In England today, one of the highest profile criminal trials the country has seen in years got underway. Eight people are on trial, most notably Rebecca Brooks, a former top executive for Rupert Murdoch's UK newspaper empire, and Andy Coulson, former News of the World editor. Coulson also served for a while as Prime Minister David Cameron's communications chief.
The case grew out of a scandal over allegations that staff at the News of the World hacked into thousands of voicemails, including celebrities, politicians and crime victims.
From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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The U.S. and Russia don't agree on much when it comes to Syria. But the deal they reached to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons seems to be paying off. Syria met its deadline to declare all of its stockpiles to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and the OPCW announced today that it has visited nearly all of the sites it needs to see.
To Turkey now and the fragile, seven-month cease-fire between Kurdish militants and the Turkish government. The long-running conflict has claimed some 35,000 lives, and the peace deal that stopped the bloodshed is now in jeopardy. The problem, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports, is that both sides want the peace process to speed up.
The leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden are still trickling out. The latest reports include allegations that the U.S. is collecting data on millions of citizens in countries such as Spain and France. The steady stream of NSA revelations has drawn attention to an intelligence-sharing agreement known as Five Eyes.
Monday was yet another troubled day for the Affordable Care Act.
Sunday night, the outside vendor that operates two key parts of the website that lets people browse and sign up for health insurance experienced a failure.
The failure took place at a vendor called Verizon Terremark and presumably affected other clients as well as HealthCare.gov, the federal website that people use to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
In Texas, a federal judge has ruled that the state's new abortion restrictions are unconstitutional and will not take effect tomorrow as scheduled. The decision comes four months after Democratic candidate for governor, Wendy Davis, staged an 11-hour filibuster against the proposed constraints. Texas' attorney general expressed disappointment and vowed to appeal the federal judge's ruling.
NPR's Wade Goodwyn joins us now from Dallas to discuss the case. And, Wade, there were two parts to Judge Lee Yeakel's ruling. What did he say?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Penn State announced today that it will pay nearly $60 million to settle child sexual abuse claims related to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. For much of the past year, the university has been negotiating settlements with more than two dozen people who say they were victims of Sandusky.
New abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature are unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Monday in a divisive case the state has already vowed to appeal.
In an opinion issued Monday, District Judge Lee Yeakel said the state's effort to regulate abortions violated the rights of doctors who perform the procedure to do what they determine is best for their patients, and would unreasonably restrict women from accessing abortion clinics.
In Kalyanee Mam's new documentary, A River ChangesCourse, a teacher stands before a room packed with grade-schoolers, leading them in an arithmetic drill. They're in Cambodia, and though the drill is in the Khmer language, the body language is clear enough as the children hold up their hands one at a time, displaying all five fingers: 5 and 5 make 10, in most any dialect.
After Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast, people returned to waterlogged homes and began to assess the damage. They created lost-and-found lists on the walls of town halls or Facebook pages to try to recover some of what the storm had swept away.
Lost: Two cedar Adirondack chairs, a necklace passed down through generations. Found: a floating dock, a high school diploma.
Now, one year after the storm, residents on the Jersey shore are still reflecting on what they lost during the storm — and what they might have gained.
When you're in love with science, ordinary everyday stuff can suddenly seem extraordinary. At least that's how NPR blogger and astrophysicist Adam Frank sees it, even down to the dust on his car.
ADAM FRANK, BYLINE: Carl Sagan, an astronomer with the soul of a poet, liked to remind us that we are all star stuff. It was without a doubt one of his most beautiful images. But what really was Carl Sagan talking about? Well, there are two answers to this question.
The Justice Department is negotiating a multibillion-dollar settlement with JPMorgan over its handling of mortgage-related securities during the financial crisis. The deal could be announced this week, and it reportedly includes $4 billion set aside for homeowners who lost substantial value on their homes. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports on lessons learned from the payout of similar settlements.
