As President Obama prepares to start another term next week, Morning Edition has asked NPR's international correspondents to gauge worldwide expectations for the president's next four years. We begin in Mexico, where Mexicans hope to change the conversation between the two countries from drugs and violence to economics and prosperity.
Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 4:22 am
President Obama will make his second speech on guns and gun violence at the White House Wednesday. He is urging Congress to move quickly to pass a raft of bills that would limit access to more deadly weapons. Among the guests at Wednesday's speech: children who wrote to him after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
The lockout is over and the much delayed National Hockey League's season is now set to begin on Saturday. The regular season will run 48 games instead of the usual 82.
So what's the economic effect of missing almost half the season? NPR's Mike Pesca finds, not as bad as you might think.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: We've all seen the reports during the lockout, the empty bar near the arena should be brimming with Bruins backers or a Washington Avalanche acolytes. Or maybe it's not a bar. Maybe it's pizza in Pittsburgh.
As the earliest flu outbreak in years continues to claim victims, businesses are taking a hit, too. They're faced with an unsolvable problem: If they tell too many sick employees to stay home, the work doesn't get done. But when people sick with flu and other bugs show up, they're spreading illness through the workplace.
It's a dilemma the staff at Zeno Radio, a media technology company in Midtown Manhattan, has seen unfold this winter.
The new figure predicts the world economy will grow by only 2.4 percent this year — lower than the 3 percent the World Bank predicted last June. Among the reasons the bank cited for the new forecast: the continued economic weakness of developed countries.
Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 4:56 am
The online retailer Cafe Press is happy to sell you inaugural mouse pads, shot glasses, and mugs. And the merchandise is bipartisan, including a sweatshirt with the message: "I was Anti-Obama Before It Was Cool."
We are also following a story in Japan that strikes a blow at one of the world's great aircraft makers. Japan has grounded its entire fleet of 787 Dreamliners. This move came after an electrical problem forced an All Nippon Airlines 787 to make an emergency landing. Here's NPR's Wendy Kaufman.
Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 4:27 am
As the Middle East faces one of its harshest winters in decades, Syrian refugees are facing a humanitarian disaster. In the Zaatari refugee camp on the Jordanian border, heavy snow and rain flooded hundreds of tents last week.
Herbalife, a company that sells weight loss shakes, vitamins and other similar products, is worth billions of dollars. The company has been around for more than 30 years, and it's traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Bill Ackman thinks the whole thing is a pyramid scheme.
Ackman manages a hedge fund that has shorted more than a billion dollars' worth of Herbalife stock. If the stock falls — and Ackman says he thinks it will fall all the way to zero — the fund will make money.
The Mile High Gliding facility at the Boulder Airport in Colorado is one of Carol Fiore's favorite haunts. And it's a perfect day for flying: clear, breezy and with a gorgeous view of the Rocky Mountains.
Fiore used to fly gliders regularly, but a few years ago she stopped. Flying them had become painful.
"I felt, in a way, that I was searching for something that wasn't there," Fiore says. "I was looking for that laughter and that incredible time that I had flying with Eric, and he wasn't in the plane with me. I was by myself."
UPDATE at 12:35 p.m., ET, Jan. 17: Many of you wrote in to tell us you were taken aback by Whole Foods top executive John Mackey characterizing the health law as fascism in an NPR interview, and apparently, he's feeling a little sheepish.
About three minutes into his otherwise amiable chat with CBS This Morning hosts on on Thursday, Mackey walked back his comments in response to a direct question from Norah O'Donnell:
As someone who dines out a lot for work, I can tell you that barley doesn't appear on a whole lot of menus. And as a home cook, I can see how this grain maybe isn't perceived to be as sexy as farro, as healthy as quinoa or as versatile as oats.
But barley has a lot more going for it than being malted for beer or being dumped in a soup.
Facebook has launched a new feature that will let its users search for more detailed information across the social network. Soon, you'll be able to find the restaurants and TV shows your friends like or see every picture they've taken at the Grand Canyon.
