Election 2012
4:00 am
Thu January 26, 2012

On The Road, Obama Pushes U.S. Energy, Manufacturing

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 6:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Thu January 26, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 6:59 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Indiana To Adopt 'Right-To-Work' Measure

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 5:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Business News

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Amazon and taxes.

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.

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Business
12:01 am
Thu January 26, 2012

To Grow Business, Starbucks Thinks Outside The Cup

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.
Ted S. Warren AP

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.

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Business
12:01 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Quiznos Gives Up Control To Stave Off Bankruptcy

A man walks by a Quiznos franchise in New York City. The sandwich chain has given up part of its ownership to a private equity firm in order to restructure its debt and avoid bankruptcy.
Rob Kim Landov

Quiznos narrowly avoided bankruptcy this week when the sandwich chain shifted ownership to private equity firm Avenue Capital in exchange for erasing some debt.

The recession and poor management have hit the Denver-based sub-maker hard. The company once boasted more than 5,000 restaurants, but 40 percent of them have now shut their doors.

Andre Bonyadian owns nine Quiznos franchises in and around Los Angeles.

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Middle East
12:01 am
Thu January 26, 2012

For Turkish Journalists, Arrest Is A Real Danger

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.
AP

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 11:42 am

In the wake of the Arab Spring, some Muslims in North Africa are looking across the Mediterranean to Turkey as a potential model of a state that can be modern, Islamic and democratic.

But some analysts in the region say that model is flawed, and they are questioning Turkey's human-rights record and its dealings with the press.

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Space
12:01 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Want To Make A Giant Telescope Mirror? Here's How

Giant Magellan Telescope
Giant Magellan Telescope

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:05 am

The world's largest mirrors for the world's largest telescopes are made under the football stadium at the University of Arizona.

Why there? Why not?

"We wanted some space, and it was just used for parking some cars, and this seemed like a good use," says Roger Angel.

Angel is the master of making big mirrors for telescopes. For 30 years he has been using a method called spin casting to make the largest solid telescope mirrors in the world.

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Planet Money
12:01 am
Thu January 26, 2012

No, Hedge Funds Can't Foreclose On The Acropolis

DIMITAR DILKOFF AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 12:12 pm

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."

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Middle East
12:01 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Growing Pressures Prompt Plunge In Iranian Currency

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.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

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.

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