NPR Story
3:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Business News

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Italy's next step in a crisis is at the top of NPR's business news.

Italian prime minister Mario Monti is trying to restructure the economy so his country has a better shot at paying its debts. Today, he sits down to negotiate with the country's powerful trade union leaders. Monti hopes to weaken legal protections that make it almost impossible to fire employees. He blames these rules for slow economic growth and high unemployment in Italy.

NPR Story
3:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Settlement Is Latest Blow For Cash-Strapped Mets

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It was two outs, bottom of the ninth for the New York Mets. Facing a civil trial in federal court this week, they managed to pull off a clutch out of court settlement with a price tag of $162 million, the value of a long-term contract for a star player. The team's owners reached that deal with the trustee recovering money for victims of imprisoned financier Bernie Madoff.

But as WNYC's Janet Babin reports, any relief is tempered by the team's long-term financial struggles.

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Energy
2:57 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Native Alaskans Divided On State's Oil Drilling Debate

A drilling rig sits on Oooguruk Island off the coast of Alaska's North Slope. The 6-acre island was built by Pioneer Natural Resources so it could drill for oil on the Arctic Ocean.
Steve Quinn AP

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 8:06 am

Shell Oil plans to explore for petroleum off Alaska's north coast this summer. The native people of Alaska have a big stake in both oil revenue and environmental protection. That conflict has played out in recent trips by Inupiats to Washington, D.C., to argue their case.

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Author Interviews
2:49 am
Tue March 20, 2012

That's All, Folks: Kevin Smith On Leaving Filmmaking

Courtesy Penguin

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 9:40 am

When 21-year-old Kevin Smith decided he wanted to be a filmmaker, his sister gave him some advice: "Don't say you want to be a filmmaker; just be one." So he did. He made his first film, Clerks, on a shoestring, shooting at the convenience store where he worked.

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Election 2012
2:41 am
Tue March 20, 2012

For A Personal Cause, Casino Owner Bets On Gingrich

Sheldon Adelson speaks at the 2008 "Facing Tomorrow" Presidential Conference in Jerusalem.
David Silverman Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 8:05 am

One of the defining elements of the 2012 presidential campaign is money. Not that the candidates themselves have raised all that much; except for President Obama, they haven't. But two dozen wealthy Americans have put in at least $1 million each.

Mostly, they're a mix of Wall Street financiers and entrepreneurs. One of the biggest donors is Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate who is worth about $25 billion.

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Counterpoint
11:45 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Interview with Jane Landers

Jane Landers is Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History, former Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Science and past Director of the Center for Latin American Studies. She is the author of Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolutions which was awarded the Rembert Patrick Book Award and has been awarded honorary mention for the 2011 Bolton Johnson Prize for the best English-language book on any aspect of Latin American History. 

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The Two-Way
6:18 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Lawyer Of Soldier Suspected In Massacre Begins Mounting Defense

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales during an August 2011 training exercise at Fort Irwin, Calif.
Spc. Ryan Hallock AFP/Getty Images

Attorney John Henry Browne said the meeting he had with his client Robert Bales, the Army sergeant accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians, was "just really emotional."

Browne also corrected some details of Bales' story that he had released earlier. According to the AP:

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It's All Politics
5:37 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Romney's Offshore Dominance Negates Santorum's Southern Wins

Despite losses in Alabama and Mississippi, Mitt Romney lost little ground to Rick Santorum in the delegate chase last week — thanks primarily to wins in offshore territories, whose residents will not be allowed to vote for president come November.

Santorum had his best delegate week between his victory in the Kansas caucuses March 10 and his wins in the Deep South on March 13. The week ended Sunday with a primary in Puerto Rico.

In nine contests between March 10 and March 18, Santorum picked up 73 delegates, while Romney won 69.

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The Two-Way
5:02 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

U.S. Makes $25 Billion In Mortgage-Backed Securities Sale

The U.S. Treasury said today that it had made $25 billion from the sale of mortgage-backed securities it bought back during the financial crisis. The Treasury said the sale was part of its effort to wind down the bailout programs.

The AP reports:

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