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.
When Kurt Vonnegut dedicated his novel Slapstick to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, he pinpointed the way an ideal team can transcend chemistry. Like Vonnegut's Wilbur and Eliza, the twins who became geniuses only in each other's presence, Laurel and Hardy united to become two halves of a single being. They bickered, they kicked each other's backsides, and were always mired in "another fine mess," but there was always the sense that they could not survive apart.
Villagers eat at a temporary cyclone shelter in Chatrapur, India, on Saturday. India evacuated nearly 1 million people before Cyclone Phailin made landfall. The effort appears to have paid off. As of Tuesday, there were fewer than 30 deaths.
Corn prices are down and the farm bill is stalled in Congress. So there's a lot of uncertainly in the air as harvest season gets into full swing across the Midwest. But this is a time of year when farm families like the Friesens in Henderson, Neb., come together to focus on the big task at hand: the corn harvest.
Everyone in the family has a job to do.
"Like my dad — he drives auger wagon," Curt Friesen says. "He drives auger wagon only. That's all he's done since 1976, I think. ... My wife, Nancy, she drives the combine; that's her job."
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 9:52 am
Good morning from Washington, D.C., your nation's capital, where we are now into Day 15 of your government's shutdown and counting down to your government's looming default on its debt.
Yes, we all wish we were still in bed with the pillow over our head. (Even, we imagine, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who told The Wall Street Journal that military readiness is being damaged by the budget standoff.)
Dire? There is little argument, except from the most ardent default-is-no-big-deal fringe.
The cult following behind The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been largely underground, but has been no secret. Fans have been going to midnight screenings of the film since 1975 to do The Time Warp again (and again). Presumably, that joke has also been written again (and again).
People inspect damage to the Church of San Pedro in the town of Loboc, Bohol, after a powerful earthquake struck the region early on Tuesday. The quake hit near one of the Philippines' key tourist hubs, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
Credit Robert Michael Poole / AFP/Getty Images
Patients are treated at a temporary shelter following a 7.1 magnitude quake that struck near Cebu in the Philippines on Tuesday. Many churches and hospitals were damaged by the quake.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 12:29 pm
A strong earthquake has left dozens of people dead in the Philippines. The temblor, whose magnitude was first reported as 7.2 and then downgraded to 7.1, struck near the city of Catigbian in the inland area of Bohol, one of the central Visayas Islands.
At least 93 people have been reported dead, and the casualty count is likely to grow as rescue and recovery teams reach areas that were cut off by rubble and other obstructions.