This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll get an update on the humanitarian crisis in Syria. But first, we turn to an issue that affects one out of every seven humans in America, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP. Back in 2009, in the depths of the recession, President Obama increased SNAP benefits using stimulus funds, but the temporary increase expired this past Friday.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, activists in Washington, D.C. are asking jury members to vote their conscience not the law. We'll ask why some people think jury nullification is the only way for minorities to get a fair day in court. That's in just a few minutes.
A new billboard in the nation's capital is stirring some controversy. It tells jury members to forget the law and vote their conscience. It reads - "Jury duty? Know your rights. Good jurors nullify bad laws." And it's caught the attention of prosecutors, not surprisingly. The group behind the ads is called the Fully Informed Jury Association. It says jurors should acquit defendants if they disagree with the law, even if all evidence points towards a guilty verdict.
Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 9:55 am
Four men in Nairobi, Kenya, are facing charges that include harboring terrorists who conducted an attack that left at least 67 people dead in September. The formal charges are the first filed over the assault and standoff at Nairobi's Westgate Mall.
One of the men is accused of offering refuge to a gunman after the attack, according to court documents cited in Kenyan media. Authorities say others allowed the attackers to stay at their homes before the attack. At least one of them also faces charges related to false identification documents.
Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 2:21 pm
Reaching a plea deal with federal prosecutors, the hedge fund firm SAC Capital Advisors has agreed to plead guilty to insider trading, pay a $1.8 billion fine and end its investment advisory business.
"U.S. prosecutors on Monday filed a letter describing the deal to the judges in a pair of cases - one criminal, the other a civil forfeiture action - against SAC Capital stemming from a massive insider trading investigation. The judges would have to approve the deal."
Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 9:23 am
Depending on how many hours you spent in the backseat being tortured by a sibling or how many hours you spent in the driver's seat being forced by your kids to listen to Beat It, this may not be an anniversary you wish to celebrate.
And the honoree has many critics who say it was just darn ugly when it debuted in 1983.
But there are those who seem to be looking back with fondness on the now 30-year-old life of the Chrysler minivan. After all, it's a vehicle that basically created a market that didn't exist, was imitated by others and became a cultural icon.
A few weeks ago, the smartphone maker announced it had signed a letter of intent to sell the company valued at $4.7 billion to Fairfax Financial Holdings. Instead, in a statement released Monday, BlackBerry announced it will receive a $1 billion investment from Fairfax Financial and others. BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins will step down and be replaced by interim CEO John Chen.
Did you know November is National Novel Writing Month?
It isn't by order of Congress, but it is on the internet, where you'll see this combination of letters — NaNoWriMo — all over the place, making absolutely no sense and sounding to the uninitiated like a species of caterpillar or a ship on Star Trek. Amusingly enough, even that is too long for participants trying to pound out a book in a month, so they call it, very often, "NaNo."
Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 7:15 am
Good morning, fellow political junkies.
This week, the political headlines are expected to be dominated by several important off-year elections whose outcomes seem a foregone conclusion, if you believe the polls.
Democrat Terry McAulliffe in Virginia and Republican Chris Christie in New Jersey have significant polling leads in their governor's races. In New York City, Democrat and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio appears poised to win in a blowout.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Senator Rand Paul is not happy to be accused of plagiarism. He told ABC if dueling was legal, he might challenge one of his critics and seemed to refer to TV host Rachel Maddow. There's just one complication - under all dueling customs, if he challenges Maddow she gets to choose the weapon. Abe Lincoln was once challenged to a duel and chose broadswords, letting the long-armed Lincoln reach his opponent first. That duel was called off. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Something fishy is going on in Michigan. A 20-pound carp is campaigning as a write-in candidate for the city council in Ann Arbor. The fish was removed from a pond last year and released into a nearby river. That's the biography, as we understand it. From the candidate's Twitter feed, the fish describes himself as a politician and bottom-feeder. He tweets: Since I have no actual feet, I don't have to stand for anything. People in Michigan cast their votes tomorrow.
Amy Tan was 200 pages into a new novel when she attended a large exhibition on Shanghai life in the early 1900s. While there, she bought a book she thought might help her as she researched details on life in the Old City. She stopped turning pages when she came upon a group portrait.
Now, during the government shutdown, many House Republicans said the policy was unwise, but persisted for weeks in voting with their speaker, John Boehner. One reason was party loyalty. Another reason, according to analysts, was fear. Lawmakers did not want to run the risk of a challenge in a Republican primary from candidates saying they weren't trying hard enough.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
Last month's government shutdown could deliver its first political victim tomorrow. Republican Ken Cuccinelli is trailing in the Virginia Governor's race. During a campaign appearance this weekend, President Obama tried to tie Cuccinelli to the shutdown, and also to the Tea Party. Cuccinelli, in turn, tried to link his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, to the troubled rollout of Obamacare.
Let's talk about smartphones. And for iPhone users, an important decision: when to upgrade. Apple's latest iPhones, the 5S and 5C, have been out for a couple months now. But some people are resisting temptation. They're perfectly happy with their older iPhones, except for one thing, when they upgrade to Apple's new operating system, things slow down.
To talk about how to manage this decision, we're joined - as we often are - by Bloomberg technology columnist Rich Jaroslovsky. Hey, Rich.
And that brings us to today's last word in business: artwork, lost and found.
Authorities in Munich, Germany have uncovered a huge art collection that was thought to have been lost forever. Seized by the Nazis in the 1930s and '40s, this collection reportedly includes more than 1,500 pieces of art by masters like Picasso, Matisse and Chagall. All told, this collection could be worth over $1 billion.
NPR's business news starts with online gambling in Delaware.
The first state to ratify the Constitution is now leading the way in Internet gambling. Starting this week, Delaware gamblers will be able to play poker, roulette, blackjack and slots from the comfort of their own homes - or at a Starbucks somewhere - as long as they're registered through one of the state's three casinos and are physically in Delaware. If you're in Delaware, you can gamble online.
In Egypt, ousted president Mohammed Morsi appeared in public today for the first time since he was toppled and detained in a military coup in July. He was brought to court to face charges of inciting violence and murder. Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, was defiant. He insisted that he is still the country's legitimate leader. He even refused to wear his prison jumpsuit.
At a U.N. Security Council meeting over the weekend, diplomats warned of a possible genocide in the Central African Republic. This is a country right near the equator that borders the Congo and the Sudan. It's been in turmoil since a military coup in March left it basically without a functioning government. A half-million people, about a tenth of this country's population, have been forced from their homes in recent weeks as the violence has just gotten worse.
Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 1:28 pm
The next time you look in a mirror, think about this: In many ways you're more microbe than human. There are 10 times more cells from microorganisms like bacteria and fungi in and on our bodies than there are human cells.
Scientists increasingly think that these microorganisms have a huge influence on our health. Without them, our bodies don't seem to do as well. We don't seem to be as healthy and might actually get sick more often.
When Teddy Roosevelt was president, reporter Lincoln Steffens came to him with a request: "Mr. President," he said, "I want to investigate corruption in the federal government." And Roosevelt responded in a rather astonishing way, as presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.
Like many Syrian exiles, Murhaf Jouejati, a professor at National Defense University, is frustrated by U.S. policy toward Syria. He says there's been only a trickle of U.S. aid to the secular, nationalist opposition in Syria, while the Islamists have no trouble raising money through their networks in the Arab world.