Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 12:16 pm
When Colum McCann came to the U.S. from Ireland in the early 1980s, he set out on a cross-country bicycle trip to get to know his new country and its stories. He's spent the years since telling those tales through prose. With his project, Story Swap, he's helping diverse communities better understand each other by sharing their own stories.
The Colorado River touches the lives of Americans coast to coast. The river begins in the Rocky Mountains and flows into Mexico's Sea of Cortez. Along the way, it feeds over a dozen tributaries across the American Southwest.
Many in the West rely on the Colorado for drinking water, and farmers depend on it to irrigate millions of acres of farmland. And if you've ever felt the cool relief of air conditioning in Las Vegas, there's a good chance the electricity was provided by the "mighty Colorado."
The uprising in Syria began in the spring of 2011 when rebellious teenagers scrawled anti-regime graffiti on a wall in the southern city of Daraa.
The protest against their arrest, and the regime's brutal response, sparked the wider revolt. Throughout the unrest, the country's younger generation has been at the forefront of efforts to end the repressive regime of President Bashar Assad.
At a cafe in the heart of Damascus recently, a young man flips open his cellphone to show pictures of people killed in the uprising.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan at the Aspen Institute. News from the Middle East often focuses on problems: violence in Syria; political infighting in Egypt; bombs in the new Iraq; nuclear facilities in Iran; ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians.
Just days before student loan rates are set to double for millions of Americans, President Obama and congressional leaders haven't reached an agreement on legislation to keep those rates at 3.4 percent.
The debate reflects the growing concern over the debt burden many take on to get a college education. About two-thirds of bachelor's degree recipients borrow money to attend college, and collectively, student debt has topped $1 trillion.
"These ideas of mine / percolate the mind," Fiona Apple sings in "Every Single Night," the song that opens her new album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do. Some people are going to listen to the entire record and come away with the feeling that the percolation in Apple's mind has bubbled over like a coffee pot left on a stove too long. But for me and perhaps for you, Apple's bubbling thoughts, words and music are thrilling — eager and direct, heedless about being judged or misunderstood.
In a seven-page letter (pdf) to President Obama, Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chair of the House oversight committee, says that President Obama's claim of executive privilege implies high level involvement the "Fast and Furious" scandal.
Fast and Furious is the failed gunrunning operation that sold weapons to drug cartels in Mexico. One of the victims of one of those guns was U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was gunned down in Arizona.
The Israeli village of Neve Shalom was founded decades ago as a place where Arabs and Jews could coexist in the volatile Middle East. The area has weathered regional wars and uprisings, but earlier this month, vandals targeted it and spray-painted anti-Arab epithets on the school's walls.
"We discovered first of all that a number of tires had been punctured, and then we noticed the damage at the school, slogans painted on the walls saying 'Death to the Arabs,' " says Howard Shippin, a longtime resident of Neve Shalom village. "Of course it's very disturbing."
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we look at another significant decision from the Supreme Court that might have been overshadowed by the ruling on immigration enforcement. The justices said life sentences without parole for juvenile offenders is cruel and unusual punishment. We'll talk with law professor Paul Butler about what that means for young people behind bars in this country.
With a simple statement saying that "it is considering a restructuring to separate its business into two distinct publicly traded companies," News Corp. this morning confirmed the thrust of a story reported by its own Wall Street Journal, NPR's David Folkenflik tells us.
"Orbitz Worldwide Inc. has found that people who use Apple Inc.'s Mac computers spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels, so the online travel agency is starting to show them different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than Windows visitors see."
Visitors to the online travel agency Orbitz see different results depending on what kind of computer they're using, according to The Wall Street Journal. Users of Apple computers are seeing more expensive options than those who search for hotels using a PC.
Microsoft is buying the tech startup Yammer for $1.2 billion, thus proving that you can get a 10 figure sales prices for a company called Yammer. It's the company's attempt to get a social network in its portfolio. Now Yammer, if you're not familiar with it, is like Facebook, but for businesses. It allows employees to see what colleagues in the same company are doing - in case you can't learn that at the water cooler.
Debby is doing a number on folks along the Gulf Coast from Alabama to northern Florida.
The tropical storm, which has been lashing the region since the weekend, could dump another 2 feet of rain by the end of the week, forecasters warn. Residents are being warned to also watch out for tornadoes, flash floods and sinkholes.
Chances are that your car's license plate has been photographed recently and downloaded into a data bank. The leading vendor of automated license plate readers says they're now used in nearly every state. Police say they fight crime, but there are privacy concerns about the new technology, as Charlotte Alright reports from Vermont Public Radio.
Let's go now to the presidential campaign trail. On the day Supreme Court struck down portions of a controversial Arizona immigration law, President Obama and his rival Mitt Romney tangled over immigration policy. Still, at a political rally yesterday in New Hampshire, Mr. Obama mostly focused on other issues, like the economy. New Hampshire has just four electoral votes, but it's expected to be hotly contested in November.
NPR's Scott Horsley has this report from New Hampshire.
When the $500 million development is finished in October, it will have more slot machines than either the MGM Grand or Bellagio in Las Vegas. But gaming in the North East region, which includes Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Atlantic City, might be outgrowing its customer base.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
News junkies yesterday had one of those classic moments involving the Supreme Court. The High Court ruled on Arizona's immigration law.
INSKEEP: And there was a period of frantic uncertainty as reporters and analysts tried to figure out what the ruling meant. Now it is clear the Court has given a mixed verdict to Arizona's law, casting doubt on copycat laws in other states.
Let's return, now, to the governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer. As we heard a moment ago, she's calling this a win, even though the Court struck down most of the Arizona law and said it would wait and see how the show me your papers provision is applied.
GOVERNOR JAN BREWER: Arizona's and every other state's inherent authority to protect and defend its people has been upheld.
INSKEEP: Governor Brewer is one of many Arizona voices responding to the ruling. Here's NPR's Ted Robbins.