Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 5:36 am
Remember back when President Bill Clinton argued that his truthfulness about his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky depended on the meaning of the word "is"?
Though the topic may be decidedly less salacious, the Republican Party is embroiled in its own semantics gymnastics this week as its national committee members gather in Boston for their summer meeting.
The trailblazing strategist behind the 1963 March on Washington will this year be posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. That's a long way from the days when civil rights activists counted on Bayard Rustin's hard work, but tried to push him aside because he was gay.
For 60 years, Rustin fought for peace and equal rights — demonstrating, organizing and protesting in the United States and around the world.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the hottest team in baseball. They've won 40 of their last 48 games, and Wednesday night, they came from behind in dramatic fashion to beat the New York Mets in 12 innings.
It's a remarkable turnaround for a team that was near the cellar before the All-Star break. Now, they're calling Dodgers Stadium the Magic Castle. Attendance is up, TV ratings are up, star power is up. And the on-field play is "magical," according to legendary announcer Vin Scully.
Two years ago, Dorothy Holmes, then 75, was in the cozy pink bathroom of her home getting ready to shower when she fell. It's the type of accident that's common among older Americans — and it's often the very thing that triggers the end of independence.
"I got a big spot on my head; it almost conked me out," Holmes says in her soft voice.
She heard her husband come down the hall, "and when he turned the corner all I heard was, 'Oh God, honey, what did you do now?' After that I don't know anything 'cause I passed out," Holmes recalls.
The Republican National Committee meets this week in Boston with lots to argue about — if they choose to do so. There's immigration and Obamacare resistance and the 2016 presidential nominating system.
Under pressure from Congress, the Pentagon has announced additional measures to combat sexual assault. The Pentagon continues to resist proposals that would take prosecution of sexual assault out of the chain of command, but some lawmakers say that's the step that would make a difference.
Members of the famed marching band at Florida A&M University learned today that they will once again be allowed to perform. It's been nearly two years since the band was last heard. The group was suspended following the hazing death of one of its drum majors. As Lynn Hatter of Florida Public Radio reports, the university says it will take work to prove times have changed.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Ladies and gentlemen, the Florida A&M University marching band.
Mark "Coon Rippy" Brown, of Gallatin, Tenn., became an Internet sensation for posting videos online of himself bantering, dancing, even showering with his pet raccoons. He's now using his Internet fame to garner support, in an effort to get his pet raccoon Rebekah back from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which recently seized the critter. It is illegal in Tennessee to possess native animals captured in the wild.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. The stock market usually likes good news about the economy, but that's not always the case. This morning, stocks opened down sharply just after the government announced a surprisingly large drop in initial claims for unemployment benefits. In fact, claims fell to the lowest level since before the recession and the Dow Jones Industrials ended the day down 225 points, a decline of 1.5 percent.
For students in Moore, Oklahoma it's not just new backpacks and pencils this year. For many, it's entirely new schools and homes. A tornado ripped through the community nearly three months ago. It destroyed two schools, killed seven students and 18 other people in the city. And tomorrow, students return to class.
Rachel Hubbard, of member station KOSU, checks in with Moore to see how the community is doing.
I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we head to Barbados for a twisted family tale that spans centuries. "Sugar in the Blood" is the latest in our summer island read series. More on that in just a few minutes. But first, a visit to the beauty shop. That's where our panel of female commentators and journalists get a fresh cut on the week's news.
In the 10 years since sagging power lines in Ohio sparked a blackout across much of the Northeastern United States and Canada, utility engineers say they have implemented measures to prevent another such event in the country's electric grid.
But there is one disaster scenario for which the power companies are still unprepared: a massive attack on the computer networks that underlie the U.S. electric grid.
Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 4:13 pm
People who use Gmail and other free email systems have no reasonable expectation of privacy, according to papers filed in a U.S. district court by lawyers for Google. The filing was made in June, when Google moved to dismiss a case accusing it of breaking federal and state laws by scanning users' emails to help target its advertising campaigns.
In making its case, Google compared sending an email to other types of communications where privacy cannot be expected:
In the nation's capitol, a project to remove a disputed quotation from Martin Luther King Jr. memorial has stalled. The work may not be finished in time for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington later this month. NPR's Allison Keyes tells us the issue is a finishing process that wasn't in the government's contract.
Some homeowners in Louisiana and other coastal communities are now seeing their premiums for federal flood insurance skyrocket. For some residents, that means paying annual premiums more than 10 times their current rate. The cause? In part, a new law passed by Congress last year requiring the National Flood Insurance Program to raise premiums for some homeowners in high risk areas. The program has been struggling financially in recent years in the aftermath of major storms, like Hurricane Sandy.
The electricity system is experiencing growing pains these days. But it's not only demand for electricity that's expanding — it's the sources of electricity, particularly unpredictable kinds, like wind farms and solar panels.
And grid operators know that we're just at the beginning. States are requiring more renewable power to fight climate change, and it may be the customers who will play a big role in helping grid operators manage these clean, but finicky, sources of power.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
Federal prosecutors have charged two former JPMorgan Chase traders with securities fraud. The two men worked in London. And they are part of the so-called London Whale case, which cost the company more than $6 billion. U.S. officials say the men lied about the value of some derivatives trades to cover up mounting lawsuits. More from NPR's Jim Zarroli.
Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to 30 months in prison today for using campaign funds to buy luxury goods. His wife also received a year in prison for filing false tax returns. Prosecutors called their joint crimes one of the worst abuses of campaign finance laws in recent memory. NPR's Jennifer Ludden was at the courthouse here in Washington, D.C.
You're not likely to find many bankers wearing those old stereotypical green visors these days. But at U.S. Bank, some employees sport hairnets — at least when they're serving breakfast.
Every Friday morning, a group of U.S. Bank employees stands elbow to elbow at a Minneapolis soup kitchen, doling out French toast, sausage and other breakfast goodies. Most of the people getting free breakfast are homeless men who lug their belongings in plastic bags.
Jazz or blues may be the first thing that comes to mind we think of the contributions that African Americans have made to American music genres, but that overlooks the rich heritage of African- Americans in classical music. For two decades the Gateways Music Festival has challenged that image. This year the festival celebrates its 20th Anniversary in Rochester, New York and continues to celebrate the contributions of African-Americans to classical music by featuring world class musicians and conductors of African heritage.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll speak with one man who says beefing up the border security doesn't keep undocumented immigrants out. But it keeps them in. We'll hear that story in just a few minutes.
For roughly two decades, the Zodiac has been the U.S. military's choice for inflatable rubber rafts. These rafts, especially the high-end model F470, are not the recreational rafts you take out to the lake on a Sunday, says Lionel Boudeau, the head of Zodiac's North America operations.
"It is used for a large variety of missions, like assault landings, infiltration and exfiltration," he says. "It can be deployed from the shore or deployed from the air by an aircraft, a helicopter, by a submarine. It is used by special forces and regular Army."
In April of 1963, a Baltimore mailman set off to deliver the most important letter in his life — one he wrote himself. William Lewis Moore decided to walk along Highway 11 from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Jackson, Miss., hoping to hand-deliver his letter to Gov. Ross Barnett. Moore wanted Barnett to fundamentally change Mississippi's racial hierarchy — something unthinkable for a Southern politician at the time.