Good morning. I'm David Greene. If you're like me you remember some great birthdays at Chuck E. Cheese. The mascot at the pizza joint, an oversized rodent, gave the best birthday hugs. But these days Chuck E. is just not himself. It looks like he's been on a major diet. The restaurant chain has had a few tough years.
Prom is the high school highlight for many teens. But maybe not for 400 students from Bloomington High here in Southern California, who showed up for their prom a week early. The invitations had the wrong date. Faced with students in gowns and rented tuxes, the venue managed a makeshift party complete with DJ and chicken strips. One mother wasn't impressed. Those chicken strips, she said, were the most expensive the kids would ever eat.
Investigators in the Boston Marathon bombing case are still trying to determine whether the suspects — Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar — worked alone. DNA that appears to belong to a woman was found on a bomb.
A factory collapse in Bangladesh last week killed more than 400 people, mostly garment workers. Hundreds more are still missing, making it one of the largest manufacturing disasters in history. It's just the latest horrific accident in the garment industry despite more than a decade of auditing aimed at improving working conditions.
In September 2012, a fire at the Ali Enterprises factory in Pakistan killed nearly 300 workers. Six weeks later, in November, a fire in the Tazreen factory in Bangladesh killed 112 people. Then, last week, there was the Rana Plaza collapse.
Here in the United States, this is a big day for many high school seniors. It is College Decision Day, May 1st. It's when many seniors have to send in their deposits to college to secure a place in next year's freshman class. For many, this decision caps a long college application process. And to find out what it's been like, we visited a high school here in Washington D.C.
NICK VITALE: My name is Nicholas Vitale. I'm 18 years old and I'm a senior here at Gonzaga College High School. And I applied to six colleges.
Proof of Martha Stewart's ongoing commercial appeal has been on display in a New York courtroom. Yesterday, an appeals court decided that department store J.C. Penney can continue selling a new line of housewares designed by Stewart. But the ruling keeps Macy's from having the exclusive rights to the brand.
NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: There is one reason why both J.C. Penney and Macy's want Martha Stewart.
MARSHAL COHEN: She's had a history of having success.`
Republican Senate hopeful Gabriel Gomez celebrates with supporters as he makes his way to the stage to deliver a victory speech Tuesday in Cohasset, Mass.
Credit Elise Amendola / AP
Democratic Senate hopeful Rep. Ed Markey greets a supporter in Boston on Tuesday as he celebrates his primary win. Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez won their party primaries Tuesday, setting up a race between a 36-year veteran of Washington politics and a political newcomer for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by John Kerry.
Veteran Democratic Rep. Ed Markey, who has been in office for 36 years, and novice Republican Gabriel Gomez will face off in the race to become the next U.S. senator from Massachusetts. They won their party primaries Tuesday in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Officials say voter turnout was light. The race for the open Senate seat has been overshadowed by the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.
Look at photographs from the Bangladesh garment factory collapse, and you can see clothing in the rubble destined for a store called Joe Fresh, one of the many retailers using supercheap fashions made overseas to keep shoppers buying often.
But in the aftermath of the tragedy, would customers pay more if they knew the clothes were made by workers treated fairly and safely?
Consumer groups are stepping up pressure on animal producers and their practice of giving antibiotics to healthy animals to prevent disease. In two new reports, the groups say they're worried that the preventive use of antibiotics is contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which get harder to treat in humans and animals over time.
Investigators work at the site of a bombing in the Dagestan capital, Makhachkala, last year. The blasts near a police post killed at least 15 people. The southern Russian republic has seen persistent violence.
Credit Courtesy of Diana Derby
This mosque in Makhachkala is known as a center for the most fundamentalist strain of Islam called Salafism. Reports that Tamerlan Tsarnaev prayed there may have triggered Russia's request for the FBI to investigate him in Boston.
It may be hard to imagine that people can distill their thoughts on a topic as complicated as race into just six words. But thousands of people have done just that for The Race Card Project, in which NPR host/special correspondent Michele Norris invites people to send in their microstories about race and cultural identity.
On cable TV, there's a whole truckload of reality shows that make fun of working-class, white Southern culture. They are some of the most popular and talked about new shows, too, such as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty.
MTV tried cashing in on the redneck TV trend with its own hyped-up platform for young Southern kids behaving badly, Buckwild. It played like a Southern-fried version of Jersey Shore. Its stars were a dimwitted crew of young people in West Virginia drinking hard and riding pickup trucks through ditches filled with mud.
My friend the Sports Curmudgeon called me the other day: "Hey, Frank, I got a few things to get off my chest." He was about to take off on a Fantasy Fan cruise, where devoted sports buffs are drafted as fans for desperate losing teams, but he promised to text me his complaints once the ship got out to sea.
Sure enough, here came the Sports Curmudgeon's latest rants.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The day after British jigsaw puzzle maker Dave Evans finished his 40,000-piece puzzle, it was leaning on a wall and suddenly had a great fall. This biggest ever hand-cut wooden puzzle is a montage of images form the queen's jubilee and it's due to be displayed in one of the queen's ballrooms next week.
So Evans is asking for help, hoping that some of the queen's men and women can help him put it back together again. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:19 am
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.
