Born to Chinese parents in what is now Thailand, Eng and Chang Bunker became famous throughout the world as "Siamese twins." The brothers were joined at the base of their chests. After years of being displayed at exhibitions, they settled in the mountains of North Carolina in the 1830s. They married two local North Carolina sisters and had a total of 21 children.
The United States soldier charged with the murder of 16 Afghan villagers entered a guilty plea on Wednesday during a court hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty to 16 counts of premeditated murder, The Seattle Times reports, but he pleaded not guilty to "attempting to impede an investigation into the case by damaging a laptop computer."
Syrian soldiers stand in the main square of the western city of Qusair. Government troops recaptured the town on Wednesday after rebels had held it for more than a year. It's seen as a significant victory for President Bashar Assad's government.
Qusair is a sleepy farming town not far from my hometown. I passed through it many times as a child and never imagined it would one day make international headlines as the focal point of Syria's civil war.
I wish it had remained a quiet place defined by the many agricultural fields of wheat and barley, along with apricot and apple trees, all of them well-watered by the Orontes River.
Less than 10 miles from the Lebanese border, Qusair was a mixed town of Christians, Sunnis and Shiites. Not anymore.
Firefighters have pulled a 14th survivor from the rubble of a building that collapsed Wednesday in Philadelphia, and from an adjacent store that was heavily damaged. According to The Associated Press, rescuers found a woman late Wednesday and she was taken to a nearby hospital. Deputy Fire Chief Robert Coyne said early Thursday that 61-year-old Myra Plekam was pulled from the debris more than 12 hours after a building collapsed and that she was awake and talking to rescuers.
I have substantial affection for both Hollywood Reporter TV critic Tim Goodman and the Fox executive who tweets as "Masked Scheduler." They're both amusing, resolute grumps at times, but great fun to follow on Twitter. So you can imagine how uncomfortable it was to see them have a testy exchange about the new episodes of Arrested Development (which, remember, was on Fox and is now not). Tim liked them, and was reacting to early criticism of the first couple of episodes.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie outlines plans for a special election to be held to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat of Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), who died on Tuesday, at the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie did not disclose who would fill the vacant seat until the election scheduled for Oct. 16.
Credit Ken Rudin collection
Lautenberg's GOP opponents: Millicent Fenwick 1982, Pete Dawkins 1988, Chuck Haytaian 1994, Doug Forrester 2002 and Dick Zimmer 2008.
Credit Ken Rudin collection
Nobody — Democrats or Republicans — seems happy with Christie's plan for replacing Sen. Lautenberg.
Credit Ken Rudin collection
He was the Senate's last remaining World War II veteran.
One of the last things Alaska Gov. Walter Hickel did before he resigned to join the Nixon Cabinet was to fill a Senate vacancy caused by the December 1968 death of E.L. Bartlett, a Democrat. Hickel picked a GOP state representative by the name of Ted Stevens. Stevens, who only months before lost a Republican primary bid for a different seat, went on to serve more than 40 years in the Senate, longer than any Republican in history. Appointing Stevens was by any definition a good move.
Graduates of Bowie State University wave to friends and family at the school's graduation ceremony in College Park, Md., on May 17. This year's graduates are finding better job prospects than at any time since 2008.
For the last five years, graduation day has been as much a time for apprehension as for celebration.
Even now, with the Great Recession over, many recent graduates are still struggling to turn their high school and college diplomas into tickets for a better life. The unemployment rate for Americans under age 25 remains more than double the overall rate of 7.5 percent.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
The Whitehouse has announced that President Obama's National Security Advisor is resigning and he will be replaced by Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. NPR's Ron Elving is here to tell us more. Ron, some months ago, Ms. Rice was rumored to be nominated Secretary of State - that, of course, did not happen. So why don't you give us a quick fill on the back story.
On the heels of Liz & Dick, Lifetime's campy take on the love story of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton that starred none other than Lindsay Lohan, BBC America will be delivering another made-for-TV version this fall. Because they couldn't call it Liz & Dick, this one is called ... Burton And Taylor. (Innovation!)
This one stars Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter, and the first photo was released yesterday.
United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, a lightning rod for Republican critics of the Obama administration's handling of the September 2012 attack on a U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, is moving into the post of national security adviser at the White House.
That's what a White House official tells NPR's Ari Shapiro — echoing reports earlier Wednesday morning from The Associated Press and other news outlets.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. It seemed like an odd move. An Ohio police chief publicly directed his officers to target a certain group for ticketing. He set a quota for the officers of Brimfield Township: at least one ticket per shift. And the targeted group? Kids under the age of 12 riding their bikes wearing helmets. Ah, but the fine was a free ice cream cone. Just bicycle safely over to Frank's Drive-In. Tickets good for the summer. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Dark clouds hang over Major League Baseball. There are reports that about 20 players may be suspended because of their connections to a Miami clinic that dispensed performance-enhancing drugs. (Photo taken Sunday at Yankee Stadium.)
"Major League Baseball will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, possibly within the next few weeks," ESPN's Outside the Lines reports.
Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer with an archeological expedition to recover ancient relics from the '80s.
The Fuel entertainment company plans to sift through a New Mexico landfill in search of Atari video games. According ancient legend, that's where Atari dumped millions of copies of "E.T." The movie-based video game did not sell well in 1982. But now folks are ready to pay for Atari's remains.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Anton DiSclafani's debut novel, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, is a painstakingly constructed ode to a young girl's sexual awakening — just ladylike enough to be more bodice unbuttoner than bodice ripper. Like Rumer Godden's classic 1958 novel, The Greengage Summer, this is perhaps one of the classier books a young teen would hide under her covers to read with a flashlight. It features a 15-year-old narrator, Theodora "Thea" Atwell, whose family banishes her to a North Carolina equestrian boarding school in 1930. There's been a scandal.
Blockbuster console game franchise Halo is going to have a new installment for mobile phones. Microsoft made the announcement Tuesday. It's a confirmation of the way the gaming industry is going, away from relying on $60 console games and closer to mobile and micropayments.
Apple could face problems with some of its older models of iPhones and iPads in the U.S. This, after the U.S. Trade Commission ruled yesterday that the devices violated a patent owned by Apple's archrival, Samsung.
The ruling is unlikely to have a big impact on Apple's earnings. But as NPR's Steve Henn reports, the decision raises more questions about how the U.S. patent system can be used.
Now we turn to a scathing report on expensive conferences held by the IRS. The report by the agency's own inspector general noted the IRS spent about $50 million on employee meetings between 2010 and 2012.
NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Some of the most egregious examples of questionable spending occurred at a 2010 gathering in Southern California. The IRS paid dearly for some lavish hotel rooms, and spent $34,000 for lodging and related expenses for employees who lived nearby.
For the past five years, graduation day has been a time of apprehension as much as celebration. Prospects for those entering the workforce for the first time were bleak. The class of 2013 — whether from high school or college — has cause for more optimism than previous classes.
NPR's business news begins with a big no from Chrysler.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MONTAGNE: The Detroit automaker is taking the unusual step of defying the government by refusing to recall some 2.7 million of its vehicles. Federal safety officials say 1993 to 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and the 2002 to 2007 Jeep Liberties are dangerous and should be taken off the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says rear-mounted gas tanks in those vehicles are vulnerable to leaking and catching fire in rear-end collisions.