NPR News

Cook County, Ill. Bucks Immigration Enforcement

Sep 12, 2011

One of the nation's largest jails has quit holding inmates extra time when requested by immigration officials.

Disregarding those federal requests is the new policy of Cook County, Ill. The county enacted the measure even though the jail holds sometimes help officials deport dangerous illegal immigrants.

And some other counties may soon follow suit.

Ordinance Prevents Jails From Complying

We stumbled upon a tiny report in this week's New Scientist that is so exquisitely gross, we can't help but pass it on.

In a new study published in the journal Acta Zoologica, Johan Billen of the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL), Belgium and his team report on a kind of ant that's especially evolved to kill itself in order to save the nest.

Turkey: Israel's Flotilla Raid Was 'Cause For War'

Sep 12, 2011

The once friendly relationship between Israel and Turkey has been strained further, as Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stepped up his rhetoric today.

According to the AP, Erdogan said Israel's raid on a Turkish flotilla last year was "cause for war," yet Turkey showed "patience" and did not take further action.

Cuban Offshore Drilling Plans Raise U.S. Concerns

Sep 12, 2011

An oil rig built by China is now en route to the deep waters off northwest Cuba, where it could begin drilling exploratory wells as soon as November.

Recently, U.S. oil spill experts were in Havana, including the man who co-chaired the investigation into last year's BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. group says long-running American trade sanctions stand in the way of proper spill preparation and a coordinated cleanup if something goes wrong on the wells that are just 60 miles from the Florida Keys.

Comcast, the nation's largest cable operator, has launched a new program aimed at reducing the digital divide, or the gap between high- and low-income communities in Internet accessibility and digital literacy.

The company says low-income families will now be able to get a fast Internet connection for $9.95 per month; the question now is whether the effort can overcome the many barriers that keep the poor from getting online.

At the White House today, President Obama criticized what he said is a view among some Republicans that they don't want to work with him on passing a jobs bill — even when many of the things he's proposing are measures they've supported in the past — because it wouldn't be good for the GOP politically:

We've been keeping up with reaction to former Vice President Dick Cheney's new memoir, In My Time. In it, the vice president has made some extraordinary claims, including that he was in charge during Sept. 11 and saying that he still supports water boarding as way to get detainees to talk.

In Florida, federal officials have released plans for a new wildlife preserve just south of Orlando. The Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge will include at least 150,000 acres, but there's a twist — most of it will remain under private ownership.

Visitors mostly come to central Florida for its theme parks and beaches, but long before Walt Disney set his sights on the part of the state where he erected a castle at the Magic Kingdom, it was known for its lakes, rivers and grasslands.

"After reading Krugman's repugnant piece on 9/11, I cancelled my subscription to the New York Times this AM."

That's the reaction on Twitter today from former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to "The Years of Shame" blog post published Sunday by New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman.

In his post, Krugman argues that:

SpongeBob May Be Too Speedy For Preschool Brains

Sep 12, 2011

Parents may dote on the tragicomic adventures of SpongeBob SquarePants, but researchers say that that the cartoon's fast-based scenes may make it harder for young children to pay attention and think.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, Host:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.

Now, to a story that has probably received far less attention than it would have, had it occurred in another major American locale. It's about the police department in Puerto Rico. It's the country's second largest department after New York City's.

Justice Denied In Puerto Rico, Says ACLU Chief

Sep 12, 2011

Host Michel Martin continues the conversation surrounding the Puerto Rico Police Department. The U.S. Department of Justice recently released a report accusing the police of violating the constitution and using excessive — sometimes fatal — force against civilians. Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union conducted its own investigation, finding similar allegations of police brutality in Puerto Rico. Host Michel Martin speaks with ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero.

In the new book The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al Qaeda, former FBI agent and interrogator Ali Soufan says that the government missed key opportunities to prevent terrorism attacks and find Osama Bin Laden sooner because of mismanaged interrogations and dysfunctional relationships within the government's counterterrorism agencies.

Upcoming job cuts at Bank of America will reduce its payroll "by approximately 30,000 jobs over the next few years," the company just announced.

The financial giant describes the reductions as part of "Phase I" in its reorganization. "Phase II" covering "businesses and operations that were not reviewed in Phase I," will begin in October.

Bank Of America Planning To Cut 30,000 Jobs

Sep 12, 2011

Bank of America said Monday that it will cut about 30,000 jobs over the next few years in a bid to save $5 billion per year.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank says it expects many of the job cuts will come through attrition and eliminating unfilled positions. Bank of America has been working for several months on finding ways to streamline its operations. The job cuts are part of "Phase I" in a cost-cutting program the bank calls "Project New BAC."

The good folks over at the Shots blog will have more to report about this, but we just couldn't wait to pass on word that:

"The cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants is in hot water from a study suggesting that watching just nine minutes of that program can cause short-term attention and learning problems in 4-year-olds." (The Associated Press)

Will doctors and patients like an insurers' recommendations for treatment any better if they come from a Jeopardy!-winning computer instead of a human? We're about to find out.

At least 2,600 people have been killed in Syria since the start of protests there in mid-March, the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights reported today.

Navi Pillay said in Geneva that the estimate is based on information from "reliable sources on the ground."

"The only member of a top Russian hockey team to survive a plane crash that killed 44 people died Monday of his injuries in a Moscow hospital," The Canadian Press and The Hockey News report.

Alexander Galimov, 26, "died of the severe burns that covered about 90 percent of his body," the news outlets add. He played the forward position.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the first major candidate to drop out of the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has endorsed his one-time rival Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

It looks like we may never know if Happy Feet the wayward penguin makes it home.

"The satellite transmitter that was attached to Happy Feet has not been received since Friday 9 September 2011, NZ time," report the analysts at Sirtrack, which had been following the little guy's progress.

"This leads to the conclusion that either the satellite transmitter has detached or an unknown event has prevented Happy Feet from resurfacing," they add.

Horrific news from Kenya this morning:

"A leaking gasoline pipeline in Nairobi exploded on Monday, turning part of a slum into an inferno in which at least 61 people were killed and more than 100 hurt." (The Associated Press)

The local newspaper reports it has been told there was "no radiation leak" earlier today after an explosion at a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in southern France.

But much remains unknown about just what happened at the plant in Marcoule, near the Mediterranean Sea.

Good morning.

The nation paused over the weekend to remember the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to honor those who sacrificed that day and in the years since. If you want to look back at the weekend's events, our posts are collected here and NPR's "Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001" special series of stories is here.

Ohio Woman 'Trashes' Mayor's Office

Sep 12, 2011

Officials in Portsmouth, Ohio, made changes to the garbage pick-up last week, following a holiday. But Janice Shanks was overlooked, and so her trash piled up. Wanting to send a message, she bagged up the garbage and delivered it to the mayor's office.

Phil Mathis said he wanted to do something crazy. So the 58-year-old Ohio man told his bride-to-be that he would only get married if they went skydiving together. Gail decided to take the leap. The couple held the ceremony in a plane, and then tumbled out from 7,500 feet.

With the solemn ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks now over, Washington returns to the subject most likely to dominate the political debate between now and the November 2012 presidential election:

Jobs.

President Obama says for all that's changed in the decade since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, America's character as a nation has endured, stronger than ever. Obama spoke at a memorial concert in Washington, D.C. Sunday night, marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks. It was one of many ceremonies held across the country, honoring a decade of loss and survival.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, host:

NPR's business news starts with French banks stirring up more anxiety.

(Soundbite of music)

The Last Word in Business

Sep 12, 2011

David Greene has the Last Word in business.

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