Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 9:29 pm
Back in June, the news out of the Newt Gingrich presidential campaign was dire.
Top staffers quit over differences about strategy, with some citing doubts about the candidate's seriousness — especially when he and his wife went on a cruise to the Greek Islands while his rivals stumped through New Hampshire and Iowa.
But now it's December, and Gingrich suddenly sits atop the polls. As a result, his organization is growing — as is the campaign brain trust. But Gingrich's most important adviser remains himself.
Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 1:48 pm
In the latest reminder that he's still in the race (if apparently not in the hunt) for the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has a new TV ad in Iowa in which he makes a naked appeal to the state's religious conservatives who are expected to play an important role in the upcoming caucuses.
Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 3:29 pm
Multiple media outlets, including the AP and CNN, are reporting that former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky has been arrested again, as new charges of sexual molestation have emerged.
Sandusky is already facing 40 counts related to the sexual assault of children. Sandusky has said repeatedly that he is innocent, but the case has engulfed the Penn State football program in controversy.
Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 1:01 pm
Harry Morgan, who came into our living rooms as Col. Potter in M*A*S*-H, as Officer Bill Gannon in Dragnet and in guest star roles on other TV series from Murder, She Wrote to The Love Boat, has died. He was 96.
The Associated Press reports that the actor's daughter-in-law, Beth Morgan, said he died at his home in Brentwood, Calif., after a bout with pneumonia.
In a surprising twist, the Obama administration has overruled the Food and Drug Administration and will not allow teenage girls to buy the emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step without a prescription.
The decision punctuates one of the longest-running public health sagas in recent memory. The FDA had decided that a version of the morning-after emergency contraceptive pill could be sold without a prescription regardless of the age of the buyer.
Despite news of terrorist bombings, U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and crackdowns in Syria, two recent books argue the world has never seen so little war and violence. Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature, and Joshua Goldstein, author of Winning the War on War, discuss.
Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 1:18 pm
NEAL CONAN, HOST:
Roughly one-third of Egyptians voted in that country's first round of parliamentary elections, the first since Hosni Mubarak's ouster last spring, and Islamist parties scored big wins. The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, considered Egypt's mainstream Islamic party, announced today it won 40 percent of the votes, while the ultra-conservative Salafists surprised many by winning about a quarter of the vote. Those victories and that of the Salafists in particular leave many liberal Egyptians and foreign observers deeply worried.
Newt Gingrich has risen to the top of the polls at a pivotal moment. With less than one month until the Iowa Caucuses, he has a double-digit lead in the state. Political junkie Ken Rudin and columnist Michael Gerson talk about how the field of GOP candidates is faring in the final stretch.
Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 2:00 pm
Update at 1:33 p.m. ET. Judge James Zagel has sentenced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to 14 years in prison. The AP reports that it is "one of the stiffest penalties for corruption in a state with a history of crooked politics."
On his way out of the courthouse, Blagojevich said "we're going to keep fighting on through this adversity. This is a time to be strong."
After bringing their grievances to the doors of Congress on Tuesday, protesters from across the nation plan to take aim at Washington's other vilified powerbrokers: lobbyists.
By lunchtime on Wednesday, storied K Street, which is home to the lobbying arms of many large corporations and industries, is expected to be choked with as many as 3,000 community activists, unemployed protesters, union members and Occupy Wall Street participants.
Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 3:04 pm
Geoff Nunberg, the linguist contributor on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, is the author of the book The Years of Talking Dangerously.
If the word of the year is supposed to be an item that has actually shaped the perception of important events, I can't see going with anything but occupy. It was a late entry, but since mid-September it has gone viral and global. Just scan the thousands of hashtags and Facebook pages that begin with the word: Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Slovakia. Occupy Saskatoon, Sesame Street, the Constitution. Occupy the hood.
The mission of America's Test Kitchen is simple: to make "recipes that work." The syndicated PBS cooking show, hosted by Christopher Kimball, simplifies recipes in ways that home chefs can easily replicate with a fairly high degree of success.
Making sure amateur chefs can recreate recipes designed by professional chefs is of utmost importance, Kimball tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
One of the highest-profile murder cases in recent decades just took another important turn: "Philadelphia's district attorney announced this morning that he will not continue to seek the death penalty for Mumia Abu-Jamal," WHYY reports.
A local prosecutor says he believes two men who have alleged that a former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach sexually abused them when they were children are credible — but can't pursue charges because the statute of limitations has passed.
The Associated Press reports that the decision by Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick only means that there won't be a case brought against Bernie Fine under state law. "A federal probe is ongoing," AP notes.
Newt Gingrich's proposal to put poor children to work because, he says, they're not learning the "work habit" in public housing projects has been condemned by critics as worthy of a Dickens novel.
Those who followed the GOP presidential candidate's tumultuous legislative career in Washington say Gingrich's latest foray into child welfare is not an anomaly.
As House Speaker in the mid-1990s, Gingrich proposed banning welfare benefits for children born to unmarried young women and using the funds to build orphanages for youngsters whose parents were failing them.
Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 9:10 am
A report in Canada's National Post that former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's "playboy son Saadi made plans to flee to a Mexican beach resort whose celebrity visitors include Kim Kardashian, Charlie Sheen and Lady Gaga," has prompted Mexico's interior secretary to say today that his country's intelligence service has broken up the plot, The Associated Press says.
On this 70th anniversary of the date "which will live in infamy," there will be a moment of silence in Hawaii at 7:55 a.m. (12:55 a.m. ET) to remember the 2,390 Americans who died when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.
It was 7:55 a.m. local time when the attack began — a strike that would push America into World War II.
Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 11:30 am
One of Italy's most-wanted mobsters was captured by Italian anti-mafia police units Wednesday after spending 16 years on the run.
Michele Zagaria ran one of bloodiest clans of the Naples mafia, which is known as the Camorra. He was found hiding under 15 feet of reinforced concrete in an underground bunker in his hometown of Casapesenna, north of Naples.
NPR's Sylvia Poggioli said that Zagaria reportedly told police: "You have won. The state has won." He had been on the run since 1995.
Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 7:54 am
With his government embroiled in controversy over a memo that many in Pakistan view as potentially treasonous, President Asif Ali Zardari's sudden departure for medical treatment in Dubai has "people [here] questioning the timing" and wondering if Zardari might be about to step down, NPR's Corey Flintoff reported this morning from Islamabad.
Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 7:36 am
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer. American Airlines filed for bankruptcy last week. Now, they might lose a customer after kicking Alec Baldwin off a New York flight. Baldwin tweeted he was reamed out for playing the mobile game Words with Friends after lights out for electronic devices.
He later boarded another American Airlines flight but hinted it might be his last. He tweeted: There's always United. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The Discovery Channel program MythBusters took safety precautions, going to a California firing range for a segment involving a cannon. They aimed the cannon at water-filled barrels and a concrete wall. But when they fired, the cannonball sailed over the targets, toward a house. People sleeping inside woke to find the cannonball ripped through the house and it struck a minivan.