Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 10:43 am
Professor William Barklow was on vacation when this happened. He was in Tanzania sitting on a river bank gazing about, when all of a sudden a hippopotamus pushed its head out of the river right in front of him, opened its huge mouth and bellowed.
It was really loud. Barklow could feel sound waves hitting his chest, his neck; he could hear the cry echoing along the riverbank. He knew next to nothing about hippos being himself a bird man, a specialist on the North American loon, but he was intrigued by what happened next.
Security for Joe Biden's trip to India is tight, but agents couldn't do much about some rowdy troublemakers during a stop at the Gandhi Memorial. About a dozen monkeys took over a tree above a statue where the vice president would be posing. The Wall Street Journal says they swung on branches and threw half-eaten mangoes to the ground. Photographers held their breath as Biden and his wife approached - luckily, no falling mangoes or other monkey business.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene. Closing arguments in the Bradley Manning trial are scheduled for tomorrow. The Army private first class admitted to perpetrating the largest leak of classified data in U.S. history. That's when he sent secret government documents to Wikileaks in 2010. The U.S. government has charged Manning with 22 offenses. The most serious is aiding the enemy, and he could face life in prison if he's convicted.
Three years after it was banned by the state of Arizona, the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) is resurrecting its Mexican-American studies program due to a federal court order. The courses are now known as culturally-relevant classes and are set to begin in a couple of weeks, when the school year begins. And they hold the same potential for controversy.
The TUSD board's decision to bring back the ethnic studies program was a whole lot less contentious than its decision to end the Mexican-American studies classes three years ago.
The U.S. House of Representatives is taking up the issue of domestic spying. Lawmakers are expected to vote today on an amendment that would reign in the National Security Agency program that collects the phone records of millions of Americans. This would be the first vote on the matter since the scope of the NSA program was made public in a series of leaks. As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, at issue is an amendment to the defense appropriations bill.
Again, that ever more bitter divide between Iraq's Sunnis and Shiites is a spillover from the vicious war in neighboring Syria. Under pressure from Congress, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has prepared five military options for Syria, but it's not clear the nation's top general thinks highly of any of them.
And our last word in business today is blue is the new black.
The Spanish village of Juzcar - like many places in Spain - was suffering from economic hard times. But then a stroke - or a paint stroke - of good luck.
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In 2011, Sony Pictures picked the little town of about 250 people to promote "The Smurfs 3D." Promoters painted the entire village, everything - from the church to the town hall - bright blue, just like those little cartoon creatures.
Congress is talking again about whether big banks are taking on too much risk. This time, the question is whether banks should be allowed to own commercial assets, including everything from oil and metals to warehouses and parking garages.
As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, the question is whether holding a vast array of assets makes banks safer and more stable, or prone to more market risk.
YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: The Senate Banking Committee's Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, framed the issue this way...
Apple sold more iPhones than expected last quarter, though its profits are down compared to last year. Still, in a quarter were other tech companies aren't meeting expectations, some analyst's say Apple isn't doing too badly.
NPR's Laura Sydell reports.
LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: Apple's revenue was pretty much flat, at a little over 35 billion, and its profits were down nearly two billion. Despite a rise in iPhone sales, Samsung is still selling more smartphones.
It's bankruptcy that's shaken up the city of Detroit and exposed how a once-great American city can collapse.
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The city of Detroit's population went from a peak of 1.8 million people in the 1950s to less than half of that today. Detroit shed jobs as the auto industry changed worldwide, leaving large swaths of desolation throughout the city.
Ryan Strickland takes a practice swing. Even though most players are legally blind, batters, basemen and outfielders all wear blindfolds in Beep Baseball so that people who can see shadows, for example, don't have an advantage.
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Kelsie Weir is the pitcher for the Spokane Pride, one of the positions in Beep Baseball that requires some vision. The balls contain an electronic beeping device so blind players can listen for it.
The air smells like cut grass and barbecue at Friendship Park in north Spokane, Wash. And Bee Yang is up to bat. The outfielders get ready. Yang is known as a power hitter.
But this is not your usual baseball game. There's a twist: most of the athletes on the field are visually impaired. Players know where the ball is by listening for it. It's called Beep Baseball, named for the beeping sound the balls make.
The racial wage gap in the United States — the gap in salary between whites and blacks with similar levels of education and experience — is shaped by geography, according to new social science research.
The larger the city, the larger the racial wage gap, according to researchers Elizabeth Ananat, Shihe Fu and Stephen L. Ross, whose findings were recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.