As the Rim Fire rages on, thousands of houses are threatened; over 100 have already burned. One of them was the home and the family ranch that Corinna Loh grew up on. Now she's struggling to keep her bar, the Iron Door Saloon, one of California's oldest, up and running. Good morning to you.
CORINNA LOH: Good morning.
MONTAGNE: It sounds like it's been a harrowing week. Tell us what has actually happened to you.
That was roughly the reaction of Vermonters who read this magazine headline. Quote: "Autumn In Arizona and Why It's Better Here Than It Is In Vermont."
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
You see, leaf-peepers, those are the tourists who head north to look at the colorful foliage, are a huge part of the state's economy. An estimated 3.5 million people visit Vermont during the season, spending some $130 million.
NPR's business news starts with settling suits for big money.
U.S. authorities are pressing JPMorgan Chase to settle lawsuits over bonds backed by subprime mortgages. And the Federal Housing Finance Agency is looking in the range of $6 billion to settle those suits.
JPMorgan Chase is still negotiating with the government. But here's another eye-popping number: The bank has spent about five billion for legal costs in each of the past two years. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And now let's hear another skeptical view of the benefits of U.S. military strikes in Syria. Alastair Crooke has been a Mideast adviser to the European Union and also a British intelligence officer. He runs Conflicts Forum, which says it seeks to increase Western understanding of Islam.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Renee Montagne.
A possible strike on Syria could move closer to reality today.
GREENE: British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the U.K. will put a resolution before the U.N. Security Council, quote, "authorizing necessary measures to protect civilians caught up in the civil war there."
Now, just as fires are a fact of life in the West, hurricanes smash into the Southeast every summer. But New England is something of a stranger to summer disasters, which is why it was huge news two years ago today when Irene hit Vermont. That tropical storm displaced 1,400 families.
More than a month after he was acquitted on murder charges, George Zimmerman - or at least his lawyers - are headed back to court. Zimmerman is the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. His lawyers are asking the state of Florida to reimburse their client for court costs incurred during his murder trial - costs, they say, might be as high as $300,000.
I grew up in a town of about 6,000 people in rural Kansas back in the '70s and '80s. I've never romanticized it much, though it was certainly a simpler time and, for better or worse, it's where I learned to make some sense of my life. The world you inhabit when you come of age in your teen years has a way of digging its claws in you. As the years pass, no matter how far you try to get away from it, it stays with you. The people, the places, the sounds and even the smells become a part of your DNA.
Let's see, now. That self-proclaimed fortress of liberty and fellowship, the International Olympic Committee, awards the Winter Olympics to Russia for 2014. After all, China worked out so well as an exemplar of freedom of the press at Beijing in 2008.
Then, Russia, duly a signator of the Olympic charter proclaiming the "preservation of human dignity," trots out an anti-homosexual law that would've made Ivan the Terrible have second thoughts.
President Obama will stand in the symbolic shadows of Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln Wednesday, as he marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Aides say Obama will use the opportunity to celebrate the progress that's been made, thanks to the civil rights movement. He'll also discuss the work that he says still has to be done to realize King's dream of racial justice in America.
That includes fighting to protect voting rights and building what the president calls "ladders of opportunity" for poor people of all races.
For the month of August, Morning Edition and The Race Card Project are looking back at a seminal moment in civil rights history: the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic "I Have a Dream Speech" Aug. 28, 1963. Approximately 250,000 people descended on the nation's capital from all over the country for the mass demonstration.
Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 4:57 pm
Last year, the federal government made accessibility standards at playgrounds mandatory under the Americans with Disabilities Act so that children with disabilities can more easily play alongside typical kids.
But whether children with disabilities are able to enjoy their new civil rights to play may depend on where they live, and the design decisions their cities and towns made when they built local playgrounds.
For 3-year-old Emmanuel Soto, who has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, the local playground's design doesn't work.
Yahoo yesterday announced a redesign of some of its major sites, the latest step in CEO Marissa Mayer's dramatic turnaround of the company. Since she took the helm last year, Yahoo's stock has surged. And a leading industry measure recently showed Yahoo topping Google in the number of website visits - which is something, since Marissa Mayer jumped to Yahoo after years of being a top player at Google.
Scientists in Sweden say they have confirmed a new, super-heavy element that was first proposed by Russian scientists in 2004. The element with the atomic number 115 has yet to be named.
In a press release, Lund University says a group of international scientists led by physicists from Lund University, made the element by shooting a beam of calcium, which has 20 protons, into a thin film of americium, which has 95 protons.
For less than a second, the new element had 115 protons.
There's concern the sport of swimming still may be dealing with a sexual abuse problem in the United States.
It's been three years since revelations emerged in the media. A number of in-depth reports in 2010 likened the situation in swimming to the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal: Coaches molesting under-age female swimmers; some of the abuse continuing for years without punishment.
In the latest hacking that brought down The New York Times on Tuesday, evidence points to the activist group of hackers known as the Syrian Electronic Army. This group also took out The Washington Post briefly last week and has used phishing attacks to take control of NPR.org and other national news organizations in previous months. The Washington Post notes:
Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 2:40 pm
A 7-year-old vaccine that has drastically cut intestinal infections in infants is benefiting the rest of America, too.
A study published Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that vaccinating infants against rotavirus has also caused a striking decline in serious infections among older children and adults who didn't get vaccinated.
A strike against Syria will almost certainly fail to win the support of the U.N. Security Council. That is because of Russian opposition, and the Chinese also oppose it. Why are the Russians so determined in their support of the Syrian regime despite Western claims that Bashar al-Assad's army has committed an atrocious war crime?
If the United States takes military action against Syria, it will not act alone. Its allies will certainly play a role, including Britain. NPR's Philip Reeves says the British government has already launched an offensive to win public support for military intervention.
PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: U.N. inspectors in Syria have yet to deliver their conclusions. But Britain's prime minister, David Cameron, seems pretty sure he already knows who's to blame for last week's attack that killed hundreds of Syrian civilians.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Melissa Block. The Arab League says those behind last week's chemical weapons attack in Syria must face justice. The call came at an emergency meeting in Cairo, one day after the U.S. announced it has little doubt that Bashar al-Assad's regime was responsible for gassing civilians. The Obama administration says it has not yet decided whether to strike Syria but is consulting with allies, as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
After years of litigation and political jousting, Vermont is set to close its only nuclear power plant by the end of next year. As John Dillon of Vermont Public Radio reports, the plant's closure is a sign of how much the country's energy market is changing.