I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We are continuing our conversation about this very emotional case that has sparked so much discussion around the country. We're talking about the killing of 17 year old Trayvon Martin.
Trayvon Martin's death has put a spotlight on Florida's "stand your ground" law. The American Legislative Exchange Council uses that law as a model and encourages other states to adopt it. Host Michel Martin speaks with Lisa Graves of the progressive watchdog Center for Media and Democracy. She says ALEC is fueled by corporate interests.
The Vatican has launched a rare criminal investigation to uncover who is behind leaks of highly sensitive documents that allege corruption and financial mismanagement in Vatican City.
The documents also shed light on purported infighting over the Vatican Bank's compliance with international money-laundering regulations.
A television show in late January on an independent network first revealed letters addressed last year to Pope Benedict XVI from the then-deputy governor of Vatican City, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.
Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 11:57 am
There were plenty of weighty questions bandied about during this week's historic oral arguments on the future of the health care law — which our colleagues over at Shots did an excellent job covering. But we here at The Salt couldn't help noticing that when the Supreme Court justices talk, they let the food metaphors fly.
By now, you've probably heard the most famous of these: the broccoli question. If the government can mandate you to have health insurance, can it also force you to buy broccoli?
Afghan miners in a makeshift emerald mine in the Panjshir Valley in 2010. Reports suggest that Afghanistan is sitting on significant deposits of oil, gas, copper, iron, gold and coal, as well as a range of precious gems like emeralds and rubies. Currently these minerals are largely untapped and are still being mapped.
Credit Majid Saeedi / Getty Images
Hesco barriers and concertina wire surround the living quarters of the Chinese-owned Ainak copper mine in Logar, Afghanistan, in 2011.
Credit Benjamin Lowy / Getty Images
Afghan miners work a coal mine some 60 miles east of the western city of Herat, Afghanistan, in 2010.
Afghanistan faces the daunting prospect of a drastic reduction in foreign aid, which currently makes up about 90 percent of the country's revenue. Some have seen an economic life raft in geological surveys that indicate huge deposits of copper, iron, uranium and lithium in various parts of the country. But multinational mining firms have been slow to invest in Afghanistan — not least because of questions about stability after American troops draw down.
"The former superintendent of a southern West Virginia mine where an explosion killed 29 workers in April 2010 pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal fraud charge," The Associated Press reports. "Gary May of Bloomingrose, the highest-ranking Massey Energy official charged in connection with the blast, faces up to five years in prison when sentenced Aug. 9."
When Paul McCartney was a little boy, he always looked forward to New Year's Eve — the biggest social event of the year in Liverpool.
"The family would all gather, my dad was the pianist, and ... drinks would appear and people would start singing," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And apparently never stop until we all ran out for New Year's."
In case you're keeping track of high-profile endorsements in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination:
Wednesday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney picked up the support of Florida Sen. Mark Rubio. This afternoon in Houston, as NPR's Wade Goodwyn tells our Newscast Desk, former President George H.W. Bush will endorse Romney. Bush's wife Barbara and son Jeb (a former Florida governor) have already said Romney's their candidate.
The owner of an African grey parrot says he believes the thieves will soon return the bird that was taken recently in England. It seems Chico loves to squawk a song by Queen. The parrot's owner says the thieves will soon tire of hearing "We are the Champions."
An Ohio man was strolling through a thrift store when he saw a framed poster with Picasso scribbled on it. He bought it for $14.14. The Columbus Dispatch reports an auction house confirmed it was an original design carved by Picasso making the poster worth $6,000.
A police video of George Zimmerman in the hours after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 does not show any obvious evidence of the injuries Zimmerman reportedly received during what he says was an altercation that ended with him firing his handgun in self defense.
Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 10:12 am
We probably won't know until June what the Supreme Court justices will decide regarding the health overhaul law known as Obamacare. The questions this week from the conservative majority seemed skeptical of the "individual mandate" at the center of the law, yet dubious of the law's survival without it.
(A line of questioning may not be a perfect guide to a justice's thinking, but right now it appears to be the way to bet.)
So let's say it's June and the high court has laid low the whole law. That's terrible news for President Obama and the Democrats, right?
Shirley Ree Smith sits in the living room of her daughter's upstairs duplex in Alexandria, Minn. Smith is waiting to hear if California Gov. Jerry Brown will grant her clemency. "They say things happen for a reason. I'm not sure if I'll ever figure out a reason for all of this," she says.
