Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Walk a street in Beijing and you'll likely hear a whirring noise as an electric bicycle glides past. They're common in China. One auto maker wants to make them more common here. The makers of tiny Smart cars put an electric bike on display at the Detroit Auto Show. People at that show can also find bikes with pedals, like the Toyota Prius-branded bike.
Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne. I have goldfish. They're small. On the other hand, my goldfish don't live in a lake, or at least one has gotten very, very big.
Fishing at Lake St. Claire, Michigan last weekend, Mark Martin reeled in a goldfish big enough to mount on his wall. Most likely dumped by a former owner, it weighed more than three pounds and is nearly 15 inches long. It might be a record catch, if Michigan kept records on goldfish.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Still more trouble for Boeing's newest passenger jet, the 787, known as the Dreamliner. The FAA has grounded all U.S.-owned 787s because of safety concerns. This follows an earlier move by Japan doing the same. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports for today's Business Bottom Line.
Some other news. Thirty-two people from New York and New Jersey are charged with using threats of violence to control garbage pickup routes.
Authorities say many have ties to the mob, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.
JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Organized crime has a long history of infiltrating the trash collection business in New York and New Jersey. It's also the official family business of America's most famous TV gangster, Tony Soprano.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
President Obama says he's done what he could on his own. Yesterday he signed 23 executive orders related to gun control. They will allow federal agencies to strengthen the existing background check system and improve the tracking of stolen guns. The big ticket items, like universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and high capacity clips, will need congressional action.
The Federal Reserve, yesterday, released its latest snapshot of the state of the U.S. economy. Retail and auto sales were up slightly over the year before, as was activity in the all important housing sector. Real estate sales were seen as steady or improved across much of the country.
For more on housing prices and economic recovery, we turn this morning, as we often do, to David Wessel. He's economics editor of The Wall Street Journal. Good morning.
The Consumer Protection Financial Bureau is unveiling today the second half of its new mortgage rules. It will outline how the mortgage industry must manage loans that are delinquent or in the process of being foreclosed.
NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports that these rules, among other things, aim to make it easier for borrowers to communicate with the people handling their mortgages.
Star Linebacker Manti Te'o's play gained national attention. His achievements were particularly noteworthy because his last year of play was marred by the deaths of his grandmother and of his girlfriend. Now it appears the girlfriend didn't exist.
You heard the president acknowledge that in some parts of the country - and more specifically, some congressional districts - gun ownership is stronger than in other parts of the country. He would need allies in those places to overcome or persuade the gun industry and its lobbying groups. Industry officials are ready to fight.
As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, some of the proposals, especially a ban on assault weapons, could take a bite out of gun-makers' revenue.
Dr. Beth Zeeman says she can spot a case of influenza from 20 paces. It's not like a common cold.
"People think they've had the flu when they've had colds," Zeeman, an emergency room specialist at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Mass., tells Shots. "People use the word 'flu' for everything. But having influenza is really a different thing. It hits you like a ton of bricks."