Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with an update on Sparky, the Arizona State Sun Devil. The university mascot is a devil with a pitchfork and horns. He got a makeover with help from Disney. But as we've reported, this effort to make a friendlier, more accessible devil created a monster. Many students hate the new Sparky with an almost religious fervor, so the university has surrendered. Authorities will re-redesign the devil costume and let alumni and others vote on the design.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:31 am
The race to fill South Carolina's 1st Congressional District has gotten quite a bit of attention. Mostly because of the cast of politicians vying for the seat vacated when Tim Scott was appointed to Senate by Gov. Nikki Haley.
We hear, occasionally, about a flea market find that turns out to be a valuable work of art. This morning the tale of a tiny Chinese bowl, pretty and looking like an open blossom. It was bought for $3 at a tag sale in New York. The bowl sat for several years on a mantel before the owner wondered where it came from, turns out the Song Dynasty a thousand years ago. Yesterday, the bowl sold at auction for $2.25 million.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:48 am
Cypriot politicians are busy trying to come up with an alternative plan to raise the cash needed to stave off a collapse of its banking sector after they unanimously rejected an international bailout package that would have imposed a levy on the nation's savings accounts.
Here's a quick look at some of Wednesday's developments:
President Barack Obama is greeted by Israeli President Shimon Peres, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon his arrival ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Wednesday.
Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:20 am
President Obama landed in Israel this morning, marking the first time he visits the country as president.
"I see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations, to restate America's unwavering commitment to Israel's security and to speak directly to the people of Israel and to your neighbors," Obama said during a welcoming ceremony at the Tel Aviv airport.
NPR's Larry Abramson, who's at the airport, just spoke to our Newscast unit. He said Obama was welcomed by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
Horizontal hydro-fracking has transformed the energy market. Drillers get natural gas out of the ground by drilling down, then sideways, using water pressure to unlock energy - natural gas. But for all the money coming out of the ground in some places, the technique is contentious and New York does not allow it; which causes landowners to feel they're being left behind.
NPR's business news starts with some books for resale.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: Start reading now. The Supreme Court has ruled that buying books overseas and reselling them in the United States does not violate copyright law. Yesterday's six/three decision comes as a relief to companies like eBay and Costco that resell all sorts of foreign goods.
The Dominican Republic has always been a goldmine of baseball talent. Today, the D.R. can call itself the game's world champion. Last night in San Francisco, Team D.R. won the World Baseball Classic, beating Caribbean rival Puerto Rico three-to-nothing. The Dominicans also made history in the process. They became the first team to win the Olympic-style tournament without losing a single game.
Let's go next to Turkey, where the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party, has released several captives. That development has given new hope to efforts to negotiate an end to Turkey's nearly three-decade battle against the PKK.
Now attention turns to hopes for a ceasefire and a new push to recognize Kurdish rights in Turkey, as NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.
As part of Morning Edition's coverage of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Renee Montagne talks to Richard Perle, former chairman of the Defense Department's Defense Policy Board. Perle was one of the most outspoken champions of invading Iraq, He explains his early support for the war and elaborates on the miscalculations of the last decade.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 11:04 am
It's difficult to predict the reception Where Tigers Are at Home will receive in the United States. The winner of France's Prix Medicis in 2008, this big, sprawling novel (in a translation by Mike Mitchell) comes to us from Algerian-born writer, philosopher and world traveler Jean-Marie Blas de Robles, author of more than a dozen works of fiction, poetry and nonfiction. This book — the first of his to appear in the U.S. in English — stands as a challenge to readers who want their fiction to offer a quick pay-off.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. President Obama is making his first visit to Israel since he's been in the White House. His past relations with Israel's government have not always gone well. Though the two nations insist they're reached new levels of security cooperation, they have publicly debated issues ranging from Iran to the Mideast peace process.
Let's hear now about a dramatic trial in Guatemala. That country's former dictator is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, stemming from the killings that happened in the early 1980s. Seventeen hundred indigenous Guatemalans - the Ixils people - died during one of the bloodiest periods of the country's three-decade-long war, a war that ultimately claimed more than 200,000 lives. At the time the U.S.-backed strongman, Ephraim Rios Montt, ruled the country.
