George Zimmerman's defense team didn't invoke Florida's "stand your ground" defense in winning his acquittal of murder in last year's shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
But the specter of the 2005 law loomed, inescapably, over the proceedings.
It was inevitable that the racially fraught trial would again catapult Florida's law — which extends protections for the use of deadly force far beyond the traditional bounds of one's home — as well as those in 21-plus states with similar self-defense measures into the nation's consciousness.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:38 am
Last Thursday Mark Arm was on the top of the Space Needle; two days later, he was riding around in a golf car full of trash. Truth in criticism: I never actually saw the Mudhoney singer in the vehicle to which his name was affixed (the sign read: "MR. ARM") scooting around the streets of Georgetown, the Seattle industrial neighborhood where Sub Pop Records held its Silver Jubilee mini-festival on Saturday. But I did see it hauling recyclables and getting stopped by numerous concertgoers snapping phone photos.
Tucked between Russia and Turkey, the Republic of Georgia is renowned for great food: cheese dishes, pickles, breads and stews. This is a cuisine that you should not miss.
And on summer evenings in the capital, Tbilisi, the air is fragrant with the smells of one of Georgian cookery's highlights: grilled meat, or shashlik.
You can find good shashlik at restaurants with white tablecloths, but the very best in all Tbilisi is said to be at a roadside stop called Mtsvadi Tsalamze. It's an unassuming place with rows of wooden picnic tables in an open yard.
They have assembled in front of the hospital by the dozens: church groups, families, even a motorcycle club, their engines revving at full throttle. Mothers encouraged their shy children to squeeze through the crowd and place a bouquet of flowers at the base of a makeshift shrine. A member of the crowd conducted an impromptu choir, inviting others to join in and sing a hymn together.
For more than a month now, throngs of well-wishers have gathered outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, praying for the health of former President Nelson Mandela.
Brian Mathers calls his husband, Isidro, in Mexico from his living room in Sioux City, Iowa. Brian and Isidro have been separated for more than a year by immigration laws that did not recognize their marriage.
Uncle Sam wants your doctor to go digital. And the federal government is backing that up with money for practices that start using computerized systems for record keeping.
Nearly half of all physicians in America still rely on paper records for most patient care. Time is running out for those who do to take advantage of federal funds to make the switch. So practices like Colorado Springs Internal Medicine are scrambling to get with the program.
In the 14th century, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the "Canterbury Tales." It takes places on a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral in England, much like a listener's story we're going to share with you now. It's part of a little summer series we call...
Hundreds of people from across the country gathered outside the U.S. Capitol today to rally against the Senate's immigration bill. Their big worry: that it would grant amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants and take jobs away from struggling citizens, especially struggling African-Americans, as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports.
AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: Patty Pitchford does not consider herself racist. She's a black woman from L.A. who says she has learned to accept outsiders.
Three years ago the Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges against Goldman Sachs and one of its traders, Fabrice Tourre. They were charged with misleading investors over mortgage-backed securities. Goldman settled and agreed to pay $550 million. Tourre's trial began Monday in a Manhattan court room.
American chestnut trees once made up a quarter of the forest between Maine and Georgia, but at the beginning of the last century, a blight wiped out almost all of them, an estimated four billion. Still, a few remain today, and reporter Natasha Haverty has the story of one pair a family planted in northern New York, in the town of Russell.
NATASHA HAVERTY, BYLINE: To get to the trees, we have to walk up a forest path.
TODD ALESEE: When you don't stand under it, you'll understand.
Attorney General Eric Holder spoke to a prominent African-American sorority of the "tragic, unnecessary shooting death of Trayvon Martin" on Monday, saying the Justice Department is still investigating the matter. "We are resolved, as you are, to combat violence involving or directed at young people," he told members of Delta Sigma Theta in Washington, D.C.
From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Nadezhda Popova was known as a Witch of the Night, but instead of a broom, she flew a bomber. Popova was a member of the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, a group of young Russian women who volunteered to fly planes during World War II. The whooshing sound of their aircraft made of wood and canvas and the fact that they only flew in the dead of night inspired German troops to dub them the Night Witches.
Israelis and Palestinians disagree on many things, but both have this in common: They've been closely watching events in Egypt. The change in government there could shake up security and politics across the region. At the center of the uncertainty is Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian movement with close ties to Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.
NPR's Emily Harris has that story.
EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: Between Israel's southern border and Cairo, there's the Sinai.
Calm largely prevailed after a jury acquitted George Zimmerman Saturday night in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Law enforcement and community leaders had prepared for potential unrest, and riots had been feared for months. Slate's Dave Weigel sums up the fears:
Former President George H.W. Bush, who spent nearly two months in a Houston hospital during late 2012 and early 2013 for treatment of a variety of life-threatening illnesses, was hailed by President Obama at the White House on Monday.
Earlier this week week we asked you to look ahead 20 years from now, and guess what music from today you'll be the most nostalgic about. There were some great suggestions, including Wilco, Outkast and Sufjan Stevens.
Writer and scholar Reza Aslan was 15 years old when he found Jesus. His secular Muslim family had fled to the U.S. from Iran, and Aslan's conversion was, in a sense, an adolescent's attempt to fit into American life and culture. "My parents were certainly surprised," Aslan tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
The fragile architectural treasures of Venice are endangered by rising sea levels, and a growing number of critics now say the city and its canals are at risk from massive cruise ships as big as floating skyscrapers.
On an average day, tens of thousands of passengers lean over the railings of cruise ships that can be 300 yards long and 15 stories high. The tourists peer down at the majestic Doge's Palace as they sail into St. Mark's basin and down the Giudecca canal.
Parents who think their children don't pay attention can take heart. They're doing their best to emulate your bad TV-watching habits.
Parents have been told repeatedly that setting rules and banning TVs in children's bedrooms will help limit TV time. But those much-researched and oft-touted methods don't seem to matter at all, according to a survey.
The only thing that really mattered was parental screen time. The more parents watched, the more their children watched.
Burger King has made great reforms in the past few years, in case you haven't noticed. First, the election of its first Burger Prime Minister freed its citizens from the absolute monarchy that had ruled the restaurant for decades. Second, it created a veggie burger.
Eva: I wonder where they got the vegetarian pink slime.
Miles: I do have to hand it to Burger King, its food-shame substitute feels almost exactly like the real thing.
Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 12:59 pm
Speaking at a luncheon for the Delta Sigma Theta sorority in Washington, D.C., Attorney General Eric Holder said he shared concerns about the "tragic, unnecessary shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., last year."
A Bangladeshi garment worker participates in a protest outside the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Export Association office building in the capital, Dhaka, on July 11. The country's Parliament approved a new law that would allow workers to unionize more freely.
Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 11:55 am
The garment factory collapse in Bangladesh, which killed more than 1,000 people in April, has spurred the Parliament into action.
The legislature approved a law Monday that makes it easier for workers to unionize. The vote comes amid scrutiny of working conditions in the country after the building collapse outside Dhaka, the capital.
The building, Rana Plaza, housed garment factories that churned out products for some of the world's top brands.
Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 6:59 am
The next album from the Austin, Texas, band Okkervil River will tell the childhood tale of its lead singer and songwriter Will Sheff, a self-described awkward, nearsighted, asthmatic kid growing up the small town of Meriden, N.H. The music on The Silver Gymnasium, out on Sept. 3, is some of Okkervil River's best, and you can hear it all beginning Aug. 26 as part of our First Listen program. For now, here's a first taste: the premiere of the song "Down Down the Deep River."