Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 3:13 pm
Keeping with our just-started tradition, all the features that we do during our themed reporting week get a new home in a podcast on SoundCloud. The first episode featured kids and technology, this time around, our four stories on the sharing economy get freshened up and hosted by our Silicon Valley correspondents, Steve Henn and Laura Sydell. Just press play or download for your device.
Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 6:00 pm
Update at 8 p.m. ET. State IG Opens Investigation
The Washington Post reports that the state's Office of Inspector General has opened an investigation into why the son of Virginia state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds was released from custody the day before the stabbing.
Indonesia says it has scaled down its diplomatic relations and its level of cooperation with Australia in the wake of reports that Australia's security services spied on Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other top officials.
"We have downgraded the level of relations between Indonesia and Australia," Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said. "Like a faucet, it is turned down."
Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 8:47 am
Joseph Paul Franklin, the white supremacist who was convicted of eight murders, suspected in as many as 20 others and who shot Hustler publisher Larry Flynt in 1978, was put to death Wednesday in Missouri.
Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 8:37 am
Making a relatively rare appearance on national TV, former President George W. Bush told Tonight Show host Jay Leno on Tuesday's show that "I relied upon my faith, my family helped a lot and I had a good team around me" while in the White House.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The rumors are true. Terry Jones confirmed to the BBC that Monty Python will reunite for a stage show. It's been more than three decades since the last proper Python project. The group is beloved on both sides of the Atlantic for its surreal sense of humor, with a touch of slapstick.
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL")
GRAHAM CHAPMAN: (as King Arthur) Now, stand aside, worthy adversary.
JOHN CLEESE: (as the Black Knight) 'Tis but a scratch.
Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. We've brought our staff into the studio to respond to this sappy story about the baby panda at the National Zoo. The zoo in Washington is holding an online contest to name the panda. The name will be bestowed December 1st when the cub is 100 days old. Meanwhile, we can report the kid went for a walk. Colleagues were told she crawled out of the den all by herself, though she then got tired and went to sleep in the doorway.
Negotiators from Iran and six world powers are back in Geneva for another round of talks on Tehran's nuclear program. There are signals that a preliminary deal over the future of Iran's nuclear program may finally be within in reach.
Since the typhoon hit the Philippines, doing business in the hardest-hit city of Tacloban has been next to impossible But on Wednesday, five gas stations, two hardware stores and several banks reopened.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
Our colleague Anthony Kuhn has departed Tacloban, the city in the Philippines hardest hit by a typhoon. Anthony covered the early days of a disaster that left around 4,000 people dead and has displaced four million more. And now that he's in Manila, Anthony is going to try to help us get some perspective on what happened. He's on the line.
Here in the United States, Wal-Mart is trying to play down accusations that it underpays its staff. An effort by employees at an Ohio Wal-Mart to collect food for fellow workers' Thanksgiving dinners has gone viral - and not in a good way.
M.L. Schultze, from member station WKSU, reports some see the food drive simply as people helping people.
NPR's business news starts with a giant hip check.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: You know, sort of like you'd have in basketball or hockey. Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay out $2.5 billion to settle a lawsuit over faulty artificial hips. The medical products maker will reportedly pay 8,000 American patients $250,000 each for new hip replacement surgery. An additional $475 million will cover other health problems caused by the faulty device which is called the articular service replacement or ASR.
Ghana qualifies for its third straight World Cup â€” defeating Egypt 7-3 on total goals after a 2-1 loss. This was the first international match in Cairo in two years. A bloody soccer riot there left dozens dead in 2011. It was also the first match since authorities lifted the curfew that went into effect after widespread clashes between security forces and Muslim Brotherhood supporters, protesting the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been lobbying hard against an agreement with Iran that would ease economic sanctions if it allows Tehran to continue enriching nuclear material in any way. Israelis overwhelmingly agree that the Iranians should not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon.
The difference of opinion comes on the range of views of how to stop them. NPR's Emily Harris reports.
Thirty-five years ago the U.S. negotiated an historic peace deal between Israel and Egypt. Over 13 long days at the presidential retreat Camp David, President Jimmy Carter walked a delicate line to get Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israel Prime Minister Menachem Begin to reach an agreement. Now we're learning more details of how they succeeded. Last week, the CIA declassified 1,400 of pages of documents related to those Camp David peace talks.
The death toll from Sunday's tornado outbreak across the Midwest stands at eight. Many of those who witnessed the devastation say they're shocked that number isn't higher. Early warnings delivered by text message may have helped limit the casualties.
In his new book released this week, Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker reflects on the political firestorm he survived at home in 2012 â€” and diagnoses what went wrong for the national party.
The Obama administration is asking for people who've been turned off by the government's problem-plagued insurance website to come back. Officials say the website is working better now, though it's still far from fixed.
The Justice Department on Tuesday announced a landmark $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase. That's the largest settlement the federal government has ever made with a single company. It's three times the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill settlement.
For four years, the Islamist militants of Boko Haram have been waging a deadly campaign in northern and central Nigeria, killing thousands of people. In response, the Nigerian military is cracking down on the group, and the United States last week designated Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
Along with the privacy advocates and the national security establishment, there is another set of players with strong views on NSA surveillance programs: U.S. tech companies.
Google and five other companies weighed in on the surveillance debate last month, sending a letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, supporting legislation to reform National Security Agency surveillance programs.
If the answer is "not recently," then you can count yourself among the millions of Americans who just don't write letters anymore. The post office says the average American home receives only one personal letter about every two months.
But there are a few determined people who are doing their best to wreck that average.
"It's becoming a lost art," says Deb Bruzewski.
Every day she curls up on her plaid couch in her home in Auburn, Mich., to write a few of her 60 letters for the week.
College basketball seems to get started sooner every year, like puberty in American children. Why does everything have to begin so early now, before you have time to get ready for it?
Things move so fast in college basketball that there are three players this year who are being called "the next LeBron James. " In the NBA, most of the talk is already about where the superstars will be next season.