Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 7:23 am
The news from Egypt is grim again today:
-- "At least two people have been shot and killed in the Egyptian city of Suez, as police used live rounds to hold back crowds during a protest over security forces' failure to prevent a deadly football riot," al-Jazeera reports. And it adds that "one person was killed in Cairo just feet away from the Interior Ministry, as police in Cairo set off salvos of tear gas and fired birdshot."
Saying he is "completely puzzled by the notion that there was something immoral that went on here," the man at the top of the agency that regulates Freddie Mac has explained why he believes the taxpayer-owned mortgage company did nothing wrong when one of its arms, as NPR and ProPublica have reported, "placed multibillion-dollar bets against American homeowners being able to refinance to cheaper mortgages."
"We have our own threats to impose at the right time" and "I have no fear of saying that we will back and help any nation or group that wants to confront and fight against the Zionist regime (Israel)," Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today after reports surfaced that Israel could soon mount air strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. OK, there's the graffiti artist who will make millions because he opted for stock over cash for painting murals at Facebook's offices. Then there's the contractor in Oshkosh who took Facebook stock for work on the home of Marianne Oleson. She claims she'd acquired the stock because her daughter knew Facebook's founder. But the stock is fake. Oleson is accused of fraud, and the contractor, not in for millions, but out thousands. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Police have apprehended a man accused of stealing five tons of ice from a glacier in Chile. The Guardian reports police nabbed him with the illicit ice in his refrigerated truck. They believe he planned to sell it as designer ice cubes to the trendy bars of Santiago.
Poet Wislawa Szymborska of Poland died this week at the age of 88. Renee Montagne talks to Lawrence Weschler about her death. He covered Poland in the 1980s and '90s as a staff writer for The New Yorker. And Weschler has written about her in his books including his latest Uncanny Valley.
Anyone watching the recent court proceedings in the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay couldn't have helped but notice that several of the lawyers sitting on the prosecution side of the courtroom were not in uniform. That's because two of the five lawyers prosecuting the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole attack aren't members of the military at all: They are lawyers from the Justice Department.
Facebook filed to go public this week, and many analysts expect that it will be valued between $75 billion and $100 billion on the day of its initial public offering. That would make Facebook more valuable than GM, Ford and even Goldman Sachs.
What's most remarkable is that the company has barely 3,000 employees, and many of them are about to become very, very rich.
The red areas show gray matter that is abnormally increased in drug users. Blue shows gray matter that is abnormally decreased in drug users. Yellow shows white matter tracts, called fractional anisotropy or FA. FA is significantly reduced in both the drug users and in their siblings, which suggests that the white matter tracts work less efficiently.
On Feb. 5, fashion designer Jason Wu is launching a limited-edition line for Target. Wu became famous for designing Michelle Obama's inaugural gown. He's the latest high-end designer to partner with a mainstream retailer and offer his chic couture at cheap prices for the masses.
On a bitterly cold morning in Washington, D.C., last November, hundreds of fashionistas flooded the street in front of the low-priced fashion chain H&M. Italian luxury label Versace was launching a collection there, and customers were waiting for the doors to open.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's decisive win over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in Florida returned him to the front-runner's spot in the Republican presidential race. Romney emerged from that battle with his strengths, but also his weaknesses, on full display.
Sometimes hard-fought nominating contests produce a more formidable general-election candidate. That's what happened to Barack Obama in 2008. But Dan Schnur, a former Republican strategist, thinks it's too soon to tell if this Republican primary battle will have the same effect.
The Mona Lisa is one of the most enigmatic and iconic pieces of Western art. It has inspired countless copies, but one replica at the Madrid's Museo del Prado is generating its own buzz: conservators say that it was painted at the same time as the original — and possibly by one of the master's pupils, perhaps even a lover.
Workers fill a pauper's grave at Homewood Memorial Gardens, south of Chicago, with remains from the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, which is now catching up on its backlog of indigent burials.
