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Top of the News

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The latest headlines.

ALISON STEWART, host:

Thank you so much for listening to THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News. How are you listening to us? It could be digital. It could be AM. It could be the FM. It could be satellite, iTunes, or you could just be listening online at npr.org/bryantpark.

Hey, everybody, I'm Alison Stewart.

RICO GAGLIANO, host:

And hello, I'm Rico Gagliano. Coming up, the world view of the U.S. presidential primaries. But first, the news with Rachel Martin.

BILL WOLFF (Announcer): This is NPR.

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

Thanks, Rico. Good morning everyone.

The votes in Florida are in, and the winner of that coveted GOP primary is the senator from Arizona. Only a few months ago, John McCain's campaign was in trouble - low poll numbers and skimpy coffers. The Florida win gives him some much needed momentum that his campaign folks will carry him to Super Tuesday next week. Mitt Romney came in second in the Florida primary and Rudy Giuliani a distant third. The former New York City mayor is expected to quit the race and endorse John McCain later today.

Exit polls say Florida GOP voters had two big concerns on their mind when they went to the polls - the war in Iraq and the economy, although not necessarily in that order. But it's that second issue that's got Congress working overtime these days. Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of a $146 billion shot in the arm for the U.S. economy. The stimulus package now goes to the Senate with an appeal not to change or add anything that could slow down the bill's passage.

Here's NPR's Debbie Elliott.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT: In a bipartisan 385 to 35 vote, the House approved the package of tax rebates and business incentives intended to infuse money into the U.S. economy. Under the bill, individuals would get tax rebates up to $600, couples 1,200 and an additional $300 per child. Businesses would get more tax write-offs for certain purchases. House leaders urged the Senate to quickly pass the bill, but the Senate Finance Committee plans to consider its own economic aid package Wednesday.

MARTIN: NPR's Debbie Elliott reporting.

Internet search giant Yahoo plans to cut a thousand jobs from its workforce. Yahoo's chief financial officer made the announcement yesterday. He said the cuts are part of an ongoing restructuring plan for the company. The cuts will be about 7 percent of the company's 14,000 employees, and it will happen next month. The announcement came after Yahoo announced the sharp drop in fourth quarter profits yesterday. And company officials warned investors that the next year might be tough. But CEO Jerry Yang said Yahoo will counter its losses with heavy investing in advertising technology.

(Soundbite of "Jerry Springer: The Opera")

Unidentified Group: (Singing) Loser.

Mr. MAX VON ESSEN (Theater Actor): (As Tremont) (Singing) Talk to the hand.

Unidentified Group: (Singing) Loser.

Mr. VON ESSEN: (As Tremont) (Singing) Talk to the hand.

Unidentified Group: (Singing) Loser.

Mr. VON ESSEN: (As Tremont) (Singing) Cause the face ain't listening.

MARTIN: That's right. All those who thought "Jerry Springer" was too low brow for New York high culture, talk to the hand. "Jerry Springer: The Opera" made its U.S. debut last night at Carnegie Hall, starring Harvey Keitel as the incendiary foul mouth talk show host. The show originated in London in 2003, and it puts a classically theatrical twist on the American television show, with three acts titled Earth, Purgatory and Hell. At one point, one of the guests on the show, a pole dancer, talks about her deep-seated need to, well, dance.

(Soundbite of "Jerry Springer: The Opera")

Ms. KATRINA ROSE DIDERIKSEN (Theater Actress): (As Shawntel) (Singing) I just want to dance. Oh, I just want to dance. Things are going bad for me.

MARTIN: It's a short two-night run in New York. The Carnegie show closes tonight. No word yet on whether the "Jerry Springer" opera will make its way a few blocks south to Broadway bringing "Jerry Springer" and NPR together

My work here is done. That is the news and it's always online at npr.org.

WOLFF: This is NPR.

STEWART: Well done, Rachel.

MARTIN: Thank you.

STEWART: Well - I actually saw…

MARTIN: I know you did.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: It was, you know, it's a kind of anti-American.

MARTIN: Yeah.

STEWART: Maybe it won't be such a wide release in America.

MARTIN: A large man in a diapers through most of it.

GAGLIANO: All right.

STEWART: Awesome.

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