Cyprus has secured a $13 billion package of rescue loans in tense, last-ditch negotiations. Some in Cyprus question whether the European Union wanted Cyprus' recently discovered natural gas reserves or big bank deposits to go to German banks.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
The tiny Mediterranean island of Cyprus was on the brink of bankruptcy. But at the last minute, European finance ministers approved a multibillion-dollar bailout for the country. The deal will keep the island's banking system from collapsing, but the country is far from out of the woods.
NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson begins our coverage from Berlin.
Secretary of State John Kerry is putting his diplomatic skills to the test this week. He is dealing with some difficult partners and trying to revive Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. Kerry spent the day yesterday in Baghdad. He's nudging the Iraqi government to stop letting Iran use Iraqi air space to send weapons into Syria. The United States does not have much leverage, however, as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
Well, Passover begins tonight at sundown. Observant Jews will commemorate the mass exodus from Egypt and for the next eight days eat matzo, the dry flat cracker known as much for its bland taste as its symbolism. It's also fueled the entrepreneurial spirit of an Atlanta couple.
Susan Mittleman sampled their business venture, a venture that mixes matzo with granola.
SUSAN MITTLEMAN, BYLINE: Wayne Silverman has made maple-nut matzo granola in his kitchen for more than 40 years.
NPR's business news starts with Apple doing some shopping.
Apple has been trying to go head-to-head with Google to provide better mapping services. Apple's latest effort to do that has a price tag of $20 million. That's how much it paid for a small startup company called WiFiSLAM, which maps indoor settings. Think shopping malls and airports. Apple confirmed the purchase to The Wall Street Journal, but wouldn't discuss its plans. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And our last word in business today is: highly illogical, captain.
Congress has rebuked the IRS for spending tens of thousands of dollars to film a "Star Trek" parody video.
(SOUNDBITE OF IRS VIDEO)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: These are the voyagers of the Starship Enterprise Y. Its never-ending mission is to seek out new tax forms, to explore strange new regulations, to boldly go where no government employee has gone before.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
The video stars IRS workers and was shown at a conference in 2010.
Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 6:34 am
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And police in Britain are piecing together the final days in the life of a Russian oligarch named Boris Berezovsky. They hope this may shed light on his sudden death this last weekend. Berezovsky used to be one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Russia. Then he fell out with the Kremlin and sought asylum in Britain. NPR's Philip Reeves reports.
Both housing and the stock market have been on the upswing in recent months. But a full recovery in the housing market would be more significant to the overall economy. That's because more Americans have something at stake in home values than in stock prices.
Despite the enormous destruction Hurricane Sandy caused to the Jersey Shore, realtors who specialize in the region say business has been steady. Plenty of home buyers and investors appear eager to jump into the market. Damaged homes and lots have been selling for discounted rates, while prices are inching up on houses that survived since there are simply fewer properties available.
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a case worth billions of dollars to pharmaceutical companies and American consumers. The issue is whether brand-name drug manufacturers may pay generic drug manufacturers to keep generics off the market. These payments — a form of settlement in patent litigation — began to blossom about a decade ago when the courts, for the first time, appeared to bless them.
As far back as he can remember, George McCann lived in fear. When he was asleep he would have horrific nightmares filled with violent images. When he was awake, he often felt threatened by people, including members of his own family. And when he felt threatened, he would become aggressive, even violent.
George spent his childhood certain that something very bad was going to happen. And when he was 12, it did. His unrelenting fears led to a violent outburst at school. And George landed in a psychiatric hospital.
In 1953, the Swiss chemical company Ciba came to Toms River, N.J. By all accounts, the community was delighted to have it. The chemical plant for manufacturing textile dye brought jobs and tax revenue to the small town on the Jersey shore. The company invested in the town's hospital and donated land for a golf course.
In the New York City prison system, the outlook for juvenile offenders is bleak. They're falling through the cracks, being arrested repeatedly, and being re-released onto the same streets only to be picked up again.
The criminal justice system is failing these 16- and 17-year-olds, says Dora Schriro, the commissioners of the city's Department of Corrections.
It all started on a former plantation in Tennessee. That's where Sandra Arnold's great-grandfather, Ben Harmon, who was born a slave, is buried next to his wife, Ethel. Their final resting spots are clearly marked, gravestone and all, but next to them, Arnold noticed an entire area of unmarked slave graves. She wondered if they could be family, too.
Her research started on that plot, then expanded to the state of Tennessee. Eventually, Arnold learned that it wasn't uncommon to find unmarked slave burial places across the country.
After four years of self-imposed exile, Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has come home. His plan is to run for office and reclaim political influence, but death threats and legal battles complicate his return.
Overnight temperatures are dipping below freezing and the forecast calls for snow, but cold, boredom and discomfort haven't stopped more than 30 Supreme Court die-hards from camping out for a seat to history.
"I just really wanted to be part of this moment, so I had been planning to come down for months," said Darienn Powers, a college student who came to Washington from New York. "No matter what, it's worth it to be in there and really experience what's going on."
A few months ago, Reid Cherlin, a GQ magazine contributor and former White House spokesman for President Obama, was sent a link to a website with what he says was "a sort of grotesque sketch" of his face.
It was the website of Michael McCutcheon, a 73-year-old retiree who draws sketches of all of the guests on C-SPAN's morning programming. Cherlin was a guest on C-SPAN last year, a pretty normal thing for D.C. pundits.
In the NCAA men's basketball tournament Saturday, Marquette escaped with a 2-point win over Butler. What does it take to win a close game? Grit and determination? Luck? Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Mike Pesca, who was at the game.
Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 9:00 am
Nicole J. Georges' latest book is Calling Dr. Laura.
My mother picked me up from school in early April 1994. I was barely a teenager, lips stretched over braces as I focused my attention on the radio dial, seeking an alternative station whenmy mom delivered some news: "Oh, your buddy died."
"Who is 'my buddy?' "
"Uhhh ... whatshisname ... the screaming, you know, the blonde. ..."
ALEX CORNELL: Sometimes you go to dinner with a lot of people you know, but then there's some friends from out of town and you end up sitting next to the, you know, the roommate of the friend who doesn't know anyone...