The Fourth of July show will go on as usual tonight in Boston. For the 40th year in a row, the Boston Pops will perform along the banks of the Charles River as fireworks burst overhead.
But the scene and the mood will be different, with heavy security measures in the wake of the recent Boston Marathon bombings. It's in the back of many people's minds that the July 4 celebration was apparently the original target until, police say, the bombers decided to attack the race instead.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. You ever sense a smile on the face of people who write your parking tickets, as if they enjoy calling you out for letting your meter expire? When Oakland, California cities employees went on a one day strike, residence thought that meant no parking enforcement. But one parking officer decided to cross the picket line and write tickets. He said he was happy with his pay and didn't want to go on strike. Employee of the Month, no, the city said all of the tickets he wrote would be voided.
It's an even more notable July 4th this year on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, where the Statue of Liberty is open for the first time since Superstorm Sandy pummeled the Mid-Atlantic region last fall.
Jazz music has become a point of pride for the United States of America: a homegrown art form forged from folk traditions. But jazz recordings of American patriotic songs aren't abundant. Perhaps because many of jazz's foremost creators were black Americans who lived in a society which actively discriminated against them, many didn't think to tackle that material.
Dash Shaw is a graphic novelist and animator whose previous books, including Bottomless Belly Button and Bodyworld, seethe with dark, mischievous intent. He sets out to unsettle, using the unique tools the comics medium provides to expose discomfiting truths about relationships both familial and romantic. A proud experimentalist, Shaw often shuns tidy narrative conventions in favor of raw emotion.
Cathleen Schine can always be counted on for an enticing, smart read, and her latest novel, Fin & Lady, is no exception, but it's an odd duck, as quirky as its peculiarly named titular half-siblings. Neither as sparklingly funny as her most recent book, The Three Weissmanns of Westport, nor as brainy as her earlier Rameau's Niece, Fin & Lady is light, entertaining, and ultimately moving, butyou can't help wondering what Schine hoped to achieve with it.
Egypt is about to get a new ruler. A caretaker head of state is being ushered into power Thursday following Wednesday's dramatic military coup. President Mohammed Morsi was forced from power just a year after winning the country's first free election. He lost the public's trust amid a failing economy and fears that he was imposing an Islamist agenda.
On this Fourth of July, we've been following developments in Egypt, where the military has deposed the elected President Mohamed Morsi. President Obama says the U.S. is watching with, as he put it, deep concern. And he urged the generals to transition to an elected civilian government as quickly as possible.
NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley joins us now to talk about what role, if any, America plays in this situation. Good morning.
And the Federal Communications Commission has apparently approved a deal giving the Japanese telecom giant SoftBank a controlling stake in SprintNextel, which is the third-largest wireless operator in the U.S. Experts say SoftBank's industry clout should help Sprint become a more robust competitor. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
Some people feel awkward about eating alone in restaurants but a new eatery in Amsterdam has only small tables with single chairs. It requires customers come solo. The restaurant is part culinary endeavor, part social experiment. As its creator says, she wanted to give people "food for thought."
We are following the events unfolding in Egypt this morning following yesterday's military coup that removed the Islamist President Mohammed Morsi from power. With Egypt holding a leading role in Middle Eastern affairs, we wanted to get a sense of how this leadership change might reverberate through the region.
And to do that, we're joined by Shadi Hamid. He's with the Brookings Doha Center. And Shadi, welcome back to the program. Thanks for coming on.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And on this Independence Day, I'm Renee Montagne.
Egypt has a new president, a longtime judge who took the oath of office this morning. That official change in power came after several days of protests saw millions of Egyptians pour into the streets, demanding Mohamed Morsi step down. His refusal led to his ouster yesterday by Egypt's military. It was a stunning turnaround for the country's first democratically elected president.
Egypt is divided after Wednesday's military coup forced out President Mohamed Morsi. Cairo-based journalist Ashraf Khalil, an Egyptian-American and a contributor to Time magazine, tells Renee Montagne that the Muslim Brotherhood party has threatened violence and that the threat is very real.
We often celebrate Independence Day with backyard barbecues and fireworks, forgetting the document that started this whole country: the Declaration of Independence.
For the past 20 years Morning Edition has asked NPR hosts and reporters to read the document on the Fourth, as a reminder of our country's history. This year, we decided to ask visitors at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to give it a try.
This is the 40th year the Boston Pops will perform along the Charles River with fireworks bursting overhead. But the scene will be different this year following the Boston Marathon bombing in April. Police say there is no specific threat to the celebration but security must be tightened.
Let's get an update now on the Trayvon Martin murder case being held in Sanford, Florida. The state is expected soon to wrap up its case against George Zimmerman. He's the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed the unarmed teenager. In a week and a half of testimony, prosecutors have painted a picture of Zimmerman as a wannabe cop, someone who profiled Trayvon Martin and then, after he shot Martin, tailored his story to fit Florida's self-defense law.
Unlike many places in America where Latinos are a relatively new minority group, Texas Hispanics were there before white Anglos. In some ways, having once been part of Mexico has lessened the tensions between whites and Latinos. But that's not always the case.
And a remembrance, now. The, a computer visionary best known for inventing the mouse has died. As NPR's Laura Sydell reports, the mouse was just one small piece of what Douglas Engelbart contributed to the development of personal computers.
All over the country on Thursday, fireworks will light up the sky. In many places, those fireworks will come with a patriotic soundtrack — one that wouldn't be complete without "The Star-Spangled Banner." The song officially became America's national anthem in 1931, but it's been around since the early 19th century.
This report is part of "Those Who Serve," an occasional series that looks at those who wear the military uniform during a time of war.
It's early afternoon at a small outpost in eastern Afghanistan, and U.S. Army Sgt. Chris Cunningham, with the 10th Mountain Division, heads into a long, dusty tent to teach Afghan soldiers the basics of map reading.
After the sun sets, American soldiers help Afghan soldiers outside the wire. They pop artillery shells containing what's called an illumination round.