Demonstrators across the nation are staging hundreds of protests against illegal immigration this weekend. They reflect a backlash against government resources going to the more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors who have crossed the southern U.S. border in recent months. This week, Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, announced he'll house some of those miners in L.A. as they await court hearings with funding from the federal government. City resources will not be used. I asked Mayor Garcetti why his city should take this on.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath, sitting in for Rachel Martin. Pressure is mounting on Russia as international inspectors wait to gain full access to the site of last week's Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine. World leaders are demanding that President Vladimir Putin use his influence with pro-Russia rebels so they'll allow inspectors in and allow the bodies to be recovered. Wall Street Journal reporter James Marson is following the story in Moscow and joins me on the line. Thanks for speaking with us.
And for some insight into how the world community might respond, we turn now to retired Admiral James Stavridis. He was NATO Supreme Allied Commander and now serves as Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Welcome to the program.
JAMES STAVRIDIS: Thanks, Arun. Great to be with you.
RATH: So Ukraine is not a NATO member but the Netherlands, which lost nearly 200 citizens in this crash, is a member of NATO. If President Putin doesn't change course, what are NATO's options?
Hamas militants fired rockets into Israel today, more rockets, after the Israeli government announced it was expanding ground operations in the Gaza Strip. Thousands of Palestinians continue to flee their homes. Early this morning, some, still wearing their pajamas, left in haste to take shelter in local schools. Those schools are already packed beyond capacity. NPR's Emily Harris reports on the increasingly dire situation.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath. The worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded continues to spread in West Africa. And medical workers in Sierra Leone have responded by expanding an extraordinary field hospital. It opened less than a month ago, but it now has the largest Ebola isolation unit ever built, with 64 beds. NPR's Jason Beaubien visited and describes for us the infection control measures that go into treating this highly contagious disease.
Infectious diseases may be spreading more quickly, thanks to global warming. Viruses that were kept in check by the polar ice box are being released. And as some animals move north to keep cool, they're bringing all sorts of parasites with them, from microbes to ticks. Christopher Solomon has written about this in the August issue of "Scientific American." And he joins me now from Montana Public Radio in Missoula. Welcome.
And while we are celebrating zombies who shuffle from movies into comic book, what about the toy robots that became a cartoon that then became a movie series and now have inspired Chinese farmers to become master replica robot builders?
(SOUNDBITE OF "TRANSFORMERS" THEME SONG)
UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: Transformers, more than meets the eye.
Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 11:01 am
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., the nation's second-largest cigarette maker, is vowing to fight a verdict of $23.6 billion in punitive damages to the widow of a smoker who died of lung cancer.
Calling the massive award "grossly excessive and impermissible under state and constitutional law," the tobacco company's CEO, J. Jefferey Raborn, said the verdict was "beyond the realm of reasonableness and fairness, and is completely inconsistent with the evidence presented."
A spokesman for Hamas claimed Sunday that the group has captured an Israeli soldier. Reuters quotes Israel's ambassador to the U.N., Ron Prosor, as saying that no Israeli soldier has been kidnapped.
It's the latest development in a bloody day of fighting between Israel and Hamas. Israel's military said today that a series of attacks on its forces inside the Gaza Strip has killed 13 soldiers, by far the heaviest single-day toll for its troops since the beginning of the offensive nearly two weeks ago.
In the most emphatic U.S. statement to date on culpability for the downing of a Malaysian airliner over Eastern Ukraine that killed 298 people, Secretary of State John Kerry says evidence overwhelmingly points to Russian-backed separatists.
In an interview with CNN, he says that U.S. intelligence, as well as social media put out by the rebels, "obviously points a very clear finger at the separatists.
Tim Bomba is a tall, rangy guy with a quick smile and a penchant for off-color jokes. He's a marathoner, a triathlete (he's done two Ironman races), and every Wednesday morning for the last decade, Bomba has taught a ocean swimming course in Santa Monica, Calif.
The course, called Ocean 101, isn't for accomplished swimmers like Bomba. It's for people who are new to the ocean, and many participants are afraid of the water when they arrive. Bomba knows what they're going through. He himself was terrified of swimming until he was in his 50s.
Moscow has issued a quid pro quo for sanctions imposed on it by Washington, banning a U.S. congressman and 12 other Americans from entering Russia.
NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports that the Foreign Ministry in Moscow says the new blacklist is in response to U.S. visa restrictions on Russian citizens in the wake of Moscow's annexation of Crimea and its continuing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expressing shock and anger over the chaotic scene at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, where nearly 200 Dutch citizens were killed, saying Russia has "one last chance" to use its influence with Ukrainian rebels to provide access to the scene.
Reuters quotes Rutte as saying he had a "very intense" conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
New data released by the Department of Labor suggests that raising the minimum wage in some states might have spurred job growth, contrary to what critics said would happen.
In a report on Friday, the 13 states that raised their minimum wages on Jan. 1 have added jobs at a faster pace than those that did not. The data run counter to a Congressional Budget Office report in February that said raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, as the White House supports, would cost 500,000 jobs.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
An Army Wife Charts Her Struggles In 'No Man's War': In her new book, Angela Ricketts writes about raising three kids while her husband deployed eight times over 22 years. Each separation "kind of blackens your soul," she says.
Now on to our final game, Lightning Fill In The Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as he or she can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?
BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: Bobcat has one, Roxanne and Roy are tied with three.
SAGAL: So it's Bobcat.
BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT: Are you sure? I don't even remember getting one.
AIDS researchers and policymakers from around the globe are gathering in Melbourne, Australia, for a major international conference that starts this Monday. They'll be mourning dozens of colleagues who died in the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 12:33 pm
Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET.
Social media has dubbed Arturo, a polar bear living in an Argentinian zoo, the "world's saddest animal," and more than 400,000 people have signed an online petition asking that he be moved to a "better life" in Canada.
Photos of Arturo, 29, looking distressed and lying flat out on his stomach that have circulated online prompted the petition. The bear's enclosure mate, Pelusa, died two years ago, the BBC says.
Marisa Ronstadt bears a musical name but she has her own style, which seems to be a mix of Mariachi, Classic Rock, Soul, R&B, Indie Pop - maybe she'll fill in any that we've missed. She's played music since she was seven and has her own band now "Marisa Ronstadt And The Know-It-All's." Their debut album is "Blueberry Moon." It's out now - let's hear a little.
We want to take a moment now to remember Elaine Stritch. She died this week at the age of 89 after a career that ran for seven decades on Broadway and the West End, movies and television. She sang about "The Ladies Who Lunch" in her signature voice - gruff, bruised, but strong.