Bert and Ernie — yes, Sesame Street's Muppets — have been thrust yet again into the gay marriage debate.
This time, for its July 8 and 15 issue, The New Yorker decided to use an illustration of Bert and Ernie for their coverage of the Supreme Court's decisions on two landmark gay marriage cases. The illustration shows Bert and Ernie cuddling on a couch while watching what seems to be TV news coverage of the court's decisions:
And now we'd like to tell you about a blog that's been bringing new spice and new information to the continent. "Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women" features short stories, tips on how to shake things up in the bedroom and information on how to stay safe. The women behind the blog say they want to challenge the idea that sex is something that only men can talk about and only men can enjoy.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Summer is the time when many people decide to take that trip they've been putting off to visit distant relatives, introduce the kids and maybe even bring home some business. Presidents are no different. President Obama and his family are in Africa now. It'll be the longest visit to Africa of his presidency and has been much anticipated on the continent, after his barely 24-hour visit to just one country, Ghana, in his first term.
Carole King initially found it extremely difficult to navigate the social hierarchies of high school. The Grammy Award-winning songwriter was a few years younger than her fellow classmates and was often dismissed as being "cute."
Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 10:14 am
See if this sounds familiar: You're seated in a movie theater, watching the latest IMAX disaster flick when someone slides their iPhone out of their pocket and starts texting their significant other. The glow from the phone lights up their face like the man in the moon and somehow — despite the $75 million used on the pyrotechnic budget alone — that blue-white glow at the edge of your vision triggers instincts honed over millions of years of evolution, and you find yourself incapable of focusing on the movie.
A Vatican official already under investigation for money laundering was arrested after police say they caught him and two other men plotting a scheme that would bring in 20 million euros (about $26 million) in cash into Italy from Switzerland on a jet.
Prosecutors say Monsignor Nunzio Scarano said the money belonged to some friends, according to The Associated Press. The wire service talked to Nunzio's attorney Silverio Sica and reports:
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Here are two great American symbols that don't always go well together: bald eagles and Fourth of July fireworks. A couple of eaglets are in a nest in a Seattle suburb, right near the spot where the city launches its Independence Day display. The local Audubon Society worried the pyrotechnics would startle the baby birds, still too young to fly. So organizers moved the launch site, plus say this year's display will use quieter fireworks. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
"Simpsons" fans might remember an episode where Homer designs a car. It's a puke-green monstrosity with tail fins, extra-large drink holders and a bubble dome to keep kids separated. Well, they couldn't resist. Some automotive designers built a real car based on Homer's epic design.
The interest rate on government-backed student loans is going to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent Monday.
Republicans, Democrats and the Obama administration could not agree on a plan to keep it from happening. Lawmakers say a deal is still possible after the July 4 recess. But if they don't agree on a plan soon, 7 million students expected to take out new Stafford loans could be stuck with a much bigger bill when they start paying the money back.
It has been one of the more heated debates in Washington this year.
What if we could get our gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel from yeast instead of from oil wells? That's not as crazy as it sounds. In fact, it's already happening on a small scale. And there's a vigorous research effort to ramp this up on a massive scale.
One of the more innovative approaches uses a new technology called "synthetic biology." Jay Keasling is one of the leaders in this hot field.
The U.S. is ready for tornadoes, but not tsunamis.
That's the conclusion of a panel of scientists who spoke this week on "mega-disasters" at the American Geophysical Union's science policy meeting in Washington, D.C.
The nation has done a good job preparing for natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes, which occur frequently but usually produce limited damage and relatively few casualties, the panelists said. But government officials are just beginning to develop plans for events like a major tsunami or a large asteroid hurtling toward a populated area.
Climate change seems like this complicated problem with a million pieces. But Henry Jacoby, an economist at MIT's business school, says there's really just one thing you need to do to solve the problem: Tax carbon emissions.
"If you let the economists write the legislation," Jacoby says, "it could be quite simple." He says he could fit the whole bill on one page.
Basically, Jacoby would tax fossil fuels in proportion to the amount of carbon they release. That would make coal, oil and natural gas more expensive. That's it; that's the whole plan.
Developers in Phoenix are scrambling to keep up with another frenzied demand for housing. During the Great Recession, homebuilders in the suburbs abandoned neighborhoods that were only half-built. These so-called zombie subdivisions left a ring of unfinished construction around the city.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Well, now that summer is officially here, we thought this might be a good time to check in with some of our colleagues to find out how the federal budget cuts known as sequestration are playing out. These cuts went into effect in the spring, and it is becoming clear that some federal agencies and programs are feeling the brunt, while others have largely escaped.
Federal regulators have filed civil charges against former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine in connection with the failure of his commodities firm, MF Global. The government says Corzine failed to stop the firm from dipping into customer funds during a financial crisis in October 2011.
Washington is still trying to determine how much damage has been done as a result of Edward Snowden's revelations about NSA surveillance. Snowden allegedly encrypted the files he took with him, but some officials fear Chinese or Russian intelligence services gained access to Snowden's computers.
British singer Omar was a child musician back in the '70s and '80s, but he's done a lot of growing up since then. Now married with two daughters, Omar has a new album, The Man, which marks a turning point in his life.
"It's about changing," he says. "Since I've had [my girls], there's a purpose to my life now. It's about growth, development and evolution."
The Man is the singer's first project in seven years. Stripped down to a natural level, the album is assembled in a way that hearkens back to the musician's early days.
Samuel Taylor was raised in a religious family. When he came out to his mother, Connie Casey, she sent him to a series of conversion therapy ministries affiliated with Exodus International, the Christian organization that folded this month and apologized to the gay community for trying to "correct" same-sex attraction.
The Senate's "Gang of Eight" on the immigration overhaul legislation became a gang of 68 when all was said and done Thursday.
And that number is important, especially to the senators. Supporters of the immigration bill in the Democratic-controlled Senate have said a strong bipartisan Senate vote for the legislation would put enough pressure on the House to force it to take up comprehensive legislation.
If the Senate couldn't get to 70 votes, the thinking went, nearing that mark could give an immigration overhaul unstoppable momentum in Congress.
With the first overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers have selected Canadian Anthony Bennett, a 6'8" power forward from UNLV. The selection comes as a surprise to many observers, who had projected Nerlens Noel, a center from the University of Kentucky, as the likely top pick.
You can follow the draft at the NBA's website. After Cleveland, here are the next four teams in the draft:
Orlando Magic: Guard Victor Oladipo, 6'4", of Indiana University.
Federal regulators are suing former MF Global Holdings CEO Jon Corzine, accusing him of not properly supervising the company that filed for bankruptcy back in 2011. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission says Corzine failed to keep money that belonged to the brokerage's customers from being used to cover MF Global's obligations.