Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 3:28 pm
Longtime college friends from Syracuse, N.Y., Ra Ra Riot gained notoriety with their unique blend of indie and orchestral pop songs. With their latest release Beta Love, the group moves towards catchy dance beats and synth sounds you can hear in "Dance With Me."
Retail sales rose an estimated 1.1 percent in February from January and were up 4.6 percent from February 2012, the Census Bureau says.
Kathy Bostjancic director of macroeconomic analysis at the The Conference Board research group, says in an analysis sent to reporters that the report's a sign that "consumer spending remains relatively robust." And since consumers buy about 70 percent of all goods and services, their willingness to spend is a key economic driver.
William H. Gass is a glutton of language. Like a chef who can't cook without nibbling, he lards his own writing with similes and metaphors in the spirit of the books he loves, savoring them through imitation. In his essays on literature, this gusto is contagious. You want to taste his taste, to read what he has read. Gass' exuberant, bursting sentences convey the pleasure of reading and thinking better than just about any written since the New Critics took over criticism in the 1950s.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 12:07 pm
Update at 6:41 a.m. ET. The Smoke Is Black:
Smoke just started pouring from a special chimney above the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City — and its dark color means the 115 cardinals meeting inside the chapel have not yet agreed on a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.
If all has gone as planned inside the chapel, where the cardinals are meeting in secret, they have now cast three ballots and no one name has been written on at last two-thirds of the slips of paper. It takes two-thirds — 77 votes — to become leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
One American airport already has that wow factor, which brings us to today's last word in business, which is: First Class.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
The Indianapolis International Airport was named the Best Airport in North America by the Airports Council International. They're right. It's nice. The annual Airport Service Quality awards are determined by year-round passenger satisfaction surveys.
The list of contenders for pope is nowhere near as clear as the candidate list in a presidential primary or the NCAA playoff bracket. Still, some names do get mentioned, including three cardinals from the United States.
NPR's Joel Rose reports.
JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Let's not get too carried away here: all three American candidates are still considered long-shots to be named pope.
CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN: Listen, I think I've got a better chance of taking A-Rod's place at third base than I do Benedict XVI.
Ahmad "Harvester" Heidar is a computer software engineer whose work for the Syrian rebels includes sweeping the hard drives of detained anti-government activists, and trying to develop a robot that will help extract sniper victims in Syria. Turkish officials have given Heidar the green light to develop a prototype of his robot, which he calls Tina.
The Internet is a battleground in Syria, a place where President Bashar Assad's regime has mounted a sophisticated surveillance campaign that includes monitoring and arresting activists by tracking their Facebook pages.
Mohammad al-Qahtani, a human rights and democracy activist, speaks at his home in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2011.
Credit Hassan Ammar / AP
A Syrian rebel in the city of Kfar Nbouda holds a grenade launcher in February, part of a recent weapons shipment to the rebels by the Saudi government. Arms are not the only thing flowing from Saudi Arabia to Syria. Young Saudis are joining Islamist rebels in a "holy war" against President Bashar Assad.
Following a circuitous route from Saudi Arabia up through Turkey or Jordan and then crossing a lawless border, hundreds of young Saudis are secretly making their way into Syria to join groups fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, GlobalPost has learned.
With the tacit approval from the House of Saud and financial support from wealthy Saudi elites, the young men take up arms in what Saudi clerics have called a "jihad," or "holy war," against the Assad regime.
Despite all the celebration, the Dow Jones industrial average has not hit record highs recently. If you adjust for inflation, the highs just aren't as high as they seem.
And even if it does hit a real, inflation-adjusted high in the next few weeks, it won't mean much. The Dow is a seriously flawed stock index, and it's certainly not a good way to measure what's going on in the overall economy.
On today's show, we rain on the Dow's parade and explain why a lot of very smart people say we should ignore the Dow.
Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 7:23 pm
As he has said many times in recent years, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is no fan of President Obama's health care law. The Republican repeated his view again Tuesday as he laid out the House Republicans' proposed budget:
Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 6:32 pm
The National Labor Relations Board says it will ask the Supreme Court to review a lower court decision that invalidated three of President Obama's recess appointments, casting a legal cloud over more than 1,000 board actions over the past year.
Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist-Schmenzin, right, a former German army officer and a member of the July 20 Plot, talks with German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg during a ceremony for new recruits on July 20, 2010 in Berlin on the occasion of the 66th anniversary of the failed attempted assassination on Hitler on July 20, 1944.
That's because once again House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan proposes a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans refer to as "Obamacare." But this time, the proposal describes the changes it envisions to the Medicare program in very Obamacare-like terms.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 10:34 am
Although he's been a public figure for three decades, the Rev. Al Sharpton is more visible these days than ever, often in ways even he wouldn't have dreamed when he was leading protests on the streets of New York in the 1980s.
If you watched the inauguration ceremony for President Barack Obama, you probably saw the dais behind him filled with the usual lot of past presidents, members of Congress and so on. You also may have caught sight of a new, and improbable, addition: Sharpton.
Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 5:53 pm
The Justice Department's voting rights unit suffers from "deep ideological polarization" and a "disappointing lack of professionalism" including leaks of sensitive case information, harassment and mistreatment among colleagues who have political differences, department watchdogs concluded Tuesday.