Federal contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, headquartered in McLean, Va., employed Edward Snowden, the computer technician at the center of the controversy over leaks involving the National Security Agency.
In recent decades, a quiet revolution has been transforming the way Washington works.
Because the U.S. government does not have the workforce to complete all of its tasks, it employs private companies like Booz Allen Hamilton to do the work for it. Booz Allen is the company where Edward Snowden, who said he leaked secrets about the National Security Agency, most recently worked.
Over the past 25 years, this contract workforce has grown and plays a major role in the U.S. government, says Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University.
On Monday, Apple announced iRadio — its entry into the crowded field of music streaming services. iTunes has become the top music retailer by selling song files. But no one in the music business thinks the iTunes model is the future. Pandora is the oldest and most successful streaming service so far. But it's been a disappointment to investors.
On Monday, the company announced that CEO Christine Day will step down once a replacement is found. This comes after an embarrassing year for the company which makes fashionable yoga-wear. A recent recall of see-through plants could cost the company $40 million.
Florida's housing market is picking up in places, but a home in Palm Beach just sold for more than 40 percent less than the asking price. The 20,000 square foot home was originally on the market for $74 million. According to The Wall Street Journal, it sold on Friday for a mere $42 million.
Iowa's Republican Governor Terry Branstad is pushing to make Iowa the healthiest state. Under the Affordable Care Act, states are deciding whether to expand Medicaid and that's created an opportunity for compromise in Iowa.
In Latin America — home to the vast majority of the world's most violent cities — it's said the only part of a prison a guard controls is the gate, leaving convicts to fend for themselves inside, even running criminal networks from behind bars.
I wanted to understand how a prison like that worked, and I was in luck: A colleague knew a man serving time a Venezuelan prison. The prisoner got in touch with the leader of the inmates, who sent word that he'd be willing to see us.
Some churches have said they will end their affiliation with the Boy Scouts after its decision to allow openly gay members to join. Others, including Southern Baptists, are considering their next move. Another group plans to hold a meeting in Louisville later this month with parents who say they want a more Christian organization for their children.
The Senate voted Monday to approve its version of the farm bill, a massive spending measure that covers everything from food stamps to crop insurance and sets the nation's farm policy for the next five years.
The centerpiece of that policy is an expanded crop insurance program, designed to protect farmers from losses, that some say amounts to a highly subsidized gift to agribusiness. That debate is set to continue as the House plans to take up its version of the bill this month.
Alabama Gov. George Wallace (right) blocks the door of the the Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on June 11, 1963. Wallace, who had vowed to prevent integration of the campus, gave way to federal troops.
Credit Courtesy of The Kennedy Family
Peggy Wallace Kennedy with her family (from left) Burns Kennedy, Leigh Kennedy, Stephanie Rion Kennedy (wife of Leigh) and Mark Kennedy.
Credit Courtesy of the Alabama Department of Archives and History
The Wallace family in the mid-1960s. From left, Peggy Sue, George Jr., Janie Lee, George Sr., Lurleen and Bobby Jo.
As we head into the summer months, NPR is looking back to the summer of 1963, a momentous year in civil rights history. As part of NPR's partnership with The Race Card Project, which asks people to distill their thoughts on race to six words, Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris is asking people who were on the front lines of history to share their memories and their thoughts on race in America today.
Darlene Love, one of the background singers featured in Twenty Feet From Stardom, didn't receive credit for singing hits in the 1950s and '60s and says her career was derailed by legendary producer Phil Spector.
Jo Lawry, Judith Hill and Lisa Fischer are three of the backup singers featured in Twenty Feet From Stardom.
Twenty Feet from Stardom, filmmaker Morgan Neville's new documentary, is a reminder that most of pop music's catchiest hooks, riffs and refrains were sung by voices harmonizing in the background. Neville says he wanted to put backup singers — black, female and honed in church — front and center.
"I was really more interested in people who were voices for hire," he says, "who were able to walk into sessions never knowing what they had to do and could bring it."
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block. The morning-after pill will soon be available - without a prescription - on pharmacy shelves, with no restrictions on age. That's because the Obama administration has dropped a long-running battle to keep age restrictions on emergency contraception. NPR's Julie Rovner joins me to explain this policy change. And Julie, this was an unexpected development. It came tonight. What happened?
Demonstrators hold signs supporting Edward Snowden in New York's Union Square Park, on Monday. Snowden, who says he worked as a contractor at the National Security Agency and the CIA, gave classified documents to reporters, making public two sweeping U.S. surveillance programs and touching off a national debate on privacy versus security.
When it comes to secrets leaker Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency's phone records and Internet snooping, some in Congress face a dilemma.
