The U.S. ambassador to Spain, James Costos, leaves the Spanish Foreign Ministry after being summoned to a meeting in Madrid on Monday. He was called in following reports that the NSA was tracking millions of phone calls in Spain.
We begin this Monday with more spying by the National Security Agency on U.S. allies. The country is different this time — Spain — but the reaction isn't.
The NSA tracked 60 million Spanish phone calls between Dec. 10, 2012, and Jan. 8, the newspaper reported, citing the work of Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who has revealed details of much of the agency's surveillance activity.
President Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr in Russia in September in happier times before revelations that the NSA electronically eavesdropped on U.S. allies.
Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 10:54 am
Good morning, fellow political junkies.
It's the last week of October. That means the administration has just a month to meet its self-imposed deadline to have the Affordable Care Act website running as efficiently as it and millions of Americans had originally envisioned.
But the first item in our Monday political mix of some of the more interesting tidbits that caught my eye this morning indicates why setting such a deadline might be easier than meeting it.
Kolten Wong of the St. Louis Cardinals slumps as Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli celebrates Sunday night. Wong was picked off at first base to end the game and the Cardinals' hopes of winning. Boston's 4-2 victory means the World Series is tied at 2-2.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Employers do fire workers who use fake excuses to call in sick, but there are still plenty of examples of this adult version of The Dog Ate My Homework, according to a new study released by the website CareerBuilder. Nearly a third of employees reported they've called in sick when they weren't really. Among the imaginative medical excuses: losing false teeth out of the car window or extreme grumpiness from quitting smoking. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has not had a great year. After a winning a disputed election, he faces inflation near 50 percent. Supplies of basic goods like toilet paper have run low. But now Maduro is acting. He created a new Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness. It's supposed to coordinate services for the poor. We do not know of the Happiness Ministry will work but it has given a practical benefit, causing people to laugh.
German officials are scrambling to gather more information and U.S. officials are assessing diplomatic options in the wake of claims that the U.S. National Security Agency has been monitoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone for more than a decade. Renee Montagne talks to Tim Naftali of the New America Foundation about America's history of spying and what this recent news means for the U.S. relationship with its European allies.
Dozens of women in Saudi Arabia drove cars Saturday in open protest against the kingdom's ban on women driving. NPR's Deborah Amos, who has been covering the story, speaks with Steve Inskeep about the outcome and implications of the protest.
We're listening now to some of the music of Lou Reed. He died over the weekend at the age of 71. He was in his mid-20s in 1967 when he released this song called "Sunday Morning" on the album "The Velvet Underground and Nico."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUNDAY MORNING")
LOU REED: (Singing) Early dawnin', Sunday mornin'...
Senators and representative hold budget talks this week, a meeting that should have been routine but was not arranged until after a government shutdown. Now Democrats and Republicans are supposed to set a framework for federal spending, on everything from defense to education to helping seniors.
Ron Brownstein of National Journal says it's going to be hard because of both party's political calculations. He starts us off with Democrats.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Political professionals like to keep an eye on the only two governors races to come year after each presidential election. In 2005, Democrats won the races in New Jersey and Virginia. They went on to dominate congressional races the year after.
Fracking has unleashed a huge amount of natural gas in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale, but like every industry it responds to supply and demand. Overproduction led to a glut of gas, which caused companies to shift operations to other regions of the shale, in search of more lucrative natural gas liquids. Marie Cusick of member station WITF has more on the ebb and flow of the industry in Pennsylvania.
MARIE CUSICK, BYLINE: There's a bustling Friday lunch crowd at the Bullfrog Brewery in downtown Williamsport.
NPR's business news starts with a digital cash dispenser.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: The world's first Bitcoin ATM will be ready for use this week at a coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada. The bitcoin is a digital currency used to purchase products online. Up till now, converting bitcoins to cash has been a complicated process requiring a bank deposit and a few days wait.