Let's get a glimpse of the troops now fighting Islamist insurgents in Somalia. Forces from multiple African nations have been battling a group called al-Shabaab for years. They're being closely watched now because the international community is considering how to intervene in future months and years against an insurgency in Mali. NPR's Gregory Warner is traveling with a force in Somalia. Gregory, welcome back to the program.
GREGORY WARNER, BYLINE: Thanks, Steve.
INSKEEP: So where are you, and what have you been doing?
NPR's business news starts with Boeing's battery problem.
Boeing's new fleet of Dreamliner 787 aircraft is grounded. But there is one in the air right now. The FAA cleared the plane's flight this morning from Fort Worth, Texas to Seattle. Engineers at the Boeing factory there will study the plane's lithium ion batteries and look for ways to reduce fire risk. Regulators around the world grounded the Dreamliner last month after batteries overheated on two planes. Only crew are aboard the 787 currently on its way to Seattle.
And we have news of another fire sale. Our last word in business today is the buy of a lifetime.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
That's what some are calling the sale of a 20-acre estate outside Cedar Falls, Iowa, which sold for a winning bid of around $600,000. The precise amount was not disclosed. One expert says to build something like that estate today would cost $1.5 million.
In exchange for multibillion-euro bailouts, Greece was required to sell state-owned assets. But the sweeping privatization process is behind schedule. In addition, European governments are nervous that Chinese, Russian and Arab companies are lining up to take advantage of the Greek fire sale.
A worker makes a cut in the side of a sandstone block at the Cleveland Quarries facility in Vermilion, Ohio, earlier this month. The legal limit on the amount of silica that workers can inhale was set decades ago.
Credit Ty Wright / Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee uses a wet saw to cut a slab of sandstone at a Lang Stone Co. facility in Columbus, Ohio, in January. Using water while cutting helps keep dust out of the air.
Luis Romero looks out over the ocean to a view that includes the Coast Guard station where his son, Julian, was in the auxiliary. Romero started the anti-violence organization Basta Ya after Julian was murdered.
Credit Coburn Dukehart / NPR
Daysi Pena has sold cosmetics and accessories in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for 12 years. She is now thinking of moving to New York to escape the escalating violence on the island. There was a shooting one block from her stall a day before this photo was taken.
Credit Coburn Dukehart / NPR
Hector Pesquera, the police superintendent for the island, says tackling crime has been challenging.
Credit Courtesy of Luis Romero
Julian Romero (center) is seen with his parents, Marie Rodriquez and Luis Romero, on his 20th birthday, April 18, 2011. He was stabbed to death later that night while celebrating with his girlfriend in the Condado neighborhood of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico's population is declining. Faced with a deteriorating economy, increased poverty and a swelling crime rate, many Puerto Ricans are fleeing the island for the U.S. mainland. In a four-part series,Morning Editionexplores this phenomenon, and how Puerto Rico's troubles are affecting its people and other Americans in unexpected ways.
John Brennan, President Obama's choice to lead the CIA, can look forward to a grilling Thursday on Capitol Hill. As Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser, he has been associated with some controversial policies, including the use of armed drones. Brennan's nomination comes before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and members from both parties have their questions ready.
Just a stone's throw from two of Los Angeles' busiest freeways lies the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve, a unique spot in an urban jungle.
The northern portion of the reserve is adorned with 30-foot-tall cottonwood trees, spots of coyote bush and other plants. Native plants cover 50 percent of the nature spot, says Kris Ohlenkamp with the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society.
"On the other side it was significantly more than that," he says.
John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to be the next CIA director, worked closely with Saudi Arabia to set up a secret U.S. drone base there, The New York Times reported. Brennan's confirmation hearing is Thursday.
Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 6:50 am
The Obama administration says lethal airstrikes, delivered stealthily by drones, have been a major success in its counterterrorism efforts. But the administration has been much less successful in keeping secret the details of the often controversial drone program.
Minnesota has a Democratic governor, two Democratic senators, and Democrats control both houses of its Legislature. So it may have come as no surprise when President Obama went there earlier this week to rally support for his proposals to reduce gun violence.
