Police in China said Saturday that a suicidal man was responsible for a fire that swept through a commuter bus in the country's eastern coastal city of Xiamen, killing 47 people including the arsonist and injuring dozens more.
Authorities say 59-year-old Chen Shuizong left a suicide note at his home before setting the fire aboard the bus during Friday's rush hour. The official Xinhua news agency says he was "unhappy and pessimistic about his life, and planned the arson to vent personal grievances."
The man was so beautiful. He appeared to be stepping out of the ad on the side of the bus, his hair illuminated in sun. Amelia saw the little slip of paper burst from his pocket when he pulled out his keys. It flipped in the air once, twice before it caught against the cement stairs right in front of her. She quickly shut her mailbox with the very tiny key that made her feel oversized and fumbling.
Pakistan's new government wasted no time on Saturday in lodging a formal diplomatic complaint with Washington over a U.S. drone strike that reportedly killed seven militants near the Afghan border.
U.S. Charges D'Affaires Richard Hoagland was summoned to Pakistan's Foreign Office to receive the government's official protest. U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson was out of the country at the time of Friday's attack.
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz . I'm Bill Kurtis, filling in for Carl Kasell. We're playing his week with Roxanne Roberts, Tom Bodett, and P.J. O'Rourke. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced Saturday he would run to finish the late Frank Lautenberg's term in the U.S. Senate.
Booker, a 44-year-old Democrat, has served as mayor since 2006 and is Newark's third black mayor. He is hoping to claim Lautenberg's seat, which has been filled by Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa until a special election in October.
He made the announcement at a Saturday event in which he was endorsed by former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. We're going to get the latest now on that horrifying scene that unfolded yesterday morning in Santa Monica, California. A gunman killed four people in a house, on the streets and at Santa Monica College before authorities shot him in the college's library.
In another "insider attack," two U.S. soldiers and an American civilian were killed in Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province on Saturday by a man wearing an Afghan army uniform.
"Two U.S. International Security Assistance Force service members and one U.S. civilian were killed today when an individual wearing an ANA uniform turned his weapon against (them)," according to a statement from Afghanistan's NATO-led force.
Tech companies that cooperated with government intelligence-gathering efforts by allowing access to their databases say they did so only reluctantly and that it never involved 'direct access' to servers, according to The New York Times.
In a small barn on a sprawling farm near Maryland's Chesapeake Bay, something is munching on my blond ponytail, which admittedly looks like a tasty morsel of hay. I turn around and push away the head of a young thoroughbred straight off the racetrack. He inches closer and nudges me in the neck. He's strong, but his eyes are kind and playful. I reach out to rub his nose, and he lets his whole head melt into my arms. And at that moment, the story I was planning to write about the horse industry gets personal.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
John Morse isn't bogged down in personal scandal. The Democratic president of the Colorado Senate isn't accused of ethical improprieties or anything else that might directly violate his oath of office.
But by pushing a sweeping gun-control measure he's alienated a swath of voters who are determined to toss him out of office before his term ends.
On Monday, groups opposing restrictions on guns turned in twice as many signatures as they needed to trigger a recall election against Morse. A recall of another state senator appears likely.
Investigators in Santa Monica, Calif., were trying to piece together a motive in a shooting rampage in which four people were killed before police fatally shot the gunman.
The assailant, dressed in black and carrying a semi-automatic rifle, first shot and killed two men – believed to be his father and brother – at a home about a mile from Santa Monica College. Authorities were soon called to the burning home, but it wasn't immediately clear if the fire was arson.
Marching bands, beauty queens and Chita Rivera are set to make their way down New York City's Fifth Avenue on Sunday for the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade.
With 80,000 marchers and 2 million onlookers, the event is one of the country's biggest ethnic celebrations.
In the run-up to the parade, rows of street vendors have lined up north of the parade route, in New York's East Harlem neighborhood — also known as Spanish Harlem for the wave of Puerto Ricans that settled here after World War II.
In June 2012, Nik Wallenda — of the great Wallenda Family circus dynasty — walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. On June 23, he plans to cross the Grand Canyon the same way. Wallenda has also recently written a memoir called Balance: Christian Faith and Miraculous Results.
Coming up it's Lightning Fill in the Blank, but first it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924, or click the contact us link on our website waitwait.npr.org. There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago and our upcoming shows this August in Asheville, North Carolina and Tanglewood in Western Massachusetts. And please - oh yeah, whoo.
Now it is time to go on to our final game of course. It is Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as they can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?
BILL KURTIS: We go into the big games, Rox and Tom have three each. They are in the lead. P.J. has two.
Now, panel, what surprise picture will the government find? P.J. O'Rourke.
P.J. O'ROURKE: Oh, they're not going to find anything as a matter of fact because the system was going great. They're getting just all sorts of terrific horrible images from all of the stuff that we've done. And they're going down through all of us by alphabetical order and they got to Anthony Wiener and it crashed.
Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Tom, "Man of Steel" is the new Superman movie coming out soon. It hasn't been released. Fans are already up in arms. They claim that the director of the movie, Zack Snyder, has left out something essential, what?
TOM BODETT: The last Superman movie there was a complaint about his costume.
SAGAL: This is also a complaint about his costume.
BODETT: Costume. Well, it's not the - I saw the trailer, so it's not the S.
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT, WAIT...DON'T TELL ME the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis, filling in for Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Tom Bodett, P.J. O'Rourke, and Roxanne Roberts. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
Throughout the entertainment industry, alumni of a tiny, vocational high school program are at work: building sets in Hollywood, mixing sound on Broadway, performing on TV shows like The Office. They're graduates of the Addison Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), an incubator for actors and theater technicians at the Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury, Vt.
Richard Pryor occupies his own special category in comedy. He played Las Vegas and made popular movies, and performed routines that were almost short stories — searing, profane and moving.
Pryor grew up in his grandmother's brothel in Peoria, Ill.; she beat him, too. He was expelled from high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army, but spent much of his military stint in prison. And with a special fever of genius — torched by drugs, fueled by grief and enlivened by exhilaration — he created unforgettable depictions of what it's like to feel left out of American life.
Heard any really good jokes lately? Andrew Hudgins is one of America's most noted poets, but he says he has a hard time recalling any actual lines of poetry. He can, however, recite knock-knock jokes he heard in the third grade. Ever since then, he has favored the kind of humor that can make people squirm or even make them angry. Jokes about religion, race, sex, weight, the O.J. Simpson case, Natalie Wood's death, and punch lines from Adolf Hitler's generals — everything is fair game.
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The news that the National Security Agency is collecting reams of telephone data and tracking Internet behavior has alarmed civil liberties groups. President Obama believes U.S. citizens have no need to worry.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: One of the things that we're going to have to discuss and debate is how are we striking this balance between the need to keep the American people safe and our concerns about privacy, because there are some tradeoffs involved.