Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A Long Island man legally changed his name to Santa Claus. Whatever benefits he may get from that, it did not free him from jury duty. Santa Claus was summoned to court. Santa Claus was put on a jury panel. For this defendant, a jury of his peers included the man who showed up wearing a red dress shirt with a picture of Santa Claus and eight reindeer. Santa could have been among those deciding the trial except the case was dismissed. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
A fisherman saw the bird along the Nile River with a suspicious electronic device fixed to its wing. The fisherman made a citizen's arrest. Concerned officials found it was not a spying device, just a wildlife tracker.
Syria's state-run media depict President Obama as weak and indecisive after his decision to wait for a congressional vote on the use of force. Officials in Damascus remain defiant, even as the Arab League blamed the Syrian government for the use of chemical weapons.
Syria's pro-government Al-Thawra newspaper called it a "historic American retreat," and supporters of President Bashar Assad said they were teaching the world a lesson in strong leadership.
The City Of Lights became known as a beacon of freedom and tolerance for African Americans. Paris is rich in black history — especially from black Americans who have flocked there since the 19th century.
Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 4:32 am
Verizon and Vodafone are joint owners of the nation's No. 1 wireless provider Verizon Wireless. Over the weekend, the two companies were in talks to finalize the terms of a $130 billion deal. That's how much Vodafone is asking for its 45 percent stake in the company.
Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 4:47 am
President Obama on Saturday announced that he would wait on military action against Syria until members of Congress could vote on the resolution. Congress still has a week to go before its recess ends and lawmakers can discuss the matter.
Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 4:40 am
President Obama announced over the weekend that he will seek authorization from Congress for strikes against Syria over its reported use of chemical weapons. For an update on the situation in Syria, Steve Inskeep talks to Sam Dagher, the Middle East correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, in Damascus.
And today's last word in business is: boy band. Because what's better than one teenage heartthrob? Five of them. In 3-D.
The Irish-English pop group One Direction helped Hollywood break a Labor Day weekend record. Their 3-D concert film "One Direction: This is Us" grossed $17 million in its first three days to top the weekend box office. That's a nice take for the Morgan Spurlock music documentary, which cost a modest $10 million to make.
Twenty-four hours after President Obama announced on Saturday that he'll wait for congressional authorization before launching strikes on Syria; members of Congress attended a classified briefing at the Capitol.
For days, most of the discontent among members of Congress has been about not being included in the deliberations on Syria, about not getting the chance to vote. Now that they've gotten their way, each member of Congress will have to go on the record.
South Africa's commercial capital, Johannesburg, is a mixture of the old Wild West and a complex, modern African hub — at least, that's how crime novelist Jassy Mackenzie describes it. Mackenzie was born across the border, in Zimbabwe, but she moved to Johannesburg — Joburg for short — as a child, and she's a passionate champion of the city.
"I love the energy of Johannesburg," Mackenzie says. "People are open. People communicate. People are friendly in a brash, big-city way, which I love. ... [it's] the New York of South Africa!"
Israel is in the midst of a massive, emergency immunization drive of all children under the age of 9 against polio.
Health workers detected the virus in southern Israel in February. Since then, they've found it in 85 different sewage samples across the country, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative said Wednesday. Yet so far, no children have gotten sick or been paralyzed by the virus.
In the grand days of railroad travel, passengers arrived in monumental terminals. There was grandeur, style and comfort — qualities that today's equivalent for long-distance travel, the airport, mostly lack. Especially in the United States.
In a survey of international travelers by the British firm Skytrax, not a single U.S. airport ranked anywhere near the top of the list. Singapore got top honors, while the best the United States could do was Cincinnati's airport — which came in at No. 30.
The government of Ecuador has abandoned a plan that would have kept part of the Amazonian rainforest off limits to oil drilling. The initiative was an unusual one: Ecuador was promising to keep the oil in the ground, but it wanted to be paid for doing so.
When goods arrive in Houston, they may come in containers stacked high on huge ships or strung out on long lines of rail cars. But to get to the customer, those goods need to be put on trucks and driven to their final destinations.
And now with the oil and gas sectors booming, the demand for truckers is soaring. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says oil delivered to refineries by trucks shot up 38 percent between 2011 and 2012.
The Central Intelligence Agency was behind the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. It's been an open secret for decades, but last week, The George Washington University's National Security Archive released newly declassified documents proving it.
Orchestrating the Iranian coup d'état was a first for the CIA and would serve as the template for future Cold War covert operations worldwide.
As Labor Day honors American workers, stress weighs on many. A changing world — and therefore a changing workplace — has many employees on the job and staring at screens for hours upon hours. Some have reached a breaking point.
John Challenger, CEO of workplace consulting company Challenger, Gray & Christmas, diagnoses burnout. He tells NPR's Jacki Lyden stress can manifest emotionally, mentally or physically. "It can be combined with doubts about your confidence or the value of the work you do," he says.
The poet Seamus Heaney died Friday. Heaney won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 and has been described as the "most important Irish poet since Yeats." Heaney was 74 years old. Host Jacki Lyden spoke to Heaney in 2008, and has this remembrance.
Host Jacki Lyden speaks with Liz Sly of The Washington Post Beirut bureau about the social media reaction from Syrians to Obama's announcement Saturday that he would seek approval from Congress before taking military action.
It's Sunday morning at the Cowboy Church of Santa Fe County, N.M. You know you're there because of the chuck wagon parked by the highway.
You couldn't find a more nonreligious-looking building. The church is a charmless metal warehouse on a concrete slab. Inside, the altar is decorated like a set from a 1950s western — complete with saddles, hats, boots, a lasso and wagon wheel.
The band has just kicked off with "I Think God Must Be a Cowboy at Heart,"and about 30 people in folding chairs are tapping their feet.
Television has served up sass and brass with its female crime solvers for decades: Angie Dickenson in Police Woman, in the 1970s, Cagney and Lacey in the 80s, and the modern duo Rizzoli and Isles on TNT.
This fall, that network has decided to forget the script. It has two more sleuths who've already cracked thousands of real crime scenes and racked up dozens of victories in court.
Egypt's top prosecutor has referred ousted President Mohammed Morsi to trial on charges of inciting deadly violence against his opponents.
State television said Sunday that Morsi, senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam el-Erian, former presidential aides and advisors Assad Sheikha and Ahmed Abdel-Ati were among those charged in connection with clashes Dec. 5, 2012 at the presidential palace.
In all, 14 individuals have been referred to a Cairo criminal court, according to Sky News.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 8:48 am
Radiation surrounding Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has increased 18-fold following a report last month that radioactive water had leaked into the ground around the plant, which was badly damaged in a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., which owns the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, reports that radiation around the site is at 1,800 millisieverts per hour, a level that Reuters says is "enough to kill an exposed person in four hours."
Previously, the utility, also known as Tepco, said the leaking water was at around 100 millisieverts per hour.
Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 2:46 pm
Secretary of State John Kerry says that tests have shown evidence of Syria's use of the chemical agent sarin in an attack on the opposition last month that the White House has blamed on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
"I can share with you today that blood and hair samples that have come to us through an appropriate chain of custody from East Damascus, from first responders, it has tested positive for signatures of sarin," Kerry told CNN on Sunday.