But even in the politically blue state, there's considerable resistance to placing further restrictions on gun ownership.
During his visit to a Minneapolis police facility Monday, Obama urged Minnesotans to find common ground in curbing gun violence.
Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 7:12 pm
What do the Kansas City Royals, C. Everett Koop, Jack Nicholson and the United Methodist Church all have in common?
Turns out the Major League Baseball team, the former surgeon general, the actor and the denomination's general board and church society are all enemies of firearms, and as such have made it onto the National Rifle Association's list of "National Organizations With Anti-Gun Policies."
An Amish man and woman walk through a parking lot after leaving the U.S. courthouse in Cleveland in September. Sixteen members of an Amish group in Bergholz, Ohio, led by Samuel Mullet, were found guilty of attacks targeting Amish bishops.
Credit Amy Sancetta / AP
Amish bishop Samuel Mullet stands in front of his home in Bergholz, Ohio. He was found guilty of masterminding a plan to cut off beards and hair of other Amish.
More than 400 guns, including these three, were turned in during a Dallas gun buyback program in January. But determining the effectiveness of such programs is difficult due to limits on gun-related research.
President Obama's choice to take over at the Department of the Interior comes from the business world. Sally Jewell is the CEO of outdoor equipment supplier REI.
"For Sally, the toughest part of this job will probably be sitting behind a desk," the president said when introducing his nominee Wednesday. "I suspect she'll want to get out of the office quite a bit."
Before Jewell took the reins at REI, she worked in the financial industry at Washington Mutual. Before that, she was an engineer in the oil business, with Mobil.
Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 11:46 am
Update at 8:06 p.m. ET. Card Sells For $80,000
The nearly 150-year-old Brooklyn Atlantics baseball card that was was discovered late last year in a photo album bought at a yard sale has sold for $80,000 — $92,000 if you count the auction house's buyer's premium.
Epic water battles are the stuff of history and legend, especially in the West. And as a severe drought drags on in the Midwest, a water war is being waged over a river that irrigates agriculture in Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.
It's that last border crossing where this water war is under way. Kansas has gone to the Supreme Court to argue that Nebraska uses too much water from the Republican River, and that there's not enough left for Kansas farmers.
Chris Kyle, a retired Navy SEAL and best-selling author of American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, was killed at a gun range near Glen Rose, Texas, on Feb. 2.
Police in Texas have charged Eddie Ray Routh, a 25-year-old U.S. Marine reservist, with capital murder. Arrest records indicate that Routh had been twice taken to a mental hospital in recent months, and had told police he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Clarinetist Anat Cohen is one of a handful of Israeli jazz musicians making a mark on the American jazz scene. She's been voted Clarinetist of the Year six years in a row by the Jazz Journalists Association, and her most recent album, Claroscuro, showcases the range of her talents and musical influences, from New Orleans-style jazz to Israel to Latin music — particularly that of Brazil.
Cohen says that the clarinet's somewhat old-fashioned reputation may be the result of the very thing that attracts her to the instrument.
Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:58 pm
NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin discuss the week in politics from Ed Koch's passing to Ashley Judd's political future. John Collegio, communications director for American Crossroads, discusses the group's new campaign to beat far right candidates in Republican primaries.
Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 2:39 pm
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on two cases involving detector dogs and the limits of reasonable search and seizure. Surrounding the cases are larger questions about the effectiveness of detector dogs and the legal questions that arise when they are used for law enforcement.
Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 2:37 pm
NEAL CONAN, HOST:
Elizabeth and Phillip Jennings, two kids, split level in the Virginia suburbs. They're on a travel agency and drive a big boxy Oldsmobile - a typical American family in Ronald Reagan's America, except for their other job as Soviet spies.
Last Wednesday night, when "The Americans" debuted on FX, an FBI agent moved in next door, which prompted Phillip, played Matthew Rhys, to suggests to Kerri Russell's Elizabeth it might be a good time to defect.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, rising gas prices, rising insurance costs, and rising payroll taxes - Happy New Year, middle class. We'll talk with NPR's senior business editor Marilyn Geewax in just a few minutes about all the things that are squeezing the middle class right now - as if you hadn't noticed.