Meet Tony Stark at the opening of Iron Man 3: insanely wealthy, possessed of every toy, and traumatized by an attack on New York that has left him restless, anxious, belligerent, and given to both hunker-down security measures and fate-tempting swagger. He declares his total lack of fear, then builds the fortress walls higher.
Update at 1:55 p.m. ET: White House Is "Highly Skeptical":
At the White House this afternoon, spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. is "highly skeptical" of the comments made over the weekend by international prosecutor Carla del Ponte, who said there are "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof" that rebels in Syria have used sarin gas.
We've been covering del Ponte's comments, and the reaction to them, through the day. Scroll down to see an earlier update and our original post.
From the NPR Newcast: WBUR's Deborah Becker reports (with introduction from Jean Cochran)
Officials in Cambridge, Mass., have urged the family of deceased Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev not to ask that he be buried in a city-owned cemetery. Meanwhile, at least four private cemeteries in the area have already turned down such a request.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. Being the first person to set foot on the moon would make anyone's heart skip a beat. Well, not apparently Neil Armstrong. An auction house in Amherst, New Hampshire, is about to take bids on Armstrong's EGK. It's a printout of the Apollo 11 astronaut's heart rate as he first stepped onto the surface of the moon in 1969. The printout is about six inches long and shows some fairly steady beats. Well, that's for one man. No word yet on mankind. It's MORNING EDITION.
When thieves in a small Belgian town tried to shake the cops, they dumped the safe out of the getaway car. The safe popped open, spilling $1.3 million worth of cash. People scrambled to pick it up. One woman even brought out a broom. Well, it's now two weeks later and police are asking for the money. They have setup a mailbox for people to drop off cash anonymously. Only half the money has been returned so far. Oh, and somebody has already broken into the mailbox.
Over the weekend in Philadelphia, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro and niece of Fidel Castro received an award for her gay rights advocacy. To understand the significance of Mariela Castro's honor, you have to go back to the 1960's when gay people were sent to forced labor camps.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. A story we have been closely following for months, the bloody war in Syria has taken a fresh turn. Syria is blaming Israel for a series of air attacks that rocked the Syrian capital, Damascus, over the weekend.
This winter I walked 400 miles up the Rift Valley of Ethiopia in the company of three grizzled Afar nomads, two taciturn camels and a barrel of powdered milk.
The milk was a tragedy.
Early on, I had asked a friend from Addis Ababa, via satellite phone, to resupply us with food — scarce vegetables in particular. But he was a thoroughly modern African, an urbanite. His idea of the outdoors was absorbed largely from TV commercials. So he brought us instead a 10-quart drum of powdered coffee creamer.
The world's largest tunnel boring machine in a few months will begin digging a new double-decker highway tunnel under downtown Seattle. If all goes according to plan, Bertha will start digging this summer. It'll emerge again late next year on the other side of downtown, not far from the Space Needle.
The economic crisis in 2008 led to a massive overhaul of financial regulations. Journalist Robert Kaiser was given behind-the-scenes access to congressional reaction to the crisis. He saw that even with the threat of another Great Depression, Capitol Hill remained mired in dysfunction. NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to Kaiser about his book, Act of Congress: How America's Essential Institution Works, And How It Doesn't.
David Greene talks to eBay CEO John Donahoe about the political battle over online sales tax. On Monday, the Senate is expected to vote on a bill that would end the free ride that consumers have enjoyed when shopping online. The Marketplace Fairness Act would require online retailers to collect sales tax from customers, and pay them to states where customers live — just like brick and mortar stores.
The topics discussed during a five-hour question-and-answer session Saturday included: Berkshire Hathaway's increased size and who will take over as CEO when Buffett, 82, steps down. While admitting the company's expansion has changed things, Buffet demurred when it came to succession specifics.
And we have Cokie Roberts on the line. She joins us most Mondays. Cokie, good morning.
COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, David.
GREENE: So one of those last words in Emily piece, tightrope, I mean, that...
GREENE: ...feels like that's where President Obama is on Syria. I mean, he was already in a difficult position, and now we have an American ally we believe bombing Damascus. What sort of position is the White House in?
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
Syria has accused Israel of flagrantly violating international law after a series of airstrikes on targets near the Syrian capital over the weekend. Now, Israel has not officially accepted responsibility, but Israeli sources say the targets included Iranian-made missiles bound for Hezbollah fighters in neighboring Lebanon.
Republican Mitch McConnell has been the Senate minority leader since 2007, and he's the longest-serving senator in the history of Kentucky. He's up for re-election next year — and polling in the state shows his popularity is suffering.
If the Republicans can snag a half-dozen more seats in the Senate in 2014, McConnell could finally become majority leader. But first, he has to convince Kentuckians he's not out of touch with them.
The economy may be on the rebound, but many cultural institutions are still struggling to regain their financial footing. That's especially true for one of the country's most recognized museums — the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Known internationally for its research as well as its exhibits, the Field Museum must pay off millions in bond debt — and toe an ethical line as it does.
Secretary of State John Kerry sets off for what he calls "a long overdue" trip to Russia on Monday, and Syria is likely to top the agenda.
But U.S.-Russian relations are frosty these days. The U.S. is imposing targeted sanctions on Russian human rights violators, while Moscow is preventing American families from adopting Russian children.
That word "microbiome" — describing the collection of bacteria that live in and on our bodies — keeps popping up. This time, researchers say that children whose parents clean their pacifiers by sucking them might be less likely to develop allergic conditions because of how their parents' saliva changes their microbiomes.
The Port of Baltimore recently completed a major expansion, which included building a 50-foot berth and dredging the channel. It's in anticipation of increased traffic following the completion of a project to widen the Panama Canal.
Credit Jonathan Blakely / NPR
A crane removes a container from a ship at the Port of Baltimore's Seagirt Marine Terminal on March 1.
Emotions ran high as Germany's biggest terrorism trial in decades got underway Monday in Munich. The hearing is on the murders of 10 people who were the victims of a nearly decadelong neo-Nazi terror campaign against the Turkish community there.
The Solar Impulse, an airplane traveling across the United States using only solar power, is in Phoenix today, after reaching Arizona from California Saturday. It took the plane about 20 hours to travel from Mountain View, Calif., near San Francisco.
The aircraft is capable of flying at night as well as in daytime; the plane had about 75 percent of its battery power remaining when it landed in Arizona.
And you're listening to WEEKENDS on ALL THING CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Kelly McEvers.
This past week, Jason Collins became the first athlete who's active in major American team sports to announce that he's gay. His story reminded us of the story of Glenn Burke. Burke was an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1970s when his teammates discovered he was gay.
War has brought the act of faith to the forefront for those who occupy the White House. President Lincoln famously issued a call to prayer during the Civil war. Franklin Roosevelt announced D-Day to the nation with a prayer.
Today, President Obama receives a daily spiritual meditation. The man who sends those messages is a Pentecostal minister named Joshua DuBois.
When he first moved to Washington, D.C., DuBois says he had already formed an impression about the spiritual life of the town.
Imagine the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, in the 1980s. You can't, right? Neither can most music critics. That's why the recent re-release of a record by a popular '80s-era Mogadishu dance band has caught the attention of critics lately.
The founders of Dur-Dur Band now live in Columbus, Ohio. Weekends on All Things Considered asked members Abdinur Daljir and Sahra Dawo to go to a studio there — accompanied by an interpreter — to talk about the newly reissued record and the story that precedes it.