President Obama and Congressional leaders met at the White House Friday morning and, just as pundits predicted, they could not reach a deal to avert the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to begin at the end of the day. We've posted on that news:
The new Berlin International Airport is scheduled to open for business October 2011. Yeah, they missed that deadline. Trouble with safety equipment caused delays, but one system is working; all the airport lights are on, every window ablaze. Work crews cannot turn the lights off. The technical director speaks as if the lights were some living being. We haven't progressed far enough with our lighting system that we can control it.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. In Italy the papacy is officially vacant. The Vatican is now under the control of the cardinals who will elect a new leader of the Catholic Church. Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI gave up his ring, his cape and red papal shoes to become Pope Emeritus. Cokie Roberts was there, joins us from Rome. Hi, Cokie.
The story of "Jack and the Beanstalk" has been filmed by people as diverse as Gene Kelly, Chuck Jones and the Three Stooges. Now there's "Jack the Giant Slayer."
Kenneth Turan has this review.
KENNETH TURAN: Pity poor Jack. There he was minding his own business in some dusty fairytale book when he was dragooned into active service as the front man for a would-be blockbuster. Jack's been through the Hollywood shuffle before, but there's never been a Jack tale that delivered so little pleasure for so many dollars.
Earlier in the week in our "On the Run" series, we heard a mom explain how mac and cheese was more affordable than fresh fruit. Morning Edition reached out to Barry Popkin of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, a nutritionist and economist, to explain why that would be true.
Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus has begun a series of meetings with groups that have overwhelmingly gone Democratic in the past two presidential elections.
He's sitting down with Latino and Asian voters and with young people across the country. The youth group is of particular concern to the GOP because voting habits established at this stage could last a lifetime.
College students at Ohio State University were eager to talk about the state of the GOP brand. The class is called American Political Parties.
Hear Laura Sydell's report for Morning Edition by clicking the audio link.
Groupon co-founder Andrew Mason has been fired as the daily-deal company's CEO, one day after Groupon posted financial results that showed it lost $67.4 million during 2012. Board chairmen Eric Lefkofsky and Ted Leonsis will jointly fill the CEO post on an interim basis.
Last year, J.C. Penney saw what every big retailer had been seeing for years: the threat of Amazon and other new competitors rising to destroy their business.
So J.C. Penney brought in a bold new CEO. Ron Johnson had already created Apple Store, a chain of physical stores where people flocked to shop. Before that, he had revamped Target.
And Johnson had a plan for J.C. Penney: Tell customers they don't have to spend time anymore clipping coupons or waiting for sales to happen. Instead, the store would offer fair prices on its merchandise every day.