David Greene checks in with Jennifer Gibbons, editor of "The Cordova Times" in Cordova, Alaska. We last heard from her two weeks ago when her community had declared an emergency during its efforts to dig out of record amounts of snow.
Over the past half-century more than 20 million acres of U.S. farmland were transformed into housing developments. With new home construction all but stopped, farmers in many areas are buying or leasing land once slated for development and planting crops on it.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is campaigning in Florida following a big loss over the weekend to Newt Gingrich in the South Carolina primary. Romney told a crowd that Gingrich resigned in disgrace after four years as speaker of the House.
Announcers also remembered Joe Paterno during yesterday's pro football games. Those two conference championships on Sunday determined the lineup for the Super Bowl. The New York Giants will play the New England Patriots in a rematch of a Super Bowl from four years ago. Neither team made it to the big game easily. Both have great quarterbacks, but on Sunday, both had to rely on defense. Here's NPR's Mike Pesca.
The two men who helped turn the BlackBerry into a device many people can't live without have stepped aside. Research in Motion is the company behind the BlackBerry and Sunday its co-CEOs resigned. They were under a lot of pressure as investors wonder whether the Canadian firm can turn itself around and compete better with flashier phones like the iPhone.
Here's a name back in the news: R. Allen Stanford. In the midst of the financial crisis he was charged with running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme against thousands of investors in the United States and Latin America. Now his trial is set to begin today in Houston.
From member station KUHF, Andrew Schneider has more.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
Having sent observers to examine protests in Syria, Arab leaders have offered a plan to end the violence there. The proposal comes from the Arab League, a group of Arab nations. And NPR's Kelly McEvers has been following this story. She's in Beirut.
KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: Hello.
INSKEEP: OK. So what do the Arab leaders want to do?
And now, let's bring in NPR's Cokie Roberts, as we do most Mondays. Cokie, good morning.
COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.
INSKEEP: Well, yesterday, Newt Gingrich was all over the airwaves saying this is now a two-man race, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney - no Rick Santorum in there, as far as he's concerned, or Ron Paul, for that matter.
GOP presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney kicks off his Florida campaign with a rally at All-Star Building Materials in Ormond Beach, Fla., Sunday. Romney starts his Florida primary campaigning after having lost to Newt Gingrich in South Carolina on Saturday.
Credit Jose Luis Magana / AP
GOP presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich poses for a photo with supporters after Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington, D.C., Sunday.
In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, the tally stands at 1-1-1. Over the weekend, former House speaker Newt Gingrich re-established himself as a presidential contender with a resounding victory in South Carolina's primary.
He beat second-place finisher former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by more than 12 points. That means Romney, Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum have each won a nominating contest. Now all eyes are on Florida.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, arrives for a news conference Dec. 22 to announce that he and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., negotiated a deal on the payroll tax cut that was set to expire at the end of the year.
The last battle scar of 2011 for the GOP came in December, when House Republicans painted themselves into a corner on extending unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut. The fight exposed the party's internal rifts and the loose control of its leaders.
One GOP lawmaker called it "a public relations fiasco." They could compromise with the Democrats or allow taxes to go up — neither option palatable to large portions of the majority.
Some of the biggest banks in the country are reportedly close to a settlement with authorities over the so-called robo-signing scandal in which mortgage company officials signed and notarizeed foreclosure documents without properly reviewing them.
Many lenders and mortgage servicers acknowledged making serious mistakes in foreclosure paperwork.
Booksellers and publishers are worried that Amazon is going to devour their industry. The giant online retailer seems to have its hands in all aspects of the business, from publishing books to selling them — and that has some in the book world wondering if there is any end to Amazon's influence.
A burly beast of a man bursts into a presidential press conference and is shot in the leg by secret police. Two days later, the White House reveals that the befuddled intruder with a handlebar mustache is really former President William Howard Taft.
So begins Taft 2012, a novel that gives a satirical take on contemporary politics through the eyes of a president who served a century ago. Author Jason Heller places Taft in a 21st-century election campaign, where he is forced to sit in bars on New Year's Eve and master Twitter along the way.
The Arab League sent observers to Syria about a month ago. Their mission: to bear witness to the escalating violence between soldiers loyal to President Bashar Assad and armed opposition fighters.
The presence of the orange-vested observers was supposed to discourage the violent crackdown on protesters, but since they arrived in December, almost 1,000 Syrians have died. Overall, it is estimated that more than 5,400 people have been killed since the protests began last March.