In a new biography, two longtime Boston Globe reporters write about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as a complicated man who also "loves dichotomies ... strong versus weak, stagnation versus prosperity, leadership versus drift."
On their hunt for The Real Romney, Scott Helman and Michael Kranish traced Romney's life from his childhood in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., to his career at private equity firm Bain Capital, and then to his work in politics — first as the governor of Massachusetts and then as a presidential candidate in 2008 and 2012.
Kathleen Edwards is a singer-songwriter from Canada who just released her fourth album, Voyageur. There's a lot of heartache and self-doubt on the record, and that makes sense — much of it was written around the time of Edwards' divorce from her husband and musical collaborator. The song "Pink Champagne" would seem to be a case in point: It takes place at a wedding where a young bride is second-guessing her decision. But Edwards says the message of that song isn't quite so literal.
For decades, until 2010, someone appeared at Edgar Allan Poe's grave site in Baltimore before dawn on Jan. 19 — his birthday.
The mysterious visitor, who was never identified, would leave behind three roses and a half-filled bottle of cognac as a tribute to the man who wrote The Raven, The Fall of the House of Usher and other classic poems and tales.
Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 10:39 am
If you're bugged by cost problems you find in health care, you can draw attention to them (and blow off a little steam) by writing about them. And if you're really lucky your work might help change things.
Who knows? You might even make a little cash. Essays from four people just won them $1,000 each in the second annual Costs of Care contest.
If Newt Gingrich got a boost for his prospects in South Carolina on Thursday with rising poll numbers and an endorsement from rival Rick Perry, his second ex-wife, Marianne, seemed to be doing her best to dampen his prospects with an ill-timed interview on ABC's Nightline Thursday night.
If you read the headlines, you know that the Mexican government is engaged in a long, deadly battle against the country's astonishingly powerful drug dealers, known as narcotraficantes or simply narcos. Hardly a day goes by without news of another shootout or massacre. Nearly 50,000 people have died in the 5-year-old drug war, the majority of them innocent citizens.
Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 12:40 pm
Like the saying goes in his home state, everything about Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign was big.
From the start of his candidacy, when he garnered instant front-runner status in some polls, to his embarrassing debate performances and his slide to the back of the pack, Perry's bid for the Republican nomination seemed outsized. So, too, were the expectations.
On Thursday, Perry left the GOP race and strongly endorsed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, citing his "heart of a conservative reformer."
The nation's top military officer, Gen. Martin Dempsey, is in Israel where he's expected to send a clear message: Don't attack Iran, and let the tougher sanctions take hold.
Dempsey's trip to Israel was scheduled weeks ago, but it comes at a particularly sensitive time. Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, the key route for oil shipments, and has stepped up its naval activities.
An Iranian nuclear scientist was recently killed by a drive-by assassin, and Iran is blaming Israel.
Mitt Romney's tax returns and the tax rate he paid on his income have been hot issues in the recent Republican primaries.
"What's the effective rate that I've been paying? It's probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything because my last 10 years, my income comes overwhelmingly from investments," the GOP front-runner recently told reporters.
So why does a multimillionaire pay just 15 percent on his income? After all, the top income tax rate is 35 percent and many middle-class people pay over 20 percent.
There are reports Thursday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry will leave the GOP presidential race, and Iowa officials announced final results of the state's Republican presidential nominating caucuses held earlier this month.
Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 12:18 pm
(This post was retopped with the latest news at 11:18 a.m. ET.)
Saying that "there is no viable path forward for me," Texas Gov. Rick Perry just confirmed that he is leaving the 2012 race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Then, he went on to endorse the bid of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — just two days before South Carolina Republicans go to the polls in a primary that could either cement former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's lead in the race for the GOP nomination or give new life to someone else's; perhaps Gingrich's.
Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 12:29 pm
(This post was retopped with the latest news at 11:04 a.m.)
With the South Carolina primary just two days away, Mitt Romney woke up to some troubling news on Thursday: The Iowa Republican Party revisited his Jan. 3 victory in the caucuses.
Party officials announced that a final certification of the votes actually put Rick Santorum ahead by 34 votes. Because some of the results from eight precincts are missing, the Iowa GOP declared the outcome a split decision.
"Rescue efforts have resumed aboard the wrecked Italian cruise ship, Costa Concordia, off the coast of Tuscany," the BBC reports. "Operations were suspended on Wednesday as the vessel shifted its position. More than 20 people are still missing."
