The presidential contest overshadows constant maneuvering that could determine control of Congress this fall. Democrats hope to recapture the House. Republicans have been presumed to have an advantage in their efforts to take over the Senate. Both sides have been dealt some disappointments lately though.
Cokie Roberts has analysis as she does most Mondays. And this Monday morning, she's at our member station KERA in Dallas. Hi, Cokie.
NPR's business news starts with more bad news for News Corp.
An FBI investigation of Rupert Murdoch's media company is now looking to Russia. A billboard company, News Outdoor Russia, owned until last year by News Corp, is being scrutinized over possibly bribing public officials. The FBI began looking into News Corps' operations after its British newspapers were embroiled in a bribery and phone hacking scandal.
Now just as the U.S. economy seems to be picking up, China's is not. The Chinese government has downgraded its economic growth target to the slowest rate in eight years. China's premier says the country needs to boost consumer demand, and address what he calls unsustainable development.
Lawyers for BP, and thousands of people affected by the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill, had been expected, for a long time, to be in a New Orleans courtroom this morning for a civil trial. Instead, they're reviewing a deal to settle the case.
BP estimates it would pay nearly $8 billion in the settlement. In exchange, the company would avoid revisiting, in a courtroom, what led up to the drilling rig explosion that killed 11 men and poured massive amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
And today's last word in business is a blast from the past: Datsun, a name that you may remember if you're of a certain age. The cut-priced Japanese cars first appeared in the United States in 1958, when Elvis topped the charts. Datsun was produced by Nissan, which decided to phase out the brand in the 1980s. Now a Japanese newspaper says Nissan may bring it back.
Sadly, American Datsun enthusiasts may have to travel far to find one. Nissan's plans to sell low-priced cars only in emerging markets like India and Russia.
The death toll from the tornados that slammed Midwestern and Southern states on Friday has now risen to 39. The latest victim is Angel Babcock, 15 months old. She died on Sunday in a hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. The toddler was found in the shattered remains of her family's home. Her parents and two siblings were also killed.
Yemen has changed its president, but has not come to the end of its trouble. Yesterday, militants overran a military base in south Yemen. Dozens of people were killed, and al-Qaida has claimed responsibility.
The small town of Piner, Kentucky was one of many badly hit by the devastating tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest and the South. At least four people in Piner were killed by the storms, but many residents of the town are trying to return to normal life today, and that includes going back to school. Teri Cox-Cruey is the superintendent of schools for Kenton County, which includes Piner. She joins us on the line now. Good morning.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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The Republican presidential hopefuls for were in full tasting mode over the weekend, from barbecue to breakfast, as they took their campaigns to voters ahead of Super Tuesday. Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich went on Sunday morning talk shows. Mitt Romney campaigned in the key states of Georgia and Tennessee.
And Vladimir Putin claimed his expected win last night in Russia's presidential election. He gave a fiery victory speech, displaying plenty of anger at the protesters who, in recent months, have challenged his authority. Exit polls showed Vladimir Putin winning 60 percent of the vote, but independent observers say the election was riddled with violations.
NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow.
COREY FLINTOFF, BYLINE: With the Kremlin - Russia's citadel of power - at his back, Putin told a cheering crowd that they had won.