NASA is facing a conundrum of large proportions; shuttle-sized, in fact. Now that the shuttle program has ended, NASA is no longer using shuttle facilities and equipment. That includes everything from a launch pad to space in the building where rockets were assembled. So NASA is conducting a secret auction. Orlando Sentinel staff writer Scott Powers explains what NASA is selling, why, and who the buyers might be.
President Obama rounded out his second term national security team on Monday. He nominated former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense and chose counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the CIA. Already, Hagel has encountered opposition from some in the GOP who question his commitment to Israel, and Brennan is sure to face questions about his tenure at the CIA under President George W. Bush.
Bank of America and Fannie Mae have agreed to settle legal issues stemming from the subprime mortgage crisis. The bank will pay Fannie Mae $3.6 billion in cash and will also spend $6.7 billion to repurchase certain mortgages sold to Fannie Mae.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
Today, President Obama announced his nominees for two key national security posts. For CIA director, he picked John Brennan, now his top counterterrorism adviser. And for defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, a former senator from Nebraska, a Republican and a Vietnam War veteran.
The news that disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong might be willing to confess to the doping charges he spent years denying has reopened interest in his case â€” and in the question of whether his lifetime ban from competitive sports could be eased in exchange for Armstrong's cooperation.
China has indicated that it will stop handing down sentences to its controversial labor camps, which allow detention without trial for up to four years. According to Chinese media, some 160,000 prisoners were held in "re-education centers" at the end of 2008.
Critics of the system greeted the announcement â€” which was slim on details â€” with cautious optimism.
Pressure to change the system has been mounting after a number of high-profile cases, including that of Ren Jianyu, who had been a young village official.
Saying they're following the example of last year's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, a coalition of "gun rights" activists announced today that they're calling on like-minded Americans to visit gun stores, gun ranges and gun shows on Jan. 19 in a show of unity they're calling "Gun Appreciation Day."
Back in 2009, as Morning Edition reported, some scientists were worried that the small metal cylinder used as the world's standard for what a kilogram should be might be losing weight.
But there were also those who thought the problem might have nothing to do with that carefully sealed away cylinder in Paris â€” that the real problem might be that the 40 replicas sent around the world are gaining weight.
With elections in Italy just weeks away, polls show leftist parties with a comfortable lead. Yet attention is focused on the battle between the former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and the current prime minister, Mario Monti, an austere technocrat.
Monti's platform calls for continued austerity, budget cutting and labor reforms.
While Berlusconi and Monti are the two big names in next month's race, the expected winner is the leader of the leftist Democratic Party, Pier Luigi Bersani.