Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne announcing the word of the year: Selfie. The Smartphone self-portrait. The Oxford Dictionary says it perfectly captures 2013. Selfies lit up social media and dirty ones derailed political careers. Teens even took one with the Pope. The word's come a long way since popping up on an Australian message board a decade ago. It beat out binge watch, meaning marathon TV watching, and twerk. You can look that one up. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 7:02 am
Twin explosions Tuesday near the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killed more than 20 people, including Iran's cultural attaché, according to reports from The Associated Press and other news outlets. Dozens more people were injured.
From Beirut, producer Rima Marrouch tells our Newscast Desk that the blasts happened around 10 a.m. local time (3 a.m. ET).
Two car bombs exploded in Beirut, Lebanon today. They exploded near the embassy of Iran in that city. The roughly two dozens dead include Iran's cultural attaché, we're told. The bombings draw attention for their violence, for their apparent target, Iran, and for the location. Lebanon is next door to Syria where Iran is deeply involved in a civil war supporting the government of President Bashar al Assad.
Let's go next to the New York Times Beirut bureau chief Anne Barnard. She's on the line from there. Hi, Anne.
Okay. We all know about the partisan divide in this country - Democrats, Republicans - but there's another political divide. Part of the country is very engaged in the political process and part is not.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Older Americans, richer Americans and better educated Americans are more likely to be politically engaged. Now researchers have found one more factor that seems to shape political engagement, the length of your commute. It comes to our attention as MORNING EDITION focuses on commuting.
The cyber-currency was at the center of a Senate panel hearing Monday. Senators are looking into the way Bitcoin was used by the illegal drug marketplace that called itself Silk Road. But even with the scrutiny, Bitcoin investors drove the virtual currency to record highs.
It was 40 years ago today that the Supreme Court accepted what became a landmark case about school desegregation. The case was controversial because it involved busing student between a largely African-American city — Detroit — and its white suburban areas. The ruling helped cement differences between urban schools and suburban neighborhoods.
The Chinese government announced last week that soon families will be permitted to have two children — if one of the parents is an only child. They haven't announced when that policy change will occur. Still, on Asian markets, stock prices of baby formula, diaper and stroller companies all soared on Monday in anticipation.
The cleanup continues across the Midwest, where dozens of tornadoes struck on Sunday. The Illinois town of Washington appears to have been hardest hit. The mayor says as many as 500 homes were damaged or destroyed by a tornado that cut a path about an eighth of a mile wide from one side of the town to the other.
President Abraham Lincoln stood on a battlefield in Gettysburg, Pa., 150 years ago and declared "a new birth of freedom" for the nation.
That same year, an African-American man named Lewis Henry Bailey experienced his own rebirth. At age 21, Bailey was freed from slavery in Texas. His journey began in Virginia, where he was sold as a child in a slave jail.
For two years, Neville Amaria carpooled to his office in Los Angeles. That puts him in the same category as about 10 percent of American workers, who drive or ride to work in a car with two or more passengers.
Even still, Amaria's carpool stood out for its extremes. His mega-commute lasted two to three hours, round trip. And he did it with up to four co-workers squeezed into the car with him — most carpoolers only ride with one other passenger.
Imagine your city council telling the police department how many people it had to keep in jail each night.
That's effectively what Congress has told U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with a policy known as the "detention bed mandate." The mandate calls for filling 34,000 beds in some 250 facilities across the country, per day, with immigrant detainees.
In Colorado, farmers are scrambling to recover from September's historic floods — floods that decimated miles of roadways, cut off entire towns and sent rivers and creeks into areas they'd never been before.
Like Tim Foster's immaculate front yard.
"It was beautiful," he says. "I had four large blue spruces. We had hundred-year-old cottonwoods all along the bank. We had our irrigation and our pumps. It was just gorgeous."
Fifteen years ago, pocket-sized characters known as Pokemon arrived on American shores from Japan. The cute creatures were suddenly everywhere: television, video games, card games and a movie.
When the Pokemon cartoon theme song first hit American TV airwaves in 1998, "Gotta catch 'em all" became a mantra for kids. But few people imagined that in 2013 the stars of this cartoon would still be going strong.
Daily Beast editor Tina Brown joins NPR's Steve Inskeep from time to time as part of an ongoing conversation Morning Edition calls Word of Mouth. This month she's talking about stories of survival — from a dangerous Navy SEAL mission in Afghanistan to a terrorist attack in Mumbai. And then there's survival of a different sort: sticking out a very long career in Hollywood.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is one of 25 Republican governors who are rejecting the health law's expansion of Medicaid. But Wisconsin's own Medicaid program, known as BadgerCare, is more generous than that of many states, and now Walker wants to transfer many people out of BadgerCare and into the insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.
The controversy over the National Security Agency's surveillance programs has exposed a problem in the oversight of those programs: The development of the relevant technology has outpaced the laws and policies that govern its use.
New details of the incident from the Mine Safety and Health Administration were released Monday. The agency says in a statement that "preliminary information" indicates "that a miner entered an area of the mine where an explosive had been previously detonated."
For nearly three years Egyptians have battled for a different, and better, future. But the transition has been tumultuous, filled with pitfalls, death and disappointment.
Today, many are ready to settle for a return to the pre-revolution status quo: a strong, military man who can guide Egypt back to stability.
At the Kakao lounge in central Cairo, teenage girls sample chocolates that bear the face of Egyptian military chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. The chocolates depict Sissi in sunglasses, Sissi saluting and Sissi's face in ornate chocolate frames.
America's traditional phone system is not as dependable as it used to be. Just last month, the Federal Communications Commission told phone companies to start collecting stats on calls that fail to complete. According to one estimate, as many as 1 in 5 incoming long-distance calls simply doesn't connect.
We need some help putting together next week's show. Thanksgiving is coming up, and for a lot of you, this means you'll be spending some close time with family. Maybe it's more time with family than you want. Or maybe you can't get enough of it. Either way, it's an opportunity to reflect on the people in our lives and how they've shaped who we are.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 6:18 pm
George Zimmerman, the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin, has been charged with aggravated assault for allegedly pointing a gun at his girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, during a domestic dispute on Monday.
Internet giants Google and Microsoft say they're going to be making it harder for pedophiles to search for child porn online. They made the announcement in a joint statement in London ahead of a British internet security summit.
The physical damage from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is catastrophic. Hundreds of thousands of people are now homeless.
Soon, though, people will start to rebuild, as they have after similar natural disasters.
How they do it, and where, is increasingly important in places like the Philippines. The island nation lies in a sort of "typhoon alley," and with climate change and rising sea levels, there are more storms in store.
The digital currency Bitcoin is becoming more prevalent, both for benign purchases and as a way for criminals to conduct illicit transactions. Bitcoins have been used on underground websites to facilitate sales of narcotics and child pornography. But even those most concerned about criminal activity agree that the emerging digital currency has arrived and can have beneficial uses.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. The debate over same-sex marriage is at a furious boil right now inside one famous political family. Liz and Mary Cheney, the daughters of former Vice President Dick Cheney, find themselves on opposite sides of the issue. Mary is gay and married. Liz, her older sister, is running for Senate in Wyoming and she has said she opposes same-sex marriage.
She was asked about that yesterday on Fox News Sunday.