A few of the political stories worth noting this Friday:
Congressional negotiators reached agreement on extensions of the payroll tax cut as well as federal jobless benefits and a "fix" that would prevent Medicare reimbursements to doctors from being cut. But while the House's Republican leaders and the Senate's Democratic leaders were on board, Senate Republicansn weren't. Votes are expected in both chambers Friday.
Call it the resurrection of the time slot of death.
For years, Friday nights have carried a grisly reputation — where shows on broadcast networks are sent to die. But a certain kind of cable show has recently performed well — even really well — on Friday nights.
Libyans celebrated the first anniversary of the popular uprising that ousted long-time dictator Moammar Gaddafi today, but some of the very militias responsible for toppling the government have turned to terrorizing the population.
On Morning Edition today, a couple of reports highlighting the run-up to the Feb. 28 Michigan primary, which is shaping up to be a close match between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who has gained considerable momentum from wins elsewhere in the Midwest last week.
NPR's Don Gonyea reports from Michigan that Santorum's committment to conservative family values is having some resonance there.
Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 5:59 am
German President Chritian Wulff has resigned amid questions about possible corruption, a move that leaves Chancellor Angela Merkel - already under pressure from the eurozone debt crisis - scrambling for a replacement.
Wulff stepped down from the largely ceremonial post two months after the German newpaper Bild published a story alleging that while he was premier of Lower Saxony, he had failed to disclose his links to powerful businessman Egon Geerkens.
I met Anthony Shadid on a ruined airstrip in western Afghanistan in the winter of 2001-'02. He was sporting a beard and longer hair in those days that made him look a little like a crusading Arab warrior. We spoke briefly and exchanged a few bits of useful news about the place. As I recall his face now, I realize Anthony's secret: His sincerity was piercing, disarming and infectious.
This President's Day weekend, a new exhibition opens at George Washington's Mt. Vernon. It's called Hoecakes & Hospitality: Cooking with Martha Washington. It displays Mrs. Washington's hand-written recipes along with her pots and pans. It honors the labor-intensive role slaves had in the kitchen.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Despite its iconic place in film history, demolition has begun on the Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, Illinois. It was the setting for a famous scene in the movie, "The Blues Brothers." The heroes escaped from police by driving their blues mobile through the mall, destroying stores, mannequins flying in the air. The high speed chase in the 1980 film was the most action the mall has seen in a long time. It's been closed since '79. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
In a letter addressed to Congress, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe calls for slashing 150,000 jobs - mostly through retirements. The most significant savings Donahoe suggests would come from the Postal Service breaking away from the federal health benefits plan.
Symbolically speaking, this month's Michigan's primary may be the most important of the GOP presidential race to date. It's the state where Mitt Romney grew up, and his father was a beloved government and business leader. And now, Romney seems to have a real chance of losing the state to Rick Santorum.
And at his stops in Michigan yesterday, Rick Santorum spoke of economic revival through low taxes, fewer regulations and his commitment to conservative family values.
Here's NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.
DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Rick Santorum can't outspend Romney in Michigan, and he's facing a barrage of ads on radio and TV paid for by the pro-Romney superPAC Restore Our Future. The ads attack Santorum's U.S. Senate record.
Fridays used to be infamous as the worst night for TV ratings. It was where shows went to die. Now, between DVRs and people not going out because of the lousy economy, Friday has become a perfectly respectful night to have a certain kind of show on TV and even become a hit.
This week the state of Nevada finalized new rules that will make it possible for robotic self-driving cars to receive their own special driving permits. It's not quite driver's licenses for robots — but it's close.
The other day I went for a spin in a robotic car. This car has an $80,000 cone-shaped laser mounted on its roof. There are radars on the front, back and sides. Detailed maps help it navigate.
Do people notice it's a self-driving car and gawk?
A closed-door meeting to discuss controversial bird flu research is drawing to a close at the World Health Organization in Geneva, and the WHO plans to publicly report on what happened once it's officially over.
The Lucky Friday Mine in Idaho's Silver Valley, shown in 2007, was temporarily shut down in January while it complies with safety regulations, according to the mine's operator, Hecla Mining.
The recent spike in metal prices, combined with a shortage of miners, means mining companies are hiring. So some teens are opting not to go to college, and instead are heading underground. A miner is shown at work in Newmont Mining's Leeville mine near Carlin, Nev.
Jiang Shixue is describing to me one of the most exciting moments of his life: The moment earlier this month when one of the most important people in Europe — German Chancellor Angela Merkel — came to visit his workplace.
"She said that the EU would be happy to see if China can offer a kind of helping hand," says Jiang, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Bill Burton, shown during a news briefing at the White House in January, is now with pro-Obama superPAC Priorities USA Action. He says the superPAC is "careful to make sure that we are in compliance with the rules."
Henry Flores was walking down the hallway at St. Mary's University in San Antonio when he noticed that the last office in the hallway's door was open.
"I just kind of looked inside to see who was in there, and I saw a flash of ankle, and I saw this blond hair, and I went smack-dab into the wall," says Flores, who is now a professor of political science and dean of the graduate school at St. Mary's.
It was the mid-1980s and Gwendolyn Diaz, who had just joined the university faculty, was sitting in the office.
Gary Carter, the former Major League Baseball catcher who helped the New York Mets win the 1986 World Series, has died of brain cancer at 57. In a career marked by tenacity — and the ability to hit homeruns — Carter was chosen for 11 All Star teams.
Between 1992 and 2004, Monsignor William Lynn was the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's point person for allegations of clerical abuse. When he heard a claim, he was supposed to investigate and, if warranted, remove or turn the priest over to police.
But as two grand juries reported in 2005 and 2011, that often didn't happen.
Earlier this week, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was glitter-bombed by Occupy protesters in Tacoma, Wash., during a rally.
It wasn't the first time for Santorum. In fact, all of the Republican presidential candidates still in the race have faced off with glitter bombers. Unlike a ticker-tape parade or a burst of celebratory confetti, glitter-bombing is a form of protest — it tells candidates that someone thinks they're wrong on an issue.
Egyptian Planning and International Cooperation Minister Faiza Aboul Naga (shown here in Washington, D.C., last April) has repeatedly warned Egyptians about the alleged danger foreigners pose to their country. She is the driving force behind recent efforts to prosecute 43 people, including American and other foreign democracy activists, for operating illegally in Egypt.
The attacks of Faiza Aboul Naga — a holdover from the regime of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak — have made her a hero to many Egyptians who believe she is defending their country's honor. But the threat she poses to billions of dollars in U.S. aid and international loans could make her power short-lived.
A House panel heard testimony about conscience and religious freedom Thursday from (left) Rev. William E. Lori, Catholic Bishop of Bridgeport, Conn.; Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president, The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod; C. Ben Mitchell, Union University; Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Yeshiva University; and Craig Mitchell, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The good news for the nation's doctors — and the millions of Medicare patients they care for — is that assuming everything goes as planned, the 27.4 percent cut in reimbursements that would have taken effect March 1 won't.