Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 3:32 pm
California Gov. Jerry Brown is locked in a legal battle over control of his state's prison system. Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling ordering the state to drastically reduce its prisoner population. Brown claims the state has made substantial progress, but the governor has stopped short of complying fully with the court order.
In Rio de Janeiro, tourists are drawn to Copacabana for its wide beach and foliage-covered cliffs. But a month ago, not far from the tourist hub, an American woman and her French male companion were abducted. She was brutally gang-raped; he was beaten.
Perhaps what was most shocking to Brazilians, though, was the age of one of the alleged accomplices: He was barely in his teens.
"Why? That's what you ask yourself," says Sylvia Rumpoldt, who is walking with a friend at dusk by the sea in Rio. "It's horrible. It's criminal energy."
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 2:04 pm
For Jason Collins, coming out just might prove a winning career strategy.
Before this week, the NBA center seemed like just another second-tier professional athlete, slouching toward retirement while still in his 30s. But all that changed overnight when Collins acknowledged he was gay in an interview with Sports Illustrated magazine published Monday.
Before the age of computers and vinyl printers, sign painters worked by hand to illustrate storefronts, billboards and banners. Local craftsmen often developed a signature style that could distinguish a neighborhood, or even a city.
But technology made creating signs less expensive — and less expressive. Sign Painters, a new book and documentary written and directed by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon, focuses on dozens of artists who are keeping the art alive.
On NBC's Parks and Recreation, former stand-up comedian Retta plays office manager Donna Meagle. Donna is mostly in the background of the show, but is known for obsessing over her Mercedes SUV and for creating the Parks and Rec Treat Yo Self holiday.
Retta says this character is quite different from the roles she was offered in the beginning of her acting career.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan. With just a few words, NBA journeyman Jason Collins made sports history. "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black, and I'm gay." With that announcement in the May 6th edition of Sports Illustrated, Collins became the first man still active in a major team sport to come out.
Most reaction has been positive. Earlier today, President Obama actually returned to the microphones at the end of that news conference to say a few words.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. As the investigation continues into the Boston Marathon bombings, countless questions remain about the two prime suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. This past Sunday, the Washington Post ran a long profile that offers a complicated portrait of the family.
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 12:11 pm
A soccer referee who was reportedly punched in the face by a teenager during a game is in critical condition in a Utah hospital, four days after the incident.
After sustaining what seemed to be minor injuries, the 46-year-old official later lost consciousness — leading doctors to find "far more serious head injuries than thought," The Salt Lake City Tribunereports.
There's word that a Scottish cruise line has taken out an insurance policy in case of a beastly disaster. Jacobite Cruises is now insured against damage from the Loch Ness Monster.
"We see it as keeping in line with good business practice," Freda Newton, managing director of Jacobite Cruises, tells The Scottish Sun. "There is so much going on — people have tried to hunt the Loch Ness Monster, people have tried to capture it. We just don't know what could happen. It's prudent."
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 1:20 pm
A young girl raped this month in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has died, according to several news reports. The 4-year-old child had been lured with chocolate by her alleged attacker, who later dumped her at a farm, as NPR's Julie McCarthy has reported.
The New York Times' India Ink blog says the girl's parents found her April 18, the day after the attack, and that she had been in a coma since. She sustained extensive brain and vaginal injuries.
New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers, has spent much of the past year with the rebels in Syria, and has written poignantly about the impact of the fighting on the lives of ordinary Syrians and its devastating impact on that ancient land. Before becoming a journalist Chivers was a Marine and his knowledge of the military sometimes leads him to stories that only an insider would see.
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 11:50 am
The Neskantaga First Nation is grappling with mental health and other issues in northern Ontario, Canada, where a high suicide rate prompted officials to declare a state of emergency earlier this month. With a population of about 400, the community has seen an average of about 10 suicide attempts a month in 2013, according to local officials.
When it comes to culinary matters, France, in many minds, is synonymous with fine dining. So it might surprise you that, for the first time, sales at fast food chains have overtaken those at traditional restaurants in the country that gave us the word gastronomie.
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:38 am
Cities in Arizona that conduct buyback programs to get guns off the street will now be required to re-sell those weapons, according to a new law signed by the governor.
Gov. Jan Brewer signed the legislation late Monday "preventing local governments from melting down the weapons obtained from these popular civic events. Before the new law, the state had allowed such firearms to be destroyed," according to Reuters.
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:02 am
Everybody needs an HIV test, at least once.
That's the verdict from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which has just joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a scrum of professional medical societies in calling for universal testing for the virus that causes AIDS.
(We updated the top of this post with a recap at 11:45 a.m. ET.)
Joking that a reporter's question Tuesday about whether he has "any juice" left to get things done in Washington made it sound like "I should just pack up and go home," President Obama paraphrased Mark Twain:
"Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated," the president said, as he predicted that an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws will be among the things that get accomplished in his second term.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The day after British jigsaw puzzle maker Dave Evans finished his 40,000-piece puzzle, it was leaning on a wall and suddenly had a great fall. This biggest ever hand-cut wooden puzzle is a montage of images form the queen's jubilee and it's due to be displayed in one of the queen's ballrooms next week.
So Evans is asking for help, hoping that some of the queen's men and women can help him put it back together again. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:19 am
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.
The debate over taxes now extends to pot. Colorado voted to legalize marijuana but lawmakers have been debating how to tax it, and that debate is partisan. Democrats want taxes high, saying consumers will gladly pay. Republicans want lower taxes, saying otherwise a black market will develop. But to their credit, lawmakers took a deep breath, inhaled, and let the system work. After considering a 30 percent tax, the State House trimmed it to 25.
The investigation into the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon is widening, with authorities looking at about a dozen people to see whether they might have helped the two main suspects either before or after the attack, law enforcement officials familiar with the probe tell NPR's Dina Temple-Raston.
As outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood prepares to hand off the baton to President Obama's nominee, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Morning Edition reflects on Lahood's legacy. What have he and the president accomplished? What's still to be done?