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6:26 am
Tue February 5, 2013

S&P To Face Fraud Suit Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:47 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The U.S. Justice Department plans to file a civil suit this week accusing the credit rating company Standard and Poor's of fraud. Standard and Poor's is the company that famously downgraded U.S. debt in 2011. This investigation focuses on S and P's actions before the financial crisis. The civil action accuses S and P of fraudulently inflating the ratings of mortgage investments, setting them up for the crash that lead to the great recession. The investigation is the focus of today's Business Bottom Line, and here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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NPR Story
6:10 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Texas Court Of Inquiry To Decide If Prosecutor Lied

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:47 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In Texas, a court of inquiry has been convened to consider prosecuting a Texas judge. He's Ken Anderson. He used to be the district attorney in Williamson County, Texas, and he could face criminal charges for concealing exculpatory evidence. That's evidence that could clear a defendant of guilt. The inquiry concerns his conduct during what has become an infamous case - the prosecution and conviction of Michael Morton. Morton was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife. NPR's Wade Goodwin reports.

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5:56 am
Tue February 5, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:47 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And our last word in business is: America's pizza crisis solved.

For decades, Pizza Hut has been researching ways to improve the flawed pizza consumption process. Until recent years, Americans were forced to hold the slice two-handed, you know, with the finger up under the point, or fold it in half like Spike Lee in "Do the Right Thing." Pizza Hut has never felt that was good enough, and they're trying for something better.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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5:56 am
Tue February 5, 2013

In Minn., Obama Appeals For Movement On Gun Background Checks

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:47 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, on the same as that funeral, President Obama continued his push for tougher gun laws. He was talking yesterday in Minneapolis on a subject he is expected to address in next week's State of the Union speech.

NPR's David Welna reports.

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NPR Story
5:56 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:47 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a slip for BP.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The British oil company, BP, announced its 4th quarter earnings today, and its net profit was about a billion dollars lower than a year earlier. BP has been shrinking as assets have been sold off to pay for its liabilities tied to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Middle East
3:25 am
Tue February 5, 2013

In Syrian Conflict, Real-Time Evidence Of Violations

Syrians look for survivors amid the rubble of a building targeted by a missile in the al-Mashhad neighborhood of Aleppo on Jan. 7.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:47 pm

There are growing calls for Syria's leaders to face war crimes charges for the fierce assaults against rebel targets and civilian areas. If that happens, veterans of past war crimes prosecutions say, Syrians will have one big advantage: The widespread gathering of evidence across the country is happening often in real time.

After visiting a Syrian refugee camp in southeastern Turkey recently, Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria, reacted sharply to a question that suggested Washington, D.C., has kept quiet about the Syrian regime's attacks.

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Health
3:24 am
Tue February 5, 2013

FMLA Not Really Working For Many Employees

Jeannine Sato holds her 2-year-old son, Keni; 5-year-old Hana is held by her father, Mas Sato. Jeannine decided to leave her job when her employers said she could take six weeks off after giving birth to her first child or risk losing her job.
Courtesy of Jeannine Sato

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:47 pm

Twenty years after President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act, workers' rights groups say many employees still must choose between their family or their job.

They're marking the anniversary with calls to expand the law, and for Congress to pass a new one that would provide paid leave.

What Falls Under The FMLA?

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U.S.
3:22 am
Tue February 5, 2013

One-Way Tickets To Florida: Puerto Ricans Escape Island Woes

Miguel Fontanez Sr., the owner and founder of Pioco's Chicken in Kissimmee, Fla., serves customers at his restaurant. He opened the restaurant 11 years ago, and it has become a hub for the area's large Puerto Rican community.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 6:09 pm

Puerto Rico's population is dropping. Faced with a deteriorating economy, increased poverty and a swelling crime rate, many citizens are fleeing the island for the U.S. mainland. In a four-part series, Morning Edition explores this phenomenon, and how Puerto Rico's troubles are affecting its people and other Americans in unexpected ways.

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Around the Nation
3:07 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Gun Violence Robs Chicago Mother Of 4th Child

Shirley Chambers cries during Monday's funeral for her son Ronnie Chambers, 33. She had four children, three boys and a girl, all victims of gun violence in Chicago over a period of 18 years.
John Gress Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 3:40 pm

The gun violence that scars some Chicago neighborhoods has been a plague for one woman. Shirley Chambers first lost a child to gunfire in the mid 1990s. In 2000, a daughter and a son were shot to death just months apart. On Monday, Chambers buried her last child.

Nearly 500 people filled the pews, the choir lofts and hallways of St. Luke Church of God in Christ for the funeral of 33-year-old Ronnie Chambers, an aspiring music producer who died Jan. 26.

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World
7:58 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

In Moscow, Scandals Shake A Storied Ballet

Sergei Filin, artistic director of the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre's Bolshoi Ballet, was nearly blinded by an attacker on Jan. 17.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:47 pm

It's a story right out of the movies: The artistic director of one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world is violently attacked. His attacker and the motive are shrouded in mystery. But behind these sensational headlines is a ballet company that is both legendary and plagued with scandals and infighting.

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The Two-Way
6:36 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Parisian Women Now (Officially) Allowed To Wear Pants

French Minister for Women's Rights and Government Spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem wearing pants.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 7:09 pm

Parisian women have finally caught up with the 21st century (and the end of the 20th century for that matter): They can now wear pants!

January 31, the 213-year-old ban was officially lifted.

"The repeal of the law... was made by France's Minister for Women's Rights, Ms. Vallaud-Belkacem," Digital Journal reports.

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The Two-Way
6:22 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Study: Some Birds, Like People, Have Awareness Of Mates' Feelings

A eurasian jay gives its mate a food gift.
University of Cambridge

British scientists have discovered something remarkable: Like some of us humans, Eurasian Jays — who share a family with blue jays and ravens — seem to have the ability to recognize and ascertain the "internal life" or psychological states of others.

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Around the Nation
6:10 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Gun Control Divides County Sheriffs

President Obama and law enforcement officials meet in January to discuss gun violence. To the left of Obama is Hennepin County, Minn., Sheriff Richard W. Stanek; to the right is Charles H. Ramsey, commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department.
Rex Features AP

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 10:29 am

When President Obama announced new measures to prevent gun violence, one of the groups there to show support was the National Sheriffs' Association. The group represents more than 3,000 county sheriffs across the country.

But not all sheriffs agree with the group's support for what it calls "common-sense steps," like a universal background check for all gun purchasers.

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The Two-Way
6:09 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

How Do Israeli And Palestinian Textbooks Treat The Other Side?

Palestinian students attend a class in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday.
Majdi Mohammed AP

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 8:48 am

There was some good news and bad news in a three-year study that tried to take an objective look at bias in Israeli and Palestinian textbooks directed against "the other."

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Business
6:00 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

How One Company Reinvented The Hand Dryer

Craig McCarl dips Xlerator covers two at a time into a chrome bath. He has worked for Excel Dryer in East Longmeadow, Mass., for 31 years.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:52 pm

There's a lot of talk in politics about the desirability of American manufacturing and "green" jobs. President Obama talks about both often, especially wind turbines and long-lasting batteries that are made on U.S. soil.

Robert Siegel, host of All Things Considered, recently visited a Massachusetts factory that makes a product that hits those same parameters. It's arguably a force for sustainability, nearly 40 Americans assemble it, and it's an interesting case study in innovation: the high-speed hand dryer.

'We Had A Product People Hated To Use'

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