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Man Fends Off Bugler With Coffee Mug

Feb 27, 2012

A man in Washington, Pa., was at home when a burglar broke in. The Observer-Reporter newspaper says the thief pulled a knife. So the homeowner pulled out a ceramic coffee mug and smacked him on the head.

The Artist became the first silent film to triumph at Hollywood's highest honors since the original Oscar ceremony 83 years ago. The film's lead actor, Jean Dujardin, also took home an Academy award for best actor while Michel Hazanavicius, the film's director, also won.

As Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum battle for first place in the Michigan GOP presidential primary, rival Ron Paul is not expected to come in first or second. Paul doesn't really stand a chance at winning the nomination, but he can impact the party's platform

Along with Arizona, Michigan holds its Republican presidential primary Tuesday. If Rick Santorum beats native son Mitt Romney in Michigan, it could throw the race into turmoil.

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People in Senegal voted over the weekend, an election overshadowed by protests and violence. People managed to keep the actual voting mostly peaceful. Now, it looks like they'll have to vote again. A run-off seems likely in the election that features an 85-year-old president who changed the law in order to seek a third term. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.

In the Citizens United Case in 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled corporations and unions have a constitutional right to spend unlimited money on political ads. State courts are expected to follow that principle. But in December, Montana's high court refused to go along. It argued Montana's history and demography make it different enough to deserve an exemption from the federal ruling.

The Republican presidential candidates face two important primaries Tuesday with high stakes for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Polls for contests in Arizona and Michigan showed the once-designated front-runner falling behind former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum until recently when Romney has pulled even or slightly ahead.

Just a few days ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Tunis, Tunisia, meeting her counterparts from dozens of countries and issuing an ultimatum to Syrian President Bashar Assad to silence his guns and allow in humanitarian aid.

While in Morocco, before flying home to Washington, D.C., Clinton talked to NPR's Michele Kelemen.

Syrian tanks continue to batter homes, and no aid is getting in. So what are allies of the Syrian people to do?

The Last Word In Business

Feb 27, 2012

Steve Inskeep has the Last Word in business.

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And let's go next to Afghanistan, where a car bomb exploded outside a U.S. air base today. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack which killed nine people. This latest wave of violence follows reports of American soldiers burning several copies of the Muslim holy book, the Quran.

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NPR's business news starts with loans for European banks.

The European debt and banking crisis is still the biggest threat to the global economy, and this week, more money will go to try and ease the pain.

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General Motors made a record-breaking profit last year. And to date, taxpayers have recovered close to half the $50 billion federal investment in the company. So the auto bailout worked, right? Wrong, say Republican presidential candidates, who insist the bailout was a huge mistake.

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Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.

Unhappy with portrayals of Native Americans in mainstream media, a group of students from South Dakota's Rosebud Sioux Reservation created a video to show that their community is about more than alcoholism, broken homes and crime.

The students are visiting Washington, D.C., on Monday to lobby Congress for increased funding for schools on reservations.

Filmed in black and white, the student-produced video More Than That takes viewers through the hallways, classrooms and gymnasium of the Rosebud Sioux Reservation's county high school.

How You Can Harness 'The Power Of Habit'

Feb 27, 2012

The 19th century psychologist William James observed, "All our life ... is but a mass of habits."

Ad men in the 20th century took this aphorism to heart. It wasn't enough to simply sell a product; the goal was to hook consumers and keep them coming back.

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Cop Spied Emptying Police Fridge

Feb 24, 2012

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with a story of a man caught in a sting operation. Somebody stole from an office fridge - drinks, lunches, 60 pounds of deer sausage disappeared. What made the fridge of special interest to police was its location in a police station in Deer Park, Texas. Police placed a hidden video camera in the ceiling and caught an officer - Kevin Yang. TV station KTRK says that when caught, Mr. Yang said he was just cleaning the fridge. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Rep. Camp On Corporate Tax Plan

Feb 24, 2012

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

President Obama put tax reform back on the table this week. He called for changes to the corporate tax system. Tax rates would go down for companies, deductions would go away - many of them, and companies with overseas operations would find it a little harder not to pay.

Business News

Feb 24, 2012

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NPR's business news starts with a sale at Sears.

Sears says it is spinning off outlet, hometown and hardware stores. The deal is expected to help the company raise up to $500 million. It's also selling some of its other properties in a separate deal.

This comes after Sears said in December it would close about 100 stores after an abysmal holiday shopping season. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Last Word In Business

Feb 24, 2012

Steve Inskeep has the Last Word in business.

With just two days left before Senegal's presidential election, mediation efforts are underway to try to calm a political standoff in the West African nation that has led to violent protests.

One day Chris Woehrle decided to finally leave his corporate job and pursue his dream: to become an artisanal food craftsman. And so, every day at home, he'd basically pickle stuff.

"I had a refrigerator full of plastic food buckets that were full of pickles and kimchee and sauerkraut and harissa and salsa and ketchup and mustard and, you know, any kind of craft food you could make," Woehrle says.

Alexander Payne watches a movie every day — or tries to, anyway. Lately, the writer and director of The Descendants has been busy going to nomination and awards dinners, in advance of Sunday's Oscar night — when the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay prizes could be his.

On Wednesday, President Obama and a number of special guests celebrated the groundbreaking for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Smithsonian museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is expected to open in 2015.

President Obama's plan to overhaul the nation's corporate tax system would sharply cut the taxes that U.S. companies pay. But it would also eliminate many of the loopholes that help them pare down what they owe.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the proposal unveiled Wednesday should appeal to both Democrats and Republicans, by doing what both sides "say is important to do ... which is lower the rate, broaden the base [and] eliminate the underbrush of unnecessary subsidies and loopholes and special provisions that complicate the tax code."

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Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti wants more transparency so he made his cabinet disclose their finances. That sparked so much interest, the government website crashed. Ministers own real estate in New York, Brussels and Paris. One made $9 million last year.

Syrian government troops are continuing to bombard the central city of Homs. The United Nations says more than five thousand people have been killed during the 11-month uprising. Syrian activists say the number is much higher. Yesterday, two foreign journalists were among those killed.

The Last Word In Business

Feb 23, 2012

Renee Montagne has the Last Word in business.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Before they made it to the Oscars, the nominated films — not to mention all the films that didn't make the cut — were viewed by some 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Many of those movies were shown in small, private, rented screening rooms all over Hollywood.

The studios have their own screening rooms, of course, but often directors want a more private place to screen works in progress — with no studio suits in sight.

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