Explorer Ben Saunders wants you to go outside. Not because it's always pleasant and happy, but because that's where the meat of life is, "the juice that we can suck out of our hours and days." In 2004, Saunders skied solo to the North Pole. Saunders' next outdoor excursion? To try to be the first in the world to walk from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back again.
All good things must come to an end. NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving, for the final time, weigh in on the political news of the week. New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner is enbroiled in another sexting saga, President Obama delivers his most expansive comments on race and Mitch McConnell now has a Tea Party challenger. The guys also make 2014 and 2016 predictions, plus read farewell comments from The Listener.
Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 11:38 am
"The chamber of the Lincoln Memorial is shut down Friday morning because of vandalism. U.S. Park Police tell WTOP the Lincoln statue and the floor inside the memorial was splattered with green paint," the radio station reported. "They think the vandalism occurred at about 1:30 a.m."
The year 1963 saw the March on Washington, the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Medgar Evers, the bombing of the Birmingham church that resulted in the deaths of four black girls and the passing of W.E.B. Du Bois. That same year, LeRoi Jones — a twentysomething, Newark, N.J.-born, African-American, Lower East Side-based Beat poet — published a book titled Blues People: a panoramic sociocultural history of African-American music.
"A Bosnian from the 'Pink Panther' gang of international jewel thieves escaped from a Swiss prison in a dramatic break-out involving a fellow inmate and two armed accomplices, police said Friday." (Agence France-Presse, via GlobalPost)
And today's last word in business is: A healthy resistance.
The success of President Obama's health care law depends a lot on whether healthy 20- and 30-somethings will end up buying insurance. At first, the administration was hoping to recruit pro football stars in its PR push, but after a couple of Republicans sent the NFL a letter, that didn't happen. So now the White House is turning to celebrities - names like Michael Cera, Jennifer Hudson and Amy Poehler were reportedly in Washington this week.
Good morning. I'm David Greene. What better way to beat the summer heat than jumping in a pool? That's what some guys in Germany did, but their pool was a converted an open-top BMW - complete with tiki decorations - still drivable. The fun, though, dried up when they passed a motorcycle cop. They pulled over, abandoned the vehicle and jumped into a nearby river. The investigation is still ongoing, but the police did say this car pool probably didn't have a road permit. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
NPR's business news starts with Toyota holding onto the trophy.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: Toyota remains the world's top-selling automaker. Numbers out today show the Japanese company sold 4.9 million cars and trucks in the first half of the year, beating out its rival General Motors. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Next time you're in France, if you're moved to call the country's president stupid, it's OK. It's no longer a crime. Yesterday, the French parliament got rid of an old law from the 1880s that made insulting the president in public an automatic criminal offense. That's good news for former President Nicolas Sarkozy. He apparently called his successor, President Francois Hollande, a, quote, "ridiculous little fat man who dyes his hair."
And the Justice Department took an unusual step yesterday when it indicted a firm for securities fraud. Officials say the hedge fund company SAC Capital and its founder Steven Cohen routinely tolerated and encouraged illegal activity by employees. SAC is denying charges that it engaged in massive insider trading over the years.
And let's move now to what appears the largest case of electronic data theft ever uncovered by U.S. law enforcement. As NPR's Steve Henn reports, U.S. attorneys in New York and New Jersey have unveiled indictments against a Russian-dominated hacking conspiracy.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. Companies that are booming often want prestigious spaces, and this is especially true in the energy industry. The expansion of oil and gas drilling in the United States is having a major impact on the real estate market from Pennsylvania to Texas. It's certainly driving up prices and tightening the market in Denver. From Colorado Public Radio, Ben Markus reports.
Another juror has now spoken out about the George Zimmerman trial. The only minority on the panel says she believes the neighborhood watch volunteer who killed Trayvon Martin got away with murder. Zimmerman was acquitted earlier this month. During the trial, the judge ordered that jurors' identities remain confidential; and that order has not yet been lifted.
