This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Scott Simon is away. This week, President Obama said he's open to reforms of the National Security Agency's surveillance program. Speaking at a White House news conference, the President said he still believes the programs have adequate protections for Americans' privacy.
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. This week, Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post; Google's Sergey Brin backed the creation of a lab-grown beef burger. Then there's Richard Branson and his commercial space flights, and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's win in the America's Cup - a very small group of incredibly well-heeled men with the power, and the deep pockets, to effect real change in the world.
This week, the U.S. housing market showed a few more signs of life. New reports show home sales and prices rising. And those gains have been coming despite the recent rise in interest rates. Meanwhile, President Obama spoke out about changes he'd like to see in the mortgage market. We're joined now by NPR correspondent Chris Arnold who's been keeping an eye on all of this. Hi, Chris.
The selection last week of actor Peter Capaldi to play the latest Doctor on Doctor Who has made headlines all over the world — and you'd be forgiven for wondering why. It's only a TV show, after all, and it's a sometimes cheesy, often over-the-top sci-fi feature, not 60 Minutes or The West Wing.
For four decades, William Ferris tracked down some of the most inspirational artists and historians of the American South. He sat down with Eudora Welty, Alice Walker, Pete Seeger, Bobby Rush and Alex Haley, capturing their reflections on tape and their images on camera.
Marine Cpl. Paul Wayman and former Navy SEAL Nathanael Roberti met in 2012, after finding themselves in front of a special court for veterans.
The court takes into account the specific struggles that service members face, so the judge gave each of them a choice: go to prison, or enroll in a program that helps veterans readjust to civilian life.
They chose to go through the program, Veterans Village of San Diego, located in a California live-in facility.
HEADLEE: We are rounding the corner toward Major League Baseball's homestretch. Some surprising names are up near the top of the standings: Pirates, Royals, Orioles all contending this year. They have a collective zero World Series titles since 1985 and it's not really a surprise. But I can't get through a sports interview without mentioning, of course, the beloved Detroit Tigers. They're in first place in the American League.
Unless you've been hiding under a burger bun for the past week, you've probably heard the story about the lab-grown burger. The test-tube piece of meat took three months and cost more than $300,000 to grow, but its makers hope the experiment might help feed the world someday.
It's Morgaine Gaye's job to think about what we'll be eating in the future. She's a food futurologist, and she joins me now from our London bureau and she joins me now from our London bureau. Welcome.
During the opening scene of Broadchurch, a new drama on BBC America, the camera lingers on a sign that reads "Love Thy Neighbour." But it must be pretty hard to 'love thy neighbor' when you know there's a murderer in your midst.
Broadchurch is also the fictional name of the idyllic looking English seaside town where the show is set. From afar, it looks like the perfect vacation spot — but up close the picture is quite different.
Republican dreams of a U.S. Senate takeover have been shattered in recent elections by a collection of "unelectable" nominees — the term of art used by political pros to refer to not-ready-for-prime-time candidates whose extreme views doomed their chances with mainstream voters.
There was Delaware's Christine "I'm Not A Witch" O'Donnell, and Nevada's Sharron "Some Latinos Look More Asian To Me" Angle in 2010.
Last year's contests starred Indiana's Richard "Rape Pregnancies Are A Gift From God" Mourdock, and Missouri's Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with their Russian counterparts for talks in Washington on Friday, aiming to repair strained relations with Moscow.
President Obama snubbed Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday when he called off plans to go to Moscow next month for a one-on-one summit. He was reacting to Russia's offer of temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
But on Friday, the diplomats seemed eager to show that the dispute is not some new sort of cold war.
Late summer is high season for delicious, juicy fruits, from Georgia peaches to Maine blueberries. Naturally, that gets many bakers thinking pie. But taking a big, drippy pie on a picnic can be a pretty sloppy prospect.
Kim Boyce, a baker in Portland, Ore., has solved this problem. For picnics, she bakes up hand pies: Sturdy little fruit-filled turnovers that don't require a knife and fork. Boyce makes 60 or 70 a day at her bakery.
On the list of things to be outraged about at the moment, I'll admit this isn't at the top: The Swiss tourism office apologized to Oprah on Friday because she wasn't allowed to buy a $38,000 designer handbag while recently shopping in Switzerland. Poor lil' Oprah. *sad face*
It does make me wonder, though, can you ever be rich enough or famous enough or beautiful enough to not be racially profiled while shopping?
On the corner of H and 12 streets, across from the auto parts store sits a decently sized Italian restaurant and bar called Vendetta. Inside, there's a wooden bar and brick walls salvaged from churches in upstate New York and Maryland, and authentic Italian advertisements line the walls. Upstairs, old restored Italian Vespas hang from the ceiling.
Heading into Friday's news conference, President Obama had a delicate balancing act before him: how to acknowledge widespread concerns about National Security Agency surveillance without in any way legitimizing the actions of leaker Edward Snowden.
The best course, the president decided, was to acknowledge that Snowden's revelations to some degree forced his administration to accelerate and expand a review of the federal government's surveillance activities.
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 5:18 pm
U.S. trade officials have ruled that South Korea's Samsung infringed on patents owned by Apple for specific smartphone features, ratcheting up a tit-for-tat legal battle between the two electronics giants that is matched only by the ferocity of their marketplace competition.
Should you ever meet Donny McCaslin, you'll encounter an imposingly tall fellow who's one of the nicest guys you'll shake hands with — and who wields a sax like few others. His band has gone electro-funk with fuzz-dub bass, analog synths and hard grooves. One of his newer tunes is called "Stadium Jazz," which is a little tongue-in-cheek and with a little bit of the grand vision implied. They played a side stage in the morning. The audience didn't know what hit 'em.
Tyson Foods Inc. announced this week that it would soon suspend purchases of cattle that had been treated with a controversial drug, citing animal welfare concerns.
But many in the industry wonder if the real reason is the battle for sales in other countries, where certain drugs that make livestock grow faster are banned.
"I really do think this is more of a marketing ploy from Tyson to raise some awareness so they can garner some export business from our overseas export partners," says Dan Norcini, an independent commodities broker.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 8:56 am
Babies come in pretty cute packaging — we're pretty sure it has something to do with Mother Nature wanting you to coo over a burping, pooping little freeloader. But now Chinese Internet users have found a way to one-up nature: They're wrapping those already adorable babes in watermelons.
A screenshot posted on Twitter by ESPN analyst Jay Bilas shows the results for a search for "manziel" — shirts and jerseys matching Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel. The NCAA says it will stop selling such products.
Stung by fresh accusations that the NCAA makes money off college athletes, the organization promised this week to stop selling jerseys and similar products. The move came days after ESPN analyst Jay Bilas tweeted pics of the NCAA Shop selling jerseys corresponding to current players' numbers.