The City Council in San Bernardino, Calif., voted Tuesday night to seek Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, making it the third California city in less than two weeks to make the rare move. The city faces a $45 million budget shortfall.
On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Now to a political mystery in Chicago. Constituents and colleagues are demanding to know more about the whereabouts and condition of Congressman Jesse Jackson, Junior. Jackson took a leave of absence a month ago, but his office has been vague about why. And that lack of information about Jackson is the talk of the town. From Chicago, NPR's David Schaper reports.
President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are hitting the campaign trail hard this week. On Tuesday, the president was campaigning in Iowa — the state that helped to launch his White House bid in 2008. He told supporters in Iowa he wants a second term in order to finish what he started.
Major League Baseball's 83rd All-Star Game wrapped up Tuesday night in Kansas City, Missouri. The National League trounced the American league in an 8-0 blowout, with impressive performances by some San Francisco Giants. Melky Cabrera of the Giants hit the game's only home run and took home the MVP Award.
Across America people are sweltering through extreme heat this year, continuing a long-term trend of rising temperatures. Inevitably, many are wondering if the scorching heat is due to global warming. Scientists are expected to dig into the data and grapple with that in the months to come. They've already taken a stab at a possible connection with last year's extreme weather events, like the blistering drought in Texas. NPR's Richard Harris reports.
Manchester United is the most famous soccer team in the United Kingdom, and one of the world's most popular sports teams. Now its owners are hoping the team's popularity will translate into big bucks. They're planning to sell Manchester United stock on the New York Stock Exchange. Roger Blitz, of the Financial Times, talks to Renee Montagne about the team's IPO.
The ownership of American pro sports got just a little more international. That's our last word in business today.
Pro basketball's Brooklyn Nets, formerly the New Jersey Nets, are owned by a Russian businessman. An Indonesian media owner possesses part of the Philadelphia 76ers. And now, that same Indonesian man is among the new investors in D.C. United, the pro soccer team. His name is Erick Thohir.
A U.S. operation in the mountains near Afghanistan last November killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan wanted an apology. The U.S. refused. In response, Pakistan shut down supply routes to Afghanistan for NATO convoys.
After intense talks, two border crossings were reopened last week to convoys for the U.S. and NATO forces.
Pakistan's ambassador in Washington, Sherry Rehman, was at the center of the negotiations. Afterward she called it a moment of great opportunity for the two countries.
As one of the world's most popular sports, field hockey produces celebrities in Argentina, the Netherlands and Australia. But the sport is relatively obscure in the United States, where members of the women's national team receive a small monthly stipend and their notoriety comes from outside the country.
Later this month, the group heads to London, where it will try to earn the first American medal in the sport in 28 years.
What used to be a Spanish tradition is now becoming more of an economic necessity.
In Spain, the social safety net that helps people survive the economic crisis has two parts: government benefits and close family ties. The country has the highest rate in Europe of multi-generational families all living together.
With a quarter of Spaniards out of work, more parents pick up their kids from school themselves, in the middle of what would have been a workday.
In Venezuela, people are beginning to talk about what was once unthinkable: Just who could succeed the all-powerful President Hugo Chavez?
He has been battling cancer, which for much of this year forced him to suspend his once-frequent TV appearances. On Monday, Chavez declared himself free of the cancer, though it's not the first time he's said he was cured.
For 13 years, he has consolidated his hold on power while nationalizing farmland and seizing private companies. And now, despite his infrequent appearances, he remains a political force.
Sports is more ubiquitous than ever on television. And sports is almost the only thing that's left, live, on TV. NBC Universal is even going to let Americans see the Olympics live this year.
Nevertheless, despite TV's charm, last week as Andy Murray, Great Britain's homeboy, drew closer to making the Wimbledon final, the word was that tickets for actual Centre Court seats would be scalped for up to £32,000 a pair. If you're not hanging around the currency exchange market, that comes to something like $50,000. For two tickets. To a game.
A report from a consumer group released today says that vulnerable owners are losing their homes for owing as little as $400 in back taxes.
The AP reports:
"Outdated state laws allow big banks and other investors to reap windfall profits by buying the houses for a pittance and reselling them, the National Consumer Law Center said in a report being released Tuesday.
Today at All Things Considered, we continue a project we're calling NewsPoet. Each month, we bring in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's stories.
This Thursday, Penn State University will release an independent report on the sex-abuse scandal that has rocked the institution and its football program.
After allegations of child abuse surfaced against Jerry Sandusky, the university appointed Judge Louis Freeh to look into how the university handled the case. The university and its leaders including former legendary football coach Joe Paterno have been criticized for what has been characterized as slow action.
Yes, we know, Pie Week is officially over, and we already commemorated your contributions to it with our Storify post on Friday. But one more irresistible pie story came across the transom that we just had to share.
So without further ado, here's NPR listener Marie Metivier-DeMasters' story about how pie changed her life, which we received by email and edited a bit for length and clarity:
Back in the day, Madrid's Palace Hotel was Ernest Hemingway's old haunt, or at least the bar was. Now, rooms at the posh hotel just down from the famed Prado Museum go for up to $6,000 a night. And gathering in its lobby these days? An altogether different type of foreigner: the kind in expensive suits.
"Probably they are institutional investors, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds," says Federico Steinberg, an economist at Madrid's Elcano Institute.
There's a lot of cash around the world, he says, and a lot of people looking for bargains.
Native Americans and Pilgrims were onto something when they turned to cranberries as an infection fighter. American settlers believed the bitter food could stave off scurvy. But there's more than just Vitamin C in this indigenous berry.
At this isolated part of the Turkish border, there's just one Turkish guard, a fence and, beyond an olive grove, Syria.
The Syrian side is just a short walk, perhaps 10 minutes. The area looks completely calm and there is no sign of the Syrian military.
Abu Amar, a rebel who has fought in Syria for five weeks, walked across this field from the Syrian village of Atma, which is now serving as a rebel headquarters. He says much of the northwestern province of Idlib is now controlled by the rebels, and it has become easy to move back and forth between Syria and Turkey here.
Nearly 31 years after he was convicted of rape and armed robbery, Kirk Odom on Tuesday all but won his fight to be declared an innocent man.
The Justice Department filed court papers saying, "There is clear and convincing evidence that Mr. Odom is innocent of the charges for which he was convicted," and apologized for the "terrible injustice."
In the middle of the night, most children are home in bed. But at the Second Street Learning Center in Reading, Pa., a half-dozen tiny bodies are curled up on green plastic floor mats, fast asleep.
Conversations are hushed. The lights are dim. At 1:30 a.m., day care worker Virginia Allen gently shakes two little sisters, snuggled under the same blanket, to tell them that their mother is there to pick them up.