China's Communist Party had hoped a high profile corruption trial this week would send a message that the party punishes its own and operates under the rule of law. But so far, the trail of former Politburo member Bo Xilai hasn't quite worked out that way. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports on how China's biggest case in decades is toying with the expectations of the millions of people following the trial.
Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an executive order that bans protests around the site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
The AP reports Putin issued the 10-week ban along with other orders designed to tighten security. Of course, the ban comes amid international consternation about Russia's laws prohibiting people from publicly supporting "nontraditional relationships."
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:14 pm
A military jury has sentenced Robert Bales, the U.S. Army staff sergeant who admitted to killing 16 Afghan civilians in 2012, to life in prison without parole. During the punishment hearings held this week, Bales was confronted by family members of victims and people who survived the attacks of March 11, 2012.
As thousands gather in Washington over the next week to the mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, you may be moved to look for video of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech," which he delivered in front of the Lincoln Memorial during that march.
It might surprise you that it is actually quite hard to find — because while many copies have been uploaded to Internet video sites, many have also been taken down.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:41 pm
A military jury has returned a guilty verdict on multiple counts of murder and attempted murder against Maj. Nidal Hasan, the U.S. Army psychiatrist accused in the November 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood.
The attack at the Texas military base killed 13 people and wounded 32 others.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:17 pm
Chicago resident Jennifer Fitzgerald has finally settled her airport parking tickets — $106,000 worth of them.
But she'll pay just a small fraction of what she originally owed under a deal she's reached for a car registered in her name that was left for nearly three years in an employee parking lot at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
According to a lawsuit that was dismissed last week, Fitzgerald's ex-beau, Brandon Preveau, who worked at O'Hare, abandoned the 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, where it began collecting tickets on Nov. 17, 2009.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:52 pm
Updated at 12:35 a.m. Saturday: Emergency For San Francisco
Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for San Francisco because of the wildfire's threat to public utilities there.
The fire is 150 miles from the city, but Brown said the fire jeopardizes San Francisco's power lines and stations in the fire area. The city has already had to shut down two of its three hydroelectric power stations, the AP reports.
Further damage could have an impact on San Francisco's power supply.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:04 pm
Syria's war has reached another grim milestone: Two United Nations agencies announced Friday that 1 million Syrian children have now fled their homeland in an uprising and civil war that's well into its third year.
The accompanying slide show provides a glimpse of some of these children and the conditions they are living in.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 3:27 pm
Each Friday we round up the big conversations in tech and culture during the week that was. We also revisit the work that appeared on this blog and highlight what we're reading from our fellow technology writers and observers at other organizations.
For more than 30 years, jazz pianist Marian McPartland hosted one of public radio's most beloved shows, Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz. As NPR's Felix Contreras writes, she "gave the world an intimate, insider's perspective on one of the most elusive topics in music — jazz improvisation." McPartland died of natural causes on Tuesday at the age of 95.
Prolific crime novelist Elmore Leonard died Tuesday at the age of 87. Leonard was known for crisp dialogue and memorable villains. "The bad guys are the fun guys," he said in a 1983 interview. "The only people I have trouble with are the so-called normal types."
Many of Leonard's books and short stories were adapted to films. Those books include Get Shorty, The Big Bounce and Rum Punch, which became the Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown. His short story "Fire in the Hole" was the basis for the FX TV series Justified.
The World's End is a world-shaking, genre-bending, sci-fi comedy, and a splendid capper to what British writer-director Edgar Wright and actor-writer Simon Pegg call their "Cornetto trilogy," for an ice cream they eat on their side of the Atlantic. This one's arguably the best of the three, but who wants to argue over gorgeous satires like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End? It's like ice cream flavors: Have them all.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee, Michel Martin is away. Coming up, for some music fans, Robin Thicke's megahit "Blurred Lines" sounds distinctly familiar, kind of like an old Marvin Gaye song. The Barbershop guys step to the mic with their verdict. That's ahead. But first, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington has given the nation an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King and the movement that he helped to shape.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Many thousands of people are expected to attend a commemoration of the March on Washington this weekend. It's the 50th anniversary of the iconic moment in civil rights history when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Coming up, we'll talk to one writer who explains how Asian-Americans have benefited from the struggle for civil rights of African-Americans.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:25 pm
Time Warner Cable has come up with an old-school solution for the CBS blackout: In an email to customers, the provider offered free antennas for subscribers who wish to watch CBS.
If you remember, Time Warner and CBS have been fighting over retransmission consent fees. The failure to reach an agreement means that for close to three weeks, Time Warner customers in some big markets have been unable to watch CBS through the cable company.
Broadcaster Vin Scully has been the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers for longer than the Dodgers have been in California. And he'll return for his 65th season next year, the team said Friday, extending a streak that includes 25 World Series and the Brooklyn Dodgers' lone title, from 1955.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:09 am
For the second time in four months, the consumer group Public Citizen is alleging that a large, federally funded study of premature infants is ethically flawed.
Both complaints raise a big issue that's certain to get more attention beyond these particular studies: What's the ethically right way to do research on the validity of the usual care that doctors provide every day.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will host an unusual forum on that question next Wednesday — stimulated by the sharp questions raised by Public Citizen.
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
N.B. — Book News is going on vacation next week. Your faithful correspondent will be in California sans laptop and praying that Jonathan Franzen doesn't choose this week to reignite any feuds with daytime talk show hosts. In the meantime, as always, leave your hot tips, scurrilous attacks and existential questions in the comments section or direct them to @annalisa_quinn on Twitter.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 11:40 am
One month after he accepted a 65-game suspension that ended his season, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has issued a statement in which he apologizes for his actions. But the note, posted online by the Brewers, falls far short of the full disclosure many fans and analysts say they expect from the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:17 am
Authorities in India say they've arrested one man and identified four others in the alleged gang rape of a young photojournalist, apparently the latest victim in a series of recent sexual assaults that have shaken the country.
NPR's Julie McCarthy reports that the woman, in her early 20s, and a male colleague were doing a photo shoot of old buildings in south Mumbai when the incident took place early Thursday evening local time.
"In the meantime, Ballmer will continue as CEO and will lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation to a devices and services company that empowers people for the activities they value most."