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Apple stock reached an all-time high of more than $500 a share this morning, as Apple announced an independent audit of working conditions at Chinese subcontractors. How bad are they? Do consumers care enough to change their buying habits?  Also, President Obama releases his election-year budget, and Israel is blaming Iran and Hezbollah for a car bomb that exploded in India and another that was defused in Tbilisi.

Banner image: Amanda Kloer, Director of Organizing at Campaign on Change.org, speaks to reporters during a protest in front of the Apple store in Washington, DC on February 9, 2012. Photo by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Making News Obama Releases Election-Year Budget

President Obama released his latest budget today, a familiar document framed with familiar rhetoric. "We can settle for a country where a few people do really, really well, and everybody else struggles to get by.  Or we can restore an economy where everybody gets a fair shot, everybody does their fair share, everybody plays by the same set of rules -- from Washington to Wall Street to Main Street." Major Garrett is congressional correspondent for National Journal.

Major Garrett, National Journal (@MajoratNJ)

Main Topic Is Apple Facing the Music? 36 MIN, 46 SEC

Last year it was Wired magazine, reporting on allegedly inhumane working conditions at Foxconn, which makes iPads and iPhones for Apple at two factories in China. But it was two stories last month in the New York Times, and a broadcast on public radio's This American Life, that apparently led 250,000 customers to turn in complaints last week to the world's most valuable company. After weeks of reports about sub-standard working conditions at suppliers in China, Apple has initiated an independent audit of 90 percent of the factories. Inspections reportedly began today. In the US, protesters admit they still use Apple products. Will the audit provide reassurance that the company is doing right at the same time it's doing well? Why is Apple being singled out when many other American tech companies use the same suppliers? 

NOTE: After this To the Point discussion aired, This American Life discovered that its program, Mr. Daisey Goes to the Apple Factory, was partially fabricated, and has since dedicated an entire program to detailing the errors Daisey's story about visiting Foxconn. You can listen to TAL's episode, Retraction, to learn more.

Lawrence Dignan, ZDNet (@ldignan)
Adam Minter, Bloomberg World View (@AdamMinter)
Nancy Koehn, Harvard Business School (@nancykoehn )
Mike Daisey, author and performer

Reporter's Notebook Blames Iran and Hezbollah for Twin Assassination Attempts 6 MIN, 38 SEC

Car bombs aimed at Israelis in India and the nation of Georgia were the work of Iran and Hezbollah. That's according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In New Delhi, a passing motorcyclist slapped an explosive on the car carrying the wife of an Israeli diplomat. It went off and she's hospitalized in moderate condition. In Tbilisi, capital of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, a driver who works for the Israeli embassy found an explosive ducked taped to the bottom of his car. It was defused. Joel Greenberg is Jerusalem correspondent for the Washington Post.

Joel Greenberg, freelance reporter

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