On the list of things to be outraged about at the moment, I'll admit this isn't at the top: The Swiss tourism office apologized to Oprah on Friday because she wasn't allowed to buy a $38,000 designer handbag while recently shopping in Switzerland. Poor lil' Oprah. *sad face*
It does make me wonder, though, can you ever be rich enough or famous enough or beautiful enough to not be racially profiled while shopping?
Heading into Friday's news conference, President Obama had a delicate balancing act before him: how to acknowledge widespread concerns about National Security Agency surveillance without in any way legitimizing the actions of leaker Edward Snowden.
The best course, the president decided, was to acknowledge that Snowden's revelations to some degree forced his administration to accelerate and expand a review of the federal government's surveillance activities.
Tyson Foods Inc. announced this week that it would soon suspend purchases of cattle that had been treated with a controversial drug, citing animal welfare concerns.
But many in the industry wonder if the real reason is the battle for sales in other countries, where certain drugs that make livestock grow faster are banned.
"I really do think this is more of a marketing ploy from Tyson to raise some awareness so they can garner some export business from our overseas export partners," says Dan Norcini, an independent commodities broker.
Stung by fresh accusations that the NCAA makes money off college athletes, the organization promised this week to stop selling jerseys and similar products. The move came days after ESPN analyst Jay Bilas tweeted pics of the NCAA Shop selling jerseys corresponding to current players' numbers.
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. shared his dream for a more equal America. But there's another anniversary looming: 25 years ago this week, the Japanese-American community celebrated a landmark victory in its own struggle for civil rights.
Second term GOP congressman Blake Farenthold is being targeted during Congress' summer recess by advocates of the Senate's immigration bill. Activists are organizing petitions and a demonstration at Farenthold's "open house" at his Corpus Christi office. And opponents are fighting back.
The best soccer leagues in the world are in Europe and even Americans want to be good enough to play in them. Clint Dempsey accomplished that, playing in England's Premier League, but now he's coming home. In a move that surprised a lot of people, Dempsey has joined the Seattle Sounders. Audie Cornish talks to sportswriter Stefan Fatsis for more.
At his press conference on Friday, President Obama promised more transparency about the government's secret national security surveillance programs. The president expressed support for some reform efforts being considered in Congress and called for the release of more documents that explain how and why the surveillance effort works and whether it safeguards the privacy of Americans.
Lavabit, an encrypted email service reportedly used by former government contractor Edward Snowden, ceased operations yesterday. In a message to users, the owner of Lavabit hinted that the company was the target of a request for information about customers from the federal government. He said he chose to shut down his service instead of becoming "complicit in crimes against the American people." Later in the day, another secure email service, called Silent Circle, also shuttered itself.
Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 6:28 am
A Mexican court has thrown out the conviction of infamous drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, 28 years after he was convicted and imprisoned for the 1985 kidnapping and murder of U.S. DEA agent Enrique Camarena.
Quintero had been serving a 40-year sentence for torturing and killing Camarena, but the court voided the sentence on a technicality — saying he should have been tried in a state court instead of the federal court where he was convicted.
"I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife. Love you guys. Miss you guys. Take care. Facebook people you'll see me in the news."
The Miami Herald and other news outlets are reporting that 31-year-old Derek Medina of South Miami apparently posted that Facebook message Thursday morning, along with a photo of a woman's "twisted, bloodied body lying on a linoleum floor."
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 12:50 pm
Update At 2:40 p.m. ET: Sheriff: Car Recovered
San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said Friday that the car belonging to the suspect has been found near Cascade, Idaho. He said the license plate had been removed, but the Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, showed a match as belonging to James Lee DiMaggio.
Gore said that horseback riders in the mountains northeast of Boise believe they saw DiMaggio, who is suspected of killing Christina Anderson and abducted at least one of her children.
In the early to mid-1900s, the islands of Hawaii were a far-away, exotic destination. People who managed to get there often kept mementos of that journey including kitschy menus from Hawaiian fine dining restaurants and hotels like like Trader Vic's and Prince Kuhio's.
Now these old menus are serving a purpose beyond colorful relics from the past. Kyle Van Houtan, an ecologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says he's found a scientific purpose for the menus.
How do you fix a neighborhood? What do you do about crime and drugs and the once-lovely old houses that are falling down? The answer in Paducah, Ky., was to turn it into a special place for artists to live, work and sell.
Paducah, already home to the National Quilt Museum, is far west on the edge of Kentucky, on the Ohio River. Lowertown, so-named for being downriver from downtown Paducah, was once quite elegant — 25 square blocks. But in time it became a difficult place to admire.
One night in 2009, Ondelee Perteet and a friend went to a party in his hometown of Chicago.
"A lot of people, they started throwing gang signs. And, you know, I got into an argument with somebody in the party, and that's when I got shot in the face," Ondelee said during a recent visit to StoryCorps with his mother, Detreena.
He was 14.
"I got to the hospital, and the doctor came back, and he said, 'We're sorry, but he's never going to move his arms and legs again,' " said Detreena, 47. "It just tore me apart."
The U.S. Postal Service lost some $16 billion last year and continues to bleed red ink. Congress has been unable to agree on a rescue plan.
The latest proposal would allow the post office to end Saturday delivery in a year and enable it to ship wine and beer.
The Postal Service's woes are familiar: People don't really send letters anymore, so first-class mail is down, and Congress makes the post office prepay future retiree benefits to the tune of $5.5 billion a year.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:20 pm
Calling a lawsuit's potential results "absurd" for cities around the United States, Major League Baseball asked a federal judge to dismiss a challenge to its antitrust exemption filed by San Jose, Calif. The city filed the suit to press its case for relocating the Oakland A's there.
NPR's Richard Gonzales filed this report for our Newscast unit:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
A group of young people, known as the Dream 9, won a small victory yesterday in their fight to remain in the U.S. legally. They were released from a federal detention center in Arizona. All nine grew up in the U.S. but returned to their native Mexico, then publically tried to cross back into this country last month.
On a blisteringly hot summer afternoon, about 40 people gather at the Evangelico Cemetery in southwestern Albuquerque. Deacon Pablo Lefebre leads the service and begins with a prayer
"Because God has chosen to call our brothers and our sisters from this life to himself," he says, "we commit their bodies to the earth, its resting place. For we are dust, and to dust we shall return."
This isn't your average funeral. The light gray casket about to be lowered into the ground is filled with the cremated remains of 87 county residents.
To big changes now in the classroom. Most states have adopted new math and literacy guidelines for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. They're called the Common Core standards, and they rewrite the rules of what students should know grade by grade. When it comes to math, not only are the standards changing, some of the work kids will be doing and bringing home will actually look different.
More than six months have passed since Hillary Clinton stepped down from her position as Secretary of State. At the time she said she was eager for some down time — to rest and do the things she didn't normally have time for, like catch up on episodes of Love It or List It. But Amy Chozick of the The New York Times, who has been following Clinton's transition out of office, tells Melissa Block that there hasn't been much R & R in her agenda.