Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A cold winter, a stifling summer, and your power bill will spike. But Grace Edwards' electric bill had seemed high for 25 years. Connecticut Light and Power first told her it must be an extra TV or her air conditioning. Turns out, Edwards was paying to power two street lights. The Hartford Courant reports she's been issued a refund of $10,491, what she overpaid plus interest, plus an apology. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Nellie Gray: 'No one ... can legalize even a little bit of abortion'
Nellie Gray, who in 1974 helped start the annual antiabortion demonstration in Washington called March for Life that attracts thousands to the nation's capital, has died. She was 88.
According to The Washington Post, "Gene Ruane, a colleague, said that he found Miss Gray dead Monday in her Capitol Hill home and that the chief medical examiner will determine the cause and date of her death."
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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Well, it is VP against VP-hopeful. Vice President Joe Biden is touring Virginia, a key presidential swing state. And yesterday, Biden seized on Mitt Romney's choice of Congressman Paul Ryan as a running mate, saying it shows what the Republican ticket really stands for. In a moment, Ryan's day on the campaign trail.
First to NPR's Larry Abramson, who's traveling with Vice President Biden.
Millions of Americans rely on Univision anchor Jorge Ramos to tell them about the news, but his children aren't among them. Like many Latinos who've grown up in the U.S., they get their news in English.
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You could say that the presidential campaign got a jolt of energy this week. President Obama was in Iowa yesterday, touting the electric potential of wind power. Republican rival Mitt Romney was in Ohio, talking up that old standby, coal. Each man accused the other of standing in the way of a rival energy source.
Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:07 am
The small Southern California city of San Fernando is facing a seven-figure fiscal crisis. But the town has been unable to address its money issues because the romantic entanglements of the city leaders are dominating the agenda.
A British bank has agreed to settle charges that it illegally laundered Iranian money. The settlement with Standard Chartered was announced by New York banking regulators, who'd brought the charges just a week ago. The bank still is under investigation by the federal government. NPR's Jim Zarroli has more.
A new movie in theaters today is titled "The Odd Life of Timothy Green." And film critic, Kenneth Turan, found the movie, itself, odd.
KENNETH TURAN: "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" is a when you wish upon a star fable in the old school Disney style. It's just the kind of inspirational family-friendly comfort food it feels churlish to rebuff. But though the film's heart is pure, its execution is so cloying and contrived it brings on tears of frustration.
Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:32 am
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
NPR's business news starts with the top man at The Times.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MONTAGNE: The New York Times has named its new president and CEO. The man who got the job is Mark Thompson, a former BBC executive. Thompson will face a different business model from the non-profit British broadcaster. The paper is run by a board that's largely elected by a family trust.
Once used mostly for one-time promos and marketing, Twitter is now something businesses are relying on to provide customer service. For instance, Southwest Airlines tweets to alert folks about delays. And Best Buy responds to questions and complaints via Twitter. And they're not alone.
Let's say you're thinking of ordering a pair of shoes online and you want to know the store's exchange policy. You could pick up the phone — but then you'll hear the old recording: "To ensure quality service, your call may be monitored or recorded."
Federal law bars gun sales to the mentally ill only if they've ever been deemed by a judge to be mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed. States reporting of such things to the federal database is spotty, and very often, it doesn't show up when a gun seller does a background check.
Timothy Courtois' family had been worried about him for weeks. They repeatedly told police in Biddeford, Maine, that the 49-year-old was off his meds for bipolar disorder. And police were also told he had guns. But still, because he wasn't doing anything that rose to the legal definition of imminent threat, police said their hands were tied.
This image provided by IntelCenter on Dec. 8, 2010, shows a frame grab from a video released by the Taliban containing footage of a man believed to be Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The 26-year-old Army sergeant was captured by the Taliban more than three years ago.
There are new glimmers of hope for the only known U.S. prisoner of war held captive in Afghanistan — 26-year-old Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban more than three years ago. After lengthy discussions, it appears his captors may be more receptive than ever before to finding a way to send him home.
Young people brought to the U.S. illegally began applying for a deportation deferral and a two-year work permit on Wednesday. It's the boldest immigration program yet by the Obama administration — putting into effect elements of the so-called DREAM Act even though it has not passed Congress.
Lizbeth Mateo has high school and college diplomas from California and evidence that she has been in the country continuously for at least five years. What she wants now is assurance that she won't be deported.
A photo from <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/08/pictures/120813-mummies-chinchorro-proceedings-desert-driest-chile/">a recent National Geographic story</a> shows a long-buried corpse, preserved by one of Earth's driest climates, Chile's Atacama Desert, where it has retained centuries-old skin, hair and clothing.
A couple of thousand years before the Egyptians preserved some of their dead, a much simpler society made the first known mummies.
The Chinchorros, the first mummy makers, lived about 7,000 years ago in South America, on the coast near the border between modern-day Peru and Chile. The desert area where they lived was so dry, dead people turned into mummies naturally.
Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is out at second against Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. Despite less-than-stellar statistics, the Orioles are contenders in the American League wild-card race.
Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball, has persuaded his owners and the players to add an extra wild-card team to the playoffs, so now five teams per league will qualify.
Not only is this terrific for the fans, but Selig also wisely managed to make it so that the wild-card teams engage in a one-game showdown for the privilege of being the team that joins the three division winners in the battle for the league championship.
I have just the old-fashioned word for this newfangled development: nifty.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate may help energize support from conservative voters who like his tough approach to overhauling the federal budget.
But there's a risk that Ryan may turn off an important voting bloc: senior citizens.
The current radar-based air traffic control system (shown here) will eventually be replaced with a new system called NextGen, which will rely on GPS. A number of computer security experts are concerned that NextGen is insecure and vulnerable to hackers.
Credit John Moore / Getty Images
Brad "RenderMan" Haines was able to spoof the signals used in the NextGen system and create fake planes in the sky.
Hundreds gathered in Flint, Mich., Tuesday, to celebrate the return home of Olympian Claressa Shields. At 17, Shields became the first U.S. woman ever — and the only American this summer — to win a gold medal in boxing.
In a rare moment of joy, Flint greeted the high school student with a marching band and a motorcycle escort.
Care managers tend elderly people in March 2012 in Minamisoma, Japan. The home's residents were evacuated eight days after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station was crippled by the March 11, 2011 tsunami.
It's been a record hot summer in many cities across the nation. Phoenix is no exception. This Sonoran Desert metropolis already records more days over 100 degrees than any other major U.S. city. Now, climate models predict Phoenix will soon get even hotter.
A hotter future may mean a more volatile environment — and along with it, natural disasters, greater pressure on infrastructure, and an increased physical toll on city residents.
Mitt Romney's new running mate has authored some provocative policy proposals to cut budget deficits and overhaul Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But Rep. Paul Ryan has also been an advocate for a different course for the central banking system of the United States, the Federal Reserve.
For the past 35 years, the Fed has had a dual mandate from Congress: to set interest rates at levels that will both foster maximum employment and keep prices stable. Put another way, the Fed's goals are to get unemployment as low as possible while keeping inflation in check.
Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:27 pm
Britain's fifth-largest bank has agreed to pay $340 million to settle charges by New York regulators that it laundered money for Iranian clients.
NPR's Chris Arnold filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"In court documents, the regulator alleged that for 10 years Standard Chartered Bank quote 'schemed with the Government of Iran and hid from regulators roughly 60,000 secret transactions... involving $250 billion dollars and reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in fees for the bank.'