NPR News

What You Emailed Us About Using The 'ACC'

Sep 26, 2013

This morning, I griped about the acc, our newly coined name for the practice of copying a third party on an existing email chain to undermine or pull rank on the original recipient. (The A can stand for angry, awkward, annoying ... or other A-words you might be thinking of ...)

For Sale: 1925 Rolls-Royce, Elephant Gun Included

Sep 26, 2013

If you've got a spare $500,000 lying around, or just love rare cars, this news is for you:

A 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Maharaja "tiger car," complete with an elephant gun attached to the rear bumper and a hand-cranked machine gun on a trailer, is up for auction Saturday in Las Vegas.

It's part of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company's annual three-day sale in Sin City, which kicked off Thursday.

According to Barrett-Jackson:

What would it take to persuade you to allow government researchers to squirt millions of live flu viruses up your nose?

A recently concluded project at the National Institutes of Health found, among other things, that $3,400 each was enough to attract plenty of volunteers.

"I am happy I could contribute in some way," says Kelli Beyer, 24, one of 46 healthy people who volunteered for the project. To get the money, the research subjects had to commit to several days of testing, then nine days in a hospital isolation ward once the virus was administered in a nasal spray.

A 50-year prison sentence handed to Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia convicted of war crimes, has been upheld by a judge at The Hague.

During the fifth hour of his televised marathon speech protesting Obamacare, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz caught the attention of Dr. Seuss fans everywhere by pulling out a copy of Green Eggs and Ham on the Senate floor to read as a bedtime story to his children.

Interpol, the international police organization, has issued a "red notice" for British national Samantha Lewthwaite, the "white widow" who some news accounts have linked to last weekend's deadly attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

"What has Wooden Wand been up to lately?" It was a simple question that turned into an epic email thread with a friend a year ago; the kind where you find yourself a sudden apologist for a sprawling, decade-long discography. There was the noise jam-band phase, the bedroom acoustic recordings mistaken for "freak folk," the major-label "flop" that had more to do with the crumbling remains of the label than the artist...

Two Bodies Found Near Costa Concordia Wreck

Sep 26, 2013

The remains of two people, presumed to be a missing passenger and crew member from the ill-fated Costa Concordia, have been located by divers near the site of the wrecked cruise liner that was righted last week in a dramatic salvage operation off the Italian coast.

Montana Rapist Freed After Serving 30-Day Sentence

Sep 26, 2013

Update at 11:55 a.m. ET. Released:

The Montana Department of Corrections' website just changed the status of Stacey Dean Rambold to "sentence expired," which means the convicted rapist whose 14-year-old victim later committed suicide has now served the 30-day prison sentence that sparked national outrage.

Our original post picks up the story:

CNN / YouTube

U2 rocker and international aid activist Bono got considerable praise this week for his imitation of former President Clinton.

Thursday Morning Political Mix

Sep 26, 2013

Good morning, fellow political junkies.Today finds the Senate in continued debate aimed at reaching a legislative agreement that keeps the federal government open into the new fiscal year which starts Oct. 1.

Meanwhile, there seems to be a growing mood among congressional Republicans to test President Obama's resolve to not negotiate over raising the debt ceiling in a few weeks.

Here are some politically-connected items or themes that caught my eye this morning.

The two latest economic indicators both point to modest, steady-as-she-goes growth:

-- Gross domestic product grew at a moderate 2.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says. That's exactly what the agency reported the last time it estimated growth for the April-June quarter.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, whose Innocence of Muslims film sparked deadly protests in Muslim nations in the summer of 2012, is being released from federal custody on Thursday.

One of the United States' most experienced diplomats says he's come away from behind-the-scenes conversations with Iranian officials this week thinking "it is possible to come to accommodations" with new President Hassan Rouhani and his aides on key issues such as Iran's nuclear ambitions.

New Chinese Law Cracks Down On 'Rumor Mongers'

Sep 26, 2013

Authorities in western China apparently wanted to make an example of 16-year-old Yang Hui.

He was the first person in China to be arrested under a new rule against "rumor mongers," defined as people who intentionally post a rumor that is reposted 500 times or more, or viewed 5,000 times or more.

A middle school jab goes something like this: "We're having an A-B conversation, so you can C your way out." I bring this up because there's a workplace parallel to this that doesn't seem to have a name. It's when you're having an A-B email conversation and one party suddenly copies your boss, manager or someone more senior, in order to get an advantage in the discussion at hand.

