The Wall Street Journalhas an interesting bit of analysis today: U.S. courts tend to hand out more lenient punishments to those who hide money offshore to cheat on their taxes than they do to more mundane tax evaders.
The Journal relies on Internal Revenue Service statistics and "data compiled by former U.S. Justice Department lawyer Jack Townsend."
News flash: Whoopie pies are not indigenous Pennsylvania Dutch food, no matter what the tourist traps say. Nor are the seafood bisque, chili, roast beef and other dishes crowding the steam tables at tourist restaurants in Lancaster County, Pa.
Instead, how about some gumbis, a casserole of shredded cabbage, meat, dried fruit and onions? Or some gribble, bits of toasted pasta akin to couscous? Or some schnitz-un-gnepp: stewed dried apples, ham hocks and dumplings?
[CAUTION: This is all about Sunday night's Mad Men. Obviously, if you haven't seen Sunday night's Mad Men and you still intend to, you might hold off.]
It's reductive to conclude that on far too many episodes of Mad Men, nothing happens. Of course something always happens: someone feels something, or learns something, or is locked in a continuous internal struggle with something. A dynamic continues to simmer, a memory comes to the surface, angels and demons battle for somebody's soul.
Investigators are trying to determine what caused a horrific fire inside a limousine late Saturday night on the San Mateo Bridge over San Francisco Bay. A new bride and four of her friends — all women — died as they tried to escape. Four other women, who had also been celebrating Neriza Fojas' recent marriage, managed to escape. So did the driver.
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.
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.