A National Football League investigation revealed yesterday that the New Orleans Saints had a bounty program. Players were paid bonuses off the books for putting game-ending hits on opposing players. The NFL says bounties were paid for the past three seasons, including 2009 when the Saints won the Super Bowl. Defensive players were offered $1000 for a cart off - an injury so bad a player would be carted off the field - and $1,500 for a knockout, which needs no explanation.
Now, to Super Tuesday. Ohio may not offer the most delegates of the ten states who will vote on Super Tuesday, but it has become the most coveted state for all the candidates of the Republican nomination for president, a microcosm of the countrywide fight for supremacy. Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney will all campaign there today. NPR's Tamara Keith has this campaign update from Cleveland.
As the candidates battle it out, there's a key fact always worth remembering: 53 percent of those who cast votes in the last presidential election were women.
Michelle Bernard is a political analyst who studies voting trends among women. She is the founder and CEO of the conservative Bernard Center for Woman, Politics, and Public Policy. Thanks for being with us.
MICHELLE BERNARD: Thanks for having me.
SIMON: Let's try and clear this up. Is there a women's vote?
This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
BP is beginning to settle the financial bill it faces from a 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A group of individuals and businesses who sued the company have agreed to settle for nearly $8 billion. The plaintiffs all say they were harmed when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, killing 11 men, and leading to the massive spill.
Three years ago this month, President Obama said he hoped to promote more cooperation between the U.S. and Russia. It would be hard to see where that may have happened recently, as Vladimir Putin approaches power again. Host Scott Simon speaks with the U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, about Sunday's elections in Russia.
As the violence in Syria continues, the international community has been unable to do much more than continue to condemn it. Host Scott Simon talks with Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy about the mounting debate over intervention and the new humanitarian access to the country.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
Baseball has begun its spring training season. That used to be taken as a sign of spring. Is it now a sign of ka-ching in Major League Baseball? Jim Bouton, who pitched for the New York Yankees, the Seattle Pilots, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves and about a dozen other major, minor, and semi-pro teams, the man who shook up baseball 40 years ago with his classic diary, "Ball Four," so widely quoted and reissued, joins us from the studios of New England Public Radio in Amherst.
David Rohde is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and former New York Times reporter, who's now a foreign affairs columnist for Reuters and The Atlantic. He talks to host Scott Simon about what he calls the "Obama doctrine" in a piece that appears in the current issue of Foreign Policy magazine.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
Danny DeVito, a short, funny guy with a long and winding career in movies, TV, on-stage and online, from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" off-Broadway and onscreen, to the TV shows "Taxi" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and online films. His latest project transports him to the land of Truffula trees and singing fish.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE LORAZ")
DANNY DEVITO: (as The Lorax) I'm playing poker. He's playing Go Fish. And I think he's hungry.
Ciaran Hinds seems to show up in every other movie you may have seen over the past decade, including There Will Be Blood, The Road to Perdition, Harry Potter and The Debt. He's currently starring in the hit television series Above Suspicion based on the Lynda La Plante novels. Host Scott Simon speaks with Hinds about his career.
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:
This morning, the death toll rose in areas affected by extreme weather in the Midwest and the South. Towns have been wrecked and the number of people missing is unclear. Now, residents are starting to sift through the wreckage and recover what they have left.
At least 28 people have been reported dead. (Note: This number is bound to change, and we'll update as we have more information.)
The White House meeting next Monday between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be the most critical encounter for the two men since they took office.
Netanyahu is expected to argue that time is running out on efforts to discourage Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Obama may say the Israelis can count on U.S. support, but that they should give sanctions and diplomacy time to work before turning to military action.
The Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal investigative agency, said Friday that Quinton Keel had resigned and that it is in touch with Air Force officials about their final decisions on disciplinary action against the two other accused officials.
NPR has obtained a report from the Inspector General of the Labor Department that describes an incident last year in which the nation's coal mine safety chief and agency lawyers withdrew a legitimate safety citation and order "not based upon the merits" but "to avoid the appearance of retaliation and possible Congressional scrutiny."
Australia is a huge island, with stretches of lonely, rocky coastline that extend for thousands of miles. What's more, there are lots of harbors and airports.
In short, opportunities are plentiful for an enterprising Mexican drug trafficker to move his product 8,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean to service the vibrant new market Down Under.
One such drug lord is Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, head of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel. He's a cunning, small-statured, exceedingly dangerous outlaw recently dubbed "the world's most powerful drug trafficker" by the U.S. Treasury Department.
When the New York Hotel Trades Council ratified a new contract for hotel workers last month, much of the media coverage focused on "panic buttons." Coming after the sexual assault allegations against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the idea of housekeepers wearing a badge that could call for help was all over the news.
In a move certain to bring even more attention to one of the latest media tempests, President Obama on Friday got on the phone to encourage the Georgetown University law student disparaged by conservative radio superstar Rush Limbaugh with misogynistic epithets.
Sandra Fluke, who is also an activist, was about to appear on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports when she took a phone call from the White House. It was the president. As an emotional Fluke explained once she was in front of the cameras with Mitchell:
Just three months ago, Russia's parliamentary elections prompted widespread allegations of fraud and drove thousands of protesters into the streets in the days afterward.
The Russian government and government critics both say they are trying to prevent a similar outcome in Sunday's presidential poll.
Valdimir Putin, who has been either the president or the prime minister for the past 12 years, is widely expected to win another six-year term as president. But the credibility of Russian elections is also at stake.
Estelle Swaray is a Londoner. But for the past few years, the British singer best known for the song "American Boy" (her 2008 Grammy-winning hit with Kanye West) has called the U.S. home. It was a particular American boy, she says, who convinced her to make the move.
Their marriage may be over, but singers Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony have come together for a new TV show that seeks out talent from throughout Latin America. It's been airing on Spanish language TV in the U.S. and in 21 countries. And as NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports on today's All Things Considered, the show will also premiere on Fox this weekend, with English subtitles.