With more on this story and the rest of the week's news, we're joined now by Doyle McManus. He's the Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and he has graciously agreed to stand in for our regular news analyst, James Fallows. Doyle, thanks so much for being with us.
NASA launched the Mars Science Laboratory from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Saturday. The MSL is five times heavier than the rovers currently on Mars and has twice as many scientific instruments. It will take nine months for the spacecraft to reach the Red Planet, and there's plenty of things for it to do before then.
Andrew Robinson was injured by a roadside bomb during his second deployment to Iraq. Now a quadriplegic, he says he is learning how to use his limited mobility and is proud of having protected his fellow soldiers. He is especially motivated because his wife is expecting twins next month.
Photographer Lindsay McCrum's new book includes images of women who feel that hunting is a way to bring people and family together. Among those women is Alexandra, who poses for McCrum with her son, Truett, and her Ithaca 20-gauge side-by-side shotgun.
Credit Kurt Mangum /
Lindsay McCrum is a fine art photographer. She lives in New York City and California.
If you turn to page 109 of Lindsay McCrum's photo book, you'll see a photo of a woman wearing jeans and a green baseball cap standing in a grassy field. She's looking straight at the camera, clutching a semi-automatic rifle as if it were a water bottle. Standing between her legs is her son, his blond hair peeking out from behind her thigh as he poses with his toy gun, a miniature of his mother's.
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:
Bill Bratton is the former chief of police in Los Angeles, as well as Boston and New York. He helped introduced the system of predictive policing, and calls it the next era of crime prevention, and an evolution of community policing. Chief Bratton's now chairman of Kroll, a risk consulting company, and he joins us on the phone this morning. Thanks very much for being with us, chief.
BILL BRATTON: It's good to be with you, as always.
As a young reporter, Tom Wicker covered a beaver dam for the Sandhill, North Carolina Citizen. He went on to travel the world as a White House reporter and columnist for the New York Times and was in Dallas on November 22nd, 48 years ago this week when John F. Kennedy was shot. It was in a world before cell phones and text messages.
The holiday shopping season started even earlier this year in hopes that consumers would spend more in these economic times. Macy's, Toy R Us, Target, all moved up their opening times - in some cases to Thanksgiving Day. Joining us now to talk about Black Friday is NPR correspondent Yuki Noguchi. You've been reporting the scenes in stores. What can you tell us about the volume of shopping?
This year's Christmas Grinch may be Mother Nature. The Associated Press reports that historic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma have killed thousands of evergreen trees in those states, including trees being grown for sale at Christmas. Karen Barfield joins us now. She runs the Tinsel Time Christmas Tree Farm with her husband in New Caney, Texas.
Mrs. Barfield, thanks for being with us.
KAREN BARFIELD: You're welcome.
SIMON: What's your farm look like now after the drought?
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Protesters across Egypt are demanding an end to military rule and they say they no longer want anyone connected to former President Hosni Mubarak's regime in power. But an Egyptian high court recently gave a green light to hundreds of former members of Mr. Mubarak's outlawed ruling party to run for parliament. With elections scheduled to begin next week, critics worry that people connected to that era might have the money and connections to win. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson...
Military families across the country celebrated Thanksgiving this week with loved ones who were home after being deployed to Iraq for the last time. Scores of troops are coming home as the war winds down to an end next month, but for one Kentucky National Guardsman, his commitment to family is as strong as his desire to serve. Brenna Angel of member station WUKY in Lexington has his story.
The Arab League meets today in Cairo to consider imposing sanctions against Syria after Damascus rejected the League's demand that Syria allow an observer mission into the country. As protests there continue and the death toll mounts, neighboring Turkey says it's ready to join the Arab League in levying punitive measures against the government in Damascus. But as NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul, Turkey's deep reluctance to endorse a military option underscores the complex risks surrounding any foreign intervention in Syria.
A new name burst onto the top rungs of British pop charts this year with a song called, "My Heart." Well, maybe not a new name; it's actually one of the most famous names in musical history. Host Scott Simon speaks with screen legend Doris Day about her new album.
