This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 runs hundreds of pages. It authorizes hundreds of billions in defense spending. And as it stands, the version of the bill approved by the Senate is facing a veto by President Obama.
History shows us that elections can turn on details — a momentary lapse during a debate, the design of a butterfly ballot, who oversees a recount. That's why so much attention is being paid this year in state capitals to redistricting.
Every 10 years, congressional and state legislative districts are redrawn to reflect changes in population.
Although many states have already finished redistricting, Florida is just getting started. And it's turning into a heated political battle.
The Mexican military has recently broken up several secret telecommunications networks that were built and controlled by drug cartels so they could coordinate drug shipments, monitor their rivals and orchestrate attacks on the security forces.
A network that was dismantled just last week provided cartel members with cell phone and radio communications across four northeastern states. The network had coverage along almost 500 miles of the Texas border and extended nearly another 500 miles into Mexico's interior.
Walk into the Supreme Court gift shop, and there, among all the books on the history of the court, is a cookbook — yes, a cookbook. Put together by the spouses of the Supreme Court justices, it is a tribute to a master chef, the late Martin Ginsburg, husband of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
By day, Marty Ginsburg was one of the nation's premier tax law professors and practitioners. By night, he was one of the nation's most innovative and accomplished amateur chefs.
Arizona celebrates its centennial next year, and to help get folks spruced up for the occasion, the Heard Museum in Phoenix recently opened an exhibition featuring the state's official neckwear — the bolo tie.
The roots of the bolo tie aren't known for sure. But the story goes like this: Back in the 1930s and '40s, when Western swing was in full swing, a cowboy and silversmith in Wickenburg, Ariz., named Vic Cedarstaff was out riding his horse. The wind picked up, and to keep his silver hatband safe, Cedarstaff looped it around his neck.
The government of Malawi announced, yesterday, that it would review its ban on homosexuality. The announcement comes just days after the United States said it would use its foreign aid to advance gay rights. President Obama also directed his agencies to "to find ways to deter countries from criminalizing homosexuality."
Presenting at a meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, researchers said bedbugs can survive many generations of inbreeding, allowing one pregnant female to cause a building-wide infestation. Biologist Rajeev Vaidyanathan discusses that study, and another on pesticide resistance.
When they both worked at Princeton, Howard Stone and Jeff Aristoff used to play basketball at lunchtime. One day, when Dr. Stone was warming up with his jump rope, the two wondered if anyone had mathematically modeled the shape of the rope. The two researchers decided to give it a whirl.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Joe Palca. Ira Flatow is away this week. The biotech company AquaBounty Technologies of Waltham, Massachusetts, has developed a genetically modified Atlantic salmon that grows twice as fast as regular salmon. How has it done this? By tinkering with the salmon's genome, adding a growth hormone gene from one fish plus an antifreeze gene from another.
Reporting in Science, researchers write of an experiment in which rats worked to open the cages of trapped rats, but not empty or dummy-filled cages. Author Peggy Mason discusses empathy in non-primates, and the value rats place on freeing a companion--about equal to that of a stash of chocolate chips.
In Asia's Space Race: National Motivations, Regional Rivalries, and International Risks, Naval Postgraduate School professor James Clay Moltz discusses the potential militarization of fast-growing space programs in China, India, and Japan--and why US military officials are keeping watch.
Adult Burmese pythons can swallow prey as large as deer. Now, researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder say the way the python's heart balloons after it eats could help treat human heart disease. Molecular biologist Leslie Leinwand discusses her team's python experiments.
Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 1:33 pm
The news that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) have decided not to participate in the Dec. 27 Republican presidential debate that businessman/TV personality/self-proclaimed potential independent presidential candidate Donald Trump is supposed to be moderating means just two GOP contenders would be left for the event:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.).
On Saturday, college football's best player will be awarded the Heisman Trophy in New York. This year's front-runners attend Baylor University, Stanford University and University of Alabama; but 75 years ago, the Heisman winner was a Yale man. In 1936, at a time when the Ivy League was a hotbed of football talent, Yale end Larry Kelley was the first to win a Heisman Trophy.
Most people will find the first 20 minutes of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy difficult to follow — I did, and I've read John le Carre's novel and seen the haunting 1979 BBC miniseries starring Alec Guinness, although decades ago.
The movie is chopped up into short scenes featuring people we don't know working for a circus — what? — and for someone called "C," and talking about a woman called Karla? Meanwhile, the star, Gary Oldman, doesn't say a word for the first 18 minutes.
Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 6:39 pm
Virginia State Police and other officials briefed reporters this morning about Thursday's shooting on the campus at Virginia Tech, in which a campus police officer was killed and the suspect apparently later shot himself and died. We updated as it happened and put those posts in chronological order after the briefing was over.
Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 6:37 pm
In a direct message to the people who have held retired FBI agent Robert Levinson since he disappeared nearly five years ago in Iran, his son and wife today ask the captors to "please tell us your demands."
There's been movement today in Brussels, where leaders from the European Union nations are trying to save the euro and restore some faith in the financial markets that they can manage the euro zone's debt crisis. But an important division remains among the 27 nations.
The consensus among news outlets covering the story seems to be:
-- "UK Isolated As Europe Moves Ahead On Fiscal Union." (Reuters)
Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 10:35 am
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Coca-Cola took its secret recipe out of SunTrust bank this week and drove it over to a new Coca-Cola museum in downtown Atlanta. But should you visit Coca-Cola World, you still won't see it. The 1886 recipe is in a box, and the box is in another vault. Taking the recipe for a ride, Coke says has nothing to do with the fact that the bank is selling millions of dollars of its Coke stock. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Spirit Airlines has launched a new promotion mocking former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was sentenced to 14 years this week for crimes including trying to sell a vacant U.S. Senate Seat. Spirit's "Slammer Sale" features $14 fares in and out of Chicago. The airline is calling this a "seat-selling" sale.