Credit David Schaper / NPR
Sisters Bernice Terry (from left), Kim Dent and Sheila Hostetler hold pictures of their brother, Brian Warren, from his memorial service as well as a flier they distributed during the more than two weeks they believed he was missing.
Losing a loved one in any circumstance can be a painful experience, but for some families in Chicago, that pain is being compounded by what's been happening at the Cook County morgue in recent weeks. In the words of one observer, it's "a moral travesty."
The number of people on the U.S. government's no-fly list has doubled over the past year, the AP reports. It went from about 10,000 to 21,000 as the government loosened the requirements for being put on it.
The secret list is for those the government suspects of being a terrorist. A person on that list is banned from flying within the United States or to the United States.
David Axelrod, President Obama's political strategist, has what appears to be — from outside the president's re-election campaign, at least — a problem.
Back in early 2009, when the Obama presidency was still brand new, the president gave that NBC News interview in which he talked about his administration being a "one-term proposition" if the economy didn't snap back in time for his re-election.
From the day Florida announced it would flout Republican National Committee rules by holding a winner-take-all primary prior to the permitted April 1 start date, it was predictable that a loser of that contest was certain to complain.
Now, Newt Gingrich's campaign has announced he will complain.
Spokesman R.C. Hammond told reporters Thursday that the campaign is sending a letter to the Florida Republican Party asking it to comply with the RNC rules that require contests held prior to April 1 to allocate delegates proportionally.
The Republican lawmaker who has been leading a yearlong investigation into the failed gun-trafficking operation known as Fast and Furious acknowledged Thursday that the probe has turned up no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder approved the idea.
Even as the current Syrian uprising continues, some Syrians plan to mark a brutal crackdown carried out by the government 30 years ago in the central city of Hama. Here, a Syrian rebel guards an alley in the central province of Homs on Wednesday.
Thirty years ago, one of the bloodiest episodes in modern Middle East history unfolded as an anti-government uprising began in the Syrian city of Hama, and was met almost immediately with overwhelming government force.
Over the course of February 1982, an estimated 10,000 to 40,000 people died in the city that was not only cut off from the rest of Syria, but the outside world as well. When it ended, Syrian President Hafez Assad said, "What's happened in Hama has happened. And now it's all over."
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, center, celebrates with right wing Justin Williams, left, and defenseman Jack Johnson after scoring the game-winning goal during the third period of their NHL hockey game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday.
What happens next now that Heather Peters has won her case? She's the California woman who took Honda to small claims court because her hybrid Civic wasn't getting as the 50 miles per gallon she'd been promised.
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:
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The good news, even in the recession, came from American manufacturing. Output is up one-third over the past decade. But over just about that same period of time, six million manufacturing jobs disappeared. About as many people work in manufacturing now as did at the end of the Depression, though our population has more than doubled.
After a few more days of escalating hoopla, the Super Bowl between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots kicks off on Sunday evening, but whether you've got a small financial interest in the game or if you're just waiting for the ads, there are stories on the field in Indianapolis - the Brady legacy, salsa dancer Victor Cruz, hometown boy Mathias Kiwanuka, and of course the medical epic of the high-ankle sprain. What story will you follow in Super Bowl XLVI?
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. From the Harlem Renaissance to black power, Langston Hughes spoke to the life of African-Americans. The neglected son of a famous abolitionist family, he immersed himself in books. Eighteen years old and just out of high school, he saw sunset on the muddy Mississippi from a train and wrote the poem that introduced the world to Langston Hughes, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers."
Three years ago, venture capitalists were pouring billions of dollars into technologies like solar power, wind power, biofuels and fuel cells. The federal government followed, directing some $44.5 billion into clean technology from late 2009 to late 2011 through loans, subsidies and tax incentives.
But now the clean-tech industry is facing leaner times, in part because of cheaper natural gas prices, the effects of the financial crisis and China's growing solar industry.