The Supreme Court struck down a key part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act this week. The court said that the standard by which it is determined that some states need preapproval for making changes to voting laws was unconstitutional. So what does it mean for the Department of Justice and states that were affected by the law? Audie Cornish speaks with Bill Yeomans, law professor at American University.
This City Life Snapshot brings us sound of an old fashioned technology for connecting our cities that's still operating in some parts of the country. We board a Pullman Rail Car that regularly makes the trip from Chicago to New Orleans thanks to the company, Pullman Rail Journeys. Head Steward Rick Hansen gives us a tour. This comes to us from Jennifer Brandel at member station WBEZ and the Localore project Curious City.
It's emotional, high-stakes and dramatic. But the trial of reputed mobster James Whitey Bulger now ongoing in federal court in Boston, is not being recorded or televised, so the drama is harder to come by for anyone not inside the courtroom.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Today, in the trial of George Zimmerman, a key witness bolstered Zimmerman's claim that he acted in self-defense when he killed teenager Trayvon Martin. The witness was a neighbor in the Sanford, Florida community where Zimmerman encountered Martin and he was the only person to see them fight before Zimmerman fired the gunshot that ended Martin's life.
Peanuts, flax, sprouts and avocados: It's not the menu at a health food deli, but the menu inside some barns. What's more, many farmers experimenting with these gourmet feeds are growing the ingredients themselves.
Take Russ Kremer, the Missouri pig farmer whose operation served as the inspiration for the 2011 Chipotle ad. Kremer hasn't bought commercial animal feed in 30 years. Instead, he grazes his hogs in a pasture, and grows (or buys from neighbors) grains and legumes to supplement their nutrition.
In Seattle, the city that sired Starbucks, you don't have to travel more than a few steps to find a decent — nay, great — cup of joe. Java is the lifeblood of the city: Where other cities might offer walking tours of historic sites, in Seattle, "coffee crawls" take visitors to the city's best-loved coffeehouses.
A big worry among people trying to wipe out polio is that the virus will regain a foothold, somewhere to launch a comeback — someplace, perhaps, like Somalia.
Polio has paralyzed 25 kids in Somalia and another six in a Kenyan refugee camp since early May, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative reported Wednesday. Before this outbreak, Somalia hadn't had a polio case in more than five years.
Bert and Ernie — yes, Sesame Street's Muppets — have been thrust yet again into the gay marriage debate.
This time, for its July 8 and 15 issue, The New Yorker decided to use an illustration of Bert and Ernie for their coverage of the Supreme Court's decisions on two landmark gay marriage cases. The illustration shows Bert and Ernie cuddling on a couch while watching what seems to be TV news coverage of the court's decisions:
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Summer is the time when many people decide to take that trip they've been putting off to visit distant relatives, introduce the kids and maybe even bring home some business. Presidents are no different. President Obama and his family are in Africa now. It'll be the longest visit to Africa of his presidency and has been much anticipated on the continent, after his barely 24-hour visit to just one country, Ghana, in his first term.
And now we'd like to tell you about a blog that's been bringing new spice and new information to the continent. "Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women" features short stories, tips on how to shake things up in the bedroom and information on how to stay safe. The women behind the blog say they want to challenge the idea that sex is something that only men can talk about and only men can enjoy.
As the keyboardist for the trio Medeski, Martin & Wood, John Medeski has been bringing jazz and fusion to rock audiences for more than two decades. He recently began playing solo piano concerts in venues around the world. On this episode of Piano Jazz, Medeski joins host Jon Weber to perform pieces from his new solo piano album, A Different Time, as well as a surprising duet or two.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. President Obama announced a plan this week calling on the environmental protection agency to regulate how much carbon power plants are allowed to emit. He had tried and failed to get Congress to act on climate change from the very first days of his presidency. This week in a speech at Georgetown University, he announced it was time to take matters into his own hands.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Back in 2007, Congress funded, and the president signed into law, a new kind of research organization, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E. You had heard of DARPA? This was ARPA-E. And its mission is to back energy technologies that are too risky for investors but offer a potentially huge payoff if they work.
Carole King initially found it extremely difficult to navigate the social hierarchies of high school. The Grammy Award-winning songwriter was a few years younger than her fellow classmates and was often dismissed as being "cute."
Singer and pianist Tony DeSare grew up in Glen Falls, N.Y. He began his musical career on violin, but from an early age, he expressed a fascination with the piano and organ. His parents bought him a small Casio keyboard to test his interest, and by age 12, DeSare had been given a full-size keyboard and was taking piano lessons.
When Joshua Prager was 19, a devastating bus accident left him paralyzed on his left side. He returned to Israel twenty years later to find the driver who turned his world upside down. Prager tells his story and probes deep questions of identity, self-deception and destiny.