As much as users may like the new features, the company hasn't exactly been a Wall Street darling. So, the new feature may be less about you and me and more about Facebook's bottom line.
"It's about time," Nate Elliott, an analyst at Forrester Research, said about the new feature. "It should have been there all along."
The situation for Syrian refugees is getting dire. Much has been reported about the worsening conditions for hundreds of thousands of Syrians taking up shelter just outside the country's borders, but inside Syria, the numbers are even higher. The United Nations says some 2 million people have been displaced from their homes in Syria, and most of them end up squatting in mosques and schools. NPR's Kelly McEvers spent a night in one of those schools, in Syria's largest city, Aleppo, and sent this report.
This may sound far-fetched, but football reminds me of Venice. Both are so tremendously popular, but it's the very things that made them so that could sow the seeds of their ruin.
Venice, of course, is so special because of its unique island geography, which, as the world's ecosystem changes, is precisely what now puts it at risk. And as it is the violent nature of football that makes it so attractive, the understanding of how that brutality can damage those who play the game is what may threaten it, even as now the sport climbs to ever new heights of popularity.
If you haven't been to Palisades Park — the famous oceanfront park in Santa Monica, Calif. — chances are you have seen its swaying palm trees and sweeping ocean vistas in movies and commercials.
Running up the wooden stairs that plunge to the beach is the workout to do in this city where it seems like you have to be fit to fit in. In fact, most early mornings before work hours, this park seems more like an outdoor gym than anything else, with running clubs, weight training and kickboxing classes.
Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 9:04 am
The Winter Jazzfest turned nine this year, and it's matured into a known quantity, a New York cultural landmark. Its variety of routines have worn in enough to develop some comforting predictability. For such a scrappy, low-to-the-ground happening designed around emerging artists and new repertoires, that's an achievement.
The House made good on a promise from Speaker John Boehner to pass stalled federal aid for those hit by Hurricane Sandy. Tamara Keith talks to Robert Siegel to explain the politics surrounding the $51 billion package.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
Wal-Mart said today that it will soon begin offering a job to any newly discharged veteran who wants one. The offer comes at a time when new veterans are having a tough time finding work. Also, Wal-Mart CEO Bill Simon promised the company will increase the amount of products it buys from domestic sources.
NPR's Jim Zarroli tells us more about both announcements.
The French defense minister says France is preparing for a possible land assault in Mali, so it plans to increase its troop levels to 2,500. Back home in France, authorities are girding for possible terrorist attacks in response to their intervention. Eleanor Beardsley has that story from Paris.
The government of Turkey is vowing to push ahead with efforts to end its long-running conflict with Kurdish militants. That's despite the killings last week of three female Kurdish activists that were shot in Paris. The murders are seen as an effort to derail the peace talks before they gain traction.
As NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul, Turkey, Turkey has pushed for peace before. But many wonder if the lessons from past failures have been absorbed.
In November, more than 1.5 million Los Angeles County voters passed the Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act. The new law orders porn actors to wear condoms during sex scenes.
"The porn industry has been sending a very bad message by saying the only kind of sex that's hot is unsafe," says Michael Weinstein, CEO of the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which sponsored the measure.
Sitting in his office, just over the hills from the nation's porn film capital, Weinstein says the new law was meant to protect both performers and those who watch the movies.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Florida man's floating home was a house, not a boat, and that therefore, the city marina where he kept it docked could not seize the structure under federal maritime law. The case could affect thousands of houseboat owners nationwide.
Criticism is raining down on prosecutors in Massachusetts after the suicide of computer genius Aaron Swartz, who helped to develop innovations like RSS.
Swartz, 26, had been facing trial on 13 felony charges for allegedly breaking into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology network and accessing millions of documents. Friends and family argue Swartz was the victim of Justice Department overreach. But legal experts say the case is more complicated than that.