Good morning. I'm David Greene with a remembrance of Dick Beals, the man whose voice gave lie to Gumby. A glandular condition gave Beals his small stature and youthful voice, a voice that was used in more than 3,000 commercials. Beals played a wide range of roles - babies, teenagers, chipmunks. Perhaps most notably the Speedy Alka-Seltzer character.
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DICK BEALS: (Singing) Alka-Seltzer, plop, plop, fizz, fizz - oh, what a relief it is.
On a Friday, it is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
In a unanimous ruling, a federal appeals court has struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act. The First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled the 1996 law unconstitutional because it denies giving gay couples the same rights afforded to heterosexual couples. As NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports, the ruling sets the stage for a potential battle at the U.S. Supreme Court.
A federal judge in Florida has blocked the state from enforcing tough restrictions on groups that conduct voter registration drives. Because of the restrictions, the League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote had stopped registering voters in the state. The groups challenged the new law in court.
This election year we've seen a lot of cases where different people look at the same economic situation and come to different conclusions. And that seems to be happening in Michigan. It's America's comeback state - that according to its governor, Rick Snyder. Unemployment there is dropping, as the U.S. auto industry rebounds. And the state has a budget surplus for the first time in years.
OK, let's turn now to personal wealth. Today's last word in business is disappearing millions.
The number of millionaire households in this country declined in 2011. That's according to this year's Global Wealth Study from the Boston Consulting Group. It found the number of American households with a million dollars of investable assets shrunk by 2.5 percent.
The U.S. still leads the world in millionaires, but developing countries are gaining ground. Other countries added nearly 200,000 millionaire households in 2011.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
The financial woes of Greece and other countries of the eurozone have meant painful austerity measures in exchange for financial bailouts. Now Irish voters have approved a European Union treaty to battle the debt crisis. It's an effort to enforce strict budget cuts or face financial penalties.
The Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure takes place tomorrow here in the nation's capital. It's one of the breast cancer charity's biggest fundraisers. But this year, participation is way down. That follows Komen's controversial decision in February to stop funding Planned Parenthood programs. The decision was quickly reversed, but Komen's supporters worry about the long-term impact, as NPR's Pam Fessler reports.
Let's spend some time talking about the big money world of video games. In a moment, what may have been the biggest legal battle ever in the game industry. But first to former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Shilling. He is blaming the governor of Rhode Island for the meltdown of his video game company, 38 Studios. The company's failures have seen almost 400 workers lose their jobs and has Rhode Island taxpayers on the hook for close to $100 million. Ian Donnis of Rhode Island Public Radio has the story.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki recently held one of his traveling Cabinet meetings in the disputed city of Kirkuk in an effort to show Iraqi Arabs on the edge of the Kurdish-controlled north that he's working on their behalf, too.
But the fact that he felt obliged to bring in large numbers of heavily armed troops for the event illustrated the tension plaguing Iraqi politics.