Edward Snowden may have intended to stir things up about secret American surveillance programs. It turns out, he's also shaking up diplomatic relations between the U.S. and three countries where those relations are already edgy. The former intelligence contractor who leaked classified documents is believed to be still at a Moscow airport.
He arrived there from Hong Kong on Sunday. NPR's State Department Correspondent Michele Kelemen joins us to talk about the countries drawn into Snowden's travels. Good morning.
To love the novels of Cesar Aira you must have a taste for the absurd, a tolerance for the obscurely philosophical and a willingness to laugh out loud against your better judgment. His latest novel to be translated into English, The Hare, is set in the Argentine pampas at the end of the 19th century. But don't let any veneer of realism fool you.
South African Archbishop Thabo Makgoba visited the hospital to pray with his family on Tuesday. On his Facebook page, Makgoba posted the prayer he said for the 94-year-old anti-apartheid legend and former president. He wrote:
Good morning, I'm David Greene with health advice from Russia.
Gennady Onishchenko, the country's chief sanitary inspector, is encouraging food patriotism. Translation: More borscht - cut the meals at McDonald's. The fast food chain is popular in many Russian cities. But Mr. Onishchenko had more to say. To beat the summer heat, he said people should just get to work early, rather than wear, quote, "spotted little pants that stop above the knees." We think he's referring to shorts.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
President Obama flew home from Europe less than a week ago, and this morning, he is headed back overseas. This time, Air Force One is bound for Africa. It's a weeklong journey that will take the president and his family to three countries covering vastly different regions. This is Obama's first extended trip to the continent as president.
Jordan's King Abdullah vowed to make the desert kingdom a "free Internet" country as he began his rule more than a decade ago. On June 2, when local Internet providers were ordered to block hundreds of news websites across the kingdom, Web publishers protested the broken promise and international media watchdog organizations charged censorship.
And that brings us to today's last word in business - which is: Courtesy Seating.
Jessie Frank was a distraught mom who was going to be late picking up her daughter at camp.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
She was on stand-by in Washington, D.C. for an over-booked Delta Flight to New York, when a man offered up his seat. Turns out it was Delta CEO Richard Anderson. His kindness helped the mom and earned some good PR for the company.
Sometimes when there's a daily drumbeat of news — war, protest, unrest — it's good to find those moments to pause, dig deeper, and find layers of the story that are easy to miss.
Tina Brown, the editor of The Daily Beast, joins NPR's David Greene to help us do just that, as part of a recurring series Morning Edition calls Word of Mouth. This month, it's stories of global conflict and the media that — for good and for ill — cover those stories.
File under "one of the oddest jobs ever": professional mourner. China's funeral rituals date back 2,000 years to the Han dynasty, but were banned during the Cultural Revolution as superstition. Now these funeral rituals have become an income source to a select few who stage funeral extravaganzas, marrying ancient Chinese traditions with modern entertainment.
So many people have the wrong idea about pasta salad — that staple of the summertime picnic season. It's a complete dish (often with starch, vegetable and protein all together), it's happy to hang out in your basket for several leisurely hours without complaint and it doesn't require much more than a fork to enjoy al fresco. Far too often, though, it's just done wrong.
With just days remaining before Google pulls the plug on its Reader RSS feed service, reality is sinking in. And the market for free or low-cost replacements is growing, as Digg has rolled out its new reader in the past week. Other companies report a burst of new customers after Google's announcement that it would discontinue its RSS system on July 1.
It didn't take long after the news broke about the Supreme Court's 5-to-4 decision tossing out a key piece of the Voting Rights Act for the fears of voting advocates, or the hopes of VRA critics, to be realized.
Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 11:45 am
New observations of a fairly well-studied star have revealed a system with at least six planets, three of which are in the star's habitable zone. This is the first time that three such planets have been spotted orbiting in this zone in the same system.
All this week, we are remembering our favorite moments from the 21-year-run of Talk of the Nation. With so many driveway moment-inducing interviews, hours of live breaking news, segments with familiar voices, and insights from audience members, it's hard to know where to start. So we asked a few of those who worked on Talk of the Nation over the years to share a story or two.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
Calm has been restored in southern Lebanon for now. Clashes between the army and followers of a radical Sunni cleric have left dozens dead over the past two days. It's been called the most violent spillover from the conflict in Syria to a neighboring country. And now, a manhunt is under way for that cleric, Ahmed al-Assir.
NPR's Kelly McEvers traveled from Beirut to the scene of the violence today in Sidon, also known as Saida in Arabic.
Today in the Afghan capital, Kabul, there was a coordinated assault on the diplomatic green zone. Men in at least two vehicles bluffed their way into a secure area before detonating bombs and getting into a firefight with government security forces. Three security guards were killed, as well as all of the attackers.
A two-way dialogue is important in any conversation, especially when you are discussing compelling issues. Over the past two decades, Talk of the Nation has been part of public radio's national conversation with listeners, gathering perspectives and insights into the latest headlines and developments in science, education, religion and the arts.