Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 11:42 am
The Federal Reserve — the nation's central bank — will end its two-day meeting on Wednesday by offering its assessment of the economy, and then declaring its latest plan for making things better.
Investors all over the world will be waiting to hear just how weak — or not — the Fed thinks the U.S. economy is. And they will be watching to see whether the bankers plan to continue trying to stimulate growth by extending two controversial programs, one known as Operation Twist, and the other as quantitative easing.
The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, spent the night at the embassy of Ecuador in London. Yesterday, he unexpectedly walked into the embassy and requested political asylum. Assange is seeking to avoid being extradited from Britain to Sweden, where he's wanted for questioning about allegations of sex crimes, including rape. We're joined by NPR's Phil Reeves in London. Phil, why do this now?
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is said to be on life support after suffering a stroke in prison. Meanwhile, demonstrators are still gathered in Tahrir Sqaure protesting moves by the interim military government to seize power.
Linda Wertheimer talks to Dr. Ian Roberts, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Roberts led the research on a new study on global obesity. It shows that weight, not just population size, should be taken into account when planning how to deal with increasing pressure on resources.
Now, to policy making with some fizz. The mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has proposed limiting the size of sodas and sweetened drinks that can be sold in the city.
Henrietta Davis said she was inspired by the mayor of New York. Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on sales of oversized sugary drinks in his city's restaurants. Mayor Davis says soda is a factor behind increasing obesity and heart disease among young people.
Federal Reserve policymakers release their latest statement on the economy Wednesday, and Chairman Ben Bernanke will attempt to explain the Fed's actions in a post-meeting news conference. There are several things the Fed could do to try to boost growth, but whether they'd be effective is debatable.
For the Miami Heat, it's three down, one to go. Last night in Miami, the Heat pulled within one win of an NBA championship, with 104 to 98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. That gives Miami a 3-to-1 lead in the series and a comforting statistic for Heat fans to think about until tomorrow night's game 5. No team in NBA history has come back from a 3-1 deficit in the finals. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us now to talk about it.