At his press conference on Friday, President Obama promised more transparency about the government's secret national security surveillance programs. The president expressed support for some reform efforts being considered in Congress and called for the release of more documents that explain how and why the surveillance effort works and whether it safeguards the privacy of Americans.
Lavabit, an encrypted email service reportedly used by former government contractor Edward Snowden, ceased operations yesterday. In a message to users, the owner of Lavabit hinted that the company was the target of a request for information about customers from the federal government. He said he chose to shut down his service instead of becoming "complicit in crimes against the American people." Later in the day, another secure email service, called Silent Circle, also shuttered itself.
We remember recording producer Cowboy Jack Clements, who died Thursday in Nashville at the age of 82. In the 1950s, he helped record Elvis, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison when he worked at Sun Records in Memphis. He also discovered Jerry Lee Lewis and began a life-long friendship with Johnny Cash. Clement later provided the signature sound to one of Cash's biggest hits, "Ring of Fire."
Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 6:28 am
A Mexican court has thrown out the conviction of infamous drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, 28 years after he was convicted and imprisoned for the 1985 kidnapping and murder of U.S. DEA agent Enrique Camarena.
Quintero had been serving a 40-year sentence for torturing and killing Camarena, but the court voided the sentence on a technicality — saying he should have been tried in a state court instead of the federal court where he was convicted.
Meet Marvin Horne, raisin farmer. Horne has been farming raisins on a vineyard in Kerman, Calif., for decades. But a couple of years ago, he did something that made a lot of the other raisin farmers out here in California really angry. So angry that they hired a private investigator to spy on Horne and his wife, Laura. Agents from a detective agency spent hours sitting outside the Hornes' farm recording video of trucks entering and leaving the property.
CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR news quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. And once again here's your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Carl. Thanks so much.
SAGAL: There are a lot of different kinds of pastimes and games, so there's some debate over what actually is a sport and what isn't. Here's my definition. A sport is anything I am scared to attempt.
A police officer checks a car Wednesday at the entrance of Yemen's Sanaa International Airport. Security forces in the Middle East and Africa have been on heightened alert because of concerns about potential terrorist attacks.
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 1:01 pm
Revelations this week that the U.S. intercepted communications between top al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri and other key terrorist figures in the Arabian Peninsula offered a pretty good plug for the work of the National Security Agency.
As leaks go, this was a big one. Was it a signal that government officials are going to be more open about intelligence gathering in the aftermath of the Edward Snowden affair?
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 1:04 pm
President Obama, appearing Friday for his first news conference in more than three months, will no doubt be fielding tough questions on a new round of revelations regarding the NSA's top-secret electronic surveillance programs.
Before the midseason break, <em>Breaking Bad</em>'s Walter White (Bryan Cranston) had stashed away plenty of drug money, but may have inadvertently tipped off his DEA agent brother-in-law.
Credit Ursula Coyote / AMC
Jon Hamm stars alongside Larry David (under a lot of hair and makeup) in HBO's <em>Clear History</em>. It tells the story of a marketing executive (David) who fights with his boss (Hamm) and sells his share of the company — right before it makes it big.
Credit John P. Johnson / HBO
AMC's <em>Low Winter Sun</em> is based on an award-winning British miniseries of the same name, and which also starred Mark Strong.
This weekend, the AMC cable network begins showing the final episodes of its acclaimed drama series Breaking Bad, and launches a new one: Low Winter Sun. Meanwhile, HBO presents its newest made-for-TV movie — this one a comedy, starring and co-written by Larry David.
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 11:56 am
Gaston Glock, 84, has been ordered to pay alimony to his ex-wife, Helga, whom he divorced in 2011. The couple had been married for 49 years. The founder of the Austrian gun company "divorced Helga in order to marry a woman about 50 years his junior," Agence France-Presse reports.
Austria's highest court issued its ruling this week, after two lower courts had sided with Gaston Glock in what has been a lengthy court battle.
Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 9:26 am
When winemakers crush the juice from grapes, what's left is a goopy pile of seeds, stems and skins called pomace. Until several years ago, these remains were more than likely destined for the dump.
"The pomace pile was one of the largest problems that the wine industry had with sustainability," says Paul Novak, general manager for WholeVine Products, a sister company to winemaker Kendall-Jackson in Northern California.
Tightrope walker Andrea Loreni performs in front of the Coliseum in Rome on Saturday. Rome's new mayor is on a crusade to make the ancient monuments more pedestrian friendly, and the city held an all-night street party as it permanently blocked off part of the main road running past the Coliseum.
Credit Gabriel Bouys / AFP/Getty Images
People walk along Rome's Via dei Fori Imperiali during "La Notte dei Fori" on Saturday. The event opened a plan to ban private traffic from the stretch of roadway near the Colosseum.
On the first Saturday of August, a funny thing happened to 150,000 people on their way to the Roman Forum.
While a pianist and sax player set the mood, people looked upward and watched anxiously as acrobat Andrea Loreni made his way slowly on a tightrope stretched across Via dei Fori Imperiali, the wide avenue flanking the Forum and leading to the Coliseum.
The acrobat's walk was meant as a metaphor, a bridge reuniting ancient squares.
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 3:47 pm
Time to stretch out the lawn chairs, lie back and enjoy the once-a-year celestial show known as the Perseid meteor shower.
The Perseids, the dusty debris of Comet Swift-Tuttle, whisk through our upper atmosphere every August. They aren't the only meteor shower on the calendar, but "the Perseids are the good ones," says meteorite expert Bill Cooke of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 11:55 am
How's this for surprising news: The Obama administration and the GOP have found some common ground.
Both sides have filed amicus briefs with the United States Supreme Court supporting the right of local town boards to begin their meetings with a prayer. The Los Angeles Times explainsTown of Greece, New York v. Susan Galloway, Et. Al. like this:
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 11:56 am
A group is calling on back-to-school shoppers to boycott Macy's and Kroger stores in Texas this weekend, in retaliation for the national retailers' efforts to quash a bill that would have strengthened the state's wage discrimination law.
In HBO's <em>Enlightened, </em>Laura Dern stars as corporate executive Amy Jellicoe, who returns from a post-meltdown retreat to pick up the pieces of her broken life. Series creator Mike White stars as Tyler, Amy's friend and co-worker.
Credit Lacey Terrell / HBO
White based much of the story of <em>Enlightened </em>on his own workplace frustration and resulting therapy. The show has just completed its second season on HBO.
Tiffanie Drayton's mother moved her family to the U-S for a better life. But it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Now back in her native Trinidad, Drayton tells host Michel Martin what inspired her to share her story in the Salon piece 'Goodbye to my American Dream.' Byline: Michel Martin
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program today, we'll talk about immigration, but not in the way you might expect. Most often, we seem to hear about immigrants who are desperate to stay in the U.S. Later, we'll hear from a woman who said life was not what she'd hoped for here, so she packed up and went back to Trinidad. We'll hear from her in just a few minutes. But we are going to start the program today with a visit to the Barbershop.