On a quiet fall morning in the Delaware countryside, a lone sustained whistle pierces the air. Within moments, a train sweeps around a broad curve, its two heavy locomotives hauling dozens of white, cylindrical rail cars, loaded with 70,000 barrels of crude oil.
Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 9:52 am
When you sit down at Chef José Andrés' tapas restaurant, Jaleo, in Washington, D.C., and ask to see the beverage options, as I did recently, you're in for a surprise. Instead of a traditional leather-bound menu, I was handed an iPad.
The doctor's office is clean and white and comfortingly bland in an upscale neighborhood of Sao Paulo. We were given the address by a health professional who told us one of the doctors here gives safe abortions in a country where they are illegal.
The doctor agrees to speak on condition of anonymity after we prove we are not there to entrap him. He does not admit on tape that he terminates unwanted pregnancies. But he says openly he favors legalizing abortions.
Anthropologist Lynne Isbell was running through a glade in central Kenya in 1992 when something suddenly caused her to freeze in her tracks. "I stopped just in front of a cobra," she says. "It was raised with its hood spread out."
Isbell, who is at the University of California, Davis, says she has spent the past couple of decades trying to understand how she could have reacted before her conscious brain even had a chance to think — cobra!
Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 1:40 pm
What's being described as the worst storm in years hit Britain before moving across the English Channel to lash the Netherlands, France and Germany. It's claimed as many as 13 lives, The Associated Press reports, and has caused flooding as it whips the region with wind gusts of nearly 100 mph.
There's a thing you can find, mostly in Brooklyn, called lard bread. It's bread, with cured pork baked right into it, and it's not the slightest bit embarrassed about its name. We had ours imported from Brooklyn's Mazzola Bakery.
Eva: Now I know when people call me "lard bread" they mean it as a compliment.
Miles: Hard outside with a ham surprise inside. This is the closest we'll ever come to a meat piñata.
Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 12:22 pm
As the pallbearers carried the casket through the streets of New Orleans, a brass band led the procession with the slow dirge "Just a Closer Walk With Thee." But this was no jazz funeral, this was a brass band blowout, and painted on the coffin were the names of competing bands: New Breed, New Generation and To Be Continued.
It's been 50 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, and polls show that a majority of Americans still believe Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy, not a lone assassin. Though an official investigation concluded that Kennedy was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone, conspiracy theories about the assassination were spawned almost immediately, and they keep coming to this day: Republican consultant Roger Stone has a new book — The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ — arguing Lyndon Johnson was behind the crime.
This week, we're exploring the tech frontier through the eyes of our children. So we're starting with the littlest ones — babies. Can certain kinds of screen time help babies learn?
To find some answers, I employed the help of my 1-year-old daughter, Eva. She's still a wobbly walker and the sum total of her speaking skills sound like gibberish. But she has no problem activating Siri, the virtual assistant on my iPhone. Her 16-month-old friend, Lily, is even savvier with the gadgets.
That mansion in Limburg, Germany, where about $40 million was spent on renovations for the since-suspended cleric now known as the "bishop of bling" may soon be "turned into a refugee centre or a soup kitchen for the homeless," according to reports from The Independent and other European news outlets.
Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 10:37 am
Disclosures about the National Security Agency's spying on U.S. allies, including France and Germany, have sparked outrage in Europe and created tensions in trans-Atlantic relations. But just how widespread is such spying? Here are four things to know.
1. Who spies on whom?
Spying on adversaries is common — as is spying on your allies.
Many people might know Condola Rashad as the daughter of actress Phylicia Rashad, who played Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show, and NFL sportscaster Ahmad Rashad. The 26-year-old got Tony Award nominations for her performances in Stick Fly and The Trip to Bountiful. Now she takes on her first lead role on Broadway in the new production of Romeo & Juliet. Her Romeo is Orlando Bloom of Lord of the Rings fame.
Condola Rashad spoke with Tell Me More guest host Celeste Headlee about making the iconic role her own.