This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later this hour, we will meet the new Miss America, Nina Davuluri, and we'll find out how she's already gotten a lesson in grace under fire after her Indian-American heritage drew a swarm of haters on the web. It's the first of two conversations we'll have this hour about the interesting politics of beauty right now.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll hear about the songs that keep Cuban-American rapper Pitbull grounded, that is when he's not cranking out his own chart-topping hits. First, though, we want to tell you about a new documentary series that takes a look at the long, some might say, overlooked, history of Hispanics in this country. It's called "Latino Americans."
Cuban-American rapper Pitbull shares some of his favorite songs for Tell Me More's regular 'In Your Ear' segment.
One of his favorite songs is Nuestro Dia (Ya Viene Llegando) by Willy Chirino. "It's all about the story, the struggle and the hustle that a lot of Cubans go through to enjoy the freedom, liberties and opportunities that the United States has to offer," says Pitbull. He's proud of Chirino, and says the song keeps him grounded.
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 10:25 am
A study on guns, violence and mental health, long scheduled to be published this week, finds that gun ownership is a bigger factor than mental illness when it comes to firearms deaths. But the data suggest that both play roles.
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 9:59 am
Sheriffs' deputies who were testing a new sonar device on a lake in western Oklahoma's Custer County have come across two grim discoveries that may help solve two cold cases from decades ago.
The local Elk City Daily News says the "practice run for new sonar technology at Foss Lake became a recovery effort after officials discovered two vehicles submerged near the marina — with human remains inside."
It was Sept. 10, the newspaper says, when sonar detected "two cars side by side in about 12 feet of water."
A police officer blocks photos from being taken outside Zhongnanhai, the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China, in Beijing last year.
Credit Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images
Zhang Xuezhong, a professor of law, was recently suspended from teaching at his university in Shanghai. Among Zhang's offenses was writing articles that urge the Chinese Communist Party to respect the country's constitution.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
President Xi Jinping speaks at a congress in Beijing marking the 30th anniversary of the implementation of China's constitution, on Dec. 4, 2012. In the speech, he vowed to uphold the constitution and the rule of law.
Several weeks back, officials with the East China University of Political Science and Law met one of its professors, Zhang Xuezhong, at his favorite hangout, a coffeehouse in Shanghai.
Sitting in a private room, they told him he was suspended from teaching for articles he had posted on the Internet. In them, Zhang had argued that China's government needs to build a real rule of law — one to which even the party is accountable — as well as a system of checks and balances.
One way to start, he says, is to live up to the promises made in China's 1982 constitution.
A man relaxes at a downtown park in Seoul. The pronounced demographic shift triggered by a plummeting birth rate and soaring life expectancy is seen as one of the greatest challenges facing Asia's fourth-largest economy.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:43 pm
A story in the Financial Times caught our eye this week. It was on foreign workers in South Korea.
The story looked at the town of Ansan, where about 7.6 percent of the population is foreign. They come from other Asian countries, as well as from Russia. Here's one of the reasons for the change in South Korea, a highly homogeneous society:
Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, took the crown in this year's Miss America beauty pageant. It was the 87th year of the competition, and Davuluri was one of two Asian-Americans in the final round. Although she's just a few days into her reign, Davuluri has already made history. She's the first Indian-American Miss America.
Her win highlights how far the U.S. has come, but also how far the country has to go: Racist tweets flooded in on Twitter right after her victory.
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 10:05 am
This week's feel-good story of the homeless man in Boston who found a backpack containing $42,000 in cash and travelers checks and then turned it into authorities is developing into an even better tale.
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 2:34 pm
"I don't know why he did what he did and I'll never be able to ask him why," Cathleen Alexis, mother of the man who authorities say killed 12 people Monday at the Washington Navy Yard, said in a statement she read to the media at midday Wednesday.
CNN has audio of her comments, in which she also says that "Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone, and for that I am glad."
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 12:33 pm
If you're a dutiful fan of Stephen King's work — myself, I'm an off again, on again follower — you will have read The Shining, King's hit 1977 novel about a haunted resort in the Colorado Rockies. Depending on how recently you immersed yourself in that story, you'll have a sharp or vague recollection of a young child with the power of "shining," or mind-reading mixed with telekinesis.
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 8:42 am
With the coffee giant caught in the middle of what he says is an "increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening" debate, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has posted a letter to "fellow Americans" asking that they not bring guns into Starbucks' shops.
Fantasy film star Lily Collins seems harmless but beware of looking for more about the starlet on the Internet. According to antivirus software company McAfee, she is the Most Dangerous Celebrity. Plugging Collins' name into a search engine has a 14 percent chance of turning up a computer virus.
As the investigation into Monday's mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard progresses, authorities are learning more about the mental state of the gunman, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis. A recent police report indicates Alexis was hearing voices coming from walls. Meanwhile, work is resuming at the Navy Yard.
A secret surveillance court has issued a very rare public defense of the U.S. program that collects massive data on phone calls. The court wrote that this program which stores numbers and call times but not content, we're told, does not violate privacy rights.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
The American Civil Liberties Union countered that it is folly to trust privacy decisions to a secret court.
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 3:19 am
In the aftermath of this week's shooting rampage at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., there has been no revival of the debate over gun control. In fact, the response from both sides in the debate has been muted. That's very different from what happened after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December.
The House of Representatives is expected to take up a bill Thursday that would chart the course for federal nutrition programs for years to come.
The measure calls for $40 billion in cuts over a decade to the federal food stamp program, now known as SNAP. The measure's Republican backers say it attacks fraud, but advocates say it will hurt the poor.
Law students are looking for some changes to their education. The American Bar Association plans to issue a report in the next few weeks, recommending a major overhaul of how law schools operate. And students are hoping that a recent comment from President Obama, will boost one reform in particular: cutting law schools down to two years, from three.