Kansas City's four-year-old Sprint Center has no permanent big-league tenant, but it makes a profit from events like this 2009 preseason NHL hockey game between the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Islanders.
Four years ago, on the cusp of what would become a national economic meltdown, Kansas City made a bet. And the Missouri river town bet big, plunking down $300 million for a brand-new sports arena with no full-time tenant.
Today, that bet is paying off. Pollstar magazine ranks Kansas City's Sprint Center as America's fifth-busiest arena and No. 13 among worldwide venues.
<em></em> In response to presidential candidate Herman Cain's <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2011/11/14/142319607/herman-cain-has-major-oops-moment-on-libya">recent "oops" moment</a>, <em>The Wall Street Journal</em>'s Peggy Noonan writes, "To know little and to be proud of knowing little is disrespectful of the democratic process, and of the moment we're in."
Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call Word of Mouth. This month, Brown has been considering the voice of the columnist through readings that provide new perspectives on political issues, moral issues and national events.
South Africa's Parliament has passed a highly controversial state information bill that gives a limited number of government officials the authority to classify information and imposes harsh penalties on those who possess or distribute state secrets. Critics say it will allow officials to cover up corruption and greatly restrict the flow of information.
The most involved sports fans cannot let a little thing like death get in their way for their devotion to a team.
For several years now it's been possible to buy caskets that feature the logo of your favorite, so that you can lie forever with, say, the emblem of the Chicago Cubs resting right before your sightless eyes. Not perfect, but the best available option.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is one of those small corners of the government with an important mission: It's supposed to help protect federal whistle-blowers and shield civil service workers from politics.
But during the Bush years, the office was engulfed in scandal. It was raided by FBI agents, and its chief was indicted for obstructing justice.
It's into that unsettled environment that the new leader, Carolyn Lerner, arrived five months ago. And good government groups say she's already taking the office in new directions.
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission wants AT&T to prove that its merger with T-Mobile would be "in the public interest." Julius Genachowski sent the request for a hearing to the other three commissioners.
The move throws another roadblock in the proposed $39 billion merger. As we reported back in August, the Justice Department is already suing AT&T over the merger.
Lindsey, Natalie and Paul Santana (seen via webcam), the day after Natalie's birth. "The hospital staff was so incredible to arrange for the Internet connection to make that possible," Lindsey says. She calls their Skype chat that day "such a great memory for us."
For Lindsey Santana and her young family, video Web chats via Skype are an integral part of their lives. Her husband, Capt. Paul Santana, is a helicopter pilot serving in Iraq. And their video phone calls have helped them make the best of things during his deployment, which continues past this Thanksgiving.
The couple was also linked via video during the birth of their first child, Natalie, in West Virginia this past summer. And since then, Paul has been able to see his daughter "at least a few times a week," Lindsey tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer.