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Ryan Beitz feels a need for speed. Specifically, he wants to get...

RYAN BEITZ: All available VHS copies of the hit 1994 action-adventure film "Speed," starring Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper.

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A moment now remember how the future looked 50 years ago today.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "FUTURAMA")

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

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And I'm Audie Cornish. For the last 10 weeks, NPR has been following eight runners who have been preparing for this year's Boston Marathon. We've dubbed our runners the NPR 8 and they've been blogging the highs and lows of their training. Today, we have some excerpts from their audio diaries.

Melissa Block and Audie Cornish read letters from listeners about the demands made on students and student-athletes in college.

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We'll end the hours with an innovative business proposition. When a funk band from Michigan planned its upcoming tour, it had one important condition, all the shows must be free. The band is called Vulfpeck and they decided to finance those free concerts with a new album. It's called "Sleepify."

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended his position on Ukraine. In a news conference, Putin denied that Russian troops are in Crimea but reserved the right to use force in Ukraine.

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MELISSA BLOCK: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

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The Senate is still struggling to find a way to pay for an extension of unemployment benefits for those out of work for 26 weeks or more. Majority leader Harry Reid agreed to bring up five Democratic and five Republican amendments in hopes to winning enough Republicans over to get to the 60 votes needed for passage.

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Embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was back in the spotlight today. The annual State of the State speech came at an awkward moment for Christie. The Republican governor had not spoken publicly since apologizing last week for politically motivated lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. Christie acknowledged the unfolding scandal at the start of his speech.

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Poverty and income inequality have long been staples of the Democratic Party platform, but they haven't often been high priorities. This year, that appears to be changing, and what's more, some Republicans seem eager to join the conversation.

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The court also removed Judge Shira Scheindlin from the case, saying she violated the appearance of impartiality, among other reasons.

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Twitter is revealing more details about its planned initial public offering. Late this afternoon, the company announced its intention to raise a billion dollars by selling stock, and revealed detailed information about its finances for the first time. We're joined now by NPR's Steve Henn to discuss this peek behind the Twitter curtain. Hey there, Steve.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Hey.

Fifteen Iraq and Afghanistan vets, many of them disabled, climbed Half Dome and El Capitan in Yosemite National Park on Sept. 11. The climb is the culmination of a three-day hike, which for many of the vets has had the therapeutic effect of reproducing a combat patrol — just without the bombs or bullets.

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More than 330,000 people filed new claims for unemployment insurance benefits last week. That sounds like a big number — and is a slight increase over the previous week — but it's being taken as some very good news. For a month, now, fewer new people are asking for unemployment insurance than at any time since November, 2007. That's before the Great Recession.

Trading on the Nasdaq exchange was halted today due to an unspecified technical glitch. The shutdown rattled investors and raised fresh concerns about the safety and stability of financial markets. Nasdaq in particular has experienced technological mishaps, most notably during the Facebook IPO in 2012.

The Justice Department is suing the state of Texas over its strict voter ID law, saying it discriminates against minorities. The attorney general also wants a judge to order Texas to get federal permission before it changes its election procedures.

Witnesses from Afghanistan have testified in the sentencing phase of the court martial of Sgt. Robert Bales. He's admitted to killing 16 Afghan villagers during a nighttime massacre, and a military jury in Washington state is deciding whether his life sentence should come with any possibility of parole.

The Republican National Committee meets this week in Boston with lots to argue about — if they choose to do so. There's immigration and Obamacare resistance and the 2016 presidential nominating system.

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And I'm Audie Cornish.

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President Obama was back on the road talking about the economy today. Lately, he's been taking a trip or two a week all over the country with a different focus each time. Today, he was talking about housing in Phoenix, where the 2008 crash was louder and more painful than in most places. The president laid out some new proposals to help the housing industry, and he described some old ones too.

NPR's Ari Shapiro joins us here. Hi, Ari.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

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You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

The local food movement has received a lot of attention both for changing diets and buying habits. But has the movement has become a significant economic force?

President Obama traveled to Tennessee on Tuesday, another event in his recent push to emphasize jobs and the economy.

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