Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A city here in Southern California is fighting crime with tweets - not social networking, real tweets by birds playing on speakers along the city's main drag. The Wall Street Journal posted online the soundscape - chirping robins, splashing water and faint musical notes. The mayor of Lancaster tells the Journal the birds put residents in, quote, "a better place." And though police say the causes are many, crime in the city is down. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm Renee Montagne.
When President Obama met yesterday with the king of Jordan, much of their talk focused on Jordan's neighbor, Syria. Both governments are trying to figure out how to pressure Syria's president to step down. So far, 10 months of protest by Syria's own people hasn't convinced Bashar al-Assad to do that. Instead, he's cracked down.
It's the latest salvo in the two companies' global patent war, according to Bloomberg News. This time Apple is trying to ban sales of 10 Samsung smartphone models, claiming the Korean company copied Apple's design. It's also suing Samsung claiming it copied the iPad.
Let's stay with Internet news for a moment. Yahoo is undergoing another big management shakeup. Yesterday, Jerry Yang, the co-founder and former CEO, said he is stepping down from the company's board of directors.
NPR's Steve Henn has more from Silicon Valley.
STEVE HENN, BYLINE: For months late last year, Yahoo's board of directors was mulling a deal that could have sold the Internet company or broken it apart.
Gary Locke is Washington's ambassador to Beijing. He took over the post after Jon Huntsman left. Locke is the first U.S. ambassador to China to have roots in that country — his ancestors hail from a village in southern China. He serves at a time of enormous change, a time when many Americans see China as a threat. Ambassador Locke talks to Steve Inskeep about his impressions of China and its government.
The economy may be improving but state governments are still working to repair the damage to their books. We're keeping track with a series of reports, and we go this morning to the nation's most populous state, which has some of the nation's largest problems.
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Here in California today, Governor Jerry Brown gives the State of the State address. He'll outline more cuts to government programs while asking voters to approve a measure to raise taxes. Here's NPR's Richard Gonzales.
Today's last word in business comes from China, and the word is: Red Pad.
It's a device that looks a lot like an iPad, except it's red in color and in ideological purity.
The Wall Street Journal picked up on the device, which was advertised briefly in China's state media. It offered Web content for the party faithful, like quick access to the Communist Party's mouthpiece, the People's Daily. The device however, was apparently priced at more than $1,500 - good deal more than an iPad.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
We should fully explain this next report, because if we miss something, you won't be able to find more information on Wikipedia. The online encyclopedia is blacked-out today, at least on personal computers. It's only available if you take extra steps or use a mobile device.