Update at 10:35 a.m. ET. Still A Rescue Operation:
Although reports earlier this morning signaled that efforts at the scene of a building collapse in Philadelphia had turned from rescue to recovery and cleanup, city officials just told reporters that they're still looking for possible survivors.
Like the U.S. and many other Western countries, Spain's building boom in the previous decade was a major factor in its economic implosion. And now a trio of civil engineers in Spain has created a website that offers a dramatic before-and-after view of the country's construction bubble.
Andrea, the first named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane season, strengthened overnight and is forecast to make landfall along Florida's Big Bend area later today.
The National Hurricane Center has issued tropical storm warnings for a wide swath of the western coast of Florida. The system is forecast to move northeast along the eastern seaboard over the next couple of days, so the center has issued storm warnings from Georgia to Virginia.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The mystery is over. Yesterday, Gloria MacKenzie of Florida showed up at the lottery office, revealing herself as the winner of last month's record Powerball jackpot. The 84-year-old opted to take her winnings in a lump sum, rather than over time: $371 million, the largest sole jackpot winner in U.S. lottery history. MacKenzie said she bought her ticket at a supermarket, where another lottery player let her cut in line. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The Doors' front man, Jim Morrison, was nicknamed The Lizard King. This week researchers from the University of Iowa identified a new species of reptilian royalty, the six-foot long Barbaturex morrisoni. Though the species is named after the 20th century rock star, it lived in the jungles of Southeast Asia 40 million years ago, a gentle creature who ate only plants.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Food porn and rip-roaring pirate adventure are two great tastes that taste great together in Eli Brown's rollicking Cinnamon and Gunpowder. Owen Wedgwood is the brilliant but rather prissy chef to shipping magnate Lord Ramsey — until privateer captain "Mad Hannah" Mabbot shoots Ramsey at point-blank range and takes Wedgwood prisoner, charging him to earn his keep by preparing her one magnificent dinner a week, using only the ingredients he can find on her ship, the Flying Rose.
For readers in search of tales that step outside familiar viewpoints, there is an abundance of fiction by women unraveling the big themes of conflict, religion, race and love — from new and different angles. The five novels I'm recommending offer up-close-and-personal engagement with characters who are often at odds with their communities or whose lives are so far on the periphery that we can be sure history books would pass them by. They make far-flung places and faraway lives feel immediate.
Yesterday, an Army judge accepted the guilty plea of Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. Bales is on trial at a military base in Washington State for the massacre last year of 16 people, mostly women and children, in a rural Afghan village. By pleading guilty, Bales will avoid the death penalty.
But as NPR's Martin Kaste reports, the work of his lawyers is not yet done.
President Obama travels to Mooresville, North Carolina today. He'll highlight the town's middle school and its focus on technology and digital learning. It's part of what the White House is calling the president's Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour. Jobs and education are big issues for younger voters, one of the most sought after demographics for both parties.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
When President Obama meets with the president of China tomorrow, he will have his National Security adviser at his side. Tom Donilon set the stage for this summit during a trip to Beijing last week. Now he's stepping down.
NPR's Scott Horsley has this look at his legacy and the woman Obama has tapped to replace him.
Now let's take a look at the woman nominated to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations when Susan Rice steps down. Samantha Power has been working behind the scenes in the Obama administration on U.N.-related issues. Before that she was an activist and author of an influential book about preventing genocide.
As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, Power's supporters see her as the conscience in the White House.
Chinese computer maker Lenovo celebrated the opening of its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Whitsett, N.C., on Wednesday. The company is trying to boost its brand and U.S. market share. Other high-tech firms, including Motorola, have announced plans to manufacture in the U.S.
The Lenovo plant celebration was a patriotic affair. A large sign was on display featuring the American flag and the words "Assembled in the U.S."
When the Transportation Security Administration recently said it was changing the rules to allow small knives and sports equipment as carry-on items on planes, that sparked an outcry over safety. The TSA is backing down and will require travelers to check those items after all.
Currently, Amazon.com only offers food delivery in Seattle, where the company is based. Food goes bad fast and it's hard to make a profit. But slim profit margins are what have made Amazon a juggernaut.
