NPR's business news starts with Sony hitting a three-decade low.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: Sony shares fell to their lowest level since 1980 on Japan's Nikkei stock exchange today. That drop follows yesterday's report that the company suffered a net loss of $5.7 billion for the last fiscal year. The once dominant tech company has fallen behind other industry giants like Samsung and Apple, and has seen especially heavy losses in its TV division. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is in damage control mode after an article in The Washington Post accused the candidate of bullying in high school. Romney says he does not remember the incidents. Several of his classmates independently recall him going after students who seemed different, vulnerable or effeminate.
According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, mothers will be treated to a little more this holiday. All told, American consumers are expected to spend about $18.6 billion on the moms, stepmoms or grandmas in their lives.
When President Obama announced he now supports same-sex marriage, he cited his Christian faith.
"The thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it's also the Golden Rule, you know — treat others the way you would want to be treated," he said in his interview with ABC News.
President Obama is giving a speech about the economy Friday in Reno, Nev. It's his third trip to Nevada this year. In 2008, he won the state by 12 percentage points — in large part by getting more than three-quarters of the Latino vote.
NPR listeners normally hear from sports commentator Frank Deford for three minutes at a time Wednesday mornings, as he opines on the latest follies of the sporting world. But Deford fans have been getting to hear the veteran sportswriter at greater length lately. He's on a book tour for his new memoir, Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter. When Deford stopped in Washington, D.C., NPR's Steve Inskeep had the chance to interview him in front of a lively crowd.
Every spring, high school students descend on the headquarters of the New York Federal Reserve, a few blocks from Wall Street in downtown Manhattan. They compete to see who does the best impression of a central banker.
The High School Fed Challenge is a big deal. Schools like Montclair High in Montclair, New Jersey have multiple rounds of tryouts just to get on the team. Then they practice for months.
Dennis McLaughlin interviewed his mom, Theresa, to thank her for how she raised him. Born in 1948 with spina bifida, he was missing several vertebrae and was unable to use his legs. Theresa was a single mom, working in a paper mill near Portland, Maine.
"When you were 1 year old, your grandfather McLaughlin built you a little wheelchair," Theresa says, "built it out of wood that he had and wheels from a tricycle, and you got around in that very, very well."
Let others get distracted by the news the day before that President Obama now personally supports gay marriage. Mitt Romney and Speaker John Boehner said Thursday they intended to stay on message and keep hitting the president in what they view as his Achilles heel — the economy.
Being that it's also the issue voters have in repeated polls said is most important to them, it was hard to argue with their decision.
The fallout from the hazing scandal at Florida A&M University continued today: First there was news that after 40 years, the band director was stepping down and then there was news that Florida's top university official asked the university to keep the Marching 100 band off the field.
President Obama is attending a fundraiser at the home of actor George Clooney in Studio City, Calif., on Thursday evening, along with about 150 guests. Almost anyone can attend, if they pony up $40,000.
But for a few sweepstakes winners, the price of admission is about $3. It's the latest innovation in political fundraising.
Marketing-wise, there's nothing more old school than a sweepstakes.
Spain nationalized its largest real estate lender Wednesday night and plans to announce an overhaul of the country's entire banking system Friday.
The country is scrambling to prevent its troubled banks — weighed down by property debts — from sabotaging the whole economy. The Spanish government has only to look northward to Ireland to see what could happen if it fails.
"The undercover operation was being directed by British intelligence with help from other international intelligence agencies," Dina tells us. "The British had put some pressure on the Obama administration not to reveal their role in the secret mission."
When you listen to All Things Considered host Melissa Block's story about Thomas Jefferson's garden, you'll hear how he cared about putting peas on the table and sharing seeds with his friends. He also set loftier goals for his vegetable garden: Monticello's south-facing expanse was a living laboratory for a lifelong tinkerer and almost obsessive record keeper. Jefferson was, in many ways, a crop scientist.
Thousands of people in Windsor, Ontario, say they are being invaded by an obnoxious noise emanating from outside Detroit. They call it the "Windsor Hum," and it's really two sounds — a deep, very low-frequency hum, like a diesel truck idling in your driveway, and a deep, vibrating pulse that you feel more than you hear.
Data from a mission to the second largest body in the asteroid belt that's between Mars and Jupiter seems to confirm that Vesta is indeed a protoplanet that dates back to the early days of our solar system.
Space.com reports that scientists theorized that Vesta had started down the path toward becoming a planet and data from the Dawn Mission confirms those suspicions. Space.com reports:
A calico lobster that had been living in obscurity off the coast of Maine has now been catapulted into a sort of celebrity, thanks to its rare coloring: a calico mix of orange and yellow spots. Researchers say it could be a 1 in 30 million specimen.
The invertebrate was caught off Winter Harbor, Maine; it was saved from the cooking pot at Jasper White's Summer Shack restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., after the staff noticed its striking coloration.
Where Do We Go Now? is the brainchild of bloodshed. The film, which has been a megahit in the Middle East, is a bittersweet comedy about a group of women determined to stop their hotheaded men from starting a religious war. It's the second feature film from Lebanese director Nadine Labaki.
When violence erupted on the streets of Beirut in 2008, Labaki saw neighbors, friends, people who were practically brothers turn against each another. As the world around her spiraled out of control, Labaki discovered she was having a baby.
A Russian anti-terrorism agency says that its secret service agents have thwarted a planned attack on Sochi, the city slated to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Russia's FSB security service says it found 10 caches of weapons that it believes were meant to be used during either preparations for the Olympics or in an attack during the Games themselves.
From Moscosw, Jessica Golloher filed this report for NPR's Newscast:
If anything could predictably induce torrents of Internet reaction, it would be a U.S. president making the surprise disclosure that he supports same-sex marriage. And so it has been following President Obama's Wednesday ABC News interview in which he said he personally backs gay marriage.