Namely, how to read public opinion.
Speaking off the record, aides for Republican and Democratic House lawmakers told me they are getting constituent calls on both sides: from those urging that Snowden not be prosecuted and those insisting he should be.
An aide for one congressman told me her boss's staff was holding off on issuing a statement until it had the chance to further gauge the voters' mood.
Sometimes, it doesn't take a major diet overhaul to get significant health benefits. Small changes can be helpful, too.
This seems to be the take-home message from a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine linking olive oil and nuts to improved survival from prostate cancer.
Researchers studied the fat intake of more than 4,500 men who had been diagnosed with non-metastatic prostate cancer (this is cancer that's still confined to the prostate gland and has not spread to another place in the body).
A rare Dornier 17, an aluminum-skinned German bomber that flew in the Battle of Britain, has been salvaged from the murky waters of the English Channel. The plane was shot down more than 70 years ago near the coast of Kent.
"The Royal Air Force Museum is pleased to announce the successful lift of the only known example of the Dornier Do17," said the RAF Museum's director general, Peter Dye, Monday. He called the feat an "incredibly complex and delicate operation."
When Denver teenager Dajina Bell graduated from high school last week, she celebrated a remarkable academic and personal comeback. Bell's high school years, marked early on by her brother's death and a host of other troubles, ended with her becoming her family's first graduate.
When students at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York took over the president's office one month ago to protest the school's decision to charge tuition, they painted the lobby black.
They also took a painting of the school's founder, and hung a piece of red fabric from the frame, as if Peter Cooper himself had joined in the protest.
If you opt for the upgrade, changes are coming to your iPhone experience this fall. And if you want to shell out some cash right away, the latest line of MacBook Air computers boasts a lot more power and battery life, and the machines are available to ship today.
Apple chiefs announced their latest products and improvements Monday as part of the keynote at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
We kept an eye on the two-hour presentation so you didn't have to. The highlights:
Now to another topic in tech. Today, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference launched in San Francisco. The company made a slew of announcements: new MacBooks, a new operating system, and the most anticipated announcement - Apple's entry into the streaming music market with iTunes Radio. But as NPR's Laura Sydell reports, many analysts are underwhelmed.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. Investigators are trying to learn all they can about the American intelligence contractor who says he leaked sensitive documents to reporters. Edward Snowden is 29 years old, a former tech specialist for the company Booz Allen Hamilton, which does a lot of government intelligence work. Over the weekend, he took responsibility for disclosing details of two U.S. government surveillance programs.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
Egypt is settling in for what looks to be a hot and painful summer with power cuts, price hikes and political stagnation. All that could spark renewed protests against President Mohammed Morsi and his allies in the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptians who believed in the promise of revolutionary reform are frustrated.
Jury selection began today in the trial of George Zimmerman. He's the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager named Trayvon Martin last year in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman tailed Martin through a row of townhouses on a rainy night, first in a truck, then on foot. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge. He describes himself as Hispanic. Martin was African-American. And the racially-charged trial now centers on whether Zimmerman acted in self-defense.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
The revelations of the sweeping data surveillance by the U.S. government have opened a small window on a highly secretive corner of the law. When the NSA wants to eavesdrop on foreign communications or require huge amounts of data, it needs a warrant, a secret warrant. And for that, a request is sent to a secret court, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Back in the U.S., the leaks have put a spotlight on the company Edward Snowden worked for. Booz Allen Hamilton is one of the largest private contractors that does intelligence work for the government. Its share of the work keeps getting bigger, and as NPR's Laura Sullivan reports, that worries some government watchdogs.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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I'm Audie Cornish. And it's time now for All Tech Considered.
(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)
CORNISH: People in the tech world are buzzing over the revelations of massive NSA data gathering, and the tech industry appears to be deeply involved. The leaked documents say that some of the biggest names, Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft have assisted in NSA surveillance.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
It's not exactly a buyer's market for people who purchase their own health insurance. Prices can be high and options severely limited. A key piece of the Affordable Care Act is supposed to change that. New health exchanges will allow people to comparison shop for insurance, maybe even get a subsidy to help pay for it.
But as New Hampshire Public Radio's Todd Bookman reports, some people may still be left with few choices.
Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell outside their home in Nashville, Tenn.
Credit Melissa Block / NPR
A match made in ink heaven: Jason Isbell has the lines from Bob Dylan's "Boots of Spanish Leather" on his arm, while his wife, singer-songwriter Amanda Shires, has lines from Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" on hers.
There are a few things worth knowing about singer-songwriter Jason Isbell: The round softness of his speech comes from his roots in rural Alabama. He has lyrics from a Bob Dylan song inked on his forearm.