Detroit's Masonic Temple Theatre was headed to foreclosure until an anonymous donor paid off its $142,000 in back taxes. That donor is now revealed: former White Stripes singer Jack White. He has performed there nine times and hung out there as a kid. His mom was an usher.
The National Security Agency is collecting the phone records of millions of Americans for three months. The news was first reported by the Guardian newspaper. The request for the records was placed with a special intelligence court days after the Boston bombings.
The Affordable Care Act, which has become known as Obamacare, will require small businesses with 50 or more employees to offer health care coverage to their workers. Some have suggested that could be discouraging hiring by small businesses.
After years of distrust, China's government says it wants a new type of great power relationship with the United States. Chinese President Xi Jinping will begin trying to lay the groundwork Friday at a summit with President Obama in California, but just what kind of relationship does Xi want?
"He wants to challenge the Cold War mentality, which believes that the existing power and also the emerging power cannot have a relationship other than conflictual," says Cheng Li, a specialist in Chinese politics at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.
Credit Kevin Winter/ACMA2013 / Getty Images for ACM
Miranda Lambert performing in April at the Academy of Country Music Awards, where she won best song, best record and best female vocalist for the fourth year in a row. The Lambert Effect has opened doors for many of the new hopefuls blending hard country sounds with feminist-aware attitudes.
Last year, Joss Whedon put the blockbuster in summer blockbuster. He's the writer-director of "The Avengers," that crew of Marvel Comics superheroes whose story led to a super box office: one and a half billion dollars worldwide. It offered action and also repartee, like this moment of confrontation between Robert Downey, Jr.'s Iron Man and Thor.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE AVENGERS")
CHRIS HEMSWORTH: (as Thor) You have no idea what you are dealing with.
Attorney General Eric Holder has been a lightning rod for the president's fiercest critics during his four years in office. Lately, he's been back on the hot seat with a crisis of his own making: the Justice Department's aggressive stance toward reporters in national security leak cases.
Holder heads to the Senate on Thursday, where lawmakers are sure to demand an explanation.
Kidnappings and other crime have infiltrated every aspect of daily life in Venezuela, especially the capital, Caracas, which was recently ranked the world's third most violent city.
Credit Jasmine Garsd / NPR
German Garcia-Velutini, a banker, was kidnapped in Caracas and held for 11 months in 2009. Now, he says, he is imprisoned by his bodyguards and feels free only when he is out of the country.
Credit Fernando Llano / AP
Two men participate in a kidnapping drill in an intensive self-defense course at the School of Personal Protection in Caracas. In 2011, there were 1,150 reported kidnappings in Caracas alone. It's widely believed that the vast majority of kidnappings aren't reported at all — in large part because many victims believe their kidnappers are police.
German Garcia-Velutini got into his car and left work one day. It took him 11 months to get home.
Kidnappers had nabbed the Venezuelan banker. His abduction is part of a problem that's been getting worse every year for the past decade in Venezuela, which belongs to a region riddled with crime and the most violent cities in the world.
Gracia-Velutini tells his story at an outdoor table at a hotel in Caracas, the capital, with a view of a mountainside that climbs into the clouds.
Fire officers walk past the fire-damaged Al-Rahma Islamic Centre in Muswell Hill in London Wednesday. Counter-terrorism officers have been called in amid suspicions that it was a racially motivated attack.
Two weeks after the brutal murder of a British soldier that brought a rise in hate crimes against Muslims in the U.K., a fire devastated an Islamic community center in London Wednesday. Scotland Yard says the cause of the blaze is being treated as suspicious.
"Graffiti was found amid the charred ruins, including an abbreviation for a far right anti-Muslim fringe group," NPR's Philip Reeves reports for our Newscast unit. "Detectives are trying to figure out when it was written."
The International Monetary Fund has admitted "notable failures" in the Greek bailout, saying in a report Thursday that despite the steps Greece's recession and unemployment problem were more severe than anticipated.
The report said the program had succeeded in keeping Greece within the eurozone and mostly prevented the country's economic troubles from spilling over to the rest of the region. "However," it said: