Now, for a global perspective on our national weight problem. The number of humans on the planet is now more than seven billion. And our total weight is 287 million tons. That number comes from a new study that suggests weight, not just headcount, should be considered when looking at the impact of people on the planet.
To find out more, we called Ian Roberts. He's a professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and is the lead author of this study.
And our last word in business is: supersized couch potato.
This week, Japanese electronics maker Sharp unveiled what it's calling the biggest LED TV on the planet. The 90-inch set has WiFi built in and you can buy it with a webcam option. You could, say, Skype with 50 people at once and see all their faces.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
Of course, you would need a lot of wall space and a fat wallet. It cost $11,000.
That's the business news on MORNING EDITION. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
Mitt Romney has wrapped up his most extensive campaign trip since becoming the all-but-official Republican nominee for president. Over the past five days, he visited six potential battleground states, touring each by bus. Along the way, he honed his attacks on President Obama, while also trying to show voters a more relaxed Mitt Romney than they've seen so far.
The tour, called Every Town Counts, stayed mostly in counties friendly to Republicans, ending with three stops in Michigan yesterday, the state where Romney was born.
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.
Leaders of the world's biggest economies wrapped up the G-20 summit in Mexico Tuesday with a promise to work together to promote jobs. The meeting comes amid worrisome signs of slowing growth in the United States and elsewhere.
NPR's business news starts with the Fed in the spotlight.
U.S. stocks rallied yesterday largely on a belief among investors that the Federal Reserve will take further action to stimulate the economy. The Fed concludes a two-day meeting around noon today. Afterwards, Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a news conference to explain the Fed's strategy.
As NPR's John Ydstie reports, there are several things the Fed could do to try to boost growth, but whether they'd be effective is debatable.
Credit Becky Palmstrom and Shannon Service for NPR
Vannak Prum of Cambodia was trafficked onto a Thai fishing boat and forced to work for three years before he escaped by jumping overboard. He was honored at the State Department in Washington on Tuesday as the U.S. issued its annual report on human trafficking around the world.
Credit Tang Chhin Sothy / AFP/Getty Images
A Cambodian policeman escorts 30 fishermen returning home after being freed or escaping from slave-like conditions on Thai fishing vessels. The men arrived at the Phnom Penh airport in December. Large numbers of men from Myanmar and Cambodia are trafficked onto Thai fishing boats and forced to work in brutal conditions.
Credit Gareth Jones / Flickr
Thailand has a huge fishing fleet, but the industry is chronically short of fishermen. Human traffickers have recruited unsuspecting workers from Cambodia and Myanmar who end up spending months or even years at sea.
The State Department on Tuesday cited abuses in Thailand's huge fishing industry as part of an annual worldwide report on Trafficking in Persons. The report noted that men from Cambodia and Myanmar, also known as Burma, are trafficked aboard Thai ships and forced to work against their will. They include men like Vannak Prum, a Cambodian who spent three years on such a boat. Prum was among those honored at the State Department on Tuesday.
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis speaks to reporters after casting her ballot in a strike authorization vote. Teachers voted overwhelmingly to authorize the first strike in 25 years if the city and the union can't come to terms this summer.
There hasn't been a school strike in Chicago for 25 years. But the current contract between Chicago teachers and the Chicago Public Schools expires at the end of next week, and tensions between the teachers union, the school district and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are ratcheting higher.
Chicago Teachers Union members outmaneuvered the mayor, school officials and anti-union education groups by overwhelmingly approving a measure that allows teachers to strike if contract negotiations fall flat.
Runner Shannon Leinert, 24, hopes to qualify for the 2012 Olympic track and field team to compete in the 800-meter race.
Credit Chris Auckley / Courtesy of Chris Auckley
Olympic hopeful Shannon Leinert (left) battles Mizzou freshman Liz Reida in the 1,500 meters at the 2012 Missouri Relays. Leinhert will compete to earn a spot on the Olympic team in Eugene, Ore., on Thursday.
Among the dozens of athletes hoping to leap, throw or run their way to London as part of the U.S. track and field team is 24-year-old runner Shannon Leinert.
Leinert, who will compete in the 800-meter dash, has dreamed of the Olympics since she was 10 and winning races in St. Louis, her hometown. If that weren't enough, she's also working on a doctoral degree in special education.