NPR's Eric Westervelt scored an interview with Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager. And Eric reports that he did not mince words.
The Netherlands and Germany, which have AAA credit ratings, hold great sway in whether Greece will receive a $170 million bailout from the European Union and the IMF. Without it, Greece would default on its debt and would almost certainly exit the monetary union. Eric asked Jager if Greece needed to do more beyond the tough set of austerity measures Parliament passed on Sunday and this is what Jager told him:
Toyota and Ford won the most awards in the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, which came out today. Vehicles made by Toyota led the way with eight awards, while Ford models received three. In general, vehicle dependability was the best since the study first began in 1990, according to J.D. Power.
The 2013 budget proposed by President Obama includes many cuts made to conform with new spending limits. But several arts and cultural institutions saw their allotment rise by about 5 percent in the proposed plan. The proposed spending of $1.576 billion — in a budget of $3.8 trillion — includes some good news for the Smithsonian Institution and the National Endowments for the Arts.
For the Newscast desk, Elizabeth Blair filed this report:
Part of President Obama's 2012 re-election strategy was to run against a do-nothing Congress. But congressional Republicans now appear determined to make that approach harder for him by coming to terms on some Democratic priorities.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the military will focus more on Asia in the future. He says the Pentagon can absorb some budget cuts, but warns that they must not be too deep. He's shown here Tuesday on Capitol Hill, where he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
President Obama's 2013 budget calls for a $5 billion competitive grant to get states to overhaul teacher evaluations and training programs. Also, the president recently gave 10 states waivers from some of the rules of the No Child Left Behind Act. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR's Claudio Sanchez and Kentucky principal Tim Roy.
Americans are always searching for a "more perfect union." Volunteers roll up a giant banner printed with the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution during a demonstration against the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Oct. 20, 2010.
With its quirky caucuses and wacky candidate selection, the American political system may not be perfect, but it's a work in progress. Voters cast a ballot during the Harpswell Republican town caucus at the Old Orr's Island School House in Harpswell, Maine, on Feb. 11.
We implement zero-tolerance policies in our schools and businesses. We improve on the atomic clock with the quantum-logic clock that is twice as precise. We use multi-angle instant replay cameras in certain professional sporting contests to make sure the referees' calls are flawless. We spend millions on plastic surgery. We strive for higher fidelity, resolution, definition, everything.