One of the great conceits of crime fiction is the notion that criminals are often masterminds capable of cleverly outfoxing the cops who are pursuing them. In the real world, the contrary is closer to the truth. Criminals are often not too bright and they are capable of self-defeating stupidities.
President Obama presented the Medal of Honor Tuesday to Army Capt. William Swenson. Swenson is being cited for his actions during a 2009 battle in Afghanistan, when he risked his life to try to save others. It's taken years for him to be recognized, however. He criticized higher-ups after the battle, which cost the lives of five Americans. Swenson's nomination for the Medal was said to be lost at one point. He is the sixth living recipient of the Medal of Honor, the highest honor a member of the military can receive.
A clear majority of the U.S. Supreme Court sounded ready on Tuesday to uphold a Michigan referendum banning affirmative action in higher education. But the justices were less clear about whether they want to reverse a 40-year-old doctrine that bars changing the political process to disadvantage racial minorities.
Powell cut her off before she finished. "I don't have that," she said. "No one is difficult. Each person is a beautiful, unique human being. So if you have a problem and you're acting negative, you have been conditioned."
A life-threatening pandemic occurs. You're a doctor in the ER and can save a 9-year-old or a 63-year-old doctor. Whom do you choose? How do you choose?
Questions like that can crop up in real life and also on the silver screen. So how good a job do filmmakers do at portraying these moral dilemmas? Some do fairly well, but there's also room for improvement.
A letter (pdf) released today by a special surveillance court clears up some misconceptions about legal oversight for government wiretap activities. Responding to a letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Pat Leahy (D-VT) and ranking member Charles Grassley (R-IA), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court says, yes, it's true, we do approve 99% of all wiretap applications.
Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle, a documentary in three hour-long segments that will premiere back to back (to back) tonight on many PBS stations, begins with a curious image: Vincent Zurzolo of Metropolis Comics explains that a recent copy of Action Comics #1, which contained the first appearance of Superman, recently sold for over $2 million. He shows us Action Comics #1, and then ... he locks it in a safe.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 2:21 pm
Saying "America is grateful for you," President Obama awarded the nation's highest military honor on Tuesday to former Army Capt. William Swenson.
The Medal of Honor is the first given to an Army officer since the Vietnam War. President Obama said Swenson braved seven hours of continuous fighting, putting his life in danger multiple times to help fallen and wounded service members, as well as his Afghan partners.
NPR's Scott Horsley filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"Obama called Swenson 'a remarkable role model for all of us.'
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 2:08 pm
The open enrollment for Medicare programs that began Tuesday will run into December. While the Medicare website doesn't have the problems found in the new federal health system's sites, the government shutdown means that information "may not be up to date," the site warns its users.
Captain Phillips, Paul Greengrass' tense movie about the April 2009 hijacking of the freighter Maersk Alabama by four Somali pirates, is a love song to the patience-through-overwhelming-fire-superiority of the U.S. military.
The man the U.S. alleges is the top al-Qaida operative who orchestrated the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday at a Federal Court in Manhattan.
The Washington Post has published new revelations about the National Security Agency's electronic snooping, indicating that the intelligence branch gathers millions of contact lists from personal email accounts and instant messaging around the world.
The new information is attributed by The Post to "senior intelligence officials and top-secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden."
Graham Nash first came to the U.S. as part of the British Invasion with his band The Hollies, which got its start at the same time as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and shared bills with both groups in England.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 11:56 am
Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner pleaded guilty to three criminal charges on Tuesday that stem from allegations of sexual harassment by three unnamed women.
The Democratic mayor and nine-term congressman, if you remember, was forced to resign from his office after allegations of harassment mounted over the summer. Filner left office, declaring his innocence, saying his resignation was a "political coup," orchestrated by a "lynch mob."
Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 8:12 am
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
NPR's business news begins with the latest on the deadlock here in Washington.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: We've been following the story all this hour: House Republicans have been expected to announce their own plan to end the partial government shutdown and avert a default on the national debt. But House Speaker John Boehner came to the microphones a short while ago and kept things very vague.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 11:41 am
Here's a way to stop hungry shoppers from leaving the store for dinner.
Brooks Brothers, the 195-year-old luxury apparel company, is looking to open a restaurant next summer next to its flagship store in Manhattan, a company spokesman tells NPR. The New York Postreports that the restaurant will be a steakhouse — a fitting culinary accompaniment for the purveyor of fine business suits for the moneyed set, we think.
A New York school has taken soccer balls, footballs — and maybe even the fun — out of recess. Officials say hard balls are a safety concern, but critics say they're being too cautious. Tell Me More's parenting roundtable weighs in.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. You might've been hearing the name Malala Yousafzai. She is the Pakistani teenager who was shot at point-blank range by Taliban extremists a year ago because she dared to speak up about her desire to go to school. She has made a remarkable recovery. She is in the U.S. now. I spoke with her a few days ago and we'll bring you a portion of that conversation a little later in the program.
"I think Malala is an average girl," Ziauddin Yousafzai says about the 16-year-old Pakistani girl who captured the world's attention after being shot by the Taliban, "but there's something extraordinary about her."
If you're not in the habit of watching MTV's Catfish, which ends its second season Tuesday night with a new episode and a reunion special, you might be surprised by how many interesting questions it raises.
Of course, you might be even more surprised by how blithely it ignores them.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 1:45 pm
After going a year without a permanent executive in charge of its retail division, Apple said Tuesday morning that it is hiring Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as a senior vice president. She will be the first woman on Apple's team of senior executives.
A veteran of the fashion industry, Ahrendts, 53, is a native of New Palestine, Ind., who has headed Britain's Burberry since 2006. On Tuesday, the company reported total revenue of more than $1.64 billion in the six-month period that ended Sept. 30. Her tenure included a successful revamping of the company's online store.