Fans of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday no doubt noticed the absence of longtime host Scott Simon in recent weeks. What started as a well-earned vacation took a somber turn, as Scott told his Twitter followers on July 16 that his mother was in need of an emergency operation. "I can't talk. I'm surrounded by handsome men," he quoted her as saying while she was prepped for surgery.
Several states are dealing with a shortage of lethal injection drugs and have had problems getting enough to carry out executions. In Georgia, lawmakers passed a measure that makes information about where the state got its supply a secret.
The Lethal Injection Secrecy Act says that the identity of people or companies that manufacture, supply or prescribe drugs used in executions is a state secret. But attorneys for death row inmate Warren Lee Hill are challenging the state over whether that law is constitutional.
European Union envoy Catherine Ashton completed a round of talks in Cairo with Egyptian officials and opposition leaders including ousted president Mohammed Morsi. Ashton says she will continue her mediation efforts to resolve Egypt's worsening political crisis.
The latest Pentagon report to Congress on Afghanistan says the insurgency is still "resilient" and violence in some areas is at the same level as last year. But the Afghan forces are taking the brunt of the casualties now that the U.S. troop presence has decreased and the remaining forces have turned to training the Afghans.
Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 3:54 pm
Nearly 30 years and 13 albums into a career marked by tireless creativity and remarkable consistency, Yo La Tengo's Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan and James McNew are much-loved and highly influential pioneers. That word seems as accurate a label as any, especially given that they laughed off the notion of being "godfathers" during our interview.
Ireland now has its first law making abortion legal in the country under specific conditions, after President Michael D. Higgins signed the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 into law Tuesday.
The legislation provides women with access to abortion in cases where their lives are at risk, including medical emergencies and cases in which suicide could be a factor.
This isn't a painting. It's not from a movie. It's not a strange astronomical event. This is real — what you can see when certain helicopters in Afghanistan touch down on sandy ground, raising dust, causing mysterious arcs of light to loop and dance through the air.
This doesn't always happen. "The halos usually disappear as the rotors change pitch," wrotewar photographer Michael Yon. "On some nights, on this very same landing zone, no halos form." How come?
Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 8:48 am
To say that you're writing a symphony today is a statement, especially for a young composer like me. The challenge is to find just the right way to commandeer the age-old form, to render it fresh and vital once again within an American context.
Our music team returned home from the Newport Folk Festival this week, an experience they likened to being at summer camp; "crowded, loud, fun, full of a lot of your favorite people — and you never want to leave."
They might be a little tired, possibly a bit sore and missing their new friends; but these sweet Instagrams make us think it was all worth it. Sleep it off, guys, until next year.
Flowers pay tribute to the victims of the train that crashed in northwestern Spain last week. The driver of the train was on the phone and traveling at nearly twice the speed limit, according to court papers.
The driver of a Spanish train that derailed and killed 79 people was speaking on the phone and had taken the train to nearly twice the speed allowed on the stretch of track where the crash occurred, according to court investigators who reviewed the train's "black box" recorders.
After reaching speeds of 119 miles per hour, train conductor Francisco Jose Garzon Amo tried to slow the train down "seconds before the crash," according to an Associated Press report on the court's preliminary findings, which were released Tuesday.
Bradley Manning, the former intelligence analyst who perpetrated the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, has been acquitted of the most serious charge against him.
Col. Denise Lind, the military judge presiding over the case in Fort Meade, Md., found the Army private not guilty of aiding the enemy, when he released hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. The charge carried a possible punishment of life in prison.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, Detroit's bankruptcy last week made headlines because it was the biggest in history, but now comes the question of why this happened and what, if anything, this means for other American cities. We'll hear two very different views about this in just a few minutes. But first, we want to turn to two significant elections in Africa this week. The West African country of Mali is being praised for a smooth presidential vote this past weekend.
Author Benjamin Alire Saenz's teen-lit novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe won big at this year's American Library Association awards. For Tell Me More's 'In Your Ear' series, he shares the songs that inspire him.
Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 8:33 am
Andrew Bird's records have grown quieter and more intimate in recent years, but he remains a remarkably dynamic live performer: Last year's Break It Yourself wouldn't seem to be the stuff of blockbuster live shows, and yet when he took it to the stage, he injected its characteristically smart, brooding songs with surprising intensity. Of course, it helps that, 12 albums into an unpredictable career, Bird has become a cult superstar whose fans clearly fuel him onstage.