Army Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing 16 Afghan civilians in a nighttime massacre. Audie Cornish talks with NPR's Martin Kaste, who listened to Sgt. Bales recount the killings at a military court hearing in Washington state. Bales has struck a deal with prosecutors that will spare him the death penalty.
For New York, last year's hurricane was a painful reminder that the city is surrounded by water. It has more than 500 miles of coastline, from the beaches of Staten Island and the Rockaways, to the banks of the Hudson and East Rivers and beyond. There is little dispute among scientists that rising sea levels will increase the threat of flooding. And now, as hurricane season begins again, there's a spirited debate about how the region should prepare for that threat.
Major League Baseball is investigating as many as 20 players, including some of the league's biggest stars. MLB wants to know if they used banned drugs from an anti-aging clinic in Florida. That clinic is now closed and the owner is now cooperating with MLB investigators. Two former MVPs, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, are reportedly on the list of players who are being interviewed. ESPN's "Outside the Lines" broke the story last night.
NPR's Tom Goldman joins us now. Tom, what can you tell us?
Yesterday in Egypt, 43 pro-democracy NGO workers were convicted by a Cairo court and sentenced to prison. One of them was Sherif Mansour who was given a two-year sentence. He's been a guest on this program several times. Mansour is a naturalized American citizen born in Egypt. He used to work for the pro-democracy nongovernmental organization Freedom House. He worked for Freedom House in Washington and also in Cairo. He now works for the Committee to Protect Journalists, and he joins us from New York. Welcome back to the program.
Small knives, golf clubs, and other items that had been poised to be allowed in air passengers' carry-on luggage will instead remain prohibited, the Transportation Security Administration confirmed Wednesday. The reversal follows a review process in which the agency heard from passenger advocates, law enforcement, and others.
"After extensive engagement with the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, law enforcement officials, passenger advocates, and other important stakeholders, TSA will continue to enforce the current prohibited items list," the agency said in a statement.
When Michelle Obama squared off with a heckler at a private fundraiser last night, the racial context was hard to ignore: a white woman yelling at the country's most visible black woman and that same black woman offering a pointed response.
When singer-songwriter Grant Olney started working on his latest album, Hypnosis For Happiness, he never imagined it'd take six years to finish. But after laying down the first tracks in 2006, Olney left for the U.K. and the Netherlands to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics. After finishing a 300-page dissertation on something called "high dimensional geometry," Olney returned to music and found himself reflecting on identity, friendship and what it means to really know someone. It's a knotty mix of emotions and ideas he tackles in a touching new video for the song "Not From Body."
It wasn't exactly a surprise to hear that President Obama named U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as his next national security adviser.
Almost as soon as it became clear that her role in the administration's Benghazi talking-points snafu meant Senate Republicans would never let her be confirmed as secretary of state if Obama nominated her, the possibility of her taking over from Tom Donilon as Obama's top national security aide was frequently mentioned.
Still, speculation is one thing; an actual appointment, another. So what to make of Rice's appointment?
President Obama has announced his choice of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as the next national security adviser, an appointment that does not require Senate confirmation. Congressional Republicans have sharply criticized Rice for erroneous statements she made after the attacks on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, last September.
Patty Griffin is back on the road to support American Kid, her seventh studio album, which she wrote as a tribute to her father. She recorded the album in Memphis, working with Luther and Cody Dickinson from the North Mississippi Allstars. Robert Plant, Griffin's tourmate and significant other, also makes an appearance on the album.
The news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that at least 49 people in seven states have gotten hepatitis A from eating organic frozen berries has given our smoothie-making some pause.
Frozen berries are full of health-promoting compounds; plus, they're convenient and delicious. So we wondered: Is there a way to keep all those positives, and hold the virus? We checked with food safety experts to find out.
ESPN's big scoop of the day — that Major League Baseball "will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal" — raises a logical question:
The Bluth family of the cult show Arrested Development can be oblivious, mean — to each other and anyone who enters their orbit — and eccentric. But that, says show creator Mitch Hurwitz, is in some ways the point.
"The goal with the show has always been that the Bluths are wrong," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "[They're] self-centered. They haven't had to develop. [Their] money allowed them to stop developing."
It's ridiculously, absurdly early to talk about 2016 presidential politics. Only a fool would try to predict who will be the next Republican nominee just seven months after the last election for the White House.
Still, in most election cycles, the GOP would already have an obvious front-runner by now, one who would more than likely prevail as the party's pick.
Not this time.
"This will be the most open Republican nomination in 50 years," says Tom Rath, a former GOP attorney general of New Hampshire and a veteran of early state presidential politics.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Chris Christie calls a very special election in Jersey. Missouri 8th voters call for Jason Smith, and a House committee chair calls out the White House spokesman. It's Wednesday and time for a...
REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA: Paid liar...
CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?