At this hour, final preparations are underway for the launch of Atlantis, the last American shuttle to venture into space.
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
Hundreds of thousands of spectators will be on hand in Central Florida to watch the final shuttle launch if the weather permits that launch. We're going to talk about that and more with NPR's science correspondent Joe Palca, who's in our studios here in Washington. Joe, good morning.
Among the prisoners held by anti-Gadhafi rebels in western Libya are many sub-Saharan Africans --from Ghana, Chad and other countries. Rebel leaders have long accused Moammar Gadhafi of recruiting black African mercenaries. Interviews at a rebel prison appear to corroborate the allegations. The prisoners — Libyans as well as sub-Saharan Africans — say Gadhafi's army is running short of food and ammunition, and is plagued by desertions. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports.
In less than four weeks, the U.S. government could go into default on some of its debts. President Obama has been spending a lot of time talking to lawmakers. On Thursday, he gathered Congress's top brass in a White House conference room to lay the groundwork for what he hopes will be a final deal, which would get the federal budget under control, and raise the debt limit before that default-deadline.
A rise in the global price of silver is hurting Native American artists like Floyd Lomakuyuaya of the Hopi Reservation. The spike is threatening not only their livelihoods, but also part of their cultural heritage.
People who fall behind on their mortgage payments because of a job loss are about to get some additional breathing room. The Obama administration is pressuring mortgage servicers to increase the forbearance period to 12 months for homeowners who have lost jobs. NPR's Tamara Keith reports.
Conservationists are raising concerns that a proposed “roadless rule” for managing rugged National Forest lands could threaten drinking water supplies in Colorado. A report released this morning criticizes the Obama Administration’s plan for Colorado’s roadless lands that offers some exceptions for coal mine and ski resort expansions.
Rupert Murdoch's media company News Corp. seemed to catch everyone off guard when the company took an unexpected step Thursday. Murdoch's son James announced that Sunday would mark the last edition of the scandal-tarred but top-selling U.K. tabloid News of the World.
The move revealed the typically masterful and influential Murdoch clan scrambling desperately for once to contain damage — and its willingness to kill one of its own titles in the effort to do so.