NPR News

Lehman Exits Chapter 11, To Pay Creditors

Mar 7, 2012

When Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, it was the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. More than three years later, Lehman is emerging from Chapter 11. The firm is really just back in business to liquidate itself. Lehman has about $65 billion in assets that it intends to distribute among its many creditors starting next month.

The race between two veteran Ohio Democrats, Rep. Marcy Kaptur and Rep. Dennis Kucinich who were redistricted into the same congressional district ended badly for Kucinich who lost to his fellow House Democrat.

Meanwhile, the House Republican Conference will lose Rep. Jean Schmidt, who was defeated by Brad Wenstrup, a podiatrist and Iraq War veteran, in an upset.

When the state of California added the compound 4-methylimidazole, also known as 4-MI or 4-MEI, to its list of known carcinogens in 2011, it created a problem for the soda industry.

The caramel color they used to give colas that distinctive, brown hue contained levels of 4-MI that would have warranted a cancer warning label on every can sold in the state.

Every May, Russia displays its military might in a parade on Victory Day, commemorating the surrender of the Nazis to the Soviet Union in World War II.

The marching men and rolling tanks put on an impressive show, but Russia's military, and especially its defense industry, has fallen on hard times.

"The industry, much like other parts of the economy, hasn't seen proper investment for over a decade, if not more," says Lilit Gevorgyan, a Russia analyst for the defense industry consultant IHS Jane's.

OK, so this story is about weeds and weedkillers, neither of which is ever the hero of a story, but stay with me for a second: It's also about plants with superpowers.

Unless you grow cotton, corn or soybeans for a living, it's hard to appreciate just how amazing and wonderful it seemed, 15 years ago, when Roundup-tolerant crops hit the market. I've seen crusty farmers turn giddy just talking about it.

Coaches and managers, as a group, have always been pretty straightforward types. We don't think of generals or preachers as humorists — and, after all, that's pretty much what coaches are, a hybrid of the military and the pulpit.

But at least in the past, there were always a fair complement of coaching characters: old cracker-barrel philosophers, feisty wise guys and even a few sardonic intellectuals.

Rising gas prices have been the big energy story of the past several weeks. But many energy experts say that's a sideshow compared with the really big energy event — the huge boom in oil and natural gas production in the U.S. that could help the nation reach the elusive goal of energy independence.

Since the Arab oil embargo of 1973, energy independence has been a Holy Grail for virtually every American president from Richard Nixon to Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama.

But now, it might just be within reach.

The Shale Gale

The elite athletes who travel to London for this summer's Olympic Games will include petite gymnasts, huge wrestlers — and elite horses, which compete in dressage and other events. Getting these strong and delicate animals to the Olympics is no job for an amateur. In fact, it's the job of Tim Dutta, who owns an international horse transport company.

ESPN is reporting that sources close to the NFL's Indianapolis Colts say the team is going to let star quarterback Peyton Manning become a free agent.

An announcement is due Wednesday, the network adds.

Manning, who has spent his entire 14-year career with the Colts and is a lock to be a hall of famer, "missed the entire 2011 season after having his third neck surgery in 19 months, a fusion of two vertebrae," as ESPN writes.

Federal health officials Tuesday called on hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and doctors' offices to work harder to fight the spread of a dangerous bacterial infection that can cause life-threatening diarrhea and other complications.

While other health-care related infections have been decreasing in recent years, cases of Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, continue rising, according to Clifford McDonald of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Super Tuesday was an almost perfect reflection of the Republican presidential primary process so far this year.

Mitt Romney won the most states and built up a solid lead in delegates. Yet he was forced to vastly outspend his nearest rival to win the most important contest — Ohio, where he narrowly defeated Rick Santorum.

Romney won five other states, but Santorum captured three, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich won one.

It's been this way for Romney all year. With a potentially game-changing contest on the line, Romney has always found a way to win.

Apple has about 47,000 workers in the U.S. That's not a huge amount for such a profitable and influential company. Now the tech giant is saying it has actually created about 10 times that many jobs indirectly.

Some economists are skeptical of the claim. And the move comes as Apple is facing increased criticism and scrutiny over labor practices at factories it outsources to in China.