The debate over taxes now extends to pot. Colorado voted to legalize marijuana but lawmakers have been debating how to tax it, and that debate is partisan. Democrats want taxes high, saying consumers will gladly pay. Republicans want lower taxes, saying otherwise a black market will develop. But to their credit, lawmakers took a deep breath, inhaled, and let the system work. After considering a 30 percent tax, the State House trimmed it to 25.
The billionaire Richard Branson is happy this morning. His Virgin Galactic spacecraft successfully completed its first rocket-powered test flight.
NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Branson's high flying endeavor has been plagued with delays and technical problems, but on Monday, after an early morning flight from the California desert, the often flamboyant billionaire said history was being made.
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 3:25 am
As outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood prepares to hand off the baton to President Obama's nominee, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Morning Edition reflects on Lahood's legacy. What have he and the president accomplished? What's still to be done?
There's a high profile congressional race going on in South Carolina and last night the two candidates met in their first - and only - debate. For the Republican, former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. This is an attempted political comeback, but it's being hindered by new allegations by his ex-wife that reminds some voters of how Sanford left office in the first place.
Willa Cather is one of America's greatest literary voices. Most notably, her stories of immigrant farmers in Nebraska are intimate windows into the lives that make up a greater history of American settlement and struggle.
Cather was also a pioneering female writer in a literary world run by men, and a driven businesswoman — meticulous about every detail of her work, down to the very design of a book jacket. And when she died in 1947, she left a will forbidding the adaptation of her works to theater or film and the publication of her personal letters.
Gen. Antonio Indjai (left), Guinea-Bissau's army chief of staff, at the funeral of the country's late president, Malam Bacai Sanha, on Jan. 15, 2012. The U.S. says Indjai has been involved in drug trafficking, an allegation he denies. He recently eluded a U.S. sting operation that led to the capture of other officials from his country.
A suspected drug kingpin from the tiny West African nation of Guinea-Bissau was captured on the high seas by agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency earlier this month, brought to Manhattan and is now awaiting trial.
The dramatic sting operation sheds light on what officials say is a growing national security threat: criminal networks teaming up with extremist organizations.
It's one of the smallest law enforcement agencies in the federal government, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has sure had a busy couple of weeks.
Dozens of its agents raced to Boston, where they analyzed bombs left near the finish line of the marathon. Others went south to Texas, where a fertilizer plant exploded under mysterious circumstances. Members of the ATF's national response team are still on the scene in tiny West, Texas, sifting through rubble at the blast site, near a crater that's 93 feet wide.
With instant messages buzzing, emails pinging and texts ringing, how can employers increase productivity in the workplace? Software companies are tackling the problem, tracking employees' computer time to find ways to improve their efficiency.
Credit Courtesy of Yuki Noguchi
NPR's Yuki Noguchi tried RescueTime to measure her productivity. Here are the results.
Even when people think they're buckling down, studies show the average office worker wastes over a third of the day. There's Facebook, of course, and the email from a friend with a YouTube link. After all that, is it time to go get coffee?
Worker pay is the most expensive line item in the budget for most businesses, which means billions of dollars are going to waste.
But here's the silver lining: It turns out lack of productivity presents a big business opportunity.
Joe Hruska is pretty blunt about how much work anyone does in a typical day.
Poacher-turned-conservationist Karamoy Maramis, who works at Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park in Sulawesi, holds a maleo, a bird that exists in nature only on the Indonesian island.
Credit Aek Berry / AFP/Getty Images
Fishermen arrive on Wakatobi island in Sulawesi waters off eastern Indonesia in 2009. In the 19th century, the island's rich and unique biodiversity helped Wallace understand how species adapted to their environment — and how regions are defined by the animals that live in them.
Credit Rebecca Davis / NPR
Maleos are a prime example of an animal that has adapted to its environment, using geothermal energy to incubate their eggs rather than body heat. They dig into the earth, which is heated by hot springs, are able to sense spots that are exactly 86 to 97 degrees, and lay their eggs there.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Mexico is considering changes to its collaboration with the United States in the war on drugs. That was the news at the top of the story in the Washington Post. But for many of us, some information further down in the article was more revealing because the article detailed just how deep and broad the U.S.-Mexico collaboration is.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. There's a baby boom in Los Giles, Spain consisting of one. Baby Inara arrived three weeks ago. It's the first child to be born there in 45 years. At last count, the village had about 60 residents, all aging. But the first-time parents of Inara had moved back to the village to raise their child near grandparents. Now thinkspain.com reports nearly everyone in town has held her. So it really does take a village. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Once Louisville won the NCAA men's basketball title, there was only one thing for Rick Pitino to do. He promised his players that if they won, he'd get a tattoo. We do not know if Pitino had second thoughts in the final seconds of the win over Michigan, but now the coach has done it. A Louisville spokesman tweeted a photo of the 60-year-old coach's back. It is now marked with the team record, 35-and-five, along with a blood-red letter L.
Across the country, state budgets are back in the black after years of belt-tightening and spending cuts. From California to Florida, in nearly every state, the economic recovery has produced a surge in tax revenue.
For governors and state legislators, that's produced a new question: how to spend the money.
The past three years have not been easy ones for elected officials. Nearly every state requires them to produce a balanced budget. And with declining revenue from sales, property and income taxes, that has meant big spending cuts.