Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. You can spend tens of thousands on a liberal arts degree, or just buy a fake diploma. The artist David Hockney's fake diploma is expected to sell at auction this week for up to $27,000. He created it in 1962 when he was denied a real degree by the Royal College of Art because he refused to write a final essay. And who know? The work of a famous artist might end up worth more in the long run than a real diploma.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning, I'm David Greene with a story that perfectly fits the headline: only in Russia.
A 23-year-old in the north of that country was looking to find some scrap metal. You know, to make an extra buck. So he stole a small metal bridge which he took home and cut up with a welding torch. Authorities looking for the culprit and the missing pedestrian bridge didn't have to search very hard. He had dragged the bridge with his tractor, leaving a trail all the way to his house.
It's no great secret that Republicans are behind in applying digital technology to politics. They admitted as much after the last presidential election. And in an effort to catch up, over the weekend, political conservatives staged an event called the Liberty Hackathon in San Francisco. The sponsor of the app building competition was the Charles Koch Institute, named for its benefactor the billionaire backer of the Tea Party Movement.
NPR's Nathan Rott went to the event and sent us this report.
In Turkey over the weekend, police used water cannons against demonstrators in Taksim Square. The latest confrontation comes at a delicate time. Turkey is waiting a decision on whether it will host the 2020 Olympic Games.
NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul that Turks are wondering if the government will react with even tighter restrictions on descent, or bend to demands for greater political openness.
Technology really does seem to make the world smaller, and this morning, we'll hear this morning how that applies to protest movements. Turkey saw a fresh wave of anti-government demonstrations over the weekend.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And in Brazil, the president is holding an emergency meeting today on how to respond to protests sweeping that country. An estimated quarter of a million Brazilians were on the streets yesterday, with a wide range of grievances.
The leaks this month by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed just how widespread government surveillance of phone and online information actually is. The revelations of the government's PRISM program have been raising the concerns about privacy, but also have boom to companies that promise greater privacy online.
Emma Jacobs of member station WHYY in Philadelphia has this report.
NPR's business news begins with another bad day for Chinese stocks.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: The major indexes in China closed down more than five percent - making it the worst day of losses since 2009. And the plunge reverberated, weighing down markets across Asia. The losses we apparently caused by the Chinese government's ongoing attempt to reform its banking system. It's using high interest rates to cut down on risky loans, making access to cash very tight. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Russia's decision to allow Edward Snowden into the country as part of his around the world search for asylum has sparked outrage in Washington, D.C. New York Senator Chuck Schumer, appearing yesterday on CNN's "State of the Union," accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of aiding and abetting Snowden's escape.
It used to be that if astronomers wanted to get rid of the blurring effects of the atmosphere, they had to put their telescopes in space. But a technology called adaptive optics has changed all that.
Adaptive optics systems use computers to analyze the light coming from a star, and then compensate for changes wrought by the atmosphere, using mirrors that can change their shapes up to 1,000 times per second. The result: To anyone on Earth peering through the telescope, the star looks like the single point of light it really is.
When students show up at college in the fall, they'll have to deal with new classes, new friends and a new environment. In many cases, they will also have new roommates — and an intriguing new research study suggests this can have important mental health consequences.
The nation's organ transplant network will consider a controversial proposal Monday to overhaul the guidelines for an increasingly common form of organ donation.
The board of directors of the United Network for Organ Sharing will open a two-day meeting at the organization's headquarters in Richmond, Va., to consider new guidelines for donation after cardiac death.
Donation after cardiac death involves removing organs minutes after life-support has been stopped for patients who still have at least some brain activity.
The Chicago Housing Authority has torn down all of its high rises and says it's close to completing its plans to transform public housing. Now, city leaders are moving to the next part of their plan: using public housing funds not just to build homes for poor families, but stores where they could shop and work. Some residents, however, say the city is breaking a promise to provide affordable housing.
Walter Mosley fooled us: We thought he'd killed off Easy Rawlins, the protagonist of his much-loved series. But it turned out Mosley just needed a break from the work — a long break. Six years later, in May, he came back with Little Green, possibly the best Easy Rawlins to date. Like the rest of the books in the series, it's strongly influenced by Los Angeles, the city that helped shape Mosley himself.
Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid insist that gun control legislation is not dead — they say they're strategizing on how to bring the issue back to the Senate floor.
Even if it does return, one proposal unlikely to survive is an assault weapons ban. Military-style assault rifles now form a nearly $1 billion industry supported by gun owners who spend thousands of dollars collecting these firearms.
Louise Monaghan's journey to Syria to rescue her kidnapped daughter begins years ago at a club in Cyprus. It was there she met a Syrian man named Mostafa, whom she would marry.
"I was smitten from the first second," she tells NPR's Jacki Lyden. "I felt he was what I needed. He made me feel safe."
But Monaghan was not safe. Mostafa was verbally abusive and beat her. They married, and the couple had a daughter named May. When they divorced, Mostafa was given visitation rights, but he wanted more.
This week, we've been immersed in news about mobs both real and fictional, with the death of Sopranos star James Gandolfini and the continuing trial of James "Whitey" Bulger.
The Sopranos gave us a primer on mob language like "clipping" a "rat." But Bulger's Winter Hill Gang and his Boston Irish cohort were the real deal. Members of Bulger's old cohort came to the witness stand and used the real-life slang of their gang days.
Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader, is in critical condition in a hospital in Pretoria where he was admitted two weeks ago with a recurring respiratory infection.
A statement from South African President Jacob Zuma said the 94-year-old Mandela's condition had become critical over the past 24 hours.
"The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands," said Zuma, referring to Mandela by his clan name.
Nik Wallenda successfully walked the 1,500 feet across the Colorado River Gorge in Arizona on Sunday. The high-wire daredevil, famous for similar walks like the one he did at Niagara Falls, made the precarious trek live on television and without a net or safety line.
The walk took Wallenda 22 minutes of edging his way along the 2-inch-thick cable.
Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 11:05 am
(This story was last updated at 10:40 a.m. ET)
Armed assailants attacked a hotel at a Himalayan base camp in Pakistan, gunning down nine foreign climbers and a local guide as the group prepared for an ascent of one of the world's tallest peaks.
NPR's Philip Reeves reports that Ukrainians and Chinese climbers, as well as a Pakistani guide, were killed in the attack at 26,246-foot Nanga Parbat, about 150 miles northeast of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.
"We want all of our rights!" Martin Luther King, Jr. told a throng of people gathered in and around Detroit's Cobo Arena on June 23, 1963. He was speaking at what he called the largest and greatest demonstration for freedom ever held in the United States. "We want them here, and we want them now!" he said.