Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 11:10 am
In his first full week on the job, new FBI Director Jim Comey is already expressing "intense concern" about budget cuts hitting the bureau as part of sequestration.
Comey used his first visits to FBI field offices in Virginia and New York, where he once served as a federal prosecutor, to sound an alarm about the ability to fulfill the agency's mission in a time of belt tightening.
Remember the frenzy when Harry Potter books and movies came out? Fans may be cast under a similar spell now that J.K. Rowling has agreed to write the screenplay for a Potter spinoff. (This 2005 photo was taken in London when the book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released.)
Mourners carry the coffin of a car bomb victim during the funeral in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, Iraq, last week. Violence is on the rise in Iraq, but it is receiving little international attention.
Credit Ako Rasheed / Reuters/Landov
Civilians gather at the site of a bomb attack in Kirkuk last week.
Credit Sabah Arar / AFP/Getty Images
A man weighs goods at a market in Baghdad on Sept. 1. Baghdad's once-bustling markets are facing difficult times as customers stay away, increasingly fearful of bomb attacks.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 10:56 am
With the current focus on Syria it's easy to miss that things are getting worse again in Iraq. Since the spring, the country has been pounded by waves of attacks on civilians and security forces by extremists with links to al-Qaida. Three car bombs in the Iraqi city of Baquba killed 10 people Tuesday.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 2:20 pm
"Everything down there is dead."
That's one stunning quote from Hawaii News Now's latest report about the devastating damage that's been done to the marine life off Honolulu's Sand Island by 233,000 gallons of molasses that were spilled into Honolulu harbor on Monday.
Now it's time to crown this week's grand champion. Let's bring back from Isn't It Ironic, Jessica Morello; from Minimum Sentence, Whitney Reynolds; from Sensational Spelling Bee, Virginia Roberts; and from Nursery Rhyme News, Kevin Maroney.
EISENBERG: They'll be playing our Ask Me One More final round, and I'm going to ask puzzle guru Mary Tobler to lead our final game.
Professional competitive eaters Crazy Legs Conti and Eric "Badlands" Booker join Ask Me Another for a round that'll make you hungry. House musician Jonathan Coulton quizzes them about different types of baked goods, with clues sung to the tune of the Twisted Sister anthem "We're Not Gonna Take It." Plus, find out how many pounds of quiche Crazy Legs can put away, and get a taste of Badlands' other talent—competitive eating-themed hip-hop.
Some people have a last name that is also a verb, so their full name forms a complete sentence--like George Burns and Stevie Nicks. (If you're one of these people, we salute you.) In this game, house musician Jonathan Coulton gives contestants clues about famous people whose names also tell a story--a very short story.
Rest assured, this game contains no ironic t-shirts or mustaches. Here, irony is defined as an "incongruous yet appropriate juxtaposition that highlights the discordant, revelatory nature of the universe." Deep. Play along as host Ophira Eisenberg asks contestants about certain ironic situations, like how the best-selling holiday song of all time, "White Christmas," was written by Irving Berlin--who was Jewish.
Plus, Jonathan Coulton tops off this game with a rendition of the pop standard "Everything Happens To Me."
In Washington, D.C., this week, there have been demonstrations both in favor of and against a military strike on targets in Syria. Outside the White House on Monday, supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad waved a Syrian flag with his face on it.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 7:12 am
The closer we get to the end of Breaking Bad, the less I want to read about it.
I'm not calling for a moratorium on Breaking Bad content from now until the finale (and not only because of ... you know, futility.) From now until then, I expect an avalanche of recaps, interviews, think pieces, retrospectives, speculations and so forth. That's exactly as it should be with any show coming to a close, let alone a show as great as this one.
A city worker talks on his phone while surveying high water levels on Boulder Creek following overnight flash flooding in downtown Boulder, Colo. today. Flash flooding in Colorado has left two people dead and the widespread high waters are keeping search and rescue teams from reaching stranded residents and motorists in Boulder and nearby mountain communities.
Credit National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Boulder County, Colo., has been hit hard, but flash flood warnings for Thursday extend down into New Mexico.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Picture now a boxy little 1984 four-door Renault with 190,000 miles. The perfect hand-me-down car for a teenager maybe, but the Pope? Well, Pope Francis accepted the keys to one over the weekend - a gift from a 70-year-old priest, Renzo Zocca of Verona. Pope Francis has famously shunned luxury items, including the popemobile, but he plans to drive this car himself around the Vatican grounds. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Two kinds of news stories seem to come up again and again. The first is the guy who writes a text message about a drug deal and inadvertently sends it to the cops. This story, too, seems like it's happened more than once. A driver in Waldorf, Maryland lost control of her car while texting and landed in a lake. She was not hurt. She faces criminal charges. We do not know if her cell phone contract allows her a replacement when the phone gets wet.
Early on in Confronting the Classics, Mary Beard tells the story of the Roman Emperor Elagabalus, who "used to seat his dinner guests on cushions that, unbeknownst to them, were full of air. As the meal progressed, a slave secretly let the air out, so Elagabalus could enjoy the sight of his companions subsiding, until they slid beneath the table."
On 'Morning Edition': Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris
As Secretary of State John Kerry was preparing to sit down with his Russian counterpart Thursday to discuss whether the Assad regime's chemical weapons can be handed over to international monitors, the commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army was telling NPR that "the Russian initiative is just a lie."
The world's largest paper producer says it's closing a mill in Alabama that employs 1,100 people. International Paper Company blames the closure in the town of Courtland on a decline in the demand for paper. Stan Ingold of Alabama Public Radio reports.
STAN INGOLD, BYLINE: The small town of Courtland, Alabama is reeling after the announcement by Memphis-based International Paper to close their mill. Diane Scanland is the executive director of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.
Mexico's president has unveiled a major shakeup of the country's tax system. His administration says it's aimed at capturing more of Mexico's paltry tax collection. Critics say it's unfairly targeting the middle class. Among the items slated for taxing: dog food and private school tuition.
It's been more than two years since Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill stripping collective bargaining rights from most public employees. The new law sparked massive protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol because many saw it as an attack on unions.
While most demonstrators eventually went away, a small group did not. They arrive at the building most weekdays to sing anti-Walker and pro-union songs.
On a recent day, more than 100 people were gathered in a circle on the Capitol lawn, tapping cowbells and singing a localized version of "This Land Is Your Land."
There is, of course, a lot of attention being paid about what's happening in Richmond because millions of other American homeowners around the country are also underwater - again, homes that are worth less than their mortgages. We're joined now by NPR correspondent Chris Arnold, who's been following all of this. Good morning.
CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.
MONTAGNE: How many homeowners are still underwater? I gather with the housing market coming back, this is changing - for the better.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:09 am
A federal judge in San Francisco on Thursday hears arguments over a radical plan to stem the foreclosure crisis. The City of Richmond is proposing to buy underwater mortgages in order to help keep local residents in their homes. If banks don't want to sell those mortgages, the city says it is prepared to invoke eminent domain to seize the mortgages.