A senior pathologist in the Los Angeles County coroner's office has sharply questioned the forensic evidence used to convict a 51-year-old woman of shaking her 7-week-old grandson to death, identifying a host of flaws in the case.
And our last word in business today is hit the showers.
Nike is suing rival Reebok over the right to sell brand new Tim Tebow jerseys. The tussle over Tebow - who rose to fame last year for his fourth quarter comebacks - comes after his recent trade to the New York Jets.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Renee Montagne.
The revolution in Egypt is still a work in progress, but one thing that has not changed is the partnership between the U.S. and Egypt's powerful military. In fact, just last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced she would let $1.3 billion in aid flow to Egypt's military, as usual, this year. Clinton said the country has made significant progress toward democracy.
The murder of Trayvon Martin has shone a spotlight on Florida's law that authorizes the use of deadly force in self-defense. The law has been widely cited as the reason why shooter George Zimmerman has not been arrested. Marion Hammer is one of the most powerful lobbyists in Florida, and has helped to make the law a reality in the state.
Former MF Global Holdings Ltd. Chairman and CEO Jon Corzine testified on Capitol Hill in December. On Wednesday, a former executive at the company refused to answer lawmakers' questions about events in the run-up to the firm's collapse.
A former executive at the center of the meltdown of brokerage firm MF Global appeared before Congress on Wednesday to answer questions from lawmakers. Members of the House Financial Services Committee were hoping assistant treasurer Edith O'Brien would explain the actions of the firm's CEO, ex-New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine.
The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Thursday on what's known as the Ryan budget, the spending plan from Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that among other things changes the structure of Medicare and rewrites the tax code. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has endorsed the plan, but some are saying his rhetoric on the campaign trail may not match up with at least one reality of the Ryan budget.
Romney said he supported the Ryan budget the day it was unveiled.
"I applaud it," he said. "It's an excellent piece of work, and very much needed."
Samira Ibrahim, an Egyptian woman who brought the case against an army doctor accused of conducting forced "virginity checks" on female protesters last year, breaks into tears outside a military court in Cairo on March 11 after hearing that the doctor was acquitted.
Credit Gianluigi Guercia / AFP/Getty Images
Egyptian army doctor Ahmed Adel speaks during a news conference at a military court in Cairo on March 11. Charged in the case of forced virginity tests on Egyptian protesters last year, he was acquitted.
For Samira Ibrahim, and many other Egyptians, the struggle to remake their country didn't end with the ouster last year of Hosni Mubarak.
Ibrahim, a 25-year-old from southern Egypt, was arrested by the military during a protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square in March of last year, a month after Mubarak was overthrown.
While in custody, Ibrahim said, she and six other young women were subjected to a so-called "virginity check" — a forced penetration to check for hymen blood. Amnesty International has called the procedure a form of torture.
You may have heard of "flash mobs," where a mass of people invade a public space to make a scene. Now the idea has been turned on its head by "cash mobs," where large crowds of consumers show up at small businesses to spend money. But it's not just about propping up the local economy.
It's 5 o'clock on a Friday, and mostly quiet in the Lander's Men's Store, a mom-and-pop clothing store in Jamestown, N.Y. But shop owner Ann Powers is anticipating a mob.
Alburgh, Vt., is a town with unusual geography: It's on a peninsula that borders Quebec and is surrounded by Lake Champlain. Even though the town is small and isolated, its residents have always had somewhere to do their banking.
But in January, the People's United Bank branch on Main Street announced it was closing its doors. When Irene Clarke heard the news, she decided to do something about it.
The historic legal arguments on the Obama health care overhaul came to a close at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, with key justices suggesting the court may be prepared to strike down not just the individual mandate but the whole law.
The major arguments of the day were premised on a supposition. Suppose, asked the court, we do strike down the individual mandate — what other parts of the law, if any, should be allowed to stand?
And finally, this hour, we remember Earl Scruggs, the master of the five-string banjo, who has died at age 88. As a young man, he created his own style of fingerpicking on the banjo that would come to bear his name: Scruggs style. He got his start with Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys in the 1940s and then teamed up with Lester Flatt as Flatt and Scruggs. And he influenced countless players over his many decades of music, among them, fellow banjo player Tony Trischka, who joins me now.