Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with bad news for gladiators. Nowadays performers in Rome who dress like those ancient combatants earn money by posing in photos with tourists. As of today, they've been driven away from the Coliseum. Roman officials say gladiators will no longer be able to peddle pictures outside their classic arena. The no-pay rule only applies around the Coliseum. Still, it's not hard to tell how gladiators will react - thumbs down. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
The Motion Picture Association of America was going to give Bully an R rating for language, but the movie's producer decided to send it out with no rating. The nation's second-largest cinema chain AMC will show it, but Cinemark, the third-largest chain will not.
You've heard of mystery meats, how about mystery powders courtesy of the ever-innovative food industry. David Greene and NPR's Allison Aubrey offer up a preview of a potentially stomach-turning mystery.
This Best Buy store in Richfield, Minn., near the retailer's corporate headquarters, is getting remodeled as part of a pilot project in the Twin Cities and San Antonio, Texas. The new store, part of Best Buy's "connected store" concept, will be smaller and emphasize portable electronics, such as tablets and e-readers.
Credit Annie Baxter/NPR
Outside the Richfield, Minn., store on Thursday, a banner announces the coming changes.
Credit Tom Pennington / Getty Images
Black Friday shoppers wait in line outside Best Buy on Nov. 26, 2010, in Fort Worth, Texas. Best Buy will shut down 50 of its large stores while testing new stores that are 20 percent smaller.
Best Buy is trying to wriggle out of the big box. The electronics retailer has a lot of real estate in its giant blue stores, but it isn't profitable space: In its most recent quarter, the company reported a $1.7 billion loss. So it's shedding stores and workers — and rethinking its big-box concept.
The decision by Research in Motion follows its failure to break into consumer markets dominated by iPhones and androids. Last quarter, the company lost $125 million. Analysts say BlackBerry's main problem is its trouble running third-party applications.
President Obama is expected to sign another stopgap funding bill that avoids a weekend shutdown of thousands of transportation construction projects. The measure gives a 90-day funding extension for road, bridge and rail construction projects.
In Houston Thursday, former President George H.W. Bush endorsed Mitt Romney's run for the Republican presidential nomination. Bush's endorsement is one more signal from the Republican establishment for the party to close ranks behind Romney.
The FDA has until Saturday to decide whether to ban the plastic additive BPA from food packaging. Some scientists think BPA poses a risk to consumers because it can act like estrogen in the body. But recent studies by government scientists suggest the risk, if any, is minimal.
Ask almost anyone about negative political ads, you'll likely get a negative response. They're widely disliked, yet campaigns keep airing them over and over and over again. That's especially true right now in the state of Wisconsin, ahead of next week's Republican primary.
NPR's David Schaper reports that as hated as these ads are, they are seen as effective.
DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Flip on the TV anywhere in Wisconsin this week and it won't be long until you hear this...