German officials are scrambling to gather more information and U.S. officials are assessing diplomatic options in the wake of claims that the U.S. National Security Agency has been monitoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone for more than a decade. Renee Montagne talks to Tim Naftali of the New America Foundation about America's history of spying and what this recent news means for the U.S. relationship with its European allies.
Senators and representative hold budget talks this week, a meeting that should have been routine but was not arranged until after a government shutdown. Now Democrats and Republicans are supposed to set a framework for federal spending, on everything from defense to education to helping seniors.
Ron Brownstein of National Journal says it's going to be hard because of both party's political calculations. He starts us off with Democrats.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Political professionals like to keep an eye on the only two governors races to come year after each presidential election. In 2005, Democrats won the races in New Jersey and Virginia. They went on to dominate congressional races the year after.
We're listening now to some of the music of Lou Reed. He died over the weekend at the age of 71. He was in his mid-20s in 1967 when he released this song called "Sunday Morning" on the album "The Velvet Underground and Nico."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUNDAY MORNING")
LOU REED: (Singing) Early dawnin', Sunday mornin'...
Amazon's business is built on three basic concepts: faster delivery, greater selection, and cheaper prices.
In service of that, it has built enormous warehouses staffed largely by robots that shuttle around, pulling goods out of bins at remarkable speed. It can take just a matter of minutes to go from order to shipment.
And lately it's pursuing a program where Amazon goes directly into manufacturers and manages their logistics and online retailing.
After Hurricane Sandy, the south shore of Staten Island looked like it had been hit by a tsunami. The storm surge devastated whole neighborhoods suddenly, in a matter of hours. In the year since the storm, some families have been rebuilding their homes and their lives. Others are ready to sell their flood-damaged properties and move on.
Joe Salluzzo lives in a neighborhood called New Dorp Beach, a few blocks from the ocean. He rode out the storm on the second story of his brick bungalow, which he's been repairing himself ever since.
Revelations about NSA spying have left people wondering about the privacy of their digital data. But what about the privacy of their faces?
The movies make facial recognition look easy: In the 1998 film Enemy of the State, a team of NSA agents simply freeze a surveillance tape, tap some keys and identify the face a few computer beeps later.
Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield, Va., is unusually busy for a Thursday morning. It's not a typical time for worship, but parishioner Stacy Riggs and her husband have come for something a little different: a medical screening.
It's really only a sliver of time when humans build the bulk of their skeleton. At age 9, the bones start a big growth spurt. And by the time puberty ends, around 14 or 15 years old, the adult-sized skeleton is all but done, about 90 percent complete.
But doctors say a lot of children aren't getting what they need to do that. Calcium and vitamin D are essential, sure, but so is lots of time jumping and running.
Preparing For The Big One, Whisper Campaigns, 'Frankenstein'
In this weekend's podcast of All Things Considered, host Arun Rath explores the power of Hollywood whisper campaigns, learns what some people are doing to prepare for "the big one," and talks to first time composer Alexander Ebert.
At Night We Walk in Circles is set in an unnamed, war-scarred Latin American country. The book follows young actor and aspiring playwright Nelson as he traverses his nation, performing in a provocative play called The Idiot President.
It's Daniel Alarcon's second novel — his first was Lost City Radio, published in 2007. The Peruvian author says there are some parallels between him and his protagonist, dreaming of a life as an artist.
Morning recess at St. Augustine Catholic School in Culver City, Calif., is like recess in many other schools. Children run and play in the afternoon sun. But nearby, away from the basketball hoops and the games of tag, the staff is preparing.
Next to the playground sits a cargo container full of supplies: water, duct tape, an axe, a shovel and a generator along with gasoline. All of these supplies are here just in case the freeways are cut off or the power goes out — in case there is a major, destructive earthquake.
The Academy Awards are still months away, but some Hollywood insiders are already on the attack.
Studios have huge publicity machines that lobby for their movies to win, but there's also a shadowy strategy that's not as visible as the advertising blitz. It's good old-fashioned trash-talking: So-called "whisper campaigns" are a sneaky way to lobby against the competition.
As recently as 25 years ago, there were more than 100 self-described feminist bookstores in the U.S. — stores focusing on books written by and for women. Like most independent bookstores, though, their numbers have dropped dramatically over the years.
Chicago's Women and Children First is among the few feminist stores still standing, and one of the largest. The store opened 34 years ago in 1979. Now, after a long, successful run, the store's owners say they're ready to retire — and they're looking for a buyer to continue the store's mission.
