A rare event has taken place in the Middle East - the ruler of an Arab country has voluntarily stepped down. The emir of the Gulf state of Qatar handed power over to his son in a quiet ceremony in Doha this morning. NPR's Sean Carberry has our report.
(SOUNDBITE OF CEREMONY)
SHEIKH HAMAD BIN KHALIFA AL THANI: (Through Translator) As I address you today, I declare that I will hand over the reigns of power to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani...
In Sanford, Florida today, prosecutors continue making their case against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who last year shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder. In opening statements yesterday, prosecutors described Zimmerman as a vigilante who wanted to rid his neighborhood of people who didn't belong there.
Zimmerman's lawyers say he acted in self-defense. From Sanford, NPR's Greg Allen reports.
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The scandal at the Internal Revenue Service is becoming more of a muddle. We're learning more this morning about which groups were targeted for extra scrutiny. Turns out both conservative groups and progressive groups were on the so-called Be on the Lookout List at the IRS. Meanwhile, the man currently leading the agency says an internal investigation has found no evidence of intentional wrong doing.
The Erie Canal was cut through upstate New York almost 200 years ago. It opened up new shipping routes to the West and proved to be an economic lifeline for the Great Lakes region. The canal fell out of favor as faster transportation methods, like the railway, became available. But lately, it's been getting a second life.
Qatar's ruler said Tuesday he has transferred power to the 33-year-old crown prince in an anticipated move that puts a new generation in charge of the Gulf nation's vast energy wealth and rising political influence.
Some believe that there are only four Rolling Stones, but then some say there's a fifth: keyboardist Chuck Leavell. He's been on tours with the band for more than 30 years — but that hasn't been his only gig. At 20, he was asked to join The Allman Brothers Band.
When the blood pressure drug Bystolic hit the market in 2008, it faced a crowded field of cheap generics.
So its maker, Forest Laboratories, launched a promotional assault on the group in the best position to determine Bystolic's success: those in control of prescription pads. It flooded the offices of health professionals with drug reps, and it hired doctors to persuade their peers to choose Bystolic — even though the drug hadn't proved more effective than competitors.
The Senate has taken another step toward approving a sweeping immigration overhaul bill, as the legislation passed an essential test Monday evening. By a vote of 67-27, the chamber voted to include an amendment on border security to the final bill.
The margin of the vote means the measure cannot be the target of a filibuster. The Hill reports:
Oscar-winning director Sofia Coppola has a new movie out called The Bling Ring. It's based on the true story of middle-class Los Angeles teenagers who famously robbed celebrities' houses, the likes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom. She and Emma Watson, one of the stars in the film, talked about the movie on Weekend Edition Saturday.
Coppola told NPR Host Scott Simon the idea for the movie came from reading an article about the kids. She was struck by the fact that they didn't need anything; the kids were only in it for the excitement.
On May 18, 2003, Bobby "Blue" Bland appeared on Mountain Stage in Huntington, W.Va. Daniel Lanois, Tracy Nelson and singer-songwriter Will Hoge were on the bill that night, as well. When news of Bland's passing broke, Hoge was one of many who took to social media to pay tribute. He was also kind enough to share a few more words with us about the impact Bland had on his career.
Both candidates for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts are finishing a frantic day of campaigning ahead of Tuesday's special election to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Veteran Democratic Rep. Ed Markey is running against Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez. But they are struggling to get voters to the polls in a summer election that has yet to capture much attention.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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In Italy, today, a guilty verdict for the controversial former prime minister. Silvio Berlusconi was convicted in a Milan court of paying a minor for sex at one of his notorious parties. He was also convicted of abuse of office for trying to cover it up. Berlusconi says he's the target of a left-wing judicial witch-hunt.
To news of the civil war in Syria now. While the United States has wrestled with the questions of whether, how and when to arm the Syrian rebels, some of those rebels have been getting arms from Libya, that according to the New York Times.
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And as the paper points out, it is a turnabout. The inheritors of one strongman's arsenal, using them in the fight against another. Mark Mazzetti was one of three authors on that article. He joins us now. Welcome, Mark.
Edward Snowden's travels have been underwritten in part by Wikileaks. That organization, of course, has also attracted scrutiny for publishing government secrets. Lately, Wikileaks has retreated from the headlines, but as we hear from NPR's Larry Abramson, the organization has been slowly staging a comeback.
"Common Core" is one of the biggest phrases in education today. To many educators and policymakers, it's a big, exciting idea that will ensure that America's students have the tools to succeed after graduation.
But a growing number of conservatives see things differently.
For years, states used their own, state-specific standards to lay out what K-12 students should be learning, for everything from punctuation to algebra. But those standards varied wildly, so the Common Core replaces them with one set of national standards for math and English language arts.
The "be on the lookout list" used to flag Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny of their tax-exemption applications was not the only one the Internal Revenue Service had been using — there were others, covering a "broad spectrum" of groups and causes, according to an IRS report released Monday.