The Obama administration is announcing plans to lease nearly 38 million acres in the central Gulf of Mexico for offshore oil and gas drilling. It's part of the push to boost domestic energy supplies that the president outlined in his State of the Union address. President Obama is also promoting American manufacturing and worker-training efforts this week, as he visits five states likely to be important in the November election.
Cuban-Americans are an important part of the Republican presidential electorate in Florida. Both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have reached out to these voters in Spanish-language TV and radio ads. Romney, in particular, has racked up many endorsements from prominent Cuban-American political figures.
Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are scrambling to tie up votes in Florida, which holds its winner-take-all primary next Tuesday. Steve Inskeep talks to conservative writer David Frum about the state of the GOP race.
During a candlelight vigil in Dharamsala, India, on Wednesday, Tibetan Buddhist monks hold pictures of Tibetans they say were shot by Chinese security forces earlier this week.
Credit Peter Parks / AFP/Getty Images
Ethnic Tibetan monks (left) walk past police vehicles on a street in Chengdu in China's Sichuan province Thursday. The Tibetan-inhabited region of West Sichuan appeared to be under lockdown after recent clashes.
Frustrated Tibetans this week staged some of the largest protests against Chinese rule in nearly four years. Chinese security forces responded by opening fire on demonstrators, killing up to four and wounding more than 30, according to Tibetan rights groups.
The demonstrations were inspired — in part — by a disturbing new trend in Tibetan dissent: Tibetan people lighting themselves on fire.
President Obama visits Nevada on his post-State of the Union trip Thursday. He won the state in 2008. But with unemployment now at nearly 13 percent, the state will be more of a challenge in this fall's presidential election.
The federal government has come out with its new standards for school meals - less fat, less salt, less sugar and more fruits, grains and vegetables. Devin Katayama from member station WFPL reports on how the Louisville, Kentucky school district is trying to comply with the guidelines and satisfy student tastes.
DEVIN KATAYAMA, BYLINE: Meet fourth grade food critic Jackson Schleff.
The Sundance Film Festival wraps up this weekend in Park City, Utah. Movies and more movies have been on offer at the gathering, famously backed by Robert Redford. Our own Kenneth Turan is taking it all in and joined us from member station KPCW in Park City.
KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: Morning, Renee.
MONTAGNE: Well, let us begin with the dramatic films. What stands out for you this year?
Newt Gingrich is a self described space nut. He traveled to Florida's Space Coast near Cape Canaveral Wednesday to outline what he described as a bold program that would send Americans back to the moon and beyond.
Gingrich outlined his vision to a crowded hotel ballroom in Cocoa, not far from the Kennedy Space Center. He talked of coming of age at the time of Sputnik, which was the first satellite launched in 1957 by the Soviet Union. He recalled reading science fiction, author Isaac Asimov and Missiles and Rockets magazine.
Barista Nicole Adams serves up a drink in March at a Starbucks in downtown Seattle. The company is expanding its coffee options to include a light roast and plans to create a new health and wellness brand.
Just four years ago, Starbucks seemed to be losing its mojo. Howard Schultz, the man who made Starbucks a household name, returned to the company as CEO. He closed hundreds of stores, streamlined operations and set the company on a path to record revenues and strong profits.
Starbucks serves 60 million beverages a week, which adds up to big profits. The company reports its earnings Thursday. In a bid to further expand its consumer base, Starbucks has a new roast and plans to produce more retail products to sell outside of its coffeehouses.
An Iranian man counts banknotes after exchanging a gold coin for cash in Tehran on Monday. Gold coins were being exchanged for over 10 million rials as the Iranian currency continues to lose value against the U.S. dollar.
Credit Behrouz Mehri / AFP/Getty Images
On Jan. 24, the exchange rate plummeted to 23,000 rials to the U.S. dollar. For years, the value of the Iranian currency was artificially maintained. Now, international sanctions and domestic politics are forcing a devaluation.
The value of Iran's currency — which had been sliding steadily for months — took another plunge this week. Faced with new economic sanctions from the U.S. and Europe, the rial now seems to be in free fall.
But at least part of the dive could be linked to currency manipulation by the government itself in an effort to fund candidates in upcoming elections.
In images posted on the Internet, hundreds of Iranians are seen gathered outside the headquarters of the Bank Melli in Tehran Monday. They wanted to buy dollars, but there were no dollars to be had.
Greece is broke. But there's no blueprint for a country to declare bankruptcy, so Greece's creditors are sort of making things up as they go along.