Over the past week, prosecutors gave closing arguments in the case against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, two top members of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime. Host Arun Rath speaks with journalist Elizabeth Becker about the U.N. tribunal trying the Khmer Rouge members for war crimes. Becker covered the conflict in Cambodia in the 1970s and was one of the few journalists to enter the country while the Khmer Rouge was in power. She is the author of When the War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution.
Driving through the low-lying community of Lindenhurst, on New York's Long Island, you see house after house lifted up on pilings, 12 feet in the air. Superstorm Sandy put Lindenhurst under 8 feet of water, and many homeowners lost everything. For many, lifting a house has become the go-to solution.
Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 6:27 am
From the list of things a person with multiple sclerosis can't do, we must erase "skydive onto Mount Everest." That's because Frenchman Marc Kopp, 55, reportedly jumped from an aircraft at an altitude of some 32,000 feet before landing on the mountain this weekend.
Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 4:16 pm
Several recent cases of suspected kidnapping involving the Roma in Europe have had some some odd but peculiar resonances for 21st-century American life.
In one case, the police received a tip that a blond, blue-eyed girl was living with a Roma family in a Dublin suburb. The tipster believed that the 7-year-old didn't look like the Roma family with whom she lived. The police came and removed the child from the home, despite protests from the Roma family that the child was part of their family.
Lou Reed onstage in London in 1975 playing a transparent, Plexiglass guitar. Reed died Sunday. He was 71.
Credit Denis O'Regan / Getty Images
Reed, Mick Jagger and David Bowie share a joke at a party at Cafe Royal thrown by Bowie in 1973.
Credit PA Photo/Landov
Maureen Tucker, Martha Morrison (wife of Sterling Morrison), John Cale and Lou Reed pose for photographers shortly after The Velvet Underground was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jan. 17, 1995.
Credit Jeff Christensen / Reuters/Landov
Reed performs his album <em>Berlin</em> at the CCH Congress Center in Hamburg in 2008.
Credit Krafft Angerer / Getty Images
Reed presents his photography exhibition at the Matadero cultural center in Madrid on Nov. 16, 2012.
Credit Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images
Reed attends an event for the photography book <em>Transformer,</em> by Mick Rock, in New York City on Oct. 3.
Credit Theo Wargo / Getty Images
Reed and Nico perform with Velvet Underground in 1972.
Credit Mick Gold / Getty Images
American rock singer-songwriter Lou Reed performs at the Hammersmith Odeon in London in 1975. He is playing a transparent, plexiglass guitar. Reed died Sunday at the age of 71.
Credit Denis O'Regan / Getty Images
Reed performs at the Regent Theater in Melbourne, Australia, in 2000.
Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 1:36 pm
The world is close to eliminating polio once and for all.
Just a few decades ago, polio was crippling more than a thousand children each day. Now the paralyzing virus is endemic to only three countries — Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. And there were just 223 cases globally last year.
Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 4:17 pm
The next state to legalize same-sex marriage may be Hawaii, where the state's Legislature will begin a special session on the issue Monday. The governor called the session so that lawmakers could consider the Marriage Equality Act, which would allow same-sex couples to wed.
Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 4:37 pm
Four children are among the dead in a stabbing attack that took place in Brooklyn Saturday night, New York officials say. Police say five people died from the attack at an apartment in the Sunset Park neighborhood. Emergency responders were called to the residence around 11 p.m.
"All five of the dead had stab wounds to their upper bodies, police said," according to CNN. "Police identified the victims as Qiao Zhen Li, 37; Linda Zhuo, 9; Amy Zhuo, 7; Kevin Zhuo, 5; and William Zhuo, 1."
The process of cataloging and destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpile took another stride Sunday, as the country met a deadline for submitting a formal declaration of its chemical arsenal. Weapons experts must also complete their inspection of all 23 storage and production sites today.
Fears of possible listeria contamination are forcing grocery stores in 25 states to pull refrigerated foods from shelves. Taylor Farms of Jessup, Md., is recalling products that include salad kits with packets of dressing due to concerns of a possible contamination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
NPR's Jim Hawk filed this report for our Newscast unit:
Home plate umpire Dana DeMuth points to third base, where an obstruction call awarded the St. Louis Cardinals' Allen Craig home plate — and the winning run in Game 3 of the World Series — Saturday night. Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Koji Uehara were dismayed by the call.
Game 3 of the World Series ended in unusual fashion Saturday night, as a ninth-inning obstruction call on Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks resulted in umpires awarding a base to St. Louis' Allen Craig — bringing the winning run home and putting the Cardinals ahead in the series, 2-1.
It's reportedly the first time an obstruction call has ended a World Series game. And it brought an end to a nearly four-hour contest in which the Red Sox had twice rallied from two-run deficits — most recently in the eighth inning.