Basketball fans have one more day to fill out their March Madness brackets. They'll need to predict not just the champions and their route to victory, but also the paths of all the losers. It's not easy. In fact, no person or computer has yet been able to do it.
Ever since the Newtown, Ct., school shooting, there's been a raging debate over how to keep America's schoolchildren safe. National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre proposed stationing an armed guard in every school in the country. Critics said that idea was impractical and would be too expensive to carry out.
But many schools and school districts already have armed police officers. Since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, about one-third of the schools in the U.S. have added some kind of armed security, according to federal data.
Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 7:30 am
Dora Hernandez gave a decade of her life to the U.S. Navy and the Army National Guard, but some of the dangers surprised her.
"The worst thing for me is that you don't have to worry about the enemy, you have to worry about your own soldiers," she says.
Sitting in a circle, a group of women nod in agreement. All are veterans, most have spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they're also survivors of another war. According to the Pentagon's own research, more than 1 in 4 women who join the military will be sexually assaulted during their careers.
The first day of spring typically signals the high season for open houses and home sales.
The season seems to have arrived early in some places where homebuying is already frenzied, and in many markets, the pendulum has swung from an excess of homes on the market a few years ago to a shortage.
Companies are licking their chops at the prospect of a wave of baby boomers leaving their jobs with trillions of dollars in 401(k)s and other savings accounts, so older Americans may find themselves bombarded with ads for annuities. And younger boomers, too, may be targeted, since many are helping their parentswith investment decisions.
Unlike any other festival, South by Southwest is unique to everyone who attends. And I love that about this festival. With over 2,200 bands spread out over 100 venues and five days of music, everyone sees something different and walks away with different joys and discoveries. You could go to a Brooklyn Vegan showcase and spend the whole day in one place. You could search out only Latino bands, or metal bands, hip hop or blues. In fact, when the All Songs crew gathers to record our late night dispatches on the streets of Austin, Texas, we all share completely different joys.
"The owners outlawed peel-back blocks anywhere on the field; previously, they were illegal only inside the tackle box. A player makes a peel-back block when he is moving toward his goal line, approaches an opponent from behind or the side and makes contact below the waist.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., questions Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke during a Senate hearing last month. Senators from both ends of the political spectrum argue that financial reforms are insufficient to protect taxpayers from potential risks posed by large banks.
Amid Washington's dysfunction, one issue has united some liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans: a common concern that "too big to fail" is alive and well.
Despite the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, these lawmakers believe the nation's largest banks still pose a threat to the economy and that the government will step in to bail them out if they get in trouble.
Gen. Bosco Ntaganda addresses a news conference in Kabati, a village located in Congo's North Kivu province, on Jan. 8, 2009. He showed up at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali on Monday and asked to be transferred to The Hague where is wanted on war crimes charges.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 4:19 pm
Bosco Ntaganda, the Congolese warlord and rebel leader wanted by the International Criminal Court, showed upatthe U.S. Embassy in Kigali on Monday in a taxicab. He was apparently unexpected.
"We did not have any prior notice or consultations with him to indicate that he would do that," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday. "He was a walk-in, in the truest sense of the word."
She said the U.S. is now "working to facilitate his request" to be transported to the Netherlands to stand trial.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 4:04 pm
One of the most interesting observations we've seen regarding the Republican National Committee's latest effort to win the hearts and minds of minorities, women and young voters was to be found on a blog that promotes a
Connie Jacobson, coroner in Natrona County, Wyo., says suicide is one of the biggest public health problems facing the state. Wyoming has the highest suicide rate in the U.S., and two-thirds of suicides in the state are by firearm.
Guns are a big part of everyday life in Wyoming, and many residents have been directly impacted by a suicide in which a gun was used. The state has the highest suicide rate in the nation, and three-quarters of Wyoming's suicides are by firearm.
The rural state's relationship with guns has long made suicide prevention efforts challenging. But that may be starting to change.
Lax Gun Laws
Last year, there were more suicides in Natrona County than anywhere else in Wyoming.