It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep in Manchester, New Hampshire.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene in Washington.
It's not easy for a presidential candidate to win both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Barack Obama didn't do it four years ago, nor did John McCain. But this year, Mitt Romney is getting closer to pulling it off.
GREENE: A 20-year ban on new mining near the Grand Canyon is expected to be finalized today by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. The ban would protect a million acres close to that American icon. Conservation groups are hailing the decision, but the mining industry and some Republicans say a permanent ban will hurt the nation's energy independence and also Arizona's economy. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Every four years in January, Washington, D.C., plays host to the country's biggest "prom." Inaugural balls bring out happy winners, administration bigwigs and a gown — on the first lady — that will become a part of history.
An exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History displays some of those gowns. NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg took her dance card to the show.
The Arab uprisings have ousted or weakened some American allies. Elections in Tunisia and Egypt have shown the strength of Islamist political parties. And after the long, hard war in Iraq, the U.S. appears to have a diminished appetite for new, complicated undertakings in the region. In the last of our six-part series on the upheavals changing the Middle East, NPR's Deborah Amos looks at what it all means for America.
You may remember the controversial studies linking food coloring and additives to hyperactivity in kids. Or you may know parents who have pinned their hopes on an elimination diet to improve their kids' rowdy behavior.
More than 70 percent of Italy's gross domestic product comes from small businesses — and they're not growing. Economists are worried this will make it impossible for Italy to climb out of its massive $2.6 trillion debt.
Even in a global economy, something as small as Italy's accordion industry can have an impact. The work of its craftsmen has reached millions of ears.
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a tangle of Texas redistricting cases, with repercussions beyond the Lone Star State. Consolidated into one test, the cases pit the Voting Rights Act and its protections for minority voters against state legislative powers — with an overlaying sheen of sheer political calculus.
The case has been called a puzzle of three courts, a reference to the interplay between two lower courts and the Supreme Court.
New Hampshire voters could make Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's nomination a near-certainty on Tuesday, when the state holds the first primary of the 2012 election.
Every presidential candidate in modern history who has won both Iowa and New Hampshire has gone on to win the party's nomination. (Romney narrowly won the Iowa caucuses last week). Since 1920, New Hampshire has been the first state to hold a presidential primary, and Granite State voters guard that status fiercely.
So tomorrow night for the first time in the history of the Bowl Championship Series, two teams from the same conference, the Southeastern Conference, the two best teams in college football, Louisiana State University and the University of Alabama, will face off in the BCS National Championship in New Orleans. Who's going to win? Well, to help us answer that question, Mike Pesca joins me now.