Wayman Tisdale was that rare human being: a great athlete who had a great second act. But his life ended in tragedy. Wayman Tisdale was a three-time All-American at the University of Oklahoma, and a forward on the U.S. team that won Olympic gold, a great power forward for the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings. But music had been his first love.
WAYMAN TISDALE: OK, ready?
SIMON: And he left the NBA to become a jazz musician, and also, once again, great.
The 7 billion people on this planet have never been so connected. People in Shanghai can communicate instantaneously with people in Sioux City — which makes it all the more remarkable that there still exists a few thousand people in the Amazon rain forest who have never had contact with modern civilization.
In 2002, National Geographic asked journalist Scott Wallace to chronicle the trip of a 34-man team to search for the perimeters of a people known as the flecheiros — or the Arrow People.
When I heard Paula Deen was coming to town, the image that leaped to mind was a fried cheesecake, deep-fried. She actually makes this!
At a time when it's trendy to take things out of food (think: gluten-free, sodium-free, fat-free), Paula Deen unapologetically puts it all back in. She loves all that stuff we're told to eat less of: butter, mayonnaise, sour cream. Did I say butter?
President Obama's campaign is gearing up in the early states ahead of the 2012 election. In Iowa, Obama supporters are hoping to recapture at least some of the enthusiasm that catapulted a young senator from Illinois to victory in the state's leadoff caucuses four years ago.
A resident talks with a Los Angeles police officer after another officer was wounded during a shooting in the city in August. Under a program the LAPD is rolling out this month, computer statistics will be used to predict where a crime will occur. Officials hope that the technique will help reduce crime.
Capt. Sean Malinowski of the Los Angeles Police Department does his crime-fighting in front of a computer screen.
He's in the LAPD's Real Time Analysis and Critical Response Division, located in a new crime data and analysis center in downtown Los Angeles. Malinowski is tracking two crimes that just occurred in south Los Angeles. Patrol cars are already on the scene. He says this facility is state of the art in real-time policing. He wants the force to be the best in predicting where criminals will strike.
Every Monday, Mario Barela heads to a domestic violence shelter on the west side of Phoenix to teach children of abused women how to drum. Their instruments are old paint buckets. They circle up in the cafeteria of the shelter as Barela leads.
(For the safety of families residing there, NPR can't name or share the location of the unmarked shelter or disclose the names of any of the children there.)
Originally published on Sat November 26, 2011 6:23 am
After nearly two years of bickering, NBA players and owners are back on the same side.
"We want to play basketball," Commissioner David Stern said.
Come Christmas Day, they should be.
The sides reached a tentative agreement early Saturday to end the 149-day lockout and hope to begin the delayed season with a marquee triple-header Dec. 25. Most of a season that seemed in jeopardy of being lost entirely will be salvaged if both sides approve the handshake deal.
Originally published on Mon November 28, 2011 6:20 am
Shoppers flooded stores across the country today as the holiday shopping season officially got under way and people rushed to grab Black Friday deals on electronics, toys and other merchandise.
More than 9,000 people waited outside Macy's Herald Square in New York City on Thursday night ahead of the midnight opening, according to The Associated Press. A Best Buy in St. Petersburg, Fla., had a line nearly 2,000 shoppers deep.
When Rachel Martin was given a slot guest-hosting weekends at All Things Considered, she took the opportunity to get a little holiday shopping out of the way. Needing musical stocking-stuffers for a few pesky relatives — her fiance's mom, for example, or her dad, who likes "Tchaikovsky and Johnny Cash" — she consulted NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, and asked him for some tips.
Last year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited SeaWorld following the death of a killer whale trainer. If a Florida court rules in favor of OSHA, employees of SeaWorld and other parks like it will no longer be able to come into direct contact with whales unless there is a barrier between them. Guy Raz speaks to Tim Zimmermann, a correspondent for Outside Magazine, about the ongoing legal dispute.
Egypt's military rulers named a former prime minister under Hosni Mubarak to head the new government. The move is likely to further incite the tens of thousands of protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, demanding the resignation of the ruling military council. And for the first time, pro-military protesters gathered in another of Cairo's squares.