And the Supreme Court was actually already having a busy week. Yesterday it handed down rulings in two other notable cases, both dealing with worker's rights. The justices split five to four along ideological lines to make it harder for employees to win discrimination lawsuits. The court raised new hurdles for plaintiffs who say they were victims of bias and then faced retaliation for raising the issue. NPR's Carrie Johnson has more.
Seventy-five years ago today, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act. That law established the federal minimum wage. So we're going to spend some time this morning in the state that has the highest proportion of workers who are paid this lowest legal hourly wage, which is now $7.25 an hour.
From Boise State Public Radio, Emilie Ritter Saunders reports on why Idaho is seeing low-wage work increase.
NPR's business news begins with a Google deal that's under scrutiny.
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GREENE: The Federal Trade Commission is looking into Google's recent deal to acquire the map company Waze. The question is whether Google was trying to buy up a potential competitor. Waze, based in Israel, makes an app that uses crowd sourcing to provide real-time traffic data.
And our last word in business today is: Weekend Shift.
The weekend - as we know it in the West - takes place on Saturday and Sunday. That's not true in many Muslim countries, though. In Saudi Arabia, the weekend is Thursday and Friday - Friday being the holy day in Islam.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
But that was out of sync with most other Muslim countries - which go with a Friday/Saturday weekend.
The Erie Canal was cut through upstate New York almost 200 years ago. It opened up new shipping routes to the West and proved to be an economic lifeline for the Great Lakes region. The canal fell out of favor as faster transportation methods, like the railway, became available. But lately, it's been getting a second life.
A rare event has taken place in the Middle East - the ruler of an Arab country has voluntarily stepped down. The emir of the Gulf state of Qatar handed power over to his son in a quiet ceremony in Doha this morning. NPR's Sean Carberry has our report.
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SHEIKH HAMAD BIN KHALIFA AL THANI: (Through Translator) As I address you today, I declare that I will hand over the reigns of power to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani...
Researchers in the Great Lakes are trying to control an ancient fish, the sea lamprey. The species is notorious for latching onto other fish and literally sucking the life out of them. The lamprey larvae can be killed with a special poison, and now one biologist thinks he's found a way to make sure they're in the right place at the right time to die.
In Sanford, Florida today, prosecutors continue making their case against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who last year shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder. In opening statements yesterday, prosecutors described Zimmerman as a vigilante who wanted to rid his neighborhood of people who didn't belong there.
Zimmerman's lawyers say he acted in self-defense. From Sanford, NPR's Greg Allen reports.
Qatar's ruler said Tuesday he has transferred power to the 33-year-old crown prince in an anticipated move that puts a new generation in charge of the Gulf nation's vast energy wealth and rising political influence.
When the blood pressure drug Bystolic hit the market in 2008, it faced a crowded field of cheap generics.
So its maker, Forest Laboratories, launched a promotional assault on the group in the best position to determine Bystolic's success: those in control of prescription pads. It flooded the offices of health professionals with drug reps, and it hired doctors to persuade their peers to choose Bystolic — even though the drug hadn't proved more effective than competitors.
Both candidates for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts are finishing a frantic day of campaigning ahead of Tuesday's special election to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Veteran Democratic Rep. Ed Markey is running against Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez. But they are struggling to get voters to the polls in a summer election that has yet to capture much attention.
"Common Core" is one of the biggest phrases in education today. To many educators and policymakers, it's a big, exciting idea that will ensure that America's students have the tools to succeed after graduation.
But a growing number of conservatives see things differently.
For years, states used their own, state-specific standards to lay out what K-12 students should be learning, for everything from punctuation to algebra. But those standards varied wildly, so the Common Core replaces them with one set of national standards for math and English language arts.
And now to an issue that lawmakers are not spending a lot of time debating: climate change. Tomorrow, President Obama will lay out a strategy to address the problem, using executive powers. It's an admission that's sweeping climate legislation stands little chance of passing Congress as NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports.
JENNIFER LUDDEN, BYLINE: Aides say Mr. Obama's plan includes limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The reaction from House Speaker John Boehner was blunt.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
In Italy, today, a guilty verdict for the controversial former prime minister. Silvio Berlusconi was convicted in a Milan court of paying a minor for sex at one of his notorious parties. He was also convicted of abuse of office for trying to cover it up. Berlusconi says he's the target of a left-wing judicial witch-hunt.
Edward Snowden's travels have been underwritten in part by Wikileaks. That organization, of course, has also attracted scrutiny for publishing government secrets. Lately, Wikileaks has retreated from the headlines, but as we hear from NPR's Larry Abramson, the organization has been slowly staging a comeback.
To news of the civil war in Syria now. While the United States has wrestled with the questions of whether, how and when to arm the Syrian rebels, some of those rebels have been getting arms from Libya, that according to the New York Times.
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And as the paper points out, it is a turnabout. The inheritors of one strongman's arsenal, using them in the fight against another. Mark Mazzetti was one of three authors on that article. He joins us now. Welcome, Mark.
The U.S. continues its cat and mouse game with the man who confessed to leaking NSA secrets, Edward Snowden. After spending the last few weeks in Hong Kong, Snowden caught a plane to Moscow this weekend, and he's believed to still be in Russia. But his exact whereabouts are uncertain. The U.S. has urged Russia not to let Snowden leave.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
Two cases the Supreme Court decided today involved interpretations of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in the workplace. Both cases involved alleged discrimination and harassment at universities. And in both cases, the high court sided with the employers in 5-to-4 decisions.
Robert Siegel talks with Columbia University president Lee Bollinger. As president of the University of Michigan, Bollinger led the litigation in Grutter v. Bollinger, the 2003 Supreme Court case whose precedent permitting affirmative action admissions policies was upheld by Monday's ruling.
The U.S. is urging countries around the world to return a former intelligence contractor, who was last seen in Hong Kong. The State Department revoked Edward Snowden's passport, but the man accused of releasing American secrets is on the run. And there seem to be plenty of countries, including Russia, willing to hide him in spite of U.S. appeals.
More courts are asking jurors to avoid social media services and tools that have become an integral part of modern life, like Twitter, Facebook, email, texting, instant messaging and Internet research.
In the Mercer County Courthouse in Trenton, N.J., John Saunders, a jury manager, spends his weekdays shepherding potential jurors. Much of what he tells them regards the paraphernalia of 21st century life: cellphones, tablets and laptops. These are OK to use in the waiting room, he tells them. "We realize life does not stop."
But in the courtroom, it's all phones off. Laptops and iPads stay with Saunders, and jurors are given a tag to reclaim their items. "Unlike the airport, when you return, your item will be there, and no baggage charge guaranteed," he says.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. This month, we have a special focus on media for kids. And you can't talk about media for kids without talking about Disney. They have a huge new video game coming out later this summer, featuring familiar Disney characters, and they aren't being shy about the name. It's called "Disney Infinity."