Consider what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans, and you get an idea of the consequences of a cyberattack on critical U.S. infrastructure: No electricity. No water. No transportation. Terrorists or enemy adversaries with computer skills could conceivably take down a power grid, a nuclear station, a water treatment center or a chemical manufacturing plant.
Airlines started charging fees for checked bags a few years ago. Now passengers are testing the limits of what they can carry onto planes. Some flight attendants say it's getting out of hand. But airlines are trying to address the problem with bigger overhead bins.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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President Obama visits Oklahoma today, talking of speeding construction for a major oil pipeline. Yesterday, he visited a solar panel farm in Nevada. Those were just two of the stops on a presidential effort to defend his energy policies. He's under pressure from Republicans because of rising gas prices.
And we start our coverage with NPR's Scott Horsley.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm David Greene. Good morning.
The lawyer for the soldier suspected of killing unarmed Afghan civilians last week says his client may have suffered from diminished capacity - or, in other words, a mental breakdown. That possibility has focused attention on the Army's ability to detect and treat psychological problems among soldiers. NPR's Martin Kaste reports on how the Army's system works in theory and in practice.
Today, Justice Department officials meet with family of Trayvon Martin. The unarmed African-American teen was shot in Florida by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Last night, Martin's parents joined a rally in New York's Union Square, and NPR's Margot Adler attended.
MARGOT ADLER, BYLINE: There was rage, sadness and also the feeling of a prayerful community gathering. When the parents of Trayvon Martin spoke, the crowds pushed closer to get a look and shouted words of encouragement. Tracy Martin, the teenager's father, spoke first.
March Madness is supposed to be all about basketball. But it was the NFL that produced a dizzying day of news yesterday. The NFL came down like a ton of bricks on the New Orleans Saints. The league suspended head coach Sean Payton for the entire 2012 season. That was punishment for the team's bounty system, which paid players for injuring opponents.
Raquel Jaramillo's debut novel, Wonder, written under the pen name R.J. Palacio, was born out of a rather embarrassing incident. The author was out with her two sons, sitting in front of an ice cream store. Her oldest had just finished fifth grade, and her youngest was still in a stroller. They spotted a girl whose face had been deformed by a medical condition.
French police have been trying to get a suspected gunman to surrender, after he apparently changed his mind about turning himself in. The 24-year-old has confessed to killing the Jewish children and the paratrooper in Toulouse. Explosions have been reported near the apartment. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley tells host Robert Siegel the latest developments.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously in favor of an Idaho couple who were prevented from building their dream home after the Environmental Protection Agency barred them from building on their land. The agency claimed the property was protected wetlands under the federal Clean Water Act.
The ruling gives property owners the right to challenge an EPA compliance order from the time it is issued, rather than waiting for the agency to begin enforcement actions.
How would it feel if you were in a job interview and the prospective employer asked for your username and password to see your Facebook profile? Robert Collins says he felt "violated."
"I felt disrespected. I felt that my privacy was invaded," he tells All Things Considered host Robert Siegel, "but not only my privacy, the privacy of my friends and that of my family that didn't ask for that."
The latest reports from the Federal Election Commission shed new light on the political largesse of two Texas businessmen who have become common names in the world of Republican fundraising.
With a $1 million check in February to the superPAC backing Rick Santorum, Dallas nuclear waste dump owner Harold Simmons and his wife, Annette, have now contributed to groups supporting all three of the top GOP candidates.
As gasoline prices rise, some Republicans are making a provocative claim about President Obama. They say higher energy prices are actually part of the administration's agenda and they point to some comments made by the president before he took office.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was the latest Republican to make the charge about President Obama, and he did so on Fox News Sunday this past weekend, saying, "There's no question that when he ran for office he said he wanted to see gasoline prices go up."
There's a small spacecraft called Messenger that's been orbiting the planet Mercury for a year. Today, at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, astronomers revealed what they've learned about the innermost planet in our solar system, and some of the new knowledge is puzzling.
Maria Zuber, a planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studied a large crater 900 miles across called Caloris.
For the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that defendants have a constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel in plea bargains. In a 5-4 decision Wednesday, the court went further, declaring that when a lawyer acts unethically or gives clearly wrong advice, the defendant may be entitled to a second chance at accepting a plea offer.
The place is Tel Aviv, but it doesn't look at all like Israel: Dozens of African men are sitting on broken stools and plastic at a makeshift restaurant.
Sudanese fare is on the menu. The men scoop up the stews and salads that remind them of home.
Abdullah Mohammad Mustafa started this restaurant with a couple of other African men who arrived in Israel five years ago from Sudan's troubled Darfur region. They are among some 40,000 Africans who have come to Israel illegally, and many have congregated in neighborhoods in Tel Aviv.
Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 4:50 pm
My sister is no science writer, and I'm no baker, but recently our worlds melded in a surprising way.
Here's what happened: Last October, I attended a workshop on artisanal bread and cheese-making at Salt Water Farms in Lincolnville, Maine. Farm manager Ladleah Dunn introduced us to the concept of making sourdough bread with levain, or starter, instead of packaged yeast.
Dutch lawmakers are calling for a parliamentary hearing, today, after new allegations of abuse by the Catholic Church surfaced over the weekend. This time, an investigation by the newspaper NRC Handelsblad found that Catholic-run institutions had surgically castrated young boys.
Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 5:57 pm
Regular aspirin use might reduce the risk of cancer by as much as 38 percent, according to a big new review of research on the issue. But "might" is the key word here, other scientists say. And even if it works, that benefit comes with costs, including an increased risk of ulcers and internal bleeding.
Former U.N. Security General Kofi Annan got a boost today from the Security Council as he struggles to resolve the crisis in Syria. The council endorsed his peace proposals. They call for a daily two-hour pause in fighting to allow humanitarian aid in and for a political dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition. Here's NPR's Michele Kelemen.
In women's college basketball the Sweet 16 is set. And to no one's surprise, the four number one seeds have made it. Can any team beat Baylor, Stanford, Yukon or Notre Dame? Or will those four keep rolling until the Final Four?
Joining me is NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman. Welcome back, Tom.
The sweeping health overhaul law turns 2 years old this Friday. And as it heads toward a constitutional showdown at the Supreme Court next week, the debate over the measure remains almost as heated as the day President Obama signed it into law.
The standoff between a murder suspect and French police in Toulouse, France, has stirred up a swirl of speculation about the man's background and motives, but so far there are relatively few confirmed facts.
French officials say the suspect is a 23- or 24-year-old Frenchman of Algerian decent by the name of Mohammed Merah, who had a long record as a juvenile delinquent.
He's suspected in the killings this month of three French paratroopers of North African descent, as well as a rabbi and three Jewish schoolchildren.
Saying that Mitt Romney may not be able to "grind his way toward the nomination" despite a huge fundraising advantage, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told NPR today that he sees no reason to exit the Republican presidential race and that there's a chance of a new contender emerging at the party's convention in August.
"I'm not so sure you wouldn't get a series of brand new players" stepping forward during a brokered convention, he told Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep.