The Associated Press has posted images of more than 100 receipts believed to have been left behind by al-Qaida operatives in Timbuktu, Mali, that show how "the extremists assiduously tracked their cash flow, recording purchases as small as a single light bulb."
Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 1:52 pm
Intercepted packages. Custom-made cables that steal data. Towers that mimic a commercial cellphone network. Those are a few of the tricks used by elite units of the National Security Agency to monitor potential threats, according to Germany's Der Spiegel. The magazine published those revelations Sunday and Monday, detailing what it calls a catalog of the NSA's high-tech spying products and methods.
When I was first explaining what I wanted this blog to be like in 2008, I shared with some folks at NPR a theory I have had for some time about writing about popular culture. It goes like this: If you think monkeys are fascinating and you want to understand and be of value to them, it's not enough to be an expert on what monkeys should ideally eat. You have to understand what monkeys actually eat.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation released a study in 2012 showing that African-Americans give a larger share of their income to charities than any other group. Tracey Webb, founder of The Black Benefactors and BlackGivesBack.com, talks to host Michel Martin about African-American philanthropy.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Happy holidays to you, and thanks to my colleague Celeste Headlee for sitting in for me while I was away. With New Year's around the corner, you might be thinking about New Year's resolutions. We'll meet a young man who's made keeping his promises a year-round commitment. We'll hear from him and how he's inspiring others to do the same thing. That's later. But we want to start the program today by bringing you up to date on developments in the world's newest country, South Sudan.
New Years' resolutions, whether they're about family, money or health, are often forgotten in a matter of weeks. Now a social entrepreneur is encouraging people to keep their promises all year long. Host Michel Martin speaks with Alex Sheen, the founder of the group, Because I Said I Would.
The first eruption of eastern El Salvador's Chaparrastique volcano in 37 years sent ash and gas soaring as much as six miles into the air on Sunday and led authorities to evacuate thousands of people from their homes.
Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 12:49 pm
Harold Simmons, the Texas billionaire, philanthropist and GOP donor, has died. He was 82.
The Dallas Morning News says Simmons died late Saturday at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. His wife, Annette, told the newspaper that Simmons was "very sick for the last two weeks" and was in Baylor's intensive care unit. The family spent Christmas at the hospital, she said.
My holiday break last week took an unexpected detour when a broken bone (not mine) changed our plans for a full family get-together. Thus, I was left with a few days of unanticipated free time on my own, which led me to the obvious conclusion: if I can't be fully relaxed and immersed in holiday joy the entire time, this is the perfect time to clean out my closets.
Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 10:28 am
A year after losing the popular vote for the fifth time in the past six presidential elections, the Republican Party has crafted a series of rules tweaks designed to regain control of — and dramatically shorten — its presidential nominating process.
The subcommittee charged with looking for fixes has approved five proposed changes for review by the Republican National Committee's rules committee at its January meeting. The full RNC would then need to pass the changes by a three-quarters supermajority.
Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 6:42 am
One of the world's most famous and highest-paid athletes, Formula One racer Michael Schumacher, is in a medically induced coma at a hospital in Grenoble, France. Doctors there are treating him for a critical head injury suffered over the weekend when the German driver fell and hit his head while skiing.
At the end of this month, Michael Bloomberg ends his three terms as mayor of New York City. Assessing Bloomberg's legacy, a man who went from Republican to Independent, is not a simple thing to do. His 12 years in office were groundbreaking, locally and even globally.
But at the same time, many New Yorkers found him arrogant and insensitive to the poor. It's a vein that was tapped successfully by Democratic Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who described New York as a city of haves and have nots. But the changes implemented by Bloomberg will impact generations of New Yorkers to come.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Nothing says New Year like the giant sparkling ball lowered in Times Square. Still, other cities have other traditions. In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, they drop a giant strawberry. And this year, that tradition went splat. In a test drop last Friday, a malfunction sent the big fiberglass strawberry plunging three stories, shattering on the sidewalk. They're now rushing to get a new strawberry ready for the New Year. That's tomorrow. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
In Japan, you can buy an incredible range of things from vending machines: bags of rice, fishing tackle or fresh flowers. And now you can add bras to that list — in particular the wireless "Fun Fun Week" bra.
NPR's business news starts with a tax hike for la creme de la creme.
Yesterday, French President Francois Hollande's millionaires tax got the official go-ahead from the nation's Constitutional Council. Now all salaries over a million euros will be taxed at a rate of 75 percent.
Part of the tax hike will be shouldered by companies who are paying the higher salaries. Business leaders complain the new tax will only drive more entrepreneurs and wealthy into exile.
How do you get a cow out of a swimming pool? Wait, hear me out, this is not the setup for a bad joke. It's real conundrum faced by an Oregon man last week. The solution, it turns out, involves draining the entire pool, also a series of straps and ropes, a ramp, a bucket of oats, and 10 firefighters to haul the cow out. The homeowner says he's not sure how the cow got into the pool; that's just the setup for a whole other joke.
It's MOO-NING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
We have been following the harrowing news coming out of South Sudan in recent days.
MONTAGNE: It is the world's newest country and it came into being with high hopes after a two-decade-long civil war with Sudan. Now South Sudan has plunged into what's beginning to look its own civil war.
One of southern Russia's largest cities is reeling from two deadly bombings in the last 24 hours. The violence took place in Volgograd which is hundreds of miles from Sochi, where the Winter Olympics will be held. This has raised questions about whether these acts of terrorism are related to the staging of the Olympics.
And as the hours are counted down towards the end of 2013, we're looking back at some of the stories that helped define the year that was. And one of the most significant moments this year - after years of resisting, Iran reached an agreement with the U.S. and other world powers to suspend much of its nuclear activity.