joined from London by NPR's Philip Reeves. Hi there, Philip.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
Afghanistan's president is demanding that American Special Forces, Green Berets, withdraw from a key province. It's located near the capital, Kabul. Hamid Karzai says the Special Forces are linked to allegations of kidnapping, killing and torture. What actually happened, however, is not clear. And to try to make sense of this, we're joined by NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. The biggest weekend in NASCAR left the racing world with plenty to talk about. Jimmie Johnson won his second Daytona 500 and Danica Patrick became the first woman ever to finish in the top 10. But the event that may have the longest lingering effect on car racing happened at the end of a second tier race the day before the headline event.
The state of Wisconsin is locked in an emotional fight over mining. Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, is pushing a bill that would clear the way for one of the world's largest open pit iron mines. Supporters hope the project will rejuvenate an industry that helped to build Wisconsin. But the proposal has fierce opposition, as we hear from Shawn Johnson of Wisconsin Public Radio.
Moving on now in tech news to a story that touches on some urgent policy questions. As lawmakers debate access to guns, some people are trying to make their own using 3-D printers. And they're learning how from information they find on the Internet.
Reporter Jon Kalish explains how 3-D printers complicate the conversation about guns.
A young demonstrator is attacked by a police dog in Birmingham, Ala., in May 1963. Scenes like these helped usher in the nation's landmark civil rights law, the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday over a key provision of the law.
Credit Bill Hudson / AP
Ernest Montgomery (right), the Calera, Ala., city councilman at the heart of the Supreme Court case, with his pastor, the Rev. Harry Jones. Both men say the Voting Rights Act is still necessary in Alabama.
As Kenya prepares for a presidential election next Monday, it's trying to prevent a recurrence of the last such poll, in December 2007, when more than 1,000 people were killed in postelection violence.
Last time, technology helped incite that violence. This time, the hope is that technology will help prevent a similar outburst.
Last time around, a text message came on Dec. 31, 2007, four days after a presidential election that many people in the Kalenjin tribe thought was rigged.
Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 5:23 pm
To understand what's happening with federal judge vacancies, consider this: The Senate voted Monday night to approve the nomination of Robert Bacharach to sit on the federal appeals court based in Denver.
Bacharach had won support from both Republican senators in his home state, and his nomination was approved unanimously. But he still waited more than 260 days for that vote.
Fauja Singh has decided, at the age of 101, to put his feet up and rest.
Or, at least, to stop participating in long-distance races.
The Indian-born British citizen known as the "turbaned tornado" was among the competitors Sunday at a 10-kilometer race in Hong Kong. According to Sports Illustrated, he completed the 6.2-mile course in 1 hour, 32 minutes and 28 seconds.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden in Washington. More than a week has passed since Olympic athlete and South African sports hero Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He faces charges of premeditated murder. On Friday he was granted bail and left jail.
Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 12:50 pm
If Congress fails to make a deal on government spending and taxation before Friday, federal cuts of more than 85 billion dollars will be enacted. NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley discusses the politics of a potential deal and the options for avoiding sequestration.
Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 12:22 pm
The McDonald's menu is a sacred document, like the Constitution. You can't just add things willy-nilly. It took hard work and sacrifice to add the Fourth Amendment, the McRib, and the Twenty-third Amendment, the Snack Wrap. Now, a new item called Fish McBites seeks ratification.
Miles: Fish McBites — for the bottom feeder in all of us.
Ian: I can't wait to wash this down with McDonald's new Chumrock Shake.
Now, the Opinion Page. It's a no-brainer, that's how secretary - former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich described President Obama's recent proposal to raise the federal minimum wage. The plan would boost minimum pay from 7.25 an hour to $9. In a syndicated column, Reich wrote, a mere $9 an hour translates into about $18,000 a year, still under the poverty line.
Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 2:53 pm
The remains of a small continent have been hiding right under our noses for the past 85 million years or so.
That's according to a new study published Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience. Scientists looked at lava sands from beaches on Mauritius to determine when and where the material might have originated.
The remarkable story of gangster Whitey Bulger begins in the housing projects of South Boston and ends with his capture by the FBI in 2011 after his 16 years on the lam. By then, Bulger was wanted for 19 murders, extortion and loan sharking for leading a criminal enterprise in Boston from the 1970s until 1995. During much of that time he was also an informant and being protected by the FBI.