Not many children write letters to government entities, we would think. But a boy's letter to NASA is making waves and softening hearts on the Internet today.
"Dear NASA," the letter begins. "My name is Dexter I heard that you are sending 2 people to Mars and I would like to come but I'm 7." The handwritten note, in which Dexter asks for advice about becoming an astronaut, got a full response from NASA, along with some stickers and posters.
The key takeaway from Monday morning's testimony at the trial of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin is that the defense produced three people to say they're convinced it is Zimmerman's voice that can be heard calling for help on the recording of a 911 call.
The FX version of the Scandinavian series The Bridge, like the Showtime version of the Israeli TV series that inspired Homeland, is a major revamp as well as a crucial relocation. With Homeland, the focus became American politics and home-soil terrorism. In The Bridge, premiering July 10, the setting is changed to the U.S.-Mexico border. This allows executive producer Meredith Stiehm, a writer-producer from Homeland, to deal with everything that relocation provides — including the white-hot issues of immigration reform and border security.
In the new Showtime series Ray Donovan, Liev Schreiber stars in the title role as a man who knows how to handle a crisis. It's Donovan's job to clean up the messes of Hollywood's rich and powerful while trying to keep his own personal problems under wraps.
A TV series is something of a new turn for Schreiber, who's been acting onstage and in movies for two decades. But playing complicated characters is something he's earned a reputation for, with roles in films like Defiance and The Manchurian Candidate.
Faced with persistent drought and water-usage concerns, the city of Los Angeles is paying property owners to replace their grassy lawns with heartier plants, such as shrubs, trees, and perennials. The city's water utility is hoping to boost the successful program by raising its offer, to $2 a square foot from $1.50, reports member station KPCC.
One major source of pleasure in the music Eleanor Friedberger makes as half of The Fiery Furnaces is a matter of sheer density — the density of The Fiery Furnaces' musical ideas, the thick layers of words, lyrics that operate as dense sounds with meaning to be extracted from them.
We've been following the case of Justin Carter, the Texas teen who's been jailed near San Antonio since February. It started when he posted a Facebook message saying he would go "shoot up a kindergarten." Austin Police arrested him and seized his computer and a grand jury indicted him in April on a charge of making a terroristic threat.
We are going to continue our conversation about how the Supreme Court's major rulings on same-sex marriage are affecting people's lives. We have a different perspective now. We're turning to Reverend Derek McCoy. He's an associate pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland. He's also president of the Maryland Family Alliance, which opposed legalizing same-sex marriage in that state. Unsuccessfully, I should say. Pastor McCoy, thank you so much for speaking with us once again.
Same-sex couples are still processing how the Supreme Court's recent rulings on gay marriage could change their lives and their relationship to the government: from health insurance, to retirement, to green cards. For more, host Michel Martin speaks with Susan Sommer of Lambda Legal.
Several state legislatures are moving to amend voting laws after a controversial Supreme Court decision limited enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. Host Michel Martin gets an overview of the future of voting rights across the states.
We've been following the story of the collapse in Bangladesh of a building that housed several factories where clothes were made for Western retailers. More than 1,000 people died in that disaster in April, and the incident shed light on working conditions in Bangladesh, the world's No. 2 exporter of clothing.
The Boeing 777 that crash-landed in San Francisco has one of the best safety records in the industry. In addition to the plane's solid reputation, many other factors helped save lives in Saturday's crash — from fire-rescue training to aircraft design.
If you look at pictures of the gutted, charred fuselage of Flight 214, you'd wonder how anybody made it out alive. All but two of the 307 passengers and crew survived. Both people killed were teenage girls from China.
With 40 people still missing after massive explosions Saturday in the center of their town, the people of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, begin the week "with fears that the death toll from a weekend rail disaster could surge," CBC News writes.
WWNO's Gwen Thompkins on "Ballet Class" by Jason Marsalis
Another month, another great mix of new music chosen by public radio's top DJs. Download an explosive new track from Neko Case, discover the Shabazz Palaces-approved Seattle rapper Porter Ray and get to know Valerie June, one of public radio's frontrunners for Best New Artist of 2013. Grab all 10 of our picks below, as chosen by the following contributors:
Chris Campbell, DJ at WDET's ALPHA channel in Detroit
Lars Gotrich, producer and host of Viking's Choice at NPR Music
Good morning. I'm David Greene. In China it's the Year of the Snake. In Indiana, it's the year of popcorn. This year's state fair will feature, what else, a giant popcorn ball. A company called Snax in Pax is using a mold that's eight-feet wide. Owner Will Huggins says it will be edible but he doesn't recommend taking a bite. Maybe because it'll be a little stale.
The Fourth of July weekend is over, but celebrations continue, and I'm not talking about left-over fireworks. The Maryland Historical Society is recreating the flag that flew over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore 200 years ago. Mary Pickersgill and four others sewed the original Star Spangled Banner in 1813. Now volunteers will recreate it using the same type of fabric, stitching and time frame. They have six weeks to complete the 30-by-40 foot flag.
An already dangerous, volatile situation turned even deadlier early Monday in Cairo when dozens of people were killed at a protest outside the Republican Guard facility where it's believed ousted President Mohammed Morsi is being held. Most of those who died are reported to have been among a large group of Morsi's supporters.
Update at 5:45 p.m. ET. Date Set For Egypt's Election
Each month, NPR Music asks public radio personalities at member stations across the country to tell us about a song they can't get enough of. David Greene introduces listeners to member station WWNO's Gwen Thompkins — she's NPR's former East Africa correspondent. Her choice for July's installment of "Heavy Rotation," is "Ballet Class" by the Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet.
People in Britain are celebrating a new Wimbledon tennis champion this morning, a man born on their own soil.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Game, that's a match...
GREENE: That's early applause from the crowd yesterday, just before Andy Murray won in straight sets beating Novak Djokovic. Murray's victory ends 77 years of heartbreak. The last Brit to win the Wimbledon men's title: Fred Perry in 1936.
Rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans, which help low and middle-income college students, doubled on July 1. There is now pressure for a deal to undo the increase. NPR's David Greene talks to Matthew Chingos, a fellow at the Brookings Institution's Brown Center on Education Policy.