Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer, with news for Kevin Bacon. According to a new study on Facebook, six degrees of separation is too much. On the social network, people are connected by an average of 4.7 degrees. Rough translation: The Facebook data team concludes that users from the Siberian Tundra and the Peruvian rainforest are likely connected by a friend of a friend of a BFF. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
He's said he'd do something like this before and then not followed through. So keep that in mind when you hear that:
"Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president of Yemen, has arrived in Saudi Arabia to sign a Gulf power-transfer initiative brokered by the six-member Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), the country's state television has reported." (Al-Jazeera)
Yemen's Foreign Press office has released this statement:
Additional students have been charged in an SAT cheating scandal on Long Island, New York. Thirteen students were charged Tuesday with being part of a scheme in which students paid other teens to take college entrance exams on their behalf. So far, 20 current and former students at three high schools have been implicated in the scandal.
The Fed wants to ensure the country's largest banks are prepared to weather another recession. The move comes as the debt crisis in Europe threatens to destabilize global markets. Banks will be required to show they have enough capital to continue lending money under severe economic conditions.
The pharmaceutical company Merck has agreed to pay nearly a billion dollars to settle charges that it illegally marketed its painkiller, Vioxx. The drug was taken off the market in 2004 after questions were raised about its safety. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.
Our last word in business is: Don't jack up the Jack. The makers of Jack Daniels are raising their glasses after a tax proposal was voted down this week in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
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The proposal called for a referendum on a plan to tax Jack Daniels whiskey by the barrel to bring it up to $5 million annually. The drive by some residents was killed after a 10 to five vote by the Moore County Council. The company that owns the distillery currently pays one-and-a-half million dollars in local property taxes.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep, good morning.
The new man at the top of some Republican presidential polls is Newt Gingrich. He's the latest of many candidates to emerge as an alternative to Mitt Romney in the race for the nomination. And Gingrich took some bold positions in last night's presidential debate.
CNN and two conservative think-tanks sponsored a talk in Washington on foreign policy, and NPR's Ari Shapiro was there.