On the face of it, the teacher's strike in Chicago is about money, job security and how teachers are evaluated. But it's also about the political pressure on teachers' unions to make concessions that not long ago would've been unheard of. Teachers' collective bargaining rights these days have taken a backseat to bare-bones budgets and to claims that unions are an obstacle to efforts aimed at improving the quality of schools. As NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, all these elements have come together in Chicago.
The rumor mills in China are in overdrive this week, with speculation about the health and whereabouts of the heir to China's top leader. Just weeks before Vice President Xi Jinping is expected to be elevated to head of the party, he seems to have disappeared. He's been mysteriously out of sight since last week when he missed an important meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and also the Prime Ministers of Denmark and Singapore.
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Here's some troubling news. Ice covering the Arctic Ocean has melted more dramatically this year than ever before. This year's loss of ice has exceeded the previous record by an area the size of Texas. NPR's Richard Harris reports.
It's shaping up to be an important day for the European Union and the future of its currency. In the Netherlands, there is a parliamentary election that's expected to be a barometer of Dutch support for staying in the eurozone. Also this morning, a plan was unveiled to give the European Central Bank the power to supervise the big financial institutions in Europe. And, Germany's high court ruled that the European bailout fund is legal.
NPR's Jim Zarroli joins us now from Berlin to talk about this.
Here in the United States, a court has been considering the fate of an iconic fruit. And that's our last word in business today.
Forty-five years ago, the artist Andy Warhol created an album cover for the rock band The Velvet Underground, an album cover featuring a stylized banana. The Warhol banana has remained a popular image, moving from an album cover to iPhone covers.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep, with Renee Montagne. Let's get the latest, now, from North Africa, in the wake of attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in both Libya and Egypt. In Cairo, as we saw yesterday, protesters went over a wall and took down an American flag. The far more serious attack was against a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where we now know four Americans were killed, including the United States ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens.
Military commanders, government officials and members of Congress have long wrangled over which weapon systems are needed. Now, there's an argument over what computer software should be provided to soldiers in Afghanistan. It's a defense dispute for the digital age.
In recent years, the ability to analyze data has become almost as important to U.S. war-fighters as the guns they use.
Thinking of going to a nice restaurant? Before you decide, you probably go online and read reviews of the place from other customers (or you listen to these actors read them to you). Online reviews of restaurants, travel deals, apps and just about anything you want to buy have become a powerful driver of consumer behavior. Unsurprisingly, they have also created a powerful incentive to cheat.
Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth."
This month, Brown shares reading recommendations related to the changing role of women, including a book about when the women of Newsweek sued their bosses, an article about a wife becoming the primary breadwinner and another about how a woman's Facebook photo reflects her sense of identity.
The United States' southern border bristles with technology and manpower designed to catch illegal immigrants and drug smugglers. Since 1986, the government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on fences, aircraft, detention centers and agents.
But even as federal budgets shrink and illegal immigration ebbs, experts say that there's no end in sight for the growth of the border-industrial complex.
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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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Thousands gathered today at the World Trade Center site in New York. They marked the 11th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks. Family members of the victims took turns reading the names of the nearly 3,000 people who died in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
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I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with day two of the Chicago teachers' strike. Some 350,000 students are affected by the walkout in the nation's third-largest school district. We'll have a report on how the strike is playing out in the presidential race.
CORNISH: But, first, NPR's Sonari Glinton reports on how parents, churches and local charities are scrambling to figure out what to do with so many kids with nowhere to go.