Morning Edition for Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's City Vs. Creditors In Detroit Bankruptcy Trial

Grappling with $18 billion in long-term debt, Detroit makes it case for bankruptcy in court Wednesday. The business community says Chapter 9 protection will help the city turn itself around, but some big creditors will testify that the city hasn't done enough to find the money it needs.

What Congress Can Learn From Mayors

Mesa, Ariz., Mayor Scott Smith, who is also president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, talks with David Greene about the challenges Washington's perpetual crises create for cities and what he thinks D.C. can learn from the way mayors govern.

Desperate Chinese Villagers Turn To Self-Immolation

Over the past decade, local governments have demolished millions of homes as China rushes toward urbanization. Protests against such land seizures have taken a disturbing turn recently: Since 2009, at least 53 people have set themselves on fire, frustrated with inadequate compensation and no legal recourse.
Diplomats are trying once again to preserve a vast swath of the ocean around Antarctica. Delegates from 24 nations and the European Union are meeting in Australia now, where they will consider proposals to create a marine protected area that would curtail fishing in the Ross Sea. Previous efforts have failed, but advocates say a scaled-back proposal this time around may stand a better chance.

Iran Likely To Dominate Netanyahu, Kerry Meeting

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome on Wednesday to review the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and to discuss concern over the possibility that Iran will develop a nuclear bomb.
A handful of ultra-Orthodox Jewish women ran for office Tuesday in a tiny, religious Israeli town. It was a challenge to traditional gender roles. One of their leaders said Wednesday that they failed to win a seat in the vote for the town council of El'ad. But she said the run was "amazing" and they wouldn't give up.
The Obama administration has discovered that it unintentionally misled the Supreme Court last year. It told the justices that it always informs terrorism defendants when evidence against them was acquired with a warrantless wiretap. Now the Justice Department is making sure its policy does match what it told the high court.

A Father, A Daughter And Lessons Learned

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of StoryCorps we hear again from Wil Smith, a single dad who took his infant daughter, Olivia, with him when he went to college. Now, Wil is helping Olivia with her school search, a role he says he's happy to have after a battle with colon cancer.

ATM Maker Diebold Agrees To Settlement In Bribery Case

Ohio-based ATM manufacturer Diebold has agreed to a $48 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department over bribery allegations. The company is accused of spending more than $3 million to bribe bank officials in China, Indonesia and Russia over a five-year period — a violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Cuba Announces Plans To Change Currency System

Cuba has announced that it's going to eliminate its two-currency system, which was meant to protect the Caribbean island's communist system. The government says the unification of the currency would happen in stages, but it provided no details.

Is The JPMorgan Settlement Unfair?

The details are still being worked out, but JPMorgan Chase and the Justice Department have agreed to a $13 billion settlement that will close out numerous lawsuits. About $3 billion will go to compensate investors who lost money on securities from banks that JPMorgan acquired during the financial crisis. Federal prosecutors have agreed not to seek punitive damages against JPMorgan for losses related to those deals.

At Walt Disney World, Mickey Breaks His Silence

Walt Disney World in Orlando announced this week that after four decades of awkward silence, Mickey Mouse is now talking to visitors. Mickey hasn't spoken individually to guests at Orlando's Magic Kingdom since it opened in 1971.
Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, meets President Obama at the White House on Wednesday. He's the first Pakistani leader to visit the White House in five years. Talks are expected to focus on U.S. security and economic aid, as well as the controversial U.S. drone attacks along the Pakistani-Afghan border.

Saudis Back Away From U.S. On Syria

Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief says Saudis will go their own way on Syria. Prince Bandar told a European ambassador over the weekend that Saudi policy and U.S. aims in Syria are not compatible, according to The Wall Street Journal. Saudi experts and Gulf officials talk about what's behind the split.

Red Sox Raise Spirits In Wounded Boston

Just getting back to the World Series would have been exciting enough for Bostonians, but in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, the Red Sox's success brings a new rallying point for a wounded city. Still, there's always the danger of trivializing tragedy.
This week marks the 75th anniversary of the first modern copier ever made. The technology, which came from serial inventor Chester Carlson, revolutionized the business world and formed the foundation of Xerox's success. It also meant no more messy carbon paper.

Typhoon Season Raises Concerns About Fukushima Plant

The Atlantic hurricane season has been quiet so far, but in the Pacific, two typhoons are moving toward Japan. Of particular concern is the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which sits right on the coast. Its reactors melted down after a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
The idea was that Medicare would expand to include people not covered under the Affordable Care Act. But many states have chosen not to expand coverage, despite financial incentives from the federal government. That may leave millions of people without any health coverage at all.
A cholera outbreak in Mexico has been traced to the same strain that first appeared in Haiti three years ago. It has appeared in the Dominican Republic and Cuba, too. So far nearly 9,000 people have died in the four countries, and health authorities think it will spread further in the Americas.

What To Watch For In The World Series

David Greene talks to NPR's Mike Pesca about this year's World Series, which starts Wednesday night in Boston.
As the World Series begins, the sports commentator longs for proof of the existence of a legitimate clutch hitter. Stats guys say that the clutch is a random crap shoot.
When the movie The Godfather came out in 1972, a young New York lawyer and future governor named Mario Cuomo didn't see it. He objected to stereotyping Italian-Americans as mobsters. But as first reported by The New York Times, Cuomo has finally ended his 41-year boycott and had a look.

Most Attractive Accent? The Southern Drawl, Y'All

The dating site Cupid.com has released a survey rating regional accents. The most attractive accent in North America is the Southern drawl. The New York accent came in second. Rounding out the top 5: the New Jersey, Boston and Western accents.
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