It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
Take a map of the United States and stick pins in every state President Obama visits this week, and you would have a partial picture of how he hopes to win re-election. The president is visiting states he hopes to win this fall.
And our last word in business today comes from Alaska Airlines. The carrier has been putting prayer cards on the meal trays it serves passengers since the 1980s. Flying can be nerve-wracking and the airline figured people might find comfort in a psalm from the Old Testament, along with the soothing image of a beach or the mountains.
It was also a marketing strategy so the airline could differentiate itself from competitors. Many passengers didn't mind.
And let's go next to my home state of Indiana, where state lawmakers now look certain to pass controversial right-to-work legislation.
Democrats have been trying to block that bill. But yesterday it passed the state's Republican-controlled House. And so Indiana is poised to become the first state to approve this kind of legislation in a decade.
We have more from Brandon Smith of Indiana Public Broadcasting.
They say two things are certain: death and taxes. But Amazon is still hoping to avoid at least one of those things. The online retailer is reportedly promising Florida lawmakers it will create up to 3,000 jobs in the state and build new distribution centers in Florida, if lawmakers give Amazon a two-year break from collecting state sales tax.
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.
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.
Rakel Dink, the widow of murdered journalist Hrant Dink, walks with thousands of people people during the ceremony commemorating her slain husband.
Credit Mustafa Ozer / AFP/Getty Images
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.
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.
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.
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."
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 Atta Kenare / 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.