"You're taking some sort of loss," Hans Humes of Greylock Capital Management told me. "But it's like, how much of a loss do you take? There's this thing called sovereign immunity. You can't go in and take the Acropolis."
Temperatures inside this giant oven will reach 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit. Large blocks of glass inside the oven will melt as the whole oven spins around at a rate of five times per second, creating a curved and smooth telescope mirror.
Credit Ray Bertram / Steward Observatory
The pieces of glass that technicians are arranging inside the rotating oven will melt down into the curved surface of the telescope mirror. Each piece of glass is hand-inspected.
Credit Ray Bertram / Steward Observatory
After the mirror is cast, it moves to the Large Polishing Machine, where the mirror's shape is refined and perfected — down to the millionth of an inch.
Hundreds of journalists protest the arrests of members of the media, including Ahmet Sik (poster on the right) and Nedim Sener (center) in Ankara, Turkey, in March 2011. Critics say the government is trying to stifle dissent by arresting journalists — for doing their job.
Credit Mustafa Ozer / AFP/Getty Images
Rakel Dink, the widow of murdered journalist Hrant Dink, walks with thousands of people people during the ceremony commemorating her slain husband.
Ahmet Sik, an investigative reporter and a journalism professor, was arrested nearly a year ago, prompting huge outcry. He has been charged with aiding and abetting a terrorist organization.
Credit Getty Images
Thousands of people in Istanbul participated in a rally on Jan. 19 that marked the fifth anniversary of the murder of journalist Hrant Dink by an ultranationalist teenager. Many Turks condemn a recent court ruling that found no official involvement in the killing — a verdict that even one of the judges expressed discontent with.
Alice Waters has moved from the kitchen to the garden to the soap box in her 40 years as a pioneer of the sustainable and locally grown food movement. But on one recent night, The Salt found her "hanging" in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the U.S. But who's at the most risk?
A study in the lastest New England Journal of Medicine offers a simple way to predict the risk of a fatal or debilitating heart attack or stroke for a middle-aged person over the rest of his or her life.
Men are more apt than women to lose thinking ability as they age, according to new research. And that mild cognitive impairment often leads to dementia.
But people can reduce their risk of mild cognitive impairment by staying healthy and educated, according to Rosebud Roberts, a professor of epidemiology at the Mayo Clinic who led the study. "There is a lot that people can do," she told Shots.
A day after delivering his State of the Union address to Congress, President Obama took his message on the road. Obama hoped that stops at manufacturing sites in Iowa and Arizona would drive home his point that the government should do more to encourage factory jobs.
The three-day trip also includes stops in Colorado, Nevada and Michigan. Those are all states likely to be important in the November election.
Obama kicked off his road trip at Conveyor Engineering and Manufacturing, a factory in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Bloomberg Television today that he's "pretty confident" he won't be asked to stay in his job if President Obama is re-elected for a second term.
"He's not going to ask me to stay on, I'm pretty confident," Geithner said. "I'm confident he'll be president. But I'm also confident he's going to have the privilege of having another secretary of the treasury."
Dudley Butler is quitting his job tomorrow. Never heard of him? He's President Obama's appointee to run the division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that governs antitrust issues in the meat industry. He was part of a cadre of high-level bureaucrats charged to expose and fight agribusiness monopolies. In fact, he was the last of that group.
An exhibit at the Louvre Museum in Paris explores American landscape painting. Here, the museum's director, Henri Loyrette, looks at the oil paintings of Thomas Cole (1801-1848), known for his realistic and detailed works.
Credit Courtesy of the Louvre Museum
In Thomas Cole's Cross in the Wilderness, a Native American meditates in front of the burial cross of the pilgrim who converted him.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
Cairo's Tahrir Square overflowed with Egyptians today. Traffic was snarled for miles as people jammed bridges and streets. The crowd marked the first anniversary of the popular uprising that drove Hosni Mubarak from power.
And as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo, many people did not come to celebrate.
Last year this time, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn was pushing a big income tax increase to help balance the state's budget. This year, Quinn is being pressured to roll part of that increase back. But the state is still months behind in paying its bills, with a pension shortfall looming.
In a wide-ranging discussion with All Things Considered's Robert Siegel, Ron Paul, the Republican congressman from Texas, said of all the GOP hopefuls, he's been the steady one.
"All I know is that the message is powerful," he said in response to a question about the viability of his campaign. "The message is well-received. Our numbers are growing, and we don't go up and down like a yo-yo."