Change comes slowly at Augusta National. Study the 80-year history of the golf course, and you'll find dramatic finishes at the Masters tournament, but not all that much else. Occasionally, the club adds a couple of sand traps, but they don't lightly change the azaleas, the sense of tradition or the exclusive private club membership: not until now has the club admitted women members. A South Carolina banker and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice become the first. NPR's Kathy Lohr reports.
A moment ago we heard warnings that Todd Akin will lose financial support if he stays in the race. For a campaign, of course, money is like oxygen, and the presidential campaigns have set out their latest reports on how they're breathing. President Obama and Mitt Romney each have an advantage, depending on which bank account you're looking at. NPR's Peter Overby reports.
In Latin America, the highest courts have increasingly been ruling in favor of gay rights, and that includes the right to marry. Now, some countries are moving to allow adoption by people who are gay. It is a hot-button issue that has drawn fierce opposition. One case that could set an important precedent involves a lesbian couple in Colombia. NPR's Juan Forero has the story.
Cuba is one of the world's last remaining communist states. Cuba's allies in China and Vietnam also maintain firm one-party rule, but have prospered by introducing market principles to their economic models. With Cuban President Raul Castro easing government controls on property rights and private enterprise, many are wondering if the struggling island is looking to Asia for a way forward.
It looks like a bright new car wash, but it's a battery swapping station for electric cars in Israel. When a vehicle pulls up, it is slowly pulled through a conveyor. The spent battery is taken out and replaced with one that is fully charged. The entire process takes less than five minutes.
Changes in the health insurance industry are at the top of NPR's business news.
The giant insurance company Aetna plans to get a little bigger. It's buying Coventry Health Care for more than $5.5 billion. Now, if you want to know why, consider the changing landscape in which Aetna does business. Medicaid is expanding under President Obama's health care law, Medicare is expanding as Americans grow older, and those government-run plans include many opportunities for private insurance companies.