And our last word in business this morning is: crowning achievement. At an auction in the U.K. last week, a dentist from Alberta, Canada, paid $10,000 for a crown that once belonged to The King himself: Elvis Presley.
The crown is actually the kind you wear on a tooth. That isn't the only dental collectible this dentist has paid top dollar for. He shelled out $31,000 for a rotten tooth that belonged to John Lennon. He says his waiting room is starting to look like a Hard Rock Cafe, but it's good for business.
And in Michigan, there's a fight going on over one delegate to the Republican National Convention. Rick Santorum's campaign team says its candidate is a victim of, quote, thuggery. They accuse Michigan Republican leaders of engineering an after-the-fact rules change to give Mitt Romney a slim lead in delegates from last Tuesday's state primary.
We have more from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
The next big day for Republican presidential hopefuls is Super Tuesday. But on the way to Tuesday, the candidates are making stops in Washington state. Republican caucuses there are set for tomorrow morning.
And as NPR's Martin Kaste reports, with the fight for the nomination still tight, for once the caucuses in Washington state may actually mean something to the presidential race.
The district of Baba Amr in the city of Homs had been the heart of the Syrian uprising, where mass protests turned into an armed resistance. Activists say government troops are combing the area, arresting any male over the age of 12.
David Greene talks to materials chemist Donald Sadoway from the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Long Beach, Calif. Sadoway is the co-inventor of the liquid metal battery. It's inexpensive, super efficient, sustainable and can provide large scale energy storage.
When Grant Coursey was a toddler, he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer often found in young children. A tumor had wrapped itself around Grant's spinal cord and had grown so that it pushed against his lungs.
Now 12, Grant is cancer-free; he received his first "clean" scan 10 years ago in March 2002. He had to undergo several procedures to rid his body of the cancer.
Recently, Grant and his mother, Jennifer, sat down to talk about his young life and how cancer has affected it.
Credit The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn / Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art
Richard Diebenkorn's 1975 work Ocean Park #79, features pastel blues, lavenders and aquas — and thin strips of deep red and green at the top to draw the viewer's gaze upward.
Credit Colin C. McRae /
Over the course of more than 20 years, Richard Diebenkorn created 145 paintings for his Ocean Park series. Nearly 80 of those works created between 1967 and 1988 are on display at the Orange County Museum of Art in Southern California. Diebenkorn, pictured above in 1982, died in 1993.
Credit The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn / Courtesy Yale University Art Gallery
Diebenkorn's studio sat on a hillside; he looked out and up at the geometry of the hill, and how the streets crossed one another. Above, his 1969 oil painting Ocean Park #24.
Credit Leo Holub /
Diebenkorn and many other artists flocked to Ocean Park in the late 1960s — rent in the then-derelict area was cheap. He's pictured above in his Ocean Park studio in Santa Monica in 1984.
Credit The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn
Diebenkorn played music in his studio while he painted — he loved Bach and Mozart — and it's reflected in his composition of colors. "I really do see them as kind of music," says curator Sarah Bancroft. Above, Diebenkorn's 1984 work, Untitled #26 — gouache, acrylic and crayon on joined paper.
In the late 1960s, while America was in turmoil over the Vietnam War and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, a painter in Santa Monica, Calif., was creating a series of tranquil, glowing canvases that made his reputation and transfixed art lovers. Those works — the Ocean Park series — are now on view at the Orange County Museum of Art, about an hour's drive from the place where they were painted.
A Malaysian customs official examines elephant tusks at a port in Kalang. Malaysia has become an ivory transit hub, with African elephant tusks bound for China. Worldwide, authorities seized more than 5,000 smuggled tusks.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
The price for raw elephant tusks in China has tripled in the past year because of growing demand, according to Grace Gabriel, the Asia regional director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
An investigation of this Beijing antique mall in November found more than 20 shops selling illegal ivory.
Armed with tips from animal welfare activists, I recently went on an ivory hunt with my Chinese assistant, Yang, in an antiques market in Beijing.
Activists say China's growing purchasing power is driving global demand for products from vulnerable animals, everything from elephant ivory to rhino horn.
Two huge stone lions stood sentinel outside the four-story market nestled among a forest of buildings off one of Beijing's beltways. In China, vendors usually accost shoppers and try to lure them into stores.
One clear threat once menaced civilization: nuclear war with the Soviet Union. The Cold War is over, but decades later, some of the fortifications built to fight that war still dot the American landscape.
Four years ago, Larry Hall bought a nuclear missile silo out on the open rolling land north of Salina, Kan. Hall paid $300,000 and spent much more to clean out all the scrap metal and stagnant water.