From 'Morning Edition': Former first lady Laura Bush talks with NPR's David Greene
We're due for one of those rare moments Thursday morning when the current president and all of his living predecessors will be together.
The occasion: The dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are due to be there along with, of course, George W. Bush.
President Obama travels to another memorial today, this one in the Texas town of West. It is to remember those killed last week when a fertilizer plant exploded there. Yesterday, some of those living in homes closest to the plant were allowed back for the first time. NPR's Wade Goodwyn was there.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Minnesota's Mall of America is home to some 500 stores, a theme park and now some 72,000 ladybugs. Third graders released them inside the shopping center this week. Ladybugs protect the mall's 30,000 plants by eating aphids. Some mall-goers worried the bugs might descend on the food court, but a spokesman says the mall has released the ladybugs for years, and there's been no ladybug takeover yet. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with news of a changing retail environment.
We've told you of a plan to let states collect sales tax from online retailers. Now we're on the way to an online bar. Vermont lawmakers are considering a bill to let brewers ship their beer directly to consumers. This proposal faces the concern that underage drinkers might order beer but wineries already do this. If the measure should pass, you could order a six-pack or maybe a keg by UPS.
Auto executives got a grilling on Capitol Hill yesterday. Not the usual suspects from Detroit's Big Three. Think much, much smaller. Executives from the hybrid carmaker Fisker testified about hundreds of millions of dollars in loans Fisker got from the government. Today, the company is on the verge of collapse.
NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Fisker, the car company, isn't dead yet. But Congress has already begun the autopsy.
Investigators still do not know exactly why there was a battery fire on a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 jet back in January. On the concluding day of a National Transportation Safety Board hearing, officials did conclude that the original tests of the battery were in adequate.
NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: The worldwide fleet of Boeing 787s - that has been grounded for three months - will soon be returning to passenger service.
Air travelers are growing less and less happy. Automatic budget cuts are now leading to hundreds of flight delays, about half of all delayed flights this week.
NPR's Tamara Keith reports.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Up until this point, the effects of the sequester have been scattered and hard to pin down: hiring freezes, delayed park openings. But then the furloughs of air traffic controllers the Federal Aviation Administration had been threatening for months hit and, bam, the sequester got real, real fast.
This does not happen very often. This morning all five living presidents, past and present, are in the same place at the same time.
The occasion is the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
The design committee for this presidential library had a former librarian as its chairperson, former First Lady Laura Bush. She told our colleague David Greene she studied the libraries of presidents past.
The U.S. Senate may vote this week on the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill that would allow states to collect sales tax from more online retailers. And as the political and retail landscape has shifted from the last time around, the Senate is expected to approve the measure.
The proposal to require online sellers to collect out-of-state sales tax has been kicked around for many years. For a decade, Amazon was a fierce opponent.
When Superstorm Sandy inundated lower Manhattan last year, thousands of lab animals drowned and many scientists lost months or even years of work. One of those scientists is Gordon Fishell, a brain researcher at New York University.
Just hours before Sandy reached New York, Fishell says, he began to worry that animals housed in a basement below his lab were in danger. "I realized Hurricane Sandy and high tide were going to coincide at Battery Park, which is right where my lab is," he says.
I spoke yesterday with Dan Sichel, a Wellesley economist and a Lady Gaga fan. Both of these facts are relevant for this story.
The U.S. government is about to tweak the way it measures the economy, and some of the biggest changes will affect the entertainment industry.
Under the current system, Sichel told me, Lady Gaga's sales of concert tickets, online songs and CDs all count toward gross domestic product. But the value of the time she spends in the studio working on new songs isn't counted. That's about to change.