Former President George H.W. Bush's presence as a witness and guest at the marriage of two women in Maine last weekend is being treated by some as his quiet endorsement of same-sex marriage.

In Pennsylvania, more than a half-million people who don't have insurance are waiting to hear whether the state will take advantage of a Medicaid expansion that's part of the Affordable Care Act.

The federal law would allow people earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty guidelines to sign up for Medicaid. But a Supreme Court ruling that largely upheld the law gave states the choice whether to expand their Medicaid programs.

A satellite cellphone rings for rebel commander Bashar al-Zawi, at home with his family in the Jordanian city of Irbid. It's a rare domestic break for this wealthy businessman turned rebel commander. But he is anxious to get back to his battalion of 5,000 fighters in southern Syria.

They are taking part in a rebel offensive that is squeezing the Syrian army around the city of Dera'a. Military analysts say the fight is one of the most strategically important battles in Syria's civil war, because Dera'a, close to Damascus, is President Bashar Assad's stronghold in the southwest.

The heavy floodwaters in Colorado this month caused more than 37,000 gallons of oil to spill into or near rivers, and the state's oil and gas industry is rushing to fix equipment damaged during the storm. It comes at a time when there's growing public concern about the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing in the state.

Something is wrong in Florida's Indian River Lagoon.

Over the past year, record numbers of dolphins, manatees and pelicans have turned up dead in the 150-mile-long estuary that runs along Florida's Atlantic Coast. Bouts of algal blooms have flourished in the waters. All the signs point to an ecosystem that is seriously out of balance. The crisis has mobilized scientists, residents and elected officials in Florida.

An Ailing Lagoon

An initiative in Los Angeles County is trying to help the homeless by first connecting them with a place to live. The "housing first" model has been used in cities across the country in recent years to combat long-term homelessness.

In L.A. County, the Home For Good project focuses on those who are most at risk, aiming to end chronic homelessness in the area by 2016. Homeless-services providers are gathering information about the population and ranking individuals' vulnerability. Then, the goal is to move the most in need into permanent housing, quickly.

Just a few months ago, most Greeks had never heard of a teenager named Giannis Antetokounmpo.

At 6-foot-9, the baby-faced athlete was the towering star of a minor-league basketball team in an Athens suburb. Born in Greece to a Nigerian soccer player and a high-jumper, he was raised and educated in Athens. He only received his citizenship this May.

And then, on June 27 in New York, NBA commissioner David Stern announced that the Milwaukee Bucks had used the 15th pick in the first round of the NBA draft to select Antetokounmpo, who recently turned 19.

Alan Jackson has achieved huge success in country music, but he's not above trashing his own industry. The platinum-selling star once voiced his frustration with the narrow range of country music that receives radio play by writing a spot-on parody — "Three Minute Positive Not Too Country Up-Tempo Love Song" — that hit all the mainstream marks on the nose.

For a man who spent the bulk of his career as a public defender, Robert Listenbee's new role walking around the halls of the U.S. Justice Department may not be the most comfortable fit.

But Listenbee, who became administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention earlier this year, says his transition has been smooth. And besides, he says, he couldn't resist the "extraordinary opportunity."

A north Idaho school district is launching a campaign to curb bullying. The effort includes curriculum changes and focus groups with a cross section of student cliques.

Wednesday's Highlights

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz ended his marathon Senate floor speech at noon when his appointed time ran out.

At Georgetown University this week, an outdoor religious display looks more like a public art installation than a commandment from the Torah, Judaism's holy book.

First, the basics: It's called a sukkah, a temporary dwelling — translated from Hebrew as a "booth" — where observant Jews traditionally eat and sleep during the weeklong harvest holiday of Sukkot.

The holiday, which began the night of Sept. 18, also pays homage to the 40 years during which the Israelites wandered in the desert, living in temporary structures.

The U.S. State Department has renewed its global terror alert, following the attack in Nairobi, Kenya, by a group claiming to be part of the Somalia-based al-Shabab.

Because of the "continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence" toward Americans, the State Department said, U.S. citizens should "maintain a high level of vigilance."

The department adds:

When she left the Obama administration, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she just wanted to sleep late and walk her dog. But that hasn't happened.

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