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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Who Are These 'Bankers' Ecuador Keeps Referencing?

Ecuador is considering an asylum request from Edward Snowden, who reportedly is still holed up at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

If you've paid attention to the case of Edward Snowden, you might have heard Ecuadorean officials refer to some bankers the U.S. is refusing to hand over.

Ecuador, of course, is considering an asylum request from the NSA leaker. The U.S. is pressuring them to abide by an extradition request, while Ecuador is taunting the giant.

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

SEE: The 'New Yorker' Cover That Has People Talking

The New Yorker's July 8 and 15th cover.
The New Yorker

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:

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Africa
11:41 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Blog From The Bedroom Brings Pillow Talk to Africans

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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.

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Africa
11:41 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Can Africa Manage Its Own Growth?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Africa
11:41 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Love Lost Between Africa And President Obama?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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.

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Parallels
11:31 am
Fri June 28, 2013

U.S. Pacifies An Afghan Village, But Will It Stay That Way?

A U.S. soldier walks down a dirt road during the final U.S. patrol near the village of Arghandab, near Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. The area has long been a Taliban stronghold, and the Americans were turning the area over to the Afghan army.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 5:04 pm

  • Listen to the story on "All Things Considered"

When my NPR colleague Tom Bowman and I visited the southern Afghan district of Arghandab in the fall of 2009, we headed out on patrol with the U.S. Stryker battalion. We soon found ourselves in the middle of a firefight. A U.S. vehicle was blown up and two Americans were killed in an attack that was all too common at the time.

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Shots - Health News
11:19 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Feds Bust Drug Websites Masquerading As Big-Name Chains

Federal authorities seized a bunch of websites belonging to online pharmacies that were allegedly breaking the law.
FDA

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 3:55 pm

If you're looking for a deal on prescription drugs or tired of standing in line at the drugstore counter, maybe you'd be inclined to try an online pharmacy.

Perhaps you'd feel better about that choice if the site carried the name of a well-known chain, say, www.walgreen-store.com or www.c-v-s-pharmacy.com.

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Music Interviews
11:03 am
Fri June 28, 2013

For Carole King, Songwriting Is A 'Natural' Talent

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 9:55 am

This interview was originally broadcast on April 11, 2012.

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."

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Fri June 28, 2013

U.S. Army Restricts Access To 'The Guardian' Website

The offices of The Guardian and The Observer in London.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 12:35 pm

The Monterey County (Calif.) Herald has a great scoop:

"The Army admitted Thursday to not only restricting access to The Guardian news website at the Presidio of Monterey, as reported in Thursday's Herald, but Armywide."

In simple terms: If you're accessing the Internet at an Army facility across the country, you would not be able to access parts, if not all, of the website for the British newspaper.

The Herald reports:

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All Tech Considered
7:57 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Please Text And Tweet During This Theater Performance

A show called #Hashtag encourages audience members to tweet during the performance.
Quinn.Anya via Flickr

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.

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Fri June 28, 2013

NSA Leaker's Father: Snowden Betrayed Government Not The People

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 10:13 am

Lonnie Snowden says he doesn't believe his son, Edward, committed treason when he leaked information about top-secret U.S. government surveillance programs.

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The Two-Way
6:36 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Vatican Official Arrested Over $26 Million Scheme

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 9:50 am

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:

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Book News: Paula Deen's Cookbook Sales Still Sizzle

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 6:48 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Animals
6:13 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Seattle Moves Fireworks Display Out Of Respect For Eaglets

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

Around the Nation
5:59 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Designers To Put Homer Simpson's Car To The Test

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene.

"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.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

DAN CASTELLANETA: (as Homer Simpson) D'oh.

The Two-Way
5:47 am
Fri June 28, 2013

With Mandela's Health As Backdrop, Obama Heads To S. Africa

Children release 95 balloons to mark Nelson Mandela's upcoming birthday outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where Mandela is being treated for a recurring lung infection in Pretoria, South Africa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 3:10 pm

Update at 4 p.m. ET: President Arrives In South Africa

President Obama and his family landed in South Africa late Friday. It's the second stop on his one-week trip to the African continent.

Our original post continues:

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Africa
5:00 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Obama: Time For A Mutually Beneficial Alliance With Africa

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

President Obama's trip through Africa is turning out to be political and also personal. The Obama family is visiting three countries in vastly different regions of the continent.

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Education
3:44 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Student Loan Rates Set To Double On July 1

The interest rate on new Stafford loans is going to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent Monday.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 3:00 pm

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.

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Environment
3:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Put Down Oil Drill, Pick Up The Test Tube: Making Fuel From Yeast

Jay Keasling (left), speaking with Rajit Sapar at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, is pioneering a technique to develop diesel fuel from yeast.
Courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 9:41 pm

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.

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Science
3:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Tips For Surviving A Mega-Disaster

Patong beach in Phuket, Thailand, was destroyed by the tsunami on Dec. 25, 2004. More than 230,000 people died.
Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 9:39 am

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.

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Planet Money
3:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Economists Have A One-Page Solution To Climate Change

CX Matiash AP

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 9:45 am

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.

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Economy
3:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

In Phoenix, 'Zombie' Subdivisions Rise From The Dead

Workers frame a home in Gilbert, Ariz., near Phoenix, in July 2012. Developers are buying up half-built and vacated subdivisions amid renewed demand for housing.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 9:57 am

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.

But now, the zombies are waking up.

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Politics
3:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Agencies Continue To Identify Fallout From Sequestration

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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Business
3:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Feds Sue Jon Corzine Over MF Global Collapse

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 6:13 am

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.

National Security
3:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Defense Officials Indicate NSA Leaks Have Had Consequences

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 6:13 am

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.

Music Interviews
1:00 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Omar Grows Up To Become 'The Man'

Omar's new album, The Man, is his first project in seven years.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 9:42 am

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.

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StoryCorps
9:00 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

For A Mom, Learning To Accept A Gay Son Was 'Nonnegotiable'

After Samuel Taylor came out to his mother, Connie Casey, the pair had several very difficult years. But in time, Connie realized she had to re-examine her feelings about homosexuality.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 6:13 am

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.

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It's All Politics
6:50 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Senate's Immigration Joy Could Turn To Ashes In House

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 6:52 pm

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.

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The Two-Way
6:49 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Cleveland Takes UNLV's Bennett With First Pick Of NBA Draft

The top prospects in the NBA's 2013 draft include Nerlens Noel of Kentucky, Victor Oladipo of Indiana, Otto Porter of Georgetown, Alex Len of Maryland, Ben McLemore of Kansas, Trey Burke (front row C) of Michigan, Anthony Bennett of UNLV and Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse.
Mike Stobe Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 7:13 pm

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.
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The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Regulators File Charges Against Corzine Over MF Global Debacle

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.

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