One of the main solar companies in the United States, First Solar, is in trouble. Its CEO was forced out in October and its stock prices have fallen dramatically. Thursday the Arizona-based company announces its earnings and investors are going be demanding answers. From member station KJZZ in Phoenix, Peter O'Dowd report.
NPR's business news begins with a bleaker forecast from the Fed. Just when we were beginning to hear some more positive economic news, the Federal Reserve reminds us not to get too excited. It's predicting slower growth and less improvement in the unemployment rate through 2013 than previously expected. This news comes after a two-day meeting of the Fed's policy-making committee, in which it decided against taking new measures to stimulate the economy for now.
We're going to hear now about a very small race that's making big political waves. The race is for the school board of Wake County, North Carolina. It comes after a policy using family income to create economic diversity in the schools was tossed out by a Republican school board in 2009. This Tuesday, a runoff election for one seat on the board may put the Democrats back in the majority. Dave DeWitt of North Carolina Public Radio reports the school board race is attracting national attention and big money.
In the coming months, the Obama administration will decide whether to approve the Keystone pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from Canada through the U.S. down to the Gulf of Mexico.
Environmental advocates will try to encircle the White House on Sunday in a show of solidarity against the project. Steady protests have made this one of the most high-profile environmental decisions of the Obama presidency.
White House spokesman Jay Carney often tries to distance the president from the decision-making process over the pipeline.
Occupy Wall Street protesters have shut down operations for the day at one of the nation's busiest shipping ports.
Port of Oakland officials said in a statement late Wednesday that the peaceful rally attended by thousands of demonstrators forced them to cancel typical evening maritime activity. Officials at the nation's fifth-largest shipping port say they hope the work day can resume Thursday.
Students are borrowing more money to pay for college than ever before. New data shows that students who graduated in 2010 carried 5 percent more debt than in the previous year. And education debt is expect to grow in the coming years, as students struggle to pay higher tuition costs.
After a two-day orbital chase, the Shenzhou 8 spacecraftlatched onto a prototype space lab module called Tiangong 1 at 1:30 p.m. ET (1:30 a.m. local time Thursday in China). Ten minutes later, the docking was complete.
After emerging from a crisis talks with other European leaders, Greece's prime minister said the referendum on whether to accept the terms of a European Union bailout was also about whether Greece wanted to remain part of the union.
The AP reports:
George Papandreou told reporters after a meeting with European leaders Wednesday, "I believe it's crucial that we show the world that we can live up to our obligations."
"This is not a question only of the program, this is a question of whether we want to remain in the eurozone."
A former New Orleans police lieutenant has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for his role in a cover-up of deadly police shootings after Hurricane Katrina.
Michael Lohman faced a maximum of five years in prison after pleading guilty last year to conspiring to obstruct justice. Noting that Lohman cooperated in their case, prosecutors urged U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle to limit his prison time to two years.
Lemelle rejected that recommendation, ordering Lohman to begin a four-year sentence on Jan. 2.
Punk rock bands like Blink-182 and Rancid are no strangers to obscenity — it's an integral part of their anti-establishment vernacular. But as the figureheads of raucous teenage rebellion age, they've had to encounter a different kind of "F-word"-- fatherhood. A new documentary film explores this paradox, as serious punk-rock performers make the transition from rebels to responsible family men.