Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 11:12 am
President Obama's announcement Friday that he is using his executive authority to defer deportation proceedings for young immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally but meet certain requirements was just the latest example of the president's use of his power to act without Congress on policy issues.
In some countries of Africa, there's a land rush under way as investors claim farmland, establish mega-farms and try to cash in on high prices for food and biofuels. These deals are controversial. Critics accuse investors of dispossessing subsistence farmers.
Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 12:27 pm
A leak — in a pipeline, at a nuclear plant, within a top-secret agency — can be dangerous, disastrous, deadly. But sometimes a leak can also be a good thing — drawing attention to a larger systemic problem.
The debate over news leaks bubbled up again this week after reports that The New York Times relied on information from top-tier and unnamed U.S. officials to reveal details about the U.S. cyberbattle against Iran.
We were very tempted earlier this week to post about the guy who said he's writing a memoir called Kindness in America and had gotten shot while hitchhiking across the country. Many sites picked up that oh-so-ironic story.
Katerina Margaritou and Elias Tilligadas live in Athens. They're getting married next Wednesday — three days after the Greek election that has the global economy on edge.
Katerina is a chemist, and she works for a company whose main customer is the Greek government. The Greek government, of course, is broke. So Katerina hasn't been paid since last year.
"I'm very happy because I'm getting married," Katerina told me this week. "But I'm very sad because at the moment I cannot buy a dress. My boss promised me that he's going to give money to buy a dress. So I'm waiting."
"Rajat Gupta, who reached the pinnacle of corporate America as managing partner of McKinsey & Co. and was a director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Procter & Gamble, was convicted by a federal jury of leaking inside information to hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam," Bloomberg News writes.
I grew up in New York City, but I didn't watch Car 54, Where Are You? until I got hooked on it in syndication long after it was originally aired. So I was very happy to see the complete series of 60 episodes released on two DVD boxed sets. The episode in Season 2 titled "I Hate Capt. Block," about trying to teach a recalcitrant parrot to talk and the way people are not much smarter than parrots, is one of the most hilarious things I've ever seen on television, maybe as inspired as Sid Caesar's foreign film parodies or Carol Burnett's version of Gone with the Wind.
Henry Hill, the mobster-turned-informant portrayed by Ray Liotta in the film Goodfellas, died Tuesday at age 69. Hill's colorful life — he lived in Cincinnati; Omaha; Butte, Mont.; Independence, Ky.; and Topanga, Calif., among other places — was documented in crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi's 1986 book Wiseguy and then in Martin Scorsese's film Goodfellas, which was based on Pileggi's book.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, America's Catholic bishops are meeting in Atlanta this week. They're asking whether reforms meant to protect kids from sexual abuse are working and they're facing questions about whether they're crossing the line from principled to partisan in their fight against the Obama administration's contraception mandate. We'll talk about all of that in just a few minutes.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we open up our mailbox and hear from you about the stories we've covered this week. That's called BackTalk, and it's in just a few minutes.
But, first, it's time for Faith Matters. That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality. And today, we talk about that big meeting of the American Catholic bishops. They're wrapping up their annual meeting in Atlanta today and they had a lot on their agenda.
The Obama administration is announcing a major change in immigration policy this morning. It affects people who are brought to the U.S. as children illegally. Beginning immediately, these young people can avoid deportation and will be allowed to work in this country. The move could affect as many as 800,000 undocumented residents 30 years old or younger.
Joining us now to talk about the move is NPR's Scott Horsley. He's at the White House. And Scott, who exactly is affected?
More than 200 pages worth of details about accusations made against Secret Service personnel since 2004 has been released. The accusations concern "claims of involvement with prostitutes, leaking sensitive information, publishing pornography, sexual assault, illegal wiretaps, improper use of weapons and drunken behavior," The Associated Press reports.
Important note: the list apparently deals with accusations, not confirmed cases of misconduct.
We'll pass along more about this as the story develops.
The European Central Bank "is on standby to keep banks flush with liquidity" if Greeks effectively vote on Sunday to support politicians who want to reject austerity measures and pull the nation out of the eurozone, The Financial Times writes this morning.
The ECB joins "a global chorus of central bankers pledging support ahead of Sunday's elections," the FT adds.
Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from Elise Hu (@elisewho), an NPR digital reporter who previously covered campaigns and statehouses in Texas, South Carolina and Missouri.
The economy has so much going for it: low inflation, low interest rates, affordable homes, falling gasoline prices and 27 straight months of job growth. Good times, no?
The economy is slowing, but not because of current conditions. The slowdown reflects the fear of what may be coming next. Economists say employers and investors are paralyzed by the uncertainty surrounding three huge problems: one in the United States, another in Europe and the third in China.
After a week of escalating violence in Syria, the chief U.N. official there in the country said today that efforts to resolve the conflict have had little effect. It was a bleak assessment from the man leading the United Nations observer mission for the past six months. NPR's Deborah Amos joins us from Damascus, where she has been out with observers assessing the situation.
And Deb, what was the message today from Major General Robert Mood?
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Summer dust storms in Arizona have a funny name - haboobs - but they can be deadly. This summer, Arizona transportation officials turned to poetry in their safety campaign, encouraging Twitter users to tweet haikus, like this one from Mindy Lee: Haboobs blow through town. In one instant it is dark. Pull over and wait. And here's Will Watson's: You're not a Jedi. This is not Tatooine, Luke. Pull over, man. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
"Tokyo police have arrested the last fugitive member of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, Katsuya Takahashi, who was on the run for 17 years," NHK WORLD reports.
The 54-year-old suspect was taken into custody today in Tokyo. As NHK says, "Takahashi was wanted in connection with the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in March, 1995 and other Aum-related crimes. He allegedly helped one of the perpetrators flee after the attack."
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene.
Here is a sneak preview of what we can expect a lot more of in the next few months: President Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney carrying on a long-distance debate over the economy. In this case, the distance was just 250 miles. Both men were in Ohio. Mr. Obama was in the Democratic stronghold of Cleveland, up along the Great Lakes. Romney was down in Cincinnati, near the Kentucky border.