This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
Today on Capitol Hill, Congress turns its attention to two federal institutions that have been losing the confidence of the American people. In a minute, we'll hear about an effort in the Senate to crackdown on sexual abuse in the U.S. military.
When Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg died yesterday at 89, he was the Senate's last World War II veteran and its oldest member. Though Lautenberg didn't plan to run again, his passing hands New Jersey Governor Chris Christie a political opportunity: to appoint a Republican to represent the state in the Senate, the first in more than three decades. Still, as New Jersey Public Radio's Nancy Solomon reports, the political choice facing Christie is anything but simple.
President Obama will nominate three new judges this morning to the powerful Federal Appeals Court in Washington D.C. The announcement is expected to come in the White House Rose Garden, and as NPR's Scott Horsley reports, there could be a few thorns.
An Afghan National Army Special Forces soldier rides on the back of a Green Beret vehicle near the village of Kasan, in Wardak province. As American forces are drawing down in Afghanistan, they are increasingly relying on Afghan forces to take the lead, especially more elite forces like the ANASF who are trained by U.S. Army Special Forces.
Afghan National Army Special Forces keep a watchful eye on a potential ambush area while a herd of sheep and goats passes by during a patrol into Kasan. The U.S. Army Green Berets along with the ANASF have been training Afghan local police to take the lead in their village stability and security.
Capt. Nasir (center) talks with members of Green Berets before a shura in Kasan. The mission of the Green Berets and ANASF is to recruit more Afghan local police to act as an armed neighborhood watch that will serve as the first line of defense against the Taliban.
ANASF soldiers hold down a position as other members of their team patrol nearby. Taliban forces have traditionally used the area as an infiltration route and staging area because of its proximity to Kabul, which is about an hour away.
U.S. Green Berets patrol with Afghan National Army special forces outside the village of Kasan, in Wardak province. The Green Berets along with the ANASF have been training Afghan local police to take the lead in their village stability and security.
There's just a sliver of light in the eastern sky as the patrol leaves the American compound through a thick metal door.
They scamper across Highway 2, a narrow asphalt road that leads to Kabul, just an hour's drive away — if not for the war. They cross an old graveyard and head toward the silhouette of a tree line, all seen through the eerie green glow of night-vision goggles.
Rajat Gupta was one of the wealthiest and most successful men in America and an icon of the Indian-American community. Today, he faces two years in prison for insider trading, convicted of passing corporate secrets to his billionaire friend and Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam.
Gupta was already a wealthy man; what was the motive for his crime? In The Billionaire's Apprentice:The Rise of the Indian-American Elite and the Fall of the Galleon Hedge Fund, journalist Anita Raghavan tries to answer that question.
The Spanish city of Santander is using a network of sensors to help improve services and save money. Incidents reported to Santander's command-and-control center, where the city manages data from sensors and smartphone reports made by citizens, are plotted on a map of the city.
Engineers are preparing to equip all dumpsters in Santander with sensors that gauge whether the container is full or empty. The sensors then transmit data to garbage collectors, alerting them to which containers need to be emptied.
Aside from the occasional ferry down from England, the old Spanish port city of Santander doesn't get too many foreign visitors. So imagine the locals' surprise when delegations from Google, Microsoft and the Japanese government all landed there recently, to literally walk the streets.
NPR's Susan Stamberg asked three of our go-to independent booksellers — Rona Brinlee of The BookMark in Neptune Beach, Fla.; Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Co. in Milwaukee; and Lucia Silva, former book buyer at the now-closed Portrait of a Bookstore in Studio City, Calif. — to help fill our beach bags with good reads. What they came up with is a summer book list that's full of youth and ritual.
Sir Mark Elder conducts a Shakespeare program Delius: The Walk to the Paradise Garden Elgar: Falstaff, Symphonic Study in C Minor, Op. 68 Rimsky-Korsakov: Tale of the Invisible City of Kitezh Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (Robert Spano, conductor)
You might think African-Americans might be more pessimistic about their lives. The housing crisis decimated pockets of black wealth. The black unemployment rate has been nearly double the national average for several years.
But according to findings from our survey of more than 1,000 African-Americans, you'd be wrong.