Gay pride celebrations are held loudly each summer in New York, Paris and Berlin. But when Uganda held its version of the event this weekend, it was done very privately. It came as the Ugandan parliament considers a piece of extremely anti-gay legislation, and as discrimination against gays is widespread
Major League Baseball appears set to hand down suspensions to several players implicated in performance enhancing drug use. New York Yankees All-Star Alex Rodriguez is the biggest name by far on that list and he also faces the longest suspension. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us now for an update. Good morning.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.
MONTAGNE: So what length of penalty does Alex Rodriguez face?
The World Trade Organization has ruled in favor of the U.S. in a long-standing trade dispute over allegations China unfairly imposed anti-dumping tariffs that restricted American poultry exports. China could appeal the WTO decision.
One year ago Monday, Wade Michael Page, a gunman with links to neo-Nazi groups, went to a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., and killed six worshippers. Family members, law enforcement and the larger community marked the anniversary over the weekend.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker praised the Sikh community for calling for greater understanding and peace.
Iran inaugurated its new president over the weekend. President Hasan Rouhani is a moderate who has called for dialogue with the United States. Both countries have expressed an interest in talking again. Linda Wertheimer talks to Vali Nasr, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, about U.S.-Iran relations.
Over the weekend the tiny town of Fancy Farm, Kentucky was the scene of a political brawl worthy of the Hatfields and McCoys. No one was run out of town, but Mitch O'Connell, the Senate Republican leader, who is asking Kentuckians for a sixth term, did get pretty roughed up - verbally. You'd hardly guess it all began as a church picnic.
Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 3:36 am
Saw mills are re-opening in Colorado and Wyoming after a long lull in the timber industry. They're harvesting and processing trees that have been killed by beetle infestation. Beetle killed wood is just as strong as regular wood.
Over the weekend, the Obama administration vetoed a ban on imports of older iPad and iPhone models. This kind of White House veto hasn't happened since 1987. The decision by the U.S. trade representative reverses a ruling by the International Trade Commission.
From space travel to travel through space and time...
(SOUNDBITE OF SOUND EFFECTS)
WERTHEIMER: Any fan of "Dr. Who" recognizes that sound. It's a whirling blue police call box, a tardis, transporting the main character on the long running BBC program. The plot line has the Doctor regenerating ever so often. Which means a new actor comes in to play the title role, and now the 50-year-old science fiction show has just named its 12th Doctor.
Fox Ranch, outside Yuma County, Colo., is a 14,000-acre nature preserve and working commercial cattle ranch. The ranch is used by the Nature Conservancy to put into practice its panned grazing technique.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media
Ecologist William Burnidge checks a map of Fox Ranch that details the different areas rancher Nathan Andrews can graze his cattle.
The world's soil is in trouble. Ecologists say without dramatic changes to how we manage land, vast swathes of grassland are at risk of turning into hard-packed desert. To make sure that doesn't happen, researchers are testing out innovative ways to keep moisture in the soil.
In eastern Colorado, one way could be in the plodding hooves of cattle.
Conventional wisdom tells you that if ranchland ground has less grass, the problem is too many cows. But that's not always the case. It depends on how you manage them, if you make sure they keep moving.
When Sally O'Neill's doctor told her she had an early form of cancer in one of her breasts, she didn't agonize about what she wanted to.
The 42-year-old mother of two young girls wanted a double mastectomy.
"I decided at that moment that I wanted them both taken off," says O'Neill, who lives in a suburb of Boston. "There wasn't a real lot of thought process to it. I always thought, 'If this happens to me, this is what I'm going to do.' Because I'm not taking any chances. I want the best possible outcome. I don't want to do a wait-and-see."
For the Month of August, Morning Edition and The Race Card Project are looking back at a seminal moment in civil rights history: The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his iconic "I Have A Dream Speech" on Aug. 28, 1963. Approximately 250,000 people descended on the nation's capitol from all over the country for the mass demonstration.
This self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager during the 177th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars, plus three exposures taken during Sol 270 to update the appearance of part of the ground beside the rover.
Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
This plot shows the total distance driven by Curiosity from the day it landed, Aug. 5, 2012, through its 351st Martian day, Aug. 1, 2013. All told, it's traveled 1.05 miles.
Imagine winning the World Series, the lottery and a Nobel Prize all in one day. That's pretty much how scientists and engineers in mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., felt one year ago when the 1 ton, six-wheeled rover named Curiosity landed safely on Mars.
Within minutes, the rover began sending pictures back to Earth. In the past year it has sent back a mountain of data and pictures that scientists are sorting through, trying to get a better understanding of the early climate on Mars.
A Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train sits in the Rockridge station on Friday in Oakland, Calif. San Francisco Bay Area commuters were bracing for the possibility of a BART strike as a 30-day contract extension was set to expire Sunday at midnight.
Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 11:15 am
Wayne Shorter is among the most influential jazz composers of all time. His performances are relatively scarce, but he's turning 80 this year and he's returned to Newport to celebrate. His quartet of more than a dozen years tears apart and reconstructs his tunes — and some other pieces — in a Mr. Potato Head style. It's thrilling and a little mystifying alike. And his old friend Herbie Hancock also swung through Rhode Island to mark the occasion.
At first glance, Horizons looks like an ordinary summer getaway for kids: There are games, bonding time and lots of bagged snacks. But along with the songs and the pool, there are fractions to memorize and online grammar quizzes to take.
An affiliate of a national network, the program in Washington, D.C., is a six-week, free summer service for children from low-income families. Its purpose is simple: to make sure they don't fall behind in school by the time September rolls around.
At 18 years old, Gabrielle Turnquest has become the youngest person to pass Britain's bar exams.
The Florida native told NPR's Jackie Lyden her family influenced her decision to study law in the United Kingdom. Her mother had studied in the U.K. and she joined an older sister who was also studying law.
She graduated from college early, too — at 16, she was the youngest person to ever get a psychology degree from Liberty University in Virginia.
A guitarist who sounds like no other, Mary Halvorson can both astound and confound, with craggy phrasing, strange pitch-bends and pedal effects galore. With two quintet albums out and a septet record due soon, she's at Newport this year as a composer and bandleader too. Her quintet resembles certain classic Jazz Messengers lineups or Charlie Parker's working band, but her pieces take a few more left-hand turns. That keeps the proceedings good and weird.
Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 5:21 pm
Pianist Bill Charlap's trio is about as quintessentially "New York elegant" as it gets. At Newport, it's been drafted to accompany the reedman Bob Wilber, an esteemed elder who specializes in classic jazz styles. (You might specialize too if you were mentored by Sidney Bechet.) The presence of Newport favorite Anat Cohen makes this something of a clarinet summit: a refreshing little hint of traditional jazz at a festival that's become a lot about the modern lately.
Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 5:21 pm
As a whole, Terence Blanchard's high-functioning quintet reliably serves up sleek modernism in the form of post-bop jazz. Individually, its members are also becoming great composers: Blanchard's new album, Magnetic, features tunes from everyone in the band. The new repertoire sees Blanchard cop some electric feels for his trumpet. And a guest turn from guitarist Lionel Loueke, who also appears on the album, makes this band a rare six-person quintet.
Take a New-Orleans-style brass band, then cram it into a Volkswagen Golf: That's the general principle of how trombonist Ray Anderson's band makes a joyful noise with only four members. Matt Perrine is the sousaphonist of choice for many a New Orleans group; his bass line supports the trombone-trumpet free-for-all. The Pocket Brass Band presents music from his Sweet Chicago Suite, inspired by his hometown.
Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 5:20 pm
Amir ElSaffar grew up around Chicago as something of a trumpet prodigy, in both jazz and classical. He was winning competitions and beginning to make a go of it in New York. Then he started investigating his Iraqi heritage in music, and studying the hammered dulcimer and the modes of various Middle Eastern musics. This band splits the difference, using microtonal techniques to investigate the blues. They'll have new tunes too, commissioned for Newport and supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 5:20 pm
Guitarist Rez Abbasi's new electronics-enhanced trio is driven by what its leader calls "textural surprise." As heard on the 2012 album Continuous Beat, the Pakistani-born guitarist's newest repertoire was inspired by the late drummer Paul Motian. On wax, that's a point of departure to explore material as diverse as tunes by Motian's contemporaries, Indian ragas and "The Star-Spangled Banner." Abbasi returns to Newport with a set of original compositions — and one Keith Jarrett tune.
Robert Hayden was born in Detroit 100 years ago Sunday. He became the first African-American to receive the honor now known as "poet laureate." Among his most famous works is the collection of short poems called Elegies for Paradise Valley. We hear an excerpt from the collection, as read by the author in 1976.
Secretary of State John Kerry is weighing in on the Zimbabwe elections, saying the results do not reflect the will of the people. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton from the capital Harare on Kerry's statement, which details several reported problems at the polls. Longtime President Robert Mugabe was named with victor on Saturday.
In the summer of 1969, all eyes were on Los Angeles, where nine people had been murdered. Among the dead was Sharon Tate, a movie star and wife of movie director Roman Polanski. Police said a cult called "The Family" was responsible.
The leader of The Family was the charismatic, ruthless and manipulative Charles Manson. America was captivated by him, and by the young women who, under his spell, had snuck into two houses in Los Angeles to murder people they had never met. The trial was nationally broadcast, and Manson became a household name.