Mass demonstrations are expected in Egyptian cities Friday amid fears of an imminent crackdown by security forces on supporters of former President Mohammed Morsi. The military chief who ousted Morsi urged Egyptians to come out in force to give the army a mandate to deal with "violence and terror." Muslim Brotherhood leaders have called for rival protests, after accusing the military chief of calling for civil war.
William Roman wants to borrow money, but his bank won't lend him any more. So he's turning to his local pawn shop.
For Roman, a loan from the pawn shop is a lot easier to get. He doesn't have to fill out an application. The people at the pawn shop don't check his credit — all they want is something valuable, something they call sell if Roman doesn't pay them back.
"I've pawned laptops, PlayStations," says Roman. "If I'm not using it, then I'll just go and pawn it."
There's no shortage of R-rated male buddy comedies, but this summer's raunchy flick — complete with drinking, sex and swimming pools — isn't one of them. TheTo Do List, written and directed by Maggie Carey and starring Aubrey Plaza, chronicles the coming-of-age, sexual escapades of a teenage girl.
From madness to seizures, to crime and lack of sleep, people have long blamed the full moon for a range of problems. Research, on the other hand, has found little evidence over the years to support these anecdotal accounts of the moon's powers over the human body and brain.
But scientists in Switzerland decided to look again at one of those putative effects — disturbed sleep — and were surprised to see there might be something to the claim after all.
Makis Anagnostou, a worker and union leader, bottles lavender-scented fabric softener at VIO.ME, a former tile materials factory that went bust and has been revived by its staff as a collective making environmentally-friendly detergent.
Credit Joanna Kakissis/NPR
Empty bottles that will hold fabric softener made with vinegar and lavender.
The financial crisis in Greece has devastated the country's manufacturing sector, which has lost more than 30 percent of its jobs in the past three years. But at one factory in an industrial center in the north, workers have taken matters into their own hands.
Inside the cavernous factory on the outskirts of Thessaloniki, eight middle-aged men are filling bottles with a vinegar-based fabric softener that's scented with fresh lavender.
Twenty-two years ago this summer, Bryan Lindsay was riding his bike when he was hit by a van and almost killed. He was 7 years old.
Rowan Allen was the paramedic on the scene that day. "When the call came in, it was just before my shift ended that day," Rowan recalls on a visit to StoryCorps in New York. "The first instinct was, 'Oh man, right before we get off.' And then the dispatcher comes back on the air and he says, 'Child struck.' That just changes everything. And luckily, we were just a couple blocks away.
Attorney General Eric Holder says the Justice Department will ask a federal court to subject Texas to the same kind of scrutiny that was required of it by a section of the Voting Rights Act struck down last month by the Supreme Court.
In Shelby County v. Holder, the high court rescinded Section 5 of the 1965 act, which required several states including Texas that had a history of voter discrimination to get "pre-clearance" from the federal government before changing their election laws.
Phillip Agnew was blindsided by the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. The decision came down late on a Saturday night. Agnew was expecting the neighborhood watchman who killed Trayvon Martin to be found guilty.
Agnew, 28, leads a group of young activists called the Dream Defenders, which formed in Florida last year in the weeks following Trayvon's shooting death. It was one of the many groups that sprouted up in cities across the country in response to the shooting.
In an interview with ABC News, the only minority in the all-female jury that acquitted George Zimmerman with the killing of Trayvon Martin said Zimmerman "got away with murder."
"You can't put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty," said Juror B29, who identified herself as Maddy. "But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence."
The 36-year-old mother of eight is Puerto Rican and had recently moved to Sanford from Chicago.
The news out of Detroit has been grim of late, but there are some bright spots coming from one corner of the Motor City. On Thursday, General Motors posted its 14th straight profitable quarter since emerging from bankruptcy. Ford announced its 16th consecutive profitable quarter Wednesday, and Chrysler is expected to offer good news soon as well.