All good things must come to an end. NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving, for the final time, weigh in on the political news of the week. New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner is enbroiled in another sexting saga, President Obama delivers his most expansive comments on race and Mitch McConnell now has a Tea Party challenger. The guys also make 2014 and 2016 predictions, plus read farewell comments from The Listener.
The year 1963 saw the March on Washington, the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Medgar Evers, the bombing of the Birmingham church that resulted in the deaths of four black girls and the passing of W.E.B. Du Bois. That same year, LeRoi Jones — a twentysomething, Newark, N.J.-born, African-American, Lower East Side-based Beat poet — published a book titled Blues People: a panoramic sociocultural history of African-American music.
"A Bosnian from the 'Pink Panther' gang of international jewel thieves escaped from a Swiss prison in a dramatic break-out involving a fellow inmate and two armed accomplices, police said Friday." (Agence France-Presse, via GlobalPost)
Good morning. I'm David Greene. What better way to beat the summer heat than jumping in a pool? That's what some guys in Germany did, but their pool was a converted an open-top BMW - complete with tiki decorations - still drivable. The fun, though, dried up when they passed a motorcycle cop. They pulled over, abandoned the vehicle and jumped into a nearby river. The investigation is still ongoing, but the police did say this car pool probably didn't have a road permit. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Next time you're in France, if you're moved to call the country's president stupid, it's OK. It's no longer a crime. Yesterday, the French parliament got rid of an old law from the 1880s that made insulting the president in public an automatic criminal offense. That's good news for former President Nicolas Sarkozy. He apparently called his successor, President Francois Hollande, a, quote, "ridiculous little fat man who dyes his hair."
In Hollywood, studios are always crunching numbers at the box office. And the popular X-Men series is back in movie theaters. "The Wolverine" stars actor Hugh Jackman playing the superhuman role for the sixth time. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has this review.
Nate Silver received acclaim last year by closely predicting the outcome of the presidential election through exhaustive statistical analysis of polling data. He also drew a lot of traffic to The New York Times' website with his FiveThirtyEight blog. Silver has decided to leave the Times and join ESPN and ABC News to put his statistical approach to work analyzing politics, as well as his first love of sports and other topics. David Greene speaks with Silver about his plans and the role of statistical analysis in reporting.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. Companies that are booming often want prestigious spaces, and this is especially true in the energy industry. The expansion of oil and gas drilling in the United States is having a major impact on the real estate market from Pennsylvania to Texas. It's certainly driving up prices and tightening the market in Denver. From Colorado Public Radio, Ben Markus reports.
Mass demonstrations are expected in Egyptian cities Friday amid fears of an imminent crackdown by security forces on supporters of former President Mohammed Morsi. The military chief who ousted Morsi urged Egyptians to come out in force to give the army a mandate to deal with "violence and terror." Muslim Brotherhood leaders have called for rival protests, after accusing the military chief of calling for civil war.
In Tunisia, thousands of people took to the streets to protest the assassination of an opposition leader Thursday. The turmoil is threatening the stability of the country that up till now was hailed as a bright spot as the Arab world struggles to cope with popular democracy. David Greene talks to Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institution about the latest developments.
And today's last word in business is: A healthy resistance.
The success of President Obama's health care law depends a lot on whether healthy 20- and 30-somethings will end up buying insurance. At first, the administration was hoping to recruit pro football stars in its PR push, but after a couple of Republicans sent the NFL a letter, that didn't happen. So now the White House is turning to celebrities - names like Michael Cera, Jennifer Hudson and Amy Poehler were reportedly in Washington this week.
NPR's business news starts with Toyota holding onto the trophy.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: Toyota remains the world's top-selling automaker. Numbers out today show the Japanese company sold 4.9 million cars and trucks in the first half of the year, beating out its rival General Motors. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
In just over a week, Iran will inaugurate a new president. Hasan Rouhani was the most moderate of the presidential candidates, and his election last month has raised hopes that Iran's isolation might end. The United States and its allies have imposed tough sanctions on Iran to block it from developing a nuclear weapon, and the outgoing government responded defiantly to that kind of pressure.
Here's NPR's Tom Gjelten on the prospects now for breaking the Iran impasse.
William Roman wants to borrow money, but his bank won't lend him any more. So he's turning to his local pawn shop.
For Roman, a loan from the pawn shop is a lot easier to get. He doesn't have to fill out an application. The people at the pawn shop don't check his credit — all they want is something valuable, something they call sell if Roman doesn't pay them back.
"I've pawned laptops, PlayStations," says Roman. "If I'm not using it, then I'll just go and pawn it."
There's no shortage of R-rated male buddy comedies, but this summer's raunchy flick — complete with drinking, sex and swimming pools — isn't one of them. TheTo Do List, written and directed by Maggie Carey and starring Aubrey Plaza, chronicles the coming-of-age, sexual escapades of a teenage girl.