President Obama wants Congress to act fast to avoid massive government budget cuts that could hit in March. Washington is seeing more gridlock as Republicans blocked a vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. Host Michel Martin talks about the latest in politics.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, Aristotle and Dante are the names of two important philosophers from history, but they're also the names of the principle characters in an award-winning new young adult novel about two Mexican-American boys and their journey of self-discovery. We'll hear from the author of "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe." That is just ahead.
Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:24 pm
NPR Music will present and webcast a "First Listen Live" concert from Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band on Monday, March 4, beginning at 8 p.m. ET in the intimate New York City venue (Le) Poisson Rouge. Josh Ritter and his band will play most of his new album, The Beast in Its Tracks.
Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 11:33 am
Two reports on troubles with lithium ion batteries aboard Boeing's 787 Dreamliner:
In Japan, where a battery on an All Nippon Airlines 787 overheated and began smoking on Jan. 16, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing, the Transport Ministry released a report Wednesday saying it found that the battery in question had been improperly wired.
We most recently updated the top of this post at 2:50 p.m. ET.
Saying that "I've never been more clear in my life" about what he was doing, a tearful Jesse Jackson Jr. on Wednesday pleaded guilty to using about $750,000 in campaign funds collected for his congressional races to buy himself presents that included a Rolex watch worth more than $43,000.
The former congressman, a Democrat from Chicago, appeared in a Washington, D.C., courtroom. When he's sentenced in June, he could get a prison term of nearly five years.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. An exhibit in a Vienna Museum titled "Nude Men From 1800 to the Present Day" drew a group of 60 present-day men who stripped down to view it. It was a special after-hours tour; they viewed the exhibition in nothing but socks and shoes. The tour guide was dressed. One of the men who viewed the art in his birthday suit first saw it while clothed. He said it's perfect to see naked men as a naked man. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Italy is trying to keep pollsters from influencing the outcome of an approaching election. Pollsters still do surveys for private clients, but are banned from publishing results. Some websites have found coded ways to report surveys. A gambling site reports polls disguised as fake horse racing results, with horses named after political parties. Another site offers fake cardinals supposedly contending to be pope.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
"It sounded like thunder, but it felt like an earthquake," Tracey Truitt, a lawyer who was working in a nearby building, tells the Kansas City Star about an explosion Tuesday evening that leveled a restaurant in the city's Country Club Plaza.
At least 16 people were injured and as of early this morning one person remained missing, the Star says.
Watching Jose James perform live was one of the most remarkable experiences we've had at our intimate in-studio sessions.
The soulful jazz singer blends his powerful vocals with hip-hop beats, smooth R&B choruses and an equally talented backing band. You'll never hear James' songs the same way again after hearing them live.
Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 11:41 am
A neighbor has told investigators that he heard "gunshots ... a female screaming two-three times, then more gunshots" coming from the South African home of Oscar Pistorius in the early morning hours of Feb. 14, a police officer testified Wednesday at a bail hearing for the Olympic and Paralympic athlete.
The witness has also told investigators about "non-stop talking" and sounds "like fighting" coming from Pistorius's home between the hours of 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.
Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 8:18 am
As writers churn out novels about zombies and the apocalypse — books that portray our shared anxieties about the early 21st century — Laura Kasischke's first collection of stories, If a Stranger Approaches You, describes a world haunted, not by the undead, but by the phantoms of unemployment, increased airport security and missed credit card payments. The signature confluence between realism and the uncanny found in much of Kasischke's writing, both as poet and novelist, makes this book an important addition to her own body of work and to the contemporary literature of end times.
OK, yes: To gay comics fans like me, DC Comics' decision to hire an anti-gay activist like Orson Scott Card to write Superman — an iconic character who exists to represent humanity's noblest ideals of justice and compassion — is deeply dispiriting.
Bipartisan groups and lawmakers are working together on another issue: Immigration. Yesterday, the president spoke with several senators involved in negotiations on that issue. But, at the same time, some senators criticized the White House for drafting its own plan for changing immigration laws.
We're going to talk through this subject with NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. She's on the line.
Maybe you don't like your mobile phone carrier, but you like your phone and you want to keep it but change providers. An obscure change in federal law makes it illegal to switch without permission from your carrier.
If you have, for example, AT&T, in order to switch to T-Mobile you have to unlock the phone, and AT&T can now stop you from doing that.
The change in the copyright law has some people upset, and they're petitioning the White House for a fix.
In its quest to stem its losses, the U.S. Postal Service is venturing into new territory. We are you know, of course, it plans to end certain Saturday mail service to trim costs. But the USPS is also looking into a new revenue stream, which is today's last word in business: fashionable delivery.
In Israel the case of Prisoner X is raising new questions about secrecy and censorship. A Mossad agent by the name of Ben Zygier faced secret charges three years ago, was jailed under a false name and committed suicide in prison. From Jerusalem, NPR's Larry Abramson has a story that until recently was kept secret by military censors.
MONTAGNE: A new regulatory filing by Bank of America shows its CEO received quite a raise last year. Brian Moynihan got nearly a 75 percent increase in 2012 - a pay package valued at more than $12 million. The previous year he was paid a measly $7 million.
B of A's stock has been performing well, but analysts say the bank still faces issues from the financial crisis. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Boeing has won a partial victory in a contract dispute with its engineering union, and that reduces the odds of a strike, as Ashley Gross of member station KPLU in Seattle reports.
ASHLEY GROSS, BYLINE: The engineering union covers two sets of workers - salaried engineers and hourly technical workers. The engineers voted to accept Boeing's final offer. The technical workers rejected it and authorized a strike.
They'll negotiate again before a walkout, but that split vote puts union leaders like Tom McCarty in a tough position.
As Yuki just reported, employers are looking very closely at using carrots and sticks to get workers to change their unhealthy ways. Let's learn more now about that provision in the health care law which allows employers to put in place wellness programs aimed at improving health and managing health care costs. Morgan Downey is an advocate for people with obesity. He's also the editor of the Downey Obesity Report.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
President Obama's re-election briefly raised hopes that in a second term the U.S. might be able to engage with Iran, possibly even direct talks between the two countries. Then, harsher rhetoric set in, and now a less ambitious round of talks involving several countries is set to get underway. Iran has long been under pressure over its nuclear program which Western nations suspect is aimed at creating nuclear weapons.
The movie Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fairy tale of a film. It might not seem to have much in common with documentaries about evangelical Christians in Uganda or the billionaire Koch brothers. But these films were all funded by a not-for-profit group called Cinereach. It was started by a couple of film school graduates who are still in their 20s. And now, with Beasts, it has a nomination for Best Picture at this year's Oscars.