Nothing ends the tech week with a bang like the president's much-anticipated words on the NSA. But let's start with the weekly roundup of tech news from here at NPR and our friends at publications around the country.
Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:12 pm
Tom Coburn will leave the Senate with a reputation as "Dr. No," but not necessarily as doctrinaire.
The Oklahoma Republican, who at age 65 is undergoing his fifth bout of cancer, announced that he will resign in December, two years before his second term expires.
"This decision isn't about my health, my prognosis or even my hopes and desires," Coburn, a physician, said in a statement. "As a citizen, I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere."
Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 5:13 pm
In a period of just over two years, Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests for molesting children, according to the AP, which says it obtained a document representing a rare collection of such data.
As of Friday afternoon, NPR hasn't independently confirmed the AP's information, not having seen the document. Here's a bit of context from NPR's Sylvia Poggioli in Rome:
"If confirmed, the number of nearly 400 marks a sharp increase over the 170 priests removed in 2008 and 2009, when the Vatican first provided details on the number of defrocked priests.
President Obama delivered the following speech on reforms to National Security Agency Programs Jan. 17 at the Justice Department in Washington.
Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you so much, please have a seat.
At the dawn of our Republic, a small, secret surveillance committee, born out of the Sons of Liberty, was established in Boston. And the group's members included Paul Revere. At night, they would patrol the streets, reporting back any signs that the British were preparing raids against America's early patriots.
Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 3:17 pm
From the outside, it's nothing special. Just another 1970s-era house with a landscaped yard, white columns, and green shutters. Thousands of people drive past the split-level on Wade Avenue in Raleigh every month, without a second glance.
And that's just what its owners intended — because this house is far more unusual than its appearance would suggest.
Gen. Martin Dempsey on his 'sacred obligation' to the troops
On Morning Edition, NPR's Tom Bowman profiled Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Dempsey, as Tom reported, says the U.S. public, and even its leaders, know little about how military power can be used. The disconnect is most glaring when comes to this: What can the U.S. military achieve in places like Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria?
Guest host Norma Martinez talks with Greg Taylor, director of the UTEP Dinner Theatre, and Beverly Kerbs-Ward, program coordinator for the Dinner Theater. Greg Taylor helped found the UTEP Dinner Theatre with a production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" 31 years ago, and has continued to program hit musicals and revues at the Dinner Theatre, including "Cats," "The Full Monty," "Beauty and the Beast" "Chicago," and many, many more. The UTEP Dinner Theatre will present "Smokey Joe's Cafe" from Jan 31-Feb 16, "Les Miserables" April 25-May 11 (with possible hold-over dates), and "Chess the Musical" July 11-27. For information: 915-747-6060, http://www.utep.edu/udt.
Let's talk more about changes to the National Security Agency that President Obama is announcing as we speak at the Justice Department. And we're joined in our studio by Tamara Keith and Tom Gjelten. And let's just begin.
Tom, you told us earlier today that technology companies wanted greater transparency. They want the public to know more about what the NSA is doing. What is the president proposing today?