We don't know how much software mogul Larry Ellison recently paid for the Hawaiian island of Lanai — for 98 percent of the island, to be exact — but estimates run upward of half a billion dollars. So what do you get for that kind of money?
Beautiful beaches, for starters. A view of Maui, just eight miles away. A couple of luxury resorts built by the previous owner. And, as a bonus, some delicate history.
The allegations of physical and verbal abuse at U.S. Speedskating have a new twist: A coach allegedly directed a skater to tamper with the skates of a Canadian competitor at an international competition last year — and the skater complied.
Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 2:30 pm
Minnesota gamblers no longer have to rip paper pull-tabs to see if they've won cash: As of this week, they can use iPads to play, and play again, at the click of a button. The venture was sparked by the need to help pay for a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium, which will cost an estimated $975 million.
The Obama administration filed a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization this week alleging that China is illegally subsidizing its auto industry.
The US says China provides cheap loans and grants and other incentives to their car industry, and that these favors go to companies who are already successful exporters. That, says US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, is unfair.
Fifteen members of an Amish breakaway group in Ohio "have been found guilty of hate crimes by carrying out beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in a dispute over religious differences," The Associated Press reports.
According to the wire service, a jury today "also found the sect's leader, 66-year-old Samuel Mullet Sr., "guilty of planning the attacks last fall in eastern Ohio. ... They all face prison terms of 10 years or more."
Americans are paying high prices for poor quality Internet speeds — speeds that are now slower than in other countries, according to author David Cay Johnston. He says the U.S. ranks 29th in speed worldwide.
Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 7:46 am
Why would a billionaire energy trader-turned-philanthropist throw his foundation's dough behind a new think tank that wants to challenge scientific assumptions about obesity?
John Arnold, 38, whose move from Enron to a spectacularly successful hedge fund got him on the list of wealthiest Americans, isn't crazy about talking to the press. But certainly his decision with his wife Laura to back a newly launched operation called the Nutrition Science Initiative, or NuSI, is an intriguing one.
The Obama administration continued walking a fine line today when describing the attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
"It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack," White House spokesman Jay Carney said aboard Air Force One, according to Reuters. "Our embassy was attacked violently and the result was four deaths of American officials. So, again, that's self-evident."
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made a bit of news during an appearance at the University of Colorado, yesterday. When she was asked a question about the issue of gay marriage, she smiled and declined to answer, the AP reports. She said the issue is likely to come up before the court, so she couldn't adress it.
"I think it's most likely that we will have that issue before the court toward the end of the current term," she said.
Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 12:03 pm
With less than seven weeks to go before the presidential election, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is leaving his job as co-chairman of the Mitt Romney campaign to take a top Washington lobbying job.
Pawlenty, 51, will become the next CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, whose 100 members include many of the nation's largest banks and insurance and securities companies.
Religious intolerance is on the rise worldwide, according to a new study from Pew's Forum on Religion and Public Life. The study finds that during the past year three-quarters of the world lived in countries with "high government restrictions on religion or high social hostilities involving religion." That's five percent higher than a year earlier.
Perhaps the biggest jump, Pew reports, is the rise in countries the forum considers to put high or very high restrictions on religion. That number jumped from 31 percent in 2009 to to 37 percent in 2010.
Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 10:43 am
Every election season, political signs sprout like dandelions from lawns across America. They also pop up at more than a few businesses. For some, expressing political preferences is a calculated move to attract customers. But it can just as easily turn clients away.
Jeff Reiter, who owns the Blue Plate Lunch Counter & Soda Fountain in Portland, Ore., proudly displays a 2008 Obama campaign sign inside his restaurant and says he has "never tried to hide" his support for the president.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. You might have heard us mention our Twitter Education Forum that we'll be hosting in Miami next month. We'll tell you more about that a little later.
But education is very much on our minds, so today, we're also going to talk more about some troubling new numbers showing that the high school graduation rates for black and Latino boys is lagging. We want to find out more about why. We'll talk about that a little later.
Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 8:13 am
There appears to be no question that President Obama will win the lion's share of Hispanic support. But there are still very big questions to be answered about how many votes such support will translate into.
"What we know is that we don't know," says Ruy Teixeira, a political analyst at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank.
"If you're the Obama campaign, there's cause for concern, because at least so far, [Hispanic support] is not translating into encouraging data on the turnout front," he says.
This may be one of the last developments in the story of the "pepper spray cop" and what happened last November when University of California Davis Police Lt. John Pike infamously blasted some Occupy protesters who were blocking a campus road with some tear-inducing gas:
Facebook is taking its campaign to boost organ donations to Canada and Mexico this week, four months after its premiere.
The feature allows Facebook users to tell their friends and family that they're registered organ donors. It also directs people who aren't signed up as organ donors to the official registries where they live.
There's a growing bipartisan consensus that criminal justice policy needs to change, because of the costs and social consequences of keeping more than 2 million Americans behind bars. Host Michel Martin discusses the parties' platforms on criminal justice with the Sentencing Project's Marc Mauer and Marc Levin of the group Right On Crime.
Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 12:46 pm
Members of Congress are about to flee Capitol Hill, and they'll be gone until Nov. 13, one week after Election Day.
As they shift to full-time campaigning, lawmakers are leaving behind many questions about the "fiscal cliff," a massive cluster of automatic spending cuts and tax-break expirations that come together around year's end.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a.k.a. Sam Bacile, made her look like a religious bigot by "having hateful words put in her mouth" when he dubbed a new soundtrack into the anti-Islam video Innocence of Muslims that has sparked violence and protests around the Muslim world, one of the actresses in the video charges.
The headlines on the press releases that started showing up yesterday, here at The Salt certainly got our attention. Just one sample: "BREAKING NEWS: New Study Links Genetically Engineered Food to Tumors."
Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 8:44 am
Cecilia Giménez, the Spanish woman who really messed up when she tried to restore a 19th-century fresco of Jesus, now wants a piece of the action from the 2,000 or so euros ($2,600) her church has collected from tourists coming to see the ruined artwork.
Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:19 am
More than 500 people presumed to be university students today broke through police barricades and got into Islamabad's diplomatic enclave as they protested against the anti-Islam video that has sparked sometimes deadly demonstrations in many Muslim nations, NPR's Jackie Northam reports from the Pakistani capital.