As the news comes in tonight about the Republican presidential campaign's 10 Super Tuesday contests, we'll be helping out the Elections Desk by live blogging.

Before we get deep into the news of the Super Tuesday primaries, here's something from the lighter side of politics.

Federal prosecutors have charged five men with responsibility for some of the biggest computer hacks in the past few years. The FBI says the hackers penetrated the computer systems of businesses like Fox Broadcasting and Sony Pictures, stole confidential information and splashed it all over the Internet.

But what's most unusual about the case is how investigators cracked it — with the help of an insider who became a secret government informant.

The stock market has been having a good year, so you might have been expecting some sort of a "correction."

Today may have been that day.

The film version of the young adult book sensation The Hunger Games opens March 23rd. The hype around the movie has sent the sales of the already best-selling trilogy to new heights. And publishers are eagerly churning out more books set in post apocalyptic dystopian worlds — just like The Hunger Games.

The latest federal review of the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion again blames Massey Energy for the deaths of 29 coal miners and says Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) failures did not directly contribute to the blast.

Under the federal health care law, money is going out around the country to help school campuses boost health services for their students.

At Abraham Lincoln High School in Los Angeles students often visit a modest trailer at the back of the sprawling campus. It's in a neighborhood near downtown L.A. where houses are missing windows and have peeling paint.

A Look At The Ohio Exit Polls

Mar 6, 2012

Voters headed to the polls in 10 states on Tuesday. Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center talks to Robert Siegel about the race in Ohio. He shares a picture of who turned out to vote — what issues were on their minds, as well as how conservative and religious they see themselves.

The GOP presidential hopefuls addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, D.C., on a day their campaigns battled in 10 state contests. Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich all criticized President Obama for his handling of Iran, and the president returned fire during an afternoon news conference.

Men like it when women let them know when they're happy. Women like it when men share their anger and frustration.

Well, that sounds like a bit of a problem.

But the good news, researchers say, is that what matters most in a relationship is whether it feels like the other person is really trying to relate to the emotions, whether they're happy or sad.

It's not so hard to understand why men get satisfaction out of seeing their wife or girlfriend happy. Wouldn't anyone?

Robert Sherman — one half of the songwriting team behind Disney movies and major hit musicals — has died. He was 86. The Oscar-winning Sherman Brothers, Robert and Richard, wrote some of the most enduring Disney songs of all time. Their output was astounding: Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Aristocats.

John Lasseter, of Pixar and Disney, once said, "You cannot forget a Sherman brothers song for your life."

In a nondescript apartment room in Turkey, just across the border from Syria, clouds of cigarette smoke drift toward the ceiling as Syrian opposition activists ponder how to keep people and supplies moving across the border.

Abu Jafaar is the alias of a Syrian smuggler who has been dodging Syrian army patrols for the past several months.

Almost 25 years since the first organic farm took root in Hong Kong, the appeal of organic food is finally catching on. But restaurateurs, chefs, suppliers and organic experts say scant supply is leaving consumers hungry for more, and what is available still costs too much.

A growing field of medical research aims to pinpoint exactly why pets can make us happier and healthier. Some studies show that animal interaction can increase a person's level of oxytocin, a hormone associated with love and trust. And the animals also benefit from positive human interaction.

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

Radio host Rush Limbaugh ignited controversy when he called a Georgetown law student a slut and a prostitute after she testified before a congressional committee and called for federal health care coverage to include the cost of contraception. Now, several days have gone by since Limbaugh made those comments, but the debate seems to be getting only bigger. The blogosphere is ablaze with different opinions. The op-ed pages are still filling up with comments on this, on what Limbaugh said and on its social and political meaning.

Weighing A Policy Of Containment For Iran

Mar 6, 2012

President Obama recently said, "Iran's leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." Some say containment represents a viable option against Iran, but others argue that Cold War strategies do not apply to Iran.

Adult children caring for elderly parents may feel guilty, isolated and resentful. But some parents being cared for do too. Dr. Lillian Rubin knows that struggle well, as she has found herself at odds with her well-meaning daughter over what her daughter wants for her, and what she actually needs.

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