Americans use 300 million gallons of gasoline every day, so it's no surprise they keep a close eye on prices at the pump. Taxes, refinery regulations, transportation expenses and global crude oil supply and demand all influence rising costs.
-- First the Labor Department announced that while American workers were more productive at the end of last year, the gains in productivity slowed. The AP reports that could "signal that companies are ready to hire more workers."
As has been the case with all of Apple's product unveilings, there is a shroud of secrecy surrounding today's impending announcement.
Today, Apple has invited media to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for a 1 p.m. ET. event. The only clue provided by Apple was a typically cryptic invitation with a picture of an iPad and a few words: "We have something you really have to see. And touch."
Our friends at It's All Politics have started to digest the results of Super Tuesday. In a nutshell, it pretty much left us where we were before the 10 big contests: All four candidates are still in the race and the campaign will go on and on.
There were two non-presidential pieces of news from last night, too:
And our last word in business today is: culinary frontiers.
When companies come into foreign markets, they often devise products that reflect local tastes - kosher Big Macs in Israel, for instance. So with Dunkin Donuts aiming to nearly double its outlets in China, it has come up with pork donuts.
President Obama held a wide-ranging news conference Tuesday. He bluntly challenged Republican critics of his Iran policy — saying the stakes are too high to let politics intrude. The news conference was designed to steal some of the spotlight from GOP presidential hopefuls on Super Tuesday.
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And I'm Renee Montagne.
It was the biggest day yet in the Republican presidential race. Mitt Romney hoped that Super Tuesday would reinforce his frontrunner status. And to some degree it did. He won six of the 10 states, including the most populous and hotly contested state, Ohio.
Perhaps it's fitting that the state that kept everyone up late last night, waiting for results, was Ohio. It's a swing state, and it seems every four years, in the fall, Ohio becomes the center of attention in a presidential election.
This year, as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, it just happened a little earlier.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Talk to Ohio voters - Republicans and Democrats alike - and there's one issue that rises above all the others.
Let's devote the next few minutes to the subject that President Obama began his press conference on, the U.S. housing market. The president pointed out that in many ways the U.S. economy is looking up. But...
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: There are still millions of Americans who can't find a job. There are millions more who are having a tough time making the rent or the mortgage, paying for gas or groceries. So our job in Washington isn't to sit back and do nothing. And it's certainly not to stand in the way of the recovery.
In Houston Tuesday, a federal jury convicted Texas financier R. Allen Stanford of running a massive Ponzi scheme. Jurors agreed with prosecutors, who claimed he ran a global scheme that lasted more than 20 years and involved more than $7 billion in investments.
When Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, it was the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. More than three years later, Lehman is emerging from Chapter 11. The firm is really just back in business to liquidate itself. Lehman has about $65 billion in assets that it intends to distribute among its many creditors starting next month.
Rising gas prices have been the big energy story of the past several weeks. But many energy experts say that's a sideshow compared with the really big energy event — the huge boom in oil and natural gas production in the U.S. that could help the nation reach the elusive goal of energy independence.
Since the Arab oil embargo of 1973, energy independence has been a Holy Grail for virtually every American president from Richard Nixon to Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama.
The elite athletes who travel to London for this summer's Olympic Games will include petite gymnasts, huge wrestlers — and elite horses, which compete in dressage and other events. Getting these strong and delicate animals to the Olympics is no job for an amateur. In fact, it's the job of Tim Dutta, who owns an international horse transport company.
Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth." This month, Brown selects two pieces of writing profiling individuals at the center of political change in their respective countries.
Russian tanks drive through Moscow's Red Square during a military parade in May 2011, in commemoration of the end of World War II. Russian leader Vladimir Putin has called for revamping Russia's military for years, but the results have been limited.
Credit Natalia Kolesnikova / AFP/Getty Images
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (left), Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and World War II veterans watch Victory Day celebrations in Moscow last May. Putin says his proposed military modernization will cost the equivalent of about $770 billion over the next 10 years.
Every May, Russia displays its military might in a parade on Victory Day, commemorating the surrender of the Nazis to the Soviet Union in World War II.
The marching men and rolling tanks put on an impressive show, but Russia's military, and especially its defense industry, has fallen on hard times.
"The industry, much like other parts of the economy, hasn't seen proper investment for over a decade, if not more," says Lilit Gevorgyan, a Russia analyst for the defense industry consultant IHS Jane's.
OK, so this story is about weeds and weedkillers, neither of which is ever the hero of a story, but stay with me for a second: It's also about plants with superpowers.
Unless you grow cotton, corn or soybeans for a living, it's hard to appreciate just how amazing and wonderful it seemed, 15 years ago, when Roundup-tolerant crops hit the market. I've seen crusty farmers turn giddy just talking about it.
Coaches and managers, as a group, have always been pretty straightforward types. We don't think of generals or preachers as humorists — and, after all, that's pretty much what coaches are, a hybrid of the military and the pulpit.
But at least in the past, there were always a fair complement of coaching characters: old cracker-barrel philosophers, feisty wise guys and even a few sardonic intellectuals.