Let's go next to California, where the largest public works project in the history of that state is running over budget, over time, and has lost the public's confidence. The new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, with a price tag of $6.4 billion, was scheduled to open on Labor Day. There's still time, but that deadline is in doubt, as questions are raised about safety.
President Obama met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Wednesday before giving a speech at Berlin's historic Brandenburg Gate. Fifty years ago next week, President Kennedy declared his support for the citizens of West Germany in his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech.
The president's administration has plenty to occupy it here at home. The director of the National Security Agency was on Capitol Hill yesterday, defending the surveillance program that's received so much attention in recent in recent days. General Keith Alexander told the House Intelligence Committee that the NSA programs in question have stopped dozens of terrorist attacks, here and abroad. Here's NPR's Ailsa Chang.
Some other news: We have a more complicated view, this morning, of the scandal at the IRS. An inspector general critiqued the tax agency's targeting of conservative groups, many of them linked with the Tea Party movement. We knew that much.
And now, it's become apparent that more liberal or progressive groups were also targeted. NPR's Tamara Keith reports.
Some of the magic at Disney was always that you could pick a theme park - any theme park - and the price for a day pass would be the same. Well, no more. This month for the first time, Disney began charging more for a day in Magic Kingdom in Orlando than for its other parks.
Matthew Peddie, from member station WMFE, explains why.
MATTHEW PEDDIE, BYLINE: A one-day pass to the Magic Kingdom now costs $95 - compared to $90 for entrance to its other parks: Epcot, Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios.
Netflix offers children's programs which can be screened on computers or TVs. And it says streaming of those programs goes up over the summer, about 30 percent. It's not hard to figure out why - school's out. Screens are on. This month we're focusing on media for kids, and our media critic Eric Deggans says that Netflix - as well as its rival, Prime Instant Video from Amazon - are both trying to capture a big and growing market.
When Barack Obama became president and offered his hand to Iran, that country's elites reacted skeptically. Many said he was a new face, but still represented Iran's great enemy. Now, Iran will have a new face, winner of last week's presidential election, Hassan Rohani. He says he wants better relations with the outside world, so it's America's turn to wonder just how much Rohani could really change in Iran's confrontation with the U.S. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports on the evidence so far.
It sure looked like the NBA season was coming to an end last night. World champions San Antonio Spurs - no, not so fast. The Miami Heat were not ready to give in. After a thrilling, improbable comeback, the Heat are still alive, pushing their NBA final series with the Spurs to the brink; a decisive Game 7 tomorrow.
Last night, the Heat were down by five points with just over 20 seconds remaining. They came back, forced overtime - and won. Final score: 103-to-100. One of the people in the crowd was NPR's Mike Pesca.
In Milwaukee, cartoon characters dressed up like various sausages race at each Brewers' game; in Washington, five of our beloved presidents do their own bratwurst ramble. But the character I want to appear at every baseball game –– and at a couple of other sports, too, is ...
... the crocodile from Peter Pan who swallowed a clock and shadows a terrified Capt. Hook.
There is one basic question that keeps being asked about the U.S. auto industry: Is it on the rebound?
"People ask a lot, is the auto industry back?" says Kristin Dziczek, a director at the Center for Automotive Research. "And it depends on what scale you want to look at."
So if we're looking at scales, let's start with productivity. In this case, how many work hours it takes to build a car. Productivity in U.S. plants is 39 percent higher than it was in 2000. "Productivity has never been this high," Dziczek says.
If the US Airways-American Airlines merger announced earlier this year is approved, the combined airline would control two-thirds of the takeoff and landing slots at Reagan National Airport, outside Washington, D.C.
The government could force the airline to give up some of those slots as a condition of the merger. But lawmakers warn that could have consequences for some small- and medium-sized cities. And, not coincidentally, it could affect flight plans for lawmakers themselves.
Against all Vatican expectations, the pope's Twitter account in Latin has gained more than 100,000 followers in six months and continues to grow.
Followers are not exclusively Roman Catholics or Latin scholars, but represent a wide variety of professions and religions from all over the world. Some go so far as to claim that the language of the ancient Romans is perfectly suited to 21st-century social media.
NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.
Apricots are the finest of summer's fruits, with dense, juicy flesh and delicate, velvety skins. Piled in baskets in farmers market stalls, they seem to glow in the early morning light. The prettiest ones have a celestial blush and a sweet, floral fragrance.
That's why it is so disheartening when you bite into one only to find it is mealy and flavorless. I can't count the number of times this apricot lover has been the victim of just such an injustice. You probably have been, too.
As the Civil Rights Movement was unfolding across the US in 1963, the entire nation had its eyes on climactic events taking place in Southern cities like Birmingham, Ala., and Jackson, Miss. But there's a stark difference between how the national press covered the events in Birmingham and how Birmingham's papers covered their own city.
Google has filed a legal motion asserting its "First Amendment right to publish aggregate information about FISA orders," asking the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to remove the gag order that keeps the company from issuing that information. Google and other big U.S. tech companies have been under fire after it was reported that they allowed the National Security Agency to mine customer data, in a government program called PRISM.
Faced with the threat of mutiny for what seems like the umpteenth time during his speakership, John Boehner moved to mollify fellow Republicans on Tuesday, saying immigration legislation would need the support of a majority of the House GOP before it could be brought to a floor vote.
After emerging from a meeting with House Republicans, following days of warnings by conservatives that the Ohio Republican had better not try to pass an immigration bill with mostly Democratic votes, Boehner sought to calm the roiling Republican waters.
Legislative battles are being fought around the country over whether or not to let home-schooled students play on public high school teams.
Roughly half of U.S. states have passed laws making them eligible to play on the teams. Advocates have dubbed them "Tim Tebow bills," after the NFL quarterback who was home-schooled when he played on a high school team.
But an attempt by Indiana to find a middle ground may not have solved the problem in that state.
Cities are defined by their skylines — while Paris is composed mostly of low-rise apartment buildings, New York is a city of tall office towers. But London is a city in transition. On Tuesday, Boris Johnson, the mayor of the British capital, attends a "topping out" ceremony for one of London's latest skyscrapers in a city where tall buildings cause a lot of controversy.
Until recently, London has been a low-rise city. Even now, a 12-story building is considered rather tall. But a spate of new skyscrapers is raising questions about the kind of city London should be.
The mystery of Jimmy Hoffa's final resting place was opened yet again Monday, when the FBI began digging up a field near Detroit in the hopes of finding the former Teamsters president, who was last seen on July 30, 1975.
Six former employees and one contractor say Bank of America's mortgage servicing unit consistently lied to homeowners, fraudulently denied loan modifications and offered bonuses to staff for intentionally pushing people into foreclosure, according to a Salon.com report.
Whether it's a free upgrade on a hotel room or skipping ahead in the check-in line, many businesses give preferential treatment to some customers, hoping to make them more loyal. The practice often works — but a new study suggests that when we get perks we didn't earn, negative feelings can result. And they can make a surprise deal a little less sweet.
Christine Porter is hooked on the MyFitnessPal app. In October, after deciding to lose 50 pounds, Porter started typing in everything she eats, drinks and any exercise she gets.
"This is my main page here," says Porter. "It's telling me I have about 1,200 calories remaining for the day. When I want to record something I just click the 'add to diary' button. I'm on it all day either through my phone or through the computer."
You have to wonder if President Obama ever thought, when he first ran for the White House, that he would need to defend himself from accusations his presidency would be a mere extension of his Republican predecessor.
But there he was with journalist Charlie Rose having to explain why his approach to national security wasn't really like that of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.