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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Let's talk about the surprisingly weak jobs report that came out from the Labor Department today. The numbers for March show just 120,000 new jobs were added to U.S. payrolls. That's considered a disappointment, even though the unemployment rate did decline slightly, to 8.2 percent.

NPR's John Ydstie is here to talk with us about what all this means. Hi, John.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

The nation's unemployment rate edged down to 8.2 percent in March from 8.3 percent in February, but only 120,000 jobs were added to private and public payrolls the Bureau of Labor Statistics said this morning in a report that was less positive about the labor market's health than economists had expected.

Prior to the news, forecasters had predicted BLS would say about 200,000 jobs were added to payrolls last month.

This story is part of Planet Money's series on money in politics. This post was originally published on March 30. It was updated on April 6.

Most of the nitty-gritty action in Congress happens in committees.

Not surprisingly, campaign contributions flow to members of the committees that big donors are really interested in — like, say, the ways and means committee, which oversees the tax code.

Close your books, America. It's time for a pop quiz.

Do you believe Barack Obama is:

a) The best of presidents? A blogger who goes by the name Troubadour on Daily Kos, Brian Altmeyer, pretty much makes the claim in a recent post: "Barack Obama is either the best President we've ever had, or more humbly, equal to the best Presidents we've ever had (and thereby one of their number)."

A U.S. Marine sergeant who posted "contemptuous" comments and images about President Obama on the Web should be dismissed and given an other-than-honorable discharge, a Marine Corps administrative board recommended late Thursday evening.

The case against Sgt. Gary Stein, 26, has raised questions about how far the military can go to restrict the First Amendment rights of its personnel.

The morning's major news, if all goes as planned, will be the 8:30 a.m. ET release of the March jobs and unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to Reuters, economists expect we'll hear that the unemployment rate stayed at 8.3 percent and that private and public employers added about 200,000 jobs to their payrolls. The jobless rate's recent peak was 10 percent, in October 2009.

Jailer Takes Inmate On Golfing Trip

Apr 6, 2012

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Speed Trap Nabs Driver Who Suggested It

Apr 6, 2012

A Swedish man got tired of drivers speeding through his neighborhood. Henrik Ismarker sent a Twitter message to the Stockholm police asking them to step up enforcement. The next day, according to a local news organization, police were on duty. A cop pulled over a speeding car, and the driver turned out to be the very same guy who had complained.

Part three of four

Robert Manne, one of Australia's top public intellectuals and journalists, tells me the first thing to know about The Australian.

"It is by far the most detailed paper in regard to national politics," he says. "And it's also at a higher level of analysis, in general, than the other papers."

Second, he says, the paper is "smarter, sharper" than the others — with more resources and fewer profit demands to boot. Manne explains why:

The Last Word In Business

Apr 6, 2012

According to The Consumerist, the video game publisher received more than 250,000 reader votes for that distinction. It was singled out for deliberately holding back video game content so it can charge for it later, and for buying up small video game companies to squash competition.

Movie maker Morgan Spurlock, director and star of Supersize Me and The Greatest Story Ever Sold, has a documentary opening on the West Coast this weekend: Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope. It introduces a group of determined popular culture enthusiasts who've come to San Diego's enormous convention in the summer of 2010 to pursue their different but connected dreams.

Average prices for cars are at an all-time high, reflecting increased demand and a healthier economy. The average car price has gone up nearly $2,000 since last year. Even though car prices are higher, buyers haven't shied away from picking up a new car.

Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, about how the Republican budget by Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan compares with President Obama's proposal. The plans show differences on spending, taxes and dealing with the government.

Part 3 of a series on Silicon Valley's history

In Silicon Valley, the spotlight is often on young entrepreneurs with fresh ideas that will change the world — people like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, or Jack Dorsey of Twitter.

But for decades, two older titans of the high-tech industry thrived in that fast-paced world: Gordon Moore and Andy Grove of Intel.

Speaking recently in a rare joint interview, the two discussed how their company survived, and what they think of the current crop of Silicon Valley techies.

Intel's Odd Couple

The mild New England winter means that more bears are up and about, looking for food — and not just in the woods. They're also exploring urban backyards and residential streets. The small town of Northampton, Mass., has more than its share of furry visitors.

In Northampton, a call on a neighborhood email list for tales of recent bear encounters netted about about a dozen responses in an hour. Almost everyone, it seems, has a bear story.

One of the worst school disasters in American history occurred 75 years ago, when an explosion killed hundreds of students at a school in East Texas. It was an event that etched itself into the memory of Kenneth Honeycutt, now 83.

"It was an explosion in the school building that led to the death of 300 students and teachers," he says. "It was caused by an accumulation of gas throughout the school building."

The political ascent of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has created some unease in Washington, and in an attempt to counter that, the group dispatched a delegation to the U.S. capital this week for meetings that range from administration officials to think tanks and universities.

The Brotherhood has rapidly evolved into a powerful political force since former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power in February of last year.

In a Mass today at St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI delivered a scathing homily that reiterated the Catholic Church's ban on female priests.

He also criticized a group of priests who have called on their colleagues to ignore Rome. NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty filed this report for our Newscast unit:

President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (or JOBS) Act into law Thursday, legislation meant to make it easier for entrepreneurs to get investor financing that helps them add workers. Does that mean it will be harder for Republicans to frame Obama as anti-jobs?

"Well, if it works, it will make it harder," said Craig Shirley, a longtime conservative political strategist and writer who runs a Washington, D.C.-area public-affairs firm.

Malaria experts have been holding their breath and hoping it wouldn't happen. But it has.

Malaria parasites resistant to the last, best drug treatment, called artemisinin combination therapy, or ACT, are infecting people along the border of Thailand and Myanmar.

The self described enforcer for a violent Juarez, Mexico, drug cartel has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, racketeering and murder charges that could send him away for the rest of his life.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum met with a group of conservative leaders Thursday behind closed doors at an office in Northern Virginia. They discussed the road ahead for Santorum's Republican presidential campaign as the polls tighten in his home state of Pennsylvania, which holds its primary on April 24.

The meeting included "strategic conversations about how to get the conservative ranks to coalesce around Rick," Santorum campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley told NPR.

A federal grand jury in Virginia has indicted former CIA officer John Kiriakou on charges that he violated the Espionage Act by allegedly sharing secret information about some of his colleagues with reporters.

Jim Marshall helped make rock 'n' roll loud. The British electrical engineer, musician and owner of Marshall Amplification produced one of the most iconic pieces of equipment in popular music. Marshall died today in England after battling cancer and suffering multiple strokes in recent years. He was 88.

Maybe this bipartisan thing will become a trend: As we noted, earlier today President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law flanked by Republican Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor.

And, now there's news that both President Obama and Mitt Romney agree on one thing: They both think women should be allowed to join the Augusta National Golf Club.

A new batch of performers will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame later this month. In the weeks leading up to the induction ceremonies, Morning Edition is visiting the cities that gave birth to the inductees.

Step up to any newsstand in Australia, like the one in Melbourne's Central Business District, and ask who Rupert Murdoch is, and you might get an appraisal like this one from Tom Baxter, an officer with a local disability foundation: "Long time in newspapers, ruthless; dedicated to their craft; a global citizen."

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has some unsolicited advice for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on appealing to female voters.

"The golden ticket that people need to see and see more of is Ann Romney," Haley told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview set to air on Friday's Morning Edition. Haley was responding to a question about polls that show strengthening support among women for President Obama.

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