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Top of the News

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RICO GAGLIANO, host:

Welcome back to THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News. We are on digital, FM, satellite and in your brain, and online at npr.org/bryantpark.

I'm Rico Gagliano.

ALISON STEWART, host:

And I'm Alison Stewart. Coming up: a documentary director, she got $100,000. And even more, she had her wish granted.

GAGLIANO: Now that's magical.

STEWART: Think about that. First, here's the news, with Rachel Martin.

BILL WOLFF (Announcer): This is NPR.

RACHEL MARTIN: Thanks guys. Good morning, everyone.

Let's start with some politics.

And yes, there was an important Republican primary last night. Florida GOP voters went to the polls and gave a much needed win to Arizona Senator John McCain, who took - 36 percent of the vote, rather. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney came in second, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani a distant third. Giuliani pretty much ignored the other early primaries and admitted himself that Florida was make or break for him. Reports say he is expected to quit the race and throw his support behind McCain. Giuliani had tried to cast himself as the nice guy amid the mudslinging between Romney and McCain. After the results came in in Florida last night, he had this to say.

(Soundbite of speech)

Mr. RUDY GIULIANI (Former Republican Mayor, New York; Republican Presidential Candidate): I want to congratulate each of my opponents on a hard fought campaign here in Florida. I want to congratulate Senator McCain, who I believe has been declared the winner. I spoke to Mitt Romney and told him my regards to him as well. These are honorable people. They're accomplished public servants, and they're good men.

MARTIN: Giuliani is expected to announce the next step for his campaign at an event today in California.

Democrats in Florida got to mark ballots yesterday as well. But because the state broke some rules by scheduling its primary early, the Democratic Party took away all their delegates in this primary contest. It didn't stop Hillary Clinton from claiming victory. She did get most of the votes after all. But at this point, it's all about Super Duper Tuesday next week, when 24 states hold presidential primaries.

So as we all know that whole subprime mortgage crisis has caused a heap of trouble for the U.S. economy and financial markets around the world - so much so that now the FBI is looking in to how it all happened. Yesterday, the agency announced that it's investigating 14 financial institutions as part of a crackdown on improper subprime lending.

Here's NPR's Dina Temple-Raston with more.

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON: FBI officials would not name names, but they tell reporters that they are looking into everything from accounting fraud to insider trading. They say they're casting a wide net with probes reaching across the industry -developers, lenders, those who bundle the loans, and even investment banks that hold them are all under scrutiny. The cases could lead to potential civil or criminal charges. The FBI has joined forces with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which has already opened about three dozen investigations into the subprime market collapse. The FBI is looking at a number of big financial institutions, including Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns.

Dina Temple-Raston, NPR News, Washington.

MARTIN: And some big sports news to tell you about this morning. Johan Santana, thought to be one of the best pitchers in the Major Leagues, looks to be on his way to the New York Mets. The Minnesota Twins have reportedly reached a deal to trade Santana in exchange for four prospects, but it's not a done deal yet. Reports say the Mets have until late Friday to work out a long-term contract, and the left-handed pitcher also has to pass a physical exam before he makes the move to New York.

That is the news. It is always, always online at npr.org.

WOLFF: This is NPR.

MARTIN: Rico and Alison.

STEWART: Thank you, Rachel.

GAGLIANO: Thanks, Rachel.

MARTIN: You're welcome.

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