Over the weekend, President Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The two leaders pledged to build a new model of relations. Before coming to the U.S., President Xi spent three days in Mexico. In years past, China and Mexico have kept each other at arm's length as both competed to manufacture cheap goods to send to the U.S. But that seems to be changing.
In Colorado, the recreational use of marijuana is now legal. Those statutes which were approved by voters last fall were just signed into law. Voters in Washington state also approved recreational pot and that state is now in the process of formulating just how the drug will be regulated.
Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at UCLA. And he's heading up the team advising Washington on implementing its marijuana laws. He says that state's rules will be based on its alcohol and tobacco laws.
For more on the political repercussions of all of this, we are joined now by NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Good morning, Mara. Mara.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Rachel.
MARTIN: So, we heard the director of National Intelligence last night in a statement, say that - and I'm reading here: The surveillance activities published in the Guardian and the Washington Post are lawful and conducted under authorities widely known and discussed, and fully debated and authorized by Congress.
Tim McGraw has been a star long enough that he can look back on his early music and laugh a little bit. That goes for his hairstyles as well; ask him about the music video for "Indian Outlaw," and he'll tell you about what he calls "the mullet days." But that hit from his second album, along with the track "Don't Take the Girl," put his music career on a whole different trajectory.
In Palestinian territory, Mohammad Assaf's face is easy to find. Big posters of the dark-haired 23-year-old dreamboat smile at you along boulevards in Ramallah. And in Gaza, a giant banner of Assaf billows outside his family home.
Assaf's dad, Jabar Assaf, is bursting with pride.
"I'm very, very, very proud of my son. Besides singing so well, he is very polite, and he is studying at the university," Jabar Assaf says. "He's no street kid. I'm very proud."
So are many other Palestinians — including 16-year-old Abeer Ali.
Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of the High Park fire northwest of Fort Collins, Colo. The blaze consumed 259 homes in the rural area, but so far only 10 households have finished rebuilding a year later.
As Gary and Martha Lemert sort through photographs from the High Park fire, it takes just one before and after shot to convey the complete devastation of their 10-acre property.
All they had left after the fire was a green roof that looked like it had been melted on top of gray rubble. All told, the Lemerts lost eight buildings, including a garage and a guest house.
On-air challenge: Categories are given based on the name "Homer," the name of a town in Alaska. Name something in the category beginning with each of the letters H-O-M-E-R. For example, if the category were "Chemical Elements," you might say Helium, Oxygen, Magnesium, Einsteinium, and Radon. You can give the answers in any order.
Most aquarium visitors are there to see sharks, sea turtles, fish and other marine life. But at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, there's another star attraction: Coral.
The Aquarium's Blacktip Reef exhibit will open later this summer, and give visitors a look at an Indo-Pacific coral reef. But curators can't just carve a chunk out of a wild reef to put in the vast tank, that would destroy the very ecosystem for which they hope to raise conservation awareness. And corals take hundreds of years to develop into a reef, so the aquarium can't grow its own in-house.
Revelations this week that the National Security Agency has been running an extensive domestic surveillance program involving companies like Google, Facebook and Apple has caused many Americans to ask what's left of their privacy. Guest host Tess Vigeland speaks with James Fallows, national correspondent with The Atlantic.
Authorities are still searching for a motive in yesterday's shooting rampage in Santa Monica, California. Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said the alleged shooter had weapons with the capacity to fire 1,300 rounds of ammunition.
Meanwhile, north of Los Angeles, fire officials say the so-called powerhouse fire in the Angeles National Forest is 90 percent contained. Twenty-four homes were destroyed, and state officials say the blaze cost some $16 million to knock down.
Sarah Murnaghan's spirit can be summed up by her personalized Monopoly character: a three-legged silver pig that can stand on its own.
"Everybody sort of expects her to decline here, and she does, but she fights back every time," says her mother, Janet.
Sarah, who has cystic fibrosis, has a reason to keep fighting: She's another step closer to getting a lung transplant. Sarah has been waiting for a year and a half, and doctors say she could die soon without a transplant.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Saturday said media reporting this week about government surveillance activities amounted to "reckless disclosures" that could hand terrorists a playbook to foil detection.
He said the surveillance measures are legal and said the reporting lacked full context:
Comedian George Carlin liked to say that art doesn't have a finish line. The trio behind Ghost Brothers of Darkland County are the embodiment of that idea. Each is a superstar in his chosen field: rock music legend, best-selling novelist, record producer — trades they could have been content to pursue to the grave. Instead, they went and wrote a musical together, 13 years in the making.
A "walk-through" enclosure at the London Zoo apparently allows visitors to get a little too close to resident squirrel monkeys and several people have the bite marks to prove it, according to details of a report published in a U.K. newspaper.
The Camden New Journal says 15 people suffered bites from the black-and-tan monkeys over a 12-month period last year.
President Obama says he's not Big Brother. The author who created the concept might disagree.
Addressing the controversy over widespread government surveillance of telephone records and Internet traffic Friday, Obama said, "In the abstract, you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential program run amok, but when you actually look at the details, then I think we've struck the right balance."
Police in China said Saturday that a suicidal man was responsible for a fire that swept through a commuter bus in the country's eastern coastal city of Xiamen, killing 47 people including the arsonist and injuring dozens more.
Authorities say 59-year-old Chen Shuizong left a suicide note at his home before setting the fire aboard the bus during Friday's rush hour. The official Xinhua news agency says he was "unhappy and pessimistic about his life, and planned the arson to vent personal grievances."
Pakistan's new government wasted no time on Saturday in lodging a formal diplomatic complaint with Washington over a U.S. drone strike that reportedly killed seven militants near the Afghan border.
U.S. Charges D'Affaires Richard Hoagland was summoned to Pakistan's Foreign Office to receive the government's official protest. U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson was out of the country at the time of Friday's attack.
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz . I'm Bill Kurtis, filling in for Carl Kasell. We're playing his week with Roxanne Roberts, Tom Bodett, and P.J. O'Rourke. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced Saturday he would run to finish the late Frank Lautenberg's term in the U.S. Senate.
Booker, a 44-year-old Democrat, has served as mayor since 2006 and is Newark's third black mayor. He is hoping to claim Lautenberg's seat, which has been filled by Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa until a special election in October.
He made the announcement at a Saturday event in which he was endorsed by former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley.
In another "insider attack," two U.S. soldiers and an American civilian were killed in Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province on Saturday by a man wearing an Afghan army uniform.
"Two U.S. International Security Assistance Force service members and one U.S. civilian were killed today when an individual wearing an ANA uniform turned his weapon against (them)," according to a statement from Afghanistan's NATO-led force.
Tech companies that cooperated with government intelligence-gathering efforts by allowing access to their databases say they did so only reluctantly and that it never involved 'direct access' to servers, according to The New York Times.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
John Morse isn't bogged down in personal scandal. The Democratic president of the Colorado Senate isn't accused of ethical improprieties or anything else that might directly violate his oath of office.
But by pushing a sweeping gun-control measure he's alienated a swath of voters who are determined to toss him out of office before his term ends.
On Monday, groups opposing restrictions on guns turned in twice as many signatures as they needed to trigger a recall election against Morse. A recall of another state senator appears likely.