The U.S. Senate may vote this week on the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill that would allow states to collect sales tax from more online retailers. And as the political and retail landscape has shifted from the last time around, the Senate is expected to approve the measure.
The proposal to require online sellers to collect out-of-state sales tax has been kicked around for many years. For a decade, Amazon was a fierce opponent.
When Superstorm Sandy inundated lower Manhattan last year, thousands of lab animals drowned and many scientists lost months or even years of work. One of those scientists is Gordon Fishell, a brain researcher at New York University.
Just hours before Sandy reached New York, Fishell says, he began to worry that animals housed in a basement below his lab were in danger. "I realized Hurricane Sandy and high tide were going to coincide at Battery Park, which is right where my lab is," he says.
I spoke yesterday with Dan Sichel, a Wellesley economist and a Lady Gaga fan. Both of these facts are relevant for this story.
The U.S. government is about to tweak the way it measures the economy, and some of the biggest changes will affect the entertainment industry.
Under the current system, Sichel told me, Lady Gaga's sales of concert tickets, online songs and CDs all count toward gross domestic product. But the value of the time she spends in the studio working on new songs isn't counted. That's about to change.
Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Some of the media made mistakes during coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing. A sign of integrity is whether you correct them. A TV captioning service apologized for its mistake. Viewers in Dallas saw the bombing suspect misidentified. The screen read: "Marathon Bomber: He is 19-year-old Zooey Deschanel." For the record, the suspect is 19-year-old Chechen immigrant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and not the star of the TV series "New Girl." It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
It was a yeoman's task but they would never put it that way in Washington State. The state just completed a six-year effort to rewrite its laws using gender-neutral language. Terms like fisherman and freshman were replaced by fisher and first-year student. Penmanship became handwriting. More than 3,000 sections of the law were revised but some words did not change. Manhole and man lock are words that survived; they just couldn't find a better way of saying them.
The massive swath of Boston that has been closed for more than a week is getting closer to reopening. City officials yesterday brought victims of the marathon bombings and their relatives in for a private visit and allowed neighborhood residents back home for the first time in over a week. Businesses also began the process of cleaning up and preparing to reopen.
The hardest-hit shops and restaurants remain boarded up. As NPR's Tovia Smith reports, others are hoping to reopen today or tomorrow.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Here's another reminder that a fast-moving news story can completely change. Prosecutors have dropped the charges against Paul Kevin Curtis. He's the Elvis impersonator first arrested in the case of ricin being sent to U.S. officials, as we reported last week.
Even al-Qaida gloats about what's possible under U.S. gun laws. In June 2011, a senior al-Qaida operative, Adam Gadahn, released a video message rallying people to take advantage of opportunities those laws provide.
"America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms," Gadahn says, explaining that "you can go down to a gun show at the local convention center" and buy a gun without a background check.
Then a faint smile crosses Gadahn's face. "So what are you waiting for?" he asks.