The ship, with about 4,200 passengers and crew aboard, ran into rocks on Friday and listed over to its starboard side. Eleven people are confirmed dead.
Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 1:57 pm
In the run-up to Saturday's GOP presidential primary in South Carolina, candidates have clashed over the role of Bain Capital — a firm that either creates or kills jobs, depending upon whom you believe.
Front-runner Mitt Romney sees the bright side. Before entering politics in the 1990s, he co-founded Boston-based Bain Capital, one of the nation's largest and most profitable private equity funds. He has said he created 100,000 jobs while at Bain.
Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 5:36 am
"Running short of cash and unable to sell 1,100 digital imaging patents that could have rescued it," as Rochester's Democrat and Chronicle writes, Eastman Kodak Co. today took the long-expected but still painful step of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne, hoping you made it through a day without Wikipedia. The site was shut down yesterday to protest anti-piracy bills in Congress. Good thing Twitter was there to fill the encyclopedic void. Facts without Wikipedia became a trending topic, informing readers that "Star Wars" was based on the work of Shakespeare, Sweden changed the colors of its flag to yellow and blue after the success of IKEA, and bacon is good for you. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 8:37 am
(This post was retopped with the latest news at 9:35 a.m ET.)
The first-in-the-nation Iowa Republican presidential caucuses produced no clear winner, the Iowa Republican Party has confirmed.
While its recanvassing of the nearly 1,774 precincts where ballots were cast on Jan. 3 has put former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum 34 votes ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — a reversal of what we thought were their finishes — the party says it can't definitively say who won because it can't find the results from eight of the precincts.
When the Washington Monument was damaged after an earthquake last summer, Congress committed $7.5 million to fix it but expected the public to pay the other $7.5 million. It turns out the public will be just one person. The Washington Post reports billionaire David Rubenstein will make the $7.5 million donation Thursday.
Next, we'll explore the laws and customs that are supposed to govern the captain of a ship in distress. A cruise ship remains on its side in Italy. Captain Francesco Schettino is under house arrest. He was in charge when the ship ran aground. When it capsized, he made it to a life raft well before many passengers and did not follow demands to return to the ship.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Italian spoken)
INSKEEP: A Coast Guard official barked there, you go aboard. It is an order.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
Pakistan's civilian government is in the midst of one of the many dramas that seem to occupy all its time. The prime minister appeared before the country's Supreme Court. He was ordered to explain why he should not be held in contempt. The prime minister has been refusing to prosecute a corruption case against his own boss, President Asif Ali Zardari.
A year has passed since the revolution in Egypt began. Suddenly young people there, like this protestor in Cairo's Tahrir Square, could envision a different future for Egypt.
SAKHI SAHER: So now we're going to witness a new country with new order, with new politeness amongst the people, and no one throwing garbage in the streets. It's going to be a new start, a new beginning.
In a moved that had been expected, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday. It raises the specter that the 132-year-old trailblazer could become the most storied casualty of a digital age that has whipped up a maelstrom of economic, social and technological change.
Let's look now at another side of the economy: manufacturing. The Federal Reserve yesterday said American manufacturing had a very strong finish last year. To find out if that's likely to last and what it means for the big issue of jobs, we turn, as we so often do, to David Wessel. He's economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.
DAVID WESSEL: Good morning, Renee.
MONTAGNE: So after all the handwringing about the death of U.S. manufacturing, are American factories B-A-C-K?
A candidate forum was held in Greenville, S.C., Wednesday night, sponsored by the anti-abortion rights group Personhood USA. Participating in the event were Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry. Front-runner Mitt Romney did not attend. South Carolina holds its primary on Saturday.
State and local governments have finally slowed their mass elimination of jobs in recent years. They have repeatedly cut back on services as tax revenues fell.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Many still have cuts to make, but as the economy slowly improves, city governments are looking again to grow their economies. Many of the nation's mayors have been meeting this week in Washington, D.C., and economic growth is on their minds.
President Obama rejected an application to build the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast on Wednesday. He blamed congressional Republicans, who had set a 60-day deadline for his administration to complete its review of the project.
Just minutes after Obama issued a statement denying the permit, Republican members of Congress lined up before TV cameras.
"I'm deeply, deeply disappointed that our president decided to